To build a lightweight electric bike is a mission full of compromises. Forget ride comfort, balloon tires, comfy seat, suspension and other niceties. Forget top speed and long range, which would require a large battery and heavy motor. Forget doing it on the cheap, because lightweight bicycle pieces are expensive. If you really want a lightweight electric bike you are going to have to pay for it with cash and ride quality…and might as well forget high performance…the only thing exciting about these bikes is their light weight…however most of these also give you stealthiness because they look like normal bikes. Because of the onset of affordable LiPo batteries and new ebike motor technologies, lightweight ebikes have become a build-able and sell-able possibility. As LiPo batteries become lighter, more powerful, and more affordable we can only expect this list to improve. We only considered complete functioning electric bikes for this list…no tiny clown folding bikes etc. 

Certainly very excited about this e-MTB. Bulls has decided to make use of the super powerful Shimano Steps E8000 motor. With a 500 wH battery and a 250 watt motor, this bike will assist you up incredibly steep hills but not burn too much of the battery. Bulls also sets this bike apart by setting it up with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting and a Deore XT drivetrain for precise and quick shifting. The other specs are about what you’d expect from a ride in this price range. Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes, RockShox suspension with 150mm of travel, and Rocket Ron tires on tubeless ready rims let you take on any mountain trails.
The major reason I want a lightweight e-bike is so that I can largely ride it as a regular bike and only occasionally use the assist and so that I won’t notice quite so much when the battery runs out of juice going up a hill. Other reasons I want a lightweight e-bike: so that I can easily lift it onto the bus bike rack; so that I can hang the front tire on the bike hooks in our light rail trains; so that I can put it on a car rack; so that I can occasionally carry it up stairs.

There's a lot to like about the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro starting with its reasonable price. Electric mountain bikes are expensive, and the Trance E+ 2 comes in under $5K with a nice component specification. The build is one reason why this bike performs so well on the trail, with a beefy fork, plush suspension, meaty tires, and powerful brakes that can handle the heavy weight of this rig. It's also got a nice modern geometry that helps it perform very well on the descents while still maintaining reasonable climbing abilities. It has a 504Wh battery and proved to be one of the most efficient in using that power in our distance range testing. There's no lack of power on tap when you need it, and it delivers it smoothly with little motor noise. Giant finishes it all off with nice integration of the battery and motor into the frame design for a super clean look.

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Not many manufacturers are concerned with building lightweight ebikes because of the necessary compromises (high cost and low performance). For most manufacturers its easier to exaggerate how light an electric bike is (one common trick is specify weight without ebike battery). For example the ridiculous $88k Blacktrail Bt-01 claims to be 40 pounds (yeah right!). What we learn from this list is to build a lightweight electric bike usually takes a thin road bike, a skimpy battery pack, and  a puny motor. The only thing big about these bikes is their price-tag, because they use lightweight (and expensive)  components. As it turns out it is very easy to build a lightweight bike yourself if you are willing to spend the money, and if you use a small geared hub motor. Look to the home builds on this list for inspiration if you want to build one yourself. Most of these bikes have the capacity to carry larger battery packs if the owner so chooses. They are shown here in their most lightweight configurations. 3 of these bikes are Australian (Super Commuter, Commuter Booster, Solar Fixie) 8 are road bikes 2 are mountain bikes 3 are made of carbon (the Montanara Volta, the Super Commuter, and the BH eMotion) 4 are home builds. Someday we hope to make a top 10 list entirely of production electric bikes. But at the moment there are not 10 lightweight production ebikes on the market worthy of this list. 3 of these bikes are mid-drives (through the gears). Mid-drives allow a bike to use much smaller (and lighter) motors and still be capable of decent hill climbing. BH eMotion, Vivax, and Montonara Volta 2 were purpose built to be ebikes (Specialized Turbo, BH Motion Carbon), the others are conversion bikes. 1 of these bikes does not have gears (the Solar Fixie Bike) All of these bikes except for one (Cannondale) have LiPo packs.
Jeremy Benson eats, sleeps, and breathes mountain bikes. This native New Englander started mountain biking in 1992. He got more serious in college and started racing bikes in 1999. After moving to Tahoe, Jeremy continued his obsession with riding. He continues to race mountain bikes and has racked up some impressive results in the expert class at the Downieville Classic and the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder. Jeremy authored Mountain Bike Tahoe which was published in 2017. Jeremy's riding statistics are eye-popping, to say the least. He rode over 5,000 miles in 2018 climbing nearly 600,000 feet. Oh yeah, he was also a sponsored skier for well over a decade. Jeremy has a very critical eye and is also good at breaking things. These are wonderful traits for bike testers.
Weight isn’t anything like a critical as one would assume. Weight distribution however is a different matter and this is where geometry, specifically the ratio of the front centre measurement to the chain stay length really comes into play. Battery placement is important too, and smaller batteries give an edge in the handling stakes while robbing the bike of range.
Last year, the Trek Powerfly 9 LT was one of the only ebikes with geometry and handling that came close to a modern enduro bike. For 2018, Trek has built on that winning formula with new frame. It’s lowered the battery in the downtube, while adding a stiffer Fox 36 fork, more powerful SRAM RE brakes and a stronger Bontrager wheelset. All welcome improvements to a really capable bike. The price has also crept up to reflect the changes. The biggest transformation however, is that Rocky Mountain has raised the ebike bar to a new high with the Altitude Powerplay.

