A $1,500, fully loaded e-cargo bike seemed too good to be true, so we borrowed the RadWagon from Rad Power Bikes to see if it could stand up to competitors that cost thousands more. In short: it does. A 750-watt Shengyi direct-drive hub motor provides powerful pedal assist at a much quieter hum than the mid-drive motors used on most e-cargo bikes; its only disadvantage is there’s not quite as much torque, but you’ll only notice on steep hills. A throttle lets you ride the bike like a scooter, and we had no problems with the 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain or the Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Lights, fenders, and a kickstand are standard. Despite its length, the RadWagon isn’t difficult to maneuver: We thrashed it around an abandoned golf car path and didn’t scrape the rear foot platforms against the ground, a good sign for low-speed handling. It’s a lot easier to charge $5,000 or more for an e-cargo bike when you market it as a car replacement, but the RadWagon proves you can render your car mostly obsolete for the price of an e-bike, not another car.
This ultra-light frame provides greater strength to weight ratio. It makes the bike less cumbersome to carry and robust enough to take a beating on the rough trails. A weatherproof and rustproof finish used on the frame lets the bike retain its new look for longer. Carbon-steel fork provides excellent shock absorption to keep you comfortable on bumpy surfaces.
It used to be you’d have to shell out a pretty penny to grab a piece of the e-bike fun. And while high-priced models still and always will exist—you can own a Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo mountain bike for a mere 12 grand—there are now some very affordable options that weren’t available a year ago. If you’re in it more for the fun than you are for high performance, you likely won’t notice where that extra money is being saved. For example, every bike on this list uses a hub-drive motor versus a mid-drive type, is designed with less integration (think battery and lights), mixes in some lower-quality parts, and has a top speed of 20 mph (save for the Aventon Pace 500 that boosts up to 28 mph). The trade-off: Every bike on this list—save the $1,699, which we included for its relatively high value—is sub-$1,500. Here’s what you’ll typically get with an e-bike in this price range.

A true fat tire electric hunting bike, this model was built to provide maximum  comfort, especially the shorter person with a stand over height of 26.5" thanks to those 24" wheels.  You can go just about anywhere with this bike so getting to those hard to reach hunting areas will not be a problem.  This bike features a Bafang 750W BBSH02 High Torque Mid Drive and a long-lasting LG 48V10.4AH battery.


The majority of electric bikes will be fitted and made with front and rear brakes, which provide extra safety and extra stopping power. Fewer of these bikes will be equipped with brakes that are quick stopping. This is an additional safety feature, on some bikes but not all, that is highly recommended for you to look for in your electric mountain bike purchase.
"The eMTB mode is a fantastic alternative to the manually adjusted power settings found on most other e-bikes. The beauty is that eMTB mode works so well, you can forget about it entirely and focus on the ride instead. Having e-bike specific forks and four piston brakes for example is something that seems obvious, but surprisingly few companies actually make happen."
Here are two more advantages I see: One is the reduction in scent impact when travelling in my hunting area. My boots are not touching the ground, and I will be moving faster, leaving less signs of my intrusion that might alarm deer. Secondly, I ride a bike quite a bit on trails through wooded areas near my home, and I see that deer react much differently to a person on a bike than they do to a person on foot. They don’t see a person sitting on a pair of wheels as nearly the threat that they perceive a person walking. I’m not sure how much that will be an advantage, but spooking deer while scouting and travelling to and from a hunting location could be reduced.

"Powerfly really feels at home blasting around even the most extreme trails. Rough terrain is simply swallowed up by the capable suspension. The relatively long chain stays are a huge advantage on steep sections, letting you stay seated without losing any traction. The front wheel hardly ever lifts off the ground and the central position makes it easy to pedal on technical sections and maintain your balance."


While we liked the value, component specification, and versatile all-around performance of the Trance E+ 2, it wasn't all gold stars. E-bikes are heavy, that is a given, but the Trance is a little heavier than most at 52 lbs 3 oz. This weight is one of the reasons this bike feels somewhat sluggish at times, especially in low-speed sections of trail. It also has mediocre e-bike controls. Sure, they are functional, but the all-in-one control's display in the form of small LED lights is difficult to see by the left grip and near impossible to read when riding in bright light conditions. Beyond that, we feel the Trance E+ 2 is a quality e-bike offered at a reasonable price.
With mountain bikes already sporting hefty price tags, the cost of adding an electric pedal-assist motor might be enough to send the value-conscious rider's head spinning. In many cases, you get what you pay for and the most expensive models are the highest performing. This isn't always the case, however, and bikes like our Best Buy Award winner, the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro cost less and perform nearly as well as the more expensive competition. Who makes the best electric mountain bike?
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