Electric mountain bikes (e-bikes) let you go further and faster in the same time as a regular mountain bike, which makes them perfect for the hectic pace of modern life.


This guide will arm you with all the knowledge you need when shopping for the best electric mountain bike. There’s insight on battery and motor technology, a breakdown of different power/weight categories, and all of our recommended models on sale now. Every single one of the bikes in this list has been thoroughly tested by our team of experts, and only the top-scoring bikes make the cut. So, don’t put it off any longer, because with one of the top eMTB models at your disposal, you could be having the best riding experience of your life right now!

On a limited budget? Check out our buyer’s guide to the best cheap electric mountain bikes. And if you want to keep it traditional, there’s our buyer’s guide to the best mountain bike, whatever your budget or discipline.

Specialized Turbo Levo Comp 2023 - shop bought eMTB of the year

Specialized has been building e-bikes for longer than most, and its Turbo Levo is proof that experience counts.

1. Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Carbon

The best shop-bought electric mountain bike

Frame: FACT 11m Carbon, 150mm travel | Motor: Specialized/Brose 2.2 90Nm, 565W peak power | Battery: Specialized 700Wh | Weight: 22.43kg | Rating: 9/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Excellent chassis
  • Versatile
  • A blast to ride
  • Great value at the discounted price

Reasons to avoid:

  • Cost-cutting drivetrain and fork

In a hotly contested shoot-out, the Specialized Turbo Levo emerged as our best Shop-Bought E-Bike of 2023. There are loads of reasons why it won – a smooth silent motor, comprehensive size range, aggressive, adaptable frame geometry, fun handling, neat integration, and a battery that’s easy to remove – but the real clincher for the Turbo Levo is that it it’s just such a blast to ride.

Yes, Specialized has cut a few corners with the components, but most are consumables that can be upgraded when they wear out. And out-of-the-box it managed to be the easiest bike to throw around, which meant you could either bank that energy and ride for longer, or release it with maximum abandon on the descents. It’s a package that’s hard to fault.

Read the full review of the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Carbon

Direct Sale electric mountain bike of the year 2023 Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9 electric mountain bike

The Canyon Spectral:ON impressed us with its dynamic handling.

2. Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9

The best direct sales electric mountain bike

Frame: Carbon, 155mm travel | Motor: Shimano STEPS EP8 85Nm, 500W peak power | Battery: Canyon 720Wh | Weight: 23.34kg | Rating: 9/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Dynamic handling
  • Choose either 720Wh or 900Wh battery

Reasons to avoid:

  • Brakes lack bite
  • Maxxis Assegai EXO casing tyres aren’t tough enough
  • Tall head tube

In the direct-sales category of our E-Bike of the Year test 2023 it was the Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9 that walked away with the top prize. And considering it’s a bike that was unashamedly inspired by the Specialized Turbo Levo – from the battery access to the geometry – that should come as no surprise.

The handling is sublime. As agile as a motorised gazelle, with a front end that can be played with like putty in your hands, the mullet-wheel Spectral:ON dispels the opinion that e-bikes are inert. And even with the optional 900Wh battery fitted, Canyon seems to have defied the laws of physics with a dynamic ride that puts most other e-bikes to shame.

Read the full review of the Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9

Vitus E-Mythique LT VRX

When it comes to bang for buck, there’s no beating the Vitus E-Mythique LT VRX.

3. Vitus E-Mythique LT VRX

Best budget e-bike

Frame: 6061 T6 alloy, 160mm travel | Motor: Bafang M510, 95Nm | Battery: Bafang 630Wh | Weight: 25.2kg | 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 E-Mythique LT range, Vitus 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

Pivot Shuttle SL 29 XTR is the 2023 MBR Lightweight Electric Mountain Bike of the Year

The Pivot Shuttle SL blends the best of analogue bikes and e-bikes into an intoxicating experience.

4. Pivot Shuttle SL 29 Team XTR

The best lightweight electric mountain bike

Frame: Carbon Hollow Core, 132mm travel | Motor: Fazua Ride 60 60Nm/450W | Battery: Fazua Energy 430Wh | Weight: 18.47kg | Rating: 9/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Very dynamic handling
  • Low resistance, high power Fazua motor feels great on or off
  • Integrated 430Wh battery boosts range
  • Shimano XTR drivetrain and brakes reduces weight without compromising performance
  • Sag indicator is really useful

Reasons to avoid:

  • EXO casing tyres are too thin for a bike this capable
  • Can’t remove the battery for charging
  • Slight delay in the motor when reengaging after overrun is complete
  • Handlebar mounted controller feels fragile

Pivot was one of the first brands to release a lightweight trail bike with the latest Fazua Ride 60 motor, and it set the bar very high. So high we awarded it our 2023 E-Bike of the Year award in the Lightweight category. Key to winning that accolade is the infectious ride quality, that encourages skilled riders to extract the maximum fun from every trail. There’s no slack in the system – with minimal travel you have to be on your best game – but the Shuttle SL amplifies every ride.

