The French brand Mustache has invited Frandroid near Fontainebleau to take control of your VTTAE Saturday 29 Path 9, the time of two outings of about 2 hours in the famous forest of the same name. An extremely favorable playground for mountain biking, where positive and negative elevations, trails, stones and other roots all coexist.
It was an opportunity for yours truly to experience a high-end electric mountain bike for the first time. This treatment aims both to expose the capabilities of the tested model and to bring a relatively fresh and new look at this discipline, much more exciting than it seems.
Mustache knows how to do electric mountain bikes
Mustache and electric mountain bikes is a love story that has been going on for 10 years. From the outset, an initial range of VTTAE was an integral part of the offering, which was then extended to five major families: Saturday 26/27 Off, Saturday 27 Weekend, Saturday 27 Wide, Saturday 29 Trail and Saturday 29 Game.
After trying the Samedi 29 Game 9 in June 2022, whose skills are more suited to enduro, we had to ride the handlebars of the Samedi 29 Trail 9, intended for both the general public and professionals. Trail 3, Trail 5, Trail 7 and Trail 11 versions co-exist within the range, at progressive prices depending on features.
The Saturday 29 Trail isn’t just a compilation of premium components. It is a well thought-out electric mountain bike, designed for trail and technical routes, combining power, maneuverability and comfort. For example, Mustache engineers redesigned the battery and motor mounts.
In doing so, Mustache managed to place these two components as far down as possible to improve the bike’s overall stability.
The Saturday 29 Trail also benefits from a multi-scale internal design, starting with the infinitely recyclable 6061-T6 aluminum frame. The Magic Grip Control rear shock—which comes in 4 versions depending on the bike line—is designed on its own, which is rare enough to point out.
Finally, Mustache manufactures its own asymmetric rims, which allow balanced tension between the different layers of spokes. According to Mustache, the wheel is more durable in the long run. All these home made adjustments would make the bike more dynamic and precise.
A beautiful electric mountain bike
” Rely on your e-MTB » : This piece of advice from one of the Mustache members presenting the Saturday 29 Trail was one of the most valuable pieces of advice heard at the press event. Because when you take the handlebars of your first electric mountain bike, you are not yet aware of all the possibilities.
Step by step you will learn to tame this relatively easy beast, as stability and comfort are at the rendezvous. You then venture to first cross a few small obstacles, from relatively flat rock to some intermediate bumps, through more or less pronounced positive elevations and other roots.
This first warm-up lap allows you to warm up the Trail 9’s ultra-high-end gear. And to understand how much the rear shock and the FOX Float 36 Performance suspension fork with 150 mm of travel still have the margin ahead of them: the possibilities are, in fact, much greater.
The 29-inch Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxTerra tires provide excellent grip regardless of the conditions (stones, branches, wet leaves, sandy soil). In practice, it’s quite impressive. The only slight difficulty, in fact, is to become aware of the rear axle, which should ideally be placed along a well-defined route.
For example, I happened to sneak between two large rocks, where the narrow passage and turns are not the most obvious given the size of the machine: in this case, the rear wheel tended to rub, without slipping. What the Trail 9 excels at is that it can overtake all the time as long as you have good control over it.
Unsurprisingly, the Bosch Performance Line CX motor is of course the ideal ally for more technical terrain. This is a monster of power, delivering 85Nm of torque, ideal for hills and overcoming obstacles. With this everything works for you, from the average hill to the steepest: just play with your gear ratio and the assist mode, and you’re done.
To push the bike a little further into its ramps, Mustache took us on more difficult typologies. “Rely on your e-MTB“. It is typical in this kind of situation that this sentence takes on its full meaning. Because at first glance, some passages seemed simply impossible to cross.
This is when the Trail 9 deploys all its agility and power to sweep away imposing rocks, protruding roots and vicious coatings: the front can pop and ignore (almost) anything, muffling your reception without crashing and boosting the dynamics of the two-wheeler.
Especially since the power of the Performance Line CX guarantees excellent liveliness, provided of course you have good control over the intensity of your pedal strokes. As a reminder, in the presence of a torque sensor, the electric assistance is transmitted in proportion to the force you put on the pedals.
