Words by: Liam Woods
We have been dropping hints for what seems like years now about carrying the new and niche brand of Forestal Bikes. Well, they’re finally here and we have ridden and tested the bikes to give you a full review on how they work. With the main goal of creating a perfect pedal-assist e-bike, Forestal has truly designed a bike that is more technologically advanced than any other ebike on the market, which allows the rider to enjoy the pure and simple activity of riding a bike in nature.
Today we are reviewing the Forestal Siryon, a 170mm travel bike front and rear that is ready to disrupt your normal enduro bike. It allows you to ride to the top of the trail faster while giving up nothing on the descent. Sounds too good to be true, right? As we dive into this review I think you will find the Forestal Siryon lacks little to nothing at all.
Forestal Bikes is made up of an amazing group of people, all committed to making the best pedal-assist bikes possible. The folks behind Forestal have backgrounds in the tops of their industries like aircraft engineering, IT development, motorsports, and, of course, the bike industry. Forestal has also taken a huge initiative to make sure their bikes are of the best quality possible, from design to engineering and manufacturing in proprietary facilities to then finally being painted and assembled in-house at their facilities in Andorra. No stone is left unturned from the start to finish of a Forestal Bike.
They had one clear concept for their bikes: to develop a lightweight and technologically driven pedal-assisted bike that shied away from the heavy and extra powerful e bikes that seem to have lost the pure essence of mountain bikes. By doing so, Forestal bikes help provide the same feeling we love with our normal bikes while mixing in high-tech motors and connectivity to make the user experience the best of all bikes.
The heart of the Siryon is the EonDrive motor and the Aurora battery, responsible for the power and assistance you get while riding. Having designed its own motor, Forestal has been able to achieve the best power and torque numbers while also giving it a very quiet and smooth ride to enhance your pedal-assist experience. The EonDrive has 250w of power with 60 nm of torque, making it more powerful and torquier than the other lightweight options on the market and closing the gap on the bigger motors. The Aurora battery is 360Wh and comes in a very slim and lightweight package. The combination of the EonDrive and Aurora battery performs in harmony, giving you up to 3+ hours of ride time in one single charge. Another huge benefit of the EonDrive motor is the drag-free transmission, allowing you to turn the power to the off mode and pedal without any added resistance. This is especially nice on a flat section of trail where you can pedal as normal and save battery life, or at the very least take some of the pain out of the dreaded ride back with an exhausted battery.
There are six modes for the motor: Off, Walk, Eco, Sport, Race, and Boost.
There is also integration with all of the e-bike components including the 3.2” touch screen display on the top tube. A first of its kind, the dashboard will give you all the data you want while riding, which is then stored for after-ride perusing and nerding out. With WiFi and GPS capabilities, you can update, map, and track your ride from the integrated computer.
The Siryon has 170mm of travel front and rear and each build kit is spec’d to handle some rough riding. There are three builds to choose from and within each build there are three unique colors. Needless to say, you have options to fit your needs. The Halo is the entry-level build with highlight parts such as SRAM GX Eagle, RockShox Select suspension, Magura Mt5 brakes, CrankBrothers Synthesis alloy wheels, and Crank Brothers Dropper post. The Neon is the mid-tier and workhorse of the Siryon builds, and it also happens to be the bike we spent the most time on. The Neon is extremely well spec’d and it’s hard to think of what could make it better at its price point. A SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain, RockShox Ultimate suspension, Magura Mt7 brakes, Crankbrothers Synthesis E7 wheels, and Crankbrothers dropper post all adorn the Neon Siryon. The Diode is the top of the line build and leaves nothing to be desired with SRAM XX1 AXS drivetrain, RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post, Ohlins suspension, Formula Cura brakes, and CrankBrothers Synthesis E11 wheels.
With 170mm of travel front and rear, the Siryon is a serious bike ready to tackle your favorite enduro or DH trail. Don't let the single pivot and unique rear end design make you think this bike is some slouch. The Siryon and all full suspension Forestal Bikes use the Twin Levity Suspension system, tuning the single pivot design into a smooth, supple, and predictable system allowing you to ride fast and confident. With 170mm of travel you get geometry equally as capable as all that travel. The Siryon sports a serious 64-degree headtube angle, a steep 77-degree seat tube angle and two chainstay lengths based on size. Small and medium get snappy 436mm chainstays while the large and x-large get a more stable 446mm. Reach numbers are also roomy yet not too long, just where you want them with small at 428mm, medium at 458mm, large at 488mm and x-large at a comfortable 508mm.
We have been lucky enough to have months of riding and testing the Siryon on our local trails as well as different trails on the west coast. From steep Santa Cruz trails to the pumice at Mammoth and all of our local rocky trails, there has been no shortage of terrain the Siryon has yet to ride.
Right away you know that the Siryon means business. The way the bike feels is sporty yet planted. Our stock Neon build weighs in at 41lbs, but that jumps up to 43lbs once we put on DH casing tires. When you start to pedal around, the torquey and powerful motor immediately puts a huge smile on your face. Riding one of our classic enduro loops, we have been able to get a feel for this bike’s motor performance and suspension design. As mentioned before, the Siryon can pretty much keep up with bikes that are in the full power range and leave some of the lighter-weight e-bikes in the dust. With its 60 nm of torque, it's closer to the full power numbers than some of the lightweight options, so this makes sense. On average we have been able to get about 3000ft-3600ft of climbing over about 2.5-3 hours of ride time. If you choose to ride the bike in its non-power mode for flat sections of trail, you can get even more out of a full charge. One thing that is currently missing is the battery extender, although we know this is being produced right now. With this, you will be able to go 1.5x as far, which we think will be a really great upgrade to your Forestal.
