Propain Sresh CF

Propain Sresh CF

Wheel Size: 29” front / 27.5” or 29” rear (via flip chip)

Travel: 150 mm rear / 160 mm front

Geometry Highlights:

  • Sizes offered: S, M, L, XL
  • Headtube angle: 65°
  • Seat tube angle: 78.5º
  • Reach: 480 mm (size Large)
  • Chainstay length (all sizes): 450 mm (29” rear wheel) / 447 mm (27.5” rear wheel)

Drive System Highlights:

  • Motor: Shimano EP600 (not available in the U.S) or EP801
  • Torque: 85 Nm
  • Power: 500 W (EP600) / 600 W (EP801)
  • Assist percentage: 400%
  • Battery: 626 Wh
  • Display: Shimano SC-EN600 (Ultimate Trail and Factory builds)
  • Remote: Shimano SW-EN600-L

Material: Carbon fiber

Price: Complete bikes: $6,299 to $9,789 (stock builds; customized options vary)

Simon Stewart reviews the Propain Sresh CF for Blister
Propain Sresh CF


Propain readily acknowledges that the Sresh CF fills a gap in their eMTB range — which might be a bit of an understatement given they only really had one model (with two variations) in the Ekano AL and CF. At first glance, the new Sresh looks a lot like a scaled-down Ekano, but Propain is talking a lot about the Sresh’s adaptability as both a lighter, more versatile Trail bike with a lighter build, or something still approaching an Enduro bike with a burlier one. There’s quite a bit to unpack here so follow along for the rundown.

Simon Stewart reviews the Propain Sresh CF for Blister
Propain Sresh CF

The Frame

Currently, Propain only offers the Sresh with a carbon fiber frame (hence Sresh CF). The Sresh gets 150 mm of rear travel from Propain’s standard PRO10 suspension layout — a dual mini-link design that actuates the shock from both ends, rather than using a more conventional fixed shock mount at one end.

Simon Stewart reviews the Propain Sresh CF for Blister
Propain Sresh CF — PRO10 Suspension Layout

Propain claims the suspension has been optimized for eMTBs, with an emphasis on liveliness and pedaling efficiency. The anti-squat curve starts at just over 120% and stays relatively flat for about the first ~50% of the travel, before falling off steeply (to around 60% by bottom out). The leverage curve is flat-ish for about the first 15% of travel then follows a fairly consistent curve going from just over 2.85:1 to under 2.15:1 at the end of travel. Propain states the suspension will retain the PRO10 system’s known initial stroke sensitivity, while also providing supportive progression and “plenty of pop”. The Sresh CF has flip chips for mixed-wheel-size compatibility — more on that in the Geometry and Sizing section.

Simon Stewart reviews the Propain Sresh CF for Blister
Propain Sresh CF — Suspension Kinematics

The Sresh CF has a water bottle and tool mounts inside the front triangle, 12×148 mm rear axle spacing, lots of frame protection, and a SRAM UDH. It also, unfortunately, has internal headset cable routing. For an explanation of how Propain’s version of headset routing comes together, take a look at our review of the Tyee 6. But if you would prefer to save some time, the short version is: we’re not fans of the added complexity or proprietary parts.

The Sresh CF is available in three colors and has a ton of different head badge and decal options that provide a considerable amount of personalization.

Simon Stewart reviews the Propain Sresh CF for Blister
Propain Sresh CF

Drive System

Propain continues to use the same Shimano EP801 motor and battery they use in the Aluminum Ekano. For a more detailed overview of this drive system check out our Ekano AL and Cannondale Moterra SL First Looks.

Interestingly, Propain has chosen the Shimano drive system over the SRAM Powertrain the Carbon Ekano 2 CF comes equipped with. Maybe it was a cost decision, or perhaps one based on weight as the Shimano drive system is lighter, and lower weight appears to have been a design focus with the Sresh CF.

Made by battery manufacturer Darfon, the 626 Wh battery uses 21700 lithium-ion cells to achieve high battery density (i.e., energy storage per weight). At 3.3 kg, that translates to about 190 Wh per kilogram. That’s pretty high, but the times are changing quickly as battery technology evolves. Propain launched the Ekano AL last summer with the same battery, and at the time, it was one of the highest-density batteries available. Fast forward to today, and there are many brands with higher-density batteries, including the Cannondale Moterral SL at 194 Wh / kg, and Bosch’s new Powertube 400 with a density of 200 Wh / kg.

