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NCM Moscow Electric Bike Review

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NCM make high quality, but affordable electric bikes. In this review I will explain why I believe the NCM Moscow is without a doubt the best electric mountain bike for the money.

About NCM Electric bikes

NCM Bikes, founded in 2014, have quickly become one of the largest electric bike brands in Europe, the parent company, Leon Cycle GmbH is a German company based in Hanover. Their e-bikes are designed in Germany and manufactured in China.

Update August 2019 – the US version NCM Moscow Plus 500w

This great ebike is now available in the US with a higher power output 500w motor and a top speed of 20mph. The NCM Moscow Plus has a high capacity 48v 16ah battery, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and Suntour XCM forks with 100mm travel.  This model uses the more advanced C7 LCD display with increased functionality and has 24 speed gears with Shimano Crankset and Acera 8-speed rear mech. There is also a throttle fitted.

I have ridden the EU spec version and that was fairly nippy, so I would imagine with double the power on tap this US version is an absolute joy to ride!

EU Specification

The centre piece of this Electric bike is the DAS-Kit X15 geared rear hub motor: This durable 250W rear electric hub motor is known for its efficiency and high torque output. It offers a reduction ratio of 1:5 and a maximum torque of 55 Nm, which is excellent for such a small motor. This German designed hub motor definitely punches above its weight and it is refreshing to see such a high quality unit on an affordable ebike.

das-kit x15 250 watt electric bike hub motor

48v13ah Lithium battery pack with USB charging port for mobile devices: Usually, electric bike battery packs take up a considerable amount of space in the frame, but the Moscow’s battery is integrated in to the down tube of the bike, keeping weight low and central, which helps to improve stability. The claimed maximum range of 75 miles seems a little optimistic, but possible if the pedal assist is used wisely. The total battery energy capacity is 624wh (watt hours), so if you were consuming 20wh per mile, your range would be 31 miles. My friend owns one of these bikes and gets an average range of around 40-50 miles.

48v 13ah lithium battery pack fits neatly into the ncm moscow's frame and has a usb charger for mobile devices

This is a rugged bike built for the road less travelled: This is an excellent bike for weekend adventures on trails and gravel tracks. The Suntour XCT front forks have 100mm of travel, which is more than adequate for light off-road riding, and the excellent Schwalbe Smart Sam all-terrain tyres provide grip where its needed. The gel saddle is comfortable enough, and the Velo ergonomic handlebar grips not only look great, but feel great too!  Gearing is the dependable Shimano Altus 21-speed, and all the gears indexed perfectly as expected.

ncm moscow electric bike review

 

Multi-function LCD display: The Das-Kit LCD display gives you all the information you would expect, including journey time and mileage. It also has 6 power levels of pedal-assist, so you can fine-tune the power output to suite your needs.

NCM Moscow electric bike lcd display

Excellent build quality: One thing that has always impressed me with NCM Electric bikes is the consistency of the build quality. The NCM Moscow is no exception. It looks great, but there is no compromise on functionality and safety.  The Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors provide predictable braking and the brake levers incorporate motor cut-off switches to ensure a safe riding.

NCM Moscow electric bike dimensions

 

Summary

The NCM Moscow electric bike offers exceptional value for money. I have tested NCM’s other bikes and this one is no exception. They all offer a lot for the price. The specification is excellent and it is good to see a 48v battery fitted to a 250w bike. This battery is the same capacity as the Milano I reviewed previously and a realistic range of between 30-45 miles, or 31 miles using the 20wh per mile calculation, should be expected. The claimed range of 75 miles may be a little optimistic for every day use – but it really depends on how much you use the electric assist.

Check Availability on eBay (UK & Europe)

The Tektro Mechanical disc brakes provide adequate and predictable stopping power, while the Schwalbe Smart Sam tyres will provide sure-footed grip on a variety of surfaces, as well as a reasonable amount of puncture protection.

It is good to see an integrated battery pack on an e-bike of this price, it really does finish the bike off nicely.

As far as electric mountain bikes go, the NCM Moscow is excellent. Not only is it well-made, but it has a decent battery and an excellent motor.

The Ride

I serviced one of these for a customer last Summer and had to take it for a short test ride.  I was impressed with the way the small motor effortlessly handled the steep Cornish hills. The beefy 29er tyres handled the pot holes and bumps of the back lanes with ease.

