Motorized bikes have created quite a buzz in the FATBike world and lifted the possibilities of FATBike use cases to new heights. The 2023 Maxx Huraxdax ELS is the latest refreshing news in that sector. Being a rare High-End-Full-Suspension-e-FATBike this machine lonely roams in its own world without real competition. So, to appraise it we can only measure by its own ancestors. Well then, let’s have a look at this new rig and the family tree it grows on.
2023 Maxx Huraxdax ELS – cramped with upgrades
Much was done to make the Huraxdax better than ever before. There is an updated geometry. A new rear kinematic was developed. And an overall updated design creates a new straightened and modern look. Alos, in 2023 the bike clearly lurks more into a more Enduro biased direction.
Gone are the days of the bulky and quirky first gen Huraxdax. This new flagship, sculpted from 6061 T6 Aluminum tubes, is as sleek and slender as … a battery powered offroad beast with up to 5 inch tires can possibly be. To better accommodate the new layout also some base specs were changed. Now e.g., 200mm brake rotors come as standard. And bar, stem and seat post are contributed by e*thirteen rather than Race Face.
What remains is the boutique bike approach: all Maxx bikes are subject to your personal preferences and will be built to (your) order. Just grab the Maxx Configuration Tool and give it a shot! However, bear in mind that many things we’ll speak about in this article might be slightly different in case your personal configuration differs from our test rig.
You will find more general data in our “FATBike-IN-A-BOX” below.
All data is based on manufacturer's data, referring to size „L“
|Seat Angle (effective)||75°|
|Chain Stay Length||465mm|
|Rear Hub||197/12mm Through Axle|
|Weight (w/o Pedals)|
What has changed?
Some say that the last generation Huraxdax ELS was just one great bike. We do, for instance! However, Maxx listened to their customers and took the challenge of beating their own ambitions. Tracking down the improvements over the previous model gives a fairly long list.
To us, the most striking upgrade is the further refined geometry with slacker head angle (65 vs. 66°), steeper seat angle (75 vs. 74.5), more reach (470 vs. 460mm), less stack (652 vs. 666mm), shorter seat tube (460 vs. 480mm) and longer wheelbase (all figures relate to size Large). In particular early, pre-2020 model years Maxx FATBikes came with fairly conservative geometry layouts making them easy to ride. On the flip side these rigs were less nimble and playful in technical sections. In 2023 the Huraxdax ELS finally catches up with the latest frame configurations and as a result becomes much more versatile overall. The new frame is designed to translate into better performance up and down the hill whilst maintaining the very comfortable seating position of its predecessors. What that means? Let's see…
The new rear suspension kinematic incorporates updates in allocation of pivot points, shock length, motion layout, bearing sizes and even the shock itself. The whole exercise aims to improve sensitivity, provide a smooth operation throughout the entire travel range and give more big hit capabilities by adding top end progression. More progression simply means that you can hit the track harder. Bigger bearings were added to increase lateral stiffness. And the new Manitou Mara Pro shock, that provides endless tuning opportunities, comes in custom tune to match the performance of the 150mm Manitou Mastodon* suspension fork. The rear end provides 145mm travel.
Further improvements cover the new Acros headset that provides entry points for hidden cable and hoses routing. This allows a perfectly clean cockpit configuration and ceases the necessity to punch holes into the downtube. As already mentioned, brakes have been upgraded to 200mm rotors front and rear as a standard to ensure sufficient stopping power. Furthermore, you will find a new battery cover that now can be powder coated in line with the frame. And last but not least there are also new powder coating colors available.
Top end parts, powered by Shimano and Darfon
Let's have a look on what has changed under the hood. As usual already the standard configuration comes with top end parts from Shimano, e*thirteen, Sun Ringle, etc. Our test rig also sported treats such as an integrated Lupine headlight and color-coded rims. The Shimano EP8 drive was carried over from the last generation. A good choice.
The unit pumps up to 250W and 85Nm of torque. The motor quenches its thirst from a whopping 726Wh Darfon battery that can either be left inside the frame for charging or taken wherever your next socket may be. The battery pack is licensed and serviced by Shimano and exceeds – to our knowledge – Shimano's biggest battery pack by 100Wh.
Maxx utilizes the standard Shimano tool kit in terms of head unit and apps. However, the software was fine tuned to match the specifications of the bike and also the special requirements FATBiking has. All wires are nicely concealed inside the frame so there are not hoses sticking out.
Moreover there are two interesting options you can order from the factory. On the one hand Maxx offers the Schwalbe Al Mighty* tire in a studded version. Perfect for riding on ice – or wherever ice might part of your game.
