Electric mountain biking is an excellent way to explore nature by bike without completely exhausting yourself, even if the terrain profile is a little more demanding. Especially for occasional mountain bikers, the electric version is an excellent risk-free way to test your limits. When we talk about electric bikes, different terms are often used: e-bike, electric bike but also pedelec.
The electric mountain bike market is currently booming. It is therefore not surprising that both established and growing businesses invest large sums in development. And it has already paid off.
From aggressive bikes that defy gravity to super light all-rounders, from costly high-end mountain bikes to affordable brands. The choice is enormous. Almost too big. This is precisely why I made this comparison of the best electric mountain bikes of 2020.
Comparison of electric mountain bikes
1. Bunao – Electric mountain bike with Shimano 21 speeds
This electric mountain bike has many highlights, like its rugged 250W brushless motor, built-in removable 36V 8AH battery, simple controls, unique ATV control, 26 ″ wheels, and a lightweight aluminum frame.
The first impression of this electric mountain bike is positive. When you sit on it, you feel good. The controls of the electric mountain bike are well placed. This is also noticeable in terms of handling, which always remains balanced, and with its not too high weight, this mountain bike is excellent for going downhill in the mountains.
Double-walled rims made of aluminum increase the bike’s life and achieve a high-speed ride with very little air resistance. The braking system is mechanical disc brakes both front and rear, which allow easy braking even in bad weather. Thanks to the Shimano 21-speed drivetrain, it is easy to climb even tricky slopes. Besides, the mountain bike has LED lights if you come home late at night.
2. UrbanBiker – Dakota Electric MTB Bike
This electric VVT from the UrbanBiker brand called Dakota has a lithium battery from the Samsung brand of 840 Wh. You can quickly charge it from home with the included charger. This mountain bike is equipped with one of the most powerful batteries in this mountain bike category, and aesthetically, it fits perfectly into the frame. If you switch the electric mountain bike to the economy mode, you will reach 160 km of autonomy without problem, which is a lot. The ATV is equipped with a 350W motor with a torque of 50Nm.
The electric mountain bike is equipped with Shimano brand brakes, a brand recognized in the bicycle industry. These hydraulic brakes provide safe braking regardless of the weather conditions to feel safe with this ATV. The bike has an ergonomic handle for a good grip and good handling on any terrain, as well as a front shock absorber.
The wheels are 27.5″ and have a puncture-proof system which is very useful when mountain biking on rough terrain. The wheels are Maxxis Ikon. The electric assistance is made of 5 levels with a speed and kilometer counter. The mountain bike is delivered almost assembled, you have to add the pedals and the handlebars, and it’s elementary.
3. Extrbici – Electric mountain bike with full suspension and big tire
This mountain bike offers excellent performance for those who wish to practice off-road in the mountains, for example. It has several modes with electric assistance. At full power, the mountain bike on a flat trail can reach 40 km / h. The ATV is complete. It is sold with a battery. This is a Fat Bike, so you need to get used to it, but it’s much more comfortable.
The electric mountain bike is available in four colors: white, blue, red, and green. The battery can quickly be turned off or on, and it is straightforward to recharge. Also, it is a waterproof battery to use this electric mountain bike in the rain and the mud. The mountain bike has an LCD screen that shows you your speed, distance covered, and lots of other essential information.
This mountain bike has seven speeds with the Shimano model, which will allow you to adapt to all terrains, whether you are in the mountains, on the snow, or the road. The ATV works with double hydraulic brakes so it can break even in inclement weather. When the brakes are activated, the engine shuts off automatically. The ATV operates in three modes: full power, pedal-assist, and without power assist.
4. Oppikle – Electric mountain bike 26 ″ folding with large capacity battery
Here is a high-performance electric mountain bike from Oppikle. It has a firm carbon fiber suspension at the front and a rear suspension with double damping. The electric mountain bike is equipped with an absorption disc brake and works with a 21-speed shifter transmission from Shimano. These speeds improve the climbing ability of the ATV.
The disc brakes installed on the electric mountain bike’s front and rear provide safe braking in all weather conditions. The mountain bike is equipped with LED headlights so that you can come home late at night with this bike. This electric bike is folding, so you can easily store it in the trunk of your car after a mountain trip.
