Battery placement seems to be homogenising new e-bike design if the latest releases from Cube, Cannondale, Canyon, and Orbea are anything to go by.


Have you noticed how so many of the best ‘lightweight’ e-bikes look really similar? From the Whyte E-Lyte to the Specialized Turbo Levo SL, Cube Stereo AMS Hybrid One44, Cannondale Moterra SL, Canyon Neuron:ONfly, and Orbea Rise, seemingly every diet e-bike is sharing a very similar silhouette with the shock positioned under the top tube. And the reason for this is simple; to get both the battery, and the inevitable range extender, as low and central as possible. In this video Danny and Alan talk about why this is so important, and how it’s narrowing the scope of designs. We also talk about the brands with suspension layouts that fall outside this box, and whether we may see them abandon their signature designs to optimise weight distribution and handling.

Will all e-bikes look the same?

Will all e-bikes look the same? Spot the difference between all of these e-bikes launched in the last year.

Traditionally brands have been keen to promote the concept that positioning the shock as low as possible in the frame lowers the centre of gravity and improves the handling. And while that it true in when looking specifically at the bike alone, when you zoom out to include the mass of the rider, all that effort is pretty insignificant.

Merida eOne-Sixty

The Merida eOne-Sixty’s 3kg range extender is a lump.

Range extenders, however, are much heavier than shocks, with even the smallest weighing upwards of 1kg, and the heaviest as much as 3kg in the case of the new Merida eOne-Sixty. So getting that weight as low and central as possible is of the utmost importance, and taking priority over decisions such as shock placement.

And once again it is Specialized leading the way here, with the brand’s Levo SL gen 2 forming the template being adopted by brands like Cube, Whyte, Canyon, and Merida. Yes, Whyte and Canyon already used this layout, but Cube and Merida have notably switched designs with their latest models, likely for this very reason. The question is, will we see other brands move away from their signature designs to gain better battery packaging? We’ll have to wait and see.