While electric bikes have been around since the 1990s, it was not until around 2007 when they became a regular feature on roads in major Chinese cities. It was also during this time they became more acceptable among cyclists in the West, starting with Europe. The earliest versions came with power controls and torque sensors, but improvements in modern technology enables the manufacture of electric mountain bikes (e-MTBs) with higher speed, better performance, and a remarkable ability to go uphill and negotiate descents.
Also read: The best electric bicycle conversion kits
Modern e-mountain bikes come equipped with state-of-the-art features, such as built-to-last frames and geometrics, with matching suspension setups and next generation battery and electric motor configurations. These exciting advancements can make choosing a new electric mountain bike difficult, prompting us to make a list of the best mountain e-bikes out there.
The best electric mountain bikes: at a glance
- Marin Alpine Trail E2
- Santa Cruz Bullit X01
- Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8
- Specialized Turbo Levo
- Giant Trance E+ 1 Pro
- Pivot Shuttle Team XTR 2021
- Moustache Samedi 29 Trail 8
- SCOTT Ransom eRIDE 910
Marin Alpine Trail E2
Starting off our list is Marin’s first full e-bike, the Alpine Trail E2. The long-awaited electric mountain bike was unveiled in late 2020 to positive reviews. It’s powered by a new Shimano EP8 motor that is mounted on an aluminum frame. The frame offers 150mm of travel and is geometrically designed to allow riders to enjoy the descent.
Marin installed its MultiTrac suspension system to ensure the ride is comfortable. They also combined a Fox 38 with the GRIP2 damper to enhance the bike’s performance. To assist riders during ascent, Marin installed a removable Shimano’s 630Wh battery. The battery combines with the motor to provide 250W of power and 85Nm of torque.
Marin Alpine Trail E2 price: $5,999
Santa Cruz Bullit X01
Just like Marin, Santa Cruz is a California-based e-bike manufacturer known for its quality bikes. The company introduced the first Bullit in 1998 but stopped production of the model in 2011. Production resumed recently, with the new version receiving praise as a burly, long-travel electric mountain bike. The new Bullit comes with a full carbon fiber frame, reducing the bike’s net weight without compromising on strength and durability.
The frame is built on a mullet wheel size setup, with a 27.5-inch rear wheel and 29-inch front wheel. The bike’s VPP suspension has 170mm rear and front travel, making it ideal for gnarly terrains. It combines Shimano’s DU-EP800 motor with a 630Wh battery to provide 250W of power and 85Nm of torque. Additionally, it boasts smart features such as the E-TUBE Project app and Bluetooth connectivity.
Santa Cruz Bullit X01 price: $11,499
Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8
The CF 8 is a full-suspension electric mountain bike from Canyon Spectral:ON. It borrows some features from its predecessor including a carbon mainframe, mixed-size wheels, 150mm travel in the rear, and a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain. Several improved features make it stand out from previous models and its competitors, such as the Shimano EP8 motor, a 630Wh battery, DT Swiss Hybrid 1700 wheels, and 160mm of travel in the front.
The EP8 motor is covered by a magnesium case, making it 10% lighter than the E8000 motor found on other models, while producing 85Nm of torque. It also comes with XT M8100 brakes, allowing the rider to come to a complete stop whenever they like.
Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8 price: $6,999
Specialized Turbo Levo
Specialized has a long-standing reputation for precision and attention to detail. They are also one of the founders of the International Mountain Bike Association. The Turbo Levo model propelled the brand forward thanks to its standout alloy frame which is significantly lighter than the S-Works carbon frame used in earlier models. It boasts of a four-bar Horst link suspension that allows 150mm of rear travel.
The Turbo Levo is powered by a smooth 2.1 motor that combines well with a 500 Wh battery. Riders who have taken the bike for a spin agree the riding experience is similar to that of a pedal-driven bike.
Specialized Turbo Levo price: $12,075
Giant Trance E+ 1 Pro
The Trance E+ 1 Pro’s 500Wh battery is smoothly integrated into the electric mountain bike’s downtube of the ALUXX SL frame. The Giant E-bike App allows the rider to control the 360-degree tuneable support and the 80Nm of torque produced by the bike’s SyncDrive Pro motor. This e-mountain bike also comes with a smart assist mode, providing you full power when you need it and taking it down a notch when riding on the flat or descending.
Its RideControl ONE center helps the rider with navigation and provides health and fitness statistics. This information is displayed on your smart device through the Giant E-bike App. The Maestro suspension allows for 140mm of travel in the rear and 150mm in the front.
Giant Trance E+ 1 Pro price: $5,600
Pivot Shuttle Team XTR 2021
The 2021 Team XTR is one of the best mountain e-bikes around, mainly because of its sheer build quality and design. The new Shuttle is powered by a combination of a Shimano EP8 motor producing 85Nm of torque, and an enormous 726 Wh Darfon battery. Its carbon frame and Kashima coated Fox Factory suspension are mounted on the 29-inch tires. Riders will enjoy 160mm of travel in the front and 140mm in the rear.
The bike does not shy away from challenging terrains and handles itself admirably when put to work on different trails. The Shuttle Team XTR’s high-end components show Pivot spared no expense to earn their place among the best electric mountain bikes.
Pivot Shuttle Team XTR 2021 price: $11,699
Moustache Samedi 29 Trail 8
Moustache is a French manufacturer that focuses almost entirely on e-bikes. The Samedi 29 Tail 8 derives its power from a Bosch Performance Line CX motor, continuing the long-lasting relationship between Moustache and Bosch. The motor is coupled with a 625 Wh battery to produce 85Nm torque.
The bike is built on a mixed suspension setup, combining a FOX 36 GRIP2 fork and Moustache’s very own Magic Grip Control shock. Customization allows the shock to match the bike’s kinematics, resulting in comfort and great traction while ascending and descending. It also provides room for 150mm of travel in the rear. The new Samedi’s aluminum frame is elegant and houses the bike’s powerful battery in the downtube.
Moustache Samedi 29 Trail 8 price: $7,527
SCOTT Ransom eRIDE 910
SCOTT’s newest release, the Ransom eRIDE 910, distances itself from its predecessors in several ways. It ditches the Twinlok system and extra bright color finishes donned by earlier models. It is assisted uphill by a Bosch Performance Line CX motor that partners with a 625 Wh battery to produce 85Nm of torque. To ensure riders enjoy the descent, the Ransom eRIDE 910 comes with a FOX 38 Performance Elite fork and GRIP2 damper.
This bike’s 180mm of travel is the longest among our best mountain e-bikes’ selection. Since the shock fits perfectly in the rear end of the bike, you can ride aggressively while still enjoying adequate support.
SCOTT Ransom eRIDE 910 price: $8,217
Also read: The 10 best electric bicycles you can get
If you are in the market for a new electric mountain e-bike, you will be spoilt for choice. Whether you are keen on an e-MTB’s suspension type, frame geometry, or other specifications, you have a wide variety to choose from. There are top-of-the-range options for buyers without a budget limit. There are also suitable options that can meet your needs while allowing you to stay within your budget.