The Best Electric Mountain Bikes of 2023

specialized turbo levo comp alloy
The Best Electric Mountain Bikes Right NowBicycling; Courtesy Specialized


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Editors’ Note: We have reviewed this article and still stand by our recommendations for the best electric mountain bikes on the market as of February 2023. We’ll be evaluating this list monthly to make sure we bringing you the most up-to-date products and industry information.

Electric mountain bikes are an increasingly popular type of electric bike. They combine off-road functionality with pedal-assist power to make short work of tough climbs. Adding electric assist to a mountain bike can compress your ride into a shorter timeframe, extend the distance of your ride, and even make climbs accessible that would otherwise prove too daunting. Designs keep improving, tech is becoming more reliable at all prices, and the capabilities are expanding.

More importantly, bicycle designers have gone well beyond simply slapping on a motor and calling it an eMTB. The best electric mountain bikes feature motors with enough power and capability to prove functional, while keeping weight to a minimum to ensure the bike’s handling remains capable and stable.

When you’re choosing the right electric mountain bike for you, look for one that offers a high-power motor, a battery with long life (and/or the capability to add a backup battery), sufficient suspension travel, and a price that’s friendly for your budget.

The Best Electric Mountain Bikes

The Expert (Dan Cavallari): I’m a born tinkerer with a garage full of tools to prove it, and I spent 14 years as a bicycle mechanic in various shops across the U.S. So when it comes to riding and repairs, I’ve seen it all. I’m also the editor/publisher of Slowguyonthefastride.com and DawnpatrolMTB.com, and the former technical editor of VeloNews Magazine. My writing and photography have appeared in VeloNews Magazine, Triathlete Magazine, Podium Runner Magazine, Women's Running Magazine, Cycling Weekly, Rouleur Magazine, Road Bike Action Magazine, Mountain Bike Action Magazine, CycleVolta.com, Tomsguide.com, Cycle Sports Japan, CyclingTips.com, Bikerumor.com, Bicycle Retailer, and more. Find me on Instagram: @DawnPatrolMTB @slowguyonthefastride.

What to Consider in an Electric Mountain Bike

When you’re shopping for an electronic mountain bike, you’ll want to factor in not only the motor’s power and features, but also the bike’s basic capabilities.

Travel

Because electronic mountain bikes are heavier than non-motorized bikes, the suspension travel will likely be longer than the non-motorized counterpart. This means the shocks, front and rear, will move a longer distance when they encounter obstacles. Suspension travel is measured in millimeters; so the more travel, the more cushion you’ll get when you encounter obstacles. Most e-MTB suspension falls in the 150 to 160mm range, which offers a nice balance of increased comfort and improved control for first-time buyers.

Motor Options

To get the most out of your electric mountain bike, you’ll want to consider the vast array of pedal-assist motor options. There are three electronic assist classes. Class 1 motors kick in only when you pedal and will stop helping at 20 mph. Class 2 also offers pedal-assist up to 20 mph, but also has a throttle-powered mode that allows users to engage the motor without pedaling. Class 3 is pedal-assist like Class 1, but assistance continues until you hit 28 mph.

  • Class 1: 20 MPH max assist speed; throttle not standard equipment

  • Class 2: 20 MPH max assist speed; throttle comes standard equipment

  • Class 3: 28 MPH max assist speed; throttle not standard equipment

Most performance-oriented electric mountain bikes will fall into the Class 1 category. Electronic mountain bikes generally feature one of two types of motors: mid-drive motors, which live in the frame at the bottom of the bike between the pedals; and rear hub motors, which are built into the rear wheel.

A rear hub motor tends to keep the price of the bike lower. But it also offers less powerful assist. A mid-drive motor will almost always offer more power. but it will also cost more. A mid-drive motor’s position on the bike is advantageous because it puts the added weight in the center of the bike, and low to the ground. This generally means it will have fewer negative effect on handling. All of our favorite electric mountain bikes feature mid-drive motors.

Battery and Range

On top of motor details, you’ll want to consider the battery size and range, versus its weight and the bike's overall price. A larger battery offers more range and playtime, but also increases the price and weight of the bike. As a bike's weight increases, its handling becomes more sluggish and requires more input from the rider. Heavier bikes tend to be more difficult to handle, especially at higher speeds. A lighter bike will offer better handling, but if you sacrifice too much battery capacity to cut weight, you may find yourself pedaling home with no assist at all if your ride runs long.

Fortunately, eMTBs can be pedaled without any assist. So even if you run out of juice, you’ve still got your main power source: your legs.

While we can confidently say a larger battery provides more range, it is difficult to estimate any e-bike's exact range with accuracy. Many factors affect an e-bike's range: Motor-assist level, the rider's weight, the terrain, outside air temperature, rolling resistance from the tires, and even if the bike's drivetrain is clean and lubricated versus dirty and dry.

