Cairn might not be a reputation you’ve come throughout within the biking scene earlier than, however its mum or dad firm – The Rider Agency – is the one answerable for Hunt bike wheels (amongst different manufacturers), which you’ve positively heard of earlier than in case you’ve considered upgrading your wheels.
Cairn has created what’s probably essentially the most versatile electrical gravel bike we’ve ever seen: the Cairn E-Journey 1.0. Although ostensibly a gravel bike, with chunky knobbled tyres and a great deal of clearance (as much as 45mm on 700c or 2.25-inch on 650b) and a beefed-up street–kind body, the E-Journey veers extra in the direction of the journey aspect of on- or off-road using, with mounts on the forks and dynamo routing inside.
So in case you’re the kind that likes to go on long-distance bikepacking rides somewhat than heading out for brief, intense blasts, this might be the best bike for you. It may be an incredible commuter bike for these using to work year-round, due to the inclusion of mounts for full-length mudguards and a rear pannier rack.
Due to the inclusion of electrical help on the pedals courtesy of a light-weight Fazua Evation system, it’s additionally fairly a buzz to journey too, and in case you do determine to make use of the E-Journey 1.0 for longer, multi-day rides, then you definitely’ll be thankful for the increase on the finish of it.
So what does a shade beneath £3,000 get you then? To start with, let’s discuss concerning the body – it’s fabricated from 6061-T6 alloy, which could not be everybody’s first selection of body materials as of late, and regardless that it’s paired with a full carbon fork (steer tube too) it’s not notably mild. However, it does enable the E-Journey 1.0 to return in at a fairly reasonably priced value level, and Cairn actually hasn’t actually scrimped anyplace on the spec.
You get the aforementioned Fazua Evation mid-mounted electrical system, which could be very mild (simply 4.6kg for the underside bracket, battery and drive pack), and the battery and drive pack are neatly built-in into the downtube of the body – they can be eliminated too.
On the groupset aspect of issues, there’s a SRAM Rival 1×11 velocity setup in place, with a Praxis Works chainset that’s designed to work particularly with the Fazua system. The 42T entrance chainring mated to the 10-42T cassette on the rear offers loads of vary even on the steepest of climbs.
Then there are the Hunt 4 Season Gravel Disc wheels (not a shock given the reference to Hunt) that are mated to WTB Enterprise 700x40c tubeless gravel tyres – a high-quality alliance that gives a pleasant steadiness of grip in off-road circumstances and first rate on-road velocity, together with the wheels’ bombproof reliability.
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Rounding issues off properly is an honest cockpit consisting of a Ritchey Comp stem and Ritchey Comp Butano handlebars wrapped in snug Cloth bar tape. On the different finish, you get an honest Kalloy Uno seatpost with a carbon shaft and a snug Cloth Scoop Elite Shallow saddle perched on prime.
Certain, these may not be notably high-end components, however when different producers select to chop corners with no-name components on costly bikes, it’s good to see a model placing collectively a motorcycle that you would be able to simply exit and journey while you’ve bought it with out having to improve a bunch of issues from the get-go.
Experience and dealing with
So it’s a properly specced bike, then. However most significantly, what does it journey like? Effectively, fairly rattling good because it occurs.
The geometry is unquestionably extra on the relaxed aspect of issues, which is sensible provided that it is a bike designed extra for lengthy and cozy rides than razzing round your favorite gnarled roads. The top tube is fairly slack and the fork path is sort of massive (even for a gravel bike) that means turn-in is just a little slower than you is likely to be used to.
Equally, the lengthy wheelbase makes for a steady, if not notably thrilling dealing with bike. At 14.5kg it’s fairly heavy too (extra so than equally specced e-gravel bikes). That’s to not say the E-Journey 1.0 can’t be hustled round bends, it simply wants just a little extra work.
Throughout testing, the E-Journey 1.0 was witness to clean (ish – hey that is the UK in spite of everything) roads, gravel roads, and even just a few native trails and it appeared to absorb every little thing it got here throughout with ease. The decrease prime tube junction offers you elevated clearance, making it extra appropriate for off-road using. The body is just a little on the stiff aspect, extra so on the rear the place there was the occasional pogoing over large bumps. That mentioned it’s a snug bike to journey, with the 40mm tyres serving to to cushion the journey considerably.
The Fazua Evation system which gives the electrical help for the E-Journey 1.0 is similar system that we’ve seen in lots of different electrical bikes, and it’s turn out to be so widespread just because it really works so effectively. Within the case of the E-Journey it’s principally good, with solely a few minor setbacks that will or could not trouble you – extra on that later.
As we talked about earlier it’s fairly an unintrusive, light-weight system that you simply in all probability wouldn’t discover if it wasn’t for the additional energy on the pedals. The battery and drive pack (which is principally your complete guts of the electrical system) is situated within the downtube and may be eliminated just by unlocking it and pulling it down.
At this level, you possibly can both take away the entire thing (3.3 kilos price) and change it with a blanking plate which additionally doubles up as a storage level contained in the body. In idea, it is a good thought because it means that you can journey the bike as you’d a daily gravel bike, utilizing your personal steam, however personally I can’t see the purpose of shopping for an electrical bike in case you’re not all the time going to make use of the help; when you’ve tried it, you’ll discover it onerous to return.
Alternatively, the battery alone may be eliminated, conserving the drive pack in place. The profit right here is that you would be able to hot-swap the battery with a recent one when it runs out, so you possibly can journey even additional, making actually large journeys attainable. The actually intelligent factor right here is that Cairn sells a Vary Extension Pack which might home a single battery pack and be mounted to 1 aspect of the fork leg due to its Something Cage mounts. Or you possibly can even mount two, one to every aspect.
