For Canyon’s first e-mtb the Spectal:ON 8.0 hasn’t simply hit the trail running, it’s power up it in Boost mode. The geometry, sizing and handling are all on point, and details like the adjustable geometry, odd wheel sizes, tyre specific rim widths and short cranks make Canyon a market leader rather than a brand that’s simply playing catch up. With a Fox 36 Fit4 fork the Spectral:ON 8.0 would probably have won the test, the more basic Grip damper never having the measure of Canyon’s superb rear suspension.
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 centered 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. The YT Decoy CF Pro has plenty of power, but it seems clear that this bike was designed for the descents. The Decoy still climbs relatively well, but testers found the low bottom bracket height made it more prone to pedal strikes than other competitors. 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.
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.
Having a motor bolted to the bottom of a mountain bike that provides pedal assistance is an amazing leveller. The constant torque it applies to the chain rounds out the squarest of pedalling actions, which in turn helps stabilizes the rear suspension and counter pedal induced bob, seamlessly shifting your focus from pedalling efficiency to battery life.
A durable Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame that fully encases a long-range 500Wh battery for great aesthetics and ride quality on the trail, a Bosch Performance CX motor and an ergonomic Purion controller. Plus, 130mm front and rear travel with a RockShox Revelation RL fork, grippy 27.5+ mid-fat tires, Tubeless Ready Bontrager Line Comp wheels with a 54-tooth Rapid Drive hub, a dropper post, and an 11-speed Shimano SLX/XT drivetrain.
The bikes we tested all use a different e-bike motor system, and the controls, the primary user interface, are an important element we rated but didn't weight as heavily as some of the others. Each motor system and its associated controls are slightly different. Our primary interest is in how user-friendly is it to interact with the system, how intuitive and ergonomic are the shifters, how good and easy to read is the display, and how easy is it to charge the battery? Each drive system also has a smartphone app that is intended to allow the user to fine-tune the motor's support settings, create custom settings, monitor battery charge and health, and a whole lot more. We don't feel the apps are necessary for the use of any of these e-MTB's, but those with an affinity for technology or personalizing your ride may be inclined to use them.
As with anything, there is still room for improvement. There is no handlebar mounted digital display, and the only way to tell your speed is to mount a phone or bike computer to the bars. Specialized has changed the location of their battery charge and output mode display, however, which is now conveniently located on the top tube where you can see it while riding. The new motor is an improvement over the previous, but it still lags a little in engagement compared to the competition and the climbing performance is hampered by the drive unit's slightly more abrupt cutoff. Overall though, the Specialized still proved to be the test team's favorite for its versatility and well-rounded performance. We loved it, and we think you will too.
As with most bikes on this list, the Norco Sight takes it's design cues from a non-motorized sibling. The regular Sight is an aggressive, all-mountain ride with a 160mm fork and 150mm of rear travel. The VLT electric version adds a Shimano STEPS E8000 motor and downtube integrated 630 Wh battery. The geometry is not the same as the unplugged Sight—due to the motor and battery—but still goes low and slack with a longer wheelbase for added stability. The 66 degree head tube angle, 440mm reach (size medium), and and 75 degree seat tube angle are what you would expect from such an aggressive bike. The SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain gives a wide gear range so you can shift down into a comfortable low gear before needing to move up to the next assistance level. The Code R brakes are powerful enough to handle the speeds that come from the forces of braking a 50 pound bike at high speed and they can be used lightly to maximize your control over the bike through turns. The Sight VLT is for hard-charging, technical riders who are looking for the fastest route down the mountain and want to turn around and ride back up to do it again.
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.
Powerfly FS 7 is a full suspension mid-fat electric mountain bike with a fully integrated battery and a performance suspension package for incredible capability on more rugged trails. A Bosch Performance CX motor for speeds up to 20 mph, 27.5+ mid-fat tires for extra stability and traction, RockShox suspension, and the latest in e-MTB frame design will bring your off-road adventures to entirely new places.
Our testers were a little underwhelmed by the downhill prowess of a couple of our competitors. The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 has loads of potential with excellent geometry and trail-smoothing rear suspension, but the spec of a wimpy fork and non-aggressive tires detract from its downhill confidence when the going gets steep or rough. The Trek Powerfly 7 FS was our least favorite e-bike to ride downhill, with an even less impressive component specification that held it back and didn't inspire confidence on descents.
Rambo and Felt offer bikes with electric assist motors. The lithium ion batteries give you speeds of up to 20 mph and will travel 19 miles between charges on motor use alone. You can use the motor as a pedal assist if you like, which will give you even more distance on a battery. Sweating up a steep hill? Just switch on the motor for some assistance. There is some question about using the electric power on properties where no motorized vehicles are allowed, but a representative from Rambo told me the bike has been okayed by several state wildlife agencies.
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.
We’re an e-bike retailer based in Brooklyn, serving NYC, the rest of the US, and several other countries. Propel grew out of the recognition that e-bikes hold the potential to transform transportation as we know it. We’ve dedicated ourselves to bringing that transformation about since our founding in 2011. We’re pioneering a new industry standard that all the electric bikes we sell must meet, educating legislators so e-bike riders will be treated fairly under the law, and guiding consumers away from expensive pitfalls towards their perfect e-bike match.