Do not take any brand's range claims as gospel, and make sure you know what conditions the brand used to arrive at their range claims.

Drivetrains

While a handful of bicycle drivetrain manufacturers exist, almost every e-mountain bike will have either a Shimano or SRAM drivetrain. Both are reputable manufacturers that will offer reliable shifting and a wide-ranging gear set. Some drivetrains feature electronic shifting, too. Such drivetrains offer quick and precise shifting, but they will add cost.

Brakes

Given the increased weight of an electronic mountain bike, you’ll want to make sure yours is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes. Such brakes offer lots of stopping power and modulation, which ensures you’ll remain in control regardless of your bike's weight. Several brands offer hydraulic disc brakes, though again, Shimano and SRAM usually lead the way.

How We Selected These E-MTBs

I've been riding mountain bikes for nearly 30 years, and testing them professionally for more than a decade. I have a deep familiarity not only with mountain bike technology and ride quality, but also with a wide array of brands both legacy and new.

While the e-MTB category is still relatively new, I've been testing these types of bikes for the last 10 years on trails across the U.S. and in Europe. The overall build of the bike factors into the quality assessment, as does the power, longevity, and ease of use of the motorized components. Each bike recommended here offers an excellent ride quality balanced with assist capabilities most useful to mountain bikers.

Based on my experience as a mountain bike rider and reviewer, and my extensive knowledge of e-bike systems and technology, here are the best electric mountain bikes you can buy right now.

BEST OVERALL

Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Alloy

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.specialized.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fturbo-levo-comp-alloy%2Fp%2F188254%3Fcolor%3D317296-188254&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Turbo Levo Comp Alloy</p><p>$7500.00</p><p>specialized.com</p><span class="copyright">specialized.com</span>

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Turbo Levo Comp Alloy

$7500.00

specialized.com

specialized.com

Specialized’s third-generation Levo is the benchmark trail e-bike. While there are other great trail e-bikes, when you take into consideration the e-MTB experience as a whole—a bike’s battery range, features, system integration, ease of use, suspension, handling, and how well its motor performs—the Levo is more polished than anything else currently available. You get integration and features that no other e-bike has, such as a compact and highly functional display in the top tube. The belt-driven motor, which gets a new, more durable belt than the previous generation, is, by my ear, the quietest and smoothest on the market—without vibrations or lash pulsing through the frame. With 90 Nm of max torque, it is also one of the most powerful. That power is doled out with beautiful fluidity and an almost natural feel. When it comes to putting a smile on your face, and having the best e-ride possible, it doesn’t get much better than the new Levo.

Read Full Review

BEST VALUE OFF-ROAD

Aventon Aventure

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aventon.com%2Fproducts%2Faventure-ebike&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Aventure</p><p>$1999.00</p><p>aventon.com</p><span class="copyright">aventon.com</span>

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Aventure

$1999.00

aventon.com

aventon.com

“Big” is the best descriptor for this larger-than-life Aventure e-bike. Aventon combined big tires and big power to make a bike with the potential for big fun. Four-inch wide tires and a suspension fork provide extra comfort when riding over broken pavement or fire road and doubletrack-type trails. These big features result in big weight, too. Our size medium test rig tipped the scales at 79.5 pounds, the heaviest bike here.

BEST MIXED-WHEEL

Marin Alpine Trail E2

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bikesonline.com%2F2022-marin-alpine-trail-e2-dual-suspension-ebike&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Alpine Trail E2</p><p>$5799.00</p><p>bikesonline.com</p><span class="copyright">bikesonline.com</span>

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Alpine Trail E2

$5799.00

bikesonline.com

bikesonline.com

The mixed wheel size on the Alpine Trail E2—a larger 29-inch wheel up front and a smaller 27.5-inch wheel out back—makes it quite nimble. You’ll be able to steamroll over technical terrain yet throw the bike around on descents too. That makes the Alpine Trail capable both up and down the mountain, and a lot of fun to ride. Marin specs the Alpine Trail with some rowdy suspension, too: a Fox 38 fork and a Float DPX2 coil shock out back. In other words, it’s ready to party if you’re an advanced rider. While the price tag certainly isn’t as high as that of competitors with similar build specs, the Alpine Trail does come with an aluminum frame instead of a carbon one—an important factor to keep in mind. Still, there’s not much else to complain about with this reliably fun bike.

