I had the opportunity to mountain bike in Alcoy/Alicante Spain. On my arrival I was sent to the Scott Concept Store on a recommendation from our hotel hosts from Macia La Mota, a boutique hotel nestled within a spanish mountain(HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
I've been a lover of mountain biking since my friends Mike & Jimmy tricked me to going to ride back in 2008. Since then I've raced and been from east to west coast riding through this wonderful earth we live on.
On walking in I was greeted by the store owner Xavi Perez, who also ended up being my personal guide through the mountains of Alcoy. The store is very modern, bright and clean. Xavi started showing me what they had available. They had some hard tails which were a bit on the heavier side. He then directed me towards the E-bikes which he told me was the bike he was going to ride.
My immediate was "what?, I don't need any electronic help riding. I'm the only motor I need." Although the bike was very nice. As a person that also believes you should try new things I thought I can always just not use the e assist, and ride a nice bike. After all it gave me the idea to write this article. Why not give the bike, shop, and experience a review to help you out if you ever find yourself in this part of the world. After buying some new shoes, which they gave me a nice discount on & a fitting for the cleat, everything was set up for me to show up in a few days and ride. YYYEEEEAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!
Xavi was waiting for me the morning of the ride. It was only him and I. He gave me a tutorial on how to use the buttons for the assist. I was thinking to use it enough to get a feel for it to get some good info for you, but aside from that, minimal use.
With that we were off. It was a gray, foggy, misty morning. The temperature during this time of the year(October) was upper 50's to mid 60's. As we're starting to peddle he tells me "this is the first time he's doing this loop and let's see how it goes."
Description of the bike is as follows. "Designed as a mountain bike, the full-suspension makes it a most comfortable ride even on roads. If you live somewhere with a lot of potholes, you will be glad of the cushioning.
And that suspension can be adjusted from the handlebar. Its ‘Fusion’ rear shock has a handlebar remote to adjust the level of suspension. If you’re on rough terrain, put it in a high level of cushioning. Back on smooth surfaces, turn it to a more rigid setting with a click of a lever.
The Bosch Performance Motor(E-assist) makes light work of hills and can make you feel like a cycling pro. Just like the suspension, you can adjust the amount of power-assistance with the press of a button on the handlebar.
If you plan to take the bike on off road trails, you’ll be happy to see that the ‘Tough Tom’ tyres feature ‘Snakeskin’ sidewalls to prevent damage." With that basic overview let's get into it.
Our ride began with a nice 2500ft climb; where i immediately needed to ask myself how
I wanted to use the e-assist. On a normal bike you can always go into the granny gear a.k.a the small gear. The small gear allows you to spin your legs faster which makes it easier to go up. The bike did not have the option as the E-assist is the equivalent to the gears.
10 minutes in after my legs were beginning the familiar feeling of burn that accompanies going up, I decided to turn the assist on to it's first bar. Immediately I felt it turn on and actually assist me in going up. It was the feeling of being in the granny gear. Before I go on I will mention that I never used any of the other settings as in being a mountain bike purist, i wanted to do as much work as possible.
Whenever I felt like my legs could take it, I would turn the Assist off and keep pedaling up. When turning it off after having it on, the bike actually feels like it drags you, which makes going up that much more exciting. Kind of like adding an extra 20% of resistance. Needless to say I used it more than I wanted to on the way up.
As you can see from my strava, after the first ascent there was a short decline before continuing on to the peak. The desent as most was awesome. These mountains are very clay-ish which makes them a bit slippery on rainy days. The Bike handles very well going down. The thicker tires did the job. I did have one good slip fall, but aside from that the bike handled the terrain.
Here is a video from the top of the mountain. Xavi mentioned that on a clear day you could see the island of Ibiza in the distance. This day was as you can see, foggy!
There was all types of different terrain. Big rocks, loose rocks, there was even a section they call mini whistler that has really fun switchbacks. Momentum is key through this section.
All in all it was a great day with a cool guide. I would like to mention this. Towards the end of our ride Xavi kept saying that we had to get back soon as he was running out of battery for his E-assist. I on the other hand had only used one bar for the whole ride. Which got me nicknamed a mule when we got back to the shop. I'd like to think that they really meant I was a work horse that can ride!!! Hope this review serves you well, and make your way to Alcoy one day. It's a great change of pace. Perfect for Mountain bikers