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Purchase guide: How to choose a mountain electric bicycle

Purchase guide: How to choose a mountain electric bicycle

The electric mountain bicycles are booming. Most of the main brands and manufacturers have in their catalog with several models of e-bikes and each season add new electric bicycles with an increasingly careful design, a more integrated engine and batteries and a wider level of components. This bicycle concept was popularized during the 2010 decade driven by the development of more compact engines and batteries. A few years ago, mountain electric bicycles were nothing more than a conventional MTB to which an engine and battery had been attached. Today they are their own category that even begins to have subcategories. Among so much tangle of models, novelties and modalities of e-bikes it is difficult to choose. Mountain electric bicycles are usually faces. They are not suitable for all pockets and is one of the barriers for greater expansion. Its price range ranges between € 2,000 and € 6,000, although there are double-end double-suspension e-bikes that trigger its price above € 10,000. A good alternative is Buy a second -hand mountain electric bicycle that has been reviewed by mécanicos. The offer of models is very wide, even differentiating several types of bicycle within the same segment. If you are interested in buying a mountain electric bicycle, this purchase guide will help you clear doubts and know what you should know before deciding what e-bike to buy. Let's start with the basics: a mountain electric bicycle is a MTB that has a pedaling assistance engine. It is important to clarify that in an e-bike there is no accelerator that moves the bicycle without giving pedals. Motor assistance only occurs when you pedal, so it is not a vehicle that can replace a motorcycle. It is really a bicycle, with the difference that it has extra help to make the effort to shoot more demanding and/or longer routes easier.

Basic concepts you should know about an e-bike

When choosing between one bicycle or another, it is important that you know some basic concepts that are relevant in an e-bike and that do not exist on a conventional bicycle.

Pedaling assistance

It is the system that is activated when the pedaling cyclist, thanks to a sensor installed on the pedalier axis. It has motor, battery (usually lithium) and a control panel composed in most cases by an electronic circuit connected to a screen that is installed in the handlebar. The pedaling system of a approved electric bicycle is deactivated when reaching 25 km/h.


European regulations on electric bicycles limit the average engine power to 250 W. If they deliver more power they would no longer enter the category of bicycles but in that of mopeds. However, there are some engines that can deliver more watts in a timely manner or gusts. Although technically it is possible to system out the power of the engine to overcome 250 W there are two weight reasons not to do so:
  • The first is that it is an illegal practice that is punished with fines.
  • The second is that releasing the engine exhausts its useful life and accelerates the wear of the electronic system, so in the long term it can cause breakdowns that force to replace the engine, battery or both elements.


The torque is an important engine of the engine that alludes to the torque or torsion effort. It is expressed in NM and how much more overwhelming the pedaling assistance will be noticed, especially in accelerations or starts. That is, to greater torque, more acceleration capacity.

Battery capacity

It refers to battery storage capacity, expressed in watts/hour (WH). But this does not mean that the greater the capacity there is greater autonomy. The weight of the bicycle, the torque and other external factors will also mark autonomy.


It is the distance in kilometers that is capable of traveling the electric bicycle with a full battery charge. Brands usually give orientative autonomy figures, since the real depends on many factors: weight of the bike and the cyclist, type of path (slope, firm ...), mode of pedaling assistance, weather conditions, etc. Cyclist regulating armchair

What really is an electric mountain bike?

The electric bicycle came to the market massively more than a decade ago, especially to promote sustainable mobility in large cities. But years later, thanks to the development of less heavy engines and batteries than in the first generations, they made the leap to mountain cycling as more sports bicycles, as well as in other cycling modalities such as grave or the road. An electric MTB will allow you to make longer or more slope routes without accusing the physical wear of a conventional bicycle. It is also a very practical type of bicycle to use the Bike Parks or on natural enduro routes. All this if you are interested in introducing many declines in a short time and not losing so much in the climbs. It is also an attractive option for cycling fans that, either due to physical limitations as a result of age, an injury or health problems, cannot practice cycling on a conventional bicycle and need that extra help that provides electrical assistance .

How many types of E-MTB exist?

Although every season brands and manufacturers release electric bicycles with different geometries, we can currently differentiate three types of electric mountain bicycles in the market:

Light e-mtb

It is a concept of recent appearance that refers to state -of -the -art bicycles, lighter and more integrated than the rest, but with somewhat less torque and autonomy. Pedaleo assistance resembles that of the pedaling of a conventional bicycle. Some light e-bike models are the Specialized Turbo Levo and Orbea Rise.

E-MTB SUV (All-Round)

An intermediate category between light E-MTB and large muscle electric, with great autonomy and several assistance modes. They are designed to offer versatile performance in different types of use: trail, enduro, etc. Some outstanding models are Cannondale Moterra Neo and Canyon Neuron: ON.

