Test / SUV E-Bike: The Hercules Nos FS SUV 2.2 is a sporty everyday tourer with lots of off-road potential. The SUV e-bike, powered by a Shimano EP8 motor, combines a full 150 mm of suspension travel with many payload options and comprehensive, worry-free everyday equipment.
The Hercules Nos was born a few years ago as a true eMTB. Even though it is still available in this sporty finish today, the bike has since received a few updates and a few variants have been added. Not only was the Shimano EP8 a second drive system added to the original Brose Drive S Mag, the area of application for the bike also became larger. Among other things, with the SUV models, which retain the sporty DNA of the “Ur-Nos”, but at the same time are fully equipped for everyday use, including a luggage rack and lighting.
For the current model year, Hercules has two full-suspension SUV variants of the Nos in its range, but they only differ in some equipment details and price. What they have in common is their aluminum frame, which has a generous 150 mm of travel for the touring segment and also retains the sporty geometry of the eMTB. When it comes to the drive system, Hercules uses the Shimano EP8 on the SUV models in combination with the original Shimano battery with 630 Wh capacity in the down tube. The battery, which is secured by a lock, can be easily removed via a flap.
Shimano EP8 and removable 630 Wh battery
The Shimano EP8 motor has been tried and tested for several years and, at 2,6 kg, is still the lightest mid-motor in the 85 Nm performance class. However, when it comes to its maximum performance, it has to admit defeat to the competition from Bosch or Brose. The Japanese drive has a hard time, especially at low cadence or in a heavier one. On the other hand, it scores points with its dynamics and natural response. As is often the case here, which drive is the right one depends on personal preferences and individual requirements. When it comes to operation, Hercules opts for the large, but single-color Shimano display in the middle of the handlebars and the slightly larger control panel with dedicated buttons for lighting and pushing assistance on the Nos FS SUV 2.2.
120 kg payload including optional front rack
Despite its off-road origins, the frame is an excellent fit for a versatile touring bike. This is supported, among other things, by the very good permissible total weight of 150 kg, which means that the Hercules Nos FS SUV 2.2 has a payload of approx. 120 kg in practice. This can, for example, be stored on or on the rear luggage rack with a spring flap (thanks Hercules!) or you can use the holes in the head tube to mount a front luggage rack. However, this ends at 5 kg - but still: Which other full-suspension SUV e-bike even offers this option?
Hercules Nos FS SUV 2.2 with well thought-out equipment
With its recommended retail price of 5.599 euros, the Hercules Nos FS SUV 2.2 is one of the cheaper e-bikes in its class. Of course, you have to do without high-quality components, but Hercules has used the red pencil sensibly and found a good balance between price awareness and everyday performance. A good example of this is the RockShox chassis with the 35 Gold air suspension fork and the Deluxe Select shock. While both of these would be cause for criticism on a real eMTB, it offers strong performance and a lot of comfort for a sporty tourer like the Nos FS SUV.
The gears and brakes from Shimano are also solid: the 12-speed Deore gears offer quick gear changes and a wide range, and the affordable MT420 4-piston brakes always bring the approximately 27 kg of the bike and the rider to a quick stop, thanks to the large discs. Unfortunately, an adjustable seat post fell victim to the lower price, which is reserved for the top model, which is around 400 euros more expensive. However, if you want, you can retrofit this quite inexpensively.
|frame||Hercules Nos FS|
|suspension fork||RockShox 35 Gold 150mm|
|Power Type||Shimano EP8|
|Suspension shocks||Rock Shox Deluxe Select|
|Wheels||Rodi Tryp30 / Shimano MT410|
|Tire VR||Schwalbe Johnny Watts Performance|
|Tire HR||Schwalbe Johnny Watts Performance|
|derailleur||Shimano Deore 12-speed|
|Gear levers||Shimano Deore 12-speed|
|Brake discs||Shimano RT64 203/203mm|
|Seat post||Kalloy SP-719|
|Saddle||Seal Royal Live|
|Stem||Zecure UP2+ Adjustable|
In order to defuse the rather sporty geometry of the frame for touring riders, Hercules has given the Nos FS SUV an adjustable stem from Zecure - so the seating position can be easily adjusted in small steps using the handlebar height. The add-on parts from the metal mudguards to the rear luggage rack to the lighting system are also very pleasing. The latter even offers a high beam function that can be controlled from the handlebars. The corresponding button, in combination with the, in our opinion, unnecessary lockout for the suspension fork and the very large bell, ensures that the right side of the handlebars in particular appears quite overloaded.
Convincing idea in practice
In practice, the Hercules Nos FS SUV 2.2 can impress with its calm driving behavior in almost every situation. The chassis with a lot of suspension travel ensures a lot of comfort, for example on forest roads, and also allows excursions into real off-road terrain; Even easy trails are easily manageable with the Nos FS SUV. The limitations here are the lack of a vario support and also the Johnny Watts tires from Schwalbe, which no longer offer as much grip, especially in wet conditions. On the other hand, you are already at the limit of what makes sense for an SUV e-bike.
The ergonomics of the bike are excellent, also thanks to the adjustable stem - this means that even longer tours are easily possible for those who quickly develop back problems. Speaking of longer tours: The Shimano EP8 tickles good ranges from the 630 Wh battery and should be more than sufficient for most applications.
All add-on parts do a good and reliable job - including the metal wheel guards. However, attaching them to the front wheel or fork is only partially suitable for off-road use. Unfortunately, the plug connection loosens quite quickly in the event of larger impacts. The mudguard is just as quickly attached again; However, this is extremely annoying in everyday life. Our tip: A narrow strip of adhesive tape over the plug connection and the problem is solved.