Is it worth buying an Electric mountain bike (e-Mtb)?

electric mountain bike

Is it worth buying an Electric mountain bike (e-Mtb)?

When cars were supposed to fly, we would have androids at our service in our homes and teleportation would be par excellence the method of travel to the other side of the planet. Instead, it seems that today everything must be plugged into one power grid. And the mountain bike is no exception!

What do you think about electric assistance bikes, would you dare to get one? Far from convincing you of anything and being as neutral as possible, we will try to clarify some doubts and help you decide to buy an electric mountain bike or a conventional one.

What is an e-mountainbike?

First of all, and if you have just landed on the planet, we will briefly explain what an electric assist mountain bike, pedal assist, electric, e-mountain bike or simply e-Mtb consists of.

It is a mountain bike to which an electric motor has been integrated into the part of the bottom bracket. A rechargeable battery powers this motor to help the bike move as long as you are pedaling. If you want e normal mountain bike, try the big wheel mongoose bike.

The power supplied by the motor is regulated through a control located on the handlebar, on which you act to choose the amount of assistance you need according to your circumstances. However, you will still have to change gears like a conventional mountain bike (also called pulmonary or muscular). We are not going to tell you much about the latter this time. You can always read our article where we talk about rigid and full suspension Mtb bicycles.

You don’t exercise with an electric bike: myth or reality?

We will always remember a time when we were at the top of the hermitage of San Formerio when a hardener with his electric Mtb appeared on the winding road. We were in short sleeves and he, with his jacket still on and without a drop of sweat on his forehead, greeted us “cool as a lettuce.”

It is indisputable that an e-bike, or in this case an e-mountain bike, involves less effort on simple climbs, both on clean trails and tracks or roads. Even with it in low-assist mode, you’ll be able to tackle steep slopes without breaking a sweat.

However, you will have to have some skill or technique on narrow, stony, or difficult trails. Moreover, taking it where you want is not simple since you will have to learn how its inertia works.

You should also familiarize yourself with the modes of greater assistance in these types of trials since the power transmitted is so great that if you do not balance your weight well, you may end up on the ground with the jerk it gives. The best thing to do would be to try first on less difficult trails and level up as you play with the different modes.

Although you may think that an electric bike means not exercising, the reality is that you will increase your resistance and thoracic capacity on routes with a large part of flat terrain. From 25 km / h, the electricity supply is cut off and it will be you who moves the weight of the bike. You will work both the cardio and those spinning classes that you like so much.

In addition, you can choose the range of “Suffering” to adapt it to your training. For example, if you are in “Hulk” mode, you can choose to leave the assistance off and give yourself the beating of your life, or use the different modes that give you more or less assistance if that day you are not in the right mood to face the route.

On a conventional mountain bike, you will always be the one who moves the bike: your legs and your mind are your engines. In the electric one, you have that little button that saves you from trouble.

What about the downhills with the e-Mtb?

The geometries on both types of bikes are very well thought out, so both are perfect for descending.  The biggest advantage of electric mountain bikes over conventional ones is that they allow you to make more descents simultaneously. You will be able to gain technique, practice that point that resists you several times or enjoy a different descent each time. They are very useful in those express trips in which you are not comfortable if you have not gone down all the trails in the area.

Although they are working on the design of electric bikes to reduce weight, it is still a reality that they are somewhat heavy bikes, taking several kilos of difference compared to conventional bikes. Although thanks to the motor, the weight will be centered and provide a lot of stability in the descents keeping the bike glued to the ground.

However, stopping several kilos more on the bike entails a higher cost of brake pads and discs. In addition, the transmission will travel more miles, so you will have to replace all these components more often than on a conventional bike.

In the jumps, you should work the technique well before. If it is not your weak point or you even come from the world of DH or motorcycles, you will not have any problem.

Although you can have a very polished technique, it will not be as easy to take advantage of the natural jumps or the terrain’s supports as with a conventional bike.

In very twisty and technical areas, a muscular bike will adapt better to the terrain. In addition, its lightness compared to electrics will help you gain in speed and dexterity and you will put the bike anywhere.

What you should also know about the e-Mtb?

As we said at the beginning of this article, the main difference with lifelong mountain bikes is the motor, the battery, and the mode change system that usually includes a push button and a display with or without GPS, with more or less fewer functions. All of this adds weight and value to the bike.

We have talked to you about how weight intervenes in the different cases during your bike ride. But, and not least, if you live on the 10th floor without an elevator and you keep your bike at home, maybe you should consider having a conventional bike. Climbing 20-25 kg up the stairs every time you return from the road can be a real ordeal.

As for the pocket, the initial outlay will be much higher than the best-ridden conventional bike. In addition to the fact that you should count on the extra expense that the replacement of the battery will entail (which will have a useful life of 2 to 5 years depending on the quality, charge cycles, storage conditions, use, etc.) and the maintenance of the battery. Engine from the second year (when the warranty expires). In this case, you can contact the manufacturer or carry out maintenance or replacement with their kits.

Another important point about the battery is that it has variable autonomy. Depending on the model, the use you give it on the road, the charge cycle that you carried out previously, and of course, if you have remembered to charge it enough, it will last more or less. So make sure you always have the necessary battery percentage to face your route, or if you run out, try to be close to home.

Advantages and disadvantages of e-Mtb

Advantages of electric bikes over a conventional:

  • Less effort on easy climbs.
  • Possibility of adapting the assistance to your physical or mental state.
  • Great stability in the descents by having the weight centered.
  • You can lengthen your routes quite a bit and embark on the adventure of discovering new route alternatives.
  • It allows you to make more descents.
  • Suitable for different ranges of ages, physicals, experience, injuries, or cardiovascular problems.
  • You can go out with your usual group suffering much less.
  • You can finally join the higher level group.

Disadvantages of an e-bike versus a conventional:

  • The battery cuts supply at 25 km / h and it shows.
  • You need more handling for technical climbs on the trail.
  • It means a higher initial outlay and higher expense when something breaks (display, battery, motor …)
  • Battery and motor maintenance.
  • You will have to change wear parts much earlier.
  • Energy cost of recharging the battery and having a place for it at home, in the storage room, or the garage.
  • Variable battery autonomy.
  • The battery has a useful life, so you will have to replace it in the future.
  • Increased wear on components such as pads, discs, and transmission.
  • Great weight. Think about it if you live on a high floor without an elevator.
  • You need more technique to jump.
  • Update if the display includes GPS.

Tips: What is a Cruiser electric bike or ebike?