Purchase advice please

zoumerela

New Member
Region
Europe
Hello everybody, thank you for accepting me in this community, nice to be here. I need an eMTB in my life and I was hoping you could advise me on what to buy. I live in a mountain forest area with endless steepy trails full of rocks and fallen branches, but also with long, cozy service roads for the fire brigade. I love technical riding and I had tried all kinds of offroad motorcycles, but I kept none of them cause I am a female and these bikes are just all too tall and heavy for me. I also bought a trials bike but it was uncomfortable to ride on trails even with a seat attached because of its geometry. I do have a very cool all mountain bicycle but on steep ascents I have to push it or I move with the speed of a turtle, so I only ride it on specific paths. Anyway, I need an ebike with as much battery as possible to be able to explore even unknown areas for me and ride around for 3 hours. At the same time I want to keep the feeling that I am actually riding a bicycle and enjoy pedaling to get some exercise and feel that I am moving the bicycle myself, at least partly. I explored the option of turning my own MTB to an ebike with a Bafang M620 and a 52V21Amp battery, but it is impossible to place the battery on the frame and I will not carry it on my back. I asked around about mainstream ebikes (with Shimano, Bosch, etc motors at 80nm torque) and according to what I have been reading they just seem too weak for what I want them to do, so I am definetely looking at Bafang 1000W - either by bying an allmountain bike that the battery is easy to fit on and doing the coversion myself (with the BBSHD probably), or by buying a bike with the M620 already fit on. Now, I live in Europe so I can forget about importing parts or bikes from China or USA, because of EU antidumping measures. There are a very few bike manufacturers in Europe with the Bafang M620, they offer it with a 650Wh battery (not that huge) but the bikes look awesome and are light and agile, about 25 kg or 55 pounds. I also found some heavy bikes in Eurpe with M620 at around 34 kg or 75 pounds that will ride for ever because the battery is huge (they have a special frame to accomodate it), but this means they are quite heavy and I am not sure if they will still feel like a bicycle or rather as a lightweight electric enduro motorcycle, or like something that is neither a bicycle, nor a motorcycle. The problem is, these toys cost a fortune, like I really have to save money to buy them, and I can't just keep them all or try them all and decide, and they are not even around the place, like they will be shipped from another country and once I have made my decision and placed the order I can't take it back. So based on this info (and thank you for reading so far :)), what would you suggest I should buy? When does a bicycle stop being a bicycle and becomes an electric motorcycle? And for those of you that have ebikes, especially heavy and powerful ones, do you still enjoy pedaling and getting a good exercise if you adjust the power of pedal assist? Thank you so much!
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I may sound acerbic but as an European and an owner of an e-MTB I would say:
  • "Bafang" and "e-MTB" don't agree with each other well. Think Bosch, Shimano, Specialized/Brose or Giant/Yamaha mid-drive motor e-bikes.
  • The aforementioned motors and the e-bike manufacturers' expertise create true MTBs with proper geometry, integrated battery, and possibly light weight
  • The aforementioned motors are nominally 250 W but produce over 500 W peak power and up to 90 Nm torque (depending on the manufacturer).
  • That makes a typical full-power Euro compliant e-MTB weigh around 24 kg in size M. (Specialized make light weight e-MTBs -- SL -- at the cost of low power motor and small battery as well).
  • Low nominal power makes 500-720 Wh batteries practical for e-MTB and the motor is lightweight enough.
If you watch Electric Mountain Bike Network on YouTube, you will discover the true e-MTBs neither lack power or torque on the trail. (One of the Forum members @Sierratim cleared 31% hill with his non e-MTB 250 W nominal Specialized Vado 5.0; another Forum member @PDoz in Australia is our e-MTB guru - he rides 250 W mid-drive motor e-bikes off-road in Australia).

E-bike stops to be a bicycle in Europe when its nominal motor power exceeds 250 W and/or the assisted speed exceeds 25 km/h. I can assure you a true e-MTB will give you a lot of workout. There things don't "ride you" as powerful and heavy illegal e-bikes. You ride them.

