An electric mountain bike is your key to a happier and healthier existence.
With advanced motors and throttle assist, you’ll climb up hills without any effort and enjoy the open-air feel of traveling at speeds of up to 20mph on most models.
Most modern electric mounting bikes (eMTBs) offer state-of-the-art braking systems and fat tires to travel down rugged inclines without falling on your face. Pack lunch or emergency supplies for a hunting or hiking trip by customizing your eMTB with backpacks, a pedal basket, or even a cargo trailer!
So just like an electric hunting bike or recreational ebike, there's a lot to consider when it comes to finding the right eMTB. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you find the right eMTB and the right model that fits into your life.
Aside from the obvious benefit of not having to pedal as much, electric mountain bikes provide numerous benefits over a traditional mountain bike, which are listed below.
Now that you know what makes an eMTB great, it's time to get into the different options you have to choose. Electric mountain bikes can be divided into three separate legal categories or classes, Class I-III. In addition, we generally group eMTBs into three separate categories: Enduro, Trail, and Downhill.
Electric mountain bikes are often defined as not having a throttle. Instead, eMTBs rely on a pedal assist operated by a motor. Therefore, many electric mountain bike owners don't need to concern themselves too much with eBike classifications. However, understanding local laws and regulations is a big part of knowing where you can ride your eMTB.
A trail eMTB is your go-to great all-around platform for beginners. These eMTBs have a variety of suspension configurations but will always be set up as more of a general-purpose vehicle. In other words, they are designed to do all things well, but they don’t excel at any given thing.
The Enduro is another all-purpose electric mountain bike but often includes special features for hardcore mountain biking adventures. For example, Enduro eMTBs often include a longer suspension, steeper handlebars, and a heavier platform to perform better on rough trails and gain higher speeds.
Finally, the Downhill eMTB is designed to go downhill. One of the Downhill eMTB’s most distinctive characteristics is a longer wheelbase for added stability. Of course, steep handlebars are another staple of the platform. They are also paired with special suspension setups that are designed for downhill riding.
With these different characteristics and categories in mind, let’s explore our list for the 5 best electric mountain bikes for any rider.
The Bakcou Carbon Alpha is a tour-de-force, offering riders some of the best features and functionality on the market. This lightweight platform has the looks many desire, from a name everyone trusts.
At just 49 pounds, the Carbon Alpha eMTB can take riders up to 60 miles on a single charge. Moreover, it can retain low weight thanks to the carbon fiber frame and lightweight Befang motor.
While this electric mountain bike may be light, it’s certainly not weak. This electric mountain bike features an unbeatable Sram SX Derailleur 12-speed gearing, 50 tooth gearing, Schwalbe Smart Sam 27.5" X 2.8" tires, Rockshox adjustable suspension, and Powerful SRAM G2 RS Quad Piston hydraulic disc brakes. Riders can swap through gears with ease to find the most comfortable cruising speeds and will be able to stop on a dime.
All of that is more than enough for most. However, selecting the perfect fit between three different size options simply takes it a step further for those riders who desire the best of everything.
The Quietkat Jeep just barely qualifies as a true electric mountain bike. It is, however, the perfect model for beginners who are looking to experiment with electric mountain biking.
The Jeep is quite versatile, featuring a removable thumb throttle and your choice between 750 and 1000 watt motors for greater power and range.
In addition, the Jeep comes equipped with state-of-the-art SRAM 9-Speed gearing, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, fat tires, and a QK Custom 150mm Inverted Air Fork / RockShox Monarch RL 150mm suspension setup.
As is, the Jeep makes an excellent trail mountain eBike. That 300 lb weight capacity and 58-mile range make it a great choice for hunting and fishing trips.
The Eunorau Fat-HS may be a Softail, but it's a heavy-lifter and a solid option for those long hauls. This electric mountain bike arrives with an 80-mile range and a max weight capacity of 440 lbs.
Despite what that beefy 48V 1000W BAFANG M615 mid-drive motor may lead you to believe, this is a long-distance rider's best friend. It's also an exceptionally stable platform that's sure to be as comfortable as it is capable.
The Kenda fat tires are partly to thank for everything the Fat-HS is ready to handle, but they don't tell the whole story. The full suspension, Shimano Alivio (Or Sunrace RDM91) 9 speed 11-34T gearing, and hydraulic disc brakes work to provide riders with one of the most stable and responsive eMTBs on the market.
This electric mountain bike is yet another flexible option with its included thumb throttle and 5-mode pedal assist that's great for beginners and veterans alike.
Ok, I know. The ONYX RDR Dirt Bike isn't exactly an electric mountain bike but i had to include it in the list. It's the coolest fun to ride vintage inspired motorbikes with the ONYX Hi-Torque Electric Drive System.
Modeled after the vintage racer motorbikes this ebike oozes style. It's also hand-forged from steel so it's much tougher than a classic 6061 aluminum frame. Plus it's hand built in California so one of the very few ebikes actually made in America.
The ONYX Hi-Torque Electric Drive System they are very proud of puts this bike in a class of it's own. The motor has insane raw power and when put in Sport mode can put out 7200 watts of constant power giving it a head turning 55mph top speed.
Of course you can put it in ECO mode and be within the legal 20mph for street legal regulations. And the huge 72V 41Ah battery means you can get as much as 120 miles in ECO mode.
One thing that is different from this model is there is no pedal assist. The pedals operate the bike like normal but to engage the motor it is engaged by the thumb throttle. Take a closer look and click the orange button below...
One of the most popular questions riders tend to ask us is whether a heavy or light electric bike weight is preferable for the trail.
For most riders, lighter is better when it comes to eMTBs. That isn't to say weight doesn't have its advantages, though. Downhill eBikes benefit from additional weight to aid with speed and stability. However, most Trail and Enduro eMTBs tend to have a lighter design to provide greater range and speeds.
Cutting weight means the motor has to work less to achieve the same speed as a heavier bike. That's a benefit performance-wise, but it's also good for efficiency. Less work requires less power resulting in a longer range.
Consider rider effort as well. Having to muscle around a big heavy eBike takes a beating on the rider and makes the eMTB harder to control.
It's also important to think about things with some perspective. Traditional mountain bikes weigh around 30 pounds on average, while the lightest eMTBs hit the scales around 50 pounds. That's a significant weight difference that you can only benefit from reducing.
The difference between a hardtail and a full-suspension ebike is that the rear of a full-suspension eMTB features an articulating rear end controlled by a shock absorber. Without a doubt, the full-suspension comes off as a universally superior design, but a hardtail suspension has its advantages.
Hardtail eMTBs benefit from improved efficiency on smooth surfaces. They're also lighter, easier to maintain, and are generally better suited to the easy terrain beginners tackle.
On the other hand, full suspension eBikes have the advantage of rolling effortlessly over rough terrain. The articulation of the frame allows the bike to maintain traction over varying surfaces, just like an off-road suspension would on a truck. There's simply no substitute when traveling down a rocky trail.
There's a lot to think about when selecting your first eMTB. Thankfully, it's really hard to go wrong with the models mentioned above, as there's something for everyone.
Finding the right electric mountain bike depends on your skill, the difficulty of your trail, and your budget. Be sure to browse through our list of eclectic bikes to find an eMTB that best meets your needs.
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