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.
Vitus’ E-Sommet VR is a great introduction to the industry’s leading electric mountain platforms, offering riders an all-encompassing Enduro bike that’s a fraction of the cost of other high-end options. On top of the bike’s great-looking hydroformed aluminum silhouette, seamless battery integration, and aggressive frame geometry, riders are treated to a robust Shimano XT and SLX groupset, DT Swiss wheels, and a selection of Nukeproof peripherals. At its core, a SHIMANO STEPS E8000 eMTB motor system provides effortless ascent capabilities, thanks to three different riding modes, a fast-charging battery architecture, and a low, centralized position that makes navigating even the harshest trails a lackadaisical affair.
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.
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.
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.
The RadCity is a bike that’s been optimized to help you conquer the urban landscape. A big 48V battery gives you an estimated range of between 25 and 45 miles of e-assist from the 750-watt motor, which packs enough acceleration to get you out of dicey situations in traffic. There’s also a wattmeter to help you manage your power consumption on the LCD display. A welded-on rear rack holds up to 60 pounds of cargo, and puncture-resistant Kenda K-Rad tires keep you rolling over precarious debris. Commuting essentials include lights (the tail light also functions as a brake light), fenders, and a rear-mount kickstand.
While we liked the value, component specification, and versatile all-around performance of the Trance E+ 2, it wasn't all gold stars. E-bikes are heavy, that is a given, but the Trance is a little heavier than most at 52 lbs 3 oz. This weight is one of the reasons this bike feels somewhat sluggish at times, especially in low-speed sections of trail. It also has mediocre e-bike controls. Sure, they are functional, but the all-in-one control's display in the form of small LED lights is difficult to see by the left grip and near impossible to read when riding in bright light conditions. Beyond that, we feel the Trance E+ 2 is a quality e-bike offered at a reasonable price.
"The eMTB mode is a fantastic alternative to the manually adjusted power settings found on most other e-bikes. The beauty is that eMTB mode works so well, you can forget about it entirely and focus on the ride instead. Having e-bike specific forks and four piston brakes for example is something that seems obvious, but surprisingly few companies actually make happen."
A carbon frame shaves off several hundred grams of weight, of course. However, this is largely irrelevant when it comes to eMTBing. The two major advantages of carbon on eMTBs are, on the one hand, greater freedom in optimising the frame design and, on the other hand, increased stiffness. Thanks to carbon, smooth transitions can be achieved, better facilitating the integration of motor and battery. Unfortunately, the magical black material also has a few potential disadvantages. Carbon has poorer thermal conductivity, which means that heat is dissipated less efficiently with a fully integrated motor, and stiffer is not necessarily always better. Frames and wheels require a certain amount of flex to be comfortable and to generate enough traction through curves. Buying a carbon eMTB can currently only be justified by aesthetics rather than functionality.
The 150mm (fork) and 140mm (shock) suspension allows you to hit double-track ruts without veering from your line. The motor is powerful and torquey, meaning you can stay in the lower two assist levels (of the five available) to save battery and still get enough kick to ascend just slightly faster than you could on a regular bike. The highest setting has serious oomph, with a little too much power to use on tight or technical trails. It’s better for fire road climbs or cruising on pavement to the trail head or back home after a ride. The Yamaha motor with 80 Nm of peak torque has generous kick to get over small rises or tough spots on the trail. And the boost can hit quickly; Liv says you get full boost (based on your power setting) in just 190 milliseconds and that that quick response time was noticeable, but not welcome in every situation, by our testers. The Liv feels lighter than other e-mountain bikes, so it’s a great option for women looking for a balance between power and maneuverability.
More and more people are switching to electric bikes for a lot of practical reasons. It provides convenience because you do not have to wait in traffic or look for the perfect parking spot. That saves you time and money for gas. As for health benefits, you can squeeze in some exercise and manually pedal your way to work then switch to the electric motor when you get tired.
Ancheer Power Plus electric bike is definitely one of the most economical e-bikes. What that mean is that this is not a premier quality bike, but what you’re getting for the price is pretty good. The Ancheer Power Plus is powered by 250W high-speed brushless motor, which is more than enough power for any terrain. Depending on your weight, you will probably need to pedal if you go uphill, but with the electric assistance it will be very easy. If you need to use motor only, just twist the throttle and go.
The Rad Power Bikes RadWagon is a remarkable value proposition: It sports a powerful 750-watt direct-drive hub motor, a 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain, a throttle, fenders, and integrated lights. After a couple months of testing, we can report that it hauls just as well as competitors that cost thousands more. Cost-saving measures include mechanical disc brakes and a cadence sensor (rather than a torque sensor). We got about 35 miles of range from the battery and discovered that changing the wheel size to 28 inches on the display unit increases the top (e-assisted) speed to 24 mph.
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!
“I’d like a Bosch bike!” This is what bicycle dealers hear several times a day from new customers – and it’s the biggest mistake you can make when buying an ebike. Sure, the motor is important. However, you don’t buy a car just because of its engine. If you want to be happy with your eMTB in the long term, you have to consider a bike as an overall concept. This group test will help you to find out which bike is best for which type of rider, terrain, and riding style. The motors of the big names in the industry all work extremely well, but differ in their purpose and functionality.
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.
The Ghost SL AMR scored relatively well in this metric, with a small digital display mounted by the stem. The YT Decoy uses the same drive unit and controls as the Ghost and scored equally well for having easy to reach controls and a digital display mounted by the stem on the handlebar. The Trek Powerfly's all-in-one Bosch Purion shifter and display unit was easy to read and had a bright screen, but was in a less visible location on the left side of the handlebar. The Bulls E-Stream has a similar system to the Trek, but with better button ergonomics and more information available on the display on separate screens.
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.
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?