The E11EVEN M1x10 mountain bike costs just $639 and is clearly intended as a tool for new mountain bikers. The price is right for sure. And it comes with more than just the basics, including some powerful hydraulic disc brakes and a suspension fork. The question is, can the M1x10 grow with you as a mountain biker? We tested the M1x10 on our home trails and on the rugged terrain in Moab, Utah to find out.
Ultimately, our Dawn Patrol MTB (SGFR’s sister publication, due to launch soon) testers ended up divided on whether E11EVEN’s entry-level mountain bike could cut the mustard when it comes to serious trails. It’s quite capable on tame gravel and smooth trails. But when the going gets tough, you’ll be left thinking about some upgrades.
- 1×10 S-Ride drivetrain
- 29-inch wheels
- Suspension fork with remote lockout and 100mm travel
- Aluminum frame
- Hydraulic disc brakes
What I like: Great price; excellent disc brakes; shifting performed much better than expected
What I’d change: Fork feels too soft and flexy; quick releases make upgrades more difficult
My call: A good bike for beginner mountain bikers, the M1x10 is affordable and has a good spec — except for the fork.
E11EVEN M1X10: BUILD
You can get the full rundown of the M1x10’s spec and build by checking out our “Lemme See That!” video and article here.
Here’s the basics: The E11EVEN M1x10 features an aluminum frame with a suspension fork up front. It rolls on 29-inch wheels (with quick releases rather than through axles) and includes some pretty powerful hydraulic disc brakes. As the bike’s name implies, the E11EVEN M1x10 features one gear up front and ten out back.
The M1x10 does not feature any rear suspension. If you’re new to mountain biking, this style of mountain bike is known as a hardtail. It also comes with a rigid seatpost as opposed to the more standard spec of a dropper post. A dropper post would of course increase the overall price of the bike.
THE M1X10’S PLACE IN THE MARKET
E11EVEN’s entry-level bike is an interesting play in the overall bike market. We often hear complaints that bikes have gotten far too expensive, which makes cycling an exclusionary activity. The M1x10 certainly solves that part of the equation. The question is, does the rider get the full experience of a quality mountain bike for the price?
The counter to the purchase of an E11EVEN M1x10 would basically be the purchase of either A) a used mountain bike, or B) a big-box store bike. Given the M1x10’s build quality, it seems safe to say it easily beats option B. So its real competition is option A.
It’s true, you can get a lot of bike for $639. It will be a used bike and some outdated technology, but as a new rider, you probably won’t know the difference. And that’s exactly the problem with a used bike: You’ll also be buying someone’s problems. And as a novice rider, you may not know there’s a problem until it’s too late. Or worse, you may not know that a simple fix could positively affect your ride.
Older bikes with better tech can also be a lot more complex to adjust and operate. There’s certainly an argument to be made for getting the experience of a higher-end build. But there’s equally an argument to be made that the simplicity of the M1x10 suits a novice rider much more appropriately. I tend to support the latter argument. The M1x10 is a simple and approachable bike for riders trying to get a feel for what, exactly, mountain biking is.
E11EVEN M1X10: THE RIDE
We tested the E11EVEN M1x10 on home trails here on the front range of Colorado. We also took it to Moab, Utah as part of the launch of our sister publication Dawn Patrol MTB.
The M1x10 turned out to be a pretty polarizing bike among our testers. It’s quite capable on tame terrain like gravel roads and very light singletrack. It’s a real throwback to the bikes a lot of us middle-aged mountain bikers used to ride and race on years ago. That means the head tube angle is a bit steeper than we’re used to these days. As a result, you’ll need to pay more attention to the lines you pick. For a beginner, that might be a big ask.
To be fair, a lot of bikes in this price range have a very similar geometry. But modern mountain bikes have moved onto slacker head angles and other geometry changes that make trail riding much more manageable.
Still, the shifting and brakes both outperformed expectations. It’s a simple and reliable build that worked well throughout our testing. The 29-inch wheels, too, are a smart spec, allowing newer riders to roll over more terrain more easily.
All testers agreed the tires should be wider and more aggressive. As it is, the E11EVEN M1x10 comes stock with fairly narrow, low-profile tires, which are appropriate for gravel roads and super-light singletrack. If you want something that can handle chunkier trails, wet roots and rocks, and more challenging terrain as you become more comfortable on the bike, you’ll need to upgrade pretty quickly.
Testers agreed unanimously on two other drawbacks: the quick-releases on the wheels, and the fork. Let’s start with the QRs. This isn’t exactly a functionality problem. Quick releases work just fine and most beginners are familiar with them. But if you do want to grow with this bike and eventually upgrade to better wheels, a different fork, and so on, you’ll be very, very limited in what you can choose. Most modern mountain bikes come with thru-axles, which means the M1x10 will be hard to upgrade.
And if it were up to our testers, the fork would be upgraded immediately. It’s just fine for pavement and smooth roads. But it tends to be soft and it dives through its travel very quickly on the trail. Even when you turn the compression adjustment knob, the fork is just too soft. This seems to be the biggest weakness of the bike. Fortunately, E11EVEN wisely includes a remote lockout, so you can firm up the fork that way. It should come in handy on long climbs or on pavement commutes.
[Editor’s note: E11EVEN got in touch to let us know that they are working with the fork manufacturer to stiffen the fork’s internals.]
E11EVEN M1X10: FINAL WORD
In a sense, it’s much harder to test an entry-level bike than it is to test halo products. Halo products are all degrees of excellent, after all. E11EVEN’s M1x10 is on the opposite end of that spectrum. But that does not mean it’s a bad bike. In fact, it’s quite good given its price and placement in the overall mountain bike market. The brakes are excellent, the drivetrain outperformed expectations, and overall, the bike gives a new rider most of what it needs. The fork spec is problematic but not unusable.
Will the M1x10 grow with you as a mountain biker? Yes, but not for long. Fortunately, E11EVEN has made the M1x10 affordable enough that you can test the mountain biking waters without a huge investment. If you end up loving it, you can pass this bike onto another rider curious about those tamer ribbons of singletrack near the house. If it’s not your thing, hey, your wallet is still looking pretty healthy.
With a better fork, the M1x10 is undeniably a great bike for beginner mountain bikers.