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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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.
The Bulls motor is claimed to have 90Nm of torque, but it was so smooth and quiet that it didn't feel outrageously powerful. The assistance came on smooth and strong thanks to the belt driven system. The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 uses a drive system that claims to have up to 108Nm of torque. While their system felt quite powerful, it didn't feel stronger than the Bulls, and we noticed that it seemed to modulate its output in a way that the others didn't. The Rocky Mountain makes you work for it a little more than the rest. The Trek, Giant, and the Specialized motor systems felt slightly less powerful, still offering plenty of pedal-assist support mind you, but that also resulted in efficient motors and longer distance ranges than the models with more brute power.

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With the multi-colors now available, every user will definitely find their favorite picks. It has fat tires, which makes it ideal for riding on all kind of terrains. It has been built from durable frames, which makes it suitable for supporting up to 260 lbs. Other than this, the bike moves at a speed of 23 MPH and with the Shimano 7-gears shifting system, you will find it great for your cycling needs. The comfortable bike has an adjustable saddle that can be adjusted to suit your height.

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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.

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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.

Besides the fact that Ghost is indeed a very good bike, there is one huge reason that we decided to add it to this list and that is customer support. Guys at Ride1Up are awesome and really passionate about their brand and what they are doing, so you can be sure that they will be there for you to provide all the assistance you need with your Ride1Up bike, and answer all the questions you have. And the orders ship almost overnight, which means there is no months of waiting for your bike to arrive, as it’s often the case with some other manufacturers. If you are not looking just for the cheapest option, but you want real value for your money this is THE bike to buy for less than $1000. And we also recommend that you take a look at other bikes from Ride1Up lineup as well.

Yes, a new fold-up has usurped the electric Brompton. Although we have just taken delivery of the Brompton for a proper, long-term test, so maybe this situation will change again… However, for now the Gocycle GX is our top recommendation for anyone who wants an e-bike. That's because the Gocycle is more fun to ride and feels more sturdy. The flip side of that is that it doesn't fold up anywhere near a neatly as the Brompton but, crucially, it folds up enough, and sufficiently quickly, to legally take it on public transport. Although people may tut at you.


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.

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Over several months, our team of four professional mountain bike testers rode each of the electric mountain bikes in our test selection on a variety of trails and terrain in a range of weather conditions. We had each tester ride each of the bikes numerous times, often riding the different models back to back for the sake of comparison. We didn't go easy on them. Instead, we treated them all as if they were our own, putting them all through the wringer to identify their strengths and weaknesses. We scrutinized every aspect of each e-bike's performance and scored them all on several rating metrics, e-bike controls, downhill performance, uphill performance, power output, and distance range. Each of these metrics is described in greater detail below. It is important to note that during our testing, our impressions of these e-bikes changed dramatically. Our first impressions didn't exactly stick. It was essential for us to test the different models head-to-head and make direct comparisons to flush out the differences.

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The Ghost SL AMR scored relatively well in this metric, with a small digital display mounted by the stem. Both the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay and the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro fell short of the bar set by the competition with their all-in-one shifter/display units. The Giant outperforms the Rocky Mountain here, but both attempts at LED displays integrated into the control unit are more challenging to read than digital displays.

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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.

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Besides the fact that Ghost is indeed a very good bike, there is one huge reason that we decided to add it to this list and that is customer support. Guys at Ride1Up are awesome and really passionate about their brand and what they are doing, so you can be sure that they will be there for you to provide all the assistance you need with your Ride1Up bike, and answer all the questions you have. And the orders ship almost overnight, which means there is no months of waiting for your bike to arrive, as it’s often the case with some other manufacturers. If you are not looking just for the cheapest option, but you want real value for your money this is THE bike to buy for less than $1000. And we also recommend that you take a look at other bikes from Ride1Up lineup as well.

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