There is no such thing as a cheap ebike, but if you do a bit of research, you can find electric mountain bikes on sale online. Luckily, I have done this for you and found the best places to buy discounted electric mountain bikes on the internet.
Electric Mountain Bikes Sale – Hardtails
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Electric Mountain Bikes Sale – Full Suspension
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How to Choose an Electric Mountain Bike
There are a few things you need to consider before looking for electric mountain bikes on sale, to make sure you buy the right one for you. However, the factors that you need to consider when choosing electric mountain bikes are similar to buying conventional mountain bikes. These factors are your budget and the terrain you want to ride.
Hardtail or Full suspension?
As with conventional mountain bikes, the amount of suspension your electric mountain bike needs depends on the terrain you are riding.
Hardtail electric mountain bikes only have suspension on the front fork. This reduces fatigue on your arms, upper body and hands. This is because a lot the shock from bumps is absorbed before it is transferred in to your handlebars and then in to you. They are a good choice for forest trails and less demanding terrain.
Full suspension electric mountain bikes are more capable, but the engineering, and more complicated components make them more expensive. But, they are more versatile and offer a higher level of control on rough ground. They lend themselves to being used on more demanding descents and dirt trails. Additionally, full suspension electric mountain bikes are a lot more comfortable to ride. If you are lucky you may find some good full suspension electric mountain bikes on sale from the links on this page.
Rear or central motor driven electric mountain bikes?
Electric mountain bikes are driven in two different ways, rear drive and central drive.
Rear drive electric bikes have their motor on the hub of the back wheel, and are usually hardtails.
Their biggest advantage, is that they require little or no maintenance. This is because the drive system is completely independent that has all the components inside the motor casing.
They are heavy, and the extra weight on the back of the bike means they are not great for off-road riding. However, they do come with an energy recovery mode, which charges the battery when you are not pedaling.
Centrally driven electric bikes have the motor mounted below the pedals. This is a better option for mountain biking, as the centre of gravity is lower. This may take a bit of getting used to if you are not a very experienced rider.
The main advantage of centrally mounted have over hub motors is their gear ratio. They allow you to power the rear wheel via the same chain and gear set as the pedals. This means that a low gear can be selected for powering up steep hills or accelerating from a stop with lots of torque. A centrally mounted drive motor in low gear can climb steeper hills than a hub motor of similar power, and can also climb for longer than a hub motor. Hub motors tend to overheat on long steep climbs.
A centrally mounted motor is usually smaller and lighter than a hub motor of similar power. This means that they are often stealthier as they are usually incorporated into the bike frame.
However, centrally mounted drive motors can be brutal on your drivetrian, which is perhaps their single biggest problem.
Most people can put out 100 W of power for a pretty long time, and 250 W of power during a hard sprint. But, centrally mounted drive motors can output 250-750 W of power continuously. That’s is a lot of strain on your chain, so if you are using a cheap one, it won’t take long for it to snap. Therefore, these types of ebikes usually have upgraded chains as standard.
There are more things that can go wrong with bikes with a centrally mounted motor, because of the increased number of moving parts. If your motor fails, and it is built directly into the frame, it can be more expensive to replace.
There is something you need to consider when riding an electric mountain bike with a centrally mounted motor too. That is, before you stop, you need remember to change down a couple of gears. Otherwise you’ll be stuck in top gear when you try to pull away and your acceleration will suffer. Also, you stand a good chance of snapping your chain, as there is a huge amount of torque.
With all this said, the best configuration for an electric mountain bike, is a bike with a centrally mounted motor. Don’t think that the motor is the primary reason for buying a particular electric mountain bike. Factors, such as fit and geometry are more important.
So which is electric mountain bike is best for you?
Now you have this information, you should have a good idea of what you want when scouring electric mountain bikes on sale. But, you need to drill down a little bit further to make sure you find the best electric mountain bike for you. I have summarized the type of bikes that you will come across, and what they are for below:
- Hardtail with rear motor – Commuters and for those riding on flat trails and even ground. Perfect for canal paths.
- Hardtail with centre motor – Better for rougher terrain and fine for the less technical trails at trail centres
- Full suspension with 120mm travel – Built for long rides over rough terrain
- Full suspension with 140mm + travel – Very capable bikes that allow you to have as much fun as possible. They are great to climb and can cope with technical descents. However, they are expensive.