Electric Mountain Bike Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

electric mountain bike on the mountain slope

The best electric mountain bikes have skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade, so much so that nearly all bike brands, including Eskute, are making these bikes. They make cycling on the trail easier and more fun.

So, if you are thinking about buying an electric mountain bike, you need to dig in and do some research. For instance, there is a lot you need to know before buying the eMTB model that you like.

This eMTB buying guide will walk you through everything you need to know before buying the best electric mountain bike. Read on to learn!

Is it legal to ride an electric mountain bike in the UK?

Most electric mountain bikes (also known as electrically assisted pedal mountain bikes - EAPCs) are legal in the United Kingdom. However, riders must follow some regulations:

  • You must be over the age of 14 years to ride an electric mountain bike in the UK.
  • The electric mountain bike must have pedals, and you should be able to propel the bike using the pedals.
  • The bike's motor must stop running once you attain a speed of 15.5 miles per hour (25km/h). However, you can pedal as fast after the motor cuts off.
  • You can ride your electric mountain bike anywhere in the UK as long as that location allows non-assisted e-bikes.
  • The maximum power output of your e-bike's motor must be at most 250W.
  • It is recommended to use a helmet while riding your electric mountain bike. However, it is not compulsory.


How can I verify if my electric mountain bike is legal or not?

Most electric mountain bikes have a plate or sticker showing all the necessary legal information, which allows you to verify whether the bike you buy is legal.

For instance, you should search for the CE conformity mark. The conformity mark assures you that the electric mountain bike has passed all the required or relevant tests and is fit for mountain biking.

You can also look for the motor's power output and manufacturer information. Besides, you can search for the battery voltage and maximum speed of the electric mountain bike you plan to buy.

Do I need a licence to ride an electric mountain bike in the UK?

The United Kingdom does not need any licence before you can ride your electric mountain bike.

The only requirement needed is that your e-bike must be legal and should conform to the standard biking regulation as discussed above.

Types of Electric Mountain Bikes

Although there are many different terms that brand manufacturers use to describe their eMTBs, there are four basic types of electric mountain bikes.

  1. Cross-Country Electric Mountain Bikes

These bikes are your ideal option if pedalling performance is your top priority. It is also suited for riders who prioritize mountain climbing over descending. For instance, they are lung-busting and uphill-crushing bikes designed for efficiency and endurance.

Features of Cross-Country Electric Mountain Bikes

  • Wheel size: 29 inches
  • Ultra-lightweight. Usually less than 24 lbs
  • Longer wheelbase and chainstays
  • Longer stems
  • Hardtails

2.Trail Electric Mountain Bikes

These are the most versatile electric mountain bikes. For instance, they are designed with adaptability to different terrains in mind. Besides, they are your perfect option if you are into mountain climbing just as much as downhill riding.

Features of Trail Electric Mountain Bikes

  • Wheel size: 27.5 inches or 29 inches
  • Suspension: 4.7inches/120mm - 6inches/150mm
  • Geometry: "neutral" head angles (66 or 68 degrees)


3.Enduro electric Mountain Bikes

These are the other versatile eMTBs. However, they include unique features that make them the best option for mountain racing.

For instance, they often feature stiffer frames, steeper handlebars, longer suspensions, and heavier platforms to gain higher speeds.

Features of Enduro electric Mountain Bikes

  • Wheel size: 27.5 inches - 29 inches
  • Suspension: 5.5 inches/140mm to 6.7 inches/180mm
  • Geometry: Head angle (65 - 67 degrees)

4.Downhill Electric Mountain Bikes

These eMTBs are designed to go downhill. For instance, with the downhill eMTBs, you need to look for another way to get to the mountaintop or hilltop.

One of its distinctive features is a longer wheelbase, which gives the bike added stability. They are also paired with special suspensions built for downhill cycling. Besides, they feature steep handlebars.

What are the Components of Electric Mountain Bikes?

Here are some of the main components of electric mountain bikes;

  • Motor: An eMTB features a small electric motor that provides power to propel you forward when you are pedalling.
  • Battery: eMTBs feature a rechargeable battery. In most cases, the battery is removable. For instance, you can detach it from the bike to recharge it inside your house or carry it into your home for safety.
  • An ebike computer: It is usually located on the bike's handlebar. You can use it to adjust the pedal assistance amount and view battery status, mileage, and current speed.

Hardtail Vs. Full Suspension: Which is better?

There are both hardtail and full-suspension electric mountain bikes.

Handrail eMTBs feature only front suspension located in the forks. They are generally easier to maintain, lighter, and perfect for the easy terrain beginners tackle. They benefit from their improved efficiency on smooth surfaces. Besides, they typically have less travel than the full-suspension eMTBs.

On the other hand, the full suspension eMTBs feature suspension forks and rear shock absorbers. The articulation of their frame allows the electric mountain bike to maintain traction over different terrains.

Therefore, choosing between a hardtail and full suspension depends on personal preference and what you want to use the eMTB for.

For instance, hardtail is a perfect choice if you are looking for a mix-up electric mountain bike with tracks, bridleways, and commuting. On the other hand, full-suspension eMTB is ideal for pure mountain riding thrills.

What motors are used on eMTBs?

Netuno Pro Electric Mountain Bike on the mountain top

Most electric mountain bikes use mid-drive motors positioned at the crack. They are far more effective for off-road handling, traction, and balance than hub-mounted motors.

There are 250 watts mid-drive motors for electric mountain bikes. However, they have higher torque levels than other electric bike motors.

For example, the Netuno Pro Electric Mountain Bike features a 250W Bafang M410 mid-drive motor that can produce up to 80Nm of torque.

Final Thought

Hopefully, this article highlighted everything you need to know before buying an electric mountain bike. It is vital to understand the class and type of electric mountain bike that will suit your needs. Besides, buy a bike whose components are readily available at your local shop.

Every rider has a specific budget, so think about the best electric mountain bike that suits your budget. While buying the eMTB, we recommend you do a riding test to see how the bike feels.

If you are looking for the best electric mountain bikes, Eskute has top bikes that will fit your budget and needs.

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