E-bike types and categories: Which e-mountain bike really suits you

E-MTB types: which E-mountain bike really suits you!

E-MTB Hardtail, E-MTB-Fully with a lot of travel or an SUV E-MTB? So many types that can cause confusion when buying an E-MTB. We clarify where the differences between the categories lie and advise which E-mountain bike really suits you.
What types of E-MTBs are there and which is the right category for me? This is the central question before buying an E-MTB. We’ll help you find the right answer.
Which E-MTB is best for me? The question of the right E-MTB type sounds so simple, but it’s a tough one. Because with the various subcategories, classes and designations for the individual E-MTB types, you first have to get an overview. In order to answer this question individually for you, you need to break it down into these three specific questions:

Find the right E-MTB type: how it works

1. How much do I want to spend on my new E-MTB? 2. Where do I want to ride my E-mountain bike? 3. How powerful should the E-MTB motor be? If you have the answers, chances are you’ll find the best E-MTB for you. This is the only way you can search specifically for your individual dream E-MTB and specifically compare individual models and brands. But don’t worry, we’ll help you with that in this guide. Don’t be surprised that other E-MTB types such as E-road bikes or trekking E-MTBs are missing from the overview. That’s on purpose. Because on emtb-test.com we only deal with the field of E-mountain bikes. So E-MTBs for off-road use, in the mountains or on single trails. But enough of the prolog: let’s get down to business about the three questions.

Not all E-MTB types are available from cheap to expensive

The primary question of how much you want to spend on your new E-MTB is essential. Because if your budget is less than 3000 euros, you will ,most likely end up with a E-Hardtail. Hardtails are mountain bikes that only have a suspension fork but no suspension at the rear. Because E-Hardtails only have front suspension, they not only have less comfort than E-MTB fullys. They are also less off-road. Conversely, this means: If you want to have fun off-road with an E-MTB, you need an E-MTB Fully. Good E-MTB fullys are only available from 3300 euros. Even light E-MTBs with light motors are out of the question with a budget of less than 5000 euros. In this article we will explain all of them to you Details on the trend topic Light EMTB. As a guide, however, one can say: An EMTB under 20 kilos costs 5000 euros and more. Because no matter which E-MTB manufacturer and which model, the light E-MTBs are simply not cheap. If you want to spend around 4.500 to 5.500 euros on a new E-MTB, you can draw from plenty and have a free choice of E-mountain bike types and models – from SUV E-MTBs with full equipment to comfortable E-MTB fullys for long tours. How much good E-mountain bikes cost is explained in detail in in this article.
Orbea Rise Light E-MTB
With a small battery and a minimalist design, the Orbea Rise is one of the best-known representatives of the light E-MTB category. The light E-mountain bikes are very trendy, but they are expensive.
Radon Render E-Mountainbike
If you want maximum engine power, a lot of range and a replaceable battery, you won’t be able to avoid classic E-MTBs like the Radon Render. In these areas, classic Bosch bikes are superior to modern E-MTBs of the light category.
Radon Jealous Hybrid E-MTB Category Hardtail
If you don’t want to spend more than €3000, you should take a look at the E-mountain bikes with a rigid rear end. Because E-Hardtails like the Radon Jealous Hybrid come with a good motor even at this price point.
E-MTB Types: Affordable E-mountain Bike
However, bikes in this E-mountain bike category focus on everyday use or on leisurely trips to the beer garden. If you want to drive sporty off-road, you need a fully.

Where do I want to ride my E-mountain bike?

You could also question this: How much spring travel should my E-MTB have? Spring travel is the stroke of the suspension fork or the stroke that the complete rear wheel can make when compressing the shock absorber. However, the rear wheel can only spring on an E-MTB fully. If the E-MTBs only have a suspension fork at the front, they are referred to as E-MTB Hardtails. They are suitable for use on asphalt and easy terrain, i.e. gravel roads or forest and meadow paths. Especially as so-called SUV E-MTBs with mudguards, lights and luggage racks, E-MTB Hardtails make sense. If you want to ride your E-mountain bike mostly off-road on trails or go on tours in the mountains, you have to reach for a fully. Roughly speaking, the more suspension travel an E-MTB has, the more you can shred it on trails and even in bike parks. Hardtails are cheaper and lighter, fullys are more off-road and offer more comfort (therefore they are better for the back for example). With 140 millimeters of travel and more, you are also equipped for more demanding trails. These categories are also referred to as trail bikes or all mountains. If you want to really let it rip downhill, you should get an e-enduro with 160 millimeters of travel and more. Tip: You already know that you definitely want a full-suspension E-mountain bike? Then use our Hardtail/Fully filter function at emtb-test.com, so you will only see suitable E-MTBs in the results. You can also use our filters to narrow down the suspension travel easily when searching for your dream bike.
The outfit of a biker often reveals what type of E-mountain bike he should ride. If the question is not clear to you, read the description of the categories below.

E-mountain bike categories – a simple division into 3 classes

To make it as easy as possible for you to know where and who rides which type of E-mountain bike best, we at emtb-test.com divide the E-mountain bikes into three classes. In the following sections we present the three most important E-MTB categories in detail. We classify the bikes into spring travel classes, characterise the area of use and name weights and prices that make a good E-MTB model in the respective categories.

