With the best cheap electric mountain bikes starting at around £3k, you don't need to spend the earth to discover the joy of assisted trail riding.


The best budget electric mountain bikes are more popular than ever before; they take the effort out of big climbs, and allow you to ride further, faster, or just pack more into your lunch break. And while you can spend an absolute fortune on an electric mountain bike, there are some good quality lower priced options out there. We’ve tried and tested most of the following, so you know you’re getting a great bike that’s up to the job.

Vitus E-Mythique LT VRX

Vitus E-Mythique LT VRX

1. Vitus E-Mythique LT VRX

Entry-level e-bikes don’t get much better than this

Frame: 6061 T6 alloy, 160mm travel | Motor: Bafang M510, 95Nm | Battery: Bafang 630Wh | Rating: N/A

Reasons to buy:

  • Sublime suspension and killer geometry make for a standout ride.
  • Clear display.
  • Decent power and range. Generous overrun

Reasons to avoid:

  • Spoke mounted speed sensor.
  • Key needed for battery removal.
  • Motor rattle similar to Bosch and Shimano

With the new E-Mythique LT range, Vitus has set out to build the best performing e-bike at a realistic price. And by realistic, the entry-level model comes in at £3,299 while this range-topping VRX is £4,399 – the price at which most e-bike ranges struggle to even start at.

But while the headline here is the price, it’s not the whole story, because Vitus has not compromised on performance. The alloy frame gets contemporary geometry, mullet wheels (29in up front and 27.5in out back), and there’s enough travel to shred the rowdiest descents. The Bafang motor has oodles of power, fully customisable modes, and a decent size 630Wh battery.

Vitus is always pushing the boundaries when it comes to price versus performance. Normally it’s a balancing act, where one facet falls as the other rises, but the Mythique LT manages to lift both sides of the scales simultaneously.

Read our full test review of the Vitus E-Mythique VRX

Vitus E-Sommet VR

Vitus E-Sommet VR

2. Vitus E-Sommet 297 VR

High performance electric mountain bike at a bargain price

Wheel size: 29in f/27.5in r | Frame: Alloy, 170mm travel | Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL | Motor: Shimano STEPS E7000 | Battery: Shimano E8035 504Wh

Reasons to buy:

  • Mismatched mullet wheels (29in front, 27.5in rear) and plenty of suspension travel.
  • Progressive angles and top tube reach makes for an aggressive handling gravity-centric e-bike.
  • Excellent suspension performance and capable spec such as premium quality Maxxis tyres.

Reasons to avoid:

  • Some riders may fall between sizes.
  • Internally routed cables via proprietary headset is faffy and impairs dropper actuation.
  • Possibly too much bike for milder trails and riders.

With progressive sizing and geometry, the E-Sommet VRX closely mirrors the shape and fit of the best analogue enduro bikes. And with the addition of a 504Wh battery you won’t need to worry if the chairlift or shuttle isn’t running. With the extra weight comes extra stability, so you may want to consider downsizing to gain a more dynamic ride. Consider also the terrain that’s typical for you – the Vitus feels more at home on big-mountain terrain than mellow singletrack.

Read our full review of the Vitus E-Sommet VRX

Decathlon Stilus E-Big Mountain

Decathlon Stilus E-Big Mountain

3. Decathlon Stilus E-Big Mountain

Bosch-equipped bike park-slugger from the sports superstore chain

Wheel size: 29in f/27.5in r | Frame: Alloy, 170mm travel | Frame sizes: M, L, XL | Motor: Bosch Performance CX | Battery: Bosch PowerTube 750Wh

Reasons to buy:

  • Aggressive geometry and burly build built for big hits
  • Superb Bosch Performance CX motor packs a powerful punch and is backed up by a huge battery
  • Coil-sprung suspension should offer supple ground-tracing capability and gobble up big jumps

Reasons to avoid:

  • Only three sizes
  • Kickstand mount and locking battery are not necessary on a high performance e-mtb
  • Very heavy at a claimed 27.4kg

Decathlon’s previous Stilus e-bikes have always ticked the value box, but in terms of geometry, sizing, spec, and suspension they have lagged behind options from specialist brands. With this new Stilus E-Big Mountain, Decathlon looks to have substantially upped its game, with on-paper geometry that mirrors the excellent Vitus E-Mythique LT, the benchmark Bosch Performance CX motor and high-capacity battery, and a well considered spec that’s designed for extreme trails. At a price that undercuts the Vitus, we may have a clash of the budget e-bike titans on our hands.

