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If you are in the market for an electric mountain bike, it is not until you get over the £1500 mark that mid-drive motors become available. In this post I will be looking at five of the best mid-drive electric mountain bikes available in the £1500-£2000 price bracket.
Top 5 Best Electric Mountain Bikes from £1500-£2000
My list below includes the best value mid-drive electric mountain bikes currently available, I will be updating this article soon to include the latest 2020 models.
Mid-drive motors are much better suited to mountain bike applications for a number of reasons.
- Weight distribution – having the motor mounted low and central has a positive effect on handling, particularly important if you are riding technical trails.
- Torque – Mid-drive motors can produce up to 100% more torque than their hub motor counterparts. For example, the average geared hub motor produces around 35-40nm of torque compared with 90nm for the top-of-the-range Shimano Steps system.
- Efficiency – Mid drive motors are also more energy efficient than hub motors, helping to increase battery range.
The current drive systems on offer from Bosch, Yamaha, Brose and Shimano are all excellent, with the only downside being a weight penalty. Mountain bikes are already quite heavy, add into the mix a mid-drive motor and lithium battery pack and you will be looking at over 20kg. That is a lot of extra weight to be pedalling around if you run out of battery power!
Mid-drive motor technology is being constantly refined and fine-tuned. These latest incarnations are crammed full of high-tech wizardry, with the ultimate aim of making the motor feel like an extension of your own abilities. I have said this before in previous posts and I will say it again – riding a good mid-drive electric bike makes you feel like the bionic man, and definitely puts a smile on your face regardless of your ability.
This intuitive feel is thanks to a triple sensing system. The motor controller takes data from a torque sensor, speed sensor and cadence sensor, making for an incredibly intuitive pedal assist.
All of the electric mountain bikes below have been selected based on build quality and value for money. But it is important to remember these are all considered ‘entry-level’ machines and as such will have cheaper components fitted.
Haibike are one of the more well-established e-bike brands, with their excellent range of electric mountain bikes being synonymous with performance and off-road ability.
The Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0 is their entry-level model and offers excellent value for money with no compromise on build quality and ride.
At the heart of the HardSeven is the excellent Yamaha PW-SE mid-drive motor. This system is particularly suited to electric mountain bikes as it offers pedal assist up to 110rpm and produces 70 Nm of torque, making tricky steep climbs a hell of a lot easier!
Complementing the motor is a 400wh (watt hour) Lithium battery pack, which should ensure a range of anywhere between 30-60 miles depending on rider weight, terrain etc.
The 1.7″ LCD display supports Bluetooth connectivity and offers a wide range of information from battery level to pedal assist.
The HardSeven 1.0 is a good all-rounder, equally at home on the road or light trails. It should be noted that the budget Suntour XCM forks are fine for light off-road riding, but the limit of these forks are very quickly reached and you should not be attempting jumps or any other heroics.
If heavy off-road riding is your intended use, them i’m afraid you are going to have to spend a few more quid and get something like the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 5.0.
The rest of the components fitted to this bike would be par for the course on a regular mountain bike of around the £600 mark. The reliable Shimano Altus 9-speed gears with a wide-range 11-36 cassette should ensure good progress on the rough stuff, and the Tektro M275 hydraulic brakes do the job well enough.
The Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0 is a great introduction in to the world of mid-drive electric mountain bikes. Haibike have been producing excellent mid-drive e-bikes for a good few years now, and they just keep getting better. As long as you are aware of the limitations of the components fitted to this bike and don’t go to hard on it, then it should give you many miles of off-road fun!
