First Look: The New E-Ticket Bike by Foes Racing

New E-Ticket Bike by Foes Racing

Photo: Pat Carrigan

From the day Disneyland first opened their doors in 1955, millions of attendees gained entry first with an admission fee before purchasing a separate book of tickets that actually got them on the rides. These tickets were distinguished in alphabetical order—the A-tickets were for the slowest, dullest rides; B-tickets brought some added excitement; and both the C- and D-tickets upped the level of wonder and fun.

It was only four years after they first opened when enough new rides had been completed that the E ticket was added to the booklet. Ah, yes, for those old enough to remember, the E-ticket was the gold standard for all that was the most thrilling and memorable. Over time, the word “E-ticket” became synonymous with an experience unlike any other.    

Enter the Foes E-Ticket.

REMEMBER THE MATTERHORN? 

There’s a reason that Brent Foes is in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, and it has nothing to do with his talent on a bike. It does, however, have a lot to do with his talent to make a bike. 

For over three decades Brent Foes has proven himself a master craftsman with a remarkable sense of foresight for mechanical necessity, which helped usher mountain biking into a new realm of long-travel suspension. That was when back in 1991 he designed and built his first bicycle with 6 inches of travel—an unheard-of amount of suspension at the time. Foes has continued to cultivate an unparalleled artisanship in his chosen medium—6061 T6 aircraft-grade aluminum—ever since. 

Foes Racing bicycles are known for their resiliency and ability to be ridden aggressively. A hallmark of the brand is to produce each model—from trail and enduro bikes to fat bikes and World Cup-winning downhill racers—in low quantities with high quality. With this one-of-a-kind Foes, the company is considering a short run of limited-edition power-assist bikes. We got our hands on Brent’s first attempt at making an e-bike to see what could be possible from Foes in the pedal-assist category.

THE BIKE

The same visually perfect welds that he became famous for stitch together this unique machine. “This bike is a mix between our Mixer Enduro bike and the Mixer Hydro downhill bike. It really is its own creature,” says Foes sales manager Bobby Acuna. The term “mix” has been part of Foes’ design parlance since 2014 when they began adapting the mixed wheel-size combo that matches a 29-inch front wheel with a 27.5-inch rear wheel. 

Two test mules were created before arriving at this final geometry iteration that will come in two sizes: medium and large. Unique from Foes’ other frames, the bike has a hydro-formed top tube and down tube that adds to its robustly awesome, industrial look as it wraps into the externally mounted battery.

Another show of bulletproof engineering is this motor guard.

 

THE MOTOR

With its American headquarters located just a lunch drive away, choosing Shimano as the engine and drive component supplier for their first electric chassis was an easy decision. Foes selected the 250-watt
STEPS E8000 motor, owing to its reliable reputation to its celebrated response for out-of-the-saddle pedaling. 

THE PARTS

Paying a retail price of $10,000 will get you a complete bike with your choice of fork, shock and custom color. You could also go the made-to-order route and get a frame only for $6700 that would come with all the drive parts, including a motor, battery, shock and rear axle. Our test bike came complete with a suite of Fox hydraulics—36 fork with Fit GRIP2 damper, Float X2 rear shock and Transfer dropper post—rolling on Stan’s Arch MK3 enduro wheels with Schwalbe tires (29×2.5 inches up front and 27.5×2.4 inches in the rear).

The cockpit on this bike is wide and clean. The STEPS display looks even tinier here.

 

Controls in the cockpit were mounted to a 50mm Answer ATAC AME stem and 800mm-wide by 20mm rise Thomson Downhill handlebar with 9 degrees of backsweep and 5 degrees of upsweep, which would be able to leverage the bike in the desired direction once motoring on the trail.

WHO IT’S MADE FOR

If you’re the type of consumer who likes to pick a familiar, ordinary product from the eye-level shelf, keep shopping. The Foes e-bike is for the aficionado who can truly appreciate its rarity and brand legacy. This top-shelf item may be out of reach for most, but if exclusivity is an attraction, consider the e-bike your perfect north. 

THE RIDE

The demeanor of the Foes is true to its bloodline—born and bred to rip and shred. The 2.4:1 suspension ratio provides a supple feel at the beginning of its travel and allows small trail chatter to be easily absorbed. The bike stays planted well through the middle of the shock stroke, while its slight rising rate in the suspension curve encourages aggression from the rider of this 160mm-travel bike. If you back down from a gap, drop or line, it certainly won’t be at the bike’s dissuasion. We found ourselves riding harder and charging deeper into turns and jumps, producing only smiles from each confidence-inspired test rider.

One thing you can always expect from Foes is incredible welds and build quality.

 

The Shimano motor’s power delivery encouraged riding the Foes with a similar mindset as you would ride a traditional bicycle; it complemented heavy torque inputs better than some other engines on the market that are able to assist power, but only seem to be most effective at a specific pedaling cadence. And the larger range of gears on the 11-46T rear cluster could easily be utilized thanks to the Shimano XT shifter’s capability to change two gears at a time when moving down the cassette, which encouraged quick and accurate acceleration, thanks to the electric assistance from the Shimano unit.

The front end is forgiving, both in the slack head angle and the long-travel Fox 36 Performance fork.

 

The bike’s handling left us feeling extremely well-centered over the wheels. Foes absolutely nailed the weight distribution and balance of the motor and battery placement on the chassis. Railing turns without worry of the front wheel washing out made us fall in love with the control of this bike—all carve with no push in the turns. It jumped well, and while its hefty weight of 50.635 pounds was certainly noticed when loading and unloading the bike, it seemed to become an unnoticed characteristic in the dirt.

THE VERDICT

Want to break out of the plastic mold of owning a run-of-the-mill carbon bike, literally? The Foes delivers one heck of a good time in an unparalleled package of metal artisanship that will most likely outlive the 1000 recharge cycles of an ordinary lithium-ion battery and produce long-term fun that’s worth the investment.

SPECS

Foes Racing E-Bike

Price: $10,000

Motor: Shimano STEPS E8000 250W

Battery: Shimano 504 Wh

Charge time: 5 hours

Top speed: 20 mph (with assist)

Range: 31–62 miles

Drive: Shimano XT, 11-speed, 11-46T

Brakes: Shimano XT

Controls: Shimano XT

Fork: Fox 36 FiT GRIP, 160mm

Frame: 6061 T6 aluminum

Shock: Fox Float x2

Tires: Schwalbe 29×2.4” Eddy Current (f)/27.5×2.5” Nobby Nick (r)

Weight: 50.625 lb.

Color choice: 11 options

Sizes: M, L

www.foesracing.com


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