If you want to purchase an e-MTB online, you're asking for trouble. e-bikes are complex animals and need to have good local support. Depending on where you live, it might be an issue of course.

Yes, these things are not cheap. I'd say the most economical brands are Giant/Liv and Haibike. To reduce the cost, a hardtail e-MTB is far cheaper than a full-suspension one. While I don't have experience with Haibike, Giant offers Fathom E+ for men and Liv offers Vall E+ for ladies at entry price.

Hope that helps.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you should take a trip to your local bike shop and see what is available. Ebikes are flying off the shelves and my guess is your options may be limited...
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The M620 is the Bafang Ultra which uses a special mount. To "convert" a donor bike for M620 use is going to take some advanced setup and welding capability that few are going to possess in my experience.

These Ultra's have become hugely popular. One reason is they are torque monsters. There's no pussy footing around when you dial up the power with these. The concept of you HAVE to be in the right gear constantly might still be true if you were riding a 3 speed, but the average 9 speed plus are actually pretty forgiving as long as you are being responsible with the throttle. The big batteries, in the 20ah range, are heavy, and make these bikes heavy, in the 60 plus pound range.

The BBSHD is the one to look at for conversions. Pretty much the same power as the Ultra, minus the torque sensing capability.

"lightweight electric enduro motorcycle, or like something that is neither a bicycle, nor a motorcycle"
That pretty much describes my impression of an Ultra powered fatty (4" tires) with a 19.2ah battery. That's not to say it's all that bad, just different! It's taken some getting used to for sure! That said, I still enjoy riding it, though I believe my other bike which is also very powerful, but on 2" tires, might be easier. -Al
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Hello everybody, thank you for accepting me in this community, nice to be here. I need an eMTB in my life and I was hoping you could advise me on what to buy. I live in a mountain forest area with endless steepy trails full of rocks and fallen branches, but also with long, cozy service roads for the fire brigade. I love technical riding and I had tried all kinds of offroad motorcycles, but I kept none of them cause I am a female and these bikes are just all too tall and heavy for me. I also bought a trials bike but it was uncomfortable to ride on trails even with a seat attached because of its geometry. I do have a very cool all mountain bicycle but on steep ascents I have to push it or I move with the speed of a turtle, so I only ride it on specific paths. Anyway, I need an ebike with as much battery as possible to be able to explore even unknown areas for me and ride around for 3 hours. At the same time I want to keep the feeling that I am actually riding a bicycle and enjoy pedaling to get some exercise and feel that I am moving the bicycle myself, at least partly. I explored the option of turning my own MTB to an ebike with a Bafang M620 and a 52V21Amp battery, but it is impossible to place the battery on the frame and I will not carry it on my back. I asked around about mainstream ebikes (with Shimano, Bosch, etc motors at 80nm torque) and according to what I have been reading they just seem too weak for what I want them to do, so I am definetely looking at Bafang 1000W - either by bying an allmountain bike that the battery is easy to fit on and doing the coversion myself (with the BBSHD probably), or by buying a bike with the M620 already fit on. Now, I live in Europe so I can forget about importing parts or bikes from China or USA, because of EU antidumping measures. There are a very few bike manufacturers in Europe with the Bafang M620, they offer it with a 650Wh battery (not that huge) but the bikes look awesome and are light and agile, about 25 kg or 55 pounds. I also found some heavy bikes in Eurpe with M620 at around 34 kg or 75 pounds that will ride for ever because the battery is huge (they have a special frame to accomodate it), but this means they are quite heavy and I am not sure if they will still feel like a bicycle or rather as a lightweight electric enduro motorcycle, or like something that is neither a bicycle, nor a motorcycle. The problem is, these toys cost a fortune, like I really have to save money to buy them, and I can't just keep them all or try them all and decide, and they are not even around the place, like they will be shipped from another country and once I have made my decision and placed the order I can't take it back. So based on this info (and thank you for reading so far :)), what would you suggest I should buy? When does a bicycle stop being a bicycle and becomes an electric motorcycle? And for those of you that have ebikes, especially heavy and powerful ones, do you still enjoy pedaling and getting a good exercise if you adjust the power of pedal assist? Thank you so much!
Zoumerela, welcome to EBR... you will find a very helpful community here. ;)
I think you will also find the mid-drive EBikes from the big 4 OEM makers will perform very well off-road.
Take a look at the EBR list of Best Hardtail and Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bikes of 2020... they are sorted by price category.
Let us know your budget and we can make more specific recommendations. Hope this helps.

