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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We’ve got to give you a Haibike downhill option considering their excellent history with downhill and enduro models. Downhill models are traditionally incredibly expensive, but the DwnHll 9.0 offers a slightly lower price point for a top mountain bike. The build is incredibly slack so you can rip downhill in ideal positioning. The PW-X motor makes climbing much more enjoyable as well.
The Merax bike is a sturdy, basic bike for those who want nothing more than a couple of wheels capable to roll over rough ground for a budget price. 36V 8.8Ah Li-ion battery is conveniently placed for easy access and charging, but it is also removable and securely locked by key. Convenient placement. It takes 6-8 hours to charge the battery from 0%-100%, and you can expect to travel up to 22–28 miles on a full charge.
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In our view, e-bikes are approaching a crossroads in concept and design. Heading off in one direction are longer travel, enduro-style e-bikes, which are largely designed for cruising up and then blasting back down. Plotting a slightly different course is the idea of a lightweight model that rides much more like a normal mountain bike, but requires more work from the rider. Of the two approaches, both have their benefits, but it’s the latter that gets us the most excited. Once the overall weight falls into the 16-17kg range (the lightest bikes are currently19-20kg) it’s going to be really hard to tell the difference between an e-bike and a regular trail bike on the descents and the flat, but you get the benefit of a gentle push up the climbs.
That’s a tough one to answer. It depends on the power of the battery (typically 24, 36 or 48V), the power of the bike (limited in the UK to 250W), the bike’s battery management system, and the way you ride. Some bikes allow you to choose different levels of assist to prioritise speed or battery life, which makes predictions of battery life even more difficult.
Bosch’s flagship mountain bike system uses a mini drive ring with internal gearing to send its power to the drivetrain. There’s some resistance in the system over 25km/h, but when you first press down on the pedals there’s an impressive surge of power, and it offers good support over a wide cadence range. Its size has an impact on the width of the cranks (the Q-factor) as well as the chainstay length of the frame, and it’s not the lightest system on the market at 4kg for the motor. On the other hand, Bosch is the most established player on the market, and its system has proven itself over many years.
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Every bike we tested was a blast to ride. However, they all had very different ride characteristics. All of these could stand to improve in different areas, but the category is not mature enough to get a very capable bike for a reasonable price. We will continue to update this review as new bikes emerge, and electric mountain bikes continue to evolve.
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With most ebikes the choice of motor defines aspects of the frame geometry and to a lesser degree the suspension characteristics of the bike. Not with new Rock Mountain Altitude Powerplay. With its bespoke motor Rocky has been able to design an ebike that reflects the ride quality of a highly evolved 150mm trail bike. With instant power pickup, extended battery life and streamline proportions it’s not just the handling of the Rocky that will get you charged up for riding. It’s the best bike in this test by some margin, but we had an issue with the motor momentarily cutting and raising questions over it’s reliability.
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Hi @Sharonerd , Lifespan is relative to the quality of kit you buy, type of battery, how you're using it and consistent regular maintenance (like checking tire pressure, lube the chain, etc.) What's your goal for the kit? I'm a fan of conversions when you're wanting to upgrade a bike that you really like, that fits you & your lifestyle just right. For instance, one of the EBikes that I ride is a hand built folding bike, the Airnimal, with smaller 24" wheels which better fits my 5'4" height and shorter leg length. This bike has a BionX kit on it, so the final product is lighter than any ebike on the market.
The Ghost is a sleek, quiet and practical bike with everything you need to carry out your daily chores and trips around town. It’s a simple and refined electric city bike – no gears, no shifter. No front suspension either, but there is the 500W motor that will get you to speeds up to 26mph. The design, the build quality and the specs are on par with much more expensive bikes. Features include the rack and fenders, an integrated LED tail light as well as a headlight. Because of the flat top tube frame style that is 28″ off the ground this bike is fits best to riders 5’4″-6’1″ tall.
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Even with cheaper or heavier bikes, once you accept that you are really meant to pedal gently and let the motor do the work, non-speed freaks will get into it. E-bikes are great for commuting and for places that aren't pancake flat. They'll pull you away from the lights quickly, iron out hills and stop you getting sweaty, so you can bin the Lycra and ride in jeans, a suit, or a winter coat.