In this article we address finding a new mountain bike for your kid(s) without breaking the bank (keeping it under $500). In our search we found there are a surprising number of great options around for under $500, with a range of considerations for child – specific design. The bikes listed below balance solid modern design with low prices, making them perfect for parents who are on a budget but want their kids to have a good introduction to mountain biking. We’ve looked at products with quite a wide range of prices, so if your budget is a little less than 500$ then there should still be something here for you.
We are aware that children grow with time – and so shelling out on a smaller bike (which they may quickly grow out of) might not be something that you want to do.
With this in mind we’ve included some adult’s bikes that work well in size small.
If your child is quite large / likely to be too big for most of the bikes on this list then buying one of these bikes for them to grow into would be a good idea.
For each of the bikes linked here to chainreaction cycles, there is a very detailled ‘Sizing Chart’ on each page which can be examined. We’ve also included a section of the Commencal sizing guide above – from the measurements taken in that image you should be able to accurately size a bike to your child based on the table in the specification sheet.
The Bonaly 26 Disc offers nine different gears to choose from.
This bike’s frame is made from the HOY 6066-T6 aluminium heat-treated alloy, making it extremely durable and lightweight. The slightly lower bottom bracket contributes greatly to more secure handling. The bike is designed to be reliable, and long-lasting.
The gear shifting is extremely smooth making this bike a good choice for parents who want to build up their children’s confidence. The straight blade aluminium fork on the front maximises power transfer to the drivetrain – the lack of suspension making the bike faster uphill and on flat terrain.
EvansCycles made the understandable decision to opt for a more rigid, efficient design both here and in the tyres – which are geared towards lightweight efficiency more than cushioning and grip. While the tyres that come with this bike aren’t great for handling more rough terrain, you can easily switch them out with better ones from eBay for cheap. The reality is that most kids in ‘general’ riding won’t need anything more.
The Riprock 24’s large 24 inch tires provide superior grip and control while riding. With the highest grade of aluminium frame on this list you should expect years of regular use with minimal wear and tear while riding this bike. The single chain ring on the front makes the bike far quieter (as there is increased chain tension) over rough terrain. This bike’s extra-large tyres are far superior to the ones on the HOY Bonaly 26” Disc bike, as they are much larger and sturdier. The mechanical disc brakes are very effective and will always allow your child to stop the bike quickly and safely.
The overall geometry of the bike is built for comfort and confidence – the lowered top tube allows for a longer lifespan on the bike – as smaller children will be able to get on it while keeping the frontend very high for maximum stability. In terms of aesthetics the seat is a little large, though if this matters another could easily be acquired online. The customer reviews for this bike are overwhelmingly positive. People who review this bike tend to comment on amazing durability and sleek design.
The Dawes Zombie is an entry-level bike for kids from 9 to 12. It delivers reliable performance with a tough aluminum alloy frame, Shimano drivetrain, and steel fork.
This junior bike is lighter than the other bikes that use steel alloy. As such, kids can maneuver it easily. They will feel less fatigued after biking for long distances. Moreover, because the frame is lightweight, kids will find it easy to increase their biking speed.
The bike weighs 11 kilos.
The Dawes Zombie uses high-tensile steel that is both durable and lightweight. It is perfect for off-road exploring. Take note, however, that although steel is durable, it may rust over time, especially if the paint is stripped off and it is exposed to the elements.
The 1.95-inch tires make the bike suitable for woodland trails while maintaining a relatively low weight and rolling resistance.
The drivetrain is Shimano 3x6 speed, and the brakes are V-brakes. The drivetrain offers a larger gear range than its counterparts, while the V-brakes provide excellent stopping power.
Most users say that the Dawes Zombie is an excellent choice as a starting bike for their child. However, many complain about the handle grips coming off, and the V-breaks can break after some time. Neither of these issues is serious however and can be fixed if or when they occur.
The Cube Kid is an excellent choice for a starting bike for growing kids, aged 7 to 10 years old. It is midway between a child’s bike and an adult’s mountain bike.
The frame is 6061 aluminum, which is a durable frame material for mountain bikes. It features a low top tube that allows kids to get on and off the bike faster. Kids are known to always to test their limits when it comes to their performance on the bike. As such, the derailleur can take a hit during their rides. The derailleur hanger absorbs the impact and can get bent or damaged. Fortunately, the derailleur hanger can easily be replaced.
This bike weighs 11.1 kilos.
The Cube Kid 240 uses a Suntour suspension fork. Suntour is a trusted brand by bicycle manufacturers. Any kid who uses this bike will feel comfortable because the suspension for absorbs the impact of rough terrain.
The Cube features Impac Smartpac tires. Its low profile tread pattern provides low resistance and fast rolling.
The brake levers suit small hands, so your kid has better control of the V-brakes, which provide plenty of power for stopping. The Cube Kid has a power modulator to avoid over-enthusiastic braking in front.
Most users feel satisfied in buying the Cube Kid for their child. However, some users complained about the unsealed bottom bracket and the cheap pedals. These can be easily replaced though with a sealed BB and better pedals. The low-end air fork is adjustable. You can replace it with a high-quality one down the line.
If you are looking for a safe and reliable entry-level bike for your child, you can buy the Kona Makena bike.
For the Kona Makena, it features a butted frame made out of 6061 aluminum alloy. This means that the lightweight frame, with reinforced aluminum at the joints, ensures a comfortable, yet safe ride, even on rough terrains.
The Kona kids’ bike has a Chromoly steel fork. Chromoly, which is chromium-molybdenum, is more robust than ordinary steel; thus, manufacturers use it for high-end bicycle frames. Most manufacturers generally prefer Chromoly steel because it uses less steel for the same tensile strength, leading to a lighter product.