Fazua’s Ride 60 system feels punchy in the top Rocket mode, but still delivers the best range of all the lightweight motors we tested. Over 1,000m of climbing in Rocket. So the lack of a range extender isn’t really a problem, even though it’ll be tough turning down one more run when the red light starts blinking.

Read the full review for the Pivot Shuttle SL 29 Team XTR

YT Decoy Core MX 4

The YT Decoy’s extra battery capacity creates a subtle belly, but keeps the weight low and centred.

5. YT Decoy

Most dynamic long-travel e-bike

Frame: Carbon, 165mm travel | Motor: Shimano STEPS EP8 85Nm, 500W peak power | Battery: SMP YT 720Wh | Weight: 23.32kg | Rating: 8/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Big travel and dynamic handling
  • Top spec for the money
  • Finally the staying power to match the thrills

Reasons to avoid:

  • Very limited bottle capacity

The YT Decoy has been around for a while now, but it still rides as superbly as it did when we first tested it over three years ago. There’s a stack of travel, but it manages to fly in the face of that depth, with a dexterity and reactivity that turns every trail into a playground. And being direct-sales means the Decoy is exceptionally well-dressed for the money.

Our main complaint with the Decoy was the small battery, but YT has now fixed that with a larger capacity unit that comes as standard. So now you don’t have to limp home for an early bath while all your mates go for an extra lap.

Read our full test review of the YT Decoy

Canyon Strive:ON test winner

The Canyon Strive:ON was our e-enduro test winner.

6. Canyon Strive:ON

Best electric enduro race bike

Frame: Carbon, 160mm travel | Motor: Bosch Performance CX, 85Nm, 600W peak power | Battery: Bosch 625Wh or 750Wh | Weight: 23.6kg | Rating: 10/10

Reasons to buy: 

  • A blistering race bike that’s just as capable outside the tape
  • Great value
  • Well considered spec
  • Progressive sizing

Reasons to avoid: 

  • Limited pedal/BB clearance
  • Needs careful sag set-up
  • Battery needs careful installation
  • Boring paint job

Canyon’s Strive was built to win e-bike enduro races at the highest level. And it has done just that, taking the E-EDR championship title in 2023. Key to its success is the punchy and responsive Bosch CX motor, the ample 160mm of travel, the MX wheel design, and the easily removable battery. But while it excels against the clock, it also delights when fun is the only key performance indicator, with agile, dynamic handling and progressive sizing that lets you use every mm of your body’s range of motion.

Choose the lighter 630Wh battery, or the big 750Wh unit for maximum range. But whichever you choose, you’ll have a blast on the Canyon Strive:ON.

Read our full review of the Canyon Strive:ON CFR

Specialized Turbo Levo SL II 2023

7. Specialized  S-Works Turbo Levo SL

Lightest mid-power e-bike

Frame: Fact 11m carbon, carbon shock extension, 150mm travel | Motor: Specialized SL 1.2, 50Nm, 320W peak power | Battery: Specialized SL 320Wh | Weight: 17.65kg | Rating: N/A

Reasons to buy:

  • More sizes and more adjustability,
  • More power and more torque than before
  • Lightweight

Reasons to avoid:

  • Rear suspension isn’t as plush as before
  • It’s a ton of money

Specialized has brought the original lightweight Turbo Levo SL up to date and then some. This second generation version gets more power and torque, better sizing and geometry, and some of the most impressive built-in adjustability on the market. Which means you can play tinker with the handling by playing with the head angle, BB height and chainstay length, or sling in a bigger back wheel (it’s sold standard in an MX configuration) if you want better rollover.

Adding power and torque has helped on the climbs, but range has taken a hit. Thankfully there’s also a range extender available to ensure you don’t get left by the trailside with empty tanks. And while most ‘lightweight’ e-bikes seem to stretch that description on the scales, the Turbo Levo SL actually deserves its SL moniker with a weight that’s not far off some analogue bikes with similar travel.

Read our test review of the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL

Orbea Wild M-Team

The Orbea Wild M-Team is a superb e-enduro bike.

