docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
6/21/24 3:25 p.m.

So I'm a pretty avid mtn biker and ride a decent amount.  I'm also lucky enough to have a few auto immune diseases, which so far have seemed pretty under control.  However this season on my mtn bike I've really struggled, on rides I used to do without real issues.  I've bonked on a few rides and ending up hike a bike'ing out, which really sucked.  My endocrinologist says I'm fine?  Dunno?  Will talk with my primary because I sure don't feel fine!

That leads me to the eBike.  I don't want to stop riding and doing the trails I like, but I can't do it on my regular all me, pedal power bike.  So what's the scoop on these?  Which ones are good, what features are must haves, etc, etc?

TIA!

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
6/21/24 3:36 p.m.

I ride a Biketrix Juggernaut Ultra Duo 2. 

1000-watt mid-drive. Gobs of power. More than enough speed for me. I mostly ride it with the assist set to 1. If you add the second battery to it, the range jumps to well over 100 miles. 

Not cheap. There are issues with the mid-drive breaking the rear hub and chainset in higher gears if you let inexperienced people ride it. My eldest broke the rear hub in mine starting off in 8th gear. Overall, I've been pretty happy with it.

20220503_171401_HDR

bbbbRASS
bbbbRASS Reader
6/21/24 3:38 p.m.

Depends, do you want just some assist as you pedal, or basically something that you can just twist the throttle and it will take off uphill? If you are down to DIY (and it is GRM), take the bike you love and add a mid-drive motor. It's like you have superman legs. Put battery in backpack for the most stealth approach, or hang it in a frame bag. You can hook up tool cell batteries if you have a bunch laying around or if you are in the SE I will build you a battery.

What kind of trails do you want to do and what's your budget? You can get a full squish Trek or Specalized for $4-5K that will be reliable and maintained by bike mechanics without too much fight.

Read up a bunch on here

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/21/24 3:44 p.m.

Make sure your local trails allow e-bikes before spending money.

I'm a big fan of Trek & confirm they have great warranty support, but I've not yet ridden any of their eMTB offerings. They've really strived to make it feel like you're on a regular MTB, without having to work as hard.  
 

The Marin eMTB was ok, but it definitely felt like an regular MTB with a motor added to it. 

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
6/21/24 4:15 p.m.

Toyman!, that bike won't do well on the trails I ride.  I need a full suspension mtn bike.

bbbbRASS, I live in Denver and ride most the trails around here.  So full on single track trails, that I do on my full suspension mtn bike that has 150mm of travel front/rear.  I'll look into the mid drive motor, have to see if it'll integrate into my bike.  As with most of the trails around here, they have pretty decent climbs.  The one I did today has 1900ft of vertical climbing and it kicked my ass something fierce.  Budget I'm not sure about, I spent a metric ton on my current mtn bike (yeti) and don't really want to down grade from there but realistically probably can't just pay the cash out for an eMtn Yeti bike.

Pete, most of the trails here are good with e Bikes, but there are definitely some that they're banned on.  So I'll have to make sure that whatever I ride is good, the RideMTB app is pretty killer for that sort of stuff.  I usually ride my bikes until I break them, my old Jamis full squish lasted 12 years before I cracked the bottom bracket/frame.  I've had my Yeti now almost 7 years, so in general I'm ok spending a bunch of money on a good bike because I keep and ride them for at least a decade...

bbbbRASS
bbbbRASS Reader
6/21/24 4:36 p.m.

I've got a buddy who lives in FoCo that does a ton of downhill (he met his wife at Rampage). Since you want to be able to climb that, you want at least a 750W mid-drive, and a battery that can output 30A constant. The bafang feels less natural because it gives more power based on pedal cadence. I use a Tongshen, which is a less durable/powerful motor, but is a torque based system so it feels very natural. All the options throw off the Q factor and feel a bit less natural, but it's super addictive to get the rush without the sweat. I'm sure they are people/stores in Denver you could try out some different builds, but since you have a serious bike I doubt you will like anything under $8K that isn't DIY. 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
6/21/24 5:18 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

IIRC Biktrix has several full suspension bikes as well. 

Chris Tropea
Chris Tropea Associate Editor
6/21/24 5:18 p.m.

When I was bike shopping a few years ago I rode a Specialized Turbo Levo at a demo day and was impressed. It wasn't on super technical stuff but it ate up single track like nothing. Toms e-fat bike was really fun too but not a full squish like you are looking for. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/21/24 5:22 p.m.

I know that Trek offers an electrified version of the Supercaliber called the ecaliber. I love my Supercal and having it help a bit on climbs would be nice :) The ecaliber is about as light as a real eMTB gets. I also know it sells very poorly and my local bike shop was almost begging me to take one home at the end of last season. It would be a great option for someone who just needs a little help in the leg department but doesn't want to be ridding something cobbled together or relying primarily on the motor like a Sur Run.

