Best Electric Mountain Bikes in 2021 Reviewed
The history of electric bicycles goes back further than most would expect. Way back in the late 1800s, American inventor Ogden Bolton Jr patented a battery-powered bicycle with a hub motor on the rear wheel. This early invention and other similar ones were often slow, clunky, and didn’t include any gears.
Only toward the end of the 1900s did modern components like torque sensors and power controls begin appearing on electric bikes. Around the same time, ‘e-bikes’ began gaining popularity in the Far East when the first pedal-assist electric bike was manufactured in Japan.
By 2007, e-bikes had become a common sight on the streets of major Chinese cities and slowly began finding more favor in the West. Since 2013, sales of e-bikes in Europe have more than doubled to the point that many manufacturers struggle to meet demand.
Speed and range
Modern e-bikes use high-torque motors to reach speeds of up to 28 mph (45kph) and long-range batteries that will go up to 250 miles (400km) on a single charge. However, more common pedal-assist bikes usually only go about 12 mph (20kph) and cover about 62 miles (100km) on a single charge.
E-bikes fall into two categories – pedal-assist and power-on-demand. As the name suggests, pedal-assist e-bikes require you to pedal for operation, whereas power-on-demand bikes can be controlled from a handlebar-mounted accelerator. In some cases, an e-bike will have both pedal-assistance and a handlebar-mounted controller.
Electric bicycles tend to cost a bit more than standard bicycles but you can still find a few decent ones for under $1,000 on Amazon. An average price for an electric bike tends to stay in the $4,000 – $6,000 range. The most expensive e-bikes are usually pro-level carbon fiber mountain bikes that would cost a lot even without the extra motor and battery. Prices range from as low as $600 to over $13,000.
These are the Best Electric Mountain Bike of 2021 🏆
1. Ride1Up – Prodigy XC – $2,295 NEW!
2. Santa Cruz – Heckler – $13,099
3. Specialized – Turbo Levo – $5,000
4. Trek – Powerfly – $3,700
5. Niner – RIP E9 – $6,000
6. Marin – Wolf Ridge – $4,299
7. Giant – Trance E Plus – $4,500
8. RadPower – RadPower – $1,500
9. Norco – Sight VLT C3 – $5,399
10. Cannondale – Monterra NEO – $4,200
11. Marin – Nail Trail E2 – $4,400
12. Scott – Stride eRIDe – $4,500
13. Ghost – Slamr S1.9 – $4,300
1. Ride1Up – Prodigy XC
Best value E-MTB of 2021
MSRP $2,295 Ride1Up
Numero one in this list is the newcomer, a Prodigy by Ride1Up. We have chosen this bike as it features quite a good set-up for its price range compared to most other bikes which cost twice as much! At just under 50lbs, the bike has a pedal-assisted max speed of 28mp/h and a throttle-powered (under the left thumb) of 20mp/h. The bike is powered by a 500W motor and stopped by Tektro Orion hydro disc brakes.
It’s got a 9-speed ‘transmission’ by Shimano Alivio, a sporty yet comfortable Selle Royal Viento saddle, and integrated front light, too! Although the tires are rather thin at just 2″, this bike is capable of conquering any trail you can lay your eyes on. We’d strongy recommend looking into their bikes as it is truly hard to find a better value bike, and they have nicely filled this gap at the right time!
This bike is best suited for recreational mountain bikers who are eager to explore the horizons further they could’ve thought of before!
Max weight capacity: 275lb / Ideal for riders 5’6″-6’4″
Aluminum / 27.5×2.0″ / 48lbs / 9-speed
2. Santa Cruz Bicycles – Heckler
Carbon CC XX1 Eagle AXS Reserve E-Bike
MSRP $13,099 Competitive Cyclist.
The Santa Cruz Heckler could quite possibly be the best electric mountain bike in the world! The eye-watering price tag will have some questioning if they’ve read it correctly but rest assured – this bike cuts no corners when it comes to quality. It’s packed from head to toe with the absolute best of the best, from the full carbon frame to the top-of-the-range SRAM drivetrain.
Surprisingly light for an e-MTB, it offers super-smooth gear changes and ultra-responsive suspension. From the Di2 carbon handlebar to the Hollowtech cranks, each component is specially selected for its high strength and lightweight attributes. It’s truly a work of art. The only negative we could find about this bike is how long you’ll have to save to buy one. Sure, you may need to take out a second mortgage but hey – it’ll be worth it!
- SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS derailleur & shifters
- Fork: FOX 36-E Float Factory
- Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, 150mm travel
Backcountry.com – Heckler – Starting from $7,399
Carbon CC / 12-speed / 27.5″ x 2.6″ / 70Nm – 250W – 20mp/h / Weight: 48lbs
3. Specialized – Turbo Levo 2021′
Out of stock
MSRP from $5,000 Specialized
Specialized is a brand known for its precision and attention to detail, so it’s no surprise that this Specialized electric mountain bike is a well designed and fined-tuned piece of machinery. The high-quality full suspension frame glides effortlessly over rough terrain, leaving the fully-integrated motor and battery barely noticeable to both you and envious onlookers.
One of the most searched e-mountain bikes online
Even the Bluetooth-enabled speed controller is cleverly hidden in the top tube, hiding any sign that this is an electric bike. It’s the perfect bike for those who need some extra uphill power without losing the raw feeling of a standard mountain bike. Lightweight, responsive, and tough – the Turbo Levo is very enjoyable to ride.
- Rear derailleur: SRAM NX Eagle
- Fork: RockShox 35 Silver TK, 160mm travel
- Rear Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select, 150mm travel
- SRAM Guide RE, 4piston hydraulic disc brakes with 200mm rotors
Aluminum / 12-speed / 29×2.6″ front & 29×2.3″ rear
4. Trek – Powerfly 4 2021′
Trek bikes can be bought in-store only!
MSRP $3,700 Trekbikes
As the most affordable Trek electric mountain bike in this range, the Powerfly 4 looks and feels like it should cost a lot more than it does. The fully-integrated battery fits seamlessly into the frame giving a clean and professional-looking finish, while the powerful motor makes short work of steep uphill scrambles over loose, rocky surfaces.
Trek has managed to keep costs down by using a cheaper fork and brakes with standard Bontrager tires but injects some extra quality flowing with a high-quality drivetrain. Sure, it might not be a professional-level MTB but only the most discerning cyclists will notice the difference. For some exciting weekend fun in the mountains, you’ll struggle to find anything better at this price. There are models for both men and women.
- Derailleur: Shimano Deore
- Tektro HD-M265 hydraulic disc brakes, 203mm rotors
- Fork: Sr Suntour XCM, 80 to 120mm travel (depending on frame size)
Aluminum / 10-speed / XS,S 27.5″ x 2.35″ – M-XL 29″ & 2.3″ / 75Nm – 20mp/h / Pedal Assist Range: 60 – 90+ miles / Weight: 52lbs
5. Niner – RIP E9
Trail, All-mountain, Enduro
MSRP $6,000 JensonUSA
The RIP e9 is a full-suspension electric bike from the high-end outdoor cycling specialist – Niner. It’s an imposing piece of machinery that will certainly turn heads both in cities and on the mountain. The striking frame design has a futuristic appearance that is only amplified by the complex rear suspension geometry and sharply inclined down tube with an integrated battery pack.
This is an e-MTB built for downhill charging of the most aggressive kind, with a powerful motor dedicated to launching you back up the mountain for round two. The incredibly soft and responsive suspension is complimented by instantaneous braking power and tactical precision on the handlebars. With adjustable frame technology, raw power at the flip of a switch, and silky-smooth gear changes, the Niner RIP e9 is an absolute pleasure to ride.
- SRAM SX Eagle derailleur
- Fork: RockShox Yari RC, 160mm travel
- Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select, Plus RT, 150mm travel
- SRAM Guide RE hydraulic disc brakes w/ 200mm rotors
Aluminum / 12-speed / 29″+ x 2.5″ / 625Wh – 20mp/h / Weight: 55.5lbs
6. Marin – Wolf Ridge 9
MSRP $4,299 evo
The Wolf Ridge has an eye-catching frame design that resembles some kind of futuristic motorbike, with a unidirectional carbon frame and the groundbreaking ‘R3ACT 2 Play’ suspension system from NAILD. The result is an all-mountain trail MTB with excellent balance and a high degree of energy efficiency through the pedals, helping you ride further and for longer.
