New Husqvarna Extreme Cross And eMTBs For 2021 Lineup
Since the unveiling of their electric bicycle line at EICMA motorcycle exhibition in 2018, Husqvarna has been growing its lineup of electric mountain bikes at a blistering pace.
Their new offroad lineup for 2021 spans four distinct models ranging from double-crown downhill rigs to cross country hardtails.
Each model is available in multiple trim levels, but regardless of the spec you pick, Husqvarna has fully committed to the new Shimano EP8 motor across the lineup, and all full-suspension eMTBs will be delivered with the EP8 on display inside the trademark Husqvarna Skeleton Interface.
We’ll dig into each of the new models below to give you an idea of what sets them apart, as well as how much cash you’ll have to part with if you want to call one of these stylish steeds from Sweden your own.
Husqvarna Extreme Cross
The dual-crown downhill slayer is back for 2021, and while the spirit of the original EXC 10 is very much intact, the new Husqvarna Extreme Cross sees some refinements that downhill purists are sure to appreciate.
The most noticeable change for those familiar with the previous model will be the shiny gold stanchions up front, as Husky has gone all-in and upgraded the already top-notch Fox Float 40 fork from the “performance-elite” model to the “factory” version. That means you’ll be getting the same outstanding 203mm travel, but with the added bonus of adjustable high-speed compression and a Kashima coating thrown into the mix.
Another update to the Husqvarna Extreme Cross that gravity addicts are sure to appreciate is the replacement of the previous Shimano XTR 11-speed setup with the Abrams Tank that is the Shimano Saint 10-speed.
The Saint groupset is a long-lived overachiever in the gravity world that gets high marks in the rough stuff for its compact yet indestructible frame, lightning fast shifting, and long term reliability (not to mention 11 speeds is completely overkill when you’ve got a 630Wh motor handling the uphill legwork).
Husqvarna also replaced the previous 4-piston Shimano hydraulic brakes and rotors with the new MT5 eSTOP system from Magura, which has been developed specifically for the extra heat and abuse that electric sleds tend to generate.
Rotors remain at 203mm front and rear, but have been upgraded to two-piece Magura MDR-P units, which are also optimized for eBikes and feature interlocking inner and outer rings to add rigidity while aiding in heat dissipation.
The excellent Fox DHX2 Factory shock is carried over in the rear for 2021, as are the 27.5” wheels and Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.6” tires front and rear.
All Husqvarna Extreme Cross models are fitted with the same powerful Simplo TPS 630Wh battery (which is fully integrated into the frame), and also share a full Husqvarna-branded finishing kit that includes the entire cockpit from the grips down to the stem, as well as the forged alloy cranks, a 34T chainring, and the factory-liveried saddle.
The top of the line EXC10 is currently going for $6,999 MSRP.
If you’re itching to try the new downhill platform but want to save some money, the Extreme Cross 9 can be had for $1,600 less, but trades in the Fox Factory goodies for SR Suntour’s top of the line Rux38 fork and Triair 3CR shock instead, and also swaps the Shimano Saint drivetrain for a workhorse Deore 11-speed setup.
Husqvarna Hard Cross
With 180mm of travel, a 12-speed drive train, slack geometry, and 27.5” Maxxis Minion tires front and rear, the Hard Cross is basically the Extreme Cross’s mischievous little brother: A freeride machine built more for the fun line than the fast one, ready to take whatever drops, jumps, and landings you dare to throw at it.
There are four separate Hard Cross models available, which means there’s a build for pretty much every budget.
The 9 and 8 are the highest spec models, and both come with a Fox Float 38 front end and Fox Float X2 rear shock, as well as Shimano Deore XT drive trains and 4 piston Shimano braking components.
Step down to the Hard Cross 7 and you’ll shave $1,600 off the premium HC9’s $7k price tag, but still get a strong performing kit with Rockshox suspension (ZEB Select fork and Super Deluxe Select+ shock), an SRAM Eagle drivetrain, and a 4-piston Tektro Orion brake setup.
The Mountain Cross was Husqvarna’s first foray into the mountain bike world back in 2018, and continues to get more dialed in with every iteration.
The latest model features revised geometry intended to improve handling responsiveness, and utilizes a mullet/mixed wheel set up (29” front and 27.5” rear) to fit the best of both worlds into the new frame. It’s safe to say Huskie has put some serious R&D into the new MC line.
In fact, Husqvarna is so confident in their latest Enduro all-rounder that they’ve decided to take it racing for the 2021 Enduro World series, and have recruited former Downhill World Cup pro Alexandre Fayolle to get the new bike on the podium for the Husqvarna factory team.
Husqvarna built this bike for speed over any terrain, and top-of-the-line models will come with 150mm of travel from Fox Float 36 forks and a Float DPS shock, Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrains, and Maxxis Rekon Tubeless tires front and rear. Not a bad piece of kit, and all weighing in at a competitive $5,999 price point.
Of course we can understand $6k for a relatively unproven eMTB may come with some sticker shock, so just know that the MC5 model has the same EP8 motor and battery as the rest of the Husqvarna line, and can be picked up for just $4,399.
You’ll sacrifice some of the bling, but the MC5 still brings a full 150mm of travel thanks to the Rockshox workhorse 35 Gold RL fork and Deluxe Select+ rear shock
The Light Cross was also one of the first Husqvarna ebikes launched in 2018, and has carried on into the new 2021 lineup, although it’s admittedly aimed at either casual entry-level riders or children.
The Light Cross 6 and Light Cross 3 are the two full-sized models in the lineup, but the LC6 is the only one to feature a fully integrated battery.
The Light Cross range has retained the previous Shimano STePS E8000 and E7000 series motors, and carries a basic range of Suntour and Shimano components, so they should be reliable performers for anyone looking for their first mountain bike or ebike.
For more details on the full range of eMTBs from Husqvarna, you can check out their latest catalog here.