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.
Bottom Line The Specialized Turbo Levo Comp returns to our e-bike test with a well rounded performance that earns it our Editor's Choice Award, again. The Bulls E-Stream Evo AM 4 is a brawler on the descents with an impressive distance range thanks to its large battery storage capacity. The Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro is well rounded and reasonably priced earning it our Best Buy Award. The Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 is close to greatness but is held back by its controls and components. The Ghost Hybride SL AMR S1.7+ looks interesting on paper but doesn't come together well on the trail.

This thing is also kitted out with a full SRAM groupset, RockShox Yari RC front shocks, Custom Fox Float suspension at the rear and enormously punchy SRAM disc brakes at the front and rear. Fundamentally, it's a mighty off-road machine with pro-spec kit that introduces a new style of trail riding, allowing adrenaline junkies to ride further, climb harder and descend faster than ever before.

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With 170mm travel, aggressive angles and Shimano’s superbly calibrated STEPS motor, the Focus Sam2 is an enduro bike with a built-in shuttle. With the bolt on TEC pack you really can climb to new heights, but without it the smaller capacity internal battery means you need to be ultra economical with your energy use. It’s also frustrating that the internal battery can’t be removed easily for charging. By far the biggest frustration with the Jam2 though is that the sizing isn’t very generous and standover clearance is limited. It’s still a great e-bike, but when you’re spending this much money, you can afford to be fussy.


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.
Moreover, the ergonomic bike has a large wheel of about 26-inches, which makes the ride smooth irrespective of the terrain. It is a great electric bike that is suitable for cycling even at night hours due to the 10W efficient electric headlight. With the high grade cushioning effect and adjustable seat, it is an excellent electric bike suited for all users. The E-bike also has the anti-slip and wear resistant tires, which makes it highly reliable and safe.

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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.

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With 170mm travel, aggressive angles and Shimano’s superbly calibrated STEPS motor, the Focus Sam2 is an enduro bike with a built-in shuttle. With the bolt on TEC pack you really can climb to new heights, but without it the smaller capacity internal battery means you need to be ultra economical with your energy use. It’s also frustrating that the internal battery can’t be removed easily for charging. By far the biggest frustration with the Jam2 though is that the sizing isn’t very generous and standover clearance is limited. It’s still a great e-bike, but when you’re spending this much money, you can afford to be fussy.

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A quality battery pack made from authentic name-brand 18650-format cells should last for over 1000 charge and dis-charge cycles. If you drain your battery pack once a week, then your pack should last over 3 years. However, you might be able to more than double the battery packs life by charging it at a lower (slower) charge rate (3A instead of the faster 5A or 7A), and also if you only charge the pack to 80% of its maximum voltage.

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In fact, the manufacturers have already proven that what makes an e-MTB outstanding is not that much different to a regular MTB. Sure, there are slight differences in performance due to e-MTB’s heavier frame but both types share almost similar basics covering geometry, sizing, and balance. Also, the power-supplying motor comes into the forefront instead of the suspension in these bikes.

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There is no suspension, so the fat bike is not ideal for downhill. Also, you will feel more shocks than usual while doing large drops or crossing big tree roots. The fat tires are helpful for keeping it accurate and quick on sand and snow but don’t run it on ice. The tires simply don’t have enough traction to stay steady on ice. Studded tires may solve the problem but the safer option to steer clear of icy tracks.

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The new and improved version of the very popular Cyclamatic Power Plus series, the CX1, stands out with its elegant design. Glossy silver finish and sleek lines of the frame make this e-bike look much more expensive than it actually costs. But besides its look, the designers of this electric bike have also focused on the convenience. Everything, from ergonomic design to easily removable battery, is created to give the rider an awesome experience. Improvements are made in motor and the battery as well, and the bike is now equipped with the 21-speed gear system.

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:

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Fat bikes are the go-to machine in the world of mountain biking. It adds spice to the fat biking experience if it’s an e-fat bike. The Cyrusher XF800 is an impressive e-fat bike that is equipped with top-notch features. With a bombproof build and discreetly housed battery, the XF800 provides all-day action. It can take absolute beatings uphill or down with the beefed-up components.

