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20 December 2018 - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Explore New Grounds | The New Felt Bicycles STEPS E8000 Line

Team Shimano heads to Rancho Santa Margarita, CA to tour Felt Bicycles and see what goes into the design of their e-MTB’s.

Just a city over from Shimano’s headquarters in Irvine, Felt Bicycles resides in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. Founded in 1991, Felt has been making e-bikes since 2014, both city and mountain.

Their most current models are three off-road rigs, starting at $5,799 down to $3,699. The Redemption-E 30 and Redemption-E 50 are their 150mm full suspension options offered in dark grey and army green, and the Surplus-E 50 is their hard tail e-MTB available in dark grey.

We had the chance to speak with the head engineer, Jeff Soucek and e-Bike product manager Ash Murrin, about what went into the process of making these electric mountain bikes a reality.




Can you walk us through the process of designing the Redemption-E and Surplus-E?

JS: The design process was pretty straight forward for us. We had certain criteria we set out to hit and had a good idea of how we were going to get there from the beginning. For the Redemption-E, it was to make a durable e-MTB that we wanted to ride; something that was modern and performed with the same attributes that a traditional mountain bike has but with all the added fun of assist. On the Surplus-E side, the design process was a little easier. We really wanted this model to be a Swiss army knife for riders if they wanted a fun trail e-MTB, or a bike they could use to commute on.




What were your goals when beginning this process?

JS: The goal was simple, make bikes that we, and the public, want to ride. We spent a lot of time on other manufactures bikes before deciding the ride characteristics that we wanted to achieve. For the Surplus-E the goal was to make a hard tail e-bike that is not only very versatile, 27.5+/29 wheel compatible, racks fenders ect. But a bike that is still very exciting to ride on the trail. For the Redemption-E, we really focused on making this a very modern riding bicycle. We looked at what makes an e-bike so fun but also what makes a traditional bicycle enjoyable.





With multiple options for motor and battery units, why did Felt decide to incorporate the STEPS E8000 System into your electric mountain bike line-up?

AM: For us the choice of using Shimano was easy. Aligning with a brand that understand how bicycles work and what’s important to the target rider was huge. After we all rode the system here we were blown away with how natural feeling the STEPS E8000 drive unit was, along with the assist modes and all of the features and user interfaces of the system.




Is it different choosing components for e-MTB compared to a traditional mountain bike? What do you take into consideration?

AM: With the added weight and power of the e-bike a few key things are looked at differently. Using quality hubs that can take the added power of the e-system, larger diameter rotors and powerful brakes to keep the rider comfortable and in control and finally good suspension with the correct tune to keep the rider in more control.




Can you share future plans for Felt e-MTB’s?

AM:  Right now we can’t share too much of what we have coming down the pipe line but you can be sure to see a lot more integration and industrial design. In conjunction with some new goodies from our friends at Shimano.




Contact your local Felt dealer to test ride both the Redemption-e and Surplus-e.