“Like a cat on velcro”. The analogy is not subtle, but it has the merit of being clear. The Saturday 29 Trail, from Mustache, is a bike with a lot of personality and a high level of performance. In 2023, it has even higher ambitions. The best-selling VTTAE from the Vosges brand returns in a barely modified version, but which should satisfy the most demanding users. Launched barely a year ago, the latest version of the Samedi 29 Trail thrilled us when it got started on the trails of the Luberon. For this 2023 delivery, Mustache did not want to significantly modify the recipe for one of its most successful bikes. The manufacturer was content to take the chassis and the equipment of the latest version, but to back it up to the most recent version of the Bosch Smart System.
In other words, the main evolution of the Trail is the use of the latest iteration of Bosch’s ecosystem, the one that allows the addition of personalized driving modes, an anti-theft system and, of course, ABS. House. What part of the Mustache ecosystem has he integrated into his Trail? What does it change in the way of riding or enjoying mountain biking? Overall, do these changes really improve Mustache’s mountain bike?
Same player plays again and again and again…
We will quickly go over the presentation of the Trail, its aesthetic and technical aspects, insofar as they are identical to those of the version that we tested last spring. Moreover, in order to have a complete overview of the VTTAE and its performance, we strongly recommend that you read our first test of the Samedi 29 Trail. The only notable change to Mustache’s offering is the appearance of a new version of the bike for all trim levels. This swaps the XXL 750 Wh battery for a more modest 625 Wh version, but which has two huge advantages: it lowers the price of the bike by a few hundred euros and it lightens its weight by around 800 grams.
What we particularly appreciated on the previous version, is felt immediately when taking control of this new version. From the first turns of the wheel, what distinguishes the Trail from many other e-MTBs (including the Game, from the same manufacturer), is its ease of access. On this point, the geometry of the bike is exemplary and could give confidence to even the most beginners.
The Trail is a mountain bike on which you immediately feel comfortable and which quickly gives you confidence in your abilities. During our trip on the trails of the forest of Fontainebleau, it did not take us long to take the measure of its dimensions, to understand its behavior and, finally, to take advantage of its capacities both in terms of suspension and engine performance. On this point, the latest version of Bosch’s Smart System does not change the situation. The Trail is a bike that puts a smile on its rider’s face for as long as he rides.
A more connected and more customizable MTB
This is one of the main changes in this 2023 version of the Trail. Its assistance modes evolve and become customizable. To put it even more precisely, the four assistance modes can be configured quite finely. On the previous version of the Smart Bosch System, only the “Eco” mode and the “Tour” mode were adjustable. Now, even the “eMTB” and “Turbo” mode can be adjusted according to the desires of the user or the needs of the terrain.
Concretely, how does it work and what is the interest of such a function? This is actually relevant only in the context of expert use of the bicycle. Indeed, being able to adapt the torque, change the dynamics of the motor (so that the motor unit reacts according to the force applied to the pedal) or even limit the maximum assistance speed is not relevant for all types of users. It is necessary to have a certain requirement or at least a level of piloting which makes it possible to understand this type of nuances and to benefit from it.
Of course, all these assistance adjustments are decided in the application Flow from Bosch, absolutely essential to fully exploit the potential of the VTTAE.
In fact, these new features are welcome and opening the assistance mode settings is an option that will appeal to expert users, but the majority of future Trail owners will probably be satisfied with the default settings, and for good reason. , their calibration is exemplary.
Is the absence of ABS regrettable?
Among the three major new features of the Bosch Smart System, there is one that Mustache has decided to do without completely, ABS. Indeed, the Vosges manufacturer does not consider relevant, at least for the moment, the arrival of ABS on mountain bikes. The manufacturer considers that this equipment is more useful on urban pedelecs or on cargo bikes. The integration of ABS could have been considered on a more accessible mountain bike, but on a model whose price starts at 5,299 euros (excluding the additional cost inherent in the braking system), it seems unsuitable.
To put it another way, ABS on a mountain bike would be especially useful for less expert users… who are therefore not those who would be ready to afford a Saturday 29 Trail. This approach can be agreed. For all the good we thought of Bosch’s ABS system, it actually seems more suited to city and urban e-bikes. In purely MTB use, the cyclist may wish to lock the front wheel for certain maneuvers, or quite simply do not want to weigh down his bike with additional and expensive equipment.
A bike harder to steal… for a subscription
Finally, the latest addition of the Smart Bosch System on the Mustache Trail is more difficult to gauge. This is the eBike Lock function, which we were unable to test, but which boils down to a theft protection system. On the Trail, as on the other bikes that are equipped with this option, the Bosch system allows you to choose to block the electric assistance of your VAE via the application or, if you add an accessory (ConnectModule) and a monthly subscription, to alert the owner in the event of theft and to trace the bike.
Indeed, this accessory, which must be installed in store, has its own radio module, a GPS and a battery to operate independently. After a first year offered, Bosch charges this option 4.99 euros / month or 39.99 euros / year.
A wider range, but high prices
The arrival of this new version of the Samedi 29 Trail allows Mustache to extend its range somewhat. The entry ticket, which was just under 6,000 euros in the previous version, drops to… 5,299 euros for the Trail 3. The latter is also the only one not to offer the latest version of the Smart System, Bosch, and to be based on an Intuvia display instead of the traditional Kiox.
To take advantage of all the new features we have mentioned, you will have to fall back on a Trail 5, 7, 9 or 11. Their prices vary from 5,999 euros to 8,599 euros for versions with a 625 Wh battery. . The upgrade with a 750 Wh battery is charged 300 euros on each version of the bike. Finally, an exclusive finish, the Trail LTD will be produced in some 250 copies. This will incorporate the best equipment available in the brand’s catalog and will be close to 10,000 euros (9,899 euros, to be precise).
Our test version took place on the handlebars of a Trail 9 (from 7,199 euros), but the version of the Trail which seems to us to offer the best value for money is the Trail 7, the first to s equipped with Shimano brakes and a Fox fork. This requires an investment of 6,599 euros, all the same.
Verdict of the test
The arrival of the latest Bosch Smart System on the Mustache Saturday Trail might seem insignificant, and for good reason, it does not radically change the performance offered by this excellent electric mountain bike. However, even if it does not include ABS and even if its assistance customization capabilities will only concern expert users, these new features demonstrate one thing: Mustache wishes to offer the most up-to-date eMTB possible. It is on this point that the evolution of the Trail is the most remarkable. This still offers a cleverly balanced mix of ease of handling and performance, but it does so without any significant change in its price and even by offering a more accessible and lighter version, the one with a 625 Wh battery.