- A high speed electric hardtail with with throttle on demand, hydraulic disc brakes and an extra large battery for $2k, all around good value with a 24 speed drivetrain
- Optional rear rack for $50 transform the Peak into a sporty commuter, only one frame size and color scheme but the angled top tube makes it approachable, great saddle and pedal upgrades
- Zippy 500 watt motor paired with a 48 volt battery and 9 Mosfet controller pushing 18 Amps, the controller is overbuilt and mounted separately for better heat dispersion
- No bottle cage bosses, motor cable protrudes near rear derailleur but a metal guard helps protect it, quick cadence sensor, fixed display panel could be more vulnerable, lots of wires up front
The Magnum Peak is a faster, more powerful version of the Mi5 electric trail bike (which is still available for $1,700). The Peak offers the same great looks at a still reasonable $2,000 price point but climbs better and can reach 28 mph top speed vs. the more standard 22 mph with the Ui5. Both of these e-bikes only come in one frame size and color scheme but they worked well for me, I think they look cool and the black hides the battery, hub motor and wires well. As a relatively lightweight 135 lb average height 5’9″ guy, the Mi5 is enough for zippy commuting and some mild packed trail riding but I wouldn’t actually mountain bike with it… I often go from pavement to dirt, taking new routes around town, and appreciate an ebike that’s capable on a variety of surfaces, but I also like actual climbing and trail riding. What the Peak delivers is that same versatility in town and a better experience in actual mountain conditions. Not perfect, but better. Most hard-core electric mountain bikes these days are built around premium mid-drive motor systems from Shimano, Yamaha, Bosch or Brose. They are much more efficient, better balanced (especially on full suspension frames) and more capable than hub motors for climbing because you can shift gears to enable them. The best drive systems even offer shift sensing technology because the forces being spread through the chain, cogs and derailleur are enough to cause real damage, real fast. And so, with the Magnum Peak, you get something a little different. A truly powerful motor that doesn’t care what gear you’re in, won’t strain your drivetrain and can be operated with throttle on demand whereas most mid-drives cannot. I had a blast riding it in the hills overlooking Salt Lake City Utah with the Magnum team. Amazingly, it maintained traction in the snow while climbing and was able to zip me along while filming with one hand over rocks and medium sized hills. It’s not a perfect product, the kickstand and battery plug are vulnerable to crank arm collision, it weighs a bit more than competing products due to a higher battery capacity and the motor power cable protrudes, but for the price it’s quite good.
Driving the bike is a 500 watt nominal internally geared rear hub motor from Das-Kit. I’m not as used to seeing this brand but felt that it performed at or above expectations. Normally hub motors struggle with hills but the combination of a higher amp controller, higher voltage battery and the additional copper windings and design of the motor excelled. I still pedaled along to help but once there was momentum, overriding with the throttle gave me more power and speed. Note that the trigger throttle only goes up to 20 mph while pedal assist can get you in the 28 mph range. The motor is painted black which helps it blend in with the frame. It’s compact and even though the power cable protrudes from the right side, getting jumbled with the derailleur and shifter cables, I like that it was somewhat protected by a metal guard. This is not something you’d see on premium e-mountain bikes but I think it makes sense and would rather the added weight and novice appearance than a bent or frayed cable. The rear wheel does not offer quick release but uses thicker 13 gauge spokes to accommodate the added forces and weight of the bike. I love that one area Magnum has opted to spend more on is with the tires. You get 27.5″ Schwalbe branded tires with excellent traction. They are truly off-road worthy and helped a lot in the snow. One area I feel they missed was the right chainstay which is naked, you’ll end up with nicks and chips very quickly riding off road. I saw a brand new Magnum Peak go from pristine to many chips with the single ride shown in the video review above. Consider adding one yourself or using some clear plastic packing tape.
Powering the motor is an extra large 48 volt 13 amp hour battery pack that resembles the one used for the Mi5, just a little taller. It protrudes from the downtube a bit but is otherwise kept low and centered on the frame. I love that the charging port and USB accessory port are now positioned on the side of the pack vs. on top because they were difficult to reach on older models (located near the seat tube and fairly cramped). I would definitely take the battery off when lifting the frame, and possibly the front wheel since it’s quick release, but love that it can be charged on if you’d like. Just keep an eye on the plug because it’s still very near the left crank arm which could collide and bend it. The plug isn’t magnetic or anything so don’t drip on it or the bike might come crashing down. Also, when you’re done charging, pay extra attention to the rubber battery plug cap as it isn’t super easy to close but could be worth tinkering with if you’re riding in snow like I was. Thankfully, the extra large kickstand is sturdy and positioned near the center of the bike to spread out weight. This is a love/hate design for me because the stand also collides with the left crank arm. People who spend a lot of time trail riding usually remove the kickstand altogether but I love how convenient they can be. If you do take it off, lay the bike on the left side and be careful with the disc brake rotors. They’re less sensitive than the derailleur and power cable mentioned before but can still get bent or dirty which can wreck the pads. the brakes themselves are very nice, hydraulic disc with motor inhibiting levers (four finger style). The front is a 180 mm rotor and the rear is 160 mm which is about right for this type of bike.
Operating the Magnum Peak is a snap. The battery clicks in and automatically locks if you don’t have the key handy. From here, a single press on the power button at the control pad (near the left grip) gets you going and a second quick press after that activates backlighting. I love that it doesn’t use automatic backlighting because that can be distracting for some riders. There’s a Set button just below and to the left of the Power button that cycles through different trip readouts and just above and below are plus and minus buttons. These allow you to cycle from 0 to 6 assist level and the menu loops. In some ways this is cool but can take a moment to get used to. I often press +, +, +, +… frantically to get to maximum power without looking but with the Magnum Peak, that could get me back down to zero or just confused. On the flip side, pressing – just once can go from no power to maximum power! In any of these levels, including zero, the slim trigger throttle is active and blasts full power. It’s a more advanced setup but one I enjoy. The trigger throttle itself is a custom design from Magnum that allows the right grip area to stay clean. The cockpit on this bike has a lot going on with two sets of shifters to control 24 gear combinations (three rings up front and eight in the back) along with the display, independent button pad, brake levers with motor inhibitors and that throttle… but it manages to feel clean. The only messy part is all of the cables protruding at the front. Again, they are black and blend in but one downside to the frame setup is that many of the cables aren’t internally routed. Instead, they are run along the top tube. It makes them easier to service but could get in the way when loading the bike on a rack or just lifting it. I don’t want to glaze over the point about brake lever motor inhibitors however, as this is a cadence sensing pedal assist ebike. They tend to be slightly less responsive than torque or advanced sensor activated but I found the hardware on the Peak to work well and be more compact and protected than some others. The only other grip is that the display looks so nice but isn’t removable. You can angle it to reduce glare and possibly put a sack or glove over it when parked to avoid scratching but it could be vulnerable in the event of a crash where the bike gets tossed. Note also that the display offers three power modes in addition to the six assist levels. These help you tone down torque and save the battery… Whenever you’re opening the throttle from standstill, climbing steep hills or riding over 20 mph you can expect the battery to drain much faster. Since the Peak encourages all of these scenarios, there’s a wide range of possible ranges per charge you might expect. And since the charger is a more average 2 Amp, it could take upwards of 6 hours for a full refill.
I love that Magnum is bringing more electric bikes to the US and growing their dealer network. It’s a company that is pushing the limits of value by offering a solid one year warranty and a range of accessories (including a cool sturdy rack for $50 that works with the Peak). I’d certainly be tempted to go for this version of their mountain bike because I like to go fast, but I still wouldn’t discount the Mi5 which is several pounds lighter and several hundred dollars less expensive. For heavier riders, those that might be facing steeper hills and people who can appreciate the little refinements being made (some of which also apply to the Mi5) this is a winning electric bike if it fits you. I was impressed with the frame stiffness and overall handling, loved the suspension fork and am even more excited about the 100 mm upgraded fork shipping on the production version. You could lock the fork out for efficient city commuting and possibly get a shorter angled stem and riser bars for improved comfort. Furthermore, a seat post suspension is something I frequently recommend when riding faster and for longer periods. The Peak has a thicker seat tube, designed for 30.9 mm posts. It would work well with a shim and a Thudbuster, Body Float or even a more generic post if you’re on a budget. Big thanks to Spenser for his mountain ride demonstrations and to Magnum for partnering with me on this post and making the trip to their headquarters in Salt Lake City possible :)
