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.
Before this test we thought more travel on an e-bike would obviously be better. After all, with the motor flattening out the climbs, why not have the extra suspension firepower to smooth out the descents? Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But in the case of the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert, the extra travel and weight make the bike less effective and less engaging on all but full-on downhill tracks. And if that’s your bread and butter, the Kenevo could well be the perfect topping. Here in the UK though, the Vitus proved more versatile, just as capable and way better value.
The bike shows greater terrain adaptability with the 300W brushless motor and 36V Li-ion battery. The 6-speed Shimano gears provide further range variation. You can select any one from the five levels of PAS but the level one or two assist is perfect for cycling on most tracks. Be careful that there will be little pedal resistance at higher levels. You can also twist the variable speed throttle instead of selecting the pedal assistance.
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.