The tires are Kenda Kwick 2.0 x 2.0”. These streamlined tires wear out quickly but are extremely inexpensive, so replacing the tires won’t cost much.
This bike uses V-brakes, Shimano Tourney at its rear end, and a 7-speed cassette for smooth gear shifting.
Most users like the Kona Makena for their kids. Some of them replaced the pedals because they notice that their kid’s feet slip off from the original plastic ones.
The Vitus Twentyfour is lightweight so your little kid can maneuver it with confidence.
This bike has a 6061 lightweight aluminum alloy frame. Aside from aluminum, it contains magnesium and silicon, which is superior to the 7005 aluminum alloy.
This Vitus bike weighs 10.2 kilos only. While it was built for kids aged 5 to 8 years of age, it may be lightweight for kids aged 7 and above, but a bit heavy for kids aged below 8 years old.
The rigid fork is traditional and uncomplicated. It does not require maintenance and repairs, unlike many suspension forks would. Also, it is lighter than using a suspension fork and allows for a more efficient transfer of power to the drivetrain.
This bike also uses Kenda tires, which are inexpensive. So, if you want more durable tires than the Kenda tires, you can replace them as soon as they wear out.
The Shimano 8-speed drivetrain makes it easy to change gears. The Vitus bike has the Acera rear derailleur and Tektro V-brakes for easy to maintain reliable braking.
Most users state that this is a great starter bike for kids, but it would be great if it were made lighter. Some also added that the matte-finish scratches off easily.
GT’s Stomper Ace 24” is perfect as an entry-level bike for your child. It has the LegFit system that ensures an ideal fit for smaller bodies. Meaning, that it is not just a tweak of the adult model.
The Stomper Ace has its pedals slightly further forward and its crankset marginally narrower to better suit the physical dimensions of young children. Your child will pedal more naturally because of these changes. Plus, the alloy frame is lightweight.
The Stomper Ace weighs 11.8 kilos.
The fork is an All Terra, 1-1/8” Threadless Steerer with 50mm Travel. There is not much difference between the threaded and threadless for the user. However, for manufacturers, threadless steerer tubes are less expensive to produce and install, meaning that the choice made by GT is a durability-oriented one.
Stomper Ace tires are Kenda Small Block Eight 24 by 2.10”. The 24” tires roll on various trails smoothly and easily, which make it perfect for mountain biking.
The bike has Promax cable actuated disc, which provides incredible stopping power. The kid does not need to apply a massive force to the lever to make the bike stop. Thus, he does not experience muscle fatigue because he exerts less hand pressure, especially during a long descent.
Most buyers report that their kids are happy with this bike and are also pleased because this bike is inexpensive. Still, some buyers upgraded some parts such as replacing the pedals for a better grip and swapping out the front tire for another brand.
The Commencal Ramones 24 features all the design considerations of an adult bike, built and styled for kids. The frame is constructed from the same 6061 aluminum alloy that can be seen on many of the bikes on this list (a popular choice for good reason), but with the highest quality finish that we’ve seen. The bike itself comes in quite light at 10.5kg, with a traditional rigid fork, which is popular as it does not need maintenance and repair.
The tires are Kenda Slant 6 24 x 2.6”. The plus size acting as an effective form of suspension and are excellent for rough, dry terrain. The tread is quite shallow, giving a fast rolling speed but lesser performance for wet roots and damp ground – if you live in an area where this is likely to be an issue we would recommend you change out the front tyre for something a little more aggressive.
The Ramones 24 features mechanical disc brakes that have kids’ specific Jagwire cables and Tektro levers that can easily tackle small descents. These brakes have small rotors, so they are not very powerful.
The Ramones 24 is a fantastic entry-level bike for kids and one of the best kids – specific bikes on this list.
Bikes for kids to grow in to – Well Adapted Size Small Mountain Bikes
Caliber is a new brand of bikes, so you may not be aware of it. This lightweight mountain bike features sturdy components found in high-end mountain bikes. You may even decide to upgrade some parts so that your child can use it during his adult life.
The hydroforming technology enables manufacturing to fine tune the tube shapes to achieve the appropriate stiffness, weight, and strength. Its multi-faceted outline stays shape-shift on the journey from the sculpted dropouts to the seat tube, providing a lot of tire space for messy rides. The head tube’s diameter is increased to prevent the chassis from twisting. Calibre Two.Two only has two frame sizes: 18 inches and 20 inches. For those of shorter stature, you may need to search for other bikes.
The bike weighs 13.9 kilos.
The Two.Two uses the pukka RockShox XC 28 coil-sprung fork. It has a lockout dial and an adjustable rebound damping.
This Calibre bike features the Vigilante 2.3” in front and the Bronson 2.1” in the rear, which is a bit sketchy on wet terrain. It would be best to swap it out for Schwalbe tires.
The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes need maintenance like other hydraulic brakes. So, if your kid will use this bike, you need to check on the brakes from time to time.
Most users love the Calibre Two.Two, but some complain that the chain breaks a few months after moderate use. The bottom head bearing may need replacement because it is not corrosion-resistant. Water can seep into damage the bearing. In essence, you need to maintain this bike properly if you intend to use this bike in the long term.
Calibre Rake is an affordable and durable 29-inch mountain bike with lightweight, robust aircraft-grade aluminum.
