There are various kinds and classifications of electric bikes on the market, but the most common type is the Class 1, or pedal assist, bikes which have motor units that are activated by pedaling and are limited to lower speeds. In the US, Class 1 electric bikes, the type tested and reviewed here, are limited to a top speed of 20 mph, and their motors are designed with a speed governor to regulate this. These types of e-bikes resemble modern mountain bikes, but they have significant battery packs, and small motor units integrated onto and into the frame design. The e-MTB pedal-assist motor is typically built around the bottom bracket and provides varying levels of pedaling "support" directly into the drivetrain while the cranks are turning. Most drive unit systems offer several support settings that provide pedal assistance between 25% and 100% of the user's pedaling input.
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.
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It is important to note that the less power you use while riding your e-bike, the longer the battery will last, makes sense right? All of the pedal-assist drive units we tested also have smartphone apps that can be used to customize your support settings and such changes may allow for more or less range on your electric mountain bike. Specialized's Mission Control app has a feature that lets you set a predetermined route, and the app then regulates the motor's support to ensure power lasts to finish your ride.
This was a problem that Schiltknect pondered constantly and tinkered with. Electric hub-motors are becoming widely used, but he considered them out of the question because…as a professional electrical engineer, he knew that the lower RPMs of the hubs were not the most efficient way to power any machine, and they were also noticeably heavy. For an E-mountain bike, he knew he wanted high efficiency and minimum weight.
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With three gears, variable assistance – you can change when and to what extent it kicks in via Gocycle's handy app, which also lets your phone serve as a basic bike computer – and small-ish but chunky, sporty wheels, the GX is just a blast to ride. Gocycle's power delivery algorithms and torque sensors have been tweaked by former F1 engineers, so the ride is one of the smoothest around. It's nippy, manouevrable and fun, and it also feels more like a 'proper bike' than the Brompton.
The 13amh battery is nestled at the down tube frame on a battery bracket, which you can remove quickly if required. The battery is powerful enough to provide life juice to the bike for a long distance. The trip distance is 25 miles in full electric mode and 50 miles on the assist pedal. The battery comes with a 48V 2.0A charger and it survives more than 500 times of recharge cycles.
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 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. 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.
When you need a great electric mountain bike that will assure you of a longer runtime, you need to get this. The Cyclamatic Power Plus Electric bike comes with a powerful 36V lithium-ion battery. This works for up to 28 miles range; hence very convenient. Besides this, the e-bike also has a stylish design, which makes it ideal for riders. It can be used by 14 years and above. The bike also has large wheels, which makes it move with a lot of ease. It can maneuver easily on all terrains to assure you of an excellent and smooth ride.
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Attitudes to electric bikes have changed in recent years. For a long time they were seen by cyclists as 'cheating' and by non-cyclists as being just like a bike, but uglier and far more expensive. This new breed of best-in-class electric bikes feel more natural, look more normal, and people are coming around to the idea that a ride with the convenience of a bike but without all the sweat and effort is a Very Good Thing.
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Alright guys and gals, it’s 2018 and there are more choices for electric mountain bikes than ever before. Nearly every major brand has significantly expanded their lineups. This means that you’ll get better bikes at better price points. Still not sure if you should upgrade to an electric mountain bike? It’s the 21st century people! As the crew at Bulls says, “it’s not cheating, it’s just more fun.” The point of these bikes is not ruin other people’s fun by going at unsafe speeds, it’s to make your ride easier and your day last longer! Check out our top 10 electric mountain bikes for 2018 to see which bikes will get you out on the trails for thousands of miles.
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The extra grip a 50lb e-bike normally helps to prevent overshooting corners when on the brakes, and bring pure DH-bike-like fun factor on the steepest trails. This electric Orange, however, rides more like a ‘standard’ enduro bike with a motor, which could be good or bad, depending on your expectations and riding style. It’s built tough and delivers stacks of fun in less time than any regular bike can. Adding a motor hasn’t upset Orange’s superb geometry.
Prodeco V5 Phantom X2 8 Speed Folding Electric Bicycle is constructed and tested in the USA. Travelling on a bike is sometimes very comfortable to get some fresh air. This bike is the one that is designed by keeping your needs in mind. It allows you to fold the bike in a compact form and can carry it in the office, basements, flats, etc. The Prodeco V5 Phantom X2 bicycle has avid BB7 disc brakes, 500-watt motor, 12Ah battery, and rigid frame. The manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the frame and 2 years on components.
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I've had a Daa Hub kit on my touring bike for just over 3 years. . There have been so many problems that is actually been 3 kits (except the battery) in 3 years and I'm fed up. The supplier is too and the bike is being decommissioned. There was a suggestion that I've had my value from it. I disagree. Its used for commuting - I've only averaged about 5,000km per year on it, though that's hard to calculate as the computer on it has been changed about 4 times.
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250-WH of Hobby King LiPo, $3,000 spent in parts with a carbon frame (It would be $1,000 cheaper and only 2 pounds heavier with an aluminum frame). This bike was home-built by Kepler who decided to sell his modified 50mph Stealth Bomber and build this bike with the funds. Read our article on the Super Commuter and Keplers decision to go with a lightweight ebike.