The overall shock absorption is probably one of its greatest strengths: you never feel overly rushed, whatever your speed. Speaking of speed, and as a UAE, the Trail 9 is electronically limited to 25mph, which is extremely easy to achieve with the Turbo mode.
On descents, speeds of 35 km/h or more are largely achievable without fear of the slightest slip: keep the handlebars well under control, anticipate the route and raise your riding position towards the back of the saddle to reduce the total weight balance and add extra weight. stability at your rear.
The Trail is equipped with an extremely practical accessory that is nothing more than a telescopic seat post, adjustable via a small trigger attached to the handlebar. Put some weight on it, pull the trigger and your saddle goes down in one fell swoop. Raise your buttocks, activate the trigger again for the opposite effect.
This gear may seem trivial to mere mortals, but in fact it’s devilishly essential for mountain biking. Because with every relatively full fall, positive or negative, it is important to lower your saddle to adopt a lower sitting position.
Downhill, for example, this position offers better control and better balance of the machine. Once back on level ground, simply fiddle with the trigger to raise the saddle and return to a more classic riding position. You get used to it very quickly.
The brakes are extremely effective: these are Shimano XT BR-M8120, front and rear, with 4 pistons and generous 203mm discs. Each brake lever can be operated with a single finger because the bite and progressiveness are there. It is very practical to keep your other fingers on the handles and thus keep the bike under control.
An intelligent system on board
The version of the Trail 9 tested for several hours was equipped with Bosch’s Smart System and the Kiox 300 computer. This intelligent system allows the bike to receive remote updates with new features. Everything can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, via the eBike Flow app.
GPS navigation, riding statistics (time, distance, average speed, etc.), customization of very fine assistance modes, battery level and autonomy, eBike Lock, nature of the routes (altitude, type of surface): the application offers you a lot of practical and interesting information if you are a data lover.
We plan to write a full dossier on the Bosch Smart System. This article will be updated accordingly.
A very comfortable autonomy
The autonomy of a city bike and an electric mountain bike probably does not have the same value: a city bike is intended to be used every day, for example for cycling work. The range can therefore be a more than important criterion for the user. A mountain bike will mainly be used on weekends, for trips in the woods or in the mountains.
The fact is that the distances covered during these little escapades can reach several tens of kilometers if you plan to have fun all day long. For example, during our first outing we drove about 10 km in a time frame of barely 50 minutes. Our second trip of 1h20 brought us to 15.5 km.
Fortunately, the Trail 9 is equipped with Bosch’s best batteries in terms of energy capacity: either the 625 Wh version or the 750 Wh version, giving you very good room to maneuver. In eMTB mode – adapts to the terrain and your needs – 64 km of range remaining for 84% battery is displayed.
In Turbo mode, the most powerful, the system indicates a range of 46 km with 98% energy. In short, more than enough to keep you entertained for a whole day, or even a whole weekend. Then simply charge it up to prepare it for your next mountain/forest trip. Note that the battery can be removed for convenience.
Price and user purpose
At 7499 euros (750 Wh battery), the Saturday 29 Trail 9 is clearly not for all budgets. Nor for all types of profiles. Admittedly, Mustache does not hesitate to point out that his model is aimed at both beginners and professionals, but it is clear that you need both the means and the passion to complete the purchase.
AE VTT enthusiasts could therefore fall for this little electric gem, or even save a few thousand euros by falling back on the Saturday 29 Trail 3 (625 Wh battery) sold for 5299 euros. The Trail 9 is nevertheless a machine cut out for technical trails, whose potential must be fully exploited to make the most of it.
Granted, the price may seem exorbitant, but this two-wheeler is designed to withstand time and delicate terrain. Each expertly chosen part is a significant expense, as evidenced by the Fox fork retailing for over 1000 Euros – we imagine Mustache negotiated prices with the manufacturer.
The driving experience and sensations remain unique, for relatively unique escape options. There is only one question on my mind: when is the next onewrinkledin a high-end electric mountain bike?
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