Electric mountain bikes (e-bikes) are taking over the trails, and for good reason. They 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.
We guide you through what to look for when buying the best electric mountain bike, with insight on battery and motor technology as well as our recommended models on sale now. Each of the bikes in this list has been thoroughly tested by our team of experts, and only the top-scoring bikes make the cut. Don’t put it off any longer, because with one of the best 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.
The best shop-bought electric mountain bike
Frame: FACT 11m Carbon, 150mm travel (140mm measured) | Motor: Specialized/Brose 2.2 90Nm, 565W peak power | Battery: Specialized 700Wh | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Excellent chassis, versatile, a blast to ride, great value for money with discounted price
Reasons to avoid: Cost-cutting drivetrain and fork
Specialized has comprehensively updated its Turbo Levo with new sizing, geometry and a swish display embedded in the top tube. It went from a full 29er to a mullet bike, adopted Specialized’s S-sizing and gained adjustable geometry that can be set up anywhere from aggressive to full-on psycho.
SRAM’s NX/GX drivetrain is definitely heavy, but it feels noticeably smoother and less graunchy than Shimano rivals in the wet.
Because the Levo needs less effort to chuck around than most of its rivals, it is less tiring to ride. With a motor that’s smooth and quiet, a control unit that never gets in the way, and a display that cleverly blends integration and sophistication, the whole Turbo Levo package is hard to fault.
At the original price of £8,250 the Turbo Levo Comp is poor value for money, with budget parts bolted to a premium chassis. But with the current discount applied (Spesh says the price will stay slashed through the summer) it’s a steal. With a comprehensive size range and adaptable geometry, it’s a versatile e-bike and a total blast to ride, whatever configuration you put it in.
The best direct sales electric mountain bike
Frame: Carbon, 155mm travel (154mm measured) | Motor: Shimano STEPS EP8 85Nm, 500W peak power | Battery: Canyon BT002 720Wh 36V (3.91kg) | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Dynamic handling
Reasons to avoid: Brakes lack bite, Maxxis Assegai EXO aren’t tough enough
The new Canyon Spectral:On CF 9 is an e-bike that knows no limits. It looks cool, rides great and what it lacks in overall suspension travel it more than compensates for with agility. As such this 155mm travel e-bike will have you side stepping and hopping over obstacles that no amount of suspension could iron out.
And if were being really picky the 60g lighter EXO casing Maxxis Assegai front tyre is little to focused on weight saving, and our final gripe with the build kit on the Canyon is the 18-point freehub engagement of the DT Swiss 370 Hybrid rear hub. When combined with the freewheel in the EP-8 motor, it makes for painfully slow engagement and pickup of the motor in some situations.
It doesn’t have the most extreme geometry, nor does it have the highest specification, but with by far the biggest battery capacity the Spectral:On CF 9 will take you places that the other bikes in this test simply can’t. The fact that you’ll have a total blast doing so, is what really won us over though.
The best lightweight electric mountain bike
Frame: Carbon Hollow Core, 132mm travel (130mm measured) | Motor: Fazua Ride 60 450W max power | Battery: Fazua Energy 430Wh integrated | 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. Boost mode is a total blast.
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.
As an out and out trail bike, the Pivot Shuttle SL delivers the goods. The Fazua Ride 60 motor is quiet, smooth and efficient too, so it offers a very natural ride feel and thanks to the 430Wh internal battery it has an impressive range.
In fact, the limiting factor here, other than the EXO casing tyres, is the 132mm rear travel. It’s just not enough for how fast this bike can be ridden.
Skilled riders will be able to ride around that single fault, even relish it, but if you’re looking for one bike to tackle all situations, the Shuttle SL may come up a little short.
One of the best electric bikes for speed and stability
Frame: Alloy or OCLV carbon, 150mm travel | Motor: Bosch Performance CX, 85Nm | Battery: Bosch PowerTube 750Wh (650Wh on size small) | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Loves to go fast
Reasons to avoid: Suspension lacks finesse
This bike has stability galore on rough ground, and absolutely loves to go fast.
This is the fourth generation of the Trek Rail, and sizing has been increased so some riders might find a better fit on the previous generation.