8. Orbea Wild

Best customisable e-bike

Frame: Carbon or alloy, 160mm travel | Motor: Bosch Performance CX, 85Nm, 600W peak power | Battery: Bosch 625Wh or 750Wh | Weight: 23.72kg | Rating: 9/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Rock solid on rough tracks
  • Excellent balance on size large
  • Ample power and range
  • Suspension offers both grip and support with the option to increase progression
  • Customisable spec

Reasons to avoid:

  • Battery is not easily removable.
  • Not as agile as Strive:ON
  • Reduced rear wheel clearance for smaller riders
  • Headset-routed cables

Orbea’s Wild is a seriously good looking e-bike, and with 160mm of travel, and a progressive frame, it’s an absolute weapon on hardcore enduro terrain. Open up the taps on a jagged rock garden and the Wild never flinches, yet the balanced geometry also lets you carve corners like an Olympic skier.

A customisable spec lets you build your perfect bike – right down to the chance to choose custom colours – which is not something many brands offer. A blistering e-bike that loves to hang it out on the roughest of tracks.

Read our test review of the Orbea Wild M-Team

Whyte E-Lyte 150 Works

The Whyte E-Lyte 150 Works has the best handling of any lightweight e-bike we’ve ridden.

9. Whyte E-Lyte 150 Works

Best handling mid-power e-bike

Frame: Carbon, 140mm travel | Motor: Bosch Performance SX, 55Nm, 600W peak power | Battery: Bosch 400Wh | Weight: 19.7kg | Rating: N/A

Reasons to buy:

  • Great handling, combined with stacks of power and battery capacity
  • Range extender is in the right place and comes with the bike
  • Hope Tech4 V4 brakes and Pro 5 hubs are both first rate

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not really that light
  • Shredders and avid hill climbers will both want a better rear tyre
  • Premium price

Whyte’s latest e-bike is also its lightest ever, and marks the return of carbon frames to the brand’s range. It’s also one of the first new e-bikes with the lightweight Bosch SX motor with it’s eye-catching 600w peak power figure. Yes, you have to pump your legs like a washing machine on spin cycle to get the power, but it’s almost double the power you get from the Turbo Levo SL and on par with Bosch’s claims for the Performance CX unit.

What makes the Whyte really special, though, is the ride. It’s first class. While the weight may seem high on paper, the mass dissolves as soon as you start riding, and the E-Lyte can turn on a micro-dot. The suspension is also superlative, with a fluttery sensitivity backed up by steely support.

Read our test review of the Whyte E-Lyte 150 Works

Rolling in on an ebike

Dropping in on the YT Decoy!

Which electric mountain bike is right for you?

As e-bikes are making up an increasing market share of new bike sales, so they are starting to diversify in order to meet varying consumer demands. At one end of the scale are the bike park bombers, with massive travel, coil-sprung suspension and even dual-crown forks. Also emerging slowly are the lightweight, ‘diet’ e-bikes with less power and smaller batteries. While in the middle are the all-purpose ‘trail’ e-bikes with air suspension, versatile geometry and around 150mm of travel.

A new breed of eMTBs has started emerging as of 2023, and that’s ones with a similar motor output, but with a lighter weight by using a smaller or more efficient battery.

Want to know the different parts of an eMTB? Check out our guide to the anatomy of an e-bike. 

Forestal Cyon Halo

The Forestal Cyon Halo is a lightweight e-bike with packed with impressive tech.

What is a lightweight/diet e-bike?

With most e-bikes weighing between 22-25kg, small weight differences between different models are barely perceptible. Suspension performance, sizing, component choice and geometry play a far greater role in defining the handling of an e-bike.

That was until Lapierre brought out the eZesty weighing an impressive 17.9kg, and e-bikes took a huge leap closer to their non-assisted cousins. The Lapierre uses a Fazua motor, with reduced power, torque and battery capacity, so you have to do a larger share of the work, but it takes much less effort to turn, jump, accelerate and decelerate. Because you put more energy in, the range is similar to full-power e-bikes with double the battery capacity, and with no extra friction in the system, it still responds to pedal efforts above the motor’s legal cut-off of 25kph. You can even remove the whole battery and motor to make a 15.6kg enduro bike.

Since then, Specialized has released the Turbo Levo SL  and Kenevo SL, newcomer Forestal the innovative Siryon and Cyon, Trek has launched the Fuel EXe, Pivot came out with the Shuttle SL, and Orbea has the Rise. There are also options from Scott (the Lumen), Transition (the Relay) and BMC. If you like the thought of a boost on the climbs, but want to retain the lively handling and pure response of a regular bike, a diet e-bike could be the best of both worlds.