The top five hardtail electric mountain bikes of 2021 represent the best combinations of features and value on the market today. We did the research to highlight the best, but you can see all 33 of our complete reviews of hardtail electric bikes listed here. Evaluating electric bikes is our specialty, and EBR has the most complete and unbiased reviews in the industry. Since 2012, we’ve helped millions of people discover the best ebikes for their needs and budget.
Table of Contents:


Here is our listing of the top five full suspension electric bikes of 2021. We’ve done the research to identify the best combinations of features and value on the market today. Beyond these recommendations, you can see all 312 of our detailed reviews of rull suspension ebikes listed here. Reviewing electric bikes is our specialty, and EBR has the most holistic and unbiased reviews in the industry. Since 2012, we’ve helped millions of people find the best ebike for their needs and budget.
Table of Contents:

 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
The problem with EBR reviews FlatSix is these look at e-bikes from North American perspective... Say, Voltbike. Nobody has ever heard of Voltbike in Europe. For instance, the list of Best Premium FS e-bikes starts with Levo SL, which is a very special design. No mention of Specialized Turbo Levo Comp, which is a model e-MTB to which all other are being compared. A European should rather watch the EMBN YouTube channel. Another good channel is "Rob Rides EMTB".
 
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zoumerela

New Member
Region
Europe
The BBSHD is the one to look at for conversions. Pretty much the same power as the Ultra, minus the torque sensing capability.

"lightweight electric enduro motorcycle, or like something that is neither a bicycle, nor a motorcycle"
That pretty much describes my impression of an Ultra powered fatty (4" tires) with a 19.2ah battery. That's not to say it's all that bad, just different! It's taken some getting used to for sure! That said, I still enjoy riding it, though I believe my other bike which is also very powerful, but on 2" tires, might be easier. -Al

Thank you for your feedback! Actually I am thinking about either doing my own conversion with the BBSHD on a second hand downhill or all mountain bike with the proper frame, which will be relatively lightweight, or, alternativey, buying a bike from a manufacturer which will already have the M620 and a monster battery mounted on and thus will be quite heavy. The second option is 100% more expensive, but it will look better plus the torque sensor. Now, because I do not have the possibility of test riding any of those options, I am confused. I think that for the kind of terrain I will be riding the bike on the torque sensor will be a lifesaver but I again, I am not sure.
 

zoumerela

New Member
Region
Europe
I may sound acerbic but as an European and an owner of an e-MTB I would say:
  • "Bafang" and "e-MTB" don't agree with each other well. Think Bosch, Shimano, Specialized/Brose or Giant/Yamaha mid-drive motor e-bikes.
  • The aforementioned motors and the e-bike manufacturers' expertise create true MTBs with proper geometry, integrated battery, and possibly light weight
  • The aforementioned motors are nominally 250 W but produce over 500 W peak power and up to 90 Nm torque (depending on the manufacturer).
  • That makes a typical full-power Euro compliant e-MTB weigh around 24 kg in size M. (Specialized make light weight e-MTBs -- SL -- at the cost of low power motor and small battery as well).
  • Low nominal power makes 500-720 Wh batteries practical for e-MTB and the motor is lightweight enough.
If you watch Electric Mountain Bike Network on YouTube, you will discover the true e-MTBs neither lack power or torque on the trail. (One of the Forum members @Sierratim cleared 31% hill with his non e-MTB 250 W nominal Specialized Vado 5.0; another Forum member @PDoz in Australia is our e-MTB guru - he rides 250 W mid-drive motor e-bikes off-road in Australia).

