Electric mountain bikes are here, growing in popularity, and despite some access concerns—and perhaps because of them—continue to get better, more enjoyable to ride. Their small motors help you ride faster, farther, and can making challenging climbs less daunting. We tested 10 of the most exciting new models to help you find the right one for you. Read quick reviews of top five options below, or scroll deeper for helpful buying advice and longer reviews of every option.
Our team of experienced testers rode them for weeks on our local trails—everything from flow trails, to technical singletrack, to our enduro courses. We self-shuttled DH runs and hit the bike path. To understand the differences between them, we rode them back to back on similar trails. We tested them against standard bikes on the same trails in the same conditions. And to evaluate their range, we charged them all and ran them on full power until their batteries flickered and died.
The Pivot Shuttle breaks the e-mountain bike mold. It’s Shimano Di2-equipped and features a carbon fiber frame with 140mm of rear travel, a 150mm fork, and a 150mm dropper post. A Shimano STePS e8000 drive unit, paired with a 500Wh battery, provides 20 mph of pedal assist, so you can skip the lift line when you hit the bike park and zip right to the good stuff. The 27.5-inch wheels are nimble and eat up nearly anything in their path, and the massive 2.8-inch tires have huge knobs that grip the trail like Velcro.
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.
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 centered 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. The YT Decoy CF Pro has plenty of power, but it seems clear that this bike was designed for the descents. The Decoy still climbs relatively well, but testers found the low bottom bracket height made it more prone to pedal strikes than other competitors. 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.
The electric mountain bikes are excellent bikes that deliver great speed and longer rides. This is due to the powerful battery that will assure you of longer runtime. The bikes also use the Shimano speeds, which allow you to easily shift the speeds. In addition to this, the electric mountain bike is also very safe due to the perfect braking system. This makes them safe for all riders. With the LED headlights, you will find them appropriate for night rides.
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.
The motor is powerful enough to allow you to hit up to 35kmh on a 10.4ah battery that stays alive for 50km. With the fat Kenda tires and suspension fork, the bike does not need any pedal assistance to smoothly roll on even surfaces. The PAS provides five levels of assistance and even the first level is quite powerful. The fifth level will just blow you away with speed and torque and there is no way that you can pedal fast enough to meet any resistance.
Electric mountain bikes have gained a lot of attention for their ability to help riders go higher, further, and faster on the trail. Several impressive new eMTB models have hit the market in recent years, making it easier than ever to head off-road. Our favorite is the Haibike SDURO HardNine, which comes equipped with a 350-watt Bosch Performance CX drive and a 500 watt-hour battery. This gives it a range of up to 70 miles, along with a top speed of 20 mph, which is plenty fast on singletrack.
As electric bike options continue to expand, brands are integrating the batteries more seamlessly. That makes them look sleeker (and more like a real bike). Batteries are expensive, so make sure there’s a good way to lock the battery to your bike if you’ll be keeping it outside. Overall weight is important. Some battery and motors can add 15 pounds or more to the bike. With assist, you won’t feel that much when you’re riding, but you will if you have to carry your bike up stairs or lift it onto a bike rack.
The least-expensive bike in this roundup and, at 48.6 pounds, our size large Haro Shift Plus i/O 5 is the second-lightest in this group as well. Only the $8,250 Specialized was lighter. The Shift Plus i/O 5 was nimble enough to traverse the most technical trails we could find, and it was much easier to manage on rocky climbs than heavier, longer-travel e-MTBs. The Shimano Steps motor has loads of torque. However, in Trail mode, the bike still lurches forward as soon as you get on the pedals, so you've got to point it where you're willing to go before clipping in. Haro has done well to keep the price down, but we'd pay a slight premium if the bike were to come with a dropper post, which makes it a little less scary to sling a nearly 50-pound bike down a mountain.
With a 500w motor powering this bike, you’ll be able to ride for up to 30 miles on the throttle alone (50 miles if you pedal). And while it may not pack a huge punch when it comes to speed, the torque on this motor can take hills, inclines, and rough terrain with ease. So when you’re tired of walking back and forth from the river but don’t need to zip back to camp in a flash, take a ride on the CIVI BIKES 500W Predator Electric Mountain Bike and start loving your trips even more.
I bought this bike with intended use on my hunting farms. I’ve ridden it now off road several times, and to say I’m blown away, is an understatement. This bike simply blew me away on all fronts. The motor is super strong and pulls me around great. I’m 6’2 210 so I’m not a small guy either. Like others have said, if this thing doesn’t make you smile the first time you ride it, you’re just not a happy person!!!!
On the road, it takes only a few turns of the pedals to activate the Vado’s motor and get it up to speed. In Turbo mode — the bike’s highest level of pedal-assist — the Vado reaches speeds of up to 28 miles per hour, after which the electric drive system automatically shuts off to conserve power (and abide by local law). A built-in LED readout on the handlebars allows riders to monitor battery life, check current speed, and track calories burned while also being able to glance at distance traveled. The Turbo Vado Mission Control app (iOS/Android) also connects to the bike via Bluetooth and allows riders to further tune their ride and adjust the bike’s settings.
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.
E-enduro bikes aren’t as different to regular bikes as one might imagine. All of the fundamentals are the same and by nailing the geometry and sizing Vitus has produced an amazing e-bike with the E-Sommet VR.Sure there are a couple of little things we’d probably change, like the STEPS Di2 mode shifter and rear tyre, but that’s about it. And given how much cheaper the Vitus is compared to the competition, you can easily afford to make these changes and even buy a spare battery. The E-Sommet VR is no golf buggy, but Vitus has it’s certainly hit a hole in one with this bike.
We’re an e-bike retailer based in Brooklyn, serving NYC, the rest of the US, and several other countries. Propel grew out of the recognition that e-bikes hold the potential to transform transportation as we know it. We’ve dedicated ourselves to bringing that transformation about since our founding in 2011. We’re pioneering a new industry standard that all the electric bikes we sell must meet, educating legislators so e-bike riders will be treated fairly under the law, and guiding consumers away from expensive pitfalls towards their perfect e-bike match.
Wide tyres are an absolute must on an eMTB. They offer more traction, provide extra comfort, increase stability, and they simply look cooler. Tyres with a width of 2.5″ – 2.8″ have proven to be the ideal size. The performance of the MAXXIS Minion tyres is particularly impressive; they provide the best grip and stability. To get the best performance, tyres should be ridden at approx. 1.2 – 1.6 bar air pressure.
Propel offers the full line of Cannondale Electric Bikes. Widely regarded as the bike industry’s leading innovator with game-changing technologies, Cannondale and its handcrafted bicycles continue to be recognized by organizations from both inside and outside the industry. We offer many types of Cannondale Electric Bikes including electric urban bikes, electric mountain bikes, and electric comfort bikes.
In the end, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp proved to be the tester favorite, offering the most versatile downhill performance that felt the "most like a mountain bike" that the other models couldn't match. The Specialized proved to be the most nimble and agile by far, yet still managed to be confident and stable at speed. We were also thoroughly impressed by the versatility and confidence-inspiring manners of our Best Buy winner, the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro. The Trance's modern geometry and quality component spec are the primary factors that help it outperform some of the competition. The Bulls E-Stream has a more one dimensional downhill performance, a stable and planted feel that absolutely charges downhill and excels as the speeds increase. The enduro-oriented YT Decoy CF Pro is also very impressive on the descents. The modern geometry, low bottom bracket, generous travel, and quality component spec all combine to make this a hard-charging beast on the descents. The Decoy can't match the versatility or well-rounded nature of the Levo, but it crushes downhill with authority.
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?