BEST FAT-TIRE OFF-ROAD

RadPower RadRover 6 Plus Electric Fat Tire Bike

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.radpowerbikes.com%2Fproducts%2Fradrover-plus-electric-fat-tire-bike&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>RadRover 6 Plus Electric Fat Tire Bike</p><p>$2099.00</p><p>radpowerbikes.com</p><span class="copyright">radpowerbikes.com</span>

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RadRover 6 Plus Electric Fat Tire Bike

$2099.00

radpowerbikes.com

radpowerbikes.com

The RadRover has been the most popular fat tire e-bike in the U.S., according to import records from China that show Rad imports surpassing other competitors by a significant margin. So think of the RadRover as the Ford Model T of fat tire e-bikes: cheap, reliable, and for everyone. Puncture-resistant, four-inch-wide tires reliably help you get where you’re going. A comfort saddle, fenders, and integrated lights round out this well-equipped adventure machine.

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BEST TRAIL

Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon 2

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F208425%2Fcannondale-moterra-neo-carbon-2-electric-bike&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Moterra Neo Carbon 2 </p><p>$7300.00</p><p>rei.com</p><span class="copyright">rei.com</span>

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Moterra Neo Carbon 2

$7300.00

rei.com

rei.com

The Cannondale Moterra comes in carbon and aluminum frames, both of which appeal with sleek, swoopy lines that flow organically from head tube to dropout. The newest versions are built with a 160mm fork and 160mm of rear-wheel travel, which is on the higher end for many e-mountain bikes. Yet, the bike feels balanced with a subterranean center of gravity that makes the bike stick to the ground. That’s excellent if you value stability and like to plow straight over obstacles, but the bike feels less agile than some others here. However, we rode it, we appreciated the smooth performance of the Bosch 625 Wh Powertube battery and Performance Line CX motor—one of the most common and reliable options for bikes in this category.

E-Mountain Bike Testing
Trevor Raab

BEST HARDTAIL

Rocky Mountain Growler Powerplay 30

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jensonusa.com%2FRocky-Mountain-Growler-Powerplay-30-Bike-2022&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Growler Powerplay 30 </p><p>$4199.00</p><p>jensonusa.com</p><span class="copyright">Courtesy</span>

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Growler Powerplay 30

$4199.00

jensonusa.com

Courtesy

We loved the regular, non-assist Growler when we tested that model back in 2019. That hardtail delivered everything riders needed in a smart, affordable package. You got a 1x drivetrain, trail-worthy geometry, good sticky tires, and a dropper post for about a grand. The e-mountain bike version lives up to those high-value standards. Adding a motor and battery adds to the cost, but this is still an excellent value for anyone willing to ride a hardtail. Rocky’s own Dyname motor and battery sit nicely in the frame, making it look and feel as balanced as anything we’ve ridden. The system also has some of the most torque and fastest charging times we’ve tested. To compensate some for the lack of rear suspension, the Growler comes with squishy 2.8-inch tires on 27.5-inch wheels, which allow you to run lower air pressures to better absorb impacts from rocks and roots. And with this version, you get Shimano Deore drivetrain and brakes.

BEST FOR CLIMBING

Giant Trance X Advanced E+0

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmikesbikes.com%2Fproducts%2Fgiant-trance-x-advanced-e-0%3F_pos%3D1%26_sid%3Dfafc3f6b6%26_ss%3Dr%26variant%3D39630985101381&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Trance X Advanced E+ 0</p><p>$9500.00</p><p>mikesbikes.com</p><span class="copyright">mikesbikes.com</span>

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Trance X Advanced E+ 0

$9500.00

mikesbikes.com

mikesbikes.com

If you love fun new technology and lots of bells and bobs, The Trance X Advanced E+0 will satisfy your cravings. It comes with Fox’s Live Valve system, which automatically adjusts the suspension’s compression settings on the fly to ensure you get the best suspension performance possible at all times. Giant’s SyncDrive Pro motor offers ample pedal-assist power, making the Trance goat-like in its climbing prowess. Giant also advertises a 37-118 mile range, depending on various conditions including terrain, weather, and assist level. You can also add the optional Range Extender to ensure you get the full life out of the battery for your big days out.

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT

Trek E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.trekbikes.com%2Fus%2Fen_US%2Fbikes%2Fmountain-bikes%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2Fe-caliber%2Fe-caliber-9-9-xx1-axs%2Fp%2F34710&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS</p><p>$13549.99</p><p>trekbikes.com</p><span class="copyright">trekbikes.com</span>

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E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS

$13549.99

trekbikes.com

trekbikes.com

The E-Caliber weighs significantly less than much of the motorized competition at just a hair over 36 pounds. And you can remove the drive pack and motor to shave another 6.6 pounds if you want to ride analog. While you won’t get as much torque as longer-travel and heavier e-MTBs, the E-Caliber gives you just enough assist to get you where you need to go. The shorter suspension travel indicates this bike is made for speed rather than rowdy descents and drops. The E-Caliber is a good choice for an all-day adventure when you want a bit of insurance for those sustained climbs, or the last few miles before home.

