UPS delivered one day later than the expected delivery date. It was a little frustrating, but one day is just one day, so can't be all too upset. Box arrived in good condition. Inside the box, the bike seemed to be packaged well but there were issues. The left gear shift handle was snapped off. Homdox was notified and they said they would send a new one (handle, gear shift, bike.... not sure, assuming a new gear shift).
The frame is constructed of 6061 aluminum that’s more responsive with some bit of flex to it. A step-thru design makes getting on and off a breeze. The frame supports a more upright posture for improved comfort and visibility. A front fork suspension and rear spring suspension make for a smooth ride on uneven surfaces. It actually adds an aggressive look to the overall design.
In the end, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp proved to be the tester favorite, offering the most versatile downhill performance that felt the "most like a mountain bike" that the other models couldn't match. The Specialized proved to be the most nimble and agile by far, yet still managed to be confident and stable at speed. We were also thoroughly impressed by the versatility and confidence-inspiring manners of our Best Buy winner, the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro. The Trance's modern geometry and quality component spec are the primary factors that help it outperform some of the competition. The Bulls E-Stream has a more one dimensional downhill performance, a stable and planted feel that absolutely charges downhill and excels as the speeds increase. The enduro-oriented YT Decoy CF Pro is also very impressive on the descents. The modern geometry, low bottom bracket, generous travel, and quality component spec all combine to make this a hard-charging beast on the descents. The Decoy can't match the versatility or well-rounded nature of the Levo, but it crushes downhill with authority.
Trevor Porter, Kona's e-bike manager, said that motors can demand longer chainstays and adding batteries to downtubes can require larger headtubes, increasing stack height. This is common across the range of e-mtbs we tested. The reach and head tube angle tend to remain similar to standard bikes, but the chainstay length, head tube length, and stack height are generally increased.
As I said before, going up hills might require some pedaling, but it is SO MUCH EASIER with the motor running. I feel like a higher voltage is used on level 3 pedal assist than can be gotten just using the hand turn, though. It takes a few pedals for the pedal assist to kick in which can be annoying, but it does save some battery on initial acceleration. You also have to be careful pedaling around to park the bike or at a street corner waiting for traffic because you DO NOT want the motor to kick in and send you into a workbench or worse ... oncoming traffic.
A: Electric bikes are designed with compact electric motors which are usually attached to the back of the front wheel and housed in a hub. There are a number of controls with a user interface which is where all the motor operation is done by the rider. Here one can control the speed, braking and other things such as battery management. Some e-bikes have other electric components such as a sensor which also help in geometry and stabilization.
We rode the Vado through some of the steepest hills in Palo Alto, and it easily handled everything we threw at it, maintaining a steady 20 miles per hour even on the most daunting of ascents. The bike also handles well downhill and is both nimble and quick on city streets and paved trails. It’s even comfortable to ride for extended distances, which is vitally important for any bike built for urban settings.
By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best e-bikes available for those who are interested in new technology combined with traditional bikes. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best electric bicycles currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
E-bikes mostly use motors and battery options from a few major suppliers: Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, and Brose. A few other brands exist, but are less reliable or powerful. Some, like the Yamaha system, have more torque, and others, like Bosch’s Active Line, are nearly silent. But, generally, all four make good options. Look for motor output (in torque), which will give you an idea of total power. Just like car engines, more torque equals more power off the line and more boost to your pedaling. But watt hours (Wh) is perhaps a more important figure to use—it takes into account battery output and life to give a more accurate reflection of power (higher Wh equals bigger range).
What's The Best Electric Mountain Bike? ▼