Unlike the manual mountain bikes where you would have to fully rely on pedaling, electric mountain bikes depend on an electric charge. As expected, the bike has a battery, which often determines how far one can go on a single charge. A good electric mountain bike should have a good storage capacity. Although most mountain bikes have nearly the same battery storage capacity, it is not uncommon to find one that falls below par. It is also good to know how it performs and uses the battery under different weather conditions terrain and depending on the rider’s weight.
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.
Chris McNamara spends a whole lot of time in the saddle. This rock climber turned mountain cyclist loves huge rides covering obscene distances. He is working on a few gigantic rides including a singletrack route around Lake Tahoe and a ride from South Lake Tahoe to Mammoth Lakes. Paul Tindal is a versatile rider who spent years in the elite ranks in the road, downhill and enduro disciplines. Paul is now the lead mechanic and shop manager at a busy bike shop in South Lake Tahoe. Joshua Hutchens has spent decades in the bike industry. He has been a racer, bike shop owner, mechanic, and a guide. Joshua has a great eye for the subtleties of a bicycle.
Unlike other hunting bikes, the Juggernaut comes equipped with both a twist throttle (most have thumb throttles) and a pedal-assist feature. When you need to pedal long distances the pedal assist will read the cadence of your ride and kick in to help you ride smoother without tiring yourself. After a long day of fishing or having fun, just pull back the throttle and head back to camp. Trust us: the BikTrix 750W Juggernaut Classic Electric Mountain Bike will come in handy on your next fishing trip.
A true fat tire electric hunting bike, this model was built to provide maximum comfort, especially the shorter person with a stand over height of 26.5" thanks to those 24" wheels. You can go just about anywhere with this bike so getting to those hard to reach hunting areas will not be a problem. This bike features a Bafang 750W BBSH02 High Torque Mid Drive and a long-lasting LG 48V10.4AH battery.
The frame is constructed of 6061 aluminum that’s more responsive with some bit of flex to it. A step-thru design makes getting on and off a breeze. The frame supports a more upright posture for improved comfort and visibility. A front fork suspension and rear spring suspension make for a smooth ride on uneven surfaces. It actually adds an aggressive look to the overall design.
Other than your battery indicator all other info is shown on your display. In terms of position of display it looks ok. You can scroll around using +/- buttons on left side of your handlebar. It isn’t super ergonomic but still better than Haibike in terms of ease of use. The display can be removed so you won’t need to worry about it when you park your e-bike outside.
Now we know you’re probably thinking: “Aren’t ATV’s and dirt bikes better for hunting and fishing?” The answer: not really. Aside from higher top speed and carrying capacity, ATV’s and dirt bikes can be a hindrance compared to using an electric hunting bike. There are quite a few advantages electric motors have over gas engines when it comes to hunting:
The Ultra Mid Drive Bafang motor is the best motor there is and due to it’s high cost most other brands have not adopted it yet. The ‘Ultra’ has torque sensors built in so it knows how much power to give you based on how much pressure you are applying to the pedals, so it intelligently gives you the right amount of power when you need it most and not a predetermined power regardless of what terrain you’re tackling, so you have more control.
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.
The Riese & Müller bills its Load Touring HS as “the ultimate minivan of e-bikes” and the claim holds up. With a low center of gravity (aided by the 20-inch front and 26-inch rear wheels), the Load is easy to handle. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes add control, and front and rear suspension provide comfort. The Bosch motor offers an assist up to 275 percent of your effort until you hit 28 mph, when it cuts out. Two 500Wh batteries give you 12 hours or more of range at full power. It’s capable of toting up to 220 pounds of pets, people, and less-animate cargo. R&M also sells a double child seat for kids up to age 6 and a child-seat fastener for your youngest passengers.
The adjustable front shock offers smooth cushioning and buffers the jerks when cycling on uneven surfaces. However, the rear shock is rigid and hard to move. The Shimano 21-gear shifters will allow you to enjoy great speed with a maximum of 20mph. But, it would be better to have at least 24 gears at that speed, because you will feel almost no resistance when cycling at the max speed in the highest gear.
The Bulls motor is claimed to have 90Nm of torque, but it was so smooth and quiet that it didn't feel outrageously powerful. The assistance came on smooth and strong thanks to the belt-driven system. The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 uses a drive system that claims to have up to 108Nm of torque. While their system felt quite powerful, it didn't feel stronger than the Bulls, and we noticed that it seemed to modulate its output in a way that the others didn't. The Rocky Mountain makes you work for it a little more than the rest. The Trek, Giant, and the Specialized motor systems felt slightly less powerful, still offering plenty of pedal-assist support mind you, but that also resulted in efficient motors and longer distance ranges than the models with more brute power. Despite having the same Shimano Steps E8000 pedal-assist motor, the Ghost felt less powerful than the YT Decoy. The YT felt as if it delivered more power more consistently and smoothly than the Ghost could.
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.
But are e-bikes really that expensive? Well, even though the initial cost of an e-bike can seem high, it pays off in the long run. Purchase cost is a little more than a conventional bike, but mechanical wear and tear is about the same so the price of maintenance is low, and electricity is so cheap as to be largely irrelevant. If you use e-bike to commute instead of a car, the bike will practically pay itself with the savings on fuel. Besides, electric bikes have a high conversion value; they are technology that people want and can’t always afford new, so people are always on the lookout for a second hand electric bike. And if you want to buy a new one, here are our picks of best electric bikes under $1000: