EMTB: advantages and disadvantages of eMTBs

State of the art electric powered mountain bike Almere, Netherlands - February 3, 2014: Mountain biker test riding a brand new  state of the art Cube electric powered mountainbike which uses a Bosch motor and provides a smooth and easy ride on rough terrain electric mountain bike stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images


Why E-Mountainbiking is becoming more and more popular?

The Foldable electric mountain bike (EMTB) is a vehicle derived from the bicycle, equipped with an electric motor and a rechargeable battery. If you want to know more about the Advantage and Disadvantage of an electric Mountain bike, Read More: 


EMTB in the mountains 

The use of an electric bike in the mountains has notable advantages that we would expect: more ease in the hills, less difficulty in pedaling for a long time ... 

But the advantage that is often overlooked and what the cyclist realizes when using his bike is the possibility of taking the time to lengthen his journey. 

Indeed, with a normal bicycle without electric assistance, the journey is more difficult and the hike of several hours can be very tiring. As a result, the crossings will be different, instead of visiting all the places you wanted to see on your way you don't take the risk of wasting too much time getting there. Thanks to the electric bike and the assistance it offers you can afford to make hooks by all the places that interest you on your way. You can be sure that you will enjoy your entire trip thanks to the assistance of the electric bike.  


EMTB: advantages and disadvantages of eMTBs

Are the advantages or disadvantages of an eMTB outweigh In answering this question, it helps to know a few facts and figures about eMTBs. We have compiled the most important arguments for you for our pro and con article.

 Which sentence seems more correct:

  1. "With an eMTB I can get to places I couldn't go with a normal MTB."
  2. "With a mountain bike I can get to places I couldn't go with an eMTB."

Anyone who has not had any experience with eMTBs will probably say: There is more truth in sentence 1. But experienced e-mountain bikers know: Sentence 2 can be at least as correct.

How this change of heart comes about is shown in our list of the most important advantages and disadvantages of eMTBs.


Advantage 1: E-MTBs overcome differences in performance

What could be nicer than doing sports together? Before the age of Electric MTBs, however, you mainly saw homogeneous groups on mountain bikes in the mountains. Similar fitness level, often also similar age. Logical: How should the 65-year-old father climb the same steep ramps as his trained, 33-year-old son? (Yes, of course there are also very fit seniors.)

Therefore, one of the greatest advantages of eMTBs is that they help overcome differences in performance. Nobody with a physical deficit has to feel left out, thanks to the electric pedal assist, the bike trip into the mountains is a pleasure for everyone.  


Advantage 2: Optimal load control with e-mountain bikes.

When you go mountain biking, you run out of breath quickly. This is the case even with trained athletes who are not otherwise on the MTB. With a bright red head and just under your maximum heart rate you toil your way up the mountains and especially steep ramps. The body works fully in the anaerobic area . These load peaks cost a lot of grain - and that is not necessarily the goal on MTB tours lasting several hours.

Aerobic training is healthier and more effective for burning fat. The eMTB is the perfect helper when it comes to stress control. Stress peaks are avoided, the pulse is at a comfortable 120 to 140 heartbeats per minute. And if you want to get your pump running at full speed in between, you can simply switch off the engine for a moment.


Advantage 3: E-MTB is really fun going uphill

Okay, this benefit comes as no surprise. It's also nice when you arrive at the top of the mountain with your bike without being completely sweaty. What is really pleasant in practice: With an e-mountain bike, you can also master smaller blockages or root passages uphill, where you get stuck with a mountain bike. Another small advantage: starting up on a steep slope is effortless with an E-MTB.

E-Mountain Bike Like Ausstech Super Z 26 M005 that make their drivers independent of lifts are currently very much in vogue. In this way, ingenious trails can also be ridden several times a day. The uphill drive is often done with maximum electric assistance. E-MTB bikers like to bunker spare batteries so that these battery-draining journeys do not end in the terrain quickly.

Advantage 4: You feel safe going downhill on an E-MTB

Electric mountain bikes can also be a lot of fun downhill. At least that was the case with our top bike, the Monster 26 M007 from Ausstech. Because especially in rough terrain you feel safe on a massive E-MTB with fat tire that stabilize the whole frame during a challenging terrain ride. Especially since the center of gravity is significantly lower in the crank because of the electric motor.  We will come to the disadvantages in technical passages later. 

Advantage 5: E-mountain bikers take on important tasks

As an e-mountain biker in a group of “ normal” bikers, you should accept this role: that you are often misused as a donkey for replacement tubes, tools and emergency kits. What is the advantage now? Well, on the other hand, it is also easier with an eMTB to take the camera equipment with you into the mountains that you would never have dragged upstairs in the past.

In addition, it doesn't hurt that much on an E-MTB if you took the wrong turn at the last junction and now have to go back 100 meters in altitude. (Who doesn't know that?) And in an emergency it is sometimes possible to get help faster with an eMTB.


Advantage 6: E-MTBs allow you to try new things

Anyone who likes to try out new sports equipment can hardly ignore an eMTB. It doesn't have to be an immediate purchase. E-MTBs allow you to experience experiences that you don't usually know: speed up the gravel road at 20 km / h. Simply pedal up the steepest slope in town. Finish the 75-kilometer tour with the 2,500 vertical meters without aching legs. In short: E-mountain biking is really fun.

