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Magnum Vertex Review, 2023
Sep 15, 2023
Riders looking for a versatile hybrid e-bike with commuter and off-road potential should look no further than the Magnum Vertex! This awesome “lite” electric mountain bike (eMTB) can traverse dirt trails and asphalt with ease. After testing the performance of its motor, battery, and brakes, the reviewers at Electric Bike Report give you the scoop in this Magnum Vertex review!
The three main elements that make the Vertex so capable across most types of terrain are its 500W mid-drive motor, its 27.5” x 2.8” knobby mountain bike tires, and its Suntour suspension fork with 130 mm of travel. Respectively, these give the bike the power, traction, and shock absorption to handle the demands of off-road riding.
We loved the mid-drive motor’s adaptive and responsive nature – both are features that result from the use of a torque sensor instead of a cadence sensor. This allows the Vertex to feel and respond like a non-electric bike, while granting access to faster speeds and confident uphill power.
With geometry that blends commuter and mountain bike positioning, 720 mm-wide handlebars, and ergonomic grips, the Vertex strikes a great balance between comfort and control. Great handling is essential for rough riding, and ergonomics help long rides feel much more enjoyable.
See our full Magnum Vertex review below for more!
Bike Category: Mountain / Hybrid Path
Class 2/3 E-Bike: Throttle up to 20 mph Pedal assist up to 28 mph
Magnum Vertex Video Review
Versatility! The Vertex feels confident on pavement, dirt roads, and light trails alike thanks to its aggressive 500W mid-drive motor, 2.8” wide tires, and Suntour suspension fork.
Responsive pedal assistance! With a torque sensor that responds to the rider’s input, the Vertex rides much like a non-electric bike.
Comfort and control! The bike’s 720 mm-wide handlebars and ergonomic grips make for enjoyable and responsive handling.
Class 2/3 speeds! With 5 pedal-assist settings, the bike is capable of reaching 28 miles per hour with legwork and 20 miles per hour with its throttle.
Practical range! With a 720-watt-hour (Wh) battery, Magnum advertises a range of up to 50 miles. We were able to exceed that in our testing!
Striking visual design! Looks are subjective, but we really dig the bold black and yellow paint job.
We appreciate seeing Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, but a 4-piston hydraulic system would offer more responsive off-road stopping power.
The single frame size worked well for me but we’d like to see more frame sizes to better accommodate taller and shorter riders.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery: 48V, 15 Ah (720 Wh) w/ Samsung cells
Display: Magnum Branded VeloFox, 8 x 7 cm. Display Screen, Backlit Monochrome LCD
Motor: Ananda 500W (750W peak) mid-drive motor
Headlight: Integrated front light
Taillights: Saddle-mounted rear light
Peal Assist: 5-stage PAS with torque sensor
Range: Up to 50 miles
Throttle: Thumb Throttle
Weight & Dimensions
Claimed weight: 74.5 lbs
Total payload capacity: 350 lbs
Rider height range: 5’-5” to 6’-2”
Components & Accessories
Brakes: Tektro HD-E350 hydraulic disc brakes w/ 180 mm rotors
Fenders: Optional, not included
Fork: Suntour XCM34 Boost w/ 130 mm travel
Frame: Aluminum Alloy
Drivetrain: 10-speed Microshift Advent X w/ 42T chainring and 11-48T cassette
Grips: Black ergonomic rubber
Saddle: Selle Royal Essenza + w/ taillight
Handlebar: 720 mm
Tires: CST Patrol 27.5” x 2.8”
The Vertex delivers power when it’s needed for an intuitive ride feel.
The 500W mid-drive has a maximum of 130 Nm of torque for fast acceleration and uphill power.
A Suntour XCM34 Boost suspension fork keeps the ride smooth with 130 mm of travel.
Magnum Vertex Review: Speed Test
In our Speed Test, I measured the my speed using each of the pedal assist system (PAS) settings of the Magnum Vertex to evaluate the impact of the Ananda 500W mid-drive motor. For consistency, I maintained a moderate but comfortable level of effort to show the capabilities of the torque sensor.
