Off-road biking can be a very interesting and adventurous experience, and electric mountain bikes take the excitement to another level. e-MTBs are built for mountain terrains. It is much easier to manoeuvre the terrain, climb steep trails, and reach high peaks on an electric mountain bike than on a regular electric bike. As such, the farther you can go, the more ‘mountain’ you can explore, the more fun it is. But before you grab an e-mountain bike and get out there, here are some vital notes to take about how these two-wheeled bicycles work.
e-MTBs Do Not Have a Throttle
In recent times, electric bikes with throttle ride modes have been making waves. Although these are arguably more motorcycle than bicycles. This throttle mode allows you to sit pretty on the bike while the motor propels you and the bike forward. You get to steer the handlebars though. Electric mountain bikes, however, don’t offer this comfort. You get instead a pedal assist. This means that while you pedal the motor assists by amplifying your efforts to make the bike move faster. The pedal-assist on electric mountain bikes further show the difference between a mountain bike and an e-MTB.
Sensors Determine Speed
Electric mountain bikes have sensors along with a magnet that tells the bike how fast you are going. Generally, e-bikes have a cut-off speed and as soon as you reach that threshold the motor stops assisting you. For mountain terrains, this feature comes in handy. The paths are not smooth, there are lots of difficult turns to make and that’s almost impossible when you’re on high speeds. So you could think of the sensors as a check to ensure you’re safe while mountain-riding.
You would find that mountain bikes have a walk mode. This mode is very useful in mountainsides because there are areas you may not be able to ride through. The only other option would be to push the bike and that can be a drag especially if you have to make a steep climb. Engage the walk mode on your electric mountain bike and begin to walk, you will find it is much easier to move.
Electric Mountain Bikes are Heavy
Did you know that electric mountain bikes are two times heavier than a normal bike? They weigh between 20 – 25 kg. Most of that weight is supplied by the battery and motor. Other components on the bike add to this as well. This includes the display tech, sensor, suspension, and so on. You may not notice the weight while riding but you certainly will when you attempt to slow it down. Getting all that weight on the bike to come to a halt in a matter of seconds is a big deal, this is why e-MTBs come with big, effective brakes. You would also realise how heavy electric mountain bikes are when you try carrying them.
The batteries of e-MTBs do last long but their lifespan can be truncated by several factors. One of which is leaving the battery on the bike out in the cold. If your e-bike battery is detachable, you’d be better off detaching it and taking it inside. You can also charge the battery directly by connecting to a wall socket.
Due to the weight of the e-bike battery, you can’t fly with it. Most airlines have a cap of 180 W but e-bikes usually are 3, 4 or 5 times that size. If you really need to move with your bike you may have to drive or ship it. Another alternative worth considering is to hire a battery at your destination.
e-MTBs Can Ride Through Muddy Paths
Electric mountain bikes thrive on mud and sandy paths. This is a situation regular bikes may not survive. You would have to push your bike through such a route to get through. But e-MTBs are rugged enough to cope with this off-road path. It would take some more effort to get the pedals moving though.
Mountain biking is a beautiful experience and anyone who decides to have a go at it should do so with a mountain bike. Well, preferably an electric mountain bike. The possibilities are more with this type of e-bike. However, keep in mind that you need protective gear for this off-road experience. No matter your experience level, ensure you have a helmet on, knee and elbow protection, and padded shorts. Once you have all boxes checked, you’re good to go.