Propain Ekano 2 CF Ultimate eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout




Photos by Max Rhulen & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic

Propain was one of the four companies who hopped on the (Power) train when SRAM launched their new eBike ecosystem last year. With their Ekano 2 CF, Propain fitted the new Eagle Powertrain system to their first carbon fiber eBike, and we were excited to see how it would stack up against the competition in our hotly contested 2024 eMTB Shootout.

2024 EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – The Propain Ekano 2 CF Ultimate was one of 14 eBikes that our staff thoroughly tested with absolute objectivity in mind. From different types of riders to terrain, our goal is to present the best and most honest information possible to help you make your best decision. Of course, we’d love to thank Fox Racing and Schwalbe Tires for being invaluable partners to this series and making it happen and to Howler Bike Park for hosting us for our testing.


• 170mm Pro10 Suspension
• MX (29”F/27.5”R) Wheels
• SRAM Powertrain Motor
• 630Wh SRAM Battery

Price: $7,794 – $11,299

Frame: Blend Carbon | 170mm
Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate | 180mm
Shock: RockShox Vivid Ultimate

Motor: SRAM Eagle Powertrain | 90Nm | 680W Peak
Battery: SRAM | 630Wh
Display: Eagle Powertrain AXS Bridge Display.

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC | 220mm F / 200mm R Rotors
Handlebar: SIXPACK Millenium | 20mm Rise
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS

Wheelset: Newmen Evolution E.G.30
Front Tire: Schwalbe Magic Mary 29×2.4” | Super Trail | Addix Soft
Rear Tire: Schwalbe Big Better 27.5×2.4” | Super Trail | Addix Soft

Cassette: SRAM XS-1295 | 10-52t | 12spd
Cranks: SRAM XO EBIKE | 165mm
Shifter: SRAM AXS POD Ultimate | 12spd
Derailleur: SRAM X0 Eagle Transmission | 12spd


  • Exceptional Integration

  • High Speed Animal

  • Killer Spec

  • Firm and Efficient Climber


  • Needs Gravity To Come Alive

  • Climbing Discomfort


FRAME AND FEATURES | For Propain’s first carbon fiber eMTB, they stayed true to their typical formula with a Blend Carbon construction housing their Pro10 suspension system. The dual-link suspension design on the Propain Ekano 2 CF delivers 170mm of rear wheel travel, and is paired to a 180mm fork. Riders have the choice between a MIX (29”F/27/5”R) or dual-29” wheel configuration on the same frame, thanks to a generous flip chip which maintains the geometry for each wheel size.

The Ekano 2 CF has the details well covered. Propain made provisions to fit a large water bottle in the front triangle. There’s generous protection on the chain stays, and a large protector on the down tube for the drive unit. The Pro10 suspension pivots are given Propain’s Dirt Shields to keep the bearings running smooth for longer. Finally, the Acros ICR system routes the rear brake cable through the headset to provide a cleaner looking cockpit.

Propain Ekano 2 CF Ultimate eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS | The Propain Ekano 2 CF is the only bike in our 2024 eMTB Shootout featuring the SRAM Powertrain eBike system. This uses a Brose motor with SRAM’s unique software, display and controller to offer a complete eBike ecosystem. The 680W Peak Power, 90Nm drive unit offered impressive grunt, and the 630Wh battery provided comparable range to similar battery sizes in this group test. The battery can be removed from the downtube with a 5mm allen key, and is covered by a neatly fitting carbon fiber cover to provide clean lines on the frame. Battery capacity can be boosted to 880Wh by an optional Range Extender, which mounts into the bottle cage.

The Powertrain system features a color display integrated into the top tube of the Ekano 2 CF, which also contains the power button. The display will show the mode selected out of the two Range and Rally mode options, and battery life percentage. SRAM uses their AXS pods to input control to the system, with the left hand pod used for mode selection and to operate walk mode, as well as the Reverb AXS dropper post.

The SRAM Eagle Powertrain makes use of the T-Type drivetrain to offer Auto Shift and Coast Shift technologies. Auto Shift changes the gears automatically for the rider, and Coast Shift allows gears to be changed without pedaling. The SRAM AXS app allows the user to tailor the Range and Rally modes to deliver their preferred feel, with sliders for Power and Assist %, and change the preferred rider cadence for the Auto Shift function.

GEOMETRY | As an aggressive Enduro eMTB, Propain gave the Ekano 2 CF a purposeful geometry package to offer great stability at speed. The chainstays were second longest on test at 451mm, and the Stack was the highest at 657mm. Otherwise, the numbers are fairly typical in this class of eMTB.

2024 eMTB Shootout Bike Geometry

BUILD SPECS | Propain offers the Ekano 2 CF in a choice of three standard builds, from the $7,794 Base spec to the $11,299 Factory. These can be tweaked using their online bike configurator, letting you choose between three frame paint colors, with various decal and head tube badge options, as well as choosing cockpit component sizes. There’s also the option to fully custom build this eBike with the “individual” spec selection.

We tested the $9,999, which squeezed under our $10k price cap for this eMTB Shootout but didn’t sacrifice much in the way of parts spec. This SRAM-heavy build featured a RockShox suspension package in the form of the ZEB and Vivid Ultimate. An XO T-Type Transmission offered the Auto Shift functionality; a CODE RSC brake pair provided the stopping power, and a Reverb AXS dropper post at 170mm length got the saddle out of the way.