Second there as an optional 29×2.8″ wheel set available. You can find all details here (sorry, German only…). This set allows an even more Enduro (or summer…) oriented setup.
The test drive – smooth operator
As usual we took the Huraxdax ELS to our favorite trails. And thanks to the EP8 drive fun starts right away. This thing is sooo strong and just great when it comes to control and predictability. We particularly noticed this on technical sections. Here, every Nm of torque has to be dosed perfectly well to get maximum traction and control. The 2022 model was already pretty good. In 2023 there is another refinement. There is no lag and no power exaggeration in any direction. You get what you want, instantly and every time. This came in handy when we were to climb a hill in snowy or muddy conditions – which is something you WILL do with this bike!
Moreover, we recognized that motor itself works nice and smooth and is hardly noticeable in most conditions. Only when under full load there are mechanical noises coming from the internal gears – the typical „e-Bike sound“. You may or may not like or even notice it. But wouldn't it be great to sweep uphill without any noise except the grunt of your tires?
Anyway, thanks to the huge battery, excellent tires and the comfortable, efficient seating position long uphills or extended tours were a pleasure to do. Due to the limitations of our test setup, we can't give a bullet proof peer group range comparison. But it lasts loooooong!
The clear upside versus the 2022 model year, however, is an extended capability on the way down the hill. The new geometry makes the bike more stable, in particular on high speed. In several downhill sections we rode the bike built up a great amount of front wheel traction. This allows precise and reliable maneuvering. Also, it rides supple and never feels unstable or nervous. Moreover, thanks to the shorter seat tube you can squeeze the seat post further down than on the 2022 model. This grants your family jewels more room to survive where you need it. The updated rear kinematic keeps up with our high expectations: it reacts quickly and smoothly with a nice balance between kinematic and tire doing the job. The bike gives way more lateral stiffness and thereby handling precision. And even considering the relatively high unsprung weight – resulting from the bulletproof frame, battery and motor – bottom outs are rare.
Enduro bikes are supposed to be the right tools for most of the jobs. And all in all, the 2023 Maxx Huraxdax ELS keeps its promise to be more Enduro. You can climb up hills and coast with ease – as with last year's model. But the new rig gives more room to play when it gets fast.
By the way: for those of you who have a sportier or even race oriented approach we highly recommend adding a low rise or even flat handlebar to your configuration. Sitting on a 150mm Manitou Mastodon EXT the front end stacks up sky high. And if your riding takes you to technical and windy sections bear in mind that there is a price to pay for lasting energy supply, a bullet proof frame and a strong motor…
The snow mobile
But! Let's speak about another key strength of this bike: snow. We went into the Austrian Alps for a test ride with utterly bad snow conditions. It was fresh, it was soft, it was deep.
Some sections most likely were beyond the capabilities of a conventional „muscular“ FATBike. The electron powered Huraxdax ELS and its Schwalbe Al Mighty* tires allow to drop tire pressure as low as 0.08 to 0.1 bar and still go strong. The 75° seat angle supports a precise weight balancing and a nice and smooth pedaling. Both in turn allow a perfectly smooth propulsion without nasty power peaks – that in other cases will immediately cut off your traction. All this are exactly the right preconditions to crush through deep snow with the thrust of an ice breaker.
In case you got stuck you can use the Shimano app to improve your re-launch performance: adjust the power to kick in softly after about 1/2 pedal stroke which will allow you the smoothest traction saving acceleration you can think of. Then drop your saddle and put all your weight on the rear wheel – and off you go! The battery officially supports you down to -10°C, experiences show that even a bit less should work.
So, is the 2023 Maxx Huraxdax an evolution of the family tree or an entirely new branch? Well, a bit of both. It's fully based on the qualities of its ancestors. But with its extended capabilities in high speed and downward performance it can be used in sections that were not quiet in the focus of recent models.
A 2023 Maxx Huraxdax ELS co-exists perfectly well with your nimble everyday trail bike. It's a bold, solid and opulent rig that's made for epic sh*t. And it's a great tool for plenty of bike adventures. If we were to invent a catch phrase for that bike it would be: „Ride like a King“, ‚cause that's how you feel. Majestic. No matter whether you're heading for your favorite café or flying down a downhill track: the updated seating position is conveniently fitting to a wide range of riding styles. On top of that the Shimano drive smoothly propels you towards the horizon. Speaking about royal attributes… The price tag starts at 8,999 Euros. Yes folks, 9 grand. But don't worry, if you feel something is missing it you can build your dream Huraxdax and make it more. And in case you're thinking about justifications now: you get what you pay for. A High-End Full Suspension e-FATBike that will be your ticket into a world of new adventures.
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