E-MTB Power

Electric mountain bicycles with large motor torque (more than 80 Nm) and battery capacity, in addition to picture with larger tubes, extra reinforcements, etc. This type of bicycles is recommended for experienced users and high technical level routes. Among the different E-MTB Power models we highlight the Cube Stereo Hybrid and the Giant Reign E+. In addition to this classification, E-MTB are also categorized, like conventional MTBs, depending on the modality: XC, Trail, All Mountain, Enduro or Descent. [Caption id = "Attachment_5042" Align = "Alignnone" Width = "900"]Ebike Orbea Rise E-Bikes have more integrated designs, such as Orbea Rise (photo assigned by Orbea)[/caption]

Better double suspension or rigid?

It is also possible to differentiate the different types of E-MTB depending on their suspensions. You will usually find bicycles with only front suspension and electric bicycles with double suspension. Of the latter there is more offer of models and are the ones that are most sold for comfort and off -road capacity. Rigid are more oriented to less technical tours, but more suitable for long distance routes, since they are more rolling and usually have greater autonomy. Those of double suspension, on the other hand, whether trail or enduro, are recommended for routes of great unevenness and technical component and usually have less autonomy.

Do I need a greater suspension than in a conventional MTB?

The concept of E-MTB is mostly focused on a type of more adventurous mountain cycling, with a radical fun point. Therefore, opting for a long suspension route, superior of 130 mm, will always be a good choice if what you are looking for is to venture through more demanding trialeras and make more technical routes. This will not excessively penalize the rolling skills of the bicycle, due to the assisted pedaling. However, there are several short -journey models or only front suspension (the so -called Sport XC) highly recommended for flat or easy tours on the technical level. Some representative models of this type are Focus Raven2 and the BH Ilynx Race.

How much motor power do I need?

As we have already explained, the nominal engine of the motor of a mountain electric bicycle is 250 w a maximum of. Overcoming that power figure implies homologating it to a motor vehicle (in the style of a cyclomotor), which requires enrollment and safe, so we would no longer be talking about an electric bicycle to use. Thus, all the E-MTB that we recommend you acquire in this guide will have 250 w of power. The differences when choosing will be in the torque or torque, which is the attribute that you should take into account if what you are looking for is an electric bicycle with greater pedaling force. Below 80 Nm the delivery of the power will be more conservative and natural with respect to the cyclist's pedaling, while above it will be faster and more abrupt.

Why can I circulate with an e-MTB?

As a general rule, electric mountain bicycles can circulate on the same roads or paths as the rest of conventional bicycles. However, in protected natural spaces, and like the rest of the bicycles, their use by roads and trails is more restricted. If you are going to roll through a protected area, consult the specific regulations or its management plan to ensure that they also circulate mountain electric bicycles.

What autonomy does an electric MTB have?

The actual autonomy of a mountain electric bicycle will depend on many variables: weight and bike engine, battery capacity, biker weight, type of route, etc. On average we can establish a range of between 30 km and 140 km, the latter in the models with the best relationship between weight and battery capacity. Some models offer electrical assistance of up to 160 kilometers, but the most common is that autonomy is around 100 kilometers.

How much does the maintenance of a mountain electric bicycle cost?

If you are wondering if the maintenance of an e-bike is superior to that of a conventional bicycle, the answer is that for certain bicycle components it is. They are fundamentally three: the chain, brake pads and the rear tire. His replacement alone does not imply an increase in spending greater than that of a conventional mountain bike, but he will have to monitor his wear status more frequently to avoid serious breakdowns. As for the electrical assistance system and the software that controls it, it is not common for the display and the engine to spoil for a use within the recommendations of the large manufacturers. Repairs, yes, can quite increase the cost of maintenance because it is electronic components. In addition, not all bicycle workshops are prepared to repair electric bikes.
For bikers with good level, an electric MTB could be an attractive second bike option for more relaxed or recovery outings

What E-MTB is the most appropriate for me?

Studied all the above factors, it is time to choose the electric mountain bike appropriate to your needs. Where to start? The first thing you should value is the use you are going to give and if it is worth paying the price difference so high that exists with respect to a conventional bicycle. An electric bicycle can take you to mountain places that with a conventional bike would be more complicated to arrive: steep areas, large ramps, etc. It generates less physical wear and with it you can make very varied and fun profiles. If you want to enjoy the mountain and its paths in another way, in a more relaxed way, or want to go out with your grupeta partners without getting off with the first ramp for not being fit or having any health problem, without a doubt the investment in a Electric will be worth it. On the other hand, if you like classic mountain cycling, squeeze on each route, improve your form of shape and enjoy the sensations of a real bicycle, an e-bike could be a second bike option, alternating outputs with it and Also with the conventional bicycle.
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