A single cost on the 255Wh battery is sweet for about 56 miles in Breeze mode (in keeping with Fazua). There’s no charging on the bike, so each time you need to cost the battery it’s a must to take away it – a minor inconvenience, however price mentioning all the identical as different electrical bikes may be charged with the battery in situ.
Through the downtube mounted controls you may have a selection of three help ranges: none, Breeze (125W), River (250W) and Rocket (as much as 400W). Personally, I felt that Breeze was sufficient for many forms of using, with River being the one I chosen when the hills had been notably demanding. Altering modes is as simple as tapping close to the highest or backside of the management pad to extend or lower the ability stage.
In contrast to some ebike methods that make you are feeling such as you’re strapped to a guided missile while you contact the pedals, the electrical help within the mid-mounted Fazua Evation system is sort of delicate, even at larger settings. You don’t actually get a giant shove – somewhat all of it feels fairly pure as if it’s merely augmenting your pedalling effort, which is what you need actually.
Above the 15.5mph authorized restrict for electrical help within the UK, you don’t really feel a lot resistance within the drivetrain. If something the rolling resistance of the tyres appears to be the limiting issue for build up larger speeds on the street.
The one main draw back of the Fazua system is its slim powerband. Too low a cadence and the help doesn’t actually kick in, or an excessive amount of torque in a much bigger gear and, once more, you don’t get a lot assist. What this implies is that you simply all the time must be on the ball with respect to your selection of gears for the terrain you’re using on, and able to change gear on the drop of a hat to remain within the energy band when the elevation modifications.
The Black Pepper replace in model 2.0 of the motor software program on new E-Journey 1.0 bikes is designed to deal with this concern, so Cairn says: “The Evation drive system now gives extra environment friendly help at a relentless motor output over a cadence vary of fifty–120 revolutions per minute.”
Verdict and options
The Cairn E-Journey 1.0 may effectively be one of the best all-round ebike that we’ve ever come throughout. It takes the flexibility of a gravel bike, provides in year-round usability due to its baggage capabilities, and rounds it off with very good multi-day, lengthy distance credentials. The choices to lug further batteries so you possibly can scorching swap them on the transfer and get larger vary is simply ace.
That it’s a clean, confidence-inspiring journey that’s snug to sit down on all day lengthy is the icing on the cake, and we love the truth that it is effectively specced out of the field so there’s no have to go swapping out components as quickly as you purchase it.
As for the competitors, if we’re speaking pure electrical gravel bikes then even with its reasonably priced price ticket and stable spec sheet, the E-Journey 1.0 isn’t essentially the primary choice we’d take into account. For example, the Ribble CGR AL e is across the identical value and incorporates a comparable setup, with the Fazua Evation system and a 1×11 Rival construct, however Ribble quotes an approximate weight of 13.3kg in a dimension Massive, whereas the E-Journey 1.0 is 14.5kg in, presumably, a medium (as most producers are likely to go along with).
That being mentioned, Ribble does make fairly competitively priced bikes, and anyway the E-Journey 1.0 actually isn’t an all-out gravel bike, what with its lengthy distance capabilities. A extra honest comparability can be one thing just like the Kinesis Range Adventure E-Bike. This bike incorporates a comparable luggage-compatible fork, is barely heavier at 15kg and prices considerably extra at £3,500. You do get barely extra tyre clearance right here although and the iridescent paint job is a little more ‘spangly’.
Tech spec: Cairn E-Journey 1.0
RRP: £3,399.99 / €3,799.00 / $3,750.00
Body: 6061-T6 Alloy
- Up to date down tube FAZUA Contact Distant – See here
- Bottle Cage Mounts on the seat tube.
- Something cage on the down tube.
- Full Mudguard Mounts entrance and rear.
- FAZUA Battery Lock function
- Double-walled down tube for elevated sturdiness.
Fork: Full Carbon (Together with steerer)
- Something Cage Mounts on each side.
- Inside Dynamo Routing
Wheels: HUNT 4 Season Gravel Disc (Can match each 700C and 650B wheels)
Tyres: WTB Enterprise 700x40c
Axles: Via-Axles, Alloy | 12×100 mm Entrance | 12×142 mm Rear
Headset: FSA Sealed Bearing
Handlebars: Ritchey Comp Butano | Drop 118 mm | Attain 73 mm | Sweep 4-degrees | Flare 12°-degrees
- Dimension S – 42 cm
- Dimension M, L – 44 cm
- Dimension XL – 46 cm
- *Width measured centre to centre
Bartape: Cloth Knurl
Stem: Ritchey Comp 4-Axis | ±6-degrees
- Dimension S – 70 mm
- Dimension M – 80 mm
- Dimension L – 90 mm
- Dimension XL – 100 mm
Crankset: Praxis Works FAZUA-specific | Alloy | 42T
- Dimension S – 165 mm
- Dimension M, L – 170 mm
- Dimension XL – 175 mm
Cassette: SRAM XG-1150 | 10-42T
Chain: KMC X11
Shifters: SRAM Rival Hydro 1x
Rear derailleur: SRAM Rival 1x Lengthy Cage
Brakes: SRAM Rival Hydro, SRAM Centerline | 6-bolt | 160mm
Saddle: Cloth Scoop Elite Shallow
Seatpost: Kalloy Uno with carbon shaft | 27.2⌀ | 350mm
Electrical Motor: Fazua Evation 1.0
Included: Fazua Motor, Battery, Battery Charger, Down Tube Contact Distant Management & Cell App.
- With motor and battery (no pedals) – ±14.5kg (31.9lbs)
- With out motor and battery, with down tube cowl (no pedals) – ±12kg (26.4lbs)