Electric assisted bicycles (or e mountain bike) have risen in popularity in recent years and it is impossible to ignore the fact that they are now the fastest-growing category globally in the industry of cycling
This is due to the fact that a mountain ebike is beneficial to both enthusiasts of cycling and those who are new to the world of cycling. E bikes have widened the possibilities of cycling from leisure activity to a method of preferred transportation.
Since e bikes are a current trending topic that show no signs of slowing down any time soon, a rundown about the possibilities and benefits they offer is in line.
Are Electric Mountain Bikes Any Good?
Electric mountain bikes are a polarising topic among serious mountain bikers – the topic is sure to divide a room instantly. One faction, of course, will endorse the old-fashioned mountain bike while the competing faction will endorse the benefits of the modern electric mountain bike. One of the most popular ebike brands is Trek.
It is important to know and understand that electric bikes are simply a redesign of a traditional mountain bike. They are a modernisation of the traditional mountain bike and not substantial modification.
A common misconception is that using an e bike for mountain biking is wrong in some way – people analogise using an e bike to “cheating” in some regard, but nothing could be further from the truth.
An e bike has a setting where the rider is provided with as much or as little assistance when pedalling as is required (up to 15.5 mph); however, peddling is still necessary. The rider has total control over the bike – the only difference is the amount of pedal assist the rider chooses. For example, when ascending a mountain the rider may elect more pedal assist than when descending.
Other than that, there is very little differentiating a traditional mountain bike from an e bike. E bikes are designed the same as a traditional bike, with the capability of high performance in mind.
Can You Convert A Normal Mountain Bike To An Electric Bike?
The answer is yes. Mountain bike owners who wish to convert to an electric bike can buy a kit for a fraction of the price of a new e bike. This savings and cost is offset by the fact that the conversion requires handiwork.
Some people may not be cut out for the task. If you have undertaken bike repairs in the past, it should not be too difficult, but if you have never performed mountain bike maintenance yourself you may wish to leave the job to a local bike shop or a friend who has experience.
What Is The Best Mountain Ebike?
The 2020 Specialized Turbo Levo Comp is the choice as the top electric mountain bike.
The new model is almost identical to the 2019 model, but has the following improvements which make it the preferred choice among 2020 e bike models
- A highly impressive build kit
- An upgrade to 700Wh battery
- 29 inch wheels
- Brand new frame design
- Display placement
- Updated and specialised 2.1 motor
Remaining true to its roots, this e bike still retains the on-trail performance that helped it make its name, giving it a true mountain bike feel. This version of the bike offers playful agility and is overall a more well-rounded bike than what the competition has to offer.
The battery and motor have been integrated into the frame, giving the bike a very low center of gravity and look that is unlike an e-bike. With a quiet new motor and a much lighter weight (even though the batter is bigger), this e bike is unparalleled in the 2020 class.
However, there is some room for improvement (but not much). The bike lacks a handlebar-mounted digital display (instead it has a top-tube mounted display) that its competitors offer. The charging port is in an awkward location and lends itself to debris collection and moisture (even if you close it properly).
Overall, the Specialized is the choice as the most versatile, well-rounded performance boasting efficiency and impressive range.
There are many e bike models on the market to consider. Below are the top three to keep in mind in the event you are looking to buy one in the near future:
NCM Aspen Fat Electric Bike
For the money, the Aspen touches all the bases, excelling on both mechanical and electrical levels. Affordable and true to traditional e bike standards, this bike gives its owners the freedom to customise, augment and supplement the bike to suit their specific needs.
Weighing under 60 pounds, the Aspen is lightweight, agile and offers an aggressive ride. Offering ergonomic grips that lock, fender bosses, a slap guard, and a hub motor powered by 500 watts, its 24 gears, triple chain ring and aggressive ride may not be for everyone.
The Aspen features a powerful motor and lithium battery pack, both with sufficient power to handle wet and marshy terrain.
With 4″ wide tires, the Aspen holds traction even when challenged on short and sharp technical inclines.
Overall, the Aspen can’t be beat for the price. It offers great value and a comfortable yet still aggressive ride even in tough terrain.
Trek electric bikes offer both versatility and efficiency on the road but are also capable of light trail riding. They have impressive features such as tires that are puncture-resistant with have tight, knobby tread for traction, comfort and stability because of increased air volume.
Trek is known for high-end mountain and performance bikes, and the company is now reaching then urban community with its lineup of impressively sleek and fast electric city bikes.
Trek introduced its Allant+ lineup with 10 different e-bikes that range in price from $3,600 to $6,000. While that may seem expensive (and it is), that is because each model is powered by Bosch’s top-of-the-line motors that are lighter and offer less resistance than previous models. This results in a more natural ride feel.
Boasting a combination of traditional Bosch electrical power and hardtail cross-country base, climbing hills has never been easier with a boost from the electric motor to augment natural pedaling power. Another bonus – its available with an impressive set of components and seven size options.
This bike is available with 27.5-inch or 29-inch wheels and appeals to riders from all different backgrounds and tastes. It is directed toward recreational riders who need a quality electric bike from cross country riding. This is the perfect bike for a new rider since it offers extra power to conquer climbs, maintain momentum and speed even over rough terrain.
The Bosch motor offers a natural, powerful feeling and integrates organically into the bike’s construction. The frame is aluminum and features a head-tube that is tapered for stiffness and surprisingly accurate steering. Internal cable routing gives this bike a sleek and clean look and prevents cable damage.
The hardtail electric bike comes standard with a dynamic Shimano Deore drivetrain that offers accurate and smooth shifting with a vast range of gears. This enables handling of the added power of the pedal-assist adding to the lifespan of the bike’s components.
The tires are puncture-resistant which helps minimize flats and the bike has a dual-layer skid plate protecting the motor from rock strikes.
From the first time your foot strikes the pedal, you know the the Cube 500 will get you where you’re going. The motor is slotted in a perfect location in the chassis and the batteries, which are inside the cast down tube, is aesthetically pleasing.
The best part? You don’t have to thing remove the battery to charge it.
Don’t let its minimalist design fool you – this bike has tremendous potential to upgrade, with a bottle cage on the seat tube and rack bosses on the seat. Internally routed cables stay out of the way and therefore servicing is much easier.
Final Thoughts On These Bikes
E bikes are clearly here to stay, so, like them or not, it’s best that you learn to love them and embrace them with open arms. Offering sleek, modern designs for enhanced handling, comfort and agility (not to mention speed) e bikes have brought the future forward and have carved a niche in a sport that was previously dominated by the traditional mountain bike.
With the advent of the e bike, transportation and recreation have melded, offering a glimpse into the future while still enjoying the pleasures of the present.