This bike comes in a 6061 hydroformed alloy frame with a 69-degree head angle that’s not slack but fares better compared to 29er bikes in the same price range. Plus, the seat angle is at 74-degree that provides a lot of room for maneuvering downhill. Actually, the 74-degree angle is within the standard range of 70 to 75 degrees. Since your child will not be racing, this angle is perfect as it will not transfer the weight on his hands that can cause aches and pains. Steep angles, which keep hip angle open, are for racers who need more breathing power.
The bike weighs 14.74 kilos.
There are limits to upgrade potential on the fork since the head tube isn’t tapered. However, its fork has rebound damping and adjustable preload sensitivity. Although the fork’s stanchions can bend and twist if pushed too hard, your kid can still navigate through rocks, roots, and steps with confidence and speed.
The front tire is a WTB Vigilante 29 x 2.3” while the rear tire is a WTB Trail Boss 29 x 2.25”. Moreover, the 29in wheels offer a speed-sustaining ride that keeps the bike rolling smoothly over whatever surface.
The brakes are Shimano Hydraulic Disc and offer incredible stopping power, which will inspire much-needed confidence when getting started in mountain biking.O
Some users report that the wheels are heavy, so the bike does not roll or accelerate on smooth pavements as well as they would expect. However, the descents prove to be lots of fun because the weight of the wheel contributes to a sense of stability and security.
Budget Options – Best Kids Mountain Bikes under $250
The frame of this bike is made from the 6061 alloy, making the sturdiness of the frame no question, while at the same time being light and easy to manoeuvre. While the large saddle isn’t exactly streamlined the thick cushioning acts as a form of shock absorber. Parents who want to get their child a bike they can grow into will find that this Dawes Blowfish model is a wonderful option. One of the big differences between this bike and the others in this article is that it has a single speed design.
This might be a drawback for some, but it means less maintenance and upkeep over time, along with a bike that doesn’t constantly rattle (which is quite refreshing) due to increased tyre volume. The tyres are high enough volume and thick enough to ride over muddy or uneven terrain without any major issues, the frame and saddle compensate surprisingly well for the lack of a sprung front suspension fork. You will find that this bike has mostly positive reviews from parents who are very happy with how solid and dependable it is, with many commenting in the surprisingly light weight.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_frame#Aluminum_alloys https://www.arc-zone.com/blog/joewelder/2009/01/08/metal-of-the-month-chromoly/ http://www.roadbikereview.com/product/wheels/tires-clincher/kenda/kwick.html http://www.mtbr.com/product/bikes/kids/kona/makena.html http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ph/en/gt-stomper-ace-24-bike-2019/rp-prod176138 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headset_(bicycle_part)#Comparing_threaded_and_threadless_headsets https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headset_(bicycle_part)#Comparing_threaded_and_threadless_headsets https://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/ditch-cable-disc-brakes-48260/ http://forums.mtbr.com/families-riding-kids/gt-stomper-ace-24-a-1068709.html https://www.singletracks.com/bike-reviews/Tires/Kenda-Slant-Six_3194 https://janheine.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/disc-brake-pros-and-cons/ http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ph/en/commencal-ramones-24-kids-bike-2018/rp-prod160343?utm_source=affiliate-window&utm_medium=affiliates&utm_campaign=The%2520Bike%2520List&utm_term=The%2520Bike%2520List&utm_content=Editorial%2520Content&awc=2698_1540028715_5fc04fbd6310ceb126ed476ee025a536 https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a20023166/the-beginners-guide-to-disc-brakes/ https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/calibre-two-two-v2-mountain-bike-p383858 https://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/category/bikes/mountain-bikes/hardtail/product/review-calibre-two-two-13-47865/ http://calibrebicycles.com/bike/rake/ https://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/best-mountain-bikes-under-500-29451/ https://talesofamountainmama.com/2015/04/kona-makena-20-kids-bike.html http://forums.mtbr.com/families-riding-kids/gt-stomper-ace-24-a-1068709.html https://www.commencal-store.co.uk/ramones-24-silver-2019-c2x26307516 https://www.twowheelingtots.com/commencal-ramones-16/ https://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/category/bikes/mountain-bikes/hardtail/product/calibre-rake-review-51867/ http://www.cyclesprog.co.uk/reviews/kids-bike-reviews/cube-kid-240-sl-review/ https://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/confused-about-low-end-suntour-suspension-forks-640272.html https://www.slowtwitch.com/Tech/What_science_says_of_seat_angles_222.html
The Best Drones For Mountain Biking
How to Choose a Mountain Biking Drone?
You’ve got your mountain bike equipped specifically for your needs. You have your route planned. You have your action camera mounted on your bike or yourself. How do you take it to the next level?
One way is to capture some drone footage.
Drone footage can add an entirely different perspective to your footage and give you a film-grade footage of your ride if done right.
Don’t worry – we will help you with that!
The Best Mountain Biking Drone
The best drone for nature that features a standard RGB visual light camera is the Mavic 2 Pro. This aircraft includes:
- A 20-megapixel sensor that creates a still image size of 5472 x 3648. It can also shoot video in 4K, which makes it one of the best cameras on the drone market.
- Temperature operation is between 14deg F to 104deg F.
But what makes this an ideal mountain biking drone?
It has an Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing system, which allows it to swiftly avoid the many obstacles along the trail. Whether it is forward, backward, up, down, left or right, this system makes the Mavic 2 Pro perfect for forests.
Currently, no other drone on the market avoids obstacles in every direction while taking stills with a 20-megapixel sensor.
It is lightweight, just under 2lbs, and foldable so that it can fit in your cargo pocket or a small hard case.
- TIP: Add the DJI Goggles to get a first person view of what your drone sees, and you will have a solid system for filming nature. What ties it all together is that having these features don’t bump up the price considerably.
