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Electric Mountain Bikes Guide
Feb 24, 2011
Stealth Electric Mountain Bike
One of the new trends in electric bikes is the electric mountain bike or electric conversion kit for mountain bikes. An electric mountain bike may sounds strange at first, but it does have it’s place.
I am putting together this guide to give you an idea of what electric mountain bikes and kits are available. First of all let me give you an idea of why they even exist.
Downhill mountain bikes have always been hard to pedal up hills because they are generally heavy and inefficient to pedal. Both of these factors are due to their large travel full suspension and burley (tough) construction. In addition they are usually set up with a more laid back geometry that is good for going down, not up! This all leads to something called shuttling; where someone drives the riders and bikes up the hill or mountain. Some ski resorts cater to mountain bikers in the summer months by shuttling the riders up the mountain on the ski lift.
The electric mountain bike may take this shuttling stuff out of the downhill mountain bike equation with the electric assist helping the rider to climb the mountain to get to that sweet decent! There is a debate as to whether these new electric mountain bikes will handle as well on the decent because of their added motor and battery weight. How that weight effects the ride will depend a lot on the position of that weight on the bike. The lower the better.
I have also seen some of these electric mountain bikes advertised as an “all-mountain” bike that does well on cross country terrain and sketchy downhills. These bikes almost look like e-motorcycles to me, but I am interested to see how they catch on.
Another area where electric mountain bikes can work is for someone who has an injury that prevents them from riding a traditional mountain bike. Sometimes a little electric assist can make the difference between riding and not. And I am all about riding 🙂
Please note that some of these electric mountain bikes may not be available in your country.
Okay, let’s get into it!
Electric Mountain Bikes
Stealth Electric Bikes: These are more of the “All-Mountain” electric bikes because they are suited for all sorts of riding. They started in Australia and they are making their way around the globe.
Haibike: Is offering a number of cross country style e-mountain bikes using the Bosch electric bike kit. They have a unique way to mounting the Bosch motor “inside” the frame to protect it from rocks and other trail obstacles.
Wheeler: Wheeler has a few nice cross country style mountain bikes that use the Bionx electric bike kit.
M55 Electric Bikes: M55 is also building an “All-Mountain” style bike that is very high tech looking. They currently have 3 different models, and they are not cheap!
Optibike on the trail!
Optibike: These look like good cross country style electric mountain bikes. They might be able to take some of the tougher downhill abuse, but probably not too much.
Conway E-Rider: This looks like an “All-Mountain” bike as well. The site is in German, so I can’t get a clear picture of what the bike is intended for.
KTM has a few cross country electric mountain bikes and they should have their freeride “e-Gnition” electric mountain bike out soon.
Ohm Cycles XS750: This is more of a cross country mountain bike. It is not built for the really rough downhill-freeride terrain, but will do well for general cross country stuff
Energie Cycles 2.6tm: This is an e-mountain bike with a unique aluminum box frame design. It looks like one single tube from front wheel to back wheel. It’s similar to Trimble mountain bikes. The 2.6tm looks like it will be good for general cross country mountain biking.
Stromer: Stromer’s trademark is the cool way the battery is stored in the downtube. It is also very easy to remove the battery. They have one model that is truly made as a hard tail cross country mountain bike. Most of their bikes are street style mountain bikes though.
Emotion: Emotion has a cross country mountain bike that has the battery integrated in the down tube; pretty cool!
Focus: Focus has some nice high end cross country mountain bikes that use the Bionx motor.
Panther: They have a few lower end electric mountain bikes. It will be interesting to see if they step it up in the future and make a higher quality e-mtb’s.
Electric Mountain Bike Conversion Kits
Ego-Kits Electric Mountain Bike Conversion Kit
Ego-Kits: This is a powerful electric conversion kit to get you to the top of the mountain quickly!
Eco-Speed: This is a powerful kit that works well for mountain bikes and cargo hauling bikes.
Bionx: This is a kit commonly found on traditional urban electric bikes but will work well for general cross country use. I don’t think I would recommend the Bionx kit for really tough downhill-freeride terrain.
E+ Electric Bike Kit: E+ has a number of different kits available to convert your current mountain bike to electric. They have a kit that houses the motor and battery in both the front and rear hubs of the bike wheels. Might be a good electric mountain bike kit?
I Will Add More!
This is just a start. I will continue to add more as I come across them. Let us know (EBR Community) of other mountain bikes and kits that you know of by leaving a comment below.
Please note that I have not posted some “electric mountain bikes” because there are some out there that are better for street use even though they claim to be a mountain bike i.e. the quality of the bike is not good enough for off road use.