Frame: Aluminium 6061, quick-release 5 x 135mm, disc brake Post Mount
Fork: SR Suntour XCM DS steel spring 120
Headset: A-Head Tapered Feimin FP-H868P 1 1/8″
Stem: Haibike Components TheStem + A-head JD-ST161A
Bars: Haibike Components TheBar + Topflat 720 JD-MTB479A
Front Brake: Tektro M275
Rear Brake: Tektro M275
Brake Lever: Tektro M275 aluminium
Front Mech: Nylon directmount
Rear Mech: Shimano Altus M2000 9 Speed
Shifters: Shimano Altus M2000
Rims: Rodi Black Rock 21
Front Hub: Haibike Components TheHub + Modus JA159F-SS-QR
Rear Hub: Haibike Components TheHub + Modus JA259R-DSS-QR
Spokes: Sapim Leader black
Front Tyre: XLC MountainX 57-584
Rear Tyre: XLC MountainX 57-584
Seat Post: Haibike Components The Seatpost + aluminium patent 31.6 Kalloy SP-DC1
Saddle: Haibike Components TheSaddle Velo 3460
Chainset: Haibike Components The Crank + HB19
Bottom Bracket: Integrated In Motor
Chain: KMC X9
Cassette: Shimano HG200 11 36
Pedals: MTB Platform pedal aluminium Feimin FP-969
Battery (Wh): 400 Wh
User Interface: Yamaha Side Switch 1.7″ LCD, 7 functions
The Giant Fathom E+ 3 is another excellent entry-level electric mountain bike. As with the Haibike this uses a Yamaha mid-drive electric motor, but the Fathom uses the better SyncDrive Sport motor, which produces 80Nm torque vs 70Nm for the PW-SE motor found on the Haibike.
Again this motor is not only incredibly responsive, but very smooth and quiet, producing seamless power when it is needed.
The removable 36v11.6 EnergyPaK battery uses the highest quality Panasonic NCR18650GA cells and should be good for a range of 50-80 miles (depending on terrain, rider weight etc.)
The lightweight ALUXX SL aluminium frame and trail-friendly geometry combined with 27.5″ rims and Maxxis Forekaster 27.5×2.6 tubeless tyres give the bike a responsive and predictable feel.
As with the Haibike, the components are all fairly entry-level spec, and will be ideal for the novice or beginner electric mountain bike rider.
The Giant uses the same Suntour XCM 120mm front forks as the Haibike. These are ideal for lighter trail riding and should provide more than enough damping for light to moderate use.
The Giant Fathom E+3 is another excellent entry-level electric mountain bike, and although it is marginally more expensive than the Haibike, you do get things like Tubeless tyres, Shimano Deore rear mech and of course the slightly better SYNC drive Sport Yamaha motor.
Riding the Giant inspires confidence on the rough stuff, but as with all the other bikes in this category I would not recommend it for heavy off-road riding. When the pedal assist is in full-power mode it really does produce a remarkable boost for a 250w motor, and due to the efficiency of the motor, the battery should provide enough power for a few hours of fun.
Frame: ALUXX aluminum, Overdrive 1½ – 1⅛” head tube, 141mm Boost QR, integrated KS18 kickstand mount
Fork: SR Suntour XCM 34 HLO 27,5+ 120mm travel, Tapered 1½ – 1⅛” steerer, lockout
Stem: Giant Connect
Bars: Giant Connect TR, 780mm
Front Brake: Tektro HD-M285, hydraulic disc, 180mm
Rear Brake: Tektro HD-M285, hydraulic disc, 180mm
Brake Lever: Tektro HD-M285
Rear Mech: Shimano Deore
Shifters: Shimano Altus 1×9
Rims: Giant AM 27.5, Tubeless ready, 30mm inner width, e-bike optimized
Front Hub: Giant eTracker Sport, 15mm Thru-Axle QR, e-bike optimized
Rear Hub: Giant eTracker Sport, 141mm QR, e-bike optimized
Spokes: Stainless steel
Front Tyre: Maxxis Forekaster 27.5×2.6, foldable, 60 TPI, EXO, Tubeless ready
Rear Tyre: Maxxis Forekaster 27.5×2.6, foldable, 60 TPI, EXO, Tubeless ready
Seat Post: Giant 30.9mm, 2-bolt Micro Adjustable, Forged Aluminium
Saddle: Giant Contact, Neutral
Chainset: Forged Alloy minimal Q-factor, 36T Steel Direct Mount ring
Chain: KMC e.9 Sport, e-bike optimized
Cassette: Shimano CS-HG201, 11-36T
Pedals: Aluminum Platform
Battery (Wh): 400 Wh
User Interface: Giant RideControl ONE
KTM has a long heritage of producing some of the best off-road motorcycles in the world, but they have also been producing bicycles since 1964.