Giant Stance E+ 1

Giant Stance E+ 1

4. Giant Stance E+ 1

A great value full-suspension e-bike from a brand with a huge dealer network

Wheel size: 29in | Frame: Alloy, 125mm travel | Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL | Motor: Giant SyncDrive Sport 75Nm  | Battery: EnergyPak Smart 625Wh

Reasons to buy:

  • Plush rear suspension response and seamless power delivery.
  • Clear, compact, easy to use display/controller.
  • Generous frame sizing and good standover.
  • Smooth shifting with Shimano LinkGlide 10-speed drivetrain

Reasons to avoid:

  • Thin casing Maxxis tyres
  • Long chainstays give the bike a more forward weight bias.
  • Cables routed through the headset are a pain to work with

The Stance E+ 1 is a shorter-travel 29er e-bike that strips back some of Giant’s proprietary suspension tech to deliver a ride that is both smooth and affordable.

Out on the trails, the Stance E+ 1 masks its mass pretty well. And while it only has 125mm of rear travel, the suspension is very effective once you get it set up correctly. Get on the gas, and Giant’s SynDrive motor offers a really smooth power curve, and at lower rpm, around 70 or so, it’s pretty quiet.

It’s a remarkably capable bike, and the only number that’s off in terms of geometry is the chainstay length. With a shorter back end, tougher tyres and a wider spread of gear ratios Giant could really expand this bike’s horizon.

Read our full review of the Giant Stance E+ 1

Decathlon Stilus E-AM

Decathlon Stilus E-AM

5. Decathlon Stilus E-AM

Supermarket enduro e-bike

Wheel size: 29in | Frame: Alloy, 130mm travel | Frame sizes: S, M, L, XL | Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX 85Nm | Battery: Bosch Powertube 625Wh

Reasons to buy: 

  • Proper Bosch Performance Line CX motor and generous 625Wh battery
  • Great value for money
  • 150mm travel and 29in wheels should cope with most proper mountain biking

Reasons to avoid: 

  • Narrow 760mm handlebar.
  • Short dropper post.
  • No geometry info online.

A new model for Decathlon, the Stilus E-AM looks more contemporary and capable than previous e-bikes from the French sports superstore. There’s a superb Bosch motor and battery, but the handling and performance of the frame is a bit of an unknown until we can get our hands on one.

Voodoo Zobop E-Shimano studio pic

Voodoo Zobop E-Shimano

6. Voodoo Zobop E-Shimano

Fun and capable eMTB from Halfords

Wheel Size: 29in | Frame: Alloy, 140mm travel | Frame sizes: 18in, 20in, 22in | Motor: Shimano STEPS E7000 | Battery: Shimano STEPS BT-8010 504Wh

Reasons to buy:

  • Good suspension fork and shock, works well with easy-to-setup suspension design.
  • Shimano STEPS E7000 motor is a nice little runner with discreet bar control and display.
  • Still a great handling fun bike with wide-range gearing to take you anywhere.

Reason to avoid: 

  • Looks a bit dated and the 2.8in Plus tyres don’t work so well on UK trails.
  • Slightly old school geometry, main issue being mediocre standover and dropper post insertion.
  • Underpowered brakes pretty much need upgrading straight away.