E-bike stops to be a bicycle in Europe when its nominal motor power exceeds 250 W and/or the assisted speed exceeds 25 km/h. I can assure you a true e-MTB will give you a lot of workout. There things don't "ride you" as powerful and heavy illegal e-bikes. You ride them.

If you want to purchase an e-MTB online, you're asking for trouble. e-bikes are complex animals and need to have good local support. Depending on where you live, it might be an issue of course.

Yes, these things are not cheap. I'd say the most economical brands are Giant/Liv and Haibike. To reduce the cost, a hardtail e-MTB is far cheaper than a full-suspension one. While I don't have experience with Haibike, Giant offers Fathom E+ for men and Liv offers Vall E+ for ladies at entry price.

Hope that helps.

Hello, thank you for your insight, I really appreciate that. Can you please ellaborate on Bafang" and "e-MTB" don't agree with each other well.
What do you mean by "heavy illegal bikes ride you" as opposed to you ride them?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Can you please ellaborate on Bafang" and "e-MTB" don't agree with each other well.
  • No respected e-MTB brand uses Bafang motors: Fact.
  • Bafang motors are too powerful for trail use - strange but it is the fact
  • The power of Bafang motors requires large battery, making e-bike heavy and unsuitable for trail. Think of meeting an obstacle such as a fallen tree. Fancy rising a 34 kg bike in your hands? Yet I can do it with my 24 kg Giant Trance E+.
What do you mean by "heavy illegal bikes ride you" as opposed to you ride them?
An old meme "In Soviet Russia..." translated to the reality of today would be:
"In e-MTB mature countries, you ride e-MTB.
In immature countries, Bafang rides you" :)
Meaning: High power of Bafang motors means your role as a cyclist is to "ghost pedal", that is, spin the cranks without any effort as it is the motor that does the whole work. In true e-MTB, you get natural ride feeling in which you simply feel stronger than you are. You ride e-MTB. You are not "ridden" by it.

This is what true e-MTB can do:

Difference between true e-MTB and not true one:
 

Oski1997

Active Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Hello everybody, thank you for accepting me in this community, nice to be here. I need an eMTB in my life and I was hoping you could advise me on what to buy. I live in a mountain forest area with endless steepy trails full of rocks and fallen branches, but also with long, cozy service roads for the fire brigade. I love technical riding and I had tried all kinds of offroad motorcycles, but I kept none of them cause I am a female and these bikes are just all too tall and heavy for me. I also bought a trials bike but it was uncomfortable to ride on trails even with a seat attached because of its geometry. I do have a very cool all mountain bicycle but on steep ascents I have to push it or I move with the speed of a turtle, so I only ride it on specific paths. Anyway, I need an ebike with as much battery as possible to be able to explore even unknown areas for me and ride around for 3 hours. At the same time I want to keep the feeling that I am actually riding a bicycle and enjoy pedaling to get some exercise and feel that I am moving the bicycle myself, at least partly. I explored the option of turning my own MTB to an ebike with a Bafang M620 and a 52V21Amp battery, but it is impossible to place the battery on the frame and I will not carry it on my back. I asked around about mainstream ebikes (with Shimano, Bosch, etc motors at 80nm torque) and according to what I have been reading they just seem too weak for what I want them to do, so I am definetely looking at Bafang 1000W - either by bying an allmountain bike that the battery is easy to fit on and doing the coversion myself (with the BBSHD probably), or by buying a bike with the M620 already fit on. Now, I live in Europe so I can forget about importing parts or bikes from China or USA, because of EU antidumping measures. There are a very few bike manufacturers in Europe with the Bafang M620, they offer it with a 650Wh battery (not that huge) but the bikes look awesome and are light and agile, about 25 kg or 55 pounds. I also found some heavy bikes in Eurpe with M620 at around 34 kg or 75 pounds that will ride for ever because the battery is huge (they have a special frame to accomodate it), but this means they are quite heavy and I am not sure if they will still feel like a bicycle or rather as a lightweight electric enduro motorcycle, or like something that is neither a bicycle, nor a motorcycle. The problem is, these toys cost a fortune, like I really have to save money to buy them, and I can't just keep them all or try them all and decide, and they are not even around the place, like they will be shipped from another country and once I have made my decision and placed the order I can't take it back. So based on this info (and thank you for reading so far :)), what would you suggest I should buy? When does a bicycle stop being a bicycle and becomes an electric motorcycle? And for those of you that have ebikes, especially heavy and powerful ones, do you still enjoy pedaling and getting a good exercise if you adjust the power of pedal assist? Thank you so much!
Yamaha gives you a lot for the money ($4,499 for the Moro). My Yamaha Road Bike Allows me to ride 57 miles on a full charge using the 2 highest settings. They also offer a 3-year warranty (which is one of the longest warranty’s in the ebike sector). Good luck!

