Are you in the market for a new electric mountain bike? Looking to explore the outdoors in your free time?
We've compiled a list of the best budget-friendly eMTBs currently available on the market for you.
Electric Mountain Bikes vs Regular Bikes
Electric and regular mountain bikes are not that different from each other. Both are designed for riding in rough conditions and are often pricier than their regular counterparts.
However, there are a few differences between them. Let's go over some of the differences between regular mountain bikes and motor-powered mountain bikes.
In general, electric mountain bikes consist of more components than regular bicycles. They are often equipped with rechargeable batteries, electric motors, controllers, and LCD devices (in addition to the basic components of normal bicycles).
Maintaining an eMTB is not as easy or as straightforward as maintaining a regular bicycle. As mentioned earlier, electric mountain bikes are made up of more complex parts than analog bicycles.
For instance, exposing an eMTB's battery to extreme temperatures could damage its cells, which could also end up affecting the bike's overall performance.
Electric bikes make cycling easy. With an electric mountain bike, riders can pedal up steep inclines without as much effort as they'd otherwise have needed to travel up the same incline on a non-motorized bicycle.
Plus, they (eMTBs) are so versatile riders can easily switch between degrees of motor assistance. So, if you want to get a workout out of your ride uphill, just dial down to the lowest power setting.
Conversely, if you want to enjoy the scenery without putting too much stress on your body, you can just crank the motor assistance level to the highest. Electric bikes let you experience the best of both worlds.
Regulations Governing the Use of Electric Bikes
Unlike regular bicycles, electric bikes are subject to various restrictions in different regions and municipalities around the world. This is because they are equipped with low-powered engines that can easily propel them to high speeds.
Several governments have created rules to regulate the use of electric bikes in their respective regions. One of the most popular is the 3-class system. In the 3-class system, a set of guidelines group electric bikes into three different classes
Electric Bikes Net Weight and Riders Weight Limits by the Numbers
How Much Does an Electric Mountain Bike Weigh?
In general, mountain e-bikes typically weigh between 45 and 60 pounds. There are exceptions though. For example, the Trek E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS is popularly known as the lightest e-bike in its class.
This full-suspension mountain e-bike weighs 15.75 kg (34.72 lb).
Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Mountain Bike?
Below are a few features to look out for when shopping for an electric mountain bike:
This is especially important if you're going to be taking the bike off-road. Shock absorbers, whether front or rear, help smoothen out rides on bumpy terrain.
They do this by absorbing energy that would otherwise have been sent to the rider when the wheels come in contact with surface irregularities. This energy can translate into vibrations that will rock the e-bike out of control. So if you're in the market for an electric mountain bike, consider one with front and/ rear suspension.
Uphill riding is an integral part of mountain biking. Finding an electric mountain bike that is powerful enough to travel up steep gradients should be at the top of your list if you plan on hitting those hard trails.
EMTBs with power ratings between 500 and 750 Watts should be ideal for such purposes. However, if you're a heavy rider, say between 250 and 300 lbs, you might want to go a bit higher in terms of power; 750- to 1000-Watt e-bikes should meet the performance requirements of heavy riders.
Pedaling a 60-pound eMTB without motor assistance is not something you want to experience - unless it's included in a bucket list of things you'd like to achieve before turning 50.
Electric mountain bikes tend to consume more power than average e-bikes. This is because they are more often equipped with higher-powered motors and bulkier frames than regular e-bikes.
So, make sure to add "long-lasting battery" to your list of requirements for purchasing an electric mountain bike. Aim for 48-Volt systems battery with at least 10Ah of current.
Why Buy One, Are Electric Mountain Bikes Worth It
Whether or not an electric bike will be worth it for you depends on a lot of factors. Most electric mountain bikes are versatile, but
they just can't do it for some people.
If you're someone who rides solely to build muscular endurance, electric bikes (mountain or otherwise) might not be the best for you. They're motor assisted, you're probably never going to put in 70% of the effort required to propel the bike at any given time.
The same applies to riders looking for lightweight transportation solutions. That extra weight easily tips the scale between convenient and burdensome.
However, if you're a beginner at mountain biking or just someone who rides for recreational purposes, purchasing an eMTB might be a good investment. It accelerates your learning curve and lets you spend more time in the moment, time you'd otherwise have spent huffing and puffing on a regular mountain bike.
Other Alternatives we like
Electric Mountain Bike Under $1000
The Ecotric Leopard is an affordable hardtail mountain e-bike. The bike comes equipped with a 500W geared hub motor, dual mechanical disc brakes, an LCD device, and 26" × 2.35" tires.
Its 36V 12.5Ah battery can cover up to 20 miles on a full charge. The e-bike features a throttle-assist option and 5 different levels of pedal-assist.
Ecotric Leopard Mountain Electric Bike
Rattan prides itself as the only company that delivers on manufacturing energy-regenerating e-bikes. Their electric bikes can reportedly cover between 60 and 80 miles when fully charged all thanks to a patented technology called I-PAS (Intelligent Power Assist System).
Luckily, we found one of their I-PAS-enabled mountain e-bikes; The Challenger. This e-bike comes with a 350W motor, a 48V 10.4Ah lithium-ion battery, an aluminum alloy frame, an LCD display, and 2.1-inch wide, puncture-resistant tires.
Commonly referred to as a commuter e-bike, the Gotrax Alpha XL is a 350W electric bike designed for just about any type of terrain. The bike can reach speeds of up to 20 miles an hour and cover 25-mile travels on a single charge.
Its budget-friendly price of $899 makes it accessible to people looking for affordable mountain bikes. Keep in mind that you might have to pedal this e-bike when traveling up steep hills. The throttle just won't cut it.
Gotrax Alpha XL
Electric Mountain Bike Pros and Cons
1) They are usually more powerful than standard electric bikes
Electric mountain bikes are designed for heavy-duty riding. They are built to tackle steep gradients and overcome strong headwinds.
This is why you'll find that most eMTBs come equipped with 500W motors or higher (eMTBs with lower-powered motors — below 500W — often utilize mid-drive systems). It is not uncommon to find electric mountain bike owners who use their machines to transport heavy loads.
2) Electric mountain bikes can hold up more weight than regular e-bikes
You see, eMTBs aren't optimized for speed racing like road e-bikes. Their frames are not crafted from lightweight materials like carbon fiber nor are their tires and stems streamlined for aerodynamics.
Electric mountain bikes are big, chunky machines with sturdy frames. In most cases, they can support up to 300 lbs and are often used as utility e-bikes.
1) They are heavy
Electric mountain bikes typically weigh between 45 and 70 lbs, which is way higher than the 45-pound upper limit for road and commuter e-bikes. This is due to bike makers equipping eMTBs with higher-end components so they're able to withstand the rigors of trail riding.
2) Electric mountain bikes are expensive
It's just like we mentioned earlier; electric mountain bikes are crafted from high-end materials. Sometimes they even come with more features than standard electric bikes.
These extra features (for example, front and rear suspension systems, extra batteries, etc.) are what make them costlier than normal e-bikes. There are road e-bikes that cost as little as $400. Not eMTBs. You need at least $800 to own one.