Fundamentally, the Voodoo Zobop is a good bike. It’s not pioneering in any way, and a couple of parts do let it down badly, but the truth is in the trail riding, and the Zobop is a blast to ride. To really stand out in an increasingly competitive market, it needs to have brakes worthy of a screamingly good descender.

So, if you can pick one up in the Halfords sales, or get hold of one via its Cycle To Work Scheme, and upgrade the brakes, we’re fairly certain you won’t regret it.

Read our full review of the Voodoo Zobop E-Shimano

Canyon Neuron:ON 6

Canyon Neuron:ON 6

7. Canyon Neuron:ON 6

Covers ground effectively yet still blasts flowing singletrack

Wheel size: 29in | Frame: Alloy, 130mm travel | Frame sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL | Motor: Shimano STEPS EP8 | Battery: Shimano STEPS 630Wh

Reasons to buy: 

  • 29in wheels works well to overcome modest 130mm of travel.
  • Shimano STEPS EP8 motor is a rela highlight at this price point.
  • Looks as killer as all the much more expensive Canyon models!

Reasons to avoid: 

  • There will always be the ‘gamble’ of buying an e-bike via direct sales in the eventuality of any issues.
  • Conservative geometry for such an otherwise modern machine.
  • Some overly XC finishing kit and the RockShox Recon forks aren’t the stiffest.

The 2.6in Schwalbe Hans Dampf/Nobby Nic combo on the Neuron:ON brings something we weren’t expecting to the e-bike experience… speed. So whether it’s rolling along a relatively flat section of singletrack or just hammering along blacktop to get to the trailhead, the Neuron:ON is incredibly fast and holds speed better than any other e-bike we’ve tested. So if your typical trail ride doesn’t consist of fire road climbs followed by downhill tracks this is the bike for you. Best of all, you can still rail the descents. The Canyon Neuron:ON is way more stable and surefooted than a non e-bike with the same angles, travel and specification.

In fact, with the pedal assistance to overcome the additional weight on the climbs, the extra mass in the frame is a bonus to the handling as it makes the suspension that much more effective, so even the hard compound tyres won’t hold you back on the fun stuff.

Read our full review of the Canyon Neuron:ON 7.0

Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 625

Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 625

8. Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC Pro 625

Great value for a carbon frame and Bosch motor

Wheel size: 27.5in (XS, S)/29in (M, L, XL) | Frame: Carbon, 140mm travel | Frame sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL | Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX | Battery: Bosch PowerTube 625Wh

Reasons to buy:

  • Bosch Performance Line CX motor combined with 12-speed drivetrain opens up very trail.
  • 140mm suspension travel and 29in wheels make this pretty much a classic trail bike that happens to be electric.
  • Carbon frame is almost unheard of at this price.

Reasons to avoid: 

  • Relatively long chainstays may not suit you – especially if you’re not tall.
  • Well-thought out and sensible spec yes, but it does all add up to a hefty overall bike.
  • Own-brand finishing kit won’t appeal to brand snobs.

Read our full review of the Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC TM 625

What’s the lowest price point you should consider on a budget e-bike?

Whilst you can probably buy something called an ‘electric mountain bike’ for under $1500 or £1,000, chances are it wouldn’t really be suitable or capable of doing some proper mountain biking. And it’s not worth the risk trying to go too cheap, as the extra weight, power and speed of an e-bike means that you can’t make compromises when it comes to strength of the frame and components, or the power and quality of the brakes.

How much to spend on a budget e-bike for mountain biking?

You’ve got to draw the line somewhere. And for the purposes of this guide, we’re going to come out and state that any electric mountain bike worth getting must have a mid-drive motor. For proper mountain biking, we’d always recommend a full-suspension bike, but a hardtail will be fine if all you want to do is cruise around on some dirt tracks and forest paths. For a full-suspension e-bike, £3,000 / $3,500 is the real starting point for something worth spending your heard-earned on.

What to look for in the best budget electric bike

Which bike you should go for will depend on a number of factors. Yes, budget is one of them but you’ll also need to consider the type of terrain you’ll be riding on and what kind of riding you’re planning to do.

