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.
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.
Canyon’s Spectral:ON 8.0 is an attractive platform that weighs in at just under 50 pounds. It was built with durability in mind, thanks to a strengthened aluminum 6061 frame, RockShox’ lauded front and rear suspension, and a top-of-the-line SRAM X01 Eagle groupset, helping it to face a variety of different terrains with ease. At the cycle’s core, you’ll find a powerful Shimano Steps E8000 motor, giving the 8.0 all the gumption it needs to navigate the steepest, harshest terrain known to man. To round things out, a brand new set of DT Swiss H 1700 wheels provide the quintessential weight to capability ratio, offering a perfect middle-ground for riders who are looking to blast up and down the trail while maintaining a perfect true. If you’re interested in a bike that combines the best of the best when it comes to modern trail geometries and high-performance groupsets, the Canyon Spectral:ON 8.0 is a definite contender.
Let’s face it, at this price you likely won’t get a bike that hides its battery with any sort of elegance. Except for the Blix Vika+ folding e-bike on this list that tucks its battery behind the seat tube and the Propella that passes its battery off as a water bottle, most are stuck to the top of the down tube. Don’t expect to ride across the state on these, either. The highest range in this list is 50 miles, but most average about 30 to 35. Check the bike’s battery range before you buy to make sure it fits your daily needs.
The 150mm (fork) and 140mm (shock) suspension allows you to hit double-track ruts without veering from your line. The motor is powerful and torquey, meaning you can stay in the lower two assist levels (of the five available) to save battery and still get enough kick to ascend just slightly faster than you could on a regular bike. The highest setting has serious oomph, with a little too much power to use on tight or technical trails. It’s better for fire road climbs or cruising on pavement to the trail head or back home after a ride. The Yamaha motor with 80 Nm of peak torque has generous kick to get over small rises or tough spots on the trail. And the boost can hit quickly; Liv says you get full boost (based on your power setting) in just 190 milliseconds and that that quick response time was noticeable, but not welcome in every situation, by our testers. The Liv feels lighter than other e-mountain bikes, so it’s a great option for women looking for a balance between power and maneuverability.

Let’s face it, at this price you likely won’t get a bike that hides its battery with any sort of elegance. Except for the Blix Vika+ folding e-bike on this list that tucks its battery behind the seat tube and the Propella that passes its battery off as a water bottle, most are stuck to the top of the down tube. Don’t expect to ride across the state on these, either. The highest range in this list is 50 miles, but most average about 30 to 35. Check the bike’s battery range before you buy to make sure it fits your daily needs.
This bike comes in black, white or tan and is the only compact folding hunting eBike of the list.  It’s lightweight and compact folding size makes extremely easy to take with you, stick it in the boot of the car and pull it out when you’re ready to enter woods to reach your blind or stand.  It has 20” wheels compared to the standard 26” that the other full size eBikes use.
Amazing bike, quick. On the flat average 21mph full power, after 3-4 miles average 18mph. A lot of hills in SoCal so this 1/3 hp motor does it’s job well with pedal assist on very steep grades. With electric only mode and heavy, steep, long hills this bike does its job pushing through a 16 mile commute with some energy to spare with a 190lb load of me and my gear. This bike could do much more with flat and pedal assist modes maybe twice as far. Recommend you use smaller tires 1.75 vs the standard 1.95 to achieve my results. Continental contact travels work great!
Basically, there is no reason to ride an eMTB with less than 130 mm of travel. With classic bikes, more travel usually means both less efficiency and poorer climbing characteristics, but this is not true with eMTBs – at least not up to a certain point. The best example is the Specialized Turbo Levo, which with its 135 mm of travel at the rear handles much better than most of the other, longer travel bikes in the group test. Also, eMTBs with suspension travel of 180 mm or more are often noticeably less efficient, as clearly exemplified in this test by the Haibike XDURO Nduro. It climbs a lot slower than other bikes using the same motor and the same level of assistance, an experience you will find with almost all other long-travel bikes from other manufacturers. The exception is the BULLS E-CORE EVO EN Di2: in direct comparison, it climbs a lot more efficiently, even though it also offers 180 mm of travel. The ideal compromise between uphill and downhill performance usually lies somewhere between 130 and 160 mm of travel.
When it comes to the distance it can cover at a single charge, it really depends. For instance, if you live 13 miles from work and ride on a smooth, flat pavement, the bike has enough power to get you home. The battery level does decrease when the motor is under increased stress—like when you’re riding up a hilly terrain—but it quickly levels itself when you go back riding on a flat road surface.
Electric bicycles offer the same great benefits as traditional bicycles and remove many of the roadblocks and challenges that people face with traditional pedal-powered bikes. With help of an electric motor you can get where you need to be faster, climb hills effortlessly and significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Also e-bikes don’t require registration, license plates, or insurance. So how come the electric bikes are have not taken over the world by now? The real problem—even now that e-bikes have been available for years—is cost.
As with anything, there is still room for improvement. There is no handlebar mounted digital display, and the only way to tell your speed is to mount a phone or bike computer to the bars. Specialized has changed the location of their battery charge and output mode display, however, which is now conveniently located on the top tube where you can see it while riding. The new motor is an improvement over the previous, but it still lags a little in engagement compared to the competition and the climbing performance is hampered by the drive unit's slightly more abrupt cutoff. Overall though, the Specialized still proved to be the test team's favorite for its versatility and well-rounded performance. We loved it, and we think you will too.
With its steep seat tube angle and powerful motor, the Rotwild E+ Ultra masters even the steepest climbs. Its high centre of gravity, however, negatively effects downhill handling. The GIANT FULL E+ 0 is a very solid eMTB where what you see is what you get, although the rather slack seat tube and bulbous-belly isn’t exactly pretty. Not so with the FOCUS SAM²: With its clean silhouette it is a bike for design lovers. But only if you get by with the small integrated battery. As soon as you mount an additional battery, not only the appearance suffers, but also the handling. The BMC Trailfox AMP has minor weaknesses in the componentry, finish and downhill handling – at a price of € 12,000 we expected considerably more. The Thömus Lightrider E1 fares better, it’s no bargain either, but the handling is outstanding. It’s a pity that the bike isn’t available outside of Switzerland. Another exotic specimen is the FANTIC XF1 Integra Enduro 160. The bike from the Italian motorcycle brand can’t deny its roots, tremendously composed and capable on the descents, though it cannot keep up with the competition when going back up – the 180 mm version of the Fantic is significantly better overall.

After you decide which style of e-bike you want, consider the class. In the U.S., there are three classes defined by the type of assist and how fast the motor will propel you. Most electric bikes sold are class 1 or 3. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you’re pedaling, up to 20 mph. Class 3, also known as “speed pedelec,” can also have up to a 750w motor, but it can assist you up to 28 mph. Both are allowed in most states and cities without requiring a license. Class 2 models have throttles that don’t require the rider to pedal in order to get a boost. They’re allowed on most streets, bike lanes, and paths, but are less popular than the other classes and not covered much here (because not only do we still love to pedal, we also prefer the greater distances that pedal-assist bikes can cover). What are the best electric mountain bikes?
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