All four builds use the Shimano SW-EN600 L remote; the Base and Ultimate Enduro builds don’t get a display, and rely on the remote for battery and assist level information. The remote has only one LED for the battery level and another one for the assist level. I have yet to use this style of remote, and there doesn’t seem to be any published information on exactly how the LEDs communicate battery and assist levels, so we’ll have to wait to comment on how it functions. The remote will connect to the Shimano E-Tube Cyclist app so we know that more detailed information and customization will be available via a smartphone.

Simon Stewart reviews the Propain Sresh CF for Blister
Propain Sresh CF — Drive System
The Ultimate Trail and Factory builds, in addition to the remote above, also come equipped with the Shimano SC-EN600 handlebar-mounted display. The display offers plenty of data, as well as two customizable rider profiles, but it feels rather dated to me and I prefer full-featured integrated top tube displays like the Specialized TCU, Rocky Mountain Jumbotron, and TQ display.

Fit & Geometry

Propain offers the Shresh CF in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and XL. Nothing looks out of the ordinary in the sizing department with reach numbers very much average for what we see in this travel category — Small is 430 mm, Medium is 450 mm, Large is 480 mm, and XL is 505 mm. If anything, when looking at the reach in conjunction with the 78.5º effective seat tube angle, we might expect the Shresh CF to have a more compact feeling seated cockpit.

The Sresh’s 65º head angle is starting to look on the steep side for a bike in this travel range, especially one with a motor — though Propain hasn’t gone too wild with the other aspects of the geometry, either, so the whole package looks pretty coherent. Many of Propain’s mountain bikes and eMTBs share a slightly conservative geometry approach, and honestly, it is kinda nice given how many bikes on the opposite side of the spectrum we’ve seen lately. More options is a good thing.

As expected, since the Sresh CF is offered in both 29” and mixed-wheel-size configurations, it has a flip chip to compensate for the change in geometry. The chainstays vary 3 mm between the different wheel size setups, but the rest of the geometry remains the same.

Propain Sresh CF, BLISTER
Propain Sresh CF Geometry (click to expand)

The Builds

Propain offers four preconfigured builds as starting points, with the option to spec out custom builds selected through their expansive online configurator. You can customize one of the stock builds (which is somewhat mandatory as you need to specify things like dropper post travel and saddle width), or start from scratch and build your own.

With so many options, it’s possible to build a burly Enduro setup or a lighter-weight Trail bike. Propain claims that with attention paid to weight (and a bunch of money thrown at it), the Sresh CF can be configured to weigh below 21 kg / 46 lbs with a SRAM XX Transmission, NEWMEN Advanced SL A (carbon) wheels, and Fox 36 Factory fork.

Overall, I think the preconfigured builds will mostly serve as a foundation for customization, and their main benefit is offering a glimpse of what to expect pricing-wise when similar parts are chosen.

Simon Stewart reviews the Propain Sresh CF for Blister
Propain Sresh CF
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Motor: Shimano EP801
  • Battery: 626 Wh
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Base RC (160 mm)
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe
  • Brakes: SRAM DB 8
  • Wheels: NEWMEN Performance 30
  • Dropper Post: OneUp V3
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Motor: Shimano EP801
  • Battery: 626 Wh
  • Fork: RockShox Zeb Ultimate (160 mm)
  • Shock: RockShox Vivid Ultimate RCT Air
  • Brakes: Formula Cura 4
  • Wheels: NEWMEN Evolution E.G.30
  • Dropper Post: OneUp V3
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XO Eagle AXS Transmission
  • Motor: Shimano EP801
  • Battery: 626 Wh
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 (160 mm)
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Air Ultimate
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
  • Wheels: NEWMEN Evolution SL A.30
  • Dropper Post: RockShox Reverb
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX Eagle AXS Transmission
  • Motor: Shimano EP801
  • Battery: 626 Wh
  • Fork: Fox Float 38 Factory (160 mm)
  • Shock: Fox DHX2 Coil
  • Brakes: Magura MT7
  • Wheels: NEWMEN Advanced SL A.30 Carbon
  • Dropper Post: Fox Transfer Factory

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About

(1) How will the Sresh CF in a Trail build and one with a more Enduro-oriented build compare on the trail? Can the Sresh really do double duty or will there be compromises?

(2) A 626 Wh battery is on the smaller side, and without a range extender option, will it be enough to knock out big rides with your friends on eMTBs with bigger batteries?

(3) Propain claims the PRO10 suspension has been tuned for pedaling efficiency with a lively personality, how will this translate to on-trail performance?

Bottom Line (For Now)

The Sresh CF looks to be a much-needed addition to Propain’s eMTB line. The Trail eMTB category is popular at the moment and Propain’s flexible build configurator opens up some interesting options for riders to spec their Sresh to target a variety of use cases.

We’re curious to see how it all comes together on the trail, and will report back if and when we’re able to get on one to find out.

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