Every bike we tested was a blast to ride. However, they all had very different ride characteristics. All of these could stand to improve in different areas, but the category is not mature enough to get a very capable bike for a reasonable price. We will continue to update this review as new bikes emerge, and electric mountain bikes continue to evolve.

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Recently, electric mountain bikes have exploded in popularity. Our team researched the top models on the market and purchased six bikes in the $4500-$6000 range to test and review. Our team of testers rode these pedal-assist mountain bikes for thousands of miles, countless hours, and many tens of thousands of vertical feet. In the process, we analyzed each model's uphill and downhill performance, tested their distance range, paid close attention to the user-friendliness of their e-bike controls, and scrutinized their power output. We rode of each of these bikes hard in an effort to expose their strengths and weaknesses and determine the key ride characteristics of each one, and most importantly how they compare to each other.

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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.

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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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The Bulls E-Stream EVO AM 4 is a new addition to our electric mountain bike test and it didn't take long for our testers to fall in love with this new contender. This bike comes ready to rumble with a beefy enduro ready build with 150mm of front and rear wheel travel controlled by a stout RockShox Lyrik fork up front. Testers found this bike to come alive at speed with stable and confidence inspiring trail manners that preferred to go fast, and big 2.8-inch wide Schwalbe tires that provided heaps of traction. Bulls has done a good job designing this beast, with a powerful and smooth Brose drive unit cleanly integrated into the frame along with a large 650Wh battery. The motor lays down very smooth power in all of its output settings and is one of the quietest models we tested. The large battery storage capacity provides the longest distance range of all the models in the test so you can stay out longer and ride farther than on models with smaller batteries. The e-bike controls have relatively good ergonomics and an easy to read display.

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The 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo Comp returns to our electric mountain bike test and claims our Editor's Choice Award for the second year in a row. The new model has several notable changes over the previous version we tested including a new frame design, 29-inch wheels, 150mm of front and rear wheel travel, a new motor, and an updated battery charge and power output display. All these new changes have only helped to solidify the Turbo Levo Comp's position at the top of the podium. It still has the same well-rounded performance on the trail that makes it "feel the most like a mountain bike." It is more playful and agile than the competition, yet it still manages to charge the fall-line just as hard. Like previous Turbo Levo models, Specialized has very stealthily integrated the battery and motor into the frame giving it a low center of gravity and a very non-e-bike look. The new Specialized 2.1 motor is very quiet, plus it weighs less and has reduced the overall weight of the bike by more than 2 lbs.

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Last year, the Trek Powerfly 9 LT was one of the only ebikes with geometry and handling that came close to a modern enduro bike. For 2018, Trek has built on that winning formula with new frame. It’s lowered the battery in the downtube, while adding a stiffer Fox 36 fork, more powerful SRAM RE brakes and a stronger Bontrager wheelset. All welcome improvements to a really capable bike. The price has also crept up to reflect the changes. The biggest transformation however, is that Rocky Mountain has raised the ebike bar to a new high with the Altitude Powerplay.

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With different degrees of assistance at your fingertips, riders of varying fitness levels are easily accommodated on the same ride too. Which, depending on who’s setting the pace, can bring a social aspect back to big days out, because you can all ride together and the assistance from the motor makes it that much easier to string a coherent sentence together even on the steepest climbs.

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I’m currently looking at the M2S All-Go. Carbon Fiber, cool looking design, stated 33 lbs with a stiff fork for $2250. I haven’t seen anything that light that comes even close to that price. The luna Bike Grit I think it’s called is in the same category, a bit cheaper but over 40lbs. I also have a significant number of stairs to haul the bike up so I’m in the same boat.

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The bike looks a no different than a regular mountain bike. The 36 V, 8Ah Li-Ion battery is very cleverly designed and disguised as a thermos, so you will not be able to tell whether this is an e-bicycle or a regular one unless you get really close. It is very nicely build, and pretty sturdy; the frame is 100% alloy and the front fork is made with high-grade carbon steel. The bike itself weighs about 45 lbs.

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The Swagcycle folding electric bike is a stylish and sturdy bike. With a single battery charge, you can reach up to 15 miles. This bike is an excellent choice for the cities and amazing countrysides. The Swagcycle folding electric bike weights only 16.8 kg, so it is not only powerful but lightweight also. Because it is a foldable electric bike, you can fit it almost everywhere. It allows you to save some space in your home. This electric bike has two modes: you can ride it on your own, or turn on the throttle mode and enjoy the riding without even pedaling hard!

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Firstly there's a magnetically-fired locking pin in the rear wheel, triggered by kicking a button on the hub. This is fairly secure in itself and almost impossible to remove without destroying the bike. In London, we'd pair it with a more traditional bike lock so there's a more obvious visual deterrent, though a LED matrix screen on the frame does issue a warning to would-be tea-leafs.
Yes, a new fold-up has usurped the electric Brompton. Although we have just taken delivery of the Brompton for a proper, long-term test, so maybe this situation will change again… However, for now the Gocycle GX is our top recommendation for anyone who wants an e-bike. That's because the Gocycle is more fun to ride and feels more sturdy. The flip side of that is that it doesn't fold up anywhere near a neatly as the Brompton but, crucially, it folds up enough, and sufficiently quickly, to legally take it on public transport. Although people may tut at you.

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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.

That aside, the Axis is a fantastic e-bike. At 'only' 16kg, it's almost lively by e-bike standards, but it also feels rock solid. It's geared too low in my opinion – I think it's fair to say I am not the target market – but in 8th, you can breeze on past the legally mandated, electrically-assisted 15.5mph. The hydraulic disk brakes will then bring you to a pleasingly rapid dead stop. The range and charging time are good, too. Cheap it is not, mind you.

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