Finally, if you’ve been waiting for the electric mountain bike to come of age, we’re happy to report that just happened. The combination of the 27.5+ platform with long-lasting batteries, and the remarkably smooth and elegant motor, all integrated into one sharp-looking design, and augmented by user-friendly software has finally delivered a slick, no-compromises product that you’ll want to own. I know we do, the entire IndefinitelyWild team is fighting over who gets to borrow it next.
The three bikes we tested all use a different e-bike motor system, and the controls, the primary user interface, are an important element that we rated but didn't weight as heavily as some of the others. Each motor system and their associated controls are different. Our primary interest is in how user-friendly is it to interact with the system, how intuitive and ergonomic are the shifters, how good and easy to read is the display, and how easy is it to charge the battery? Each drive system also has a smartphone app that is intended to allow the user to fine-tune the motor's support settings, create custom settings, monitor battery charge and health, and a whole lot more. While we don't feel the apps are necessary for the use of any of these e-MTB's, those with an affinity for technology or personalizing your ride may be inclined to use them.
The environmental credentials of e-bikes, and electric / human powered hybrids generally, have led some municipal authorities to use them, such as Little Rock, Arkansas with their Wavecrest electric power-assisted bicycles or Cloverdale, California police with Zap e-bikes. China’s e-bike manufacturers, such as Xinri, are now partnering with universities in a bid to improve their technology in line with international environmental standards, backed by the Chinese government who is keen to improve the export potential of the Chinese manufactured e-bikes.
My bike and the ones I am discussing in this article are Type 1. I have to agree with the government agencies that bikes that aren’t at least partially human-powered should be not be lumped in with mountain bikes. The faster Type 3 eBikes are okay for street use, but are too fast for trails. But, this little-known taxonomy might cause confusion with regulatory bodies or broad public opinion that sees all eBikes as the same.
Weight isn’t anything like a critical as one would assume. Weight distribution however is a different matter and this is where geometry, specifically the ratio of the front centre measurement to the chain stay length really comes into play. Battery placement is important too, and smaller batteries give an edge in the handling stakes while robbing the bike of range.
Two years worth of research and development may seem like a long time for a mountain bike but when you take a closer look at what Rogue Ridge accomplished in that time period we’re confident you’ll appreciate the work. For instance, each offering hosts a best-in-class 1000-watt motor and 13 amp hour battery to help keep this electric fat bike at the ready whenever you are. Also, with said set of fat tires, any terrain from sand to mud; rocks to snow, is within your grasp. Additional features include a full-color digital display, a range of 29 miles without pedaling, and a tech welded 6061 aluminum alloy frame among many others.
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.
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.
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!
The Ancheer folding electric mountain bike does have a few weird quirks. The first is the handlebar mounted battery. It saves space for the folding mechanism, but looks odd. Fortunately it has very little effect on handling because it is mounted so close the head tube’s pivot point. It does raise the center of gravity of the bike a bit, but the difference is small compared to how much you raise the bike’s center of gravity.
You've gotta get up to get down and one of the purposes of e-bikes is to make it much easier to do so. Since we spend significantly more time climbing than descending, we felt it was important to rate how well these bikes perform when pointed uphill. Climbing on an e-MTB with pedal assist support is somewhat different than climbing on a bike without a motor. These bikes are capable of carrying some serious speed uphill, changing the climbing dynamic with a much faster pace, often tossing finesse out the window in favor of power and momentum. The heavy weight of these bikes and plus-sized tires gives them incredible traction, keeping them planted on the ground, and dampening switches can be left wide open to enjoy the added traction benefits of active rear suspension. Each bike's geometry, handling, and power output all played a role in how well these bikes performed on the ascents, and we had plenty of time to test them while rallying back uphill for more downhill laps.
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.
I really wanted to love this bike, I've only had it a few days, and it's probably too soon for a review, but I can see some issues with the bike. I'll start with the good, it was here 2 days after I ordered it which was amazingly fast shipping, the bike was easy to assemble, very sturdy and high quality looking and feeling, and even came with a nice tool set for assembly and a bell and water bottle, pretty good saddle, and I was very happy with the price, if it performs as I hope it will. Now the bad, as soon as I get a quarter mile from the house my battery indicator light goes from green to yellow, that is way too soon for the battery on a bike with this alleged range to be at "half life?". I have read in other reviews many have the same issue and say that it is just "inaccurate " and to "not pay attention to that" but it is disconcerting to me. Also the bike does not have the power I was expecting, it is truly a "peddle assist" bike, and not a throttler, the bike basically wants you to peddle and works best as you peddle, in fact the motor actually cuts on and off based on you peddling, in addition to cutting on with throttle, don't get me wrong it will power through on throttle alone on a flat surface pretty well, but if you expect not to do much peddling at all, this is not the bike for you. The fit of the bike isn't great for me, I am 6'2 and the fit for me is a bit awkward, ie: the bike is a bit small for me, anyone my height or taller may want to look at other options, and I can't raise the handle bars at all I don't think, although I believe you can change the angle of them. I've only taken it for 3 short rides as of yet and I was reasonably satisfied with the bikes response and power for my needs on these short trips, but I will have to take a few longer rides before I can give a more complete opinion. The bike is an eye catcher and I see people staring at it everywhere which is cool, I will update as long as I continue to own the bike, but I'm still a bit on the fence about it.