Once you get to the top, it's all downhill KOMs and QOMs from there. Well, not really. But we can pretty much guarantee the bike won't be the issue holding you back. The Twin Levity design and the geometry of the bike really allow you to ride this bike downhill with no limitations. Even the weight of the bike feels great. It gives you confidence over rough terrain and helps you maintain traction and your line. Taking this bike up to Mammoth, I was able to get in a ton of descending using the lifts but also able to traverse across the mountain quickly with the pedal assist. If you have ever been to Mammoth, then you’ll know the unique dirt there is pumice, or as some call it kitty-litter. It's soft, loose, and deep with hidden sharp rocks below the surface. Needless to say, it’s not the easiest place to ride. Getting kicked off your line and washing out from the loose dirt is a pretty common occurrence. The Siryon made quick work of Mammoth and my confidence went through the roof. I rode better than I ever have there and in doing so had the most fun I've ever had in Mammoth. Even on some of the more mellow trails, the EonDrive motor gives you a quick boost out of corners. With just two pedal rotations you are up to speed and flying down the trail again. After about 10k of descending and taking a trail bike trail back into town on Race and Boost mode, I used about 35% of my battery. If anyone tells you the e bike is holding them back from descending at full speed, I'll tell them they haven't tried the right e-bike yet. The Siryon only allowed me to go faster thanks to its motor of course. But even without that, the weight, geometry, and predictability of this bike is one of the best I have ever ridden.
One of the things I was nervous about was the stem and house brand handlebar, which are things I’m oftentimes not a fan of. But once I got the bar trimmed down to my liking and put on my preferred grips, the bar and stem felt great and I quickly got used to both. The suspension setup was no issue, with the fork taking a bit more pressure than normal with the added weight of the bike. Then starting at 30% sag in the rear, I got the setup pretty close right off the bat. After a few rides, I ended up adding some rear air pressure, going to about 27-28% sag. I felt as though the 30% sag made me sit a little too deep in the travel. Even with a little less sag, the weight helped with small bump traction and I was able to get more mid-stroke and bottom end support this way.
I also mentioned swapping out the stock Maxxis EXO casing tires. While that is probably enough for most riders and helps keep the weight down, I really enjoy riding more durable tires with a thicker casing on longer travel bikes. I first put on some Maxxis DH casing tires with an Assegai up front and DHRII out back, a combination that I’m very familiar with. The only other swap I made while riding the bike for three months was the rear rotor, which in stock form is a 180mm rotor. I ended up putting a 203mm in the back to match the front. This just helped me not smoke the rear brake on long, steep descents. But with only tire and rear rotor swap specifically made for aggressive riding, I’d say these bikes are very well spec’d and extremely easy to set up.
This category of lighter weight e bikes isn't huge yet, but it's growing. Currently, one of the closest bikes to the Forestal Siryon is the Specialized Kenevo SL. Both bikes are in the half power or lightweight e-bike category and both have 170mm of travel front and rear. When it comes to geometry, the bikes are actually very similar. The Kenevo SL has .5 degree slacker headtube angle when set in the low bb and middle headset position. They actually get closer if you put the bb in the high position. One thing the Kenevo SL doesn't have is size-specific chainstays. All sizes have a 447mm rear end, possibly making the smaller bikes feel really long.
When you compare the motor and battery numbers, the Siryon wins by a long shot with its 60 nm of torque compared to the Kenevo SL’s 35 nm of torque. The batteries are much closer with the 360Wh and 320Wh for the Siryon and Kenevo SL, respectively. Knowing this, you would expect the Siryon to be quite a bit faster than the Kenevo SL, and no surprises here, it is. When comparing modes between the two bikes, the ECO mode of the Siryon is so fast that it actually has almost as much power as the Kenevo SL Turbo mode. For battery life, the two bikes last a similar amount of time. The Siryon may have a little more battery, but that gets canceled out due to the higher torque number. Currently, there is no extender for the Siryon but Forestal says one is coming, so the Specialized Kenevo SL does win that comparison for now. You can get 50% more battery life on the Kenevo SL when using a battery extender on it.
Coming in hot, Forestal Bikes are swinging for the fences and we think they made great contact. Thanks to the Siryon and Cyon, Forestal is crushing the game when it comes to performance from a lightweight motor and battery system. With their own proprietary EonDrive Motor and the Aurora Battery, they have been able to pack in 60 nm of torque and a 360Wh battery while also making the bike look slim and implementing tons of integration with well thought out details. The Siryon is a 170mm travel bike front and rear, making it a pedal assist enduro bike that crushes the descents, while the Cyon has 150mm travel front and rear, being the ultimate trail e bike you’ll want to ride every day. Both models have three build kit options: Neon, Halo and Diode. Within each build kit, there are three colors to choose from. Worldwide is stoked to bring Forestal exclusively into North America, being a small niche brand that is making great products, it’s the exact type of e-bike brand that we wanted to go big with.
This article was written / authored by Liam Woods. Liam has been in the bicycle industry for over 10 years as a racer, professional mechanic, service manager and as of late, media and content creator. Liam has ridden thousands of different bikes, ridden countless components, tested endless MTB apparel of all kinds and written reviews on it all. He's a key piece to the Worldwide Cyclery "All Things MTB" content creation puzzle. He also makes consistent appearances on the Worldwide Cyclery YouTube channel and Instagram.