On the rear is a fairly simple RockShox Monarch air shock that works well with the advanced suspension and gets support from a killer RockShox Lyrik fork up front (160mm travel). Keeping things classy, Marin has included a top-of-the-range 12-speed SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain with TruVativ cranks and Guide RS hydro disc brakes.
The 29″ wheels are also top quality, pairing the podium-winning Stan’s Flow MK3 rims with Neo hubs and WTB Vigilante and Breakout tires. Despite the high price, the Wolf Ridge 9 offers value for money and will appeal to a specific breed of adventurous riders.
Carbon / 12-Speed / 29 x 2.3″ / 160mm travel
7. Giant – Trance E+ 3 Pro 2020′
MSRP $4,500 evo
This Giant electric mountain bike is one of the most attractive we’ve seen, with a well-concealed, integrated battery pack that is barely noticeable in the frame. It’s not just a pretty design though – the powerful Yamaha motor packs out enough torque to take you straight up a rocky mountain pass without any trouble.
Yamaha’s e-bike motor
With top-class brakes, thick tires, and excellent suspension, this is the perfect e-MTB for days spent charging down the mountain without the slog of cycling back up. With the fast-charging and long-lasting 500Wh power pack, the only batteries you’ll have to worry about charging throughout the day are your own.
- Derailleur: SRAM SX Eagle
- Fork: Rock Shox 35 Gold RL, 150mm travel
- Rear shock: Fox Float DPS Performance,140mm travel
- Tektro HD-M745, 4-piston Orion hydraulic disc brakes, 203mm rotors
- 500Wh battery
Aluminum / 12-speed / 27.5″+ x 2.6″ / 80Nm – 20mp/h / Weight: 57lbs
8. RadPower – RadRover
Fat-tire E-Bike with front suspension
Urban / light trail
MSRP $1,500 RadPower
RadRover is more of an urban fat-tire bike compared to most other mountain bikes on this list. Although this model is not built on a full-suspension frame, it still offers plenty of freedom in terms of choosing your trails. Matter of fact, the RadRover is pretty much the only eBike in this list that could conquer sandy or snowy trails with ease. 4″ wide tires are more than enough to use it on beaches, snowy, or muddy trails.
One size frame – fits riders 5’4″ to 6’2″
The riding position is rather upright and comfortable. This is also the only bike in this list that features lights, kickstand, and fenders! An awesome choice for anyone who likes to commute daily through various terrains. Rad Power Bikes offers a great bunch of bikes at a reasonable price tag, so it’s worth checking out the rest of the range as well!
- Derailleur: Shimano Acera
- Fork: Rad Power Bikes RST, 80mm travel
- Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc brakes, 180mm rotors
Aluminum / 7-speed / 26″ x 4″ / 80Nm – 25-45+ miles range / Weight: 69lbs
9. Norco – Sight VLT C3 27.5″
Trail, All-Mountain, Enduro
MSRP $5,399 JensonUSA
When it comes to high quality, full carbon mountain bikes, Norco is one company that is known to deliver the goods. Their new Sight VLT e-MTB range continues this legacy – with an added boost of power. The Sight VLT range won The Loam Wolf’s 2019 e-MTB of the year for its excellent balance, versatility, and liveliness.
They are potent, lightweight all-mountain bikes that live up to their purpose – there are very few places in nature you won’t be able to visit with these bikes. The Sight VLT C3 is a full-carbon, full-suspension e-MTB with top quality components – and the price tag to match. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but if you can afford it, you won’t regret it.
- SRAM SX Eagle derailleur
- Fork: RockShox Yari RC, 160mm travel
- Rear shock: RockShox Deluxe Select+ DebonAir Trunnion Mount
- Shimano BR-MT520, 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes w/ 200mm rotors
Carbon / 12-speed / 27.5×2.5″ & 27.5×2.4″ / 650Wh – 20mp/h / Weight: 50 lbs
10. Cannondale – Moterra Neo 5
XC / Trail
MSRP from $4,200 Gravity Coalition
Built to take on all kinds of mountainous terrain, this Cannondale electric mountain bike is a trail-blazing beast that’s ready for adventure. Considering the wealth of high-quality components on the Moterra Neo 5, we were expecting a higher price. A SmartForm C2 alloy frame with full suspension and a quality Shimano groupset makes this an excellent MTB in its own right. Add a powerful motor and long-range battery pack and you have a killer electric MTB that can easily compete with the best.