I had previously ridden the Milano model and there are a lot of obvious similarities. The Milano is definitely made with the daily commuter in mind, whereas the Moscow is geared more to the recreational rider, who will be venturing off-road more often. If I had to choose between the two, I would go for the Moscow, simply because it has that ‘go anywhere’ feel, and if you decided to use it as an every day commuter bike, there are provisions to fit mudguards and a rack.

quality shimano altus 21-speed gears fitted to the ncm moscow

Conclusion

As with all the other NCM bikes I have reviewed, I really rate this bike. It has to the best value electric mountain bike on the market at the moment.

The great thing about this bike, is that the build quality is excellent. It feels very rugged and durable, although I would err on the side of caution when taking it off the beaten track. It is not a high end mountain bike and isn’t designed to take the rigours of extreme downhill riding. The suspension forks are fine for rough surfaces and a few small potholes, but nothing too harsh like rocks an logs.

If you are in the market for an affordable off-road e-bike, then this definitely ticks all the right boxes.

If you are looking for a more commuter-orientated bike check out my review of the Milano. If you budget doesn’t quite stretch to the NMC Moscow, It would be worth looking at the NCM Prague Electric Mountain Bike.

The complete range of NMC bikes feature in my list of the best electric bikes for sale.

The NCM Moscow is available to buy from Amazon in the following countries (subject to availability) USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain.

Check Price and Availability on eBay (UK & Europe)

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NCM Moscow ebike

9.3

Value for Money

9.0/10

Comfort

9.0/10

Reliability

10.0/10

Pros

  • Excellent Value for Money
  • Good for trail riding
  • Decent battery range

Cons

  • The front forks are not suitable for heavy off-road use

26 thoughts on “NCM Moscow Electric Bike Review

  • October 14, 2020 at 8:19 pm
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    0

    Comfort

    8

    Reliability

    0

    Bought my NCM Moscow during COVID-19 shutdown and the ebike looked well built and coped well for first few months before developing a control unit problem. Replacement control unit received under warranty however another problem developed immediately with new control unit fitted. After around 3-4weeks now sent back in Germany to get it sorted which email says it could take 1-4 weeks !!
    2weeks later still no news. I have now had the bike with a problem longer than I have actually ridden it which is bordering on the ridiculous!
    I have always bought German made cars and motorcycles due to their build quality and reliability, shame I cannot say the same for NCM Moscow ebike reliability.
    Absolutely fed up with it all – sooner I get it back and sold the better.

    Reply
    • October 14, 2020 at 8:34 pm
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      Hi Brian,

      That’s appalling customer service. There does seem to be some reliability issues being reported, although the people I know who own Moscow’s have not had any problems to date. NCM are now a global company and really need to sort out their after sales service. Thank you for sharing and I’m sorry the bike has turned out to be a bad one.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • September 18, 2020 at 5:19 pm
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    Value for Money

    10

    Comfort

    7.5

    Reliability

    8.5

    Love mine which is a UK spec MCN Moscow Plus. I live is a very hilly area (Cumbria) and usually use power level 3 (middle one). In my experience with my riding style a range of 60-70 miles is realistic which for me is 2 rides. Did not like the saddle but guess that is personal taste, fitted a sprung leather Brookes Flyer. I suffer with COPD and this bike has been a real game changer for me, rarely use the car for trips less than 30 miles now unless I’m collecting something big or heavy but I’m on with a trailer build to address that.

    Reply
    • September 18, 2020 at 8:05 pm
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      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for sharing, glad you’re enjoying the e-bike experience. I know a few NCM Moscow owners down here in Cornwall. One chap even takes his up to Dartmoor for the occasional bikepacking / wild camping weekend.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • July 5, 2020 at 12:09 am
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    I’m confused. The Leon Cycle site says the top speed foe the Moscow is 25mph. With throttle its 20mph. It has a speed limiter set to 20 mph (u.s.) so please explain.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • July 5, 2020 at 8:57 am
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      Sorry, I can’t help you with that one. I’ve only ridden the EU version which is limited to 15mph. It looks like they’ve limited it to comply with US Federal law – 750w max output and 20mph top speed. You could overcome this by swapping out the controller and display – I would give the guys at Luna Cycle a shout, they will be able match an alternative controller display configuration – unrestricted that motor should be capable of around 28mph.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 7:18 am
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    Value for Money

    0

    Comfort

    6.5

    Reliability

    0

    Thanks for the review! Looks like a great option for the price. One question: in the US, the Moscow is a Class 2 ebike which limits the speed to 20mph. Is there a way to bypass the limiter to increase the speed to 28mph (class 3)? Appreciate the help!