Contributor: Army Lt. Col. Jeremy Latchaw from Macatawa Unmanned Systems
The Best Cheap Mountain Biking Drone
The DJI Mavic Air aims to give you a similar, high quality experience found on the Mavic Pro 2, with a more affordable pricetag.
So what can it offer in terms of video?
Like the Pro 2, the drone:
- Shoots in 4K, capturing detailed, smooth video thanks to its 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilization.
- Has additional features like slow motion at 120 fps 1080p, to give a dramatic effect that will remind your audience of an intense, high-speed chase film.
Very important for mountain biking is that this drone retains the tracking feature and the Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing system, which allows you to ride and film at the same time, allowing you to ditch your camera-man.
The sacrifices you make for choosing this lower price option are few such as the slower flying speeds;
- 18 mph in auto mode
- 42 mph in sport mode,
- Lower transmission range
- Less sturdy but lighter frame.
- It is also controlled with a smartphone, through an app, instead of a dedicated controller. But you might prefer that.
Other benefits over the Mavic Pro 2 are that it is smaller and lighter, allowing it to be transported easily in a case, which is a must when you don’t have extra space to spare on your bike or in your pack.
I have used this compact drone for many videos of walks and rides. All in all, the imagery is stunning, the operation is simple, and the drone and remote control can fit into a large pocket.
For those who understand you don’t necessarily need a flagship product, and Mavic Air is a perfect example of a drone that hits the sweet-spot between value and quality.
Contributor: Ron Humes from Post Modern Marketing
The Best Mountain Biking Cameras
If you’re after a high-quality first person video capturing your trail, look no further.
The Best Mountain Biking Action Camera
GoPro’s latest camera takes hyperstabilization to the next level. When you’re riding rough tough trails, getting airbourne or this feature will smooth out the shot without the hassle of using gimbal.
This action camera offers:
- 4K/60. Previous cameras only had 4K/30 which is fine for the average GoPro user but if you’re into action sports, you’re going to appreciate this new feature.
- Includes TimeWarp, also known as Hyperlapse, but this camera takes time-lapse video instead of photographs, ultimately creating smoother footage.
The pain point of all previous GoPro cameras has been the user experience and GoPro has finally taken care of that with their new screen design. They have simplified the options, menus, and modes which now display clearly, letting you know exactly what setting you’re on.
The Best Value GoPro for Mountain Biking
When the GoPro Fusion was released the initial reviews were less than stellar and users felt that its release was premature because the software had some catching up to do. But after a few updates and tweaks, we feel that it’s fair to give this 360-degree action camera a review.
One of our favorite features of this palm-sized camera is the rubbery finish to the exterior. This finish is very durable and it will survive even the bumpiest bike rides.
Other interesting features include:
- You can also change the mode settings manually and the camera face will let you know exactly what mode you’re shooting in.
- This camera does include time-lapse features like the Hero7 but they are not as advanced and refined.
- This camera is also compatible with GoPro’s accessories and you can mount it on everything from a bike to a surfboard.
The best accessory to use with this camera is the mono/tri-pod/selfie-stick and it comes with the Fusion for FREE! Lucky you!
Contributor: Ryan Tolbert from Boutique Film Lab
The Best Budget Action Cameras for Mountain Biking
When it comes to action cameras, most like to stick with big names like GoPro. But you should know there are plenty of other more affordable options which easily give GoPro a run for their money.
The Akaso Action Sports Camera is one such example that offers the following:
- Remote control operation
- Built-in WIFI and HDMI
- 170-degree wide angle shots.
- It records 30 frames per second and takes 12MP photos to give you professional quality footage every time.
Finally the 90-minute battery life and solid waterproof durable construction ensure that it can handle even your most extreme adventures.
Contributor: Sam Maizlech from Glacier Wellness
The Best E-Bikes | The Best Electric Mountain Bikes
E-Bikes and Mountain E-Bikes | Introduction
This piece has been compiled in response to demand from our users and a notable absence of E-Bike information online, especially with respect to mountain E-Bikes. This page should continue to evolve with time as more contributors add to it. If you’re looking for something very specific, the contents menu above should point you in the right direction. This article contains specific E-Bike reviews for both mountain E-Bikes and ‘general purpose’ E-Bikes, a guide for how to build an E-bike, and a review of industry contributors.
Raleigh Bikes USA
Bosch E-Bike Engineering
Gee Atherton – E-Bike Interview
Image By Moonheadmedia
Do you own an electric bike or use electric parts on your bikes?
Not yet! But again it’s in the plan for Atherton Bikes. Our mum has an electric bike and she loves it – I think it’s awesome that everybody can get out more and put in more laps.
Do you think electric parts (for example drivetrains) are something we will see in ‘regular’ mainstream Mountain Biking in the near future?
Yes, gears, seatposts, drivetrains (SRAM’s Eagle AXS) who knows what next! We (Atherton Bikes) are bringing new technologies into the sport ourselves through additive manufacturing so we are especially open to considering these new advances and we’re keen to embrace the new technologies that give the rider a clear benefit.
Do you see mountain e-bikes becoming big in mountain bike racing in the future?
Definitely – it’s already a thing! The UCI have announced that there will be an ebike category in this year’s World Champs at Mont St Anne.
E-Bikes are the fastest growing segment in the entire American cycling industry. The pedal-assist motor helps riders tackle hills, and you don’t have to break a sweat commuting to work. In fact, a recent Portland University study found that people with eBikes actually doubled their usage every week compared to those with regular bikes.
