THE TEN BEST LIGHTWEIGHT ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKES OF 2023
The lightweight electric mountain bike is an exciting and quickly evolving category that is designed to ride, handle and feel like a regular mountain bike. These bikes typically feature a mid-power motor and a lower-capacity battery, meaning the rider might need to put in more effort than a full-powered e-bike. For many riders, the ride benefits are well worth it.
The Shuttle SL is a lightweight electric mountain bike powered by a Fazua Ride 60 drive unit that delivers 60-newton meters of torque and 450 watts of peak power. It has a permanently mounted 430-watt-hour battery and Fazua offers a 215 Wh. range extender. The Shuttle SL features 132mm of dw-link suspension travel and a full carbon frame. Geometry is trail focused and adjustable via an upper link and seat stay pivot flip-chip. According to Pivot, the Ride and Race spec models weigh 40 pounds, Team 38 pounds, and World Cup just 36.1 pounds. Check out our first ride impressions for more details here.
Most lightweight electric mountain bikes are short- to mid-travel models, but Transition flips that thinking on its head with the 160–170mm-travel Relay. This Fazua Ride 60-powered bike will have 60 N/m of torque, but the real ace up the Relay's sleeve is its tool-free, removable 430Wh battery that allows you to ride with or without assistance. This opens the door to riding more trails and easily flying with the bike. It will be offered in both aluminum and carbon frames and can be ridden in 29-inch or mixed-wheel configurations.
Andorra-based Forestal is one of the few brands to design and execute its own motor system. Their Eon Drive 250-watt motor offers 60 N/m of torque and weighs a claimed 4.3 pounds (1.95 kilograms), thanks in part to titanium parts and a magnesium shell. A 360Wh battery combined with an optional 250Wh range extender gives the Siryon 610 Wh of juice—as much as some full-powered models. A touch-screen display offers numerous ride metrics at your fingertips. The full carbon frame features 170mm of travel and a floating linkage suspension design.
At a claimed 34.2 pounds with 130mm of travel and a lightweight carbon frame with a Spark-based flex stay suspension design, Scott's Lumen is ready for any trail, especially with TQ's HPR50 drive unit hiding inside. That's not the only thing that's hiding – its shock is also hidden in the seat tube allowing for two bottle mounts – one for a range extender and the other for a bottle. It is equipped with a fully integrated 360Wh battery that can be extended by an additional 160 Wh with an add-on battery unit. The 65.5-degree head angle can be adjusted steeper or slacker by .6 degrees in either direction via adjustable headset cups for maximum trail bike versatility.
This was the first electric mountain bike to ever grace the cover of Mountain Bike Action because it blew the lid off the lightweight category with an incredible blend of capability, power, and range. At just 41.5 pounds for a size-large Fuel EXe 9.9, it is one of the lighter options on the market. Its 300-watt TQ-HPR50 motor puts out a near-silent 50 N/m of torque and is paired with a removable 360Wh battery. A 160Wh extender battery pack is also available. The trail-focused carbon frame has 140mm of rear-wheel travel that is matched to a 150 mm-travel fork. Check out our full long-term review here and first ride impression video here to learn more.
Shimano's EP8 motor powers Orbea's trail-focused Rise line but is paired with Orbea's RS software, electronics, and battery. At 60 N/m, Shimano's motor is detuned slightly from its normal 85 N/m, and it's mated to a 360Wh battery that weighs a claimed 4.9 pounds (2.2 kilograms) or larger 540 Wh option for bigger rides. An optional range extender offers an additional 252 Wh of power, giving it the total capacity of some full-powered electric bikes. The Rise models have 140mm of wheel travel and are offered in seven different builds with aluminum and carbon frames.
While most brands were trying to make their eMTBs more powerful and equipped with bigger batteries, Specialized was one of the first to introduce a lightweight electric bike that flipped the script with its Levo SL. Based on their Stumpjumper Evo platform, the redesigned Specialized Levo SL was engineered to be an adjustable and capable all-mountain machine. Powered by their new SL 1.2 drive system with increased power and torque, a redefined shock tune, and 160mm/150mm of suspension travel, Specialized engineered the Levo SL to be more capable than ever. With 43% more torque yielding 33% more power, the SL 1.2 motor now boasts 320W max assist and 50 Nm of torque compared to the SL 1.1 motor with 240W and 35 Nm. Its 320Wh integrated battery is claimed to also be more efficient than its predecessor, with a 4.5-hour battery life (Eco Mode) or up to 7.5 hours with the optional 160Wh range extender.
German brand NOX is utilizing Fazua's Ride 60 drive unit and 420Wh battery in its all-new Epium electric trail bike. According to NOX, the full-carbon frame weighs just 5.95 pounds (2.7 kilograms). Thanks to flip chips at both ends of the shock and the rear dropouts, the Epium allows for either 180mm or 150mm of rear-wheel travel, 29-inch or mixed wheels, and general fine-tuning of the geometry. The Epium will be available in enduro or all-mountain travel configurations and three build options. When we tested it, we were impressed by the NOX Helium Enduro, soNOX Helium Enduro when we tested it so we have high expectations for the Epium.
One of the more exotic and exciting lightweight eMTBs comes from Swiss brand Thömus which has produced what it claims to be the lightest eMTB in the world at just 32.2 pounds (14.6 kilograms). With 140mm of travel front and rear, this is a seriously light, trail-focused electric bike. Its 250-watt Maxon Bikedrive Air drive unit delivers a claimed 300 watts peak power and 40 N/m of torque. Thömas will offer it in two different configurations along with custom upgrade options.
BMC has added an electric version of its Fourstroke cross-country bike to its lineup that utilizes TQ's HPR50 drive unit with its near-silent harmonic pin-ring transmission system. An integrated 360Wh battery is hidden in the downtube, while a 2-inch fully integrated display resides on the top tube. Its geometry is what one would consider progressive for cross-country bikes with a 66.5-degree head angle, 77-degree seat angle, and short 429mm chainstays. With a full-carbon frame, 120mm of APS dual-link suspension, full power and aggressive geometry, the Amp LT is poised to be a blistering-fast, fun bike. Click here for more details and specifications.
Contact: www.bmc-switzerland.comTHE TEN BEST LIGHTWEIGHT ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKES PIVOT SHUTTLE SL TRANSITION RELAY FORESTAL SIRYON TREK FUEL EXE ORBEA RISE SPECIALIZED LEVO SL NOX EPIUM THÖMUS LIGHTRIDER E ULTIMATE BMC Fourstroke AMP LT