Down with exhausted calves — all hail the rise of the ebike! Electric bikes are taking over anywhere bicycles roam, including off-road trails. Few things have changed the MTB (mountain biking) space like electrification, taking trail capabilities to a new level, and allowing riders to actually enjoy the uphill pedal. To that end, we’re looking at the best electric mountain bikes of 2023.
Each of these e-MTBs has been tested extensively in a wide range of trail conditions, from easy flow trails to more technical challenges. While electric mountain bikes tend to be fairly pricey — it’s not uncommon for them to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000 — the recommendations below represent a wide range of budgets. Check back often, as we'll be updating our ebike coverage regularly, looking at standout models like the Juiced RipCurrent S and the VanMoof S3.
Canyon Spectral ON
Best all-around e-MTB
With its enormous 900-watt hour battery, 60 miles range, and powerful Shimano EP 8 motor, the all-new Canyon Spectral ON delivers all the performance you need to conquer any trail.
Designed with an ultralight but ultra-tough frame (seven pounds or less depending on the specific model), butter-smooth gears, a low center of gravity, and ergonomic layout, it's the sort of bike you'll love riding all day long. While its pedal crank is a bit low and the price tag is certainly high, if you can afford it, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more thrilling e-MTB experience.
Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay
Runner-up: Wonderfully aggressive e-MTB
Running neck and neck at the head of the pack is this absolutely outstanding bike from the Vancouver-based company Rocky Mountain. The Instinct Powerplay is lightweight yet powerful, easy to use yet packed with slick tech features. Its 720-watt-hour battery provides plenty of range, and its low-slung layout hugs train corners perfectly.
Like the Spectral ON, it's no slouch in terms of price and will go pretty much anywhere you point it. The only reason the Canyon edged out ahead was because of the slight battery capacity advantage, but for all practical purposes, the Instinct Powerplay is a great e-MTB.
Great portable off-roader
If you're looking for a more compact, straightforward ebike that offers solid off-road capability, the RipRacer from Juiced delivers. With its outstanding 55+ mile range and surprisingly (almost unnecessarily) powerful 750W motor, it offers substantial performance.
Unlike the other bikes on this list, it has a throttle that can propel you forward at the twist of a wrist. Its fat tires provide ample grip whether you're riding over gravel, mud, sand, or even snow, and its slightly smaller stature makes it great for throwing in the trunk to drive out to the woods for a ride, or for smaller riders. And the price is smaller too. At just $1,700, it's the most affordable option on our list.
Solid crossover option
While the Ride1Up Prodigy isn't technically an e-MTB, I've found that it bridges the gap nicely between urban commuting and off-road capability, particularly with the XC edition that includes shocks in the front fork. This isn't a bike that you're going to want to ride on more technical trails, but if you're looking for an ebike that is just as comfortable on flow trails or unpaved paths as it is on the asphalt, the
Prodigy is a great option. Its performance is solid, its ride is smooth, and the price is right. Simply put, if you want an ebike for riding to work during the week and then hitting some light trails during the weekend, the Prodigy has you covered.
We'll be updating this list occasionally to include the latest and greatest releases, so check back often. In the meantime, these are outstanding e-MTBs for your summer trail-riding fun.
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