From a riding perspective, an eBike flattens hills and shrinks distances by providing a boost to the rider’s human effort. From a design perspective, an eBike has a motor integrated in between the pedals along with a battery and controls that adjust how much assistance the rider receives.
Bosch eBike Systems sells the drive unit, battery, display and charger to the manufacturer. The eBikes are assembled in Europe or Asia. The drive unit is bolted on to the frame along with a special mount for the batteries, whether it’s inserted inside the frame ( PowerTube 500 ) or if it’s bolted onto the frame ( PowerPack ). The display is put onto the handlebars and the cabling is routed through the frame. Once the bike is built, it’s tested and shipped overseas to North America.
E-Bike products are getting more compact. The energy density is improving for batteries and motors are becoming lighter, quieter, and more seamlessly integrated into the bike frame. Display systems are getting smarter and more connected with new technology. For example, the Kiox display can connect to wearable sensors to track your heart rate.
We’ve seen an uptick in eBikes as a transportation tool. Five years ago, the predominant user used eBikes as a recreational device, and now we’re seeing more dedicated commuters using eBikes. This has been helped by the movement of electric bike share.
Bike share companies are introducing eBikes in their fleets and they’re seeing an increase in ridership. Along, with more bike dealers catering to commuters, eBikes are a new form of transportation that is here to stay.
Jonathan Weinert – Bosch eBike Systems
There is nothing worse, after flying down a hillside at hair raising speeds, than having to drag yourself and your bike all the way back up to the top again. We can all agree that the best part about mountain biking is going downhill, or across a trail, fast.
Tiredness and fatigue kick in, but you really aren’t ready to call it a day and head home. So, what do you do? Let the battery kick in and fire you right back up to the top.
Mountain E-Bikes are the greatest thing to hit the track. They allow you to milk every last second of fun while being in the great outdoors and we think they are worth every penny.
They help you go faster, further and help you when you’re fatigued. They can do everything a regular mountain bike can, just a little bit better.
I know what you are thinking though, E-bikes are generally a bit on the larger side, a bit dopey and are hardly agile enough to use for mountain biking.
You would be wrong though, very very wrong. Mountain e-bikes have come a long way in their development. The frames are stronger and lighter, the motors go quicker, and they are more durable now than ever.
E-MTB motors pack a punch, they can assist you up to and over 25KPH. Trailing has never been more fun because now you can do twice the riding in half the time. Your favourite tracks will never be the same again.
Traveling across the country, or uphill becomes a lot easier and takes less toll on you. Less achy muscles mean more fun, for longer.
There are three leading players making motors for mountain E-Bikes.
All three are from significant players in and across different industries so you can rest your mind knowing you are investing in a solid and durable piece of equipment.
But, as more and more companies are getting involved, we are now seeing manufacturers producing their own motors with interchangeable batteries.
When e-bikes first appeared on the scene, they were bigger and had a considerable amount of weight to them. What we love about where we are now is how much more agile and durable they have become.
As we know geometry plays a massive role in the handling, speed, and durability of a mountain bike. Mountain E-Bikes are now almost interchangeable with standard mountain bikes in this respect. In terms of weight, if you take off the battery pack there isn’t too much of a difference (about 2-3kg). The battery itself sits inside or on top of an oversized downtube which keeps it safe from damage and places it in a position which has minimal impact on the handling and agility.
Looking to the future, we’ll be seeing EMTBs gradually getting closer to weighing in at “normal bike” weight.
Best Electric Mountain Bike
Vitus has been around since the early 1970’s building and supplying bikes. What we love about Vitus as a company is their unassuming drive to keep the best possible ratio of cost to quality, in buying a Vitus you pay for the bike not the brand.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that they have produced an outstanding E-MTB. Built upon the base of the ever popular Sommet enduro bikes the E-Sommet has proven to be just as capable as the motor less-range and just as much fun.
Vitus have created this bike with optimal geometry in mind, which means they designed it to work to its maximum potential while being suitable for everyday use by amateurs and pros alike.
It harnesses a Shimano Steps 8000 MTB pedal assisted motor and uses the suspension from the hugely successful Sommet enduro range.
The Shimano Steps motor system has three modes; eco, trail or boost and can charge to 80% in under two hours.
It sits on 27.5” x 2.5” wheels and has clearance to allow for up to 2.8” plus sized tires. The rear suspension is excellent and packs 160mm of travel.
This bike has a really commanding and domineering feel to it, eating up the descents with confidence. The extra weight added by the battery and motor has a surprisingly small effect on the nimbleness of the bike. It looks great, and we certainly think at this price point it would take something truly spectacular to beat it.
Rocky mountain was founded in Vancouver, Canada. Home to some of the most amazing and diverse trail terrain in the world. It doesn’t surprise us then they not only produce hardcore mountain bikes, but they now have an electric mountain bike range which is even more hardcore!
The PowerPlay range of bikes is their range of electric mountain bikes, they have a few different models, and we are looking at the Altitude PowerPlay 70. They claim this bike has been designed for aggressive trail riding, we believe it.
The whole bike set up is based on the layout of the non-electric altitude which is a fantastic bike in itself. They set out to achieve the same suspension and geometry design but with added electric power.
This means you have an Electric mountain bike which closely replicates the ride of an amazing aggressive trail bike but with more power!
It has a PowerPlay drive 250W/48V motor which is powered by a Li-Ion 632Wh. This is one of the largest and most powerful batteries on the market. The motor is extremely quiet, and It also features an inline torque sensor to deliver power when needed most, there is currently no other system which has a sensor like this.
Rear travel is 150mm thanks to the the Fox Float DPS shock, the front forks are Fox 36 E- MTB float which gives us 160mm travel.