Getting a committed mountain biker to switch to an E-MTB is sometimes not that easy. Indeed, the disadvantages of eMTBs cannot be denied.

Read More: Electric mountain biking: discover mountain biking differently!


Disadvantage 1: eMTBs are expensive

If you want to buy an eMTB, you have to dig deep into your pocket. Even the price for entry-level models is over AU $2,000 - if you have a certain quality standard. For this price, for example, you get the Ausstech Fremont - M042

Our test bike is not even in the top price range at AU$2,000. Ausstech Thunder 26 costs around AU$1,550 - and ultimately it's no problem to pay a 4-digit amount for e-mountain bikes.

Couldn't it be a good alternative to rent an E-MTB? Yes, but that's not cheap either. Depending on the model and season, you pay between 40 and 70 AU$ per day.

Disadvantage 2: eMTBs are heavy


How heavy is a mtb?

When you sit on an eMTB, its weight doesn't really matter. However, it gets exciting when you have to dismount. Anyone who finds it annoying to carry a mountain bike (usually weighs about 10 to 14 kilos) up a short passage or load it into the car will curse an eMTB. E-MTBs can weigh 25 kilos, even if you remove the battery, it's only 2.5 to 4 kilos less. 

As a side tip: the battery should always be removed and safely stowed away before transporting it by car.

Some tours are impossible for e-mountain bikers. You have to be very strong in order to safely climb over stones or over a flooded, blocked path with an E-MTB on your shoulder. The so-called pushing aid, which is often built in, does not help. 

Disadvantage 3: eMTBs are less agile on the trail

As a mountain friend who had borrowed an E-MTB for a test put it so nicely: “It's like riding a moped in the mountains.” In fact, a normal mountain bike is much easier to steer in technical passages.

If the battery is installed in the down tube in such a way that it is significantly wider (as with our test bike from Scott), the turning circle of the e-mountain bike also increases, the handlebars cannot be turned as far. Hairpin bends, through which you can maneuver a normal MTB without any problems even as an inexperienced rider, require maximum concentration with an E-MTB - if you don't even have to get down and turn around for a short time. Moving the rear wheel from the bike is already a technique for advanced riders with a (lighter) normal MTB and becomes even more difficult with the E-MTB.

Disadvantage 4: Rejection by other mountaineers

No, as an e-mountain biker you are by no means welcome everywhere. Many mountain bikers and hikers react to motorization with open rejection. Your feeling: Those who cannot make it into the mountains on their own have no business there. 

The times when eMTBs were at least admired as a technical innovation are over. In many places, mountaineers feel massively disturbed by e-mountain bikers - and they clearly express this. This also differs from region to region. The only thing that helps here is tolerance, friendliness and consideration.

Disadvantage 5: eMTBs can be left lying around

What does it mean for the range if the battery of the e-mountain bike has a capacity of 500 watt hours? Compared to normal e-bikes or pedal assist bikes, the range calculation for e-MTBs is much more difficult. Because the mountain factor brings another variable into play.

Nothing is more annoying than a battery that runs out before the end of the tour. Because most eMTBs are extremely difficult to pedal without electrical assistance. Not only because of the increased weight of the bike, but also because there is significant pedaling resistance with many drives (for example with the Ausstech Super Z 26 M005  electric motor, which is often installed). The latest generation of drives, however, manage without pedaling resistance.

Back to the original question: In simple terms, 500 watt hours of battery capacity mean that you could drive at full throttle for two hours with a 250 watt motor. That can only be 30 kilometers in steep terrain - or 150 kilometers on the flat.

Disadvantage 6: expensive battery

If you want to use the E-Power on the mountain, you have to charge it to the battery beforehand - that's clear. Actually no big deal, but also a task that you have to take care of: Take out the battery, plug in the power supply, connect to the battery, wait a few hours, unplug, install the battery.

Stupid: Some batteries cannot be removed. If you don't want to take your bike into your apartment, you have to improvise here.

What you shouldn't forget: Lithium-ion batteries have a limited lifespan. Depending on the load and storage, E-MTB batteries can manage around 1000 charging cycles before they have to be replaced. And that's expensive: 

Incidentally, the electricity costs for charging do not belong on this list of disadvantages, they are too marginal. A battery charge on our test bike (battery capacity 500 Wh) does not even cost 15 cents.

Disadvantage 7: Wear and maintenance costs are higher with E-MTBs

The individual components of eMTBs wear out faster because they are usually not specially designed for eMTBs. The high weight has a negative effect on brake pads and brake discs, the additional forces of the electric motor reduce the service life of the chain, chainring and cassette.

If some parts on an e-mountain bike have to be replaced after just a few months, it may also be due to the human component: studies have shown that you use an e-bike much more often and travel more kilometers than with a normal bike.


Conclusion on e-mountain bikes

In our list of e-mountain bikes, there are six advantages compared to a total of seven disadvantages. Of course, that doesn't mean that the disadvantages outweigh the disadvantages. Because ultimately everyone has to decide for themselves how to weight the pros and cons. Anyone who enjoys riding an eMTB shouldn't be frightened by the high costs.

Our tip: You should try out for yourself whether an eMTB is the right one. The best thing to do is to borrow an eMTB from a specialist dealer or to use bike festivals and test days to form your own opinion.

In your opinion, have we forgotten an important advantage or disadvantage? What is your opinion on eMTBs? Please leave us a comment!  



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