Over several months, our team of four professional mountain bike testers rode each of the electric mountain bikes in our test selection on a variety of trails and terrain in a range of weather conditions. We had each tester ride each of the bikes numerous times, often riding the different models back to back for the sake of comparison. We didn't go easy on them. Instead, we treated them all as if they were our own, putting them all through the wringer to identify their strengths and weaknesses. We scrutinized every aspect of each e-bike's performance and scored them all on several rating metrics, e-bike controls, downhill performance, uphill performance, power output, and distance range. Each of these metrics is described in greater detail below. It is important to note that during our testing, our impressions of these e-bikes changed dramatically. Our first impressions didn't exactly stick. It was essential for us to test the different models head-to-head and make direct comparisons to flush out the differences.
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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When riding a normal bike through creek crossings and rock gardens, I typically stop pedaling often to avoid pedal strikes and to maneuver the bike. This approach is not compatible with the Turbo Levo’s weight. On it, continual pedaling was necessary, but the big tires and well-damped suspension enabled me to roll over obstacles I’d typically try to avoid, with the motor helping me power over them smoothly. To make this constant pedaling possible without pedal strikes, the bottom bracket is moved higher and Specialized has spec’d 170mm cranks that are a tad shorter than normal. 

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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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The removable 460 Wh battery is hidden in the downtube, and the custom-built-for-Specialized Brose motor is integrated around the bottom bracket, and develops 250 watts of power. A torque sensor detects when you’re applying pressure to the pedals, and provides assistance when you need it. Aside from the glowing green LEDs indicating charge levels and output settings, there is little indicating this Turbo is anything but a typical mountain bike. 

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Surprised by the 3 year votes -- I am hoping for more years than that! My friend has his old bike with a BionX kit that he uses every day that's 7 years old without any problem. I expect to change the battery after a few years but that's it -- my thinking is that I will get tired of the bike (wanting new tech) before the bike gets tired of me! Buy a good product and you should be fine for years to come.

How Do Pedal Assist E Bikes Work


For anyone looking for the best electric mountain bikes, it is advisable to consider the key features of the bike. Some of the main features to look out for include the battery life, which should offer 4-6 hours of runtime. Besides this, the motor is another essential consideration to look out for. There are bikes with up to 500W motors while others are powered by 350W and 250W. You also need to consider the tire sizes, the braking system for safety, and the saddle height, which needs to be adjusted. Lastly, also look out for the working modes, cost, and warranty of the bike.

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Besides the fact that Ghost is indeed a very good bike, there is one huge reason that we decided to add it to this list and that is customer support. Guys at Ride1Up are awesome and really passionate about their brand and what they are doing, so you can be sure that they will be there for you to provide all the assistance you need with your Ride1Up bike, and answer all the questions you have. And the orders ship almost overnight, which means there is no months of waiting for your bike to arrive, as it’s often the case with some other manufacturers. If you are not looking just for the cheapest option, but you want real value for your money this is THE bike to buy for less than $1000. And we also recommend that you take a look at other bikes from Ride1Up lineup as well.

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To enjoy a great ride for long hours, this durable E-bike is one to try out. This is because the electric bike is powered by the 250W high-speed motor that aids in boosting the speed. Besides this, it has the 21-speed transmission system; hence you can easily shift the speeds to attain a higher speed. In addition to this, has the ideal brakes system that makes it very safe.

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There's a lot to like about the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro starting with its reasonable price. Electric mountain bikes are expensive, and the Trance E+ 2 comes in under $5K with a nice component specification. The build is one reason why this bike performs so well on the trail, with a beefy fork, plush suspension, meaty tires, and powerful brakes that can handle the heavy weight of this rig. It's also got a nice modern geometry that helps it perform very well on the descents while still maintaining reasonable climbing abilities. It has a 504Wh battery and proved to be one of the most efficient in using that power in our distance range testing. There's no lack of power on tap when you need it, and it delivers it smoothly with little motor noise. Giant finishes it all off with nice integration of the battery and motor into the frame design for a super clean look.

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There is no crossbar or crazy geometry to speak of, simply a high modulus carbon front frame that is connected to a trailing arm. Even the wheels are cutting edge, with the special patented quick-detach "Pitstopwheels" fastening to a central hub like a sports car. On top of this, there's a futuristic Knightrider-esque "cockpit", which consists of numerous coloured LEDs that give slightly abstract readouts on battery range, gear selection and speed. Again, lighting is built in, drawing power from the main battery.

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There's much less of a sensation of the Electrified S2 'fighting back' once you hit 15.5mph, as well. That's helped by the automatic 2-speed gear box, although this does take some getting used to. Because its cogs are very different sizes you can end up with all sorts of cadence problems as it auto-shifts from high back to low. With practice you can avoid this, or of course you could in theory fit a second cog that's closer in size to the first.

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XB-300-SLA X-Treme Electric Mountain Bicycle is a great bike for the novice as it is easy to ride with simple steps. It is an affordable bike with high-quality features that work on a motor of 300 watts and offers a speed up to 20 MP on a single charge. It takes up to 4 hours to fully recharge the battery for the next use. The comfortable padded seat, 18-inch steel frame, 7-speed tourney gear, 24V lead acid battery, power assist system, and steel front forks are a few features that make it popular.