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BEST BATTERY OPTIONS

Norco Sight VLT C2

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jensonusa.com%2FNORCO-SIGHT-VLT-C2-29-E-BIKE-2022&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Sight VLT C2</p><p>$6799.00</p><p>jensonusa.com</p><span class="copyright">jensonusa.com</span>

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Sight VLT C2

$6799.00

jensonusa.com

jensonusa.com

Norco has produced some of the better trail bikes we’ve tested. The Sight tops the list. The company’s e-bikes bring that same quality and exciting ride to an electric-assist platform. The Sight is agile and playful even with the slightly longer chainstays required of e-bikes (to fit the motor). Its 150mm of rear-wheel travel sits in the sweet spot for most assisted mountain bikes–you can send ’er hard while still feeling engaged with every undulation in the trail. Norco also does a neat thing: You can choose from three batteries to suit your riding needs: 540, 720, or 900Wh.

BEST FOR KIDS

Woom Up 5

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwoom.com%2Fen_US%2Fproducts%2Fwoom-up-5-electric-kids-bike%3Fvariant%3D00_electric-blue&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bicycling.com%2Fbikes-gear%2Fmountain-bike%2Fa27103056%2Felectric-mountain-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Up 5</p><p>$3599.00</p><p>woom.com</p><span class="copyright">woom.com</span>

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Up 5

$3599.00

woom.com

woom.com

Woom makes some of the best kids bikes we’ve ever tested, and the Up 5 is one of the best e-bikes of any size we’ve reviewed. The Up 5 reviewed here has 24-inch wheels; there’s also a Woom Up 6, which has 26-inch wheels. Both use a Fazua Evation motor that kicks out 55 Nm of torque. That’s similar to what you get on some lighter and smaller options, like the Orbea Rise. Woom’s system weighs just 7 pounds—again, about half as much as those on most full-size adult bikes. With the relatively low torque, and fewer high-speed power demands (the Up 5 tops out at 12 mph), the battery lasts plenty long, at least three hours on its highest power setting in our testing and likely much longer. The Up 5 comes with excellent components, including a supple RST-made front fork and Schwalbe tires.

BEST ENDURO

Evil The Epocalypse Rockshox XT I9 Hydra

<p><a href="https://www.evil-bikes.com/products/epocalypse" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>The Epocalypse Rockshox XT I9 Hydra</p><p>$9999.00</p><p>evil-bikes.com</p><span class="copyright">evil-bikes.com</span>

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The Epocalypse Rockshox XT I9 Hydra

$9999.00

evil-bikes.com

evil-bikes.com

Evil says the Epocalypse is “prepped for the end of days,” and the spec certainly reinforces that notion. It rides on 170mm of travel up front and 166mm in the rear, making the Epocalypse appropriate for the rowdiest terrain you can find. This is the bike for advanced enduro riders looking to do multiple laps on the DH line or explore trails that maybe aren’t exactly trails at all. Shimano’s Steps EP8 motor pumps out 85 Nm of torque, making this bike beastly on climbs. The Epocalypse also features adjustable geometry so you can achieve the “long and low” position that has long defined the enduro category. The Epocalypse packs a lot of capability into this stealthy package, and you’ll pay dearly for it: at $12,000, the Epocalypse fits best with big-budget — and big skill — riders.

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Expert Dan Cavallari Gives Guidance on Where to Ride and How to Transport Your Electric Mountain Bike

BI: So where can I ride one of these?

DC: Note that laws may differ by town so there's not a stock answer. Check out this site for up-to-date trails: https://www.peopleforbikes.org/electric-bikes/rides-and-routes.

BI: Am I still getting real exercise by riding an E-MTB?

DC: Yes! In fact, you can tailor your exercise more precisely with an e-bike. Want more resistance for your workout? Turn the pedal-assist down, or off completely. Feel like you’re working too hard? Let the assist get you home. E-MTBs offer you a tool that you can use to tailor your workout experience; and best of all, the bike will grow with you as you get stronger, so you can continue to tailor your workout experience no matter what shape you’re in.

BI: What’s the best way to transport my E-MTB?

DC: Many e-bikes can be transported on a standard car rack, though you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s weight limits. If your bike is too heavy for the rack, you risk damaging the bike, your car, and the rack itself.

If possible, choose a hitch-mounted rack for your E-MTB. These tend to be stronger and they are able to carry more weight. If your bike is especially heavy, you might want to opt for a hitch-mounted motorcycle rack instead. These racks accept far more weight, and often they feature ramps that allow you to mount the bike more easily. Unlike bike racks, however, you may have to use straps or tie-downs to secure the bike in place.

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