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.
On a trip to Palo Alto we had the chance to ride Specialized’s pedal-assisted Turbo Vado, and the model is still our favorite ebike on the market. With a 350-watt motor and 604-watt-hour lithium-ion battery, the Turbo Vado is capable of traveling a whopping 80 miles on a single charge, which should be more than enough for any daily commute with plenty of miles left over.
Its quiet motor is perfect for coming up on a kill without scaring animals away. You can travel up to 19 MPH on this bike, which means you’re not breaking a sweat zipping on and off roads (which is great for animals sensitive to human aromas). Not only that, but it can carry up to 300 lbs, which is great for hauling your hunt in without a car or dirt bike. At only 66lbs, the Rambo R750XP is one of the lightest yet hardest performing e-bikes we’ve seen- definitely consider this bike if you plan on carrying lots around with you on your next trip.
The demands for the best eMTB are high. It has to climb efficiently, be comfortable to ride, be very stable and composed, yet, on top of that, be a lot of fun on the descents. Also, its integration, ease of use, and motor performance must set the benchmark. Although all the motors perform at a high level, the Bosch Performance CX is unable to keep up with the competition due to the high internal resistance it generates at over 25 km/h. It’s a pity for the Moustache Samedi Race 11: it’s by far the best Bosch bike we’ve ever ridden, but it’s slowed down by the motor. With a price tag of € 5,999, the Trek Powerfly 9 LT Plus is clearly the cheapest bike in this group test. It climbs very efficiently, but is held back on the downhills by a poor choice of tyres and slow handling – you should consider a tyre upgrade in your budget. The Haibike XDURO Nduro descends with the stability of a freight train, but it has to let the competition overtake it when going back up. With its long 180 mm travel and high weight (24.54 kg), it even feels cumbersome on the downhills.
Due to high total weights of over 20 kg, it doesn’t matter whether the scale stops at 21.44 kg or 22.2 kg for a modern eMTB. In our test, the difference between the lightest and the heaviest bike was just under 4 kg. This is not to be ignored… but a little extra weight in the form of functional, reliable componentry is better than an ebike designed and constructed to be as light as possible, at all costs, but which ends up in the workshop more often than on the trail.
Being value-conscious is something that one must keep in mind when buying an electric bike. Sometimes the most expensive isn’t the best and neither is a cheap one the best value for the money. In order to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth, one must consider many other things such as dependability, convenience and other things that will determine whether the bike is really worth getting.
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.
Despite it's prodigious descending talents the short (426mm) chainstays make tight corners and lifting the front end easy. That also makes flying through flow trails and popping off rocks a staple of the Altitude's arsenal. With uncompromised suspension and geometry, a powerful motor and big battery, and excellent trail manners, the Rocky offers a compellingly unique e-package that performs well in all situations.
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.