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A sleek affordable commuter from Yamaha, a household brand name going for a balance of price, performance, efficiency, and a purist feel, for years they did their homework studying their applications on Haibike, Giant, etc, using data and analysis to make offerings of their own. The PW SE motor is smooth and very efficient, coupled with the protected PW-X display,…...

Are E Bikes Allowed On Mackinac Island


E-enduro bikes aren’t as different to regular bikes as one might imagine. All of the fundamentals are the same and by nailing the geometry and sizing Vitus has produced an amazing e-bike with the E-Sommet VR.Sure there are a couple of little things we’d probably change, like the STEPS Di2 mode shifter and rear tyre, but that’s about it. And given how much cheaper the Vitus is compared to the competition, you can easily afford to make these changes and even buy a spare battery. The E-Sommet VR is no golf buggy, but Vitus has it’s certainly hit a hole in one with this bike.
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.
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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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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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.

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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 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. 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.


Even with cheaper or heavier bikes, once you accept that you are really meant to pedal gently and let the motor do the work, non-speed freaks will get into it. E-bikes are great for commuting and for places that aren't pancake flat. They'll pull you away from the lights quickly, iron out hills and stop you getting sweaty, so you can bin the Lycra and ride in jeans, a suit, or a winter coat.

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Nakto City Electric Bike is designed for urban commuting, it is fast, comfortable and convenient. This is a perfect utility bike; you can use it to run errands, go to the grocery store, go to work, or just a leisure ride. It is equipped with all the features you would want for riding around town, such as LED headlight, a rear cargo rack, a cargo basket and a kickstand.

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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.

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As a serious,but aging cyclist, have been considering the purchase of an electric assist bike for some years. My primary concern was that the bike needed to provide enough power to assist me to tackle some very steep hills and my weight is near 220 lbs. Having no experience with electric assist, I anticipated the 500 watt motor rating of this ... full review
Hi @Sharonerd , Lifespan is relative to the quality of kit you buy, type of battery, how you're using it and consistent regular maintenance (like checking tire pressure, lube the chain, etc.) What's your goal for the kit? I'm a fan of conversions when you're wanting to upgrade a bike that you really like, that fits you & your lifestyle just right. For instance, one of the EBikes that I ride is a hand built folding bike, the Airnimal, with smaller 24" wheels which better fits my 5'4" height and shorter leg length. This bike has a BionX kit on it, so the final product is lighter than any ebike on the market.

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The XF800 comes with a high-powered motor (1000W and 48V) that works on three levels – Twisting Throttle to get the electric power at the full force, Pedal Assist, and completely Turn Off the power. The 7-speed Shimano shifter is great for experimenting at various speeds while the dual-suspension, wider tires, and hydraulic disc brakes ensure a bump-free smooth ride.

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The Goplus electric mountain bike is a perfect bike for all kind of outdoors. It has an eye-catching 26” x 4.0” fat tires, which helps you to ride on every surface, even snow or sand easily. The Goplus electric mountain bike has a 36V 10AH lithium battery. After recharging the battery for 4-5 hours, you can comfortably ride a bike for 20 miles at 12.5 km/h speed. This stylish bike provides powerful riding. Also, The Goplus electric bike has three modes to choose from: pure electric mode, assist and throttle – riding without pedaling. If you are looking for a style and power at the same time – this bike is for you.

Are Electric Bikes Allowed On Trails


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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On the 8.0 specifically, Haibike sets you up with the brand new Yamaha PW-X motor. This motor comes standard with a 500 watt hour battery, Bluetooth connectivity, and 80 nm of torque out the gate. The PW-X also boasts the benefit of a dual chainring up front. This means you’ll save some battery if you’re willing to work a little harder and use those gears! Speaking of gears, you’ll get a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain. Pair that with Fox 34 Float Performance front suspension and a Fox Float DPS rear shock (150mm travel) and you’ve got a fully-capable, all-around ride.
This is another comfortable and durable electric bike that will suit you. The e-bike features adjustable handlebars and seat, which you can move to suit your riding height. Apart from this, the bike is also durable due to the fact that it has been made from the best quality of 26-inch aluminum alloy spokes. This also aids in rust prevention and dust-proof. The quality e-bike also features the 7-modes fly-wheel to provide a wide range of choices.

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Even with cheaper or heavier bikes, once you accept that you are really meant to pedal gently and let the motor do the work, non-speed freaks will get into it. E-bikes are great for commuting and for places that aren't pancake flat. They'll pull you away from the lights quickly, iron out hills and stop you getting sweaty, so you can bin the Lycra and ride in jeans, a suit, or a winter coat.

