Our twelve-person test team not only tested the most exciting eMTBs of the 2018 season in the cold German winter, but also took them to the south of France for two weeks (we will spare you the mandatory muddy photos at this point). We climbed to the top of peaks, rummaged through deep mud, rode over countless roots and ruts on the way up and even more on the way back down, laughed, cursed, lived through many unforgettable moments, and took the bikes – and sometimes ourselves – to the limit.
While my first reaction to the surge in fat tire bikes made for hunting was one of curiosity, that has turned to excitement for trying out this new mode of transportation. Will this be another of those trends that ends up as a bit of hunting history, or will they find a niche that offers long-lasting usefulness? Speaking as a DIY bowhunter, let’s hope it’s the latter.
Perhaps one of the most important factor to consider in a mountain bike is its ability to perform and deliver. The performance that one gets is dependent on the motor the bike comes with. How a motor transfers power to the drivetrain is crucial to the performance and will provide noticeable difference especially when scaling up a mountain or a steep road.
Electric bikes are here in a big way. Liberated from some of the normal constraints of standard bike design like weight and gearing, e-bike design has exploded; if you can imagine it, someone has built it. From cargo bikes to city bikes, messenger bikes to mountain bikes, road bikes, folding bikes, and even beach cruisers, there is something for everyone. The beauty of e-bikes is that they make the joy of cycling accessible to so many people in so many ways. See at-a-glance reviews below of five of our top-rated e-bikes, or scroll deeper for full reviews of these and other high-ranking options, plus more buying info.
They’re much more undetectable than dirt bikes and ATV’s: Animals work off of their senses, and as a hunter, you already know that loud noises will scare off the game, and lots of movement will make game and fish that much harder to catch. Not only that, but the smell of gas and even your sweat can send prey running. An electric motor doesn’t rev as loud or make anywhere near the amount of vibration as gas engines do. You and your bike won’t produce a bunch of unwanted odor when you ride, so you’re looking at a better chance of getting your kill faster and more efficiently with an e-bike.
With so many new electric bicycles on the market, choosing the best while staying on budget can be difficult. Designed for commuting and off-road biking, the ANCHEER Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike is easily one of the most affordable electric bikes out there. In this review, let’s go through its important features and the reasons you might want or might not want to use it.
Cannondale has electrified a significant chunk of its bicycle lineup, and now it's determined to conquer the mountain biking world in earnest. The company has unveiled a redesigned Moterra e-bike for the harsher climbs and a brand new Habit NEO (below) that's designed for "fast and flowy" rides -- say, a trip through a winding forest instead of an arduous hill climb. Both bikes aim to make electric riding easier than before, including through raw power.
Merida has done an amazing job with the EOne-Sixty 900E. It has a fun, playfully ride quality that few ebikes can match, and the price is simply unbeatable. It’s also the only sub 50lb bike in this test, and that’s without a single strand of carbon. It could be even better though. With a two degree slacker head angle and a little more power from the Shimano motor the EOne-Sixty would be able to keep up on the climbs, only to drop the competition on every descent. The biggest issue though, is actually getting hold of one.
The newest electric mountain bike from Ancheer provides the joy of mountain biking with some advanced features that make it more enjoyable and let the riders to have the control of their rides. At less than $800 price and with mid-range features, it may not compete with the XF800 or BAFAG models, but it provides good value for the money, nonetheless.
The original Power Plus model was one of the most popular in its class, introducing the joy and practicalities of e-bikes to a huge audience around the world. The CX1 builds on that success, adding a NEW more powerful brushless motor, a NEW upgraded battery, a 21-speed gear system, and improved reliability. The steel frame, strong brakes, suspension and quick-shift gears offer all the qualities of a premium mountain bike with the added feature of three pedal assist modes.
I haven't quite figured the brakes out yet. The back brake has a lot of rubbing on one brake pad (outboard). I've gone through YouTube and have done everything short of taking the brake pads out and adjusting the springs. Not sure what I'm going to do about it yet. Disk brakes work great though. I do have some annoying squealing but it is probably on me for not having it adjusted right.
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.