The brakes are powered by Shimano – who obviously needs no introduction.
The Rocky mountain swallows up trails for fun, the setup and aggressive riding nature of the bike is great for downhill trail riding. What we love about this is the powerful motor makes getting up any hill a piece of cake.
If you’re looking for an E-MTB which has tonnes of power but closely mimics the ride of a standard MTB, then this is a strong contender. The whole PowerPlay range by Rocky mountain is a cut above.
They aren’t the cheapest bikes around, far from it. But when you take into consideration the build quality, the ride and power then you can understand why it is priced at the top end of the market.
Trek is hardly a company that needs an introduction. This is an excellent piece of kit. It is strong and durable has some cool modern features which offer it some recognition.
It features a Bosch performance CX motor which is powered by a 500Wh battery. The great thing about this is the RIB (removable integrated battery) which has a protective cover on the side. Less dirt gets into it, and it is super simple to plug into.
In E-MTB mode the battery will switch between three modes, Turbo, Sport and Tour. It will automatically adjust depending on the level of effort you are putting in. Uphill it will get the job done, but downhill this thing really comes alive.
It has the same geometrical set up as Treks high performing trail bikes, and this is great for riding, but when it goes against the other mountain E-Bikes we have here it is a little dated in riding position design.
It sits on Fox Performance 36 forks [US Link] with 160mm front and rear travel, the rear RockShox Super Deluxe [US Link] smoothly eating up rocks and bumps. It comes standard with 27.5” x 2.8” plus sized tires.
The Trek Powerfly 9 LT is a superb bike for someone new to E-Bikes but not necessarily mountain biking on the whole. We feel for more advanced riders though there are better options about (either getting a cheaper model and modifying or a higher end base spec would be more economical). With the price in mind you do get value for money, but with mountain E-Bikes and the whole E-Bike scene evolving so quick it likely won’t seem that way for long.
We have dived into the world of mountain E-Bikes and as much fun as they are, they are also costly. Not everyone wants a high-end electric mountain bike, so for the average rider or the city commuter what are your options?
When you’re shopping in the sub $800 range of electric bikes, your choices are a little more limited. You won’t get a lightweight frame and neither will you get brand named parts. Not too worry though, you will be able to upgrade these as your needs require higher-end equipment.
E-Bikes, on the whole, are great for getting around towns and cities, they don’t pollute, save valuable time, and you won’t get caught in any traffic jams what isn’t there to love?
The only downfall when it comes to most e-bikes is the price. We all know with tech and gadgets the more you pay, the better the quality you usually get. Well, this is pretty much the same with electric bikes.
Although, there are some gems out there for under $800 which are well worth investing in. Just remember when buying an e-bike think safety first. Always check the batteries and wiring conforms to standards.
You want to make sure your ebike will last the test of time and that the manufacturer offers a warranty on the motor and battery. Most commuter style ebikes are meant for local riding around towns and cities.
Keep this in mind when looking for an ebike as if you want to take it off-road you will have to increase your budget a little.
This is one of the most popular affordable e-bikes around. It is designed for the average commuter and works perfectly around towns or cities.
Ancheer is an American brand with head offices in Los Angeles, and most of the bikes are manufactured in Taiwan and China.
The Ancheer Power Plus bike has a foldable frame for secure storage, if you don’t want to leave your bike outside the office, you can stick it in the store cupboard quite easily.
The bike itself is strong and sturdy although we wouldn’t recommend you take it off-road.
It is powered by a 250w brushless motor which delivers smooth and consistent power. The battery is a 36v 8Ah Lithium-ion which offers a range between 15 – 30 miles.
It reaches a top speed of around 15MPH, but obviously, you would need to take into account terrain and weight.
As far as commuter style electric bikes go this is one of the better ones on the market. It will allow you to travel to town or your office and with it being foldable it is quite unique in its storage capabilities.
The charging time is between 4-6 hours, and the battery isn’t removable which we found to be a little bit of a pain, but they do offer a one-year warranty on the motor and battery.
Overall the Ancheer is a great little bike and perfect for commuting, the foldable aspect of the bike is a great touch for a full-size bike and makes it easy to get on a busy train or bus.
The Merax aluminum electric mountain bike is an amazing e-bike. It is quick, smart and looks like a regular town bike.
As with most e-bikes, it is manufactured in the far east, they do have their own website, but it is more based around troubleshooting than anything.
The Merax electric mountain bike is made from standard parts, which keeps the prices down for e-bikes, we do like the Shimano 7 speed shifter which is a nice touch.
It comes with a 350w high-speed motor powered by a 36.8V 8.8Ah Lithium Ion Battery. Battery charge time is around 5 – 6 hours.
On average you should get around 18 – 20 miles travel distance with a top speed of 32KMh from the Merax, but as with most smaller batteries, when the weather is cold, this will reduce its ability to hold a charge to a lesser degree.
It comes with five levels of PAS (Pedal Assist) which helps if you’re going up a hill or are running late for a meeting and you need some more power. The thumb throttle for pure electric mode is fun, and the bike does have a little spark to it.
The great thing about this electric bike is the battery is removable so you can lock your bike away in the garage overnight and charge the battery safely in your home or office during the day.
Overall the Merax is a great commuter bike and does what it says on the tin. For the price point, you are getting a decent level commuter e-bike, and you can always upgrade smaller parts to make it a little more to your taste, e.g. seat, handlebar, brakes, etc.
Most of the e-bikes you will come across in the under $1000 bracket will likely be worth the money, but aren’t made for more adventurous use. Which is why we have chosen to add the Ecotric Fat Tire Bike to the list.
