Cruising around the Outdoor Demo at Interbike, it's easy to quickly pass judgement on the bikes and products on display. I walked by Pardus's booth a few times dismissing it as another upstart electric bike company. It wasn't until I saw the bike tilted on its rear wheel that it became clear this was something different.
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Huge down tube holds a shock, not a battery
What had me fooled was the Pardus bike's silhouette, the down tube and bottom bracket area were massive, similar to any mid-drive e-bike.
There's no battery and motor clogging up the massive real estate however, the big carbon tubes were hiding the bike's rear suspension and rear shock.
The rear suspension is a single pivot set up and the rear shock is activated by a scissor link tucked inside the frame. This arrangement should keep things clean, keeps the weight low and centered, but also is likely to be a pain once overhauling is necessary.
What about dialing in the rear shock? There's a window to check sag and the removable guard comes off with two wingnuts.
How's it ride?
I don't know because the bike displayed was a non-functioning prototype. It was complete however and had a claimed weight of 11.3kg (25lbs) with 29-inch wheels.
In spite of being a prototype, it was loaded with all the up-to-date MTB features: internal cables, long, slack geometry, single-ring only drivetrain, and the rear thru-axle featured a flip chip for use with 27.5+ rims and tires.
Since it is still in the prototype phase, pricing and availability have yet to be determined.