Hill Climbing: E-mountain bikes vs mountain bikes

It is no longer in doubt that the usage of electric bikes is on the rise. If you don’t think so, raise the topic of electric bikes in a room containing serious bikers, and you would see how energetic the discussion would be. 

For any biker reading on an electric mountain bike, they are trying to know if electric bikes are worthy of being used for mountain terrains. We are here to help you answer that question. 

Just like you, we are huge fans of electric bikes, and we provide guides that help out with recommendations on the use of electric bikes. Although electric mountain bikes are fast gaining ground, many people still have issues as regards understanding them. Several people find it hard differentiating between a traditional electric bike and an electric mountain bike.

Yes, it is granted that electric bikes are way better than the non-electric bikes. But when it comes to electric mountain bikes, these sets of bikes are taking the biking experience up to a whole new level entirely. 

But, as exciting as the experience that comes with an electric mountain bike is, there are still many who doubt whether these bikes are better than good old mountain bikes. In this guide, we will help you dissect the difference between electric mountain bikes and traditional mountain bikes. In doing so, we will help you to have an understanding of the differences and the need for an E-MTB. 

Before we delve into the analysis of electric mountain bikes and the traditional ones, let us quickly take you through why e-bikes are generally excellent.

 

Why are e-bikes great?

Electric bikes have been around as far back as the 1990s. However, these e-bikes were not as high as the ones we have now. A whole lot has changed. Firstly, e-bikes are great bikes in that they allow you to ride for as long as you want (as long as they are charged). Also, they are made from high-quality materials. 

Primarily, e-bikes look just like the traditional bikes you see around, but they are designed to be more than the regular. As a matter of fact, they come with an additional electric motor that helps you to pedal more actively.

When it comes to e-bikes, a common misconception which happens is people mixing e-bikes with scooters. No, they are not the same. E-bikes do not come with engines and powerful throttles, and they are very safe to ride and without unnecessary legal constraints. All of these are features peculiar to electric scooters. 

In modern times, e-bikes are designed with a technology referred to as pedelec or pedal assist as often called. This technology is one which allows the motor to provide assistance as you pedal. With this tech, even when you happen to run out of battery, you can still get to your destination by active pedalling. However, this is not the case with electric scooters. So, mostly, these two are not the same.

 

Electric mountain bikes: how do they work?

Electric mountain bikes work through the several parts they comprise. Also, these parts are responsible for their optimization and effectiveness. They include the motor, the battery among others.

Motor

The motor has the responsibility of controlling the torque. The more advanced the motor is, the higher the amount of control it has on the torque and the more power you can derive from the bike. 

Your electric bike may have pedal-assist cranked motors or hub motors. Hub motors are not usually found in top-notch bikes, so we are focusing on cranked motors that provide pedal-assist. 

Crank motors are reputable for the pedal assistance they provide. As such, to get the motor kicking, you have to pedal actively. This helps you to get up steep climbs quickly. The fact that power gets transferred to the motor gives a more natural feel than when the wheel turns round and round by itself.

Depending on the force you put in, the motor can deliver just about the right dose of assistance you need to have a great time with your bike. With an electric mountain bike, the rider gets the feeling of riding a conventional mountain bike, but with the advantage of being able to climb and move faster. 

Battery

This is basically the source of all the fun. Although with e-bikes, you can still move when your battery is dead, the battery is no doubt the source of your excellent riding experience. This is the component that determines how far you can ride.

The batteries of e-bikes are made from lightweight lithium-ion, which is similar to the cells of electric cars. To get them charged, you simply need to plug them into a socket for some hours. The length of hours used in charging depends on the life of your battery itself. While charging the battery, you can leave the battery on the bike, or you can remove it. 

You may feel the need to have additional battery packs. Other battery packs are always available. In fact, most batteries can have their life upgraded to a larger size so they can function better.

Best types of motors

There are a couple of brands that are widely accepted as the top name when it comes to E-MTB motors. They are 

Bosch

We have Bosch motors. Bosch motors can be purchased in three different models. All these models offer the same 250W of power and deliver about 50/60.75Nm of torque. Do not forget that torque determines how much energy you will get from the motor.

Yamaha

Offering almost the same units as Bosch, Yamaha motors are pretty similar to Bosch in term of performance and configuration. They deliver about 70Nm of torque to power the cranks, and they come with an easy to use LCD.

Brose

These are specialized motors made for specific purposes. Customized E-MTB’s are made available with custom Brose batteries and motors made for specific functions. They provide 500Wh and 700Wh batteries and offer 560W and 90Nm of torque. 

 

Advantages of riding an electric mountain bike

There will have been no difference if electric mountain bikes are the same as the traditional bikes. But they are not. Notably, these two have fundamentally almost the components and parts.

They have the same wheels, the same suspension and virtually all other components that you are already used to. The only difference is that E-MTBs provide you with some more power at reduced efforts.