It gives you the comfort and reliability of an electric commuter bike but also the ability to add a little more adventure to your ride. If your daily commute takes you a little off-road or you want a little more stability in the winter or the beach, then this is a strong contender.
It is powered by a 500W brushless gear motor which is fed from a 36V 12Ah removable lithium battery. The bike can hit speeds of 23MPH and cover around 19 miles on a full charge.
Charge time is around 4-6 hours, and the battery does come off so you can charge it without needing to drag your bike through the office!
It has a throttle control and has a full electric mode or pedal assist so you can decide if you want to get a little workout or just cruise into the office without breaking a sweat.
It rides on 26” x 4” Fat tires. These are great for control and at higher speeds offer greater durability. They also give you the freedom to get a little more adventurous which our other e-bikes don’t. This bike can take on the beach and snow.
Overall this is a great all-rounder if you live in a town with more hills or If you have some cross country in your commute. It is a little on the heavier side at 58LBS, but for the size and weight, it does move really well. The fat tires and mountain design also give this bike much more scope for a battery upgrade in future without making it dangerous.
Blurring the lines with E-Bikes
RetroWheels USA has announced pre-sales on the Lohner Falkon electric bike. Borne of an Austrian lineage dating back to 1821, the Lohner Falkon is sleek and striking. The Lohner Falkon is the world’s only design-forward, two-seater electric bike.
It features graceful body contours and precise angles with a handsome, circular headlamp, functional front suspension, passenger foot pegs, and a large, two-seater leather saddle.
The Lohner Falkon’s comes equipped with a 2-gallon front glove compartment, perfect for storing extra batteries and water bottles. It’s motor is powered by a 48V Lithium Ion Battery with 14 AMP hours.
Contributor: Alex Tiedtke, CEO
Organization: RetroWheels USA
Contributor: Phoebe Conner
I’ve recently purchased a pinnacle lithium ion e-bike for commuting to work. It’s a hybrid electric bike so it’s definitely sturdy enough to take on the (many) potholes I encounter on my ride to work. It’s got 3 power assist modes (Eco, Normal and High) as well as 10 Shimano gears which means you can constantly adapt it to the conditions of your commute.
The battery has a 60km charge, although this very much depends on the mode you ride it in. There is a helpful little display on the handlebars to give you an idea of how much charge you’ve got left (as well as your speed and which assist mode you’re in).
The battery itself detaches from the bike which I think is really handy as, if you’re short on space, you only have to bring the battery in to charge rather than try and get the whole bike near a socket.
Contributor Website: www.yesihaveablog.com/category/outdoor-wellness
How to Build An E-Bike
Maximising E-Bike Battery Life for Touring
Contributor: Mark Prior
I have traditionally used a non-ebike to tow my 3 year-old son on multi-day bike touring adventures.
I am an experienced and fit cyclist, but find the effort drains me of capacity to parent well and enjoy the adventure together. With that in mind, I set out to build a custom sport-oriented ebike with the capability to power us over great distances with minimal charging.
Some key design elements:
- Carry 2 (or more) batteries for greater flexibility and a safety buffer. You can charge quickly in parallel, use one while the other charges, and if something goes haywire on a remote mountain, you have a backup.
- Buy an aftermarket controller (like the EggRider), which will allow you to set custom pedal-assist levels. This way you can fine tune your PAS levels to find the perfect “power drip” that will get you over the mountain without draining the battery depending on how much power you are putting out. You can also setup two PAS modes – one for touring (with the above settings) and regular one for normal life.
- Remove the throttle (if you have one) – too much of a temptation! Just use the PAS levels.
- Purchase batteries with a low weight to power ratio. This is not just about spending more on better cells, but picking the right-size. Generally, the largest and smallest batteries are slightly less weight efficient.
- Run all accessories off the main battery. Silly to carry a bunch of little other batteries (in the form of rechargeable lights, etc….) when you already have a huge, efficient power system. This will require some voltage changing usually, but that’s not too complicated.
- Like any bike setup, carry extra small parts for your motor/battery that could come in handy. Example: many setups use magnets to detect brake engagement. If you lose it, your toast. Bring extra.
- This is obvious, but weight matters on ebikes too. There are a lot of after market ebike components that save weight and resist the urge to save money by purchasing cheap alloy parts that will weigh you and your motor down.
I use two batteries in combination – one triangle pack and one square. Specs in the batteries section below.
Together they last about 110 miles at standard power, which is about 20 mph on flats using midrange PAS. In my testing, pouring more power into it barely increases speed and eats battery.
To assist with anyone trying to build something similar to a bike like this, we’ve included a specification sheet kindly given by Mark below.