Interestingly, you can pull the motor and battery off it and ride it like a normal bike.

They are unfortunately crazy expensive like all Trek ebikes other than the Townie. But like I said, they sell like crap so they were hugely discounted last fall. Really, it's out of any reasonable budget. But I wanted to mention it :)

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UberDork
6/21/24 6:07 p.m.

I did a brief demo ride of a trek e bike a few years back. It was very seamless in the assist and felt like you were just gifted tour de France legs.

GhiaMonster
GhiaMonster HalfDork
6/21/24 8:26 p.m.

A friend just bought one of these this year.  I rode it once and refuse to ride it again because it was so addicting.  Sure it doesn't love going through the corners as much as a regular bike but man does it love to go up hills.

Cannondale Moterra

I bought a new carbon full suspension this year and the Moterra can now be had for less money than that due to how much Cannondale wants to get rid of them.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
6/22/24 8:50 p.m.

I really like the Trek E-fuel on paper. It's pretty light for an ebike. To be fair, I haven't ridden one, only picked it up at the shop out of curiosity.

I rode a buddies Marine Alpine Teail ebike and was blown away at the power. The suspension felt surprisingly smooth, but I suspect it that was because of the massive travel and weight. It was fun riding up, but honestly was a drag when the trail pointed down. It just wasn't as playful since it was so heavy - so I'm biased towards the light end of ebikes to give a little boost going up and minimize the weight hit.

Go ride some at your favorite trails and tell us what you like.

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
6/23/24 11:37 a.m.

I think my friend is going to loan me his Yeti SB160e while he's out of town.  Grab it today and have it for the next week or so.  Talked with my endocrinologist, he recommended I see a Sports Medicine doc and get a work up done.  Will ask my primary to refer me to one.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
6/24/24 11:47 a.m.

It'd be awesome if you could get prescribed an Ebike.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
6/24/24 11:53 a.m.
Chris Tropea said:

When I was bike shopping a few years ago I rode a Specialized Turbo Levo at a demo day and was impressed. It wasn't on super technical stuff but it ate up single track like nothing. Toms e-fat bike was really fun too but not a full squish like you are looking for. 

I was incredibly impressed by this bike when I got to try it as well.  Spent an afternoon chasing one down all day and he was so refreshed after a ride that had me turned inside out, I had to try it out.  It was capable, fast, and the battery power seemed to hide as much as you wanted it to hide. 

 

 

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 Dork
6/25/24 1:30 p.m.

I hate e-bikers. But I got one anyway.  I bought a YT Decoy and it is an absolute blast. I bought it for self shuttling and jumping. 

It is still mountain biking, but it is almost another sport. My other bike is an Ibis Ripmo and I love it to death, but when riding my e-bike, you don't notice the extra 20 pounds at all.

I wouldn't have gotten one if my friends didn't also get them, it would not be fun riding it alongside amish bikes.

I also rented a Levo when riding at kanuga bike park in NC. 

decoy-mx-core-3

adam525i
adam525i SuperDork
6/25/24 4:25 p.m.

Borrowing your friends bike is a good idea, provided you have the funds for a purchase afterwards!

If that wasn't an option renting one for a day would be my next suggestion just to give you a baseline on what you like/don't like about it. For $150 from EVO in Denver you can have what looks like a Santa Cruz for the day, well worth it when you'll likely spend $5k+ on one of these.

On the more affordable side of things Polygon has a few good looking offerings that get decent reviews. 

I've definitely been tempted by these but the cost and the fact that most of the places I'd like to use it would need a plane ride to get there and that is big no no with these batteries means all just rent as needed at the destination.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
6/25/24 9:04 p.m.
Rusnak_322 said:

I hate e-bikers. But I got one anyway.  I bought a YT Decoy and it is an absolute blast. I bought it for self shuttling and jumping. 

It is still mountain biking, but it is almost another sport. My other bike is an Ibis Ripmo and I love it to death, but when riding my e-bike, you don't notice the extra 20 pounds at all.

I wouldn't have gotten one if my friends didn't also get them, it would not be fun riding it alongside amish bikes.

I also rented a Levo when riding at kanuga bike park in NC. 

decoy-mx-core-3

I swear, DW Link is some sort of magically voodoo. I have a Ripmo AF set up for park days, and that bike has no business pedaling as well as it does! To compliment, I picked up a Ripley AF last year on sale and I'll be damned if it isn't a rocketship after I sorted out the suspension. If I had the funds and desire, I'd throw a leg over the Ibis ebike.

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
dOURNgWIYb7cjzc03RSnMVwDur9RnR0t9sRmMIf9Q8Qkrd2yY5CuYNacjC0fik65