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Moreover, the ergonomic bike has a large wheel of about 26-inches, which makes the ride smooth irrespective of the terrain. It is a great electric bike that is suitable for cycling even at night hours due to the 10W efficient electric headlight. With the high grade cushioning effect and adjustable seat, it is an excellent electric bike suited for all users. The E-bike also has the anti-slip and wear resistant tires, which makes it highly reliable and safe.
It is not a off-road motorbike with an electric engine and a throttle. Electric mountain bikes have motors that only work when you’re pedalling. The motor tops-up your pedalling input. It’s called ‘pedal assist’. There are differing levels of assistance (called things like ‘eco’ and ‘turbo’) that you select via a handlebar-mounted control unit. The motor also cuts out once you reach 25km/ph (or faster). There are strict limits on the power of electric mountain bikes; 250w is the maximum nominal power. More powerful than that and the bike requires tax and insurance (like a car/motorbike) and is also not allowed on bridleways at all.

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All the electric bikes need to have the best braking system to keep them safe for all users. With this quality E-bike, you are assured of a safe ride thanks to the front and rear disk brakes. This makes it easier to stop the bike even when at a higher speed. Besides this, the bike also lasts for years due to the high-strength carbon steel used in the construction. This makes it a great investment for anyone looking for the best electric bike.

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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.
Pros versatile, fits water bottle, least e-bike looking, good battery life, low center of gravity Good controls, huge distance range, confidence inspiring at speed, good component spec Reasonably priced, good distance range, well rounded performance, solid component spec Smooth and consistent power output, modern geometry, Cushy suspension, digital display, meaty tires

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Our testers were a little underwhelmed by 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.
On the AM 4 you get 150mm of travel via a Fox Factory 36 Float fork, 11-speeds from a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain, and Magura MT-Trail hydraulic disc brakes. They also don’t gip you on the dropper with a wonderful, wonderful KS Lev. In terms of geometry, the build is pretty dope. It’s a nice slack feel, so you can do some solid downhills. A DT Swiss wheelset along with Magic Mary tires give you a lightweight and smooth ride. 

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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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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.

Are E Bikes Safe


This lithium-ion battery bike has a range of nearly 30 miles per charge. As an added bonus, it also operates on three distinct models. You can take it off-road without worrying about damaging the frame on rougher surfaces thanks to its durable mountain bike frame. Features include a 17-inch mountain bike frame that fits most riders between 5’2 and 6’2, and a height-adjustable seat.
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. 

There are many places in the U.S. where you can legally and responsibly ride e-MTB's, and take it from us; they are a heck of a lot of fun. Check with local land management agencies to find out where you are allowed to use an electric mountain bike before taking to the trails. One thing we do know, e-MTB's can be used on any trails that are legal for motorized use, so we took advantage of the wealth of OHV trails in the greater Lake Tahoe area for our testing purposes and had more fun doing it than any of us expected.


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.

Do Electric Bikes Charge Themselves


The Brose motor puts out 250 watts nominally, and can peak up to a max of 460 watts. That’s around half what the 2016 Specialized Turbo S road bike we tested last year develops, but that bike’s much-larger motor sits in the rear hub, which would massively compromise performance on a full-suspension mountain bike like this one. Spend up to the Expert or S-Works spec Turbo Levo and you get a motor that can peak up to 530 watts. 

Do Electric Bikes Go Faster


In our head to head range test, the Rocky Mountain took the win by traveling 20 miles and 4,297 vertical feet. It is worth mentioning that our tester felt that he worked a little harder while range testing the Rocky Mountain than the other bikes we tested. The Giant wasn't far behind at 19.02 miles and 4,000 vertical feet, and the Specialized was nipping at its heels with 18.71 miles and 3,949 feet. The Ghost Hybride SL AMR was the least impressive with a range of just 16.75 miles and 3,559 vertical feet. The outlier in this comparison is the Bulls E-Stream with a 650Wh battery. We were not able to test the Bulls directly against these other competitors, but we did notice that you can ride it significantly farther than any of these other contenders. During one of our test rides, we rode the Bulls 24 miles and 4,500 vertical feet, and the battery still wasn't depleted. More battery storage equals longer rides; it's just that simple. 

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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.


Merax e-bike features a 7 speed Shimano gear system, aluminum alloy frame, front fork suspension and CST Jet brand tires.  This bike is absolute great value for the price, although it does not come fully assembled and it does take some time to get the disc brakes sorted and the shifting tuned. But directions provided were accurate, tools are provided, and you will be able to take it out on trails or around town in no time.

How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go


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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