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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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Thanks for your excellent article. I’ve been riding ebike for about 16 years. My first electric bike was a Meridian pedal assist bike. I just up graded to a new bike. I’m 73, so I wanted a pedal assist bike that had a throttle. I researched for several months and bought what I think is the best bike for the money. It’s a Rad Rover 2017 fat bike. It has a 750 watt mother with a 48 volt 11.6 amp battery. It’s a fantastic bike, that is a lot of fun to ride. You might want to check it out and add it to your list of bikes. Rad Rover also make a city commuter bike, a cargo bike and a folding bike. You can’t beat their price for a quality bike. Thanks again for both of your articles. They were very informative.
Mountain biking is all about having fun, right? About getting out there, enjoying the great outdoors, exercising your body and freeing your mind. So what if we told you there was a type of bike that lets you ride further, faster, and have even more fun? One that even made you LOL on the climbs? You’d still have to work for your rewards, but by assisting your efforts, it allowed you to wring every little drop of enjoyment out of your rides. 

Merax is a brand that has been dominating the biking industry for a while now, and this electric mountain bike compliments the brands quality and desire to be one of the best brands. It is powered by a 350 Watt motor which gives the bike enough power to go anywhere. The bike functions in two modes; as an E-bike and on a PAS mode. It also has a 5 pedal assistant level which is a good way to enjoy different riding experiences.

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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. 

Does Mountain Biking Burn More Calories Than Road Biking


Well done! I started using hub motor 2 years ago when snow was killing my knees I am just a baby at 49pine years old. I asked my lbs guru why my knees were getting sore and he said you need to take a few days off. That was not an option so now I comute to work every day on e-bike and can still rip it up on the weekends with mykids on specialized pitch regular pedal power.I know the day will come when I need help on weekends to. 

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If you really want to see the future take a look at the Fazua Evation, with a battery and motor this system weighs an incredible 4.7kg! The battery only has 250wh, but at 1.3kg you could easily carry a spare in a pack. The really interesting thing about this system though, is the motor and the battery can be removed from the frame, so you really do have two bikes in one.

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Chris McNamara spends a whole lot of time in the saddle. This rock climber turned mountain cyclist loves huge rides covering obscene distances. He is working on a few gigantic rides including a singletrack route around Lake Tahoe and a ride from South Lake Tahoe to Mammoth Lakes. Paul Tindal is a versatile rider who spent years in the elite ranks in the road, downhill and enduro disciplines. Paul is now the lead mechanic and shop manager at a busy bike shop in South Lake Tahoe. Joshua Hutchens has spent decades in the bike industry. He has been a racer, bike shop owner, mechanic, and a guide. Joshua has a great eye for the subtleties of a bicycle.

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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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Perhaps the cleverest thing of all about the Electric Brompton is that despite all the extra stuff, it folds up exactly the same as the non-powered variety. It's so simple, and unlike certain folding bikes we could mention, what you're left with is a genuinely small thing, rather than something that's about the size of a bike with the front wheel taken off.
None of this would matter if the VanMoof Electrified S2 (and its close relative the X2) wasn't fun to ride, but it is a blast. Like the Brompton, it pulls off the neat trick of powering you along but giving the illusion that you're doing the work, reacting quickly and cleverly to the speed of your pedalling and the difficulty of any incline you're on. 

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On the 8.0 specifically, Haibike sets you up with the brand new Yamaha PW-X motor. This motor comes standard with a 500 watt hour battery, Bluetooth connectivity, and 80 nm of torque out the gate. The PW-X also boasts the benefit of a dual chainring up front. This means you’ll save some battery if you’re willing to work a little harder and use those gears! Speaking of gears, you’ll get a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain. Pair that with Fox 34 Float Performance front suspension and a Fox Float DPS rear shock (150mm travel) and you’ve got a fully-capable, all-around ride.

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Ego 26” bike is perfect for everyday commute. It features a 500W motor with 10AH lithium-ion battery. The E-go 26″ allows up to 20 miles with a speed up to 20 MPH. The design has a large display for speed and distance, as well as the battery life. Built with an aluminum frame with built-in battery, seat post suspension and Shimano gears. This bike is really one of the best cheap electric bikes on the market.

Are Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed On Trails


Equipped with a high performance motor, this Ancheer Power Plus electric mountain bike has won accolades for its superior performance and unmatched reliability. It is built with a solid Aluminum alloy frame to keep it strong yet lightweight enough to maneuver with easily. It is everything one would want to get through any terrain and is excellent in every way imaginable.

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Time to give some love to my dudes and dudettes over at Bulls bikes. The Bulls E-Stream Evo AM 4 27.5+ (phew, out of breath after saying that one) is an incredible electric bike for the price point. I was going to put the step down from this bike on the list, (2018 Bulls E-Stream Evo AM 3 27.5+) but I realized that this bike is only $400 dollars more. The upgrades you get for that 400 bucks are pretty remarkable.

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That aside, the Axis is a fantastic e-bike. At 'only' 16kg, it's almost lively by e-bike standards, but it also feels rock solid. It's geared too low in my opinion – I think it's fair to say I am not the target market – but in 8th, you can breeze on past the legally mandated, electrically-assisted 15.5mph. The hydraulic disk brakes will then bring you to a pleasingly rapid dead stop. The range and charging time are good, too. Cheap it is not, mind you.
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!

Do I Need A Licence For An Electric Bike

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