We loved the high-speed confidence of the chassis, the reactive Bosch motor and the impressive range of the big 750Wh battery. However, the new sizing is definitely skewed toward taller riders and the suspension performance lacked depth. Moreover details like the locking battery and kickstand mount are outdated, and the price feels excessive considering you don’t get the new Bosch top tube display and wireless remote.
Stays true to its enduro roots
Frame: Alloy, 167mm travel | Motor: Shimano STEPS EP8, 85Nm | Battery: Shimano E8036 630Wh | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Balanced suspension response
Reasons to avoid: Small 630Wh battery
We opted to downsize from our usual size for this bike, and the smaller bike felt more dynamic and agile but no less capable. Because you have the assistance of the Shimano EP8 motor for climbing, the fit never felt compromised either.
The free flowing suspension means you can charge hard on the E-Sommet. Dive into braking bumps and the Vitus is totally unfazed. It also feels really good lent over traversing roots and rocks too, as the bike isn’t so stiff at the rear as to cause unwanted deflection at the contact patch.
The same can’t be said of the 630Wh Shimano battery though. This bike definitely needs more juice to keep the heavier tyres rolling.
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.
The ultimate e-bike for flying under the radar
Frame: OCLV Mountain Carbon, 140mm travel | Motor: TQ 50Nm | Battery: TQ 360Wh removable | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Great geometry and sizing, handling blurs the line between enduro and trail riding, TQ motor is easily the quietest to date.
Reasons to avoid: Shock tune is a little too firm in compression, BITS tool rattles in the steerer tube, would benefit from a front tyre with a more pronounced edge.
The Trek Fuel EXe was the first of a new breed of e-bikes to come equipped with the TQ HPR 50 motor. And while the German made motor doesn’t boast the most torque (50Nm), or the highest peak power (300W) in our lightweight, mid-power e-bike test, it is extremely compact and extremely quiet. So small and so quiet in fact, that the Trek Fuel EXe regularly passes for an analogue bike.
On or off the gas, the EXe offers a near silent ride, and while the TQ motor has zero overrun, pick-up is almost instantaneous, so the motor has a really natural feel when pedalling. The Trek Fuel EXe has the most progressive geometry of any mid-power e-bike. And with a superbly damped feel to the full carbon frame it can be ridden harder than its competitors.
The best e-bike for long-range adventures… at a cost
Frame: Carbon, 165mm travel | Motor: Shimano STEPS EP8 85Nm, 500W peak power | Battery: SMP YT 540Wh | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: 720Wh battery means more fun, reactive ride, premium build components
Reasons to avoid: 720Wh battery means more money
The YT Decoy Core 4 offers a ride quality that’s every bit as peppy as the sharp clean lines of the full carbon frame. And for a bike that’s three years old, it still looks and feels contemporary.
For 2023 YT has gone to great lengths to increase the battery capacity of the Decoy and keep the bike current…or is that, keep the current bike? The real question is if the extra juice is worth the squeeze? In short, yes. But the new 720Wh battery doesn’t currently come stock with the bike, so you’re going to need to spend an additional £899 to get it.
Ultimately, things have moved on a fair bit since we last tested the Decoy, and while the ride quality is still up there, with only 540Wh of run time as standard, you’ll be riding around in eco mode, while all your mates whizz past you to squeeze in the extra laps.
Best e-bike for value for money
Frame: Alloy, 170mm travel | Motor: Shimano E8036 630Wh | Battery: Shimano E8036 630Wh | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Great geo and suspension
Reasons to avoid: 630Wh battery isn’t enough
With the best kit, suspension components and geometry, there’s only one thing that needs upgrading on the Megawatt 297 Factory, and it’s the one thing you can not change…The 630Wh Shimano battery. Sure you could run a two battery approach, but the days of being tethered to the carpark or always riding in eco mode are long gone.
And while the smaller, lighter, battery may still have a place in e-enduro racing, having an expandable battery capacity is what the Megawatt really needs if it’s going to have the staying power to compete with the bigger bands.
Best women’s electric mountain bike
Frame: Carbon, 140mm travel | Motor: SyncDrive Pro2 85Nm, powered by Yamaha | Battery: EnergyPak Smart Compact 400Wh | Rating: N/A
Reasons to buy: Smart Assist mode and Fox Livevalve make for seamless ride experience. Impressively light. Agile and capable. Plenty of adjustability
Reasons to avoid: Easy to accidentally change modes on Ergo 3 remote control. Size large not available in UK.
