REVIEW: Diamondback Ranger 1.0 FS E-MTB

STORY BY Anne 5th December 2017

Diamondback Ranger 1.0 FS E-MTB


The best thing about living down south is that we have the beach and the country-side.  The South Downs now a national park are vast, home to the South Downs way, well this stretches a mighty fine way from Winchester, the first capital of England, and to the white chalk cliffs at Eastbourne.

If you’re looking for endless trails, stunning views, wildlife, history, fine pubs and pretty villages, or if you just fancy a challenge, the 100 miles of the South Downs Way awaits you.  An obvious choice to get out on the all new Ranger from Diamondback, i took it for a spin having very little experience with e-mtb riding.


E power

A popular misconcpetion about e-mtb’s is how the motor works.  I’ve been asked by friends new to them, is it kinetic?  As in does it power itself by pedalling?   The answer is no.   It is almost identical to a standard mountain bike, albeit this is a full suspension equivalent.   The Shimano Steps XT E8000 500w battery is housed so neatly on the downtube i didn’t really notice it to start with.

It clips in and out of its resting place eaily.  You just slot it in and out like you would another battery operated item and push the button to turn on.  With the 3 bars lit green, it shows you are fully charged.   Alternatively you can look at the on board computer on the handlebar to show the charge left.


At first glance i was expecting the bike to be heavy, especially for my small frame, surprisingly, even without the motor engaged, it was easy to handle and after swapping the stem over for a short one i felt comfy in the saddle and the cockpit.   I’ve often had shop staff suggest i cut the bars down, however i love the width of these, i felt comfy all round and nicely i control.  This is one of the most important starting points for anyone on any bike.   If you don’t feel comfortable and in control you are more likely to be put off or injure yourself.

Engaging the motor

The Shimano XT E8000 motor engages via the two shifters (similar to gear shifters) on your left handle bar.  Click up to engage low level electric power; called ECO and click up further through TRAIL and the BOOST to engage more power.   Use the shifter underneath to click down and return to ECO mode.  Or click off if you’re coming to a halt.  There are no rules for this really, power up, have a blast and effortlessly take charge on long flats.   Where this reallly takes your breath away and leaves you with a rush of ‘hoo ahh’ – say this in the same accent as Al Pacino in ‘Scent of a Woman’  – is up hill.

Riding mountain bikes is awesome, even low key pedalling whatever level you are is exhilarating and fun and something more people would like to enjoy more, however i do get the fact people can be put off by fitness levels.  With an e-mtb like this, it takes the hard work out of hard routes, and makes easier routes an absolutle blast.  Quicker too, or an alternative way to look at it, you can ride five times as far as you might have done on standard old fashioned leg power.   Now that is a result.


So much easier to explain with film analogies.  I mean seriously did someone secretly suck out the gravity from that up section on Highdown? As i flew up it with the ease of a depressurised space suit a la Matt Damon in ‘The Martian’.  Literally a few pedal rotations and i’d left my friend who regularly rides on and off road really quite far behind.   It was effortless and judging the look of my friends face who was struggling to catch me up, this new found electric power was a joy to use.

Who are these e-mtb’s for?

Anyone.   If you like downhill sections, you can get so many more runs in a day as you can ride up without always the need for an uplift.   For rides out on your local trails, you will use less energy so you can ride further and faster for much much longer.   It could be said that alot of mtb riders would love to have the time to be much fitter, but work and life gets in the way of that, so again, another great reason to invest in an e-mtb.  For me, it means a decent day out on the bike, Pubs that were further away are now in reach and weekend lunch times are much more exciting!  Go further, have more fun, for much longer.

Trails:  Highdown, The South Downs Way

Pub:   The Swallows Return, Worthing

KitFindra Merino Cowl neck; SPY Helm Sunglasses, Olfi camera

In the next update i will do a ‘How to’ to show you in detail how to get the bike set up and how to use the e power.



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