As a Class 2 and 3 e-bike, the Vertex is limited to 20 miles per hour with its throttle, and 28 miles per hour when using the PAS. I measured a maximum speed of 11.8 miles per hour with no motor assistance, followed by relatively steady and evenly-distributed increases in power between PAS settings. The largest jumps in power were in Eco and Tour modes, and in the subsequent settings (Sport, Turbo, and Boost modes), the speed increases leveled out somewhat as I approached the top end. Through the full scope of PAS settings, I measured speeds between 15.6 miles per hour up to a maximum of 26.7 miles per hour.
When pedaling slower and more casually, I experienced ghost pedaling beginning just over 20 mph; my chosen cadence was slower than the pace required by the gearing to maintain engagement, so my pedaling was not contributing much to the bike’s speed. This was easily remedied with more effort and a faster cadence, so while Magnum could increase the size of the chainring to make pedaling at higher speeds easier, the Vertex would likely lose some ease of functionality in off-road settings.
While some might argue that the bike should easily be able to reach 28 miles per hour, I was satisfied with the current setup. As a hybrid commuter/lite mountain e-bike, the Vertex has to dance a thin line; it needs to be effective when traveling at speed on paved surfaces, but it also needs to be both able and comfortable when climbing over dirt and rocks. My experiences indicated that in its current state, the bike handled both situations well.
Overall, I have to give the Vertex top marks in this test. The bike’s acceleration was swift due to the powerful 500W motor and the 48V electrical system that allows power to be transferred rapidly between the battery and motor. I was pleased with the engagement of the motor due to the torque sensor as well; as my pressure on the pedals increased, I received a smooth and fluid increase in pedal assistance. This sort of responsive feedback is enjoyable by its very nature, but especially important when riding off-road.
While it lacks some punch, the throttle keeps the bike under control when good handling is essential.
A 10-speed Microshift drivetrain with an 11-48T cassette gives flexibility for climbing and speeding along on the flat.
The bike’s 48V, 720 Wh battery sports the same bright yellow as the frame and is seamlessly integrated into the down tube.
Magnum Vertex Review: Range Test
We performed a Range Test of the Vertex and its 48V, 720 Wh battery to evaluate Magnum’s advertised range of 25-50 miles. Using the process described in the graphic above, we determined the maximum distance the bike could travel on a single charge, with the assumption that most riders would fall between the bracket established by testing the bike in its minimum and maximum PAS settings.
Based on our testing, we determined that riders can expect to travel between 31 and 58 miles depending on their chosen PAS setting. Despite the elevation changes on the multi-use paths we ride during these tests (which require more battery power to ascend), both of our test riders were able to exceed Magnum’s advertised range! In daily use scenarios, riders switching between settings depending on the needs of their environment will likely land somewhere in the middle.
Considering that the Vertex uses a torque sensor, its range will vary between riders. Those pedaling softer or slower would achieve a greater range than a rider pedaling with a fast or forceful cadence. It is possible to reach swift speeds even in low PAS settings, so riders can extend their range by using less power without sacrificing much in terms of speed.
Part of our evaluation of a bike’s motor and battery pairing relates to its efficiency. As explained in our guide to e-bike batteries, the nominal wattage of the motor and the watt-hour rating of the battery have a significant relationship. Based on the specs of the Vertex, we expected to travel roughly an hour and a half in Boost mode, and we were able to ride for an additional 15 minutes! This shows that the pairing is slightly more efficient than expected, allowing riders to travel longer distances.
The Vertex’s range of 31-58 miles only adds to its versatility; this amount of distance is appropriate for a commuter while also allowing light trail riders to enjoy plenty of time in the dirt!
Magnum Vertex Review: Brake Test
We used the above process to evaluate the performance of the brakes on the Magnum Vertex. The bike uses a hydraulic brake system by Tektro: the seemingly ubiquitous HD-E350 model with 2-piston calipers and 180 mm rotors.
We calculated an average stopping distance of 23’-4” after three trials. This falls within the range we consider acceptable and safe, though it is somewhat on the long side when compared to similar bikes we have tested.