The biggest plus-point of this new version of the Liv Intrigue X Advanced E+ Elite (wow, that’s a bit of a mouthful!) is that it offers all the power of a full eMTB, but signficantly less weight. This has been achieved by developments in motor and battery design, and lighter-weight materials and components, and results in a bike that feels agile and lively to ride, and less like a tank if you’re trying to lift it up.
With 150mm fork travel and 140mm rear travel with mixed-size wheels (29er front, 27.5 rear), this top-spec model boasts SRAM GX Eagle AXS wireless groupset with powerful SRAM Code R brakes for powerful braking control. There are cheaper models available though, if your budget doesn’t stretch quite this high.
Also noteworthy is that this is one of a very very few bikes, and quite possible one of the only eMTBs, built specifically for women, designed by a team of engineers who use only women’s body dimension data and ride characterists for the frame design and component choice.
In action, the ride feels seemless, powering you up technical climbs intuitively (Fox’s Live Valve system adjusts the suspension in response to the terrain, and you don’t have to do a thing) and feeling the ideal blend of confident with nimble reponse on the descents.
The lightweight eMTB gets an upgrade
Frame: Fact 11m carbon, carbon shock extension, 150mm travel (152mm measured) | Motor: Specialized SL 1.2, 50Nm, 320W peak power | Battery: Specialized SL 320Wh 48V integrated | Rating: N/A
Reasons to buy: More sizes, more adjustability, more travel, more support from the suspension, more power and more torque than before, Same price, same weight. 160Wh range extender included with S-Works bike.
Reasons to avoid: Rear suspension isn’t as plush as before. It’s still a ton of money.
At 17.65g (38.91lb) without the range extender fitted, the new Levo SL is still one of the lightest bikes in class, even if the smaller, lighter 27.5in rear wheel massages the figures ever so slightly. The side-arm has been amputated too, and while this gives Specialized more freedom with the suspension layout and shock choice, the frame still feels like it has just the right amount of flex, even though the front end is now longer.
I suspect the decision to remove the side-arm is also about differentiating it from the old design. Because, let’s face it, if the frame design looked the same, you’d probably scroll straight past it wrongly assuming it’s the same old bike even though it’s essentially done a ground up redesign.
Brit-backed e-bike leads the charge
Frame: 6061 Alloy, 150mm travel | Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX, 85Nm | Battery: Bosch PowerTube 750Wh | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Devours rough terrain, while still being nimble and playful. Rear suspension feels superlative. Now comes with a huge battery, easily removable battery and great specification. Quality suspension and shifting components
Reasons to avoid: Only three frame sizes. Needs a longer dropper post. It’s pretty heavy
With rapid battery removal, a dependable build kit and fully adjustable Fox suspension components, the Whyte E-160 RSX is a great choice for anyone interested in e-bike enduro racing. In fact, the faster, steeper and rougher the terrain gets, the better the E-160 performs.
You need to be a stronger rider to muscle the E-160 around though, so if pure speed isn’t the end point, the Trek Rail 9.7 offers a lighter more dynamic ride with similar geometry and poise for the same money, even if the specification isn’t on par with the Whyte E-160 RSX.
All the agility of an enduro bike with helping hand on the climbs
Frame: Carbon, 170mm travel | Motor: Specialized Turbo SL 2.2, 35Nm | Battery: Specialized 320Wh | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Can hang with the best enduro bikes on the descents and leave them for dead on the climbs. Unobtrusive motor accentuates the positives. Six unique geometry settings
Reasons to avoid: Battery can’t be removed easily. Limited seat post insertion. It’s a decent deposit on a house.
Specialized’s highly regarded Enduro gets a lightweight motor and battery and the result is more than the sum of its (not inconsiderable) parts. Agile and powerful, every turn, every jump, every drift, every burst of acceleration – and they come thick and fast – felt natural and familiar on the Kenevo SL, yet also somehow more intense and satisfying than either a pure analogue bike or a full power e-bike could deliver.
It inspired us to give more and it gave me more back in return. Every joule of energy we invested turned to profit – more speed, more control, more engagement, more fun. We really don’t want to be this gushing about a push bike that costs twelve and a half grand, but it’s everything we hoped for and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.