The Austrian company were also an early entrant on to the e-bike market, with their first electric bike being released in 2011.
The KTM Macina Ride is new for 2019, replacing the very successful Macina Force as their entry level hardtail electric mountain bike.
The Macina Ride is available in both 29 and 27.5 wheel sizes and two specification options. All versions of the Macina Ride feature Bosch’s excellent Active line plus motor, which provides 50Nm torque, has near silent assistance and is controlled by the Purion display. It also features features the 400wh battery that uses the industry standard Panasonic NCR18650GA cells.
The bike is commuter ready, so it can easily be upgrade with lights, mudguards and a rack, if you are looking for a bike to be more commuter, than sport.
The Macina Ride is an ideal option for anyone looking for an entry level mountain bike whilst also being great for commuting or more urban activities. The larger tyres and mountain bike spec offer more comfort and robust components over a traditional hybrid style bike.
I really like the KTM, it is very well put together and is also a very comfortable ride. It is also incredibly versatile and would make the perfect commuter bike with some more road friendly tyres fitted.
The KTM name is synonymous with off-road performance, and this bike performs as expected for an entry-level machine. It is also a very attractive looking bike. The weight of the KTM is similar to all the other bikes in this category
The Bosch Active Line Plus is an excellent motor, it is quiet smooth and responsive, but it lacks the overall grunt of the Yamaha motors found on the Giant and Haibike. If you are using this bike for commuting, that shouldn’t be a problem, but it would become more evident on steep off-road climbs.
Frame: Macina MTB 29″
Fork: Suntour XCM, coil-HLO-9QR
Headset: Ritchey OE Logic Zero
Stem: KTM Comp ST-92A, 7°
Bars: KTM Comp HB-RB11L, rizer-15-9°, 680
Front Brake: Shimano MT200 / 180mm
Rear Brake: Shimano MT200 / 180mm
Rear Mech: Shimano Altus M2000 SGS-shadow
Shifters: Shimano Altus M2000-9 w/Display
Rims: Ambrosio sport 23mm, 32H
Front Hub: Shimano Acera M3050 CL QR/100, 32H
Rear Hub: Shimano Acera M3050 CL QR/135, 32H
Spokes: DT Champion 2.0 / DT Alpine II 2.34 silber
Front Tyre: Schwalbe Smart Sam, 57-622, K-Guard
Rear Tyre: Schwalbe Smart Sam, 57-622, K-Guard
Seat Post: KTM Line SP-612N 30.9/350
Saddle: KTM VL-3381
Chainset: KTM Delta 170mm (mini-ISIS) 38T
Bottom Bracket: Bosch mini-ISIS
Chain: Shimano CNE6070-9 E-Bike
Cassette: Shimano HG200-9 black 11-36
Pedals: Wellgo C280DU, one piece alloy
Battery (Wh): 500Wh
Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus
User Interface: Purion Display
The Orbea Keram 30 is the Spanish company’s entry level electric mountain bike. The Keram’s geometry is designed for a more comfortable riding position, making it suitable for commuting as well as long weekend trail rides.
The upright riding position gives the rider great visibility and control, contributing to a safer feel on the bike. This really is a user-friendly bike and an excellent introduction to the world of e-MTB’s.
The Keram uses the same excellent Bosch Active Line Plus system as the KTM and Cube, and is complemented with a 400wh (watt hour) battery. The battery on the Orbea is more obvious than on the other bikes.
Another excellent entry-level electric mountain bike, that holds its own against the competition. Orbea have a long history of making excellent bicycles and this one is no exception. The Keram 30 is definitely more suited to light trail riding and would also make an excellent commuter bike.
My only gripe is the battery pack looks a little old-fashioned, all of the other manufacturers have attempted to integrate the battery into the flow of the frame. Apart from that, the Orbea Keram 30 is a good solid e-bike.