Should I buy a hardtail e-bike?

Electric hardtails are fine for general mixed riding at a casual level (gravel roads, towpaths etc), but there’s no getting over the fact that they are rather uncomfortable to ride on proper MTB trails. You get really quite battered by the back end in your feet and your back and you will probably suffer quite a few rear punctures.

One of the whole points and joys of riding the best mountain bike models with pedal assist is covering loads of miles with minimum discomfort. Hardtails just don’t quite cut it.

Kinesis electric hardtail standing proud

Sorry, but e-hardtails aren’t quite there for us

What is a mid-drive electric mountain bike?

All the best electric mountain bikes come with a mid-drive. This refers to the motor being mounted in the middle of the bike and assisting the cranks, rather than being mounted in the hubs and assisting the wheels. Hub-motors don’t work well for mountain biking because they add lots of weight to the wheels, which in turn leads to sluggish handling and a harsh, uncomfortable ride.

What should I expect from a budget electric mountain bike?

Staying within this full-suspension remit, you’ll currently do well to keep the price tag below £3,000/$3,500. Well, without ending up with a ropey old off-brand eMTB  – probably with a hub motor and assorted awful components – that doesn’t really bear thinking about.

External battery on an ebike downtube

Vitus are putting together some impressive eMTBs

The good news is that there are now a few good mid-drive full-suspension e-bikes available around the £3,000 -£4,000/$3,500- $4,500 mark. And although the direct sales mail order brands still dominate, there are more proper bike shop bike brands making more affordable  eMTBs.

There are however still a two things to look out for with such entry-level electric mountain bikes: cost-cutting specs and poor geometry.

Entry level Shimano disc brakes

Be wary of under-powered low-end brakes on cheap e-bikes

Examples of corners being cut to hit the price point include: no dropper post, skinny leg suspension forks and budget-end brakes. To be frank, there will be nothing that isn’t budget OEM stuff but these items listed are the biggest problems to look out for because they have the biggest negative impact on your ride experience and also cost the most money to upgrade.

Having said that, one great thing about eMTBs is how they reveal how excellent most bike componentry works on the trail. Entry-level kit generally works fine, it’s just heavier and doesn’t look as swish. Neither of which really matters here.

Whyte ebike in the woods

Great geometry is a winner, particularly on an e-bike

Geometry however, is not upgradeable. You’re stuck with it. No matter how tempting a deal is, don’t get an eMTB that is out of date in terms of its dimensions. Geometry numbers to look out for: head angle, chainstay length and standover. The latter two dimensions are especially important if you’re a shorter rider. Find out what numbers to look for and why they’re important with our comprehensive guide to mountain bike geometry.

Similarly, you may find all sorts of deals on eMTBs with relatively modest amounts of travel. We’d be very wary of getting an eMTB with less than 140mm of travel. E-bikes take a lot of (ab)use and also give a lot back straight back into the componentry. With bikes this heavy, that can cover ground at such speed (uphill, downhill and along-hill!), the componentry takes a hammering. A hammering that perhaps 120mm of travel isn’t quite cut out for.

Should I wait to buy an electric mountain bike?

No. You could be having the best time of your whole bike riding life right now. Don’t wait. Time is precious.

On a less dramatic note, although still rapid, the rate of technological advancement isn’t as crazy quick as it was a couple of years ago.

We often hear people saying that they’re going to wait to buy an e-bike until the market has matured. The thing is, this isn’t like the early days of full-suspension bikes for example. E-bikes are never going to stop advancing fast with their tech. Not having an e-bike now because of what will be available in a few years is a bit like not having an iPhone until the iPhone 6 came out. Sure, the iPhone 6 was better than the iPhone 1, but you just missed out on years of… you know, actually having an iPhone. Equally prices are only going one way – up. So if you can get hold of one now, then don’t procrastinate or you’ll likely pay the penalty later.