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.
Frame Ultralight 6061 T6 Aluminum Pedals Priority Alloy Platform, Sealed Fork Ultralight 6061 T6 Aluminum Front Light Priority fixed, 700lm, 3x CREE R4 led, wired to bike battery Rims WTB ST TCS 2.0 27.5"/650b - Tubeless Ready Rear Light Priority fixed, wired to bike battery Front Hub Priority 15mm Through Axle, Quick Release Seatpost 31.6 Alloy Micro-adjust, 300mm (17"), 350mm (19"/21") Rear Hub enviolo Trekking Group (n380) Belt Gates Carbon Drive with Centertrack CDX 122T Spokes Stainless Steel, Black, 14g front, 13g rear Saddle WTB Pure or Selle Royale Gel Shifter enviolo Trekking (c8) Handlebar Stem Alloy, 6 degree 80mm17", 90mm 17" and 19" OR 70mm, 35 degree Brakes Tektro HD-M285 Hydraulic Disc Dual Piston Handlebar Alloy, 31.8 clamp, 6 degree rise, 630mm Grips Velo, ergonomic dual density comfort Headset Alloy Sealed Crankset Priority Electric, 170mm (17"), 175mm (19"/21") Tires WTB Horizon 650B PLUS 47M/M Tubeless Ready Front Sprocket 50t Gates CDX Fenders Aluminum+Plastic Rear Cog 24t Gates CDX Kickstand Alloy Rear Mounted Kickstand Included! Motor Bosch Active Line Plus Color Gloss White or Gloss Charcoal Battery Bosch PowerPack 400 Sizes 17", 19" and 21" Display Bosch Purion Weight Approx. 45lbs
Depending on local laws, many e-bikes (e.g., pedelecs) are legally classified as bicycles rather than mopeds or motorcycles. This exempts them from the more stringent laws regarding the certification and operation of more powerful two-wheelers which are often classed as electric motorcycles. E-bikes can also be defined separately and treated under distinct Electric bicycle laws.
Bicycles featuring pedal power were developed during the subsequent decades of the 19th century, with the most emblematic example being the bicycle we know today as the Penny-Farthing. The bike was named based on the substantial difference in its wheel size resembling the larger and smaller Penny and Farthing coins, respectively. These bicycles were wildly popular among the well heeled upper classes of Europe and America despite their penchant for launching riders head first over the large wheel, not to mention their relative difficulty to mount and dismount.
With more and more compelling reasons to experience the benefits of e-bikes, we’ve put together this special issue packed with information on how to get the most from an e-bike, a guide to the main motors and batteries and a showcase of the latest models on the market. So read on, watch the accompanying videos on our YouTube channel and book a test ride to try one for yourself. We guarantee you’ll be hooked.
Due to high total weights of over 20 kg, it doesn’t matter whether the scale stops at 21.44 kg or 22.2 kg for a modern eMTB. In our test, the difference between the lightest and the heaviest bike was just under 4 kg. This is not to be ignored… but a little extra weight in the form of functional, reliable componentry is better than an ebike designed and constructed to be as light as possible, at all costs, but which ends up in the workshop more often than on the trail.
The frame itself incorporates a series of mounts allowing you to easily trick-out the Road E+1 with a rack, fenders, or panniers to more aptly meet your touring requirements. Again, most touring purists will certainly scoff at the mere notion of pedal-assistance, however, individuals looking for more of a guided tour and less of a tour de force will swoon over the Road E+1.
With its steep seat tube angle and powerful motor, the Rotwild E+ Ultra masters even the steepest climbs. Its high centre of gravity, however, negatively effects downhill handling. The GIANT FULL E+ 0 is a very solid eMTB where what you see is what you get, although the rather slack seat tube and bulbous-belly isn’t exactly pretty. Not so with the FOCUS SAM²: With its clean silhouette it is a bike for design lovers. But only if you get by with the small integrated battery. As soon as you mount an additional battery, not only the appearance suffers, but also the handling. The BMC Trailfox AMP has minor weaknesses in the componentry, finish and downhill handling – at a price of € 12,000 we expected considerably more. The Thömus Lightrider E1 fares better, it’s no bargain either, but the handling is outstanding. It’s a pity that the bike isn’t available outside of Switzerland. Another exotic specimen is the FANTIC XF1 Integra Enduro 160. The bike from the Italian motorcycle brand can’t deny its roots, tremendously composed and capable on the descents, though it cannot keep up with the competition when going back up – the 180 mm version of the Fantic is significantly better overall.
Sure, you train hard and eat right, but there’s just one thing missing—an edge. The Amira gives you two. First, there’s the performance edge you get from its FACT carbon frame and tapered head tube. The combination results in responsive handling and true get-up-and-go accelerations. Then comes the psychological edge. The feeling that, when teamed up with a lightweight, high-performance machine, there’s no limit to what you can achieve together.
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Your first bike opened up a new world of exploration and freedom, and the Hotrock does the same in a sleek, expertly designed package. Featuring durable, A1 Premium Aluminum frames that are designed to be strong, light, and corrosion resistant, the Hotrock will withstand whatever comes its way. Kids will feel confident to explore more than ever before, and because of the legendary build quality that we're known for, you can relax while they do.
The first thing many cyclists do when checking out a new bike is give it a lift to gauge the weight. You’re in for a little scale shock if you try that with an e-bike. The battery, motor, extra components, and reinforced frame make e-bikes inherently heavier than standard bikes—to the tune of about 20 pounds. Modern geometry and engineering help them handle well despite their weight, and obviously the motor-assist makes the extra pounds disappear when you start to pedal. But you’ll need more muscle to get them on your car rack or up and down stairs.
Pedelecs are much like conventional bicycles in use and function — the electric motor only provides assistance, for example, when the rider is climbing or struggling against a headwind. Pedelecs are therefore especially useful for people in hilly areas where riding a bike would prove too strenuous for many to consider taking up cycling as a daily means of transport. They are also useful for riders who more generally need some assistance, e.g. for people with heart, leg muscle or knee joint issues.