Electric mountain bikes have basically come to ensure that every biker gets maximum freedom when it comes to biking. This will allow riders to be able to explore without being disturbed by their inability to climb or go far enough. Electric mountain bikes feel great, and their parts are easy to maintain and upgrade as and when due. 

With an electric bike, you can ride far into the mountain and discover places that the traditional mountain bike would have made impossible. You can now ride alongside fast bikers without being left behind, only by making use of an E-MTB. In simple terms, these bikes are made to allow everyone to have an optimized cycling experience for fun and fitness. 

Some people say it is cheating

Ever since the advent of e-bikes generally, some people have had the notion that it is a form of cheating. The belief is that giving a bike some type of advantage over the others is not right and does not do justice to others. This is often the response raised by most riders when questioned if an e-bike is a form of cheating. Those set of riders believe that your leg should entirely power anything called a bike.

However, this does not necessarily have to be seen as a form of cheating. Yes, there may be certain advantages e-bikes have over the traditional ones. But, if you are having fun and enjoying your bike experience while using it, what does it matter? Should it be a problem that a form of bike embraces more technology into its use? 

We believe that the ultimate end of cycling is that everyone should be able to access the fantastic experience that comes with it. Everyone should be able to cycle as they wish and not be deprived because traditional bikes cannot go far. Riders should not also be disadvantaged because they cannot pedal as fast as other riders. 

As such, if giving everyone the opportunity of having an amazing biking experience is giving them E-MTBs, then so be it. E-bikes came into existence to strike out excuses for not being able to ride. You don’t have enough time to fit into one lap? You can’t pedal fast enough to catch up with your folks? Are you having issues doing those climbs? E-bikes are the answer, and such an answer is not a form of cheating.

 

What to know before picking out an E-MTB

Before selecting the best E-MTB for your personal use, there are a few important factors that you have to consider. 

You need to know about the drivetrain

Many of the components of electric mountain bikes are the same as those of traditional mountain bikes. However, in recent times, parts that are only specific to electric mountain bikes are getting more frequent.

E-MTBs have a drivetrain that is specifically targeted at better coping with the increased strain going through the chain and the drive. This same drivetrain equally ensures that there is a cleaner gear shift. This way, you avoid putting increased wear on the drivetrain. 

You need to know about the motors

When considering taking up an E-MTB, it is crucial that you consider the motor. This is because the motor is a major part of what delivers the experience you enjoy from E-MTB’s. 

In today’s market, there are five big players manufacturing the most popularly used motors. They are Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose, and Panasonic. 

Bosch and Shimano are still currently the most used. Just like others, they are trying to improve their system through the implementation of new software and hardware for the sake of efficiency. But, in recent times, bike companies are now making their motors to fit the specs of their bikes.

As such, before you take up any E-MTB, you have to ensure that you have considered the motor. Be sure it is a resilient one and one capable of delivering torque that is needed for your bike to function maximally. To be safe, ensure that your motor is from any of those manufacturers listed above.

 

Other components you should consider

Although e-mountain bikes may seem attractive from the first observation, it is always best to carefully look at them. Always look at them in relation to the location where you will be riding them.

As for your tyres, cheap and singly ply tyres are not very ideal. Preferably, do not purchase an e-bike that has these tyres. On the contrary, you are advised to go for such tyres that are wider plus-sized. They are highly recommended. 

Do not forget your brakes. Reliable brakes are crucial. If your area is one with long descents, there are precise hydraulic brakes that will help you have an excellent biking experience there. 

 

Reasons why you should try an electric mountain bike

Electric mountain bikes are gradually becoming the talk of the town for bikers. While some are recommending its use, others are simply against it. We believe you should consider trying one out. 

As such, we shall be highlighting the reasons why you should try out an electric mountain bike.

They make trails more entertaining

All the extra power that comes with an electric mountain bike only means that they make your climbs and ride very easy and fast. Instead of going through the stress that leaves you dripping with sweat, you are provided with the opportunity to go with ease.

They provide with you upper body workout

By strapping a motor and battery to your bike, it makes it heavier than average. But, it also means that your upper half gets some workout while you ride your bike down the trails 

You end up riding even harder

For the pedal-assist, you have to press on the pedals, and this means you have to put in the effort. However, because the full boost is pleasurable, you usually end up pedalling all the time and end up riding hard than when you ride a regular bike.

You can lift yourself and your mates

Using an electric mountain bike, it is easier for you to pull your mates that are lagging up the climb. As long as they are using an E-MTB, you all will ride at the same pace regardless of physical strength.

They lighten up your face

As a result of the extra advantages that come with electric mountain bikes, you cannot ride them and not have a grin on your face. People simply enjoy riding electric bikes.

 

Conclusion

Although some people have criticized electric mountain bikes, we believe that the bike does more good to bikers. 

You should consider using an E-MTB because it ensures that everyone gets the quality experience which comes with optimized biking. Get one today!

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