Recovery from injury will be faster – Injury and biking go hand in hand. When you are hurt, you cannot ride a regular MTB although biking can actually help your body to gain the fitness. An e-bike can be your best companion to your fitness-regain journey. As you can choose the assistance level, it will be easy to keep up with your trail mates without pushing yourself too hard.
The downhill performance is our most highly weighted rating metric because we feel that the most important element of an e-bike is how well it performs out on the trail, especially when bombing down the hill. Each tester rode every bike numerous times and formulated their own opinions of each model, considering how factors like the component spec, geometry, and frame design play a role in its downhill performance. All of the e-bikes we tested were fun to ride, but they all had a different demeanor and trail manners. To test this, we rode the bikes downhill, a lot, and took them down a variety of terrain, from fast and flowing open trails to tight low-speed technical, and everything in between.
I’ve been wanting to get an electric hunting bike for a while but I’m curious about charging the batteries while out hunting. How long would I need to run a generator for to top off a battery? Would a solar panel even get the job done? Seems like extra batteries might make the most sense. How long would one of these batteries take to charge from empty?
Had my first crash on this bike. Right at the 500 mile mark mid-November. Sand had blown all over the bike path and I took it too fast. The bike did ok, but when I picked it back up the motor wouldn't work. I pedaled the rest of my commute and got a ride home. I suspected (and was correct) that the left brake lever was bent and the motor was not able to engage because it thought I was braking. I was nervous muscling it back, but it wasn't bent too bad. So that's what I did. And I also took the time to replace both wheels, inner-tubes, and give the bike a cleaning. The front wheel was still ok on tread but the back wheel tread was completely gone. Changing the front wheel was easy. The back wheel was more challenging because the motor cables and disc brakes. Ended up leaving the wheel on the bike and just moving it slightly to get the tube and wheel in place. Ended up just being more annoying than difficult. The chain cleaned up nice with some Simple Green. I haven't ridden on the commute nearly as much with me feeling a little more cautious and it getting dark so early (I don't need to wipe out in the bike lane into traffic...) All is well though. Have had zero issues with the motor since bending the brake back to its (or close to its) rightful position.
Here are two more advantages I see: One is the reduction in scent impact when travelling in my hunting area. My boots are not touching the ground, and I will be moving faster, leaving less signs of my intrusion that might alarm deer. Secondly, I ride a bike quite a bit on trails through wooded areas near my home, and I see that deer react much differently to a person on a bike than they do to a person on foot. They don’t see a person sitting on a pair of wheels as nearly the threat that they perceive a person walking. I’m not sure how much that will be an advantage, but spooking deer while scouting and travelling to and from a hunting location could be reduced.
Our team of experienced testers rode them for weeks on our local trails—everything from flow trails, to technical singletrack, to our enduro courses. We self-shuttled DH runs and hit the bike path. To understand the differences between them, we rode them back to back on similar trails. We tested them against standard bikes on the same trails in the same conditions. And to evaluate their range, we charged them all and ran them on full power until their batteries flickered and died.
This is fantastic and, oddly, mindblowing to me.A decade ago I was working at a local college in IT, and one of the my duties was building/maintaining and monitoring the distance learning rooms, which were equipped with queued cameras tied directly to microphones on each desk, and blah blah blah, those classes connected via hardware codec to other classroom across the state (or in some cases, country) to broadcast a live class to multiple classrooms. Our head end had 30 hardware codecs, a 128in/128out AV router, and required a central bridge to connect multiple endpoints and designate the main source and corresponding layout. Dozens of miles of copper were spread around the campus tied to hundreds of miles of fiber connecting our satellite campuses, all costing literally millions of dollars to create.Now they can do it on Twitch with a basic internet connection and free software. In HD. Holy crap, I am an old man with an onion on my belt, but the progress we have made in a short amount of time is awesome.
The demands for the best eMTB are high. It has to climb efficiently, be comfortable to ride, be very stable and composed, yet, on top of that, be a lot of fun on the descents. Also, its integration, ease of use, and motor performance must set the benchmark. Although all the motors perform at a high level, the Bosch Performance CX is unable to keep up with the competition due to the high internal resistance it generates at over 25 km/h. It’s a pity for the Moustache Samedi Race 11: it’s by far the best Bosch bike we’ve ever ridden, but it’s slowed down by the motor. With a price tag of € 5,999, the Trek Powerfly 9 LT Plus is clearly the cheapest bike in this group test. It climbs very efficiently, but is held back on the downhills by a poor choice of tyres and slow handling – you should consider a tyre upgrade in your budget. The Haibike XDURO Nduro descends with the stability of a freight train, but it has to let the competition overtake it when going back up. With its long 180 mm travel and high weight (24.54 kg), it even feels cumbersome on the downhills.
Electric mountain bikes are here, growing in popularity, and despite some access concerns—and perhaps because of them—continue to get better, more enjoyable to ride. Their small motors help you ride faster, farther, and can making challenging climbs less daunting. We tested 10 of the most exciting new models to help you find the right one for you. Read quick reviews of top five options below, or scroll deeper for helpful buying advice and longer reviews of every option.