There are many places in the U.S. where you can legally and responsibly ride e-MTB's, and take it from us; they are a heck of a lot of fun. Check with local land management agencies to find out where you are allowed to use an electric mountain bike before taking to the trails. One thing we do know, e-MTB's can be used on any trails that are legal for motorized use, so we took advantage of the wealth of OHV trails in the greater Lake Tahoe area for our testing purposes and had more fun doing it than any of us expected.
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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.
Looking for a ride that’ll have you hauling a$# in and out of the woods virtually without making a sound? You want the QuietKat 750W Ranger FatKat Hub Motor Fat Tire bike. It’s got a powerful 750w rear hub motor that can get up to 19MPH unassisted, and even quicker if you help by pedaling. Its mid-drive system is sealed for a quiet ride and to protect the motor from rainy, snowy, or muddy conditions. 

The easy-to-operate throttle makes traveling at an exact speed a cinch, plus disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels offer the control you need to navigate tricky terrain. The seat is adjustable to accommodate various-sized riders. The lithium battery charger completely recharges an empty battery in 6 hours. QuietKat includes a lifetime warranty against defective workmanship for the frame. All other components have a one-year warranty.
The Blix Vika+ is a folding e-bike with a utilitarian execution: At nearly 50 pounds, it’s heavy for its size, and the folding mechanism isn’t as slick as other folding bikes we’ve tested. That said, it does fold into a small package and feels sturdy enough for riding between errands. The geared hub motor is adequately powerful and an included throttle makes it easier to get off the line. A rear rack, front and rear lights, and a kickstand come with the bike—it’s everything you need for zippy urban commuting.
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.
Additionally, it features the Shimano 7-speed shifting system, making it easier to attain a higher speed. It is a reliable bike with two working modes. With this, you can pedal it whenever it runs out of power. The powerful e-bike is able to move at a speed of 32km/h and can move for 22-28 miles on a single charge. The padded and comfortable saddle is easily adjustable for your riding height. You can also adjust the handlebars for a more comfy ride.

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.

The 250W e-bike is very powerful and able to deliver a speed of 25 km/h. With this, you will find it great for riding long distances. Other than this, it also has an 8Ah battery, which guarantees a longer runtime. It features a powerful headlight that makes the bike great for night riding. Lastly, the ergonomic bike is very safe due to the efficient braking system.


The bike has a maximum range of 20 miles before needing to recharge.  Keeping up with speed and battery life is a breeze with the Bafang LCD display that comes standard with this model. A durable aluminum alloy frame helps this bike take a beating and keep on going. The Stalker has an 8-speed transmission and a set of Tekro mechanical disc brakes that will give you full control over the bike. A pair of 20 inch by 4 inch tires will help you climb those steep hills and easily get down those muddy trails. 

In our head to head range test, the Rocky Mountain took the win by traveling 20 miles and 4,297 vertical feet. It is worth mentioning that our tester felt that he worked a little harder while range testing the Rocky Mountain than the other bikes we tested. The Giant wasn't far behind at 19.02 miles and 4,000 vertical feet, and the YT Decoy almost tied that with 19.01 miles and 4,039 vertical feet. The Specialized was nipping at their heels with 18.71 miles and 3,949 feet. The Ghost Hybride SL AMR was the least impressive with a range of just 16.75 miles and 3,559 vertical feet. The outlier in this comparison is the Bulls E-Stream with a 650Wh battery. We were not able to test the Bulls directly against these other competitors, but we did notice that you can ride it significantly farther than any of these other contenders. During one of our test rides, we rode the Bulls 24 miles and 4,500 vertical feet, and the battery still wasn't depleted. More battery storage equals longer rides; it's just that simple.


This single wheeled cart was designed for those who need to carry gear deep into the backcountry.  Great for hauling out game, you will have plenty of room with a basket size of 18.75″ wide x 25.25″ long x 11.25″ tall.  Due to its low profile, it can easily be pulled along narrow pathways.  Priced just right, this cargo trailer will not break the bank. 
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.

Built around a heavy-duty alloy frame, the GSD eschews many of the traits of other cargo bikes: long wheelbases, bigger wheels, and especially, an unwieldy ride. Yet it boasts an extensive capacity, nimble handling—even fully loaded, thanks to a short wheelbase and 20-inch wheels—and enduring range in a package not much bigger than most non-cargo e-bikes. The stout frame holds a 250-watt Bosch motor that gives up to 275 percent of your power back to the pedals and reaches 20 mph. The GSD has room for two battery packs, extending the batteries’ combined range to a claimed 150 miles and making the Tern one of the longest-lasting e-bikes on the market. A laundry list of accessories and a (claimed) 396-pound carrying capacity round out the GSD’s status as an epic day-tripper.

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.

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. Our Editor's Choice Award winner, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp scored the lowest in this rating due to the lack of a handlebar-mounted display and a less user-friendly charging connection.
You can explore the pleasure of mountain biking with the three levels of pedal assistance – High, Medium, and Low – and you can select them from the handlebar controls. The 21-speed Shimano shifters will help you to dominate various trails but it would be better to have 24 gears because it’s hard to keep up with the pedaling at the 15mph maximum speed.
The adjustable front shock offers smooth cushioning and buffers the jerks when cycling on uneven surfaces. However, the rear shock is rigid and hard to move. The Shimano 21-gear shifters will allow you to enjoy great speed with a maximum of 20mph. But, it would be better to have at least 24 gears at that speed, because you will feel almost no resistance when cycling at the max speed in the highest gear.
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.
You can explore the pleasure of mountain biking with the three levels of pedal assistance – High, Medium, and Low – and you can select them from the handlebar controls. The 21-speed Shimano shifters will help you to dominate various trails but it would be better to have 24 gears because it’s hard to keep up with the pedaling at the 15mph maximum speed.
The frame itself incorporates a series of mounts allowing you to easily trick-out the Road E+1 with a rack, fenders, or panniers to more aptly meet your touring requirements. Again, most touring purists will certainly scoff at the mere notion of pedal-assistance, however, individuals looking for more of a guided tour and less of a tour de force will swoon over the Road E+1.
This is a question the designers and engineers of the FOCUS and BULLS bikes of this group test asked themselves. Instead of speccing them with the standard 500 Wh batteries, both have developed a sophisticated alternative. The idea: instead of riding around with unnecessarily large batteries and unnecessary weight on short tours, they integrated a smaller 375 Wh or 378 Wh battery into the bike. If you don’t have enough power for long loops, you can double the range of both bikes with an additional battery for up to a full 750 Wh. While the second battery is mounted in the front triangle of the FOCUS, it disappears sideways in the downtube of the BULLS. In practice, you’ll need the second battery relatively often with both bikes, and in either case, you should consider the additional € 499 investment in a second battery pack when you buy the bike.
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.
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