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HomeZA LifestyleLifestyle FeaturesHusqvarna MC6 - The Perfect all-round E-MTB?

Husqvarna MC6 – The Perfect all-round E-MTB?

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The term all-rounder over the years has sadly received a negative connotation and sometimes it’s read as “good at nothing, but ok at most things”—in other words beige. This unfathomable mentality is the same one that would classify a Swiss army knife as beige, rather than an extremely useful tool that everyone should have. What am I going on about? For years the jack of all and master of none has been the hardtail, we all started on one and learned the important skills we needed before choosing our future paths.

With the hardtail came no ego, but rather a young impressionable soul yearning to learn it all. Fast-rolling cross country (XC), school and back commuter, jump bike and so much more. You know exactly what I’m talking about! The thing is, cycling in SA has slowly started to change thanks to European and American influence. Yes, SA’s heavily dominated XC cyclist landscape has in the last few years been introduced to trail riding. Trail riding is no long-distance endeavour, but rather a mixture of fast-rolling XC, free-ride jumps and fast-flowing rhythm sections. Rather than a physical or endurance challenge it has introduced fun back into cycling with less endurance but more skilful riding.

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This is where the new “Jack” comes into the picture and Jack goes by “trail bike”. Trail bikes cover a huge range of travel and riding styles, and within that spectrum, there are sub-categories of these bikes beginning to form. Either way, bikes in this category need to do everything well, we are talking about jumps, riding over rocky terrain, covering a reasonable amount of XC trail, handling well, being lightweight and still getting you to your local coffee meet.

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Without further ado, we welcome Husqvarna’s Mountain Cross 6 e-trail bike. The ‘MC6’ flies the flag in Husqvarna’s MC range with its flagship full-carbon framed mullet bike setup and new Shimano EP801 motor that has been heavily angled upwards to position the 720Wh battery as low as possible for a lower centre of gravity. The MC6 has got a few nice touches from Husqvarna like the perforated battery cooling intake at the top of the fork tube marked ‘H’ for Husqvarna, the clever tool-free carbon battery hinged cover and the new hidden away charge port on the seat tube.

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The MC6 isn’t your normal trail bike, but rather one that is built to send hard with its sexy 150 mm Kashima-coated FOX Float 36 Factory forks, 150 mm Kashima-coated FOX Float X Factory air shock, NEWMEN Evolution SL wheelset, Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres, Husqvarna Pro dropper post, 50 mm stem and its 4-piston Magura MT5 brakes.

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Impressive hardware aside, Husqvarna also use a combination of high-end and durable Shimano and SRAM components. From Shimano, we see the EP801 motor, Shimano FC-EM900 cranks, SW-EN600-L mode switch and Shimano SC-EN600 LCD-Display. SRAM comes to the party with my favourite single-click X01 Eagle shifter, X01 Eagle derailleur, X01 Eagle chain, XG-1275 cassette and X-Sync Eagle 34 T chain ring.

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In SA we don’t have a local Whistler or Queenstown park for some hardcore shredding, but up in Gauteng, my local playground of choice and for the MC6 would be Wolwespruit MTB park. Wolwespruit offers riders the opportunity to do some technical descents, fast forest rhythm sections, black trail jumps and some slower technical trail riding, just perfect for testing out any trail-worthy bicycle.

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At 176 cm I fit perfectly on the medium with a roomy 475 mm reach and a decent 646 mm stack, it’s also great to see plenty of headset spacers for dialling in the bar height. Out on the trail, I pretty much left the MC6 in its ‘Trail’ boost mode as I felt this mode gave us a healthy balance of range and boost. To be honest ‘Boost’ mode just chowed battery like no one’s business and all for what felt like a 10% increase in boost.

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With the MC6’s 23 kgs running nice and low and with an 85 Nm of torque and 250 W on tap, it was just a laughing matter out at “Wolwes”. Lift it up out of the corner and a few pedals in, the front wheel starts to get light and before you know it, you are in the next turn, just effortless. The EP801 motor might not have the same low-down grunt as a Bosch motor, but it delivers its power smoother, which is more natural for a rider coming from a non-e-bike background and when climbing up a rocky section.

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Riding with a good mate of mine Doug on the Husqvarna HC4 Enduro, we both agreed and are now massive fans of the mullet setup (29-inch front and 27.5-inch rear). Running the mullet setup makes the MC6 easier to initiate turns, and it doesn’t take much effort to pop up the front wheel. The mullet gives the MC6 quite a lively character without sacrificing its stability.

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The ride on the MC6 can be described as smooth with the Fox 36 offering a supple feel and plenty of front-end feel in combination with the trail-focused Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres. The rear Float X shock provided good feedback and allowed me to place the rear wheel exactly where I wanted it each time. At the end of the day after riding at a decent limit I only managed to use 85% of the travel up front with compression dialled slightly higher than standard and around 90% on the rear—that’s with me weighing a good 78 kg fully kitted.

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So, how far can we pedal? Depending on which mode and how you configure it on the E-Tube app, you should be able to ride just over 100 km in Eco (4-5 hour ride), 70 km in Trail and 50 km in Boost mode. These are my figures and everyone will differ depending on terrain and your power output.

Let’s talk price! The MC6 as mentioned is the top of the range Mountain Cross and will set you back around 160k, at this point we are still waiting to hear from Husqvarna whether they will bring in any of their lesser-spec’d MC range (starting from the MC1). Price aside, the MC6 competes with the likes of Specialized’s Levo, Trek’s Rail and the Merida eOne-Sixty. We cannot deny that the MC6 competes with the best of them and we are very excited to see what Husqvarna and possibly even GASGAS have in store for the future in SA.

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For the more aggressive riders who need ample travel and a slacker head angle, Husqvarna does currently bring in the Hard Cross HC4. We are planning on doing a shootout between the two e-bikes to see which Husqvarna makes more sense for the average and more advanced shredder.

For more information on Husqvarna’s range of e-bicycles visit – www.husqvarna-bicycles.com

Bjorn Moreira
Bjorn Moreira
My name is Bjorn Moreira (Senior Editor at ZA Lifestyle) and I always long for the next adventure. Why yes this may be a problem, but I’m what you call a #LIFEAHOLIC which I have been since my very first breath. My passion leads me to enjoy capturing memories on camera, riding motorcycles, cycling and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors.
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