To be fair, we have not tested a vast number of similar bikes, so the pool of models I have to use for comparison is relatively small. E-bikes like the Vertex are relatively uncommon, as most we have tested tended to “stay in their lane,” or adhere mostly to one category.
While we consider the Vertex’s results to be acceptable in its current state, we would appreciate seeing the option for a 4-piston hydraulic brake system for the bike – and possibly larger 203 mm rotors. The Suntour suspension fork can accommodate rotors up to that size, and the combination of larger rotors and 4-piston calipers would give the Vertex faster stopping power in more demanding off-road environments.
In my experience, the current Tektro E350 system provided enough bite to slow the bike quickly, and it handled well when braking. I experienced no locking up of the wheels, and even when applying the brakes firmly, it remained stable and traveled straight.
Magnum Vertex Review: Hill Test
Our test hill – fittingly called Hell Hole – presents an extreme challenge for each e-bike that we evaluate. Using the process described in the graphic above, we tested the hill-climbing abilities of the Magnum Vertex and its 500W mid-drive motor.
The bike did well; using just its throttle, we arrived at the top of the path in 1 minute and 47 seconds, traveling at an average of 10.1 miles per hour. When pedaling in Boost mode, our results improved to 1 minute and 23 seconds from the base of the hill to the summit, at 13.1 miles per hour.
When comparing the Vertex to similar e-bikes with 500W mid-drive motors that we tested previously, its results for both portions of the test fell in the average range. At least when it comes to e-bikes, average is good!
The bike’s motor produces a maximum of 130 Newton-meters (Nm) of torque, and the webpage for the Vertex states that its motor peaks at 750 watts, though the display on our test bike read approximately 900 watts when encountering the steepest sections of Hell Hole Trail. Many of the motors we’ve seen peak at 1000W or higher, so we expected the Vertex to struggle more than it did.
The 500W mid-drive motor has enough power to handle steep hills in extreme conditions.
The Tektro E350 hydraulic disc brakes performed well, but we’d like to see the option for a 4-piston brake system.
CST Patrol tires with aggressive off-road tread provide grip and stability.
Overall, the bike gave a solid performance, though it is worth discussing its throttle in more detail. It is not uncommon for throttle-only results in this test to be less impressive than those we achieve when pedaling. In the case of the Vertex, we felt that the throttle lacked some of the punch we expected, but considering the bike’s off-road capabilities, this was not a disappointment. Throttles with extremely forceful acceleration can be a liability out in the wild, as they can cause less-experienced riders to lose control and wind up with injuries. More subdued throttles (like the one on the Vertex) are easier to control and have less overall risk associated with them.
Ultimately, the Vertex proved itself capable in both portions of our Hill Test and revealed that the bike can handle even extreme situations effectively. Riders who choose to use the throttle when encountering steep hills might experience a slower pace, but those willing to contribute legwork likely won’t break a sweat while doing so.
Magnum Vertex Review: Ride Quality
In my experience, the overall ride quality of the Magnum Vertex was excellent across the board. The bike is designed to place the rider at a moderate forward lean, and overall it felt comfortable, handled well, and responded appropriately in its intended environment.
In terms of contact points, I appreciated the wide 720 mm handlebars; with ergonomic grips, these were comfortable to hold and provided a high degree of control when maneuvering on dirt trails. The saddle was well-shaped, and while it felt somewhat on the firm side after longer trips on paved paths, I didn’t spend much time sitting on it when riding off-road.
The 27.5” x 2.8” CST Patrol tires performed well on asphalt, and with such an aggressive off-road tread, they tore easily through dirt while offering plenty of grip. Additionally, I appreciated their width; they proved significantly more maneuverable than the 4” fat tires that many off-road-capable e-bikes tend to be equipped with, while still offering a wide platform that felt solid and stable.
Another factor that influenced the bike’s comfortable ride was its Suntour XCM34 Boost suspension fork. With 130 mm of travel, this is on the higher end of the compression range I’ve seen on an e-bike, and the difference was noticeable. Even on rougher trails, the fork cushioned the ride effectively. Without a rear suspension, this is about as good as it gets in this price range!