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Last year, the Trek Powerfly 9 LT was one of the only ebikes with geometry and handling that came close to a modern enduro bike. For 2018, Trek has built on that winning formula with new frame. It’s lowered the battery in the downtube, while adding a stiffer Fox 36 fork, more powerful SRAM RE brakes and a stronger Bontrager wheelset. All welcome improvements to a really capable bike. The price has also crept up to reflect the changes. The biggest transformation however, is that Rocky Mountain has raised the ebike bar to a new high with the Altitude Powerplay.

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For Canyon’s first e-mtb the Spectal:ON 8.0 hasn’t simply hit the trail running, it’s power up it in Boost mode. The geometry, sizing and handling are all on point, and details like the adjustable geometry, odd wheel sizes, tyre specific rim widths and short cranks make Canyon a market leader rather than a brand that’s simply playing catch up. With a Fox 36 Fit4 fork the Spectral:ON 8.0 would probably have won the test, the more basic Grip damper never having the measure of Canyon’s superb rear suspension.

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Jan, I disagree with your carry as a prime reason/not be looking at e bikes. My primary reason for an e assist is age and medical problems. Carting a heavy bike around, trying to lift it onto a vehicle would not work, and riding from home is not a possibility. I know there are light-weight e bikes out there. Price, within reason, is not a big concern. Need a 2018 update. E bikes are common in Europe, will eventually be more mainstream in the US.

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There is no crossbar or crazy geometry to speak of, simply a high modulus carbon front frame that is connected to a trailing arm. Even the wheels are cutting edge, with the special patented quick-detach "Pitstopwheels" fastening to a central hub like a sports car. On top of this, there's a futuristic Knightrider-esque "cockpit", which consists of numerous coloured LEDs that give slightly abstract readouts on battery range, gear selection and speed. Again, lighting is built in, drawing power from the main battery.

The bike has three speed modes: low, medium and high. The top speed is about 18 miles with motor only and 25 mph with pedaling. The range you can get out of the motor is about 30 miles, but since you can pedal it just like the traditional bike after the battery dies, there is really no limit to how far you can go.  21-speed gear shift system allows you to be in full control of your ride, and front and rear disc brakes protect your safety. The Ancheer electric mountain bike is also equipped with LED headlight and horn.

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powered by powerful motors. This implies that you are able to attain the best speed. The bikes also come with powerful and long-lasting lithium-ion batteries to assure of longer runtime. Most of them use the Shimano 7-speed and 6-speed, making it elementary to shift the speeds easily. These are the best electric mountain bikes that will suit your budget and serve you longer.
There is no crossbar or crazy geometry to speak of, simply a high modulus carbon front frame that is connected to a trailing arm. Even the wheels are cutting edge, with the special patented quick-detach "Pitstopwheels" fastening to a central hub like a sports car. On top of this, there's a futuristic Knightrider-esque "cockpit", which consists of numerous coloured LEDs that give slightly abstract readouts on battery range, gear selection and speed. Again, lighting is built in, drawing power from the main battery.
Awesome ebike for the price...one issue that should be addressed is that the front wheel on the fork is facing backwards as shown on the the picture and on the video...the fork needs to be turned around so the disk break on the bike should be on the left side so as you pedal and make turns your foot does not hit the tire...for shipping purposes it was turned around so to fit in the shipping box...any reputable bike shop will correct this and also make minor tuneup and adjustments as needed as this is new out of the box and isn't tuned up like new bikes purchased at bike store...it is not safe riding the bike with the front wheel fork backwards...I luv this bike...safe rideing to you...
324-WH Panasonic LiPo. The bargain ebike of this bunch. This lightweight electric bike will cost you $1,650, including shipping from Australia. This ebike builder bought 50 of these fixie bikes from China, and does the motor conversions himself. Why is it so light? For one it is a fixie bike which means no gears and limited braking in order to make it simpler and lighter. Visit the Solar Bike Website
Nakto City Electric Bike is designed for urban commuting, it is fast, comfortable and convenient. This is a perfect utility bike; you can use it to run errands, go to the grocery store, go to work, or just a leisure ride. It is equipped with all the features you would want for riding around town, such as LED headlight, a rear cargo rack, a cargo basket and a kickstand.
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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The wheels are outfitted with sturdy stainless steel spokes that offer equal parts strength and durability. You can expect to ride up to 27 miles in favorable conditions, including no wind and flat terrain, before needing a recharge. Comes with seven-speed Shimano gears along with front and rear mud guards, a water bottle holder, and a bell and reflectors.