The head tube angle on the Moterra Neo 5 is quite slack, which gives you better stability going downhill but a bit less power on long flats or uphills. However, large 29” tires help to keep it rolling smoothly over those long uphill climbs. It’s the perfect electric mountain bike for hilly, undulating terrain with a lot of technical downhill sections.
- Shimano Deore derailleur
- SR Suntour XCR LO Boost, 140mm travel
- Rear shock – X-Fusion O2 Pro RL,150mm travel
- Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, 180mm rotors
Aluminum / 10-speed / 29″ x 2.3″ / 75Nm – 60 miles range – 20mp/h / Weight: 53lbs
11. Marin – Nail Trail E2 ‘2020
MSRP $4,400 JensonUSA
The Marin Nail Trail is a hardtail women’s electric mountain bike with medium to high-quality components and some impressive features. The battery isn’t as well concealed as we would like but the lightweight aluminum frame has a nimble, playful feel that carries the extra motor and battery weight well.
One of the few hardtail mountain eBikes
The dedicated electric SRAM drivetrain is a nice touch that we are starting to see on more bikes these days. It integrates very well with the motor to overcome some issues that older electric mountain bikes struggled with, resulting in a smoother, natural feel when cycling. Coupled with an excellent front fork and strong brakes it offers an impressive all-round package at a decent price.
- Derailleur: SRAM EX1
- Fork: RockShox Revelation RC, 140mm travel
- Dropper post: X-Manic, 120-150mm travel
- Shimano BR-MT520 hydraulic disc brakes, 203mm rotors
Aluminum / 8-speed / 27.5″ x 2.8″ / 70Nm – 20mp/h / Weight: 48lbs
12. Scott – Strike eRIDE 930
MSRP $4,500 evo
This electric MTB from Scott combines an aluminum frame and advanced suspension with a powerful motor so that you can hit the trails all day long. The TwinLoc suspension system means you can easily flip between three levels of rear travel from a convenient handlebar-mounted remote control. It’s supported by an X-Fusion NUDE shock and an adjustable Marzocchi Z2 air fork up front.
The drivetrain is a fairly basic SRAM SX Eagle, but it’s powered by a Bosch Performance CX Gen4 drive unit that pumps out a maximum of 75Nm of torque. The integrated PowerTube 625Wh battery will provide hours of pedal-assistance, but if it’s not enough, simply add another battery to the Range Extender mount.
Electric bikes are still a contentious topic in the MTB scene, with the added weight of the motor and battery resulting in a very different cycling experience. However, Scott does an excellent job here of balancing out the eRIDE to provide a realistic feel on the downhills and a smooth, comfortable ride on the uphills.
Aluminum / 29×2.6″ / 12-speed / 140mm travel
13. Ghost – Slamr S1.9+
MSRP $4,300 REI
Ghost‘s Hybride SL AMR series is an excellent range of medium to high-quality mountain eBikes. Although it’s not exactly cheap, the S1.9+ is actually one of the more affordable models and offers great value for money. Weaker riders, in particular, will appreciate the ‘Boost’ mode which helps you sail up even the steepest of ascents with minimal effort. There is also a convenient Eco mode to save battery if you plan to cycle over a long distance.
However, some features are missing. The battery is not integrated into the frame and there is no detailed display panel. While these additions don’t detract from the overall operation of the bike, their absence might put off some more discerning riders.
- Derailleur: SRAM SX Eagle
- Fork: RockShox Recon RL, 140mm travel
- Rear shock: RockShox Deluxe, 140mm travel
- Tektro TKD94 hydraulic disc brakes, 203/180mm rotors
Carbon CC / 12-speed / 27.5×2.5″ -F & 27.5×2.8″ -R / 70Nm – 20mp/h – 20-63mile range / Weight: 50lbs
What is the best electric mountain bike?
The best mountain eBike is the one that fits your budget and has the right geometry and level of components for your riding needs. Mountain biking has many different disciplines, but all of the bikes here are fully ready to hit the trails, to say the least. We are not big fans of the supermarket nor the Walmart electric mountain bikes, like mountain biking, in general, is something where you really wouldn’t want to cut corners in terms of your own safety!
Is an electric mountain bike worth it?
