Best Electric Mountain Bikes: Top-Rated e-MTBs to Tame the Trails

Our pick of the best electric mountain bikes reviewed by the BikeRadar test team



An electric mountain bike can allow you to get out for a quick blast, propelling you uphill quickly so you can enjoy the descents.

You can also turn your focus to climbing the steepest, most technical slopes you can find or just go longer and faster with a grin from ear-to-ear. The ability to cover ground quickly means you can go out and explore places you wouldn’t otherwise consider.

These bikes also let you ride in ways you usually couldn’t, and as designs become more refined, the handling increasingly rivals – and in some scenarios exceeds – that of conventional mountain bikes.

For more on what to look for when buying an e-MTB, read our buyer’s guide at the bottom of this article. Otherwise, check out our guide to electric bike types to choose the right bike for you.


The Best Electric Mountain Bikes Reviewed by BikeRadar

This is our pick of the best electric mountain bikes reviewed by the BikeRadar test team. You can also head to our full archive of electric bike reviews.

  • Marin Alpine Trail E2
  • Canyon Spectral
  • Giant Trance E+ 1 Pro
  • Santa Cruz Bullit CC X01 RSV


Marin Alpine Trail E2

Slack geometry and Shimano’s EP8 motor make the Alpine Trail E2 a formidable bike. Andy Lloyd / Marin
 

  • £5,695 / €6,199 / $5,999 as tested
  • Marin’s first full-suspension e-MTB
  • Capable, fun and comfortable

Marin launched the Alpine Trail E at the end of 2020 and it’s the Californian brand’s first full-suspension electric mountain bike.

Luckily, it’s been worth the wait because the Alpine Trail E is a capable, fun and comfortable e-MTB with a well thought out spec that offers good value for money (top-spec dampers, Shimano drivetrains and branded components).

You get an aluminium frame with 150mm of travel, with aggressive, descent-focused geometry, while Shimano’s new EP8 motor provides the power.

The Alpine Trail E2 is at home on a broad spectrum of trails and lives up to Marin’s promise as a bike that will put a smile on your face.

The range also includes the cheaper Alpine Trail E1 at £4,295 / $4,499 / €4,899.


Canyon Spectral:ON CF 7.0

Although it’s not got the most progressive geometry, it’s still a good looking and top performing bike. Ian Linton / Immediate Media

  • £4,299 / €4,497 as tested
  • Carbon main frame
  • Playful handling when ridden fast

Redesigned in March 2020, the Canyon Spectral:ON’s main frame is now carbon with an alloy rear triangle, instead of all alloy, and its 504Wh battery is now internal.

Like its predecessor, it has mullet wheel sizes, with a 29in front and 27.5in rear wheel. On this CF 7.0 model, there’s 150mm of travel at the rear and a RockShox Deluxe Select shock, while power comes from a Shimano Steps E8000 motor, running through a 12-speed Shimano XT mech.

The motor provides plenty of power to get up steep climbs, while the feel when riding fast is more playful than planted.

We’ve also tested the top-spec, £6,499 Spectral:ON CF 9.0. Its components are better, but we reckon there’s little other reason to choose it over the 7.0.


Giant Trance E+ 1 Pro

Matthew’s Giant Trance E+ 1 Pro long-termer. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

  • £4,499 / €4,999 / $5,600 / AU$7,499 as tested
  • Easy to use controller
  • Smart Assist mode
  • On the heavy side

Giant’s Trance E+ 1 is powered by a Yamaha SyncDrive motor, with its 500Wh battery giving plenty of range.

There are five fixed levels of assist, but we’ve been particularly impressed by the Smart Assist mode, where motor power varies with how you ride. It gives loads of power when climbing, easing off when cruising on the flat or descending.

The rest of the spec is sorted on this second-tier model, with a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain and brakes, and Fox suspension. At more than 24kg, the Trance E+ 1 Pro is on the heavy side though.

Read full review here.

 

Founded in 1986, Marin Bikes holds a special place in cycling history. As one of the first mountain bike companies, they have a hard earne...
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The Alpine Trail E is Marin's first foray into the world of electric mountain bikes. The company has used its existing Alpine Trail aluminum 15...
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