cairn brave 1.0 and cairn brave 2.0

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Cairn Cycles the Sussex-based company well-known for their very popular e-Adventure electric bike has just announced the release of two exciting new models – the Cairn BRAVe 1.0 and 2.0.

These new e-bikes are a departure from the e-Adventure as they both use the excellent Shimano Steps E7000 mid-drive electric motor (the e-Adventure uses the Fazua system). Looking at these new models I would say they’re aimed squarely at the gravel/adventure / bikepacking market. Another impressive feature is the addition of a 630Wh battery.

All images courtesy of Cairn Cycles

Both models share the same alloy frame, which boasts a very relaxed geometry with a slack head angle and long wheelbase making them excellent for off-road adventures. There are also four separate bosses on the frame and some on the forks ensuring there are plenty of options for bikepacking bags. The Maxxis Recon Race 650b x 2.35″ tyres are much more suitable for off-road riding than your regular gravel tyre.  There’s clearance for tyres up to 2.5″ for the intrepid traveller.

There’s a drop handlebar and flat bar version which is great as not everyone gets on well with drops.

Cairn BRAVe 1.0

This model uses flared drop handlebars which are specifically designed to make controlling the bike easier when negotiating steep technical descents. There’s the excellent SRAM Apex 1 x 11 hydraulic brake groupset with a 38t chainring up front and an 11-42 rear cassette.

cairn brave 1.0 electric adventure bike

The Cairn BRAVe 1.0 is priced at an incredibly competitive £2549 which makes it by far the cheapest mid-drive gravel e-bike currently available.

Cairn BRAVe 2.0

The 2.0 version features wide mountain bike-style handlebars and the excellent Microshift Advent X groupset with a clutched rear derailleur and an 11-46t cassette. I prefer flat handlebars on a bike like this as it gives you more confidence when tackling tough terrain – it’s also going to be a lot cheaper to change brakes and gear shifters if you ever feel the need to upgrade. I’ve ridden a couple of bikes with the Microshift Advent system and for a ‘so-called’ budget drivetrain in my opinion it’s as good as the Shimano and SRAM equivalents.

This model retails for an impressive £2189 – to me, that’s an amazing price and there’s nothing currently available (with a similar spec) that comes close to the BRAVe 2.0 in terms of value.

Check out the Best Electric Gravel Bikes currently available

Shimano Steps E7000 motor

Both models use the excellent Shimano Steps E7000 e-bike motor – which produces a respectable 60Nm of torque. I can personally vouch for these motors as my electric bike uses a similar E6100 motor. I only ever use it in the lowest power setting (eco mode) and I can squeeze nearly 100 miles out of a single charge from a 504Wh battery.

The Cairn BRAVe uses Shimano’s latest 630Wh battery so the potential range could be more than 100 miles. This is going to make the BRAVe an excellent choice for bikepackers wanting to cover long distances on rough terrain between charges – I would imagine if you’re careful with the power usage you could easily do a two-day excursion covering 40 miles per day with an overnight wild camping stop – great for weekend adventures!


These new e-bikes are a breath of fresh air – they go beyond the standard gravel bike formula and offer something more rugged for the adventurous rider who’s looking to tackle more challenging terrain over a longer distance.

Unfortunately they are only currently available for pre-order with delivery expected in December of this year. I would imagine they’ll sell out very quickly. I’ll see if I can get hold of one to review – watch this space!

To find out More – Visit the Cairn Cycles website

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  1. Thanks Tony that sounds all right.
    How do you find your bike with assist off? I ask because I tend to turn off assist on the flats & downhill, unless there is a vicious headwind. Bike is fine and easy to cycle and it’s nice not to have the whine of the motor all the time & know you are extending the range! Once I start climbing it does feel heavy so I usually put back on eco even if the hill isn’t too bad. So even though it’s a small battery, I can go relatively far unless it’s constant hills. But with a heavier e bike I wonder if I’d need assist on more or full time as the weight might make the bike sluggish.

    1. Mine goes just fine without the assist, Shimano designed the newer Steps motors to be lighter and easy to pedal without electric. I tried my Vitus out on a short hilly local route without the assist just out of curiosity and it was okay, it felt like riding a laden touring bike. Having a big gear range makes all the difference. My bike has an 11-46 11-speed at the back with a 44t up front – I’m probably going to swap it out for a smaller front chainring as you don’t really need a 44t in Cornwall or Devon.

      All the best,

  2. I really like the look of the BRAVe. I agree that it seems to fill a gap in the market at the moment, especially with that tyre clearance and large battery and that price! If it had been out last autumn when I got my Vado SL I would have been really tempted, especially the flat bar version. I love the Vado SL, it’s a fantastic bike, but as I get more adventurous here up on Dartmoor I’m exploring more bridleways and even with WTB Nanos 40mm tyres on it can be rough going sometimes. The Cairn bike with the Shimano motor, big battery and wider tyres and really wide gearing, looks a great Dartmoor exploring bike for long days in the saddle. Do you have any idea of the weight Tony? I’m hoping under 40lbs, but I have no experience with that size battery or Shimano motors.

    1. Hi Billy,

      I don’t have the exact weight at the moment, but looking at the frame / tyres / components I reckon it’s going to be around the 18kg – 20kg mark. My own e-bike uses the Shimano Steps E6100 motor with 504Wh battery and comes in at 17.8kg without rack and mudguards fitted. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a BRAVe to test out, I reckon it bridges the gap perfectly between a gravel bike and full-on hard tail MTB.

      All the best,

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