As a previous competitive XC racer competing on the some of the toughest trails in Hawaii racing in Xterra Triathlons, I find the Voracity Strike the best I’ve ever ridden. The handling is so smooth and power quick to respond to single track trails, rock gardens, and uphill climbs. This changes XC MTB racing with the power, fury, and speed from motorized racing. In July 2018, I took this electric bicycle (eBike) up mountain trails, single track trails, and downhill courses as if I was testing a bike in a Xterra World Championship MTB race course. First about the bike itself and next to the fun part the rider testing.
The Voracity Strike eBike is a cross country XC racing bicycle (Figure 1) using top of line Shimano components such as Di2 electronic shifting integrated with the Shimano center motor E8000 (250W) and 500-watt hour (Wh) battery on the downtube. This location of motor and battery keeps the center of gravity low which helps the rider balance to maneuver around obstacles. Another critical component is the frame.
The bicycle frame is made from a special Mitsubishi high quality resin that improves the stiffness of this monocoque carbon frame. As a result, combining this unique frame material, frame design integrated with the Shimano motor system and components (XT, Di2) gives a competitive advantage. The advantage is less weight, greater stiffness, lower center of gravity, higher efficiency, and higher reliability resulting in better performance.
One of the best ways to test for performance is to reveal any flaws that a rider may encounter with the bike during extreme real-world conditions. The courses selected was an uphill mountain course, downhill course, and racing circuit course.
First, the uphill mountain course was modeled after Xterra World Championship where one would frequently carry their bike uphill and shoot downhill over rock gardens. The Shimano E8000 has this unique “Walk” mode setting by pushing the left lower shifter to activate the motor function allowing the bike to be pushed uphill. This feature helps getting up to those single-track trails where the extra weight from the motor and battery makes it difficult.
Once at the top of the single-track trails, riding the eBike was smooth and fast performing like a racing bike should in dirt trails and down rock gardens. When in “Trail” mode, the eBike provided a light touch of extra power needed in cornering while blasting through rolling trails at full speed.
Second, the downhill course had steep drops and sharp turns. While balancing the jumps, knowing the clearance is important because flying down slopes at great speed is dangerous, great control with the bike is similar to an acrobat. This eBike performed beautifully taking many jumps and landings even when I was about to crash.
On one steep downhill turn, my front tire got caught in between two rocks and launched me forward. Before the crash, I quickly positioned myself well behind the seat and the bike and I made a graceful landing. The eBike and I was not hurt by the fall, but I had to make a quick repair. Luckily, I had the tools to adjust the position of the stem back to center. This was not at all the fault of the bike but pilot error, the bike performed without a scratch. Thank God.
Third, on the race testing circuit, there were many small bunny jumps where I was jumping at a height of 5 Ft (152.4 Cm). In order to achieve this jump, the eBike was set to the most powerful “Boost” mode needed to launch me off the hill as shown in the picture. While airborne, I was wondering if the carbon frame would crack during the hard landing as did so many carbon fiber bikes break in races. Ta-da! I landed in one piece without a crack in the frame.
Overall, the frame strength is impressive, stiff, no flexing resulting in fast speed and great power transfer from the rider and motor. This integrated bike design with Shimano motor system, components, and features works great together and feels familiar to enthusiast and racers alike. Voracity Strike has greater performance with a dual purpose, racing and military. This beautiful camouflaged design, customized Velcro detachable head badge, and silent motorized operations makes it perfect for hunting, racing, and recon. Hooyah!