Most brands list their bike's power, but avoid putting too much emphasis on the number— there is no standard for measuring this, so the performance can vary wildly. Every motor on our list is rated to a continuous, or nominal, power output of 250 watts. But even this number isn't always accurate. Instead, look for torque, which measures how much rotational force is being applied to move the motor. It's the oomph, grunt, or kick you feel when you step on the pedals. More torque means faster acceleration and increased assistance.
There are two working modes to choose from. You can either leave it to run completely on electric power or select a pedal assistance mode. The 21-speed transmission system is excellent for experimenting with various speed levels on different trails. However, don’t select the e-power mode or a high-speed level when bombing down descents. The high-speed won’t let the bike to stay stable.
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.
The 250W motor and the 36V battery is built into a frame that also includes 26 inches wheels, anti-slip power-off brake, and Shimano 21-speed shifters. An integrated LCD screen shows power, speed, battery charge, and a few other statistics. It is suitable for adults as it can carry up to 360 lbs weight. However, the bike itself is almost 51 pounds, so keep that in mind.
It wasn't all gold stars for the Bulls, however, as the larger battery storage of this bike makes it the heaviest in our test. This heavyweight rig is far from nimble or agile, giving it a more one-dimensional performance on the descents, and hampering its climbing abilities in technical sections or tight corners. Its charging port is also recessed into the frame making it one of the least user-friendly, and while we did like their e-bike controls, they couldn't quite match the ergonomics or display of some of the competition. Overall, we had a blast riding the E-Stream EVO AM 4, read on to find out how it compares.
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.
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.
Having been around the business of bowhunting for more than 40 years, I have seen some products, ideas and concepts come and go. A lot of them. Some of these things become important parts of bowhunting success for many archers, some find a small niche and move along with the growth of the industry, and, of course, some are relegated to the ash-heap of history. The ones that survive seem to be products that fill a need.
The Ranger is the only rear hub motor that made the list. I wanted to include one rear hub as not everyone is looking for the best hill climbing bike out there. If you want an ebike that is built tough, reliable and has a good Bafang 750 rear hub motor, the Ranger is the best for you. It performs well on moderate terrain with some hills but performs better on lower gradient inclines.
Electric bikes are here in a big way. Liberated from some of the normal constraints of standard bike design like weight and gearing, e-bike design has exploded; if you can imagine it, someone has built it. From cargo bikes to city bikes, messenger bikes to mountain bikes, road bikes, folding bikes, and even beach cruisers, there is something for everyone. The beauty of e-bikes is that they make the joy of cycling accessible to so many people in so many ways. See at-a-glance reviews below of five of our top-rated e-bikes, or scroll deeper for full reviews of these and other high-ranking options, plus more buying info.
The motor is incased in the frame of the bike which gives you better ground clearance. A long lasting eBike, this model comes standard with a Panasonic 48V 14.5AH battery that can be quickly recharged while not in use. This gives you a total range of 20 miles without the need for pedaling. A thumb throttle allows you to easily control the bike while you are ascending difficult terrain.
Basically, there is no reason to ride an eMTB with less than 130 mm of travel. With classic bikes, more travel usually means both less efficiency and poorer climbing characteristics, but this is not true with eMTBs – at least not up to a certain point. The best example is the Specialized Turbo Levo, which with its 135 mm of travel at the rear handles much better than most of the other, longer travel bikes in the group test. Also, eMTBs with suspension travel of 180 mm or more are often noticeably less efficient, as clearly exemplified in this test by the Haibike XDURO Nduro. It climbs a lot slower than other bikes using the same motor and the same level of assistance, an experience you will find with almost all other long-travel bikes from other manufacturers. The exception is the BULLS E-CORE EVO EN Di2: in direct comparison, it climbs a lot more efficiently, even though it also offers 180 mm of travel. The ideal compromise between uphill and downhill performance usually lies somewhere between 130 and 160 mm of travel.
Specialized has e-bikes figured out. Its e-bikes are better looking and better sorted than almost anything else. This Turbo Levo has a clean interface: just a mode switch and a few LEDs for status. To dig deeper, you use Specialized’s Misson Control app, which lets the user customize the motor’s tune, and has a clever Smart Control mode. This mode lets the rider set and time or distance, and the amount of reserve they want to be left over. The app then automatically adjusts the motor’s output to meet those settings, reducing battery anxiety. The custom motor is extremely smooth and quiet, with awesome torque. We found the highest mode too powerful for finesse riding, but great for flying up smooth climbs and cutting time off transfers. The e-bike tuned RockShox fork is somewhat harsh, but the rest of the parts are excellent and suit the bike’s capabilities—something we can’t say that about every e-bike.
Speed is one of the biggest selling points of this e-bike. In fact, it’s among the models that offer the widest range of gears on the list. You get 21 speed gear options for perfect climbing ability. The whole transmission system is Shimano, which means professional quality and smooth, consistent performance. 250W motor is integrated on the transmission system to provides speeds of up to 25km/h.
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.
This 3-speed bike comes with a nice sized digital display that will be easy to read even in low-light conditions. The bikes can reach a maximum speed of 19 MPH and has a range of 20 miles without having to pedal. This impressive range is due to the fact that this bike comes with a long-lasting 48v/11.6ah Panasonic battery which can be quickly recharged.
The Super Commuter is aptly named. The 350w Bosch motor sustains speeds up to 28mph, and the burly, 2.4-inch-wide Schwalbe Super Moto-X 650b tires keep you secure on even the roughest city streets. Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes provide ample stopping power. Fenders protect you from road spray so you arrive at your destination fresh. Integrated lights are critical for post-sunset riding, and a side-view mirror hanging on the left side of the handlebar gives a great view of traffic around you. Best of all, you can ride at the speed of urban traffic on the Super Commuter. How fast are electric mountain bikes?