    Reply
    • June 22, 2020 at 8:15 am
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      Hi Robert,

      All the NCM controllers and displays I’ve come across don’t have the function of changing the speed limit (EU and US versions), the only way you can get around this is swapping out the existing controller and display for a KT series controller combined with a KT3LCD display, these work perfectly with the NCM Moscow as I have performed this upgrade on a customers bike previously.

      NCM ebikes use their own controllers, most of the connections should be compatible (pedal assist, motor etc), although you may need to cut, splice and heat shrink some of the connectors. The controller in the link above is also physically slightly larger so you may need to check with the supplier the exact dimensions.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
      • June 22, 2020 at 6:47 pm
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        I’ve had my Moscow plus for about a month before it died. I had no problem dealing with Leon’s and they are sending me a new controller. The bike shops here are completely swamped – is replacing a controller something a trained bureaucrat with basic tools should be able to accomplish on his own?

        Reply
        • June 22, 2020 at 9:09 pm
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          Hi David,
          The controller is fairly straightforward to change. The cover is located on the underside of the downtube (near where it meets the bottom bracket shell) it’s just a case of removing the cover and unplugging the various connectors. There should be arrows on the connectors so you can line them up correctly. Just swap them over one at a time with the new controller and you should be good to go.

          If you need any more advice, let me know.

          All the best,
          Tony

          Reply
      • September 3, 2020 at 10:40 pm
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        Are you 100% sure that you will bypass the limiter by swapping out the existing controller and display with a KT series controller combined with a KT3LCD display.

        I have the NCM Moscow, and it’s limited at 20mph… i’d love to be able to get it up to 28Mph and would be willing to make the modification if it works.

        Reply
        • September 4, 2020 at 11:57 am
          Permalink

          A 22A controller is physically larger than the standard one fitted and there is limited space in the controller housing for a larger controller so it may involve fitting an upgraded controller externally (in a frame bag or controller box) – this would include external cable routing, which will effect the aesthetics of the bike and give it a more ‘DIY’ look to the bike. I know this having worked on an NCM Moscow in the past. The motor itself will handle 500w-1000w.

          Reply
  • June 10, 2020 at 10:43 am
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    Hi there,
    I have seen the NCM Moscow reviewed on You Tube in Canada and the bike there has a thumb throttle whereas the European market model does not, Can you explain this difference please?
    Also is it possible to recalibrate the ‘Walk Assist’ mode which gives a speed of 6kpm without pedaling to a faster speed?
    Regards,
    JH
    UK

    Reply
    • June 10, 2020 at 1:45 pm
      Permalink

      Hi John,

      The Canadian e-bike laws are more relaxed than the UK and EU laws and allow for up to 500w and 20mph plus a thumb throttle. The motor controller (ECU), display and wiring loom on the UK models do not allow for the addition of a thumb throttle (to comply with EU laws). The only way to get around this would be to replace the controller, display and wiring loom. I know KT series controllers are compatible as I have fitted one to an NCM before. You would need a KT controller, wiring loom and KT display + throttle (and possibly a pedal assist sensor). It’s a fairly straightforward job for a competent DIY enthusiast. If you need links on where to get the specific parts from, let me know.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
      • June 17, 2020 at 4:39 am
        Permalink

        Value for Money

        10

        Comfort

        10

        Reliability

        10

        Dear Tony, I recently bought a NCM VENICE 250 WATT MOTOR 48 VOLT BATTERY WITH A DAS KIT 7 DISPLAY and would love to be able to incorporate a throttle of some sort as I have had a knee replacement and find it difficult to keep up with my wife. Would appreciate any advice you could offer.PS I am quite competent when it comes to mechanical and electrical matters. REGARDS RALPH.

        Reply
        • June 17, 2020 at 9:58 am
          Permalink

          Hi Ralph,

          It is possible to add a throttle, but it will require replacement of a lot of the existing electric components.

          The motor controller (ECU) will need to be replaced – this is located under a cover where the downtube meets the bottom bracket. The display will also need to be replaced.

          I have found a seller on Aliexpress who supplies the controller, display and throttle as a complete package, and they have a UK-based warehouse. Here is the link.

          You may need to change the pedal assist sensor, as the NCM Venice uses a circular Higo connector for this sensor and the controller (in the link above) uses a 3-pin block connector.

