E-MTB Buyers Guide
The world of E-MTB's is a minefield. Two bikes might look very similar on a photograph but can be used for very different purposes. For this reason, we'd recommend researching the subject extensively and getting in touch with one of our electric mountain bike experts for some free advice.
Before we go any further, you should ask yourself what sort of riding are your going to be doing on your bike. We separate it out into the following.
This is our most popular discipline. Cross country riding is usually made up of not too challenging terrain, where you're going up the hills just as much as you're coming down them. These bikes are designed to be ridden all day, so there some element of comfort with them. You can either choose a hardtail if or go for a full suspension with up to 120mm of travel.
A very similar discipline to cross country, but a lot more aggressive. These routes are usually found at trail centres around the country since trail centres favour descending a bit more than climbing and are a bit more technical.
Either a full suspension or a hardtail with around 120 – 130 mm of travel would be ideal. A full suspension bike is more comfort and gives your more confidence on technically demanding trails. A full suspension bike will not be as efficient at climbing as a hardtail.
This is what it says on the tin. Riding in the mountains... These bikes are designed to take whatever you throw at it. Having at least 140 mm of travel is recommended. Your bike has to be light to allow you to ride whatever trail or weather conditions you encounter. Strong wheels and puncture-proof tyres are recommended, to withstand big rock gardens, natural jumps, drops and any other unexpected terrain riding in the mountains might throw at you.
Enduro is widely considered the most fun way to ride. The route is fast and demanding. These bikes are basically downhill bikes with the right geometry to ride back up the hills, very easy with the help of your motor! Enduro bikes usually have between 150 and 170 mm of travel and are full suspension, allowing you to make the most of demanding trails. It's getting more popular each year, it’s no surprise since enduro is based on what the majority of mountain bikers already do, riding uphill and then racing against friends back downhill.
We go a lot more in-depth regarding the motors for MTB's in a separate blog post, here.
The majority of E-MTB's we stock either come with the Bosch Performance CX, Yamaha PW or PW-X motors.
We are expecting the Scott E-Spark range to land in May 2017, which comes with the brand new Shimano e8000.
Everyone you'll speak to will recommend a different size, and the majority of riders have their personal preference. But for a rider coming into the e-bike scene with no real preference, we have simplified it below.
27" are better for shorter riders, and people doing technical riding. The smaller wheel allows them to "throw" the bike around easier.
27" Plus is a wider tyre so it gives you more surface contact than a standard 27"(20%) and only 1-2% more rolling resistance. In short, more grip - smoother ride
29" Wheels are better for the slightly taller rider, or for someone who is wanting to do long distances on their bike. The bigger wheel "rolls" easier over slightly uneven terrain, but it takes a bit more effort to do anything technical.
How do I know what size wheel the bike has?
On the Scott range, the first number of the 3 numbers of the model name relates to whether it's 29" (... 920) or 27" (...720).
On the Haibike range, the number after either "Full" or "Hard" relates to whether it's 29" (... HardNine) or 27" (...FullSeven).
A few of our models come as standard with a dropper seatpost. This allows you to change your saddle height dependent upon what sort of terrain you are riding. To retrofit one of these, you're looking at roughly £120-£300 so it adds a considerable amount of value to the bike.
The brand new Bosch Purion display is featured on pretty much every one of our mountain bikes powered by Bosch.
The display is a lot less liable to damage should during a crash. It also frees up handlebar space for extra accessories.
The Yamaha PW-X display is tucked neatly in between the stem and handlebar for exactly the same reason the Bosch is. Compared to the 2016 display, it comes across as a lot more rugged, with a bright compact screen.