Buying a new bike can be challenging, given the unlimited types, structures, and options out there. The question many cyclists ask is what makes the right bike for their personal interests. Well, the two most hugely popular options, across the board, are either e-bikes or mountain bikes. Over the years, both the alternatives have gained immense popularity, however, the fact that each is designed for different purposes makes it an uphill task for people to find the right one.
E-bikes are best known for their ability to provide users with a comfortable, safe, and pleasant cycling experience, while mountain bikes are usually preferred by their ability to facilitate health enthusiasts. Hence, while you are on the research, everything matters from the speed to suspension, durability, motor setup, battery, and much more. If you are still confused, don’t worry as I have brought together a comprehensive guide on e-bikes vs. mountain bikes, so you can make the right decision.
What is an E-Bike?
E-bikes, also known as electric bikes are just regular bikes, powered by a motor setup and batteries which makes them great on a number of terrains. They are equipped with integrated frames which include motors, controllers, and other pedal-assist functionalities which aid the bikers to maintain overall stability and balance on bumpy and rough terrains. Primarily, these alternatives are used by bikers as a physical exercise to exhaust themselves. They also come in different structures, sizes, and shapes.
How Do They Work?
Although e-bikes work just like regular bikes, these have some key elements which differentiate them from conventional bikes. The major difference here is the fact that regular bikes are largely powered by humans while these alternatives are operated by batteries and motors. Here are some key elements of an average e-bike;
- The electric motor is designed to power either the rear or front wheel of the bike. It also provides the bike a driving force to run on a number of terrains.
- These e-bikes also have a battery setup (the majority of them are replaceable) which can be mounted on the back or under the seat. These largely come within the range of 350 to 900 watts, based on other specifications of each model. Commonly, ZuGo bikes have high battery capacity across the market while Rhino Bikes are usually targeted towards hobbyists.
- These bikes commonly come with two different braking mechanisms, hydraulic and mechanical. Mechanical brakes are largely integrated with a disc, cable, and lever. In contrast, hydraulic brakes are known for their ability to provide you with excellent control and stability over a number of surfaces. These also have fluid cables that are high-quality and are not prone to temperature irregularities. So, you don’t have to worry about the chances of electric hazards.
- Last but not least, they are equipped with unique frames which have a sturdy build and can feel a bit heavy. These also have strong wheel spokes, largely responsible for keeping the heat and temperature checked, saving you any motor-related or electric hazards.
How Do They Differ from a Mountain Bike?
Although e-bikes have gained immense popularity for their ability to provide you with a safe, fast, and enjoyable biking experience on a number of surfaces. However, if you are someone who likes the thrill of biking, mountain bikes are designed for you. In comparison to the modern e-bikes, mountain bikes are designed for their analog biking mechanisms which provide users with the benefits that come from a high cardio workout. These are also great for off-roading adventures as they are suitable to be used on rough, bumpy, hilly, and inclined surfaces.
E-Bike Vs. Mountain Bike: What to Choose?
Because of their immense popularity, both these types of modern bikes have become everyone’s favorite, making it difficult to choose one. These bikes are primarily designed for off-roading adventures with a unique set of specifications, such as pedal-assist functions, batteries, speed, and much more. To save your day, I have included a comparative analysis of both these alternatives on some basic parameters, so you can make the right buying choice;
The first difference I have included between these cycles is that of the suspension. Hence, while speaking of electric bikes, these are primarily designed for off-roading and rough terrains, making it understandable that they have better rear suspension. In comparison to conventional bikes, these alternatives are relatively more robust and possess full suspension. So, in this case, e-bikes really have an edge, largely because of their structure while conventional bikes are designed differently.
Load Capacity/ Balance
The second important element here is the load capacity for which the mountain e-bikes definitely have a higher position. This is because they are designed to be used on a number of terrains for which the manufacturers use different construction materials. Hence, for the reason that they are lighter than conventional e-bikes, you will find them with more load capacity. In contrast, the conventional models can be heavy which can ultimately lead to imbalance whenever you put a somewhat exceeding load on them.
It is equally important to note the battery life as it can make a huge difference in the overall efficiency of the bike. Here, although there is not much difference between both the bikes, I would still say that the conventional mountain bikes do have an edge. Here, most electric bikes have 9 ah batteries while conventional ones would have a 12 ah battery setup. However, it solely depends on the type of bicycle model you are using. Hence, it all comes down to your individual preferences.
However, there isn’t much difference in the motor setup between the two options. Here, when it comes to the majority of models, these are equipped with motors powered between 250 and 900 watts. Yet, considering the fact that e-bikes are designed for off-roading adventures which can be lengthy and extensive, these can be relatively more powerful. On average, an e-bike has a 300-watt motor setup. So, when it comes to buying decisions, you will have to look into the individual requirements as it all depends on the terrain length and speed.
Durability and Buildup
Similarly, another thing to note here is its durability and material construction. Here, as compared to conventional mountain bikes, the modern e-bikes are really sturdy and robust, largely because they are designed for off-roading adventures. They also have some of the best quality frames and braking structures which makes them long-lasting and extremely durable. However, it is equally important to note that these can be pretty heavy and an average e-bike can weigh around 40 or 70 pounds.
It is equally important to know about the speed range as it can make a huge difference in the overall performance of the bike. When it comes to traditional e-bikes, these are usually quick and fast when compared with mountain bikes. This is because of their powerful motor setups. However, unless you are really passionate about biking, it wouldn’t matter as no one is going to spend a total of 20 miles per hour on terrain. Hence, you are good to go with both bikes when it comes to the maximum speed range.
Weight is another thing cycle owners usually consider as it can make a huge impact on the buying decision. Here, conventional bikes usually have an edge because they are a bit light and easy to handle. In contrast, e-bikes are really heavy and can be overwhelming for users, primarily because they are sturdy and made up of high-end materials. However, electric mountain bikes can be seriously challenging to carry on rough terrains.
Design and Structure
In addition, another advantage e-bikes have over others is the fact that they have foldable, light, and compact models. So, it becomes easy for you to fold it and carry it around for the most part. So, even if you are going on off-roading adventures on your Jeep or other vehicles, you can always mount it on, with absolute convenience. It is equally worth mentioning that although some conventional mountain bikes are foldable, not all of them would be, which makes it difficult for users to carry around different terrains.
The similarity between these two bikes is the fact that they are assisted by pedal functionalities. Both types of bikes have electric motors which are great for off-roading adventures and allow you to easily transcend them from inclined surfaces. However, it is important to note that each model has its own pedal-assist functions based on the specifications, so make sure while buying one that, is suitable for your individual requirements.
Facts about E-Bikes
- A survey done in the past years suggests that 28% of e-bikers claim that they have been using e-bikes as a substitute for their cars.
- It further maintained that modern electric bikes are faster than traditional bikes (up to 21%).
- In addition, a government-based Copenhagen conducted a study that explained that 49% of the cycling motivation was the excitement of the fast speed of e-bikes, which have gained immense popularity over the years.
- Another study done by the North American study found that e-bikes, because of their functionalities, have been used as a substitute for cars by at least 65% of the respondents.
- Last but not least, another study suggested that e-bikes can cover extensive terrains as compared to traditional mountain bikes.
- E-bikes are best known for their powerful motor setup and maximum speed range.
- These are designed for both off-roading and on-roading biking, with an effortless riding experience. You won’t find any difficulty in handling these bikes for the most part.
- While riding these e-bikes, the pedal assistance feels effortless and doesn’t strain bikers. All in all, riding an e-bike is not strenuous.
- These alternatives are hugely popular for their commutative performance.
- The majority of these models are compact, and foldable, making them easy to carry around for the most part.
- E-bikes come with removable batteries, so you can easily boost their mileage and length covered on the terrain.
- Electric bikes come in different sizes and shapes which makes them versatile on a variety of terrains.
- These electric bikes can feel a bit heavy which can be difficult for maintaining a balance and managing load overall, specifically on rough terrains.
- When it comes to riding e-bikes, these can be a bit difficult on hills and other inclined surfaces.
- These can be really expensive as a side hobby. It is equally worth noting that repairing these e-bikes can be a lot harder and more expensive.
- Their buildup and material are vulnerable to electric damage. During hot seasons, it can be difficult to maintain an optimum temperature.
Facts about Mountain Bikes
- A government-based US study suggested that about 40+ million people use mountain biking annually which makes up a total of 10% of the entire population.
- Similarly, according to 25% of the respondents, mountain bikes have been the most popular alternatives for US citizens.
- According to Eric Barone, the fastest ever speed reached by mountain bikes remains 141 mp/h which is 227 km/h.
- In addition, another two-year survey from the country suggested that 92.9% of the bikers engage in mountain or trail biking while only 4% of the people were involved in dirt jumping, slopestyle, and other such activities.
- It was further found that the mortality risk of using these mountain bikes is very low. Among 1000 people, it only remains 0.02 for the entire year, according to a study based in Germany.
- These are great for physical exercises.
- Mountain bikes tend to be durable and long-lasting.
- I also really like the fact that they are a lot cheaper to repair, needless to say, they also have a low investment cost.
- These are lightweight and have relatively more load capacity.
- Mountain bikes are largely preferred by people who are enthusiasts of off-roading challenges and have previous experience on difficult terrains.
- You also have no legal bindings while buying any of these mountain bikes for the most part.
- They easily surpass other biking alternatives for off-roading adventures.
- These alternatives can be really challenging to handle and ride on different terrains.
- Mountain bikes are not best known for their speed range, in comparison to e-bikes.
- While riding these, you always have an increased risk of accidents and injuries.
- These alternatives are not the most versatile and have a bit of stiffed pedal assistance.
Swagtron EB-6 Bandit E-Bike 350W Electric Bike – The Best Electric Bike for Cyclists
- It has seven number speed configuration.