          You will also need a modified lead going from the motor to the replacement controller. The plug coming from the motor is a circular connector at the controller end you will have a + (red) – (black) and 3 x phase wires (blue, green, yellow), there will also be a 5 or 6 pin block connector for the hall sensor. You may be able to get an adaptor cable from eBay or you would need to modify the existing lead – this may involve soldering and heatshrinking connections.

          I’ve done these modifications before to other e-bikes, and it’s fairly straightforward so you should be okay. But if you need any further advice, please let me know.

          Regards,
          Tony

          Reply
  • May 30, 2020 at 2:03 pm
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    I recently purchased a 29″ for myself and a 27.5″ for my wife. Fun and comfortable to ride with very good battery range and the components seem solid for the affordable price. Fast shipping from Leon Cycle and easy to assemble. The 27.5″ is too big for my 5′ 5″ wife so we will be replacing hers after a fall. The drink holder is not optimally placed. LIGHT off-road is good, but more than that and I feel as though I am ruining this bike. Analogy: Jeep and Mitsubishi both make a 4X4, but you will destroy the Mitsubishi if you treat it like a Jeep.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2020 at 2:38 pm
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      Hi David,

      Thank you for sharing your experiences of the NCM Moscow, much appreciated!

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • May 14, 2020 at 11:04 am
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    This bike looks almost exactly like the magnum peak. A lot of the components are exactly the same with some minor differences. Plus it is about $400- $500 dollars less! I am def going to buy this bike. Thanks for a great review.

    Reply
    • May 14, 2020 at 8:09 pm
      Permalink

      Hi,

      Yes, I agree. I had a look at the Magnum Peak and it looks almost identical, even down to the tyres. Glad you liked the review.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • May 3, 2020 at 4:12 am
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    10

    Comfort

    10

    Reliability

    10

    Just bought a 2020 Moscow plus 29, The guy I bought it from is a avid Mtn Biker but not into e bikes, So it had 1.8 miles on it! I love the bike so far in Southern Oregon, But 1 thing concern I have is the head stay seems loose, I had to force the handle bars down to apply pressure to the collars so it stays tight. I am looking further into this. I would love to see an exploded view of the arrangement of the bearings, collars etc.

    Reply
    • May 3, 2020 at 8:40 pm
      Permalink

      Hi David,

      The manufacturer Leon Cycles have a USA specific website: https://www.leoncycle.com/ it might be worth contacting them for a diagram (if they have one). When I tested the bike it looked to have a regular 1 1/8″ threadless headset although I’m not sure if it uses a sealed bearings or the older type caged bearings. Here’s a link to the user manual: https://www.leoncycle.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/7/

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • April 12, 2020 at 10:58 am
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    my ncm moscow bike the power is cutting in and out when pedaling along , battery is charged , any ideas what it could be the problem

    Reply
    • April 12, 2020 at 3:49 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Peter,

      When the power is cutting off, is the display shutting off or are you just loosing pedal assist? If it is the latter it sounds like a fault with the pedal assist sensor. The sensor should be located between the left pedal crank and bottom bracket (if it’s the same configuration as the one I tested). On some models the pedal sensor may be on the crankset side (with a magnetic sensor ring attached to the inner chainring).

      If it is on the left hand side, you will need a large Allen key and crank puller to remove the pedal crank, and if the sensor is the same as on my friends Moscow you can purchase a new one from Leon Cycles Australia(the manufacturer and distributor of the NCM Moscow). The sensor simply unplugs from the motor controller box which is located on the downtube underneath a cover (where the downtube meets the bottom bracket shell).

      It would be worth double checking with them which sensor you need for your particular bike. If it’s not the pedal sensor then the problem may lie with the controller itself, if the bike is still under warranty they should replace it. If the warranty has expired they aren’t too expensive.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • April 5, 2020 at 3:42 pm
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    10

    Comfort

    10

    Reliability

    10

    I recently purchased this bike, and it is brilliant.
    I love the attention to detail, the stand, the bell, a full range of gears and it gives you power when you need it – I recommend this bike to my friends, and they will change to it soon.
    It looks good, it handles well, and it is a smooth power delivery.
    Its my first ebike, but many of my friends with ebikes rate this one over theirs.

    Reply
    • April 5, 2020 at 3:52 pm
      Permalink

      Hi James,
      Thank you for sharing your experience of the NCM Moscow with us. Glad you’re enjoying your first ebike.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply

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