Rounding out the spec was a SixPack alloy bar, ICR Stem and saddle, and a Newmen Evolution E.G.30 wheelset. As standard, these were wrapped in a Schwalbe Magic Mary and Big Betty Super Trail tire combo. However, as with all of the bikes in our 2024 eMTB Shootout, we instead fitted Magic Marys to both ends with a Super Gravity casing and Addix Soft rubber. This provided consistent and dependable tire performance, letting us focus on the specific characteristics of each of the bikes in our Group Test.

The Propain Ekano 2 CF Ultimate equipped with our control tires tipped the scales at a respectable 51.9lbs (23.5kg) for a bike in this category.

Propain Ekano 2 CF Ultimate eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout


SETUP | We had no issues getting the suspension setup into a good place on the Ekano 2 CF, thanks to the accurate guide on the RockShox ZEB fork and the convenient sag markers on the shaft of the Vivid rear shock. The rebound knob on the shock was fairly hard to access to the its position in the frame, but far from impossible.

ELECTRONICS AND INTEGRATION | The SRAM Eagle Powertrain system proved to be a solid performer. Much like on the Specialized Levo that we’ve enjoyed in the past, the Brose-powered SRAM drive unit offered plenty of grunt from a low cadence, and happily kept up with the Bosch and Shimano systems on the way up the hill. The pitch of the drive unit was lower than most, making for a unique noise that was tolerable for our testers.

The SRAM AXS app allowed us to tailor the setup of the system easily, though we opted to turn off the Auto Shift function after experimenting with it a little. We found that we couldn’t get to a set up that would give us full confidence in the system, and preferred to select gears manually. Otherwise, when the Rally mode was dialed up to full power, it delivered its power in a well controlled manner.

The integration of the Eagle Powertrain system was exceptional, and the Propain was one of the cleanest bikes on test as a result. Using the AXS Pod for the dropper post and to control the drive unit is a genius move – with only the brake hoses to manage, the cockpit was incredibly clean. The headset cable routing won’t be for everyone, but it’s undeniable that the resulting cleanliness of the cockpit was impressive.

Range on the Ekano 2 CF was satisfactory and felt to be comparable to other bikes with similar 601-635Wh battery capacities. That’s to say, it’s not a bike that’ll go all day on Rally mode. The 250Wh range extender is an option we appreciate a lot to extend range for the longest days.

Propain Ekano 2 CF Ultimate eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

CLIMBING | In the longer travel category, the Propain was a stand-out climber, but not for entirely positive reasons. The Pro10 suspension system offered great support, meaning that there was minimal suspension movement during pedaling efforts. For smoother sections of climb, this felt to improve efficiency. However, the flip-side was increased feedback through the saddle and reduced traction when climbing rough and technical terrain. Overall the Ekano 2 CF felt like a shorter travel eBike on the way up the hill, for better and for worse.

Some of the testers struggled to keep weight on the front wheel for the steeper sections of climb. We attributed this to the high Stack height combined with the slack Head Tube Angle and impressive torque from the drive unit. It wasn’t impossible to manage, and was improved by dropping the spacer stack on the steerer tube, but it was notable for some.

Propain Ekano 2 CF Ultimate eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

DESCENDING | On the way down the hill, the Ekano 2 CF struck a handling balance that made it pleasurable, if not a stand-out performer. The suspension was plush off the top and left it feeling more planted than most. However, it did feel a little dead and uninspiring as a result, unless gravity was firmly on our side. Of course, as a long travel Enduro eMTB, this may not come as a great surprise. The long chainstay and slack head angle further pushed its handling into the straight line, flat-out favoring camp. While we wouldn’t shy away from using the Ekano 2 CF in a bikepark setting, it’s certainly going to favor an approach that attacks with speed as opposed to a poppy and playful style.

Notable on the way down the hill was how quiet the Propain was, especially through the most rough and rugged sections of trail. With the well-damped suspension and an absence of any rattles or creaks, we were left with the noise of the tires on the ground and the faint whir of the rear hub.

FINISH AND VALUE | The finish quality on the Propain Ekano 2 CF is exceptional, and the result is one of the most dialed overall packages we had in this year’s Shootout. From the integration to the way Propain covers the details, and the incredibly quiet operation on-trail, the Ekano 2 CF is a quality machine.

When you consider the value, it’s hard to say that $10k is a great deal for any eBike. However, with top-spec components throughout, Propain’s price tag doesn’t feel ridiculous. Of course, they are a direct-to-consumer brand and as such you forego the support of a local bike shop. But we’ve heard good things about Propain’s support should riders encounter an issue, so we can’t recommend against buying one.

The Wolf’s Last Word

While we weren’t blown away by any element of the Propain Ekano 2 Cf’s performance on-trail, it didn’t stop us from having some seriously good times. The finish quality is excellent and the integration second-to-none, so we have to tip our hats to the German brand for this one.


Riders seeking a high quality, hard charging Enduro eMTB are sure to enjoy the Ekano 2 CF, provided they have adequately challenging terrain to make it come alive. 

Price: $9,999 (Ultimate)
Weight: 51.9lbs (23.5kg)


Without their support, we would not be able to make this series possible.


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