This electrically assisted mountain bike is made of 26 inches of solid steel. It has an ergonomic design. The whole frame is made of aluminum, a very light material. The motor of the all-terrain electric mountain bike allows it to reach 30 km / h. The battery has a long lifespan, and the charging is fast 4-6H.
5. Mac wheel – Electrically assisted VAE mountain bike
This electrically-assisted mountain bike is made with an aluminum frame and has a built-in battery. The products are tested before they are sent to you. The main advantage of an aluminum frame is its weight, so you have better handling. The mountain bike is only equipped with significant brand components such as Shimano, Tektro, or Kenda. These are big brands known in the cycling world.
The VAE mountain bike is equipped with a powerful 250W motor that works with a large capacity battery. You can therefore achieve with these two components a maximum speed of 25 km / h but above all a range of 80 km at most. The charge is a little longer than some competitors because the electric mountain bike has better autonomy. It takes between 6 and 8 hours. All you need to do is charge your VAE ATV at night.
The mountain bike has a throttle lever that allows you to increase the electric bike’s speed with a simple gesture. You can also switch to electric assistance mode and adjust the level of assistance from 1 to 5. On the other hand, you will also have to pedal with this mode, unlike the first one, where you need to operate the lever. The LCD screen will help you see more clearly.
This mountain bike has a large 28 ″ tire, allowing you to perform complex trails in the mountains. The fork with suspension will give you more comfort, and the 7-speed derailleur will enable you to adapt to all situations.
What is an electric mountain bike?
The electric mountain bike is a mountain bike equipped with an electric motor. This bike belongs to the category of electric bikes, which are globally more and more in demand.
Electric mountain bikes are also known as electric mountain bikes or mountain bikes with electric assistance.
According to the highway code, an electric touring bike is equivalent to a classic motorcycle if the motor allows reaching a maximum speed of 25 km / h. Some models can go faster than 25 km / h. These electric mountain bikes may require authorization.
Warning: even if the electric mountain bike is considered a classic bike and is therefore not required to wear a helmet, wearing a helmet is safer. At a speed of 25 km / h, the head can be very seriously injured in a fall. I, therefore, advise you to buy a folding helmet which allows you to carry it everywhere.
For a long time, an electric mountain bike was considered a bicycle for retirees that allowed people with physical disabilities to ride a bicycle. This image has changed considerably in recent years. More and more people are learning about electric mountain bikes.
How an electric mountain bike works
The electronics of an electric mountain bike are attached to an ordinary bicycle. For safety reasons, manufacturers use exceptionally stable frames to be transported without problems so that the extra weight of the battery and motor can be transported. Some models are designed so that the electric mountain bike battery is integrated into the frame.
The electric mountain bike behaves like a bicycle: you press the pedals to cover a certain distance. The electric motor supports the ride by accelerating the wheels while driving. Each electric mountain bike can be adjusted individually. This means that you decide whether you are riding without the motor’s aid or with a resource.
The adjustment can be made either on the screen or on the handlebars, where you also set the speeds. Powerful lithium-ion batteries power the motor.
The question of the battery: what energy storage for the electric mountain bike?
There are two types of battery mounting: batteries integrated almost invisibly into the frame and visible batteries mounted on edge. Which battery is correct for you is a matter of taste and often also a question of money. The built-in batteries give the electric mountain bike a neat and tidy appearance. In most cases, they can be removed for recharging. With the built-in batteries, you need to check whether you can easily reach the charging socket.
Not all electric-assist ATVs need the most battery capacity possible. Battery capacity is given in watt-hours (Wh). Currently, 400 Wh is considered the norm. The range depends not only on the engine but also on the total weight of the e-bike and the rider, the terrain, and the outside temperature. Most systems indicate the remaining battery life on the screen or in an app. Large capacities are not always necessary. For short distances, a tiny battery may suffice.
Can I rent my electric mountain bike?
An electric mountain bike quickly costs as much as a small car. If you want to save money, you can rent a VAE mountain bike from many bike rental companies. You should be able to find this in any small town.