- The Peak offers throttle-only mode, allows you to override assist with the throttle up to 20 mph and can hit 28 mph in pedal assist… it’s one of the most open, fastest electric mountain bikes I’ve tested
- You get 24 gear combinations here which is unique in the world of value electric mountain bikes, this also means more potential maintenance and weight but when you need to climb or hit the 28 mph top assisted speed I feel it’s worth it
- Name brand Schwalbe tires and mid-level SR Suntour suspension fork with lockout and preload adjustment improve ride quality and won’t take damage as easily as super cheap options
- I like that they ship the bike with a derailleur guard to protect the main derailleur, I’d probably leave it on in case the bike tips because that’s also where the power cable enters into the hub motor
- While the Peak only comes in one frame size and color, I feel that the design is great because the top tube angles for lowered standover height, the head tube is tapered for improved strength and the black color helps wires and the battery blend in
- The battery has a charging port on the lower left side vs. on top which is much easier to get to (of course it can also be charged off the bike if you want) and I like that there is a female USB port near the top (close to the bars for easy use), you can use the USB off the bike as a backup power source if desired, consider a right angle adapter for charging while riding
- Hydraulic disc brakes with motor inhibitors in both levers keep you in control of the bike and are especially important for high-speed operation, you get a larger 180 mm rotor up front for improved braking power and the brake levers offer adjustable reach for people with different hand sizes
- Even though it’s not removable, I like how compact the display is and appreciate that you can swivel it to reduce glare, there are lots of options built in, the button pad used to operate it is mounted close to the left grip where it’s very easy to reach and use on the fly, overall the cockpit didn’t feel super crowded even with the extra wires and two trigger shifter units
- Minor pluses here but I love that the saddle and pedals are upgraded, less reason to have to replace them for improved comfort and traction respectively, they worked great for me even in the snow when my feet were wet and the trail was bumpy
- Quick release front wheel and removable battery reduces weight significantly (by over 10 pounds) making the bike easier to toss into the trunk of a car or lift onto a storage hook in a garage
- Magnum has a specially designed trigger throttle that is super slim so it doesn’t crowd the brake or shifter mounts and can be easier to reach, the cadence sensor is also slimmer, smaller and better protected by a plastic shell
- The battery capacity is quite impressive, you get 48 volts and 13 amp hours which I would call way above average and the cells are premium brands (LG, Samsung or Panasonic) with a one-year warranty
- In my opinion the price point of this bike is amazing, it really feels like a good value at $2k given all of the options and dealer network they’ve built (over 70 shops in the US carrying it at the time of this post)
- The bike ships with a rigid 30.9 mm seat post which works fine and is a little thicker for added strength… this is one are you could potentially upgrade with a seat post suspension like Thudbuster or Body Float, you might just need a shim in some cases for the perfect fit
- Surprisingly, I didn’t see a slap guard on the right chain stay, this means you’ll get chips in the paint over time and possibly some wear on the chain itself, consider adding one yourself aftermarket like these
- I’m accustomed to seeing internally routed cables, integrated batteries and compact motors as with the Peak here but the controller box stood out as being unique and potentially vulnerable… I asked about it (positioned in front of the bottom bracket) and was told it had to be overbuilt to dissipate heat due to the higher amp output and tapped it to be sure it was Aluminum and sturdy
- Due to the hub motor design, there isn’t a quick release at the rear which means you’ll need extra tools for flat-fixing on the go, the power cable also protrudes a bit and could get snagged or bent easier than if it was fully tucked in
- The kickstand is large, adjustable and sturdy but I wish it was mounted slightly back so the left crank arm wouldn’t collide, the demo bike had some nicks already, this is also a concern with the charging port as the pedal could snag it or bend the plug
- No bottle cage bosses here, I suppose they wouldn’t fit on the downtube due to the larger battery case, thankfully there’s a special rack mounting setup so you could bring a trunk bag or panniers with extra gear… I could see this becoming a fun commuter platform during the week (I believe their rack is proprietary)
- While I think they did a good job keeping the weight of the bike reasonable considering the larger battery pack and motor, this is about four pounds heavier than most other hardtail electric mountain bikes
- One area for possible improvement would be a thru-axle on the fork for added stiffness and sturdiness given the off-road nature and higher speed capability of the bike, as it stands you get a regular 9 mm quick release skewer
- Many of the wires are run along the base of the top tube vs. being internally routed, this combined with the angled nature of the top tube could make hanging style racks difficult to work with (snagging cables or just not fitting without first removing the battery pack)
- If you’re commuting, especially at high speed, add some reflective stickers or lights because the matte black frame and lack of integrated lights combined with higher speed riding could make you vulnerable
- The charger is compact and light weight at ~1.5 lbs but it’s not super fast with just 2 Amps output and that could mean longer waits given the larger capacity of the battery on the Magnum Peak