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.
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The F1-trained engineers at William Advanced Engineering assisted with the electrical parts and the result is a 250W motor that provides pedal assistance via the front hub – which is still a very unusual approach. It draws power from a 300Wh battery pack that sits in a bag and goes on the front where the Brompton luggage rack would normally sit. You can also opt for a larger bag that holds both the battery and your spare suit or laptop or whatever.
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If you want an e-bike that positively sprays tech out you, try the Volt Axis on for size. It takes the GoCycle GS's combo of folding, lightweight frame and disk brakes and adds automatic gears, if you please. These react to your speed and pedalling effort. So you automatically gear down when you stop at traffic lights – although what self-respecting cyclist does that? – and then back up as you accelerate.
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This thing is also kitted out with a full SRAM groupset, RockShox Yari RC front shocks, Custom Fox Float suspension at the rear and enormously punchy SRAM disc brakes at the front and rear. Fundamentally, it's a mighty off-road machine with pro-spec kit that introduces a new style of trail riding, allowing adrenaline junkies to ride further, climb harder and descend faster than ever before.
Achesin electric mountain bike is designed with an ergonomic design that makes it very stable and easy to ride. Like most of the mountain bikes, this one is built with a good double-layered aluminum alloy wheel which makes it easy to maneuver, lightweight and durable. With its powerful motor and battery system, you can easily cover between 25 to 50 kilometers depending on the nature of the terrain.
To build a lightweight electric bike is a mission full of compromises. Forget ride comfort, balloon tires, comfy seat, suspension and other niceties. Forget top speed and long range, which would require a large battery and heavy motor. Forget doing it on the cheap, because lightweight bicycle pieces are expensive. If you really want a lightweight electric bike you are going to have to pay for it with cash and ride quality…and might as well forget high performance…the only thing exciting about these bikes is their light weight…however most of these also give you stealthiness because they look like normal bikes. Because of the onset of affordable LiPo batteries and new ebike motor technologies, lightweight ebikes have become a build-able and sell-able possibility. As LiPo batteries become lighter, more powerful, and more affordable we can only expect this list to improve. We only considered complete functioning electric bikes for this list…no tiny clown folding bikes etc.
However, Emu sells a little foldable number if that's your bag. The Emu Crossbar is for town commuters that require a sweet ride that's backed up by solid Shimano Nexus hub gears and Tektro brakes, which are adequate if not the best on the market. Riding is smooth and easy, with the crank moving sensor doing its best to iron out any gaps in power delivery.
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With an electric mountain bike (or e-MTB) that gives you assistance up to 25kph, it’s possible to pack twice as much riding into the same amount of time. Those five great trails that you normally ride after work can now be ridden twice. That boring singletrack climb on your lunchtime loop suddenly becomes the highlight of your day. With the extra push from the motor it’s easy to double the distance covered, or do the same ride in half the time.