Mustache celebrated its 10th anniversary in early 2022, and yet it is the Vosges brand that gave us a great gift by introducing a brand new line of electrically assisted mountain bikes Samedi 29 Trail and Samedi 29 Game. These newcomers have the daunting task of being better than their predecessors, recognized among the best VTTAEs on the market. As always, Mustache trusted Bosch by integrating the latest generation of its Performance Line CX engines (torque 85 Nm, that’s right).
This new generation is accompanied by 750 Wh PowerTube batteries, much larger than the 625 Wh batteries of the previous generation of the German company. Mustache engineers then had to do something to integrate this longer and heavier battery (+800 g) into the aluminum frame, which must remain resistant to any test. The Vosges team worked with Bosch to adapt the Performance Line CX system by modifying certain connectors, especially to save space and allow the battery to drop slightly lower in front of the engine. The result is quite impressive, as the integration of the engine in the center console and the battery in the lower tube could have gone almost unnoticed.
Longer Trail and Game batteries cause small geometry changes to compensate for longer upper tubes. Minor adjustments to the seat tube or steering angle that allow them to integrate this battery without disturbing the balance of the whole. Also wider, this new Bosch battery brings a new reinforcement to the aluminum frame, much of which is formed by hydroforming. The result is a frame with an excellent surface finish that radiates a certain robustness.
Although a mountain biker is less likely to want to remove the battery to recharge it, Mustache leaves access to it very easy. It takes a few minutes to easily remove the battery from the frame. This facilitates wheel replacement and maintenance. Lovers of very long journeys may even consider carrying a second copy in their bag to avoid running out of fuel.
Mustache Samedi 29 Trail are fully sprung e-MTB. It benefits from forks with a stroke of 150 mm, which grinds into the Rockshox catalog for the most affordable version and even targets the Fox Float 36 Factory. At the rear, Mustache has its own Magic Grip Control shock absorber technology for a 150 mm stroke again. This is completed by the presence of a telescopic seatpost, which offers 125 to 200 mm stroke, depending on the size of the frame. The Samedi 29 Game goes even further with a stroke of 170 mm at the front and 160 mm at the rear.
Comfort and grip are supported by a selection of 29-inch wheels with rims developed by the French brand. All Samedi 29 Trails are equipped with 2.5-inch wide Maxxis Assegai tires, the rubber of which is reinforced on versions 9 and 11 uphill.
Mustache entrusts the Traim Shimano transmission with 12-speed XT derailleurs and 10-51 cartridges (XTR 12v for Trail 11). The Japanese brand is also chosen for the braking part. Samedi 29 Trail can count on four-piston hydraulic equipment Shimano XT BR-M8120 and discs with a diameter of 203 mm. Only Trail 5 is heading slightly lower with the BR-M6120.
Surprisingly easy to use machines
The enlightened amateur will certainly have saliva gathering from the presentations. Beginners in the field are likely to be more cautious about this number of quality components. Interestingly, Mustache doesn’t miss them and offers its Samedi 29 Trail as an e-MTB that can suit both novices and experts. Our rather modest level in the practice of electric mountain biking was therefore a good master standard.
From the first pedaling, Trail calms us down. The gearbox is perfectly fluid, the chain goes up and down the cassette without snags. The handlebars offer a width of 760 mm, which provides very good stability and the short stem immediately shows its precision. Before you face the first problem, the trail would almost forget about its electrification.
However, the other is present and knows how to make it feel. The Bosch Performance CX engine and its torque of 85 Nm are quite easy to operate. By default, Mustache Trails are equipped with Kiox 300 screens, which are ideal for taking advantage of Bosch’s intelligent system and all the information it can provide. The controls are located on the box on the left. It allows you to scroll through the information on the screen and select the level of assistance required. There are five levels to choose from: No Assistance, Eco, Tour +, eMTB and Turbo.
Eco and Turbo modes can be customized to choose the power delivered by the engine in each. The former aims to save battery at the cost of low assistance, while the latter is energy-intensive, but can offer maximum assistance. Tour + and eMTB modes are automatic and adjust the assistance according to various parameters (pedal force, incline, remaining capacity, etc.). During our test we drove mainly in eMTB mode. In this, we completely forget about the assistance of the Bosch engine and maintain the somewhat disturbing nature of pedaling with regard to all the power developed.
This is one of the main advantages of Mustache Samedi 29 Trail. They make the most of the technologies offered by Bosch without having to think about it. All you have to do is focus on what really matters: the feelings of the field. Sensations that a novice cyclist will quickly gain as soon as he learns to trust the bike. The trail has everything you need to overcome slopes that seem too steep to us, and can handle most of the descents that will be stored on its wide tires.
After only a few tens of minutes, the Trail will take us along trails cut for mountain bike training in the Luberon district. High assistance allows you to not anticipate shifts correctly at the beginning. A bait that we avoid on the next climb and where the motorcycle will show its full potential. We often think of mountain bikes as a series of exciting descents interspersed with frustrating climbs. eMTB like Samedi 29 Trail will completely erase it. We swallow the ribs with a smile and we are ready to come down without having to catch our breath.
If the Bosch engine and Smart System can work wonders with the Mustache Trail, the mechanical parts are not left out. The curtains provide the work of a goldsmith to remove the pitfalls. We don’t care about roots, pebbles or branches. It seems that the trail can go everywhere and transports us down in a disturbing comfort down this hill, which we didn’t really think we could descend.
It must be said that the basis of the machine is a set of hydraulic disc brakes of the first choice. One finger dosing is perfect, precision surgical. The bite of the four-piston calipers is to stop the VTTAE – whose weight varies between 24 and 25 kg – and its pilot.
A real benefit that will allow you to start or move on
We might think that machines of this caliber will not be placed between all the thighs and that newcomers will not necessarily find an account for such extreme models. However, it is quite the opposite. Trail 11 equipment will certainly not be essential for a beginner, but starting with Trail 5 is a pleasure.
The powerful engine and its intelligent support lift the brake during a terrible climb. The trail sticks to the terrain and the ocher sands of Vaucluse are not correct with its grip. Whether you’re uphill, nose up or downhill, saddle lowered, camping on two pedals, one wonders what Maxxis tires could lift off the ground. A sense of confidence that will allow you to quickly focus on the eMTB technique itself to progress.
Above all, by largely erasing the physical barrier, we say that mountain biking can be practiced without intense and regular training. If you don’t have time to keep fit so you can explore off-trail routes, e-MTBs like Mustache Samedi 29 Trail will show their interest very quickly.
Finally, the very large 750 Wh PowerTube battery allows you to anticipate very long trips without having to ask for the energy consumed by a high level of help. When we set off, we drove more than 25 km with almost 500 m elevation gain. By maintaining a high level of assistance (90% of eMTB or Turbo time), we were left with 80% of the range.
Price for a smile
Unfortunately, as you may have guessed, such a level of fun on two wheels costs something. Count on € 5,699 and enter the world VTTAE Mustache Samedi 29 Trail with Trail 5 and up to € 8,199 per Trail 11. Bike lovers know that this hobby is not within the reach of all wallets, especially if you focus on machines as perfect as the manufacturer from Vosges. However, the various shortcomings associated with the crisis that the world has been facing in recent years are not helping to reduce costs.
But one thing is for sure, Mustache can actually make eMTB exercises technically accessible to as many people as possible with its Saturday 29 Trail. A test that sincerely convinced us and thanks to which you will never want to stick out your tongue on a steep mountain slope or wonder if you will cross the roots that flow this descent into the forest.