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The electric motor is located just above the bottom-bracket, and it assists him with a range of power from 250-watts up to 400-watts, applied directly to the outer chainring. The power is not activated by pedaling through a pedelec sensor like many commercial E-bikes available in Europe. Instead, he chose to use a thumb throttle, which he has hidden under a classic bicycle bell.
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You can set the maximum speed at more than 20mph (but the legal limit is 20). Also, you should not cross that limit because the Shimano 7-gear transmission system won’t be able to cope up with anything higher than 22 to 23 mph. However, to the absolute joy of the thrill seekers, the huge weight of the bike can push the speed to go over 40 mph on downhill coasts. Be careful though and make sure that the road and traffic conditions allow that speed limit.
I found that by sticking it on 'Turbo' or 'Sport' mode (the upper 2 of the 4 electrical assistance levels) and leaving it in a middle gear, the Centros felt zippy when in full flight, but able to pull away from the lights with no problems. Less lazy riders than me might want to actually use the 10 gears, and will find that in the top gear, it's quite easy to push past the mandated 15.5mph electrical limit.
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324-WH Panasonic LiPo. The bargain ebike of this bunch. This lightweight electric bike will cost you $1,650, including shipping from Australia. This ebike builder bought 50 of these fixie bikes from China, and does the motor conversions himself. Why is it so light? For one it is a fixie bike which means no gears and limited braking in order to make it simpler and lighter. Visit the Solar Bike Website
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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.
205-WH battery, $5,000. One of the sexiest bikes on this list, the frame is made from Titanium with no paint. Titanium is known for being sweet looking, lightweight, strong, and expensive, and an ebike made up of it is a rare piece of ebike porn. This bike is basically a conversion bike built by a company. It can easily be built the same way as a home build. It would be even sexier and cleaner with an internal gear hub in the rear such as a Rohloff. This is possible because this is a front wheel drive ebike. Get more info on this bike from the Prodego website
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The bike has three speed modes: low, medium and high. The top speed is about 18 miles with motor only and 25 mph with pedaling. The range you can get out of the motor is about 30 miles, but since you can pedal it just like the traditional bike after the battery dies, there is really no limit to how far you can go. 21-speed gear shift system allows you to be in full control of your ride, and front and rear disc brakes protect your safety. The Ancheer electric mountain bike is also equipped with LED headlight and horn.
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The Merax bike is a sturdy, basic bike for those who want nothing more than a couple of wheels capable to roll over rough ground for a budget price. 36V 8.8Ah Li-ion battery is conveniently placed for easy access and charging, but it is also removable and securely locked by key. Convenient placement. It takes 6-8 hours to charge the battery from 0%-100%, and you can expect to travel up to 22–28 miles on a full charge.
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While it was agile and quicker handling, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp lost ground in this rating metric due to the somewhat abrupt pedal assist cutoff that occurred the moment you stop pedaling. This abrupt power cutoff caused awkward moves in slower technical uphill sections when jockeying pedals to avoid rock strikes. The Bulls E-Stream had power for days and could mash its way up just about anything, but its overall weight and size made it a little more awkward in slower or more technical sections of climbing. The Trek Powerfly had a long wheelbase, reach, and chainstay length, giving the bike a long rear end that kept impressive traction while climbing as long as you kept your momentum, the overall length of the bike, however, made it a little tougher to negotiate in the tighter stuff.
The unit system is likely to have several options to choose various levels of pedal assistance, which is between 25% and 100% of the pedaling input of the rider. The drive system is most likely to have a smartphone app with features to control various settings including setting up the engine’s support settings, modifying the controls according to the rider’s preference, monitoring the health and charge status of the battery, and more functions.
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The e-bike is driven by a large capacity lithium-ion battery. This makes it suitable for long hours of the ride. It also has two working modes. The assisted bike and e-bike mode; hence when it runs out of battery, you can pedal to complete the journey. It has been built from the best quality of aluminum alloy frames to ensure that it provides years of service. The wheels are also large and provide excellent movement on all surfaces.
Certainly very excited about this e-MTB. Bulls has decided to make use of the super powerful Shimano Steps E8000 motor. With a 500 wH battery and a 250 watt motor, this bike will assist you up incredibly steep hills but not burn too much of the battery. Bulls also sets this bike apart by setting it up with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting and a Deore XT drivetrain for precise and quick shifting. The other specs are about what you’d expect from a ride in this price range. Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes, RockShox suspension with 150mm of travel, and Rocket Ron tires on tubeless ready rims let you take on any mountain trails.
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Over several months, our team of four professional mountain bike testers rode each of the electric mountain bikes in our test selection on a variety of trails and terrain in a range of weather conditions. We had each tester ride each of the bikes numerous times, often riding the different models back to back for the sake of comparison. We didn't go easy on them. Instead, we treated them all as if they were our own, putting them all through the wringer to identify their strengths and weaknesses. We scrutinized every aspect of each e-bike's performance and scored them all on several rating metrics, e-bike controls, downhill performance, uphill performance, power output, and distance range. Each of these metrics is described in greater detail below. It is important to note that during our testing, our impressions of these e-bikes changed dramatically. Our first impressions didn't exactly stick. It was essential for us to test the different models head-to-head and make direct comparisons to flush out the differences.