Beameo is pretty new to the scene, and say their aim is to make electric bikes a little less complicated and get more people to experience the joy of two wheels - a mission statement that we couldn’t help but notice is rather similar to our own.
Aside from our philosophical similarities we’re also quite excited by its first range of bikes, which includes the Unbound hardtail as the brand’s entry-level eMTB (even if it’s not the cheapest electric mountain bike out there). The Unbound is one of the more handsome e-bikes we’ve welcomed into our London HQ, but it’s more than just good looks, as you’ll find out in this review (it's one of our best electric mountain bikes).
- First time eMTB buyers
- Fashion fans
- Mid-drive motor at the £2k mark
- Great looks
- Good suspension
- Powerful motor
- Removable battery
- Heavier than some rivals
- Battery compartment underneath the bike
- More entry-level than serious mountain bike
I loved the overall aesthetic of the Beameo Unbound as soon as I saw it, so I was hopeful that the riding experience was going to be a positive one. Luckily, it didn’t disappoint.
I’ll always opt for a mid-drive motor if given the choice, as the bike’s electric assistance just feels more natural when it’s coming from near my feet, and this bike delivers that for just over £2k, which is a win in my books.
A mid-drive motor also makes more sense on a mountain bike as you really need to feel in control when you’re climbing muddy hills and taking corners on tight trails.
The battery being removable wins the Unbound convenience points, and while at 24kg it’s definitely not the lightest bike in its category, it's not a total monster either. For off-roading, Beameo’s MTB copes well thanks to decent Suntour front suspension, big Kenda tyres and Tektro hydraulic brakes that are sharp, even if I thought the levers felt a little bit on the flimsy side.
|Max rider weight||120kg|
|Wheels||Schwalbe 27.5 x 2.35”|
|Brakes||TEKTRO Hydraulic disc|
|Motor||48V 250W middle drive|
|Battery||48V 14.5Ah removable|
|Speed||15.5mph (UK e-bike speed limit)|
Components and build quality
The Beameo Unbound feels every bit like a premium e-bike, even if it’s only just pushing into the premium price bracket. It’s not a mountain bike for the most dedicated riders, but with its 27.5” wheels, front shocks and well-balanced mid-drive motor underneath me, I felt confident about leaving the pavement for less even terrain.
It feels really well made; solid without being overly heavy, although I should probably say that the plate covering the battery came loose and fell off during my testing (loudly enough to alarm a gang of schoolchildren), which was hopefully just because it wasn’t tight enough in the first place. The battery being on the underside of the frame rather than on top might be a cause for concern, but luckily it didn’t fall out too. Otherwise, it was pretty much smooth sailing all the way (even when the ground wasn’t).
Power is supplied by Beameo’s 250W motor paired with a 14.5Ah battery. You get 10-speed Shimano gears and five levels of pedal assist. As with any eMTB, good brakes are crucial, and the Tektro’s hydraulic offering felt very responsive in all scenarios.
Performance and handling
Beameo advertises the Unbound as a mountain bike, but they also make clear that it isn’t a mountain bike for the really gnarly riders. For one, a hardtail bike (no rear suspension) is obviously never going to compete with the full-sus alternative on the toughest trails, but for canal paths, gravel tracks, woodland riding and easier trails the Unbound was more than up to the job in my testing.
I thought it especially excelled at taking on hills, where a combination of the motor and grippy tyres got me up much more easily than I’ve found climbing on some rear-hub bikes.
It’s always tempting to just crank the assist up to its highest level and leave it there, but the battery won’t thank you for it, and fortunately the Unbound still feels nice and powerful at anything from level three upwards. It uses a torque sensor too, which means the motor responds more precisely and quickly to your input, which is especially helpful on an eMTB.
As the off-road-ready one, Beameo’s hardtail is probably the most versatile bike in its range, and I can imagine myself relying on it for both my commute and some more adventurous weekend rides.
Comfort and practicality
Key to enjoying a bike like the Beameo Unbound is understanding its limitations. The 27.5” Schwalbe wheels and Rockshox front suspension allow you to hit the gravel with confidence, while the 250W motor being located underneath you means you’re less likely to experience rear wheel kick-outs on the mud.
But push it too far and you’ll know about it. I felt good whipping around my local park on a less than dry day, but something about the bike’s weight and design suggests that it will come up short on technically demanding trails.
Still, the versatility of the Unbound makes it a great pick for people who want to dip their toe into the world of eMTBs while still having a bike that is suitable for their Monday to Friday A-to-B. The saddle is nice and comfy, and I found the electric assistance to be a major benefit when it came to hills. Plus the 10-speed Shimano gear offering allows you to introduce a decent amount of resistance if you want to make sure you’re still doing some of the work.
Safety and security
Having a removable battery means you don’t have to plug Beameo’s hardtail in to charge it, a benefit I would take on every ebike if I could. It might have been better to put the battery on the top of the downtube for peace of mind. Just ensure that it’s tightened and correctly in place before you set off.
I’ve already said that the Tektro hydraulic brakes are nice and sharp, but I wasn’t a big fan of the brake levers, which didn’t feel sturdy enough for my liking.