Had my first crash on this bike. Right at the 500 mile mark mid-November. Sand had blown all over the bike path and I took it too fast. The bike did ok, but when I picked it back up the motor wouldn't work. I pedaled the rest of my commute and got a ride home. I suspected (and was correct) that the left brake lever was bent and the motor was not able to engage because it thought I was braking. I was nervous muscling it back, but it wasn't bent too bad. So that's what I did. And I also took the time to replace both wheels, inner-tubes, and give the bike a cleaning. The front wheel was still ok on tread but the back wheel tread was completely gone. Changing the front wheel was easy. The back wheel was more challenging because the motor cables and disc brakes. Ended up leaving the wheel on the bike and just moving it slightly to get the tube and wheel in place. Ended up just being more annoying than difficult. The chain cleaned up nice with some Simple Green. I haven't ridden on the commute nearly as much with me feeling a little more cautious and it getting dark so early (I don't need to wipe out in the bike lane into traffic...) All is well though. Have had zero issues with the motor since bending the brake back to its (or close to its) rightful position.
So it's time to get yourself one of those fancy new electric bikes that are passing you by on your morning commute. To help you find the latest in E-Vehicle technology and make sure you spend your hard-earned money on the best model, we purchased and tested the top 40 electric bikes on the market today. During our tests, we measured things like motor power, maximum range, top speed and overall weight limit. We also looked at more subtle things like comfort and additional features like removable batteries and charging times.
Jeremy Benson eats, sleeps, and breathes mountain bikes. This native New Englander started mountain biking in 1992. He got more serious in college and started racing bikes in 1999. After moving to Tahoe, Jeremy continued his obsession with riding. He continues to race mountain bikes and has racked up some impressive results in the expert class at the Downieville Classic and the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder. Jeremy authored Mountain Bike Tahoe which was published in 2017. Jeremy's riding statistics are eye-popping, to say the least. He rode over 5,000 miles in 2018 climbing nearly 600,000 feet. Oh yeah, he was also a sponsored skier for well over a decade. Jeremy has a very critical eye and is also good at breaking things. These are wonderful traits for bike testers.
Each of these models comes with a highly capable Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor with torque sensor. If you are looking for an eBike that can take you deep into nature where the major game are hiding, the Storm is for you! With a 40 mile range, you will be able to reach areas you never thought possible! The bike can also carry a ton of gear and has a load capacity of up to 300 pounds.
The gears don't seem to keep up on this bike. There are 21 gears, same as my other bike, but there is much more resistance at the highest gear on my other bike going 20mph than there is on this bike. The reason that is an issue is that during pedal assist, the bike goes pretty quick and I don't want to be pedaling air, I want some, just a little, resistance. I don't know the mechanics of it or how this would be the case, perhaps because this bike has smaller wheels than my other bike? The bike came pretty well adjusted on the derailleurs. I haven't touched the back but the front I've had to mess with a little. The chain fell off outboard once, so had to adjust. Chain guard did its job well. The chain got stuck pretty good, but once I loosed the chain guard everything was easily moved.
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.
If you’re looking for even more performance and an even more refined bike, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Specialized. Their bike embodies the company slogan “Innovate or die” in a perfect way and is full of smart solutions. Many of them, such as the specially developed app for tuning the motor, the integration of the battery, and the small remote lever for selecting the support level, are obvious. Some, on the other hand, only become clear when you take a closer look – such as the Autosag valve on the shock for a simplified setup process, or the omission of a spoke magnet. The Levo also won us over with its outstanding riding characteristics, obviously. It rides comfortably, climbs quickly and efficiently, and has exactly the right mix of agility and stability. It’s the ultimate machine that promises to bring a huge smile to every rider’s face after just a few metres on board – no matter whether beginner or a pro. The Specialized Turbo Levo S-Works Carbon is currently the eMTB offering the best overall package, and thus the deserved Best in Test! The best eMTB of the 2018 season!
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 centered 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. The YT Decoy CF Pro has plenty of power, but it seems clear that this bike was designed for the descents. The Decoy still climbs relatively well, but testers found the low bottom bracket height made it more prone to pedal strikes than other competitors. 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.
Our twelve-person test team not only tested the most exciting eMTBs of the 2018 season in the cold German winter, but also took them to the south of France for two weeks (we will spare you the mandatory muddy photos at this point). We climbed to the top of peaks, rummaged through deep mud, rode over countless roots and ruts on the way up and even more on the way back down, laughed, cursed, lived through many unforgettable moments, and took the bikes – and sometimes ourselves – to the limit.
Is it sensible to buy an eMTB for well over € 5,000? Probably not. Will you feel cool buying one of these bikes? You most definitely will! These bikes are the supercars and luxury sedans among eMTBs, where the best bike manufacturers in the world have pulled out all the stops regarding design, detail, and technical sophistication. Yet, while some of them tend to remind of a 911 when it comes to handling, others ride like a Hummer H2 – the price tag alone doesn’t predict anything about the actual performance of a bike. In our search for the best eMTB of 2018, we tested the twelve most promising models.
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. Are electric mountain bikes allowed on trails?