Cross country electric bike

What is a cross country E-MTB? Cross country E-MTBs include both E-MTB Hardtails and E-MTB fullys with up to 120 mm travel. Here you can get light, sporty E-MTBs for tours in easy terrain and on easy trails. E-mountain bikes with little spring travel are an option, especially for beginners, since most manufacturers place their entry-level bikes in this range of spring travel. The popular SUV E-MTBs with full equipment also fall into this category. The fully equipped E-mountain bikes with mudguards, lighting and stand can be used on gravel roads as well as for everyday use and for commuting. There are only a few extra-light cross-country models for racing (light E-MTB) and they are very expensive.

How much travel does a cross country E-MTB have?

From E-Hardtails with 100 mm forks and a rigid rear to E-MTB fullys with 120 mm spring travel at the front and rear.

How heavy is a cross country E-MTB?

There are sporty light E-MTB models in this category that weigh well under 20 kilos, but they are outrageously expensive. Classic cross country E-MTBs weigh 20-25 kilos, hardtails around 1.5 kilos less than fullys.

How much does a good cross country E-MTB cost?

Good, recommendable E-Hardtails without deceptive equipment are available from around 2.300 euros. For E-MTB fullys, you have to invest at least 3500 euros. A high-end light E-MTB like the BMC AMP Fourstroke costs more than 5000 euros.

Our tip for E-MTB fullys with 100-120 millimeters

Don’t be fooled by the offers that are often available for E-MTB fullys in this category. There are simply no good full-suspension models under 3000 euros! If you have a budget under 3000 euros, it is better to go for an E-Hardtail with better equipment and a higher-quality motor. In this article we will go into more detail on the question how much a good E-MTB costs.
E-Hardtails are the cheapest E-MTBs. At 100 to 120 millimeters, they clearly fall into the cross-country category. There are good models for well under €3.000. However, they are only suitable for off-road use to a limited extent. But they feel comfortable on gravel roads.

E-Trailbikes – The joy machines

E-Trailbikes: suitable E-mountain bikes for trails and tours?

Trail bikes are the perfect touring E-MTBs in demanding terrain or crossing the Alps. In this class, there are both comfort-oriented, manoeuvrable touring E-MTBs with large batteries and fullys with more aggressive geometries, that focus on guaranteed fun on technical descents. If you are looking for an all-round bike that can do everything if possible, you are in the right place with an E-Trail bike. Classic mountain bikes without a motor are also divided into the all-mountain category in this area. (We provide a detailed explanation on our sister portal bike-test.com). With 150 millimeters of travel, All Mountains lie between trail bikes and enduro bikes. However, since this division makes little sense with E-mountain bikes, we’ll save it in this area.

How much suspension travel does an E-Trail bike have?

From sporty to descent-heavy: The E-MTB Fullys have suspension travel of 130 millimeters to a maximum of 160 millimeters at the fork and at the rear.

How much can an E-trail bike weigh?

The weight range for E-Trail bikes with a classic motor is 20-25 kilos. The expensive light E-MTBs in this class even start with a total weight of 15.5 kilograms.

At which price can you get good E-Trail bikes?

Good E-Trail bikes with solid equipment cost 4000 euros and more. From 5000 euros, the middle class starts without compromises in terms of motor, battery and equipment.
For off-road excursions you need a full-suspension E-mountain bike. Because the damper in the rear not only increases comfort when riding, it also ensures that the rear wheel is always in contact with the ground. This increases grip and makes demanding trails possible.

Enduro E-MTB

What are enduro E-MTBs?

These E-mountain bikes are the downhill experts among E-mountain bikes. These bikes really thrive on technical single trails and bike park descents with plenty of suspension travel, robust components and slack geometries.

How much travel do Enduro E-MTBs have?

These long-travel E-mountain bikes start at 160 millimeters at the fork and rear. But there are also E-Enduros with a stroke of up to 180 millimeters, that ride almost like downhill bikes.

How much does an enduro E-MTB weigh?

At 20.5-27 kilos, modern E-Enduros are heavier than E-Trail bikes. Large batteries (700 Wh and more), stable tires and stiff spring elements push the weights up. Expensive light E-MTBs in the Enduro class are available from 17.5 kilos.

How much do good enduro E-MTBs cost?

You can get individual models from direct-order companies like Radon or from price-aggressive retail brands like Cube from about 4.600 euros. For the upper middle class of Enduro E-MTBs you have to invest at least 5000 euros.

What makes an enduro E-MTB?

Since downhill enjoyment is the top priority with E-Enduros, a successful chassis and a balanced geometry are extremely important. Powerful disc brakes with four pistons, variable seat posts with a lot of lowering and grippy tires with extra puncture protection round off a good Enduro E-MTB.
Enduro E-MTB
Anyone who likes extreme trails or airtime should go for the Enduro E-MTB. Because with thicker tires and a lot of suspension travel, there are no limits to the fun you can have.

Conclusion on the different E-MTB types & E-MTB categories

It’s not the most expensive E-MTB fullys that are the best, but the E-mountain bike that suits your individual needs. When looking for the best E-MTB for you, first limit your budget and then the area of application. Then decide on a motor class (most likely you will end up with a classic E-MTB motor). Anyone looking for an all-round E-MTB with the widest possible range of uses is best advised to go with an E-Trail bike. If you limit yourself to easy terrain and are looking for the cheapest possible E-MTB, the best thing to do is look for SUV E-MTBs, which are suitable for everyday use.

About the author


... hat mehr als 100.000 Kilometer im Sattel von über 1000 unterschiedlichen Mountainbikes verbracht. Die Quintessenz aus vielen Stunden auf dem Trail: Mountainbikes sind geil, wenn sie zu den persönlichen Vorlieben passen! Mit dieser Erkenntnis hat er bike-test.com gegründet, um Bikern zu helfen, ein ganz persönliches Traumbike zu finden.

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