He put in countless hours of work designing the drive system, motor, and controller. One challenge was addressing how the high motor torque would affect the ultra-light frame he chose, a Scott Scale made from carbon-fiber which was outfitted with the lightest components available on the market. Schiltnecht named his creation the Montanara Volta (Volted Mountaineer), and it weighed in at an incredibly light 7.66 kilograms…including a 240 watt-hour battery.

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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.


Since the pedal assist doesn’t engage while coasting, climbing is where this bike really shines. We tested the bike on southern California’s fire roads, undulating traverses, and on some very steep, rocky, loose, and technical trails—the kind of stuff even the most skilled and fit riders would normally find themselves hiking up—and on the Turbo Levo we were able to ride all of it, and have a blast doing so. 

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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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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.
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.

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The electric mountain bikes are excellent bikes that deliver great speed and longer rides. This is due to the powerful battery that will assure you of longer runtime. The bikes also use the Shimano speeds, which allow you to easily shift the speeds. In addition to this, the electric mountain bike is also very safe due to the perfect braking system. This makes them safe for all riders. With the LED headlights, you will find them appropriate for night rides.

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R&M also provides only top-of-the-line components. You’ll get a Shimano Deore XT Shadow+ 11-speed drivetrain, Shimano Deore XT brakes, and a Fox Float 34 Performance Boost suspension fork with 120mm of travel. You can even upgrade to a 14-speed Rohloff drivetrain. If you’re using it for camping, you can include a rear rack to carry up to 60 pounds of gear along with you. 

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, way more fun than any of our non-e-bike riding test team ever expected, 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.
If you are an experienced rider this is actually annoying as hell. Personally, I tend to leave whatever I'm riding in a high gear all the time, because my body is like a powerful machine, and I found the way it slowed my escape from the lights quite disconcerting. For beginners, it could be useful, but it's worth remembering that the whole point of e-bikes is that the motor helps you along anyway, so I do really question the usefulness of this.
The G3 is a GX that doesn't fold up. It rides the same and has all the same brilliant qualities as its sibling. But while it doesn't fold, it can be fairly quickly pulled apart and stowed in a small flat... or on a yacht, if the marketing material is to be believed. A 375Wh lithium battery pack is neatly stashed within the lightweight frame, meaning the Gocycle G3 is one of the cleanest bikes full stop.
What use is a ‘lightest’ bike if you don’t get any performance advantage out of it? No long range? No top speed? No rid comfort and other ‘niceties’. Basically nothing and an added price tag to boot so what’s the f*ckin point then? At least with all other transportation vehicles be it cars, motorcycles, regular bikes, electric cars, being lightweight has a point usually it’s speed and/or range. This however is just idiocy.

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Jan, I disagree with your carry as a prime reason/not be looking at e bikes. My primary reason for an e assist is age and medical problems. Carting a heavy bike around, trying to lift it onto a vehicle would not work, and riding from home is not a possibility. I know there are light-weight e bikes out there. Price, within reason, is not a big concern. Need a 2018 update. E bikes are common in Europe, will eventually be more mainstream in the US.

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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.
The NAKTO Electric Mountain Bike is one powerful bike that delivers great speed. It has the Shimano 6-speed system to allow for easy shifting of the breaks. Secondly, the bike also features the powerful 350W high-speed motor, which ensures that it delivers top-notch speed. You can always adjust the speed from 20-24 MPH. The elegant and body friendly design of the bike makes it suitable for all users. It is a more refined and humanized bike recommended by both experts and riders.
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.
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.
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. 

With the multi-colors now available, every user will definitely find their favorite picks. It has fat tires, which makes it ideal for riding on all kind of terrains. It has been built from durable frames, which makes it suitable for supporting up to 260 lbs. Other than this, the bike moves at a speed of 23 MPH and with the Shimano 7-gears shifting system, you will find it great for your cycling needs. The comfortable bike has an adjustable saddle that can be adjusted to suit your height.

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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.

