Recently, electric mountain bikes have exploded in popularity. Our team researched the top models on the market and purchased six bikes in the $4500-$6000 range to test and review. Our team of testers rode these pedal-assist mountain bikes for thousands of miles, countless hours, and many tens of thousands of vertical feet. In the process, we analyzed each model's uphill and downhill performance, tested their distance range, paid close attention to the user-friendliness of their e-bike controls, and scrutinized their power output. We rode of each of these bikes hard in an effort to expose their strengths and weaknesses and determine the key ride characteristics of each one, and most importantly how they compare to each other.
Our testers were a little underwhelmed by a couple of our competitors. The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 has loads of potential with excellent geometry and trail smoothing rear suspension, but the spec of a wimpy fork and non-aggressive tires detract from its downhill confidence when the going gets steep or rough. The Trek Powerfly 7 FS was our least favorite e-bike to ride downhill, with an even less impressive component specification that held it back and didn't inspire confidence on descents.

It is important to note that the less power you use while riding your e-bike, the longer the battery will last, makes sense right? All of the pedal-assist drive units we tested also have smartphone apps that can be used to customize your support settings and such changes may allow for more or less range on your electric mountain bike. Specialized's Mission Control app has a feature that lets you set a predetermined route, and the app then regulates the motor's support to ensure power lasts to finish your ride.

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In fact, the manufacturers have already proven that what makes an e-MTB outstanding is not that much different to a regular MTB. Sure, there are slight differences in performance due to e-MTB’s heavier frame but both types share almost similar basics covering geometry, sizing, and balance. Also, the power-supplying motor comes into the forefront instead of the suspension in these bikes.
Loosing comfortable ride, range and power not to mention higher costs are big questions with few good answers for this ebike fan. Ultralight (non electric) performance bikes abound. Want that then go for it. As already noted forcing motored and battery laden electric bikes to be light necessarily reduces comfort, range, and power. Too much compromise for small “stealth” benefits. “You can’t always get what you want”
So I think that we can agree that e-bikes are definitely not cheap. Why not just go for an electric scooter then? Well electric bikes do have a lot of advantages. First, most of the people have been familiar with the concept of riding a bicycle since they were kids. So there is basically no learning curve with electric bikes. And you don’t have to worry about looking stupid, or getting pulled over just so the policeman could see what the heck you are riding. Second, you can ride electric bike just like a regular bike, just turn off the electric motor/assistance. Third, unlike many electric scooters that are designed for flat surfaces, quality electric bicycles are often created with tires that can withstand a higher amount of roughness, for example electric dirt bikes.
Testers found the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay to perform relatively well on the climbs. The steep seat tube made for a comfortable climbing position and the powerful pedal assist drive unit felt dialed. Its traction could be improved with beefier tires, and the weight of the bike feels a little higher than the competition resulting in some awkward handling at lower speeds. The Giant Trance E+ is also a competent climber, with ground-hugging Maestro suspension, comfortable geometry, and plenty of power on tap when you need it. Our least favorite bike on the climbs was the Ghost Hybride SL AMR. The Ghost has solid geometry numbers, but the pedal assistance felt less powerful and was definitely less consistent than the competition.

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Thanks for your excellent article. I’ve been riding ebike for about 16 years. My first electric bike was a Meridian pedal assist bike. I just up graded to a new bike. I’m 73, so I wanted a pedal assist bike that had a throttle. I researched for several months and bought what I think is the best bike for the money. It’s a Rad Rover 2017 fat bike. It has a 750 watt mother with a 48 volt 11.6 amp battery. It’s a fantastic bike, that is a lot of fun to ride. You might want to check it out and add it to your list of bikes. Rad Rover also make a city commuter bike, a cargo bike and a folding bike. You can’t beat their price for a quality bike. Thanks again for both of your articles. They were very informative.

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The energy it has stored escapes gradually: this is called 'self-discharging'. If it remains completely discharged for a long period of time, irreparable damage can occur due to chemical reactions inside the battery. Refer to your battery's user manual for information on what to do if you do not intend to use it for a period of time. Recommendations vary depending on the type of battery.

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The e-bike movement has been enjoying a massive popularity boom of late. When bikers are preferring to have a little pedal assistance to everywhere, from the daily commute to cruising through city streets, why not have it too while conquering the mountain trails? You know, just for fun? We have also written a complete guide about the best full suspension mountain bikes.

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This bike appears to be sturdily made and the assembly process was not difficult for anyone accustomed to assembly bikes from their state when shipped. Perhaps, it deserves a 5 star rating and if I was seeking a bike for use on sand dunes, I would probably give it 5 stars, I was looking more of an electric motor assisted bicycle than a motor bike and also found the bike, as a bicycle rather heavy and awkward to use as a bicycle with the fat knobby tires.


Many retailers suggest charging the battery at least once a month if the bike is not ridden much, and say that the more the bike is ridden, the stronger the battery will be. All batteries, though, will deteriorate in time and they will need to be replaced and disposed. When that time comes, it’s best to ask your local retailer how to dispose of the battery, but bear in mind that local authorities should provide recycling and disposal facilities.

There are various kinds and classifications of electric bikes on the market, but the most common type is the Class 1, or pedal assist, bikes which have motor units that are activated by pedaling and are limited to lower speeds. In the US, Class 1 electric bikes, the type tested and reviewed here, are limited to a top speed of 20 mph, and their motors are designed with a speed governor to regulate this. These types of e-bikes resemble modern mountain bikes, but they have significant battery packs, and small motor units integrated onto and into the frame design. The e-MTB pedal-assist motor is typically built around the bottom bracket and provides varying levels of pedaling "support" directly into the drivetrain while the cranks are turning. Most drive unit systems offer several support settings that provide pedal assistance between 25% and 100% of the user's pedaling input.

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