|Frame||1||$480.00||$480.00||Soma Wolverine 3.0 60cm||Soma|
|Battery||1||$569.00||$569.00||52V 20.4Ah (14S6P-35E) High-Energy Hardcase Pack, 40A Smart BMS||EM3EV|
|Battery 2||1||$469.00||$469.00||52V 17Ah High Energy Pack With 40A Max Smart BMS (14S5P-35E)||EM3EV|
|Charger||1||$100.00||$100.00||To suit battery||Luna|
|Seat Post Clamp||1||$6.00||$6.00||To fit seat post||Ebay|
|Seat||1||$24.00||$24.00||Pick one your comfortable on!||Ebay|
|Headset||1||$37.80||$37.80||Cane Creek EC34/28.6|EC34/30||Ebay|
|Stem||1||$18.00||$18.00||TOSEEK Aluminum Alloy Bike Stem 31.8 70mm 6 Degree Mountain Bike Stem for Bicycle, Road Bike, MTB Matt Black 70mm||Amazon|
|Handlebar||1||$24.00||$24.00||UpanBike Urban Road||Amazon|
|Grips||1||$20.39||$20.39||Race Face Half Nelson||Amazon|
|Front Wheel||1||$112.00||$112.00||Sunlyte, Deoro Hub, Qr 9×100||REI|
|Rear Wheel||1||$30.00||$30.00||Sunlyte Rhino||Performance sale|
|Tire||2||$61.10||$122.20||Schwalbe Marathon Almotion HS 453 Cross/Hybrid Bicycle Tire 29 x 2.00||Amazon|
|Valves||1||$10.00||$10.00||Any standard valves||Jensen|
|Rear Der||1||$20.00||$20.00||Personal Preference||Jensen|
|Rear shifter||1||$30.00||$30.00||Personal Preference||Jensen|
|Brake Mount Front||1||$7.00||$7.00||Personal Preference||Jensen|
|Brake Mount Rear||1||$10.00||$10.00||Personal Preference||Jensen|
|Clutch||1||$1.00||$1.00||Personal Preference||Green Bike Kit|
|Extra Display||1||$58.00||$58.00||DPC 18||Green Bike Kit|
|Lock Nut||1||$7.00||$7.00||Personal Preference||Green Bike Kit|
|Throttle Upgrade||1||$8.00||$8.00||Personal Preference||Green Bike Kit|
|Nylon Gear||1||$20.00||$20.00||Personal Preference||Luna|
|Adapter Bolts||1||$1.00||$1.00||Personal Preference||Green Bike Kit|
|Frame Bag||1||$165.00||$165.00||Relevate Ripio XL||REI|
|Front light||1||$13.00||$13.00||Personal Preference|
|Rear light||$0.00||4 watt|
Arguably the most important component of any E-Bike, the battery is both the heaviest component and the one that controls how fast the bike can accelerate. On account of an abscence of much meaningful battery comparison being done online, the table below should be helpful for anyone looking to buy a battery that improves the performance of their bike.
Before reading however, there are some points that should be understood such that you can choose a battery with the right attributes to suit the performance gains you are after.
- Amp Hours = How long the battery will last.
- Volts = The ‘horsepower’ of the battery
- Watts and Kilowatts (W and KW) = Amps * Volts
- Watts and Kilowatts can also be represented as the total energy of the battery divided by time.
|Config||Cell||Ah||KWh||Kg||Price||$/KWh||Kg/KWh||$/Ah||Link to Product
E-Bike Research | The Future of E-Bikes
To conclude, we have performed a brief patent study based on data from the EPO and produced some statistics showing E-Bike development and research has increased in pace as the cycling industry has grown, with the trend being more inventions in this area, year after year.
The top 30 all time biggest contributors to electric bike technology
The number of E-Bike related Patents since 2007
Mountain Biking Discount Codes and Vouchers
Directory For Mountain Biking Discount Codes
Here we bring together the discount codes for all the biggest mountain biking sites selling products all over the world. The aim is to allow the most mountain bikers to get the best prices possible on their gear. The table below will be updated whenever a new code is created. If you are aware of a discount code and you want it to be included then email: email@example.com
We will be including discount codes for mountain biking products on Amazon in this spreadsheet in the near future.
Current relevant Amazon discount codes:
Padded Cycling Shorts undergarment – 50% OFF.
|Store||Code||Description||Link to Page|
|ProBikeKit US & Canada||TYREMB||Buy 2 Get 5% off or Buy 4 Get 10% off – use the code TIREMB|
|Wiggle US||TRIATHLON42||Save $160 Off $800 Spend|
|Wiggle US||TRIATHLON41||Save $100 Off $500 Spend|
|Wiggle US||TRIATHLON40||Save $40 Off $200 Spend|
|Wiggle US||CYCLE06||Save off $80 Off $400 Spend|
|Wiggle US||CYCLE05||Save $40 Off $200 Spend|
|Wiggle US||CYCLE28||Save off $80 Off $400 Spend|
|Wiggle US||CYCLE27||Save $40 Off $200 Spend|
|Wiggle US||BIKE08||Save $400 Off $4000 Spend|
|Wiggle US||BIKE07||Save $200 Off $2000 Spend|
|Wiggle US||BIKE41||Save $400 Off $4000 Spend|
|Wiggle US||BIKE40||Save $200 Off $2000 Spend|
|Chain Reaction Cycles (US & Canada)||SSCLOFEB||Save $40 Off $200 Spend; Save $80 Off $400 Spend|
|Chain Reaction Cycles (US & Canada)||SSBIKEFEB||Save $200 Off $2000 Spend|
|Chain Reaction Cycles (US & Canada)||CLEAR2019||10% off on clearance products|
|Probikekit International||CLOTH15||15% off clothes|
|Probikekit International||TOP10||10% off on ‘selected items’|
|ProBikeKit US & Canada||CLOTH15||Use the code CLOTH15 – max discount $35|
|ProBikeKit US & Canada||TOP10||Enjoy an EXTRA 10% OFF when you use the code TOP10 *max discount $35|
|Chain Reaction Cycles (US & Canada)||NCV2019||New Customers ONLY up to 40% off on clearance products.|
|Wiggle US||NEWUS||Save $10 when you spend $100. NEW CUSTOMERS only. Use code: NEWUS|
|Wiggle US||NEWCA||Save $10 when you spend $100. NEW CUSTOMERS only. Use code: NEWCA|
|Tweeks Cycles||No Code, will be automatically applied at checkout.||FREE UK mainland delivery on orders over $14.99 at Tweeks Cycles|
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