These days, electric mountain bikes are gaining mainstream appeal, making them more affordable and more widely accepted. In particular, older riders or cyclists with injuries are able to enjoy cycling again with electric bikes. Furthermore, they can save a lot of time and energy going up a mountain. If you wish to dedicate more time to enjoy the fast-paced, downhill sections of a mountain you’ll find an e-MTB to be an invaluable resource.
Is it safe to ride an electric mountain bike?
With speeds seldom breaching the 20mph mark, electric mountain bikes don’t pose any more risk than a standard bike. In most cases, the small motors only provide minor assistance and aren’t powerful enough to cause any real danger on the roads. So long as you familiarise yourself with the controls, use a helmet, and follow proper traffic laws, you should be as safe as you would be on a normal bike.
Where is the best selection of electric bikes to buy online?
- JensonUSA – Norco, Marin Bikes, Niner, Intense Cycles, Devinci
- BackCountry – Santa Cruz Bicycles, Pivot, Niner e-mountain bikes
- Aventuron – A small selection of Cannondale eBikes
- Trek, Specialized, other main brand official sites!
How fast does an electric bike can go?
The fastest stock electric mountain bikes can reach up to 28 mph (45km/h) but most don’t go above 20 mph (32km/h) on flat terrain. In many cases, a fit cyclist will be able to outpace the motor just by pedaling alone, so you can go as fast as you would on a normal bike. Electric bike motors are more focused on providing pedal assistance to save on energy rather than achieving high speeds.
Are motorized bikes worth it?
Electric bikes offer a great alternative to traditional bicycles, and the trend nor the demand hasn’t seen a decrease so far. The affordability of electric bikes has improved well over the past 5 years, but there’s still a lot of time before we could say that about electric-assist mountain bikes. It’s just that mountain bikes in general tend to cost more due to their stronger component being used! motor-assisted bikes are the future!
Full-suspension electric mountain bike vs hardtail eMTB?
There’s no question that full-suspension mountain bikes offer better comfort, while there are a variety of hardtail models available as well. As the bikes are already assisted by electric motors, it is way more convenient to climb with a full-suspension mountain bike, while on the other hand in some cases should the battery run out, it is way easier to pedal with a hardtail mountain bike.
Can electric bikes go up steep hills?
Almost all electric bikes will be able to climb steep hills but usually, you will still need to provide some pedal assistance. Only Specialized e-bikes in a class similar to that of light motorbikes will be able to climb steep hills on their engine power alone. The higher the torque of the motor, the less amount of effort you will need to exert when pedaling uphill. Also note that the more uphills you do, the quicker the battery will die.
How durable are electric bikes?
Electric bikes have come a long way in the past decade and nowadays you can get excellent products that will last years without trouble. However, the growing popularity of electric bikes has also spurned many cheap manufacturers. Some cyclists who have purchased lower quality electric bikes complain of motor failures and short battery life so it’s best to go with mid to high-quality products.
As there are higher torque and weight to be thrown around the trails, components on electric bikes are made of stronger and more durable materials.
How heavy are electric mountain bikes?
An average electric mountain bike weighs around 50 lbs, with a max capacity of 300lbs of the rider.
Mid-drive or hub drive?
All of the bikes reviewed in this article use a mid-drive motor, which is generally used on higher-end e-bikes. Hub-drive motors, on the other hand, are often used on city/urban electric bikes.
Derailleur / Internal gearing
Although there are already electronic shifters and derailleurs on the market, we haven’t noticed the internal-geared electric mountain to review. Derailleur and sprocket systems are dominated in the electric mountain bike range.
Chain vs Belt
Electric mountain bikes all come with a specific e-bike chain and a derailleur system, where there’s a single cog in the front. Although there are considerable benefits to belt-drive bikes, unfortunately, we haven’t seen belts being used in the electric mountain bike industry so far.
How much to pay for an electric mountain bike?
The lowest electric bikes by known brands start out as $999 (RadMission), and a complete entry-level mountain bike starts out as low as $500.
There are electric mountain bikes starting out from $900 on Amazon, but we wouldn’t really recommend anything below $2,000 for a hardtail electric mountain bike. If you are planning to use the bike on demanding trials, you’d want to look into the $3,000+ price range since that’s where the mid-range non-electric full-suspension mountain bikes start to get around.
Again, there are also folding electric fat tire mountain bikes on the market at a three-digit price tag, but if you’d ask from as – we believe that folding- and mountain bikes don’t get together as well.