According to Magnum’s advertisements, the Vertex fits riders who are between 5’-5” and 6’-2” with its single frame size. Additionally, they said it had a maximum capacity of 350 lbs. At 5’-11” and around 200 lbs, the bike’s geometry accommodated me nicely, though it was somewhat limiting for our riders on the extreme ends of the bike’s range of accommodation. The standover height was slightly too tall for those on the bottom end of the height spectrum, and the relatively short reach distance made the bike feel somewhat cramped for those above 6 feet.
When comparing the Vertex to some other dedicated eMTBs, these things became more clear; the dimensions of the Vertex lined up with what was often a small frame size. To offer a better fit for taller and shorter riders, we’d like to see Magnum offer a few more frame sizes.
The wide handlebars allow for precise control, and we liked the sparse cockpit layout.
A dual-LED headlight makes sure you can see where you’re going on evening rides.
We loved the cool branding and bright, unique paint job!
The performance-oriented Selle Royal saddle includes a clip-in, battery-operated taillight.
It’s important to consider that there is not much adjustability on the bike; there are 8.5 inches of adjustment in the seatpost, but with a standard-style stem, the handlebar height and reach are fixed. The bike’s standard stem could be swapped for an extended stem with longer reach, and the handlebars could be exchanged for a set with rise, but both of these options would require additional purchases.
In terms of the bike’s cockpit layout and user interface, my experience was generally positive. I found the position of the throttle lever next to the shifter to be somewhat awkward due to the back-and-forth required to make use of the bike’s gearing, but fortunately, it was quick and easy to relocate the throttle to the left bar. I appreciated the small control panel and the proximity of the PAS adjustment to the grips, as this made changing settings by feel possible when my eyes were focused on the path ahead. If I were to point out any real critique, the black-and-white LCD felt dated; it would be great to see a full-color screen on a bike with a price tag of around $3,000.
Even though I’ve mentioned it previously in this Magnum Vertex review, the ride quality of the bike is greatly affected by its torque sensor. The responsive feel of the bike cannot be understated; at times I found it easy to forget I was riding an e-bike (except, perhaps, for the high-pitched whine of the motor). Mid-drive motors with torque sensors truly can deliver an all-around fantastic ride, and the Vertex is no different.
I’ve discussed the Vertex’s off-road potential at length, but I want to revisit its functionality as a commuter e-bike. As a Class 3, it is possible to keep up with traffic more easily, and the welcome inclusion of a throttle gives riders the ability to zip through an intersection quickly and safely. The bike is equipped with a dual-LED headlight and a small taillight that clips under the saddle, and Magnum offers an optional cargo rack and fenders to outfit the bike further.
Magnum Vertex Review: Summary / Where to Buy
Versatility is the key concept with the Magnum Vertex; with a few limited exceptions, there is little that it can’t do. This level of adaptability places the bike in a category that few other e-bikes – even the well-rounded fat tire variety – can’t match. The Vertex may not meet the needs of dedicated mountain bikers who need top-shelf (and therefore costly) components and a full suspension, but for an entry-level eMTB, it does the job well.
The Vertex felt at home in a variety of environments, and it delivered solid performances across the board. With its mid-drive motor and 10-speed drivetrain, it balanced speed and power with accessible gearing for on- and off-road riding. It climbed even extreme hills with relative ease, and it exceeded the practical range of 25-50 miles advertised by Magnum.
We’d like to see the option for a more powerful 4-piston hydraulic brake system with the Vertex to provide better control on dirt and rocks, but its performance in our Brake Test was also good. And while the standard placement of the throttle lever made using it somewhat difficult, it was easy to relocate for a more natural feel.
Otherwise, the power, speed, comfort level, and responsiveness of the Magnum Vertex made it one of the most all-around fun and capable e-bikes I’ve had the pleasure of testing! To any riders looking for a practical all-around e-bike that gives you the ability to play in places most e-bikes can’t handle, I suggest you follow our “Check Best Price” link above to visit the Magnum website! I give this bike two thumbs up!
Happy Riding! Make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Magnum Vertex.