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Electric bicycles offer the same great benefits as traditional bicycles and remove many of the roadblocks and challenges that people face with traditional pedal-powered bikes. With help of an electric motor you can get where you need to be faster, climb hills effortlessly and significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Also e-bikes don’t require registration, license plates, or insurance. So how come the electric bikes are have not taken over the world by now? The real problem—even now that e-bikes have been available for years—is cost.

If you want an e-bike that positively sprays tech out you, try the Volt Axis on for size. It takes the GoCycle GS's combo of folding, lightweight frame and disk brakes and adds automatic gears, if you please. These react to your speed and pedalling effort. So you automatically gear down when you stop at traffic lights – although what self-respecting cyclist does that? – and then back up as you accelerate.
What use is a ‘lightest’ bike if you don’t get any performance advantage out of it? No long range? No top speed? No rid comfort and other ‘niceties’. Basically nothing and an added price tag to boot so what’s the f*ckin point then? At least with all other transportation vehicles be it cars, motorcycles, regular bikes, electric cars, being lightweight has a point usually it’s speed and/or range. This however is just idiocy.

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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 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.
We’ve got to give you a Haibike downhill option considering their excellent history with downhill and enduro models. Downhill models are traditionally incredibly expensive, but the DwnHll 9.0 offers a slightly lower price point for a top mountain bike. The build is incredibly slack so you can rip downhill in ideal positioning. The PW-X motor makes climbing much more enjoyable as well.

Boasting incredible speeds of up to 17 mph and dependable geometry and stability, the Goplus electric mountain bike is one to die for. It is built to be lightweight yet durable, thanks to a dependable aluminum alloy frame. Among other features that are worth mentioning in this electric mountain bike includes its 6-speed transmission system, powerful LED headlamp and sharp hydraulic brakes.

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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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To help the rider find the perfect fit, the stem is adjustable. The bike also boasts dynamo powered lights alongside hydraulic disc brakes. The bike will suit riders from 4 ft 10 to 6 ft 5, and also integrates with a child seat. The total weight is 22.5kg, making it admittedly a fairly hefty folder – but that’s fairly uniform across electric versions.
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.

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Built into the bell cap are tiny LEDs that warn him about his level of energy consumption, and also how much battery power remains. The former marathon runner states “My aim has always been to use this bike 100% for off-road only” since E-bikes are legally restricted to a mere 250-watts maximum in most of the European Union countries that he enjoys visiting.
Sharonerd- it depends really on what electric kit you are looking at. At my shop, we encourage customers to invest in the more expensive and higher quality products that will and do last longer than lower quality lower priced products because they are simply made with better materials. The comments above that talk about 3 years on kit do tend to be the lower quality kit's life spans and even if you maintain them, the sad truth is that after 3 years, the company's reselling the lower quality product tend to not be around any more to enable you to invest in a new battery. Or the product itself has been sunseted and no spare parts are around. This can be true of the higher priced products too, but more so on the lower end.

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Loosing comfortable ride, range and power not to mention higher costs are big questions with few good answers for this ebike fan. Ultralight (non electric) performance bikes abound. Want that then go for it. As already noted forcing motored and battery laden electric bikes to be light necessarily reduces comfort, range, and power. Too much compromise for small “stealth” benefits. “You can’t always get what you want”

His early hobby was designing and building model aircraft, while paying careful attention to every gram of weight. His own custom design of electrically-powered motor-glider won four electric flight world championships in Europe (1986-1992), and six titles in the United States. In 1991, he designed and built an 800-gram solar-powered model aircraft with a wingspan of almost 2-meters…and it set a world record flight of 10 hours, 43 minutes, and 51 seconds, which was officially recorded in the Guinness Book of World records.

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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.

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.

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Lots of electric bike companies love to tout their ridiculously long ranges of travel you can ride on one charge, but sometimes it's a bit too far fetched for the real world, and may leave you disappointed. Luckily, we're here to help you understand what to really expect out of your electric bike battery so that you can have an easier time selecting the right bike for you! 

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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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