Updated: 5th September 2018
The Mondraker Crafty Plus has evolved from its trail bike roots and is now a dedicated electric mountain bike for effortless all mountain riding. Previously known as the e-Crafty, there are two models that we look at in this Mondraker Crafty + review: the Crafty R + and the Crafty RR+. Both bikes offer 160/150mm of suspension travel. On an e bike this ideal for MTB trail riding on a wide variety of different terrain.
The Crafty + sits in the middle of Mondraker’s eMTB range, with more suspension travel than the Chaser but a little less big hit capability than the Level or the Crusher. Bosch provide the drive unit, and the battery pack is neatly integrated into the main frame.
Both Crafty Plus models share the same frame made from Mondraker’s 6061 Stealth Evo Aluminium alloy. Like Mondraker’s regular mountain bikes, the Crafty features Forward Geometry. With a longer top tube, combined with a very short Stem, the main advantage of Forward Geometry is that it makes the bike feel much more stable on steep sections, and at high speeds. Handling is also improved while climbing. This is because the longer front end helps to keep the front Wheel on the ground.
The Power Tube battery pack slots neatly into the downtube which gives the bike its nice clean lines. There is even enough room inside the main frame for a bottle cage. This is a nice touch on an e bike even if it does need to be mounted under the Top Tube. This is because the Battery sits on, rather than under, the structural part of the Downtube.
The aggressive Forward Geometry takes some time to get used to, but once you’re fully akin with it you can revel in the smooth, stable ride.
Geometry isn’t the only area where the e-Crafty shines, as the suspension system is also on point.
The 150mm of rear wheel travel is delivered through Mondraker’s Zero Suspension system. This is a dual link design with the shock floating between the two-suspension links, so that it is compressed from both ends. This makes the rear suspension extremely sensitive on small bumps while still dishing up plenty of big hit potential. It’s called a Zero Suspension system because you get a very stable ride when pedalling, with no power loss. While this system eliminates pedal kick back when used with a 43t chainring, you do get a small amount with the very small chainring used with the Bosch motor.
Both models feature a Fox 36 Fork up front with a Fox DPX2 Rear Shock. While this setup might seem like overkill on a normal trail bike, it makes total sense on an e bike. This is because the extra weight of the drive unit puts extra strain on the Suspension, so adding a little more support is just what you need on those rougher trails.
The Mondraker Crafty is fitted with a Bosch Performance Line CX motor and a 500Wh battery pack. With a maximum torque of 75Nm this isn’t the most powerful ebike motor available, but it is one of the most popular. This is thanks to the smooth power delivery, as well as a reputation for reliability. The PowerTube Battery pack sits neatly inside the down tube and can easily be charged both on and off the bike.
There are four different power modes that offer between 50% and 300% extra assistance to your natural pedalling power. eMTB mode is a new feature for Bosch and is one that most riders will embrace. This is because it automatically adjusts the amount of assistance depending on the amount of effort you put through the Pedals, so you don’t need to change modes to get the most out of the motor. You also get a walk assist mode, so you can easily push back up the hill when sessioning trail sections with your mates.
the Bosch Performance Line CX is our favourite motor, which once used to, gives intuitive power delivery in five different assistance levels, and plenty of life with its 500Wh battery.
Powerful brakes, ‘one by’ drivetrains and dropper posts are just what you expect, and need, on a capable trail-oriented e bike
Both bikes get a SRAM NX drivetrain with Race Face Aeffect ebike crankset. The difference between the two is that the Crafty RR+ gets the Eagle version with a 12 speed cassette while the R+ is 11 speed. While the range of the 11 speed Cassette is all you are likely to need when riding with other ebikers, the extra range of 12 speed means that you can easily ride at the same pace as your friends on regular bikes when the going gets steep.
Powerful brakes are important on an ebike, so it is good to see that both models have four Piston Callipers and large 200mm rotors front and rear. The Crafty R+ is fitted with Shimano MT520 brakes while the RR+ has the DH levels of stopping power offered by SRAM Codes. The OnOff finishing kit is good quality and both bikes are fitted with dropper Seatposts.
Both bikes are fitted with quality DT Swiss H1900 Spline wheels. The rims on these wheels are the wider versions with a 35mm inner rim width. This gives great support for the plus sized tyres, especially when running the lower tyre pressures that offer the most grip. The slight amount of extra weight added to the wheels isn’t an issue with an e MTB as you have the electric motor to get you up to speed.
Plus sized tyres make a lot of sense on an e bike. This is because the extra volume works well with the extra weight of the bike by offering extra grip and float. The 2.8” Maxxis Minion (front) and High Roller (rear) tyres offer plenty of grip even on the most challenging trails. The wheels and tyres are tubeless ready, so it is easy to get up and running with this puncture reducing technology.
The ease of riding over technical sections and the overall improved “flow” that can be extracted from a trail with the wider tyres will leave many happier than they might have been on a standard trail bike.
The Mondraker Crafty Plus is a versatile electric mountain bike that is ideal for trail riding. While hard hitting enduro components, like the burly Fox 36 fork, may seem more than is required on an ‘all mountain’ trail bike, they actually make a lot of sense. While you may not notice the extra weight as the motor helps you up the climbs, the bike will. This will be especially noticeable on the descents and the extra capabilities of the components are just what you need.
From challenging enduro trails to cross-country loops and everything in between. The Mondraker Crafty Plus is an e bike that is ready to hit the trails. If you want more big-hit ability then have a look at the Mondraker Level or the Specialized Turbo Kenevo. For a similar level of performance capability but with a lighter weight Shimano Steps drive unit the Merida EOne Sixty and Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 are well worth a look.
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