Our high performance electric bikes offer high power, predictable handling and near silent operation. If your rides take you up steep single track trails or you just want a bike as light weight as possible, a mid drive system will offer the best hill climbing performance, lighter weight, and better weight distribution. A hub motor system will offer the most reliable day in and day out operation, faster speeds, more power, and is a better overall platform for everyday commuting.
**The eBike uses a quick-release battery system. Lightweight 200Wh Lithium-ion battery packs can be swapped in seconds at the roadside. Each pack weighs just 1.4Kg, so spare battery packs can easily be carried for longer trips. The range that can be achieved from each pack will vary according to the conditions and effort exerted by the rider. Ranges of around 30 miles are normal per each full eBike battery charge. Less fit riders may achieve ranges of 10 miles or less, particularly in challenging conditions like steep hills, strong head-winds or soft terrain. The conditions which affect the range are rider fitness, weight, size and seating position, head or tail winds, gradient, terrain, tyre pressure, what gear is used, number of stop/starts and the speed the bike is ridden.
I used to mountain bike quite a lot. I was a fairly strong 17 stone (238lb) weightlifter and rode pretty fast but didn't go in for big air or jumps. Nevertheless I used to break bikes at a ridiculous rate. I broke the bottom bracket off a Marin titanium frame, I broke the bottom bracket off of a Roberts hand built mountain bike. I snapped 2 pairs of handlebars, broke cranks, pedals, chains, wheels, spokes and forks etc etc.
Though aside from the extra battery and abundance of included accessories, Riese and Muller’s use of a Gate’s belt drive means no shifting of gears, no greasy maintenance, and much higher durability. If you have the money to spend, Riese and Muller’s Delite nuvinci is one of the best on the market and an ebike we just couldn’t get enough of during our own tests.
Direct-sales German brand Canyon’s entry into the e-MTB market came with a bang. The Spectral:ON is a stunning bike with a superb build kit, decent geometry and respectable weight (21.2KG listed weight). As with anything Canyon, it’s hard to find better value for money. The entry-level 6.0 is down there with the lowest-cost serious e-MTBs available, yet its build kit, including RockShox Yari fork, Schwalbe Magic Mary tyres and Shimano Deore XT derailleur, ensures the bike punches well above its price.
For the budding athlete, consider the gift of an electric bike, or e-bike, this holiday season. Whether your dad is a regular biker, or your spouse wants to get around while reducing their carbon footprint, these models add a little extra power to the equation. Whether they're riding a few blocks over for a New Year's party or riding for exercise, even in a neighborhood made entirely of hills, an e-bike lets your loved ones go faster with less lag or strain.
Whether you need a bike to help you stay fit and active, or you just want something comfortable to get around town on, we have a hybrid bike that's tailor made for however and wherever you ride. Each bike represents an intuitive design that's purpose-built for the task at hand. So get out and get exercising, rolling through woods, commuting—whatever. All that we care about is that you're having the time of your life on the perfect bike.
Enjoy the thrill of the ride without the struggle. Although it looks just like a normal mountain bike, as soon as you pedal you will feel the difference. The Gtech Mountain eBilke has an easy to read LCD display, to tell you exactly how much charge you’ve got remaining. Ride for up to 30 miles on a single charge. For adventurous riders tackling more challenging conditions, the range may be reduced to 10 miles per charge**.
Electric mountain bikes have garnered a lot of attention for their ability to help riders go higher, further, and faster on the trail. As a result, there have been some impressive new eMTB models to hit the market in recent years, making it easier than ever to head off-road. Our favorite is the Haibike SDURO HardNine, which comes equipped with a 350-watt Bosch Performance CX drive and a 500 watt-hour battery. This gives it a range of up to 70 miles, along with a top speed of 20 mph, which is plenty fast on singletrack.