 
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zoumerela

New Member
Region
Europe
  • No respected e-MTB brand uses Bafang motors: Fact.
  • Bafang motors are too powerful for trail use - strange but it is the fact
  • The power of Bafang motors requires large battery, making e-bike heavy and unsuitable for trail. Think of meeting an obstacle such as a fallen tree. Fancy rising a 34 kg bike in your hands? Yet I can do it with my 24 kg Giant Trance E+.

An old meme "In Soviet Russia..." translated to the reality of today would be:
"In e-MTB mature countries, you ride e-MTB.
In immature countries, Bafang rides you" :)
Meaning: High power of Bafang motors means your role as a cyclist is to "ghost pedal", that is, spin the cranks without any effort as it is the motor that does the whole work. In true e-MTB, you get natural ride feeling in which you simply feel stronger than you are. You ride e-MTB. You are not "ridden" by it.

This is what true e-MTB can do:

Difference between true e-MTB and not true one:
Good points there!
But regarding the superbike vs cheap conversion this is unfair, cause I would not convert a piece of junk to en eMTB but rather fit a superbike with a motor and a battery, if I were to convert it on my own.
And if I put the BBSHD with a 52V21Amp battery on a superbike I will still have 25kg on it and double the torque of Bosch. Actually I found some bikes at 25 kg with the M620. And of course there are the 34 kg bikes that will ride forever because of a monster battery. Too many options, I am very confused!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
If you can only afford it (important!), a manufactured e-MTB will be better than a conversion e-bike in most of cases. I of course understand your dilemma (what country are you from please?) Bear in mind - torque is not the most essential thing in the e-MTB. Heard of a wheelie? :) I can only attest my Trance E+ with Giant/Yamaha motor does a wheelie in POWER assist mode in low gear. Very dangerous on steep uphill or on wet rocks. And that's only 520 W peak power and 80 Nm torque.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Yamaha fines you a lot for the money ($4,499 for the Moro). My Yamaha Road Bike Allows me to ride 57 miles on a full charge using the 2 highest settings. They also offer a 3-year warranty (which is one of the longest warranty’s in the ebike sector). Good luck!

Yamaha Moro is unavailable in Europe. It is Giant/Liv/Momentum and Haibike using Yamaha motors in Europe. Do you people read what the OP wrote? :)
 

zoumerela

New Member
Region
Europe
If you can only afford it (important!), a manufactured e-MTB will be better than a conversion e-bike in most of cases. I of course understand your dilemma (what country are you from please?) Bear in mind - torque is not the most essential thing in the e-MTB. Heard of a wheelie? :) I can only attest my Trance E+ with Giant/Yamaha motor does a wheelie in POWER assist mode in low gear. Very dangerous on steep uphill or on wet rocks. And that's only 520 W peak power and 80 Nm torque.
I live in Greece in an endless mountain forest with no soul around but me and my bike. So I am not worries about illegal. I want to explore every corner of our mountain so that is why I need the torque. But I thought that if i want to cozy ride around and exercise myself I can still set the motor for minumum pedal assist. Like I am thinking, I can turn a motor with 160 torque down, but I cannot get more out of a 85 torque motor, but still I am unsure of course cause I can't test ride any of them exactly on my terrain and have to purchase by guessing and asking around.
 