On the other hand, you have to be very careful with the bike because, like any rental, you will have to pay a deposit, and the stakes for electric bicycles are often very high. Sometimes it is better to buy a cheap electric mountain bike than to rent it, but that’s my opinion.
Tips for buying an electric mountain bike
Make sure the battery capacity is large enough
Electric ATV batteries need to have a large capacity to be used over long distances to the next charging station or home. This is, of course, very advantageous for a long mountain bike trip.
A high capacity of at least 500 Wh is recommended for long-distance travel. With a battery capacity of less than 400 Wh, you may not even be able to travel 50 kilometers at once.
An important point is also the charging time of the battery. Loading shouldn’t take too long. Charging the storm between 2 and 6 hours is recommended. When cycling, a second battery is helpful to avoid breaks. However, a good battery can cost several hundred dollars, so the purchase should be carefully considered.
Please note: lithium-ion batteries do not tolerate freezing. Before you start cycling in the winter on the straights with your e-mountain bike, it is best to bring the battery to room temperature first. The battery should also not cool down in between. Otherwise, it may be damaged.
The position of the motor changes the center of gravity
The engine is the heart of the electric mountain bike. It is available in mid-engined and rear-engined versions, with mid-motors being much more common. As the engine’s weight does not shift the center of gravity, the handling of the VAE ATV is more comfortable. Quick turns and jumps can be best executed with a mid-engine.
With a rear motor, the center of gravity shifts so much that the mountain bike is partially limited. This is why electric mountain bikes are almost exclusively equipped with main engines.
Good equipment and accessories make driving easier
- LCD screen: each electric mountain bike is equipped with a screen. The display should show at least the battery charge level, the remaining range, and the speed.
- Starting aid: many electric mountain bikes are equipped with a starting aid. This means that the bikes can go up to 6 km / h without pedaling.
- Light: Electric mountain bikes can be equipped with either dynamo or battery-powered lighting. If you ride a lot in the evening or at night, you need to check if the bike lighting is sufficient for you.
- A reliable braking system for high safety
- A sound braking system is essential for electric mountain bikes. Very often, hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano are installed. Unlike mechanical disc brakes, they brake with two pistons.
- This results in a symmetrical braking effect. The braking force is so strong that even wet and uneven surfaces are no problem.
Questions and answers about electric mountain bikes
How much does an electric mountain bike cost?
Very inexpensive electric mountain bikes cost around 1,000 euros. However, the quality often suffers from the low price. You have to dip into your pockets if you want to buy an electric mountain bike with racing bike qualities.
These electric mountain bikes have a long autonomy and powerful batteries. In this case, the amount may be around 3,000 euros or more. You can also buy used electric mountain bikes.
In this case, however, you need to take a close look at the motor and the battery, as these two components are the most expensive parts of an electric mountain bike. Buying a rechargeable battery is usually so expensive that it’s often worth buying a new electric mountain bike.
How heavy is an electric mountain bike?
An average ATV weighs between 10 and 17 kilos. In comparison, the electric mountain bike is much heavier. You should expect it to weigh between 18 and 27 kilograms. The treatment is, therefore, different from that of a standard ATV. Ideally, a 29-inch electric mountain bike should weigh no more than 25 kilograms.
Can a VAE mountain bike be transported with a regular bike rack?
An electric mountain bike can be transported with a bicycle rack if it corresponds to the authorized weight. The manual for your car carrier will tell you the height of this upright and the maximum weight.
How to maintain an electric mountain bike?
Unfortunately, running in the forest with the electric mountain bike results in the bike becoming extremely dirty afterward. To be able to continue the bike tour as quickly as possible, it must be cleaned. Only water and rags should be used for cleaning, as chemical cleaning agents can damage surfaces or electronics.
Since the motor and battery are well-sealed, you can use a garden hose for cleaning. However, it would help if you did not use a pressure washer. The joints of the suspensions must be treated from time to time with special oil.
I hope that this guide and comparison of the best electric mountain bikes will help you choose your mountain bike. France has beautiful mountainous regions, and it’s time to enjoy your new VAE mountain bike. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on them.