Each of these models comes with a highly capable Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor with torque sensor. If you are looking for an eBike that can take you deep into nature where the major game are hiding, the Storm is for you! With a 40 mile range, you will be able to reach areas you never thought possible! The bike can also carry a ton of gear and has a load capacity of up to 300 pounds.
With mountain bikes already sporting hefty price tags, the cost of adding an electric pedal-assist motor might be enough to send the value-conscious rider's head spinning. In many cases, you get what you pay for and the most expensive models are the highest performing. This isn't always the case, however, and bikes like our Best Buy Award winner, the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro cost less and perform nearly as well as the more expensive competition.
The Mule 1000 & Storm 1000 both come in 17" and 19" frame size options so you should be able to find the right sixe for you both. The 17" frame is best suited for heights ranging from 5’2" to 5’8" and the 19" frame for 5’8" and above. BackCountry eBikes are the makers or both models you like and they are hunters based out in Ogden Utah and they don’t make average bikes, they focus on elite hunting bikes that will get the job done. They are designed to take a beating a perform well doing so. Both models have that coveted ULTRA mid drive motor so climbing hills and tackling rough terrain offroad will be a joy to experience.
The Surly Big Easy is the Cadillac of the bike lane. The company’s new longtail e-cargo bike exudes a “they don’t make ’em like this anymore” stature, thanks to a beefed-up chromoly steel frame rolling on tough 26x2.5-inch tires. And because it’s a class 1 e-bike, you can actually ride it in the bike lane, too. The 7-foot-long, 67-pound bike won’t play well with your third-floor walk-up, so it’s best to think of it as a car supplement or replacement—that’s what Surly intended, anyway, as evidenced by the $5,000 price tag. However, if you’re ready to commit to the cargo bike life, you’ll struggle to find a stronger platform for achieving bike commuter nirvana.
If you have a lot of hunting gear or you need an easy way to bring that trophy home, then the FatKat cargo trailer will help you get the job done. This trailer has a 14”x 24” carrying space which can hold a lot of items. It quickly attaches to the rear axle and has a single wheel design that adds stability and maneuverability. Purposely built to be no wider than the eBike itself so this single wheeled trailer with rear suspension and quick attachment/release only adds to the hunt.
Before we get into the review, we would like to tell you about our new print edition. Consisting of around 240 (!) pages, the 2019 E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Editon offers a ton of inspiration, buyers advice, and eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the hottest bikes of the year. Our premium magazine is aimed at experienced eMTBers and beginners alike. Click here for more information (new window) or order it directly in our shop or on Amazon.de!
The bikes we tested all use a different e-bike motor system, and the controls, the primary user interface, are an important element we rated but didn't weight as heavily as some of the others. Each motor system and its associated controls are slightly different. Our primary interest is in how user-friendly is it to interact with the system, how intuitive and ergonomic are the shifters, how good and easy to read is the display, and how easy is it to charge the battery? Each drive system also has a smartphone app that is intended to allow the user to fine-tune the motor's support settings, create custom settings, monitor battery charge and health, and a whole lot more. We don't feel the apps are necessary for the use of any of these e-MTB's, but those with an affinity for technology or personalizing your ride may be inclined to use them.
The Remote CTRL is a playful ride that’s great for varied trails with rock gardens and flow sections, and that excels on fast trails with steep, punchy climbs and tight, twisty descents. It isn’t just for riders who may need a little assistance; the E-MTB mode creates an organic riding experience that allows you to take the skills you already have and ride faster and harder. It has a 150mm RockShox Yari fork and a 132mm RockShox Monarch Plus R shock with good mid-stroke support and a progressive finish to help prevent bottoming out on big hits. The 27.5x2.8-inch Maxxis Recon tires offer plenty of traction and also help to absorb smaller hits. The Remote CTRL's excellent Bosch motor accelerates smoothly to be more manageable when pedaling through rocky sections and has more oomph at low cadence than other motors, so you can more easily ride out of tough situations if you get bogged down.
I received my ALL TERRAIN 750 right before my month long Colorado archery deer and elk hunt. I was able to quietly get in to places in 15 minutes that used to take me over an hour to hike in! If you are a serious hunter that wants to get away from the crowds to hunt then you NEED one of these bikes. I did a ton of research and comparing and M2S hands down has the best bike / customer service for the price, period!