Canyon Torque:ON CF9

The Canyon Torque:ON is so moto it even comes with a gas tank (for water!)

Can you get downhill-specific e-bikes?

Haibike was probably the first mainstream brand to start designing long travel e-bikes and equipping them with dual crown forks, but the spotlight really swivelled onto this category of bike with the introduction of the Specialized Kenevo. With coil-sprung suspension, heavy-duty tyres, four-piston brakes and masses of travel, it was part shuttle vehicle, part downhill bike.

More recently, Cannondale has joined the party with the Moterra SE, while Specialized has pushed the boat out even further with the outlandish new Kenevo, and more recently we’ve seen the Canyon Torque:ON (above).

Specialized Turbo levo

The Specialized Turbo Levo is a hoot to throw around.

Are trail-focussed e-bikes the most versatile?

Most full-suspension e-bikes fit the ‘trail’ category and typically they run around 150mm of travel, but fitted with burlier forks up front, compared to their analogue cousins, to cope with the extra weight and leverage of the frame.

Four-piston brakes are common, again to decelerate the additional mass, and they usually have slacker head angles and slightly smaller sizing – the extra weight adding stability that non-assisted bikes make up for in length.

Although there are models with 29in wheels and 27.5in wheels, you’ll see plenty of bikes mixing the two into what’s called a mullet configuration. The 29in wheel up front giving good rollover while the smaller 27.5in wheel at the back increasing agility. Usually this is paired with a large volume 2.6in or 2.8in rear tyre that stretches the footprint and increases traction on steep or loose climbs. The most popular motors are built by Bosch, Brose and Shimano, with most battery capacities ranging from 500Wh to 700Wh.

best electric mountain bikes

Power-assisted hardtails are simpler, but struggle on rough terrain.

Are e-hardtails a good choice for mountain biking?

If you’re riding consists solely of tow paths, fire roads and country tracks, then e-hardtails make a lot of sense, since they can be cheaper and there’s less to go wrong. But for hitting proper singletrack, bike parks and trail centres, we wouldn’t recommend one.

The reasons are simple. You remain seated far more on an e-bike than an analogue bike – mostly because the motor prefers a high cadence, and the up-down piston motion of your legs when standing up doesn’t mesh well with the smooth, consistent power delivery of the motor. So without any rear suspension you’re in for a punishing ride on anything but billiard-table smooth trails.

E-bikes let you ride up climbs you wouldn’t dream of on a regular bike, but if you can’t get traction – because the rear wheel is bouncing over bumps and roots – you’ll be off and pushing. Finally, on fast, rough or technical descents, it’s much harder to get an e-bike off the ground, so rear suspension not only helps reduce the impact at the wheel, it also helps you pop the bike over square-edge hits. Which is why most e-hardtails we’ve seen on technical trails are being pushed – with a flat back tyre.

Cleaning an electric mountain bike

Cleaning an electric mountain bike is fine, as long as you take care and leave the jetwash in the garage.

Everything you need to know about electric mountain bikes

Got a question about riding, setting up or caring for your e-bike? Check out the essential info below, and you’ll also want to take a look at our answers to the most popular eMTB questions.

Are e-bikes worth it?

Do you want to ride much further and climb much faster in the same amount of time as you can on a regular bike, then the answer is absolutely YES! E-bikes allow you to cram in two or three times as much climbing (and descending) into a typical two hour ride as you can on an analogue bike, and with everyone juggling busier lives than ever, that’s an attractive prospect.

Of course there’s no such thing as a free ride, and in the case of e-bikes you’ll have to consider the high initial price, the extra wear and tear on components and the additional weight of the bikes themselves before deciding whether they are right for you. If you’re an experienced rider, it will take some time to adapt your riding style to that extra weight, but after the initial adjustment period, you’ll be addicted to the extra runs you can get in.

And, while it’s possible to let the engine take the strain, you can still get a great workout by toning down the power or not stopping for a breather at the top of every climb. And if you’re just starting out, those intimidating climbs will no longer be such an obstacle to exploring the countryside.

trek powerfly

Bosch PowerTube battery can be charged on or off the bike

How long do e-bike batteries last?

Although there are plenty of online range finder tools, there are so many variables in play that they can only ever be considered a rough guide.

