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.
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Every bike we tested was a blast to ride. However, they all had very different ride characteristics. All of these could stand to improve in different areas, but the category is not mature enough to get a very capable bike for a reasonable price. We will continue to update this review as new bikes emerge, and electric mountain bikes continue to evolve.
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This is a list of the best performing, best value electric bikes for 2018 / 2019. For each category I list two models, the first recommendation is based on performance and the second is based on affordability. As you explore the list and get to know EBR, check out the ebike community forum for more personalized feedback. Share your height, weight, budget and intended use (along with bikes you like) to get advice from actual owners and moderators.
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That’s a tough one to answer. It depends on the power of the battery (typically 24, 36 or 48V), the power of the bike (limited in the UK to 250W), the bike’s battery management system, and the way you ride. Some bikes allow you to choose different levels of assist to prioritise speed or battery life, which makes predictions of battery life even more difficult.
We didn't take an existing charger and slap the Luna name on it. We special-ordered a quality charger from a respected manufacturer, and specified certain features that we feel are the most important. It has a difgital voltage read-out (why don't they all have that?), a choice between a slow charge at 3A, or a fast charge at 5A. Most importantly, we made sure to include an 80%/90%/100% three-way switch so you can choose max possible range, or max possible life. Other chargers give you only two choices...take it or leave it.
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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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Another important element is the primary user interface or the controls. It should be user-friendly so that the rider can navigate the features easily. A straightforward control panel should not include anything more than a small, digital display with clear readings, ergonomic thumb shifters, and a charging connection. In fact, a thumb shifter is even better than electronic buttons, although some riders may disagree.
Assembly was pretty simple and straightforward, there are some videos online explaining it. Definitely important to know how to switch it on, though -- pressing the "M" button for two seconds with the key in the "on" position. Despite being a heavy bike, it's very quick and nimble. I ride about 15 miles per day and was able to get two trips out of it before charging, riding fast. My only complaints are the squeaky brakes, and the front fender. Said fender is a bit too close to the tire on the front wheel and doesn't mount very securely, so it kept making very loud noises as it would catch the tire whenever I went over a bump or had to brake hard. I just took it off for the time being.
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.
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Power delivery is smooth and easy to predict, once you get the hang of it. We’re not sure if integration is better on the Turbo road bike, or if the slow, technical nature of trail riding just highlights some quirks. The motor shuts off less than a second after you stop pedaling, and the onset of power delivery is momentarily delayed once you begin pedaling. And this did mean we had to adapt our riding style a little bit to deal with that slight lag.
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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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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.
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The major feedback that we received was our viewer’s dissatisfaction with high prices of those two-wheelers. So in this episode we decided to review 10 of the cheapest models on sale that come to your doorstep almost factory assembled and do not require additional skills and sophisticated instruments to be put together. Do you think you can get a decent electric bicycle for $1000 or less? Let watch and find out!
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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
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The Swagcycle folding electric bike is a stylish and sturdy bike. With a single battery charge, you can reach up to 15 miles. This bike is an excellent choice for the cities and amazing countrysides. The Swagcycle folding electric bike weights only 16.8 kg, so it is not only powerful but lightweight also. Because it is a foldable electric bike, you can fit it almost everywhere. It allows you to save some space in your home. This electric bike has two modes: you can ride it on your own, or turn on the throttle mode and enjoy the riding without even pedaling hard!
I've had a Daa Hub kit on my touring bike for just over 3 years. . There have been so many problems that is actually been 3 kits (except the battery) in 3 years and I'm fed up. The supplier is too and the bike is being decommissioned. There was a suggestion that I've had my value from it. I disagree. Its used for commuting - I've only averaged about 5,000km per year on it, though that's hard to calculate as the computer on it has been changed about 4 times.
@JoePah , Heat and humidity has its own challenges relative to degrading lithium batteries and some motors, too. It has been my experience that the manufacturers who learn from design & performance issues have come back with better bikes and batteries. The product that we sold 3-5 years ago didn't necessarily have the same resilience that today's do. Lifespan of the individual components will vary, so I find it difficult to say that a kit is going to be toast in 3 years time; maybe just not as cool as the latest greatest new unit.
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The Trek Powerfly's 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. Our Editor's Choice Award winner, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp scored the lowest in this rating due to the lack of a handlebar mounted display and a less user-friendly charging connection.
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I rubbed my eyes in astonishment as an elderly man shot up a steep path at high speed in the forests of Kusnachtertobels, just east of Lake Zurichsee. A faint high-frequency hum revealed that he was accelerating with more than just his own muscles. Once he came to a stop, he smiled mischievously at the faces of stunned bystanders. The man on this carbon-fiber E-bike is Jean-Pierre Schiltknecht, a 74 year-old avid mountain cyclist. The wily senior assured me he has been active with mountain cycling “Since the inception of the sport!”
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.
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.
You can set the maximum speed at more than 20mph (but the legal limit is 20). Also, you should not cross that limit because the Shimano 7-gear transmission system won’t be able to cope up with anything higher than 22 to 23 mph. However, to the absolute joy of the thrill seekers, the huge weight of the bike can push the speed to go over 40 mph on downhill coasts. Be careful though and make sure that the road and traffic conditions allow that speed limit.
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.
For Canyon’s first e-mtb the Spectal:ON 8.0 hasn’t simply hit the trail running, it’s power up it in Boost mode. The geometry, sizing and handling are all on point, and details like the adjustable geometry, odd wheel sizes, tyre specific rim widths and short cranks make Canyon a market leader rather than a brand that’s simply playing catch up. With a Fox 36 Fit4 fork the Spectral:ON 8.0 would probably have won the test, the more basic Grip damper never having the measure of Canyon’s superb rear suspension.
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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.
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Yukon Trails Outback Electric Mountain Bike is an affordable urban bike with a 24 volt motor of 250 watts. The lead-acid battery of 10 AH offers 28 miles in a charge. This mountain bike is manufactured in China. The bike has the solid tires of 1.75 Watt and 24 inches. It reaches up to the speed of 15 MPH due to the rim of 24 inches. You can smoothly ride the bike while enjoying the fresh air. The seat is comfortable to sit for a long time.
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You are now assured of smooth rides on all surfaces including the bumpy surfaces by getting this elegant e-bike. The electric bike features lightweight 26-inch alloy frames plus sturdy suspension fork, which enables it to deliver a smooth ride. Second, to this, it is very stable and able to support up to 260 lbs of weight. The durable electric bike is powered by 350W high-speed motor to ensure that you achieve a higher speed.
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.
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.