Electric Mountain Biking: The Best Models on the Market
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Yes, electric mountain biking is a sport! Although the majority of electric bikes are primarily used for easy commuting, that's not the case for all E-bikes... Electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) are not meant for a leisurely neighborhood ride. With a powerful motor and a large battery for extended range, eMTBs amplify the natural strength of the cyclist, allowing them to ride longer and faster. These powerful and fast electric bikes also open up the possibility of tackling terrains that would be unreachable for an amateur. It's a great way to have fun for beginners and those easing back into sports, as well as for experienced cyclists seeking new thrills.
The sporty electric bike: yes, it exists!
For easing back into sports or starting mountain biking
Cycling is good for your health... Whether you're getting back into sports after several years, aiming to lose weight, or simply looking to engage in regular physical activity, cycling is ideal. It's a gentle sport on the joints (unlike running or tennis, for example) and highly comprehensive (cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, balance, muscle strengthening, etc.).
But cycling can be intimidating... If you've never done it, you might think it's too difficult. And in the woods, with poor efficiency due to the terrain, it gets even tougher.
Fortunately, the electric mountain bike (eMTB) was invented!
By providing a welcome boost every time the slope increases, eMTBs allow everyone to have fun in the forest.
To make your ride beneficial, you can play with the assistance level, alternating between intensive phases and recovery periods. Riding an electric mountain bike will allow you not to be in constant exertion. You can progress at your own pace, and you'll find that over time, you'll rely less and less on electric assistance.
Quick tip: always keep an eye on your battery's charge level. Electric mountain bikes are heavier than regular bikes due to the presence of a battery and a motor. Without electric assistance, you might struggle as soon as the terrain inclines... 🥵
Finally, even if you're already familiar with electric bikes, take the time to master your eMTB. As we'll see later (a little patience 😉), the performance of these bikes is nothing like everyday models. These sporty eMTBs require sporty handling.
To lengthen and intensify rides
Electric off-road biking is not just for beginners! On the contrary, if you already have a good level but find yourself plateauing due to lack of endurance, the eMTB will allow you to gradually work on this weak point.
You can ease off for short periods to recover well for the upcoming challenges. Once the terrain gets tougher, feel free to reduce the assistance level to power up. This way, you'll have longer and more intensive rides.
What are the differences between a sporty electric mountain bike and a regular electric-assist bike?
If they are associated with a sporting use, it's because eMTBs go beyond the simple electric assistance found on city bikes or electric hybrid bikes.
The motor of eMTBs is more powerful, with 80 to 90 Nm of torque. In comparison, the most common electric bikes generally hover around 40 or 50 Nm.
Regarding the electric battery, the performance differences are also significant: at least 600 Wh capacity for an electric mountain bike, compared to 250 to 500 Wh for hybrid bikes.
Of course, the terrains are different: something more powerful is needed for off-road riding in the woods. But such differences necessarily result in a more sporty and aggressive behavior.
The best sporty electric mountain bikes
There are different types of eMTBs, and as in every field, not all are equal. The top of the market for eMTBs is occupied by models that combine mechanical and electrical performance: powerful pedal-assist motor, enhanced battery capacity, quality suspensions, maneuverability... These sporty electric mountain bikes are clearly on another level compared to city electric bikes. Here are some of the best sporty electric mountain bikes.
Specialized eMTBs: a sure bet
Pioneering mountain biking in the early 80s, Specialized is unsurprisingly one of the leaders in the E-MTB market. Always focused on competition and performance, the American brand develops electric mountain bikes designed for true sports enthusiasts.
Specialized currently markets three models, each available in several variations: the Turbo Tero (a bit more leisure-oriented than performance-oriented), the Turbo Kenevo, and the Turbo Levo.
The Specialized Turbo Kenevo
This model is more geared towards thrilling descents. You can immediately see it thanks to its imposing fork with a travel of 180 mm.
Specialized had the good idea to equip it with a rear wheel set back and a wide handlebar for even more maneuverability in fast sections.
And since it's an E-MTB, it has the advantage of not being solely a downhill bike... Its pedal-assist motor delivers up to 410% of the cyclist's power to be ready when descending the slope.
The Specialized Turbo Levo
The Turbo Levo is an E-MTB designed for a very sporty practice. Versatile, comfortable, and maneuverable, it is one of the best electric mountain bikes currently available. This is thanks, in particular, to its Smart Control system that manages the assistance level on its own (only if you want it) to ensure an optimal experience.
Its powerful motor and 700 Wh battery can quadruple the natural power of the cyclist. Enough to smoothly tackle tricky sections and conserve energy to give it all in more accessible portions!
But if the Specialized Turbo Levo is also appreciated by E-MTB enthusiasts, it's because its mechanical components are well-crafted. Inspired by the full-suspension mountain bike Stumpjumper, the Turbo Levo has the same travel (160 mm front and 150 mm rear) and a similar frame geometry (with the integrated battery in the down tube and a pedal-assist motor, obviously).
The similarities end there because in terms of traction, the Turbo Levo is a Mullet-type E-MTB. This means that the rear wheel is smaller than the front wheel: 27.5” at the rear and 29” at the front. Why? Because these hybrid bikes combine the advantages of both wheel sizes. The front provides stability and dynamism, and the rear adds maneuverability and responsiveness in acceleration phases.
In short, the Specialized Turbo Levo is a perfect sporty electric mountain bike for both beginners and those looking to push performance to the limit. Thanks to its impressive electrical components and mechanics worthy of the best, this all-terrain electric bike leaves no one on the sidelines.
Are you enchanted? Our Turbo Levo bikes are waiting for you! 😉
Other market-leading electric mountain bikes
If Specialized E-MTBs are truly dazzling, they are obviously not the only ones offering such a level of performance.
At Cannondale, we find the Moterra Neo, which, like the Levo, comes in several models. The recipes for success are roughly the same: a high-end electrical component coupled with the mechanics of the best Cannondale MTB models. The result: a top-notch E-MTB that suits everyone.
Funny detail: while the Americans at Cannondale chose a name with a Spanish sound, the Spaniards at Orbea opted for an English name: Wild.
But it must be admitted that the Orbea Wild lives up to its name. This sporty electric mountain bike has a pronounced wild side. Driven by the best Bosch electric motors, the Wild will provide you with the electric assistance you need when the terrain becomes too steep, while accompanying you in your quest for performance in technical sections.
What is the price of a good electric mountain bike?
As expected, these high-end electric assist mountain bikes are quite expensive: between 6,000 and 10,000 euros on average. Intended for performance, these bikes are at the forefront of technology in their field.
The good news is that by choosing a reconditioned used E-MTB, the price is much lower: up to 60% less for a model revised by our mechanics, and up to 30% for... new bikes!
We hope to have convinced you that electric mountain biking is definitely a real sport! After all, on these bikes, electric assistance serves primarily to preserve you a bit so that the effort lasts even longer. Rest assured, you will sweat!
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