The best way of finding out how far your new e-bike will go on a single charge is experience. Record your rides and make a note of the trail conditions, power levels used and the battery remaining, so you can cross reference it against the distance covered and elevation gained. Once you’ve built up a data bank of rides, you’ll have a much better idea of your range when you go somewhere new.

To give you an idea of what to expect in the real world, for a rider weighing 70-75kg with dry trail conditions, we get around 1,800m of climbing from a 600-700Wh battery in a middle power setting. Why metres climbed instead of distance traveled? Well, the motor puts a much higher drain on the battery when climbing, and theoretically the battery would last forever if you rode along the flat above the speed limiter.

Should I charge my e-bike outdoors?

In a perfect world, you should always charge your e-bike’s battery indoors at room temperature (between 10-20°C, out of direct sunlight). If your battery is not removable, try your best to charge the whole bike in the house. Always only use the recommended charger that came supplied with the bike and don’t leave it charging unattended or overnight.

Why does my motor still turn when I stop pedaling?

Some motors, most notably the Brose, continue to give assistance briefly when you stop pedalling. Usually this is most obvious in full-power mode, and can be useful to get up stepped climbs, rock gardens or over patches of roots where you need to coast in order to prevent pedal strikes. Officially under EU law this assistance cannot last for more than 2m, although we’ve experienced considerably more than that in the real world.

The new Bosch CX Race motor gives a noticebly powerfull overrun, which is designed to help racers up the technical ascents that are a feature of e-enduro racing.

Specialized Turbo levo

Battery display built in the to top tube on the Turbo Levo.

What’s the lifespan of my battery?

This varies by manufacturer. Giant says you should have 80 per cent capacity left after 1,000 full charge cycles (equivalent to a big ride almost every day for three years). Shimano guarantees 60 per cent battery capacity after 1,000 full charge cycles. Specialized promises 60 per cent after 500 full cycles.

What frame size should I go for?

Because all that low-down weight means e-bikes are so much more stable than their naturally-aspirated counterparts, it’s less important to search for stability through frame length and slack geometry. That’s not to say you should get the smallest bike you can, but if you’re between sizes, it’s worth considering the smaller option. As always, the best course of action is to try before you buy, so find out about demo days and shop fleets before you commit.

Is it OK to wash my e-bike?

According to advice from Bosch, you should wash your e-bike as frequently as you’d wash an analogue bike (ideally after every ride), but you should never use a jet wash. This is because the high-pressure water can get past seals and into delicate electronics, as well as into non-serviceable areas such as the bottom bracket.

Equally, avoid degreasers and bike shampoos – use water from a garden hose, or bucket, and a range of brushes to get into those awkward areas around the chainset and the motor. Advice varies around what to do with the battery – Specialized recommends leaving it in-situ, but Bosch suggests removing it, then replacing the battery cover. Either way, we’d remove any displays (or cover with a plastic bag), dry the bike immediately after washing, particularly battery terminals, and then switch the bike on to check everything’s working.

E-bike climbing skills

E-bike climbing skills with the trials master: Chris Akrigg.

Where should I store my battery?

Keep your battery stored between 10-20°C and out of direct sunlight. If that’s not possible, consider getting a thermal blanket – basically an insulated sleeve – to store it in. If you drive to go riding, keep the battery in this sleeve en route, as it will maintain a more optimal temperature. If you’re not planning on riding for a while, remove the battery from the bike, and store in the house with around 60 per cent charge (the exact amount varies between brands). Charge fully before use.

Do I need e-bike specific components?

As e-bikes have become more popular, so brands have reacted quickly to develop specific products to fit them. In some cases they’re a waste of time, in others they’re well worth considering if not fitted as standard to your e-bike.

For example, Fox’s e-bike specific 36 forks use a thicker steerer tube and stanchion tubes to better resist the increased loads. SRAM’s Guide RE e-bike brakes use a simple lever with four-piston calipers for additional braking power.

Canyon’s SD:ON saddle has a flat nose and broad, kicked-up tail to give you something to push against on steep climbs. Also think about reinforced casing tyres, bigger brake rotors, stronger wheels, more robust freehub internals. Look for components that offer the best value and durability rather than weight saving or bling factor, as e-bikes tend to chew through consumables much faster than analogue bikes.

What happens if my motor stops working out of warranty?

Good news! Now you’re no longer left with a hefty bill for a new motor, because several businesses have popped up specialising in refurbishing, repairing, and servicing motors from all the top brands. Click here to read our story about where to get your e-bike motor fixed.

Looking for something a little less pricy? You can still get a brilliant budget electric mountain bike for less money that still offers amazing performance.