After you decide which style of e-bike you want, consider the class. In the US, there are three classes defined by the type of assist and how fast the motor will propel you. Most electric bikes sold are class 1 or 3. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you're pedaling, up to 20 mph. Class 3, also known as “speed pedelec” can also have up to a 750w motor, but it can assist you up to 28mph. Both of those are allowed in most states and cities without license. Class 2 have throttles that don't require you to pedal to get a boost. They're allowed on most streets, bike lanes, and paths, but less popular than the other classes and not covered much here (because we still love to pedal and the greater distances pedal assist bikes can cover).
While I was waiting patiently for my 2017 model eBike to be manufactured and delivered, I came across an article in the local paper about a woman with a degenerative muscle disease who wants to take her eBike on forest service trails that are designated for mountain bikes. “What the hell?” I said, completely floored (what I actually said isn’t fit for publication). When I ordered this bike, the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind that it would be illegal to ride on mountain bike trails with my new, albeit electric, mountain bike.
I took my new Pedego Ridge Rider for my first ride today – a 25 mile single track trail. I have been riding all my life and knee pain ended my daily club rides one year after retiring. My Ridge Rider makes me feel like a Titan! I have a mountain bike that was more expensive than the Ridge Rider and I must say that the Ridge Rider rivals or exceeds the quality and ride “feel” on my non-electric mountain bike (which I can no longer ride due to the extreme pain it creates on my knee). The Ridge Rider provided 100% joy and 0% pain. What can be better! The Ridge Rider is a no compromise bike with great running gear and amazing battery life. I rode 13 miles on assist level 3 and about 12 miles on assist level 4 and made it home with 15% battery life even though the temperature was about 43 degrees F. This is the best purchase I have ever made. I second all the other reviews. This is a fabulous bike supported by a fabulous manufacturer. I can’t give enough praise to Fitness Central in Schnecksville, PA. The owner and staff gave me better advice and attention than I could have hoped for. Thanks to one and all!
EVELO has partnered with Velofix to bring you unparalleled white-glove assembly and delivery service. With Velofix, your new EVELO will be professionally assembled by a certified bike mechanic. Since Velofix operates a fleet of mobile bike shops, your new EVELO can be fully assembled and delivered to your home or office at a time that’s convenient for you.
This isn't just the lightest mountain bike frame we've ever made, it's our lightest frame—period. The Men's Epic Hardtail was redesigned from the ground-up to give you an unparalleled performance advantage on the XC track. It flies up hills with ease, sends descents with confidence, and wastes nary a watt. Consider it a cross country revolution, and remember, this is going to be epic.
The Pedego Ridge Rider allows me to get the level of workout I desire, see and spend more time outdoors by riding 2-5 times the distance I would on a manual pedal bike, ride more often (almost every day), and enjoy my rides to the fullest. It helps my neuropathy, I have less pain. It helps control my diabetic sugar levels. It also is very therapeutic mentally. I’m the healthiest I’ve been in years.
The Super Commuter is very aptly named. The 350w Bosch motor will help you sustain speeds of up to 28mph, and the burly, 2.4-inch wide, Schwalbe Super Moto-X 650b tires will keep you secure on even the roughest city streets, and Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes provide ample stopping power. Fenders provide welcome protection from road spray so you arrive at your destination fresh, integrated lights are critical for post-sunset riding, and a side-view mirror hanging on the left side of the handlebar gives a great view of traffic around you. After all, you can ride at the speed of urban traffic on the Super Commuter.
The Men's Tarmac doesn't do one thing well, it does everything exceptionally—which is why it's been ridden to victory in all three Grand Tours. The new Tarmac's advanced materials and aerodynamic design add a modern edge to the lively character of a classic race bike, while its Rider-First Engineered™ design ensures that the Tarmac sprints, corners, and descends with uniform excellence across every size.
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In our head to head range test, the Specialized took the win by travelling 20.6 miles and 3,455 vertical feet, 10% farther than the Trek at 18.6 miles and 3,076 vertical feet, 15% more distant than the HaiBike at 17.8 miles and 3,215 vertical feet, and 17% more than the Commencal at 17.1 miles and 3,100 vertical feet. Each of these electric mountain bikes can take you a long way out on the trail, but the Specialized uses its power the most efficiently and can keep you out to play for longer than the competition.
E-bikes are zero-emissions vehicles, as they emit no combustion by-products. However, the environmental effects of electricity generation and power distribution and of manufacturing and disposing of (limited life) high storage density batteries must be taken into account. Even with these issues considered, e-bikes are claimed to have a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional automobiles, and are generally seen as environmentally desirable in an urban environment.