- Includes aluminum buildup
- It comes with dual suspension
- Includes 4 inches tire, 20 inches wheels
This Swagtron EB-6 is an affordable alternative for anyone in search of something durable yet comfortable. The highlight of this model is the e-powered pedaling function which is accompanied by a dual-disc braking mechanism, keeping the process stable and balanced for the most part. In addition, this function further integrates dual lever and fluid brakes which maintains the optimal temperature and prevents any heating issues. It is equally worth mentioning that this one has a high load capacity.
When it comes to construction, aluminum construction is accompanied by epoxy powder coating, providing you with long service life. It also resists corrosion well. Similarly, speaking of the performance, it is equipped with 7-speed gears, allowing you to adjust the speed range on a variety of terrains, as per your suitability. I also really like the addition of 4-inches wheels as the rims are really sturdy and keep the biker stable throughout. Finally, the lithium-ion batteries maintain the overall safety of the ride.
- Durable and sturdy
- Great value for money
- Offers full suspension
- Safe and stable
- Load capacity is not the best
MICLON Cybertrack 100 Mountain E-Bike – The Best Mountain Bike for Health Enthusiasts
- It comes with 21 number speed configuration
- Includes aluminum material frame
- It comes with a 26 inches wheel
- It is powered by a 36V 10.4 Ah battery
If you are an off-roading adventure enthusiast, I would recommend you go for this Miclon mountain E-bike. It is hugely popular for its maximum speed range and powerful motor setup that provides you with a fast yet secure process. In addition, the fact that it offers 2X battery recharge makes it worth the money. Similarly, I absolutely appreciate the fact that it is made up of aluminum and includes a 36V lithium-ion battery setup. This primarily prevents any potential chances of electric hazards and maintains safety.
Moreover, another thing to appreciate about this model is its 350W BAFANG motor that is accompanied by a 20 mph speed range. This is great for rough and inclined surfaces while maintaining the overall balance of the ride. It is equally worth mentioning that, with this mountain bike, you don’t have to worry about the load capacity. It is further accompanied by a 21-speed configuration, allowing you to adjust it as per your liking. To enhance the ease, the manufacturers have added an easily understandable LED display.
- Easily understandable user manual
- Powerful motor setup
- It has a long battery life
- High-speed configuration included
- It can be a bit expensive
Frequently Asked Questions
Are e-bikes better than mountain bikes?
Well, it all comes down to your individual requirements and their applications. E-bikes are largely popular for their ability to provide cyclists with a safe, comfortable, and pleasant experience on a variety of terrains. On the contrary, mountain bikes are designed for health enthusiasts who are in search of something rugged to be used on rough and inclined surfaces. So, if you want to get the benefits of a high cardio session, I would advise you to go for mountain bikes.
What is the best mountain bike?
The Miclon mountain e-bike is hugely popular for its maximum speed range and powerful motor setup. It is equipped with a 21-speed full suspension setting that provides you with a powerful experience. The manufacturers have also added removable 10.4 Ah lithium batteries that are not only safe but provide you with long battery life and can cover extensive terrains. In the end, the aluminum frame construction provides you with high durability and resists corrosion well.
Why are electric bikes famous across the market?
E-bikes are famous for their ability to provide you with a stable, balanced, and pleasant riding experience. They are equipped with integrated frames which include motors, controllers, and other pedal-assist functionalities which aid the bikers to maintain overall stability and balance on bumpy and rough terrains. All in all, these are easy to handle and work on a variety of terrains.
How do e-bikes differ from mountain bikes?
Well, e-bikes are largely designed for beginners who just want to enjoy a safe and comfortable cycling experience. These are powered by powerful motors and dual braking mechanisms. However, mountain bikes are relatively more rugged and work well for health enthusiasts who want to enjoy the thrill of the ride, while maintaining their weight. An average mountain bike ride has the same benefits as a high cardio workout.
E-Bike Vs Mountain Bikes: What to Choose?
Wondering what makes the right bike for you? Are mountain bikes better than e-bikes? What differentiates e-bikes from mountain bikes? Well, the choice can be challenging for people, considering the unlimited options, types, and shapes of the bikes out there. E-bikes are best known for their ability to provide users with a comfortable, safe, and pleasant cycling experience, while mountain bikes are usually preferred by their ability to facilitate health enthusiasts.
All in all, this comprehensive guide can help you in choosing the right option, as per your individual requirements.
Austin Jacobs is a passionate cycling enthusiast who has over five years of experience in bike repair and maintenance. He is an avid mountain biker and loves tinkering with bikes for hours on end to make sure they are running at their optimum performance level. Leland’s blog, which focuses on bike repairs and tips to keep them in good running order, was created out of a desire to share his knowledge and help fellow cyclists stay safe while enjoying the outdoors. He covers topics such as preventive maintenance, troubleshooting common issues, basic tools and supplies needed for repairs, and more.