Is it sensible to buy an eMTB for well over € 5,000? Probably not. Will you feel cool buying one of these bikes? You most definitely will! These bikes are the supercars and luxury sedans among eMTBs, where the best bike manufacturers in the world have pulled out all the stops regarding design, detail, and technical sophistication. Yet, while some of them tend to remind of a 911 when it comes to handling, others ride like a Hummer H2 – the price tag alone doesn’t predict anything about the actual performance of a bike. In our search for the best eMTB of 2018, we tested the twelve most promising models.
They’re much more undetectable than dirt bikes and ATV’s: Animals work off of their senses, and as a hunter, you already know that loud noises will scare off the game, and lots of movement will make game and fish that much harder to catch. Not only that, but the smell of gas and even your sweat can send prey running. An electric motor doesn’t rev as loud or make anywhere near the amount of vibration as gas engines do. You and your bike won’t produce a bunch of unwanted odor when you ride, so you’re looking at a better chance of getting your kill faster and more efficiently with an e-bike.
Let’s face it, at this price you likely won’t get a bike that hides its battery with any sort of elegance. Except for the Blix Vika+ folding e-bike on this list that tucks its battery behind the seat tube and the Propella that passes its battery off as a water bottle, most are stuck to the top of the down tube. Don’t expect to ride across the state on these, either. The highest range in this list is 50 miles, but most average about 30 to 35. Check the bike’s battery range before you buy to make sure it fits your daily needs.
The 250W e-bike is very powerful and able to deliver a speed of 25 km/h. With this, you will find it great for riding long distances. Other than this, it also has an 8Ah battery, which guarantees a longer runtime. It features a powerful headlight that makes the bike great for night riding. Lastly, the ergonomic bike is very safe due to the efficient braking system.
The Ghost SL AMR scored relatively well in this metric, with a small digital display mounted by the stem. The YT Decoy uses the same drive unit and controls as the Ghost and scored equally well for having easy to reach controls and a digital display mounted by the stem on the handlebar. The Trek Powerfly's all-in-one Bosch Purion shifter and display unit was easy to read and had a bright screen, but was in a less visible location on the left side of the handlebar. The Bulls E-Stream has a similar system to the Trek, but with better button ergonomics and more information available on the display on separate screens.
Due to high total weights of over 20 kg, it doesn’t matter whether the scale stops at 21.44 kg or 22.2 kg for a modern eMTB. In our test, the difference between the lightest and the heaviest bike was just under 4 kg. This is not to be ignored… but a little extra weight in the form of functional, reliable componentry is better than an ebike designed and constructed to be as light as possible, at all costs, but which ends up in the workshop more often than on the trail.
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.
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. What's the best electric mountain bike?