The 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo Comp returns to our electric mountain bike test and claims our Editor's Choice Award for the second year in a row. The new model has several notable changes over the previous version we tested including a new frame design, 29-inch wheels, 150mm of front and rear wheel travel, a new motor, and an updated battery charge and power output display. All these new changes have only helped to solidify the Turbo Levo Comp's position at the top of the podium. It still has the same well-rounded performance on the trail that makes it "feel the most like a mountain bike." It is more playful and agile than the competition, yet it still manages to charge the fall-line just as hard. Like previous Turbo Levo models, Specialized has very stealthily integrated the battery and motor into the frame giving it a low center of gravity and a very non-e-bike look. The new Specialized 2.1 motor is very quiet, plus it weighs less and has reduced the overall weight of the bike by more than 2 lbs.

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XB-300-SLA X-Treme Electric Mountain Bicycle is a great bike for the novice as it is easy to ride with simple steps. It is an affordable bike with high-quality features that work on a motor of 300 watts and offers a speed up to 20 MP on a single charge. It takes up to 4 hours to fully recharge the battery for the next use. The comfortable padded seat, 18-inch steel frame, 7-speed tourney gear, 24V lead acid battery, power assist system, and steel front forks are a few features that make it popular.

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X-Treme Scooters Mountain Bike has a 300-watt motor that is designed for urban areas. It can easily climb the hills and has a soft and comfortable seat for long travel. It is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that can travel 25 miles in a charge. You can ride the bike using a motor as well as paddles. The features of this bike include front and rear brakes, 7 speed Shimano tourney gear shifter system, RST Capa T7 hydraulic front forks, adjustable seat, tool kit, headlight, battery indicator, cargo rack, and lightweight aluminum alloy frame.
The bike has three speed modes: low, medium and high. The top speed is about 18 miles with motor only and 25 mph with pedaling. The range you can get out of the motor is about 30 miles, but since you can pedal it just like the traditional bike after the battery dies, there is really no limit to how far you can go.  21-speed gear shift system allows you to be in full control of your ride, and front and rear disc brakes protect your safety. The Ancheer electric mountain bike is also equipped with LED headlight and horn.
Jan, I disagree with your carry as a prime reason/not be looking at e bikes. My primary reason for an e assist is age and medical problems. Carting a heavy bike around, trying to lift it onto a vehicle would not work, and riding from home is not a possibility. I know there are light-weight e bikes out there. Price, within reason, is not a big concern. Need a 2018 update. E bikes are common in Europe, will eventually be more mainstream in the US.

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The 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo Comp returns to our electric mountain bike test and claims our Editor's Choice Award for the second year in a row. The new model has several notable changes over the previous version we tested including a new frame design, 29-inch wheels, 150mm of front and rear wheel travel, a new motor, and an updated battery charge and power output display. All these new changes have only helped to solidify the Turbo Levo Comp's position at the top of the podium. It still has the same well-rounded performance on the trail that makes it "feel the most like a mountain bike." It is more playful and agile than the competition, yet it still manages to charge the fall-line just as hard. Like previous Turbo Levo models, Specialized has very stealthily integrated the battery and motor into the frame giving it a low center of gravity and a very non-e-bike look. The new Specialized 2.1 motor is very quiet, plus it weighs less and has reduced the overall weight of the bike by more than 2 lbs.
I rubbed my eyes in astonishment as an elderly man shot up a steep path at high speed in the forests of Kusnachtertobels, just east of Lake Zurichsee. A faint high-frequency hum revealed that he was accelerating with more than just his own muscles. Once he came to a stop, he smiled mischievously at the faces of stunned bystanders. The man on this carbon-fiber E-bike is Jean-Pierre Schiltknecht, a 74 year-old avid mountain cyclist. The wily senior assured me he has been active with mountain cycling “Since the inception of the sport!”

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The NAKTO Electric Mountain Bike is one powerful bike that delivers great speed. It has the Shimano 6-speed system to allow for easy shifting of the breaks. Secondly, the bike also features the powerful 350W high-speed motor, which ensures that it delivers top-notch speed. You can always adjust the speed from 20-24 MPH. The elegant and body friendly design of the bike makes it suitable for all users. It is a more refined and humanized bike recommended by both experts and riders.

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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