More and more people are turning to cycling as an eco-friendly, healthy and relatively cheap form of transport, especially for commuting. As a result, electric bicycles are gaining in popularity as they offer a virtually sweat-free ride and extra help for those who struggle with hills.
But what if you need some extra power when cycling on steep hills off-road? This article looks at what electric mountain bikes are currently available.
Electric Bike Batteries – Best Technology
The power behind any electric bike lies in the battery technology and all but the cheapest e-bikes now use modern Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. These batteries are much lighter than heavy old lead acid batteries, commonly found on cheap Chinese e-bikes and they re-charge far quicker.
The latest LiFePO4 Li-ion batteries have the added advantage of over 2000 recharge cycles versus 600-700 on older Li-ion batteries.
If you try to find electric mountain bikes in one of the big MTB brand ranges like Trek or GT, you will be disappointed. After all, what self-respecting mountain biker wants to admit they are getting a helping hand up that 1:5 hill climb?
But they do exist and many are custom-built using electric bike kits to convert a standard mountain bike into an e-bike power horse.
Where to Buy Battery Powered Electric Mountain Bikes
Electric mountain bikes need to be as light as possible both for speed on the trail and ease of transportation. If you are going to actually ride one on rough rugged trails, then you need a strong frame and accompanying bike components.
Read product descriptions carefully when researching online as many mountain e-bikes just have mountain bike styling and are really intended for commuting and light tow path riding only.
Here’s a selection of electric mountain bikes currently available in the market:
- Urban Mover Motion – electric mountain bike from UK cycle retailer Halfords. The Motion has front suspension and MTB styling rather than durability for MTB trails. Weighs 22.3kg and offers around 20 miles in one charge with a large 37 volt Li-ion battery for £800/$1280.
- Lifecycle Mountain Sport – from Electric Bike World, a stunning all terrain mountain bike with a powerful slim 37 volt Li-ion battery offering up to 70 assisted miles in one charge. Retails currently at £1499/$2400.
- Kalkhoff Sahel Pro Disc – a sporty 26” wheel with disc brakes from 50cycles. Uses a 26 volt Lithium-manganese battery with a 5 hour recharge time and a 50 mile assisted pedaling range for £1895/$3000.
- Montague Paratrooper Folding Mountain Bike – custom built with an electric bike kit with lithium-ion battery from Heinzmann, available to order from Electric Mountain Bikes. The Paratrooper, as its name suggests, is built for military use and is possibly the most bomb-proof electric mountain bike you can buy. You can choose to transport the battery in a rucksack so your mates will never know you have battery powered assistance! This is a bike made purely for off-road use and costs just over £2000/$3200.
Buy an E-Bike for Painless Hill Climbs
There is a limited choice currently available in the electric mountain bike market with the best brands being niche like Kalkhoff or Lifecycle.
If you’re looking for a proper mountain bike for rugged trail riding rather than just a look-a-like, then a custom built bike may be your best choice from a specialist company like Electric Mountain Bikes.