Electric Mountain BikesNews

Member reviews: 2017 KTM Fogo 271

The following is a long-term review of a KTM Fogo 271 which at the time of writing, I have had the pleasure of owning for the last 16 months.

I have long had a passion for hardtail mtbs, be them analogue or pedal assist and have found the eMTB version through ownership of the superb KTM Macina Race, to make the perfect bike for wet weather/winter use.

Full component specification

  • 2017 KTM Macina Fogo 271 8s EX1
  • Frame :- Macina MTB 27.5″+ BOOST, Alloy for Bosch, with semi-integrated battery
  • Frame sizes :- 43cm, 48cm and 53cm.
  • Bike colour :- Matt light grey, black + toxic orange.
  • Front fork :- MAGURA Boltron inverted, T-20×110 120mm travel, weight 2,200g
  • Headset :- KTM Team B303AM drop/in-tapered, +10
  • Headset bearing numbers :- MH-P28 and MH-P08M
  • Stem :- KTM Team KT-6 7° 95mm Weight 133g
  • Handlebar :- KTM Team HB-RB12L riser, rise 15°, Width 720mm
  • Handlebar grips :- KTM Team VLG–775-12D2 Diamond fin with end Clamps
  • Brake rotors :- Shimano RT86 6-bolt, 180mm front, 180mm rear. 260.4g pr
  • Brakes :- Shimano Deore XT M8000 Weight 554g pr including caliper/hose/lever assembly
  • Trigger shifter :- SRAM SL EX1 8speed Weight 122g
  • Rear derailleur :- SRAM RD EX1 8speed. Weight 289g
  • Front sprocket size as supplied 16T
  • Cassette :- SRAM XG899 11-48 ( 11, 13, 15, 18, 24, 32, 40, 48) Weight 360g
  • Chain :- SRAM EX1 Weight 273g
  • Pedal cranks :- SRAM EX1, ISIS for Bosch. Length 170mm. Weight 510g pr
  • Pedals :- VP components VP-539 black platform, with replaceable pins. Weight 370g pr
  • Wheel set :- KTM Line 27-5″ plus B/B Tubeless ready
  • Wheel rims :- Ryder edge 35, 32 spoke hole, suitable for 2.3 to ‘plus’ size of 3.0. Weight 580g
  • Front hub :- 20mmThrough axle DT Swiss 350 classic-6-bolt 20/110/TA BOOST. Weight 239g
  • Rear hub :- 12mm Through axle DT Swiss 350 classic-6-bolt 12/148/TA BOOST. Weight 305g
  • Tyres :- Schwalbe Nobby Nic 70-584 TL-easy, Snake skin, Apex. Weight 910g per tyre.
  • Saddle :- Fizik Gobi M7 with Manganese rails. Weight 255g
  • Seat post :- KTM Comp JD-YSP12L hydraulic adjustable 100-370, diameter 30.9mm Weight 560g
  • Display :- Intuvia LCD, with Walk assist
  • Drive unit :- Bosch Performance Line CX 36V-250W, 25km/h 75NM of torque, four assist levels,
  • Eco giving 50% Tour giving 120% Sport giving 210% Turbo 300% Maximum torque available
  • per assist level, Eco 40Nm Tour 50Nm Sport 60Nm Turbo 75Nm
  • Battery :- Bosch Powerpack 13.8Ah – 500WH
  • Motor weight :- 4kg
  • Battery weight :- 2.6kg, dimensions 325mm x 92mm x 90mm
  • Overall Bike weight :- 21.4kg

Wanting to upgrade from the Macina Race, I had already decided that whatever
the next bike was going to be, it needed to be 27.5” ‘plus’ size and just as the Macina Race, it also needed to have a good component specification. I was also keen to stay with both the KTM marque and Bosch drive unit system.

After a bit of research, I opted for the KTM Fogo, which on paper exceeded my requirements by a significant margin and over time through use, has proved to be my perfect bike.

The Magura Boltron T-20×110 front forks as fitted to the bike was an interesting one for me as I have read so many reports, both good and bad, which made me keen to own a bike that had them fitted just so that I could come to my own conclusion about them. I have also previously been asked privately about the forks and what I knew about them, so at least I finally got to discover for myself and can offer opinion accordingly, and not just based from hearsay.

As it happened, this unknown gamble in respect of the front forks has proved to be worthwhile, and I really do love the compliant feel of them and for the most part they suit my riding style perfectly. They have also proved to be the most hassle-free and reliable front fork that I have ever owned. Before deciding upon this bike, I thoroughly researched the front forks and quickly came to the conclusion that any issues with them were simply down to poor set up and understanding of the fork by owners, which ultimately leads to seal failure.

They possibly aren’t without fault though, and they certainly have weird handling characteristics, which can be a bit disconcerting if you didn’t know about it. Under braking the forks twist slightly which make the bike pull to the left. It is only really evident when riding on the road and once aware it, you kind of compensate in advance of it happening and soon became unaware of it. This also leads to one other issue though, which is the front brakes of the bike. The 180mm front disc is really a bit undersized for the bike, but I’m not convinced that the front fork could cope with a larger disc size. I do intend to try it sometime though, as it is about the only upgrade that after about 16 months of ownership of the bike, that I would like to make to it. The rear brake is more than up to the job, and I certainly have no complaints about it.

Staying for a moment with the front forks, in use they have possibly had to put up with more abuse and adverse riding conditions than could perhaps be expected of any eMTB and have only given my concern once, which was when we had the bad snow conditions in February 2018. I went out for a night ride in what must have been the coldest conditions that I have ever ridden in, and after about two hours of being out, with the bike completely covered in solid ice, the forks suddenly compressed and would not return. Moisture on the stations had frozen and that was it. I had to return home, riding with them fully compressed. Come the morning, they were back to normal, and have never been a problem since. I had intended to rebuild them soon but cannot find either the oil capacity or air gap, so they are going back to Magura for the work. At £92.00 including return postage, it probably isn’t worth my while rebuilding them anyway.

Part 2 continues below….

203mm on the front wont be a problem as it is just an adaptor so the caliper would be 23mm taller on the front fork mount so would not be a problem.

as for the rear you might have a clearance problem with the caliper fouling the frame but only way is to try it and see.

the main reason i have 203mm front and rear is to save on disc pads as heat kills even sinterd pads in no time.View attachment 29106
180mm is the maximum that the Boltron forks could take, simply because there is too much flex in them already.

The good news is that a friend come bike shop owner has offered me a 'no brainer' deal on a set of superb MRP Ribbon coil forks. I already have a few other friends that use them, and have yet to hear one bad thing about them. On the plus side, changing them gives me an increase in fork travel from 120mm to 150mm, the distance from the centre of wheel spindle to the bottom of the steerer tube is just 4mm longer than the Boltron set up, so I'm not going to worry about that, and I can then run a 203mm front disc quite easily, and also fit something that I have long missed with the Boltron set up, my RapidRacer Neoguard. I've really missed that, not that spray has weirdly ever been an issue with the Boltron set up.

And I forgot to say again , fantastic composition on taking pics. The boy ( well like me not so much boy now) certainly has an eye for detail. I always enjoy reading/looking at Ed's posts.