Terry777

Active Member
It really depends on what YOU want from YOUR bike.

YouTube is your friend for research. Watch as many vids as you can and really narrow down what will suit you and what you need. There are so many to choose from and it really is “different strokes for different folks”. Get it wrong by jumping in and it could be a costly mistake, spending time researching is a pain but it means you get the correct bike that will give you many happy miles.

I have one of the “Bafang Ultra with 2 batteries” and it’s great, awesome even... for me. It sounds like your looking for something like the Frey or whatever but that means all the things regarding you need to find someone to work on it and you’re not one of the “big 4” or whatever.

Honestly, when you think you’re settled on what you want, give it another few days to be sure.

You’re at the correct place to ask about bikes and find out what you need.
Good luck however you go! 👍
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I live in Greece in an endless mountain forest with no soul around but me and my bike. So I am not worries about illegal. I want to explore every corner of our mountain so that is why I need the torque. But I thought that if i want to cozy ride around and exercise myself I can still set the motor for minumum pedal assist. Like I am thinking, I can turn a motor with 160 torque down, but I cannot get more out of a 85 torque motor, but still I am unsure of course cause I can't test ride any of them exactly on my terrain and have to purchase by guessing and asking around.
Zoumarela: It is not about you being legal/illegal. It is about the principle. Do you intend to ride a proper e-MTB or a Frankenstein?
There are many people of Greece in these Forums. @Akrotiri and @skritikos come to my mind immediately. What I hear is Cube have a good representation in Athens (and I'm sure Cube makes some e-MTBs). It is also possible to import a good e-MTB from respected German online stores.
I hope the Greek gentlemen chime in!
 

zoumerela

New Member
Region
Europe
It really depends on what YOU want from YOUR bike.

YouTube is your friend for research. Watch as many vids as you can and really narrow down what will suit you and what you need. There are so many to choose from and it really is “different strokes for different folks”. Get it wrong by jumping in and it could be a costly mistake, spending time researching is a pain but it means you get the correct bike that will give you many happy miles.

I have one of the “Bafang Ultra with 2 batteries” and it’s great, awesome even... for me. It sounds like your looking for something like the Frey or whatever but that means all the things regarding you need to find someone to work on it and you’re not one of the “big 4” or whatever.

Honestly, when you think you’re settled on what you want, give it another few days to be sure.

You’re at the correct place to ask about bikes and find out what you need.
Good luck however you go! 👍
Yeah, Frey Ex Pro is one of the many options I am looking at. The weight is my concern - if it is agile on the trails. How does it ride for you? What do you use it for?
 

zoumerela

New Member
Region
Europe
Zoumarela: It is not about you being legal/illegal. It is about the principle. Do you intend to ride a proper e-MTB or a Frankenstein?
There are many people of Greece in these Forums. @Akrotiri and @skritikos come to my mind immediately. What I hear is Cube have a good representation in Athens (and I'm sure Cube makes some e-MTBs). It is also possible to import a good e-MTB from respected German online stores.
I hope the Greek gentlemen chime in!
Yes, I am also currently looking at a cute Cube ebike with the Bosch motor.
 

Terry777

Active Member
I don’t have the Frey, defo spent some time going between that and mine before I pulled the trigger though!

What I ended up needing more was range and the power to carry heavyish saddle bags over the nimbleness to tackle proper trails. I went the Chinese route also and saved quite a few $$’s and got what is called the Bikonit MD1000.

Its like a heavy Frey with double batteries. I don’t do “technical” trails, mostly fire roads or just roads. A quick flight of stairs or whatever is no problem for me but a proper “technical” trail I wouldn’t manage and I’d say I probably push my bike to its limits on that front.

It sounds like you’d be more interested in doing proper trails and the likes. What I can say is the Bafang pulls like a train when you need it to.

There are a few guys on here who do have the Frey or similar who you could ask who’d be better informed than me on the Frey. There may even be a thread already if you use the “search feature”.

Again, just ask as much as you can before you pull the trigger.
Good luck however you decide. 👍