Frame: Orbea Keram, compatible 2,8mm tires
Fork: SR Suntour XCM LO Coil 100mm QR
Headset: ACROS 1-1/8 – 1-1/2″ Integrated
Bars: Orbea OC Riser 720mm
Front Brake: Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc
Rear Brake: Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc
Rear Mech: Shimano Altus M2000 SGS Shadow
Shifters: Shimano Altus M2000
Rims: Orbea Black Rock 23c Disc
Front Tyre: Kenda K1153 2,35″ 22TPI
Rear Tyre: Kenda K1153 2,35″ 22TPI
Seat Post: Orbea OC 31.6x400mm
Chain: KMC X9e
Cassette: Shimano HG200 11-36 9-Speed
Pedals: VPE-537 Black
Battery (Wh): 400 Wh
User Interface: Bosch Performance Purion
The Cube Acid Hybrid One 400 combines the capabilities of a mountain bike with the comfort of an urban e-bike. With a Bosch Active Line Plus motor and 400Wh hour battery pack combined with Suntour XCM suspension forks, Shimano drivetrain and powerful disc brakes, the Acid Hybrid One 400 really is a ‘go anywhere’ bike.
One of the great things about this bike, that really clinches the deal for me is the price – at £1599.00 it is a whole £150 cheaper than the Haibike!
Cube’s mountain bike heritage shines through one this bike, and the frame geometry provides a very sure-footed feel.
Cube have done a great job of neatly integrating the battery pack and motor, making for a very clean finish.
Although the Bosch motor doesn’t produce the amount of torque found on the Giant and Haibike, it is still going to be more than suitable for most riders needs. Read my full review here.
Frame: Aluminium Superlite, Advanced Hydroforming, Agile Ride Geometry, Double Butted, Tapered Headtube, Internal Cable Routing, Full Integrated Battery
Fork: SR Suntour XCM ATB Coil, 100mm
Headset: FSA Orbit 1.5B ZS-R, Top Zero-Stack 1 1/8″ (OD 44mm), Bottom Zero-Stack 1 1/2″ (OD 56mm)
Stem: CUBE Performance Stem Pro, 31.8mm
Bars: CUBE Rise Trail Bar, 680mm
Front Brake: Shimano BR-MT200, Hydr. Disc Brake 180mm
Rear Brake: Shimano BR-MT200, Hydr. Disc Brake 180mm
Rear Mech: Shimano RD-M2000-SGS, 9-Speed
Shifters: Shimano SL-M2000, Rapidfire-Plus
Rims: CUBE ZX20, 32H, Disc
Front Hub: Shimano HB-TX505, QR, Centerlock
Rear Hub: Shimano FH-TX505, QR, Centerlock
Front Tyre: Schwalbe Tough Tom, Active, 2.25
Rear Tyre: Schwalbe Rapid Rob, Active, 2.25
Seat Post: CUBE Performance Post, 30.9mm
Saddle: Natural Fit Active
Chainset: FSA CK-602, 38T, 175mm
Chain: KMC X9
Cassette: Shimano CS-HG200, 11-34T
Pedals: CUBE PP MTB
Battery (Wh): 400 Wh
User Interface: Bosch Purion
Is there a clear winner?
It is difficult to make a clear choice as all of the bikes featured here are excellent entry electric mountain bikes. It boils down to a number of factors: Price, power, usage and brand loyalty.
Based on price alone, the Cube Acid Hybrid One 400 wins hands down. At £300 cheaper than the KTM and Giant, it certainly represents excellent value for money, with no compromise on quality.
The most powerful of the bunch is definitely the Giant Fathom E+3. The Yamaha SYNC drive sport motor offers more than 50% more torque than the Bosch Active Plus, and is also found on Giant’s more expensive e-MTB’s. The Giant also has slightly better components, by way of the Shimano Deore rear mech and tubless tyres.
Sitting in the middle would be the Haibike SDURO HardSeven 1.0 at only £150 more than the Cube, it uses the excellent Yamaha PW-SE motor, that offers 70Nm of torque and pedal assist up to 110 rpm cadence.
The KTM Macina Ride is a great bike, and the KTM name brings with it a certain kudos. But for me it is a tad overpriced.
The Orbea Keram 30 is also a good bike, but has a spec very similar to the Cube, but at a cost of £200 more. Plus I think the battery pack looks a little dated.
If it was my money I would have to declare the Giant Fathom E+3 as the clear winner. The motor is just superb and the better components would seal the deal for me.