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If you’re in the market for an electric mountain bike, it is not until you get over the £1500 mark that mid-drive motors become available. In this post I will be looking at five of the best electric mountain bikes available in the £1500-£2000 price bracket.
Update 2021 – Unfortunately most of the latest versions of the e-bikes listed below now cost over £2000 – there are some exceptions like the Haibike. I will be updating this article further when more 2022 models become available.
Top 6 Best Electric Mountain Bikes under £2000
My list below includes the best value mid-drive electric mountain bikes currently available, I will be updating this article soon to include more of the latest 2021 models (when they become available).
Mid-drive motors are much better suited to mountain bike applications for a number of reasons.
- Weight distribution – having the motor mounted low and central has a positive effect on handling, particularly important if you are riding technical trails.
- Torque – Mid-drive motors can produce up to 100% more torque than their hub motor counterparts. For example, the average geared hub motor produces around 35-40nm of torque compared with 90nm for the top-of-the-range Shimano Steps system.
- Efficiency – Mid drive motors are also more energy efficient than hub motors, helping to increase battery range.
The current drive systems on offer from Bosch, Yamaha, Brose and Shimano are all excellent, with the only downside being a weight penalty. Mountain bikes are already quite heavy, add into the mix a mid-drive motor and lithium battery pack and you will be looking at over 20kg. That is a lot of extra weight to be pedalling around if you run out of battery power!
Mid-drive motor technology is being constantly refined and fine-tuned. These latest incarnations are crammed full of high-tech wizardry, with the ultimate aim of making the motor feel like an extension of your own abilities. I have said this before in previous posts and I will say it again – riding a good mid-drive electric bike makes you feel like the bionic man, and definitely puts a smile on your face regardless of your ability.
This intuitive feel is thanks to a triple sensing system. The motor controller takes data from a torque sensor, speed sensor and cadence sensor, making for an incredibly intuitive pedal assist.
All of the electric mountain bikes below have been selected based on build quality and value for money. But it is important to remember these are all considered ‘entry-level’ machines and as such will have cheaper components fitted.
Decathlon have well and truly pushed the boundaries of value for money with their Rockrider E-ST900 electric mountain bike. When I first had a go on one I immediately knew it was going to be one of their best selling e-bikes.
But what makes the Rockrider E-ST900 so special?
You get a lot of e-MTB for the price. For starters you get the acclaimed Brose mid-drive motor – and although it is only the alloy ‘T’ version (unlike the magnesium ‘S’ version fitted to some e-bikes), it still produces a good amount of torque. As soon as you start pedalling in Boost mode, you feel this almighty surge as you power through the pedals making you feel on top of the world!
The grin factor riding this bike cannot be understated. I’ve seen seasoned mountain bike veterans who swore blind they wouldn’t touch an e-bike with a barge-pole turn into grinning kids when they first ride one of these!
Oh, and I forgot to mention the rest of the specification… Shimano Deore M6000 1 x 10 with an 11-42 cassette at the rear and a trail-busting 34t up front – perfect gearing for even the steepest, technical trails. Respectable Tektro TDK32 hydraulic brakes with 180mm rotors, Rockshox Judy forks with 120mm of travel and finally 27.5″ x 36mm wide rims to take Hutchinson Taipan Koloss 27.5″ x 2.8″ tubeless ready tyres and 148mm boost hubs with thru-axles at the front and rear.
No decent e-MTB is worth its salt unless it has a decent battery range and the E-ST900 has a class-leading 504Wh battery pack – it’s worth noting that all the other e-bikes in this price range have around 417Wh. That kind of battery power should give you enough range for a good few hours of fun on the trails!
I’ve been meaning to add the Rockrider E-ST900 to this list for some time, and it’s long overdue. The E-ST900 is a cracking e-MTB for the price and continues to be very popular.
*Footnote: Most of the bikes here are now unavailable or sold-out, but Decathlon are working hard to keep this in stock. Please check their link below to find out availability.
Buy Now: Decathlon Rockrider E-ST900 £1999.99
2. Haibike HardSeven 4 2022 £1999.00
Haibike are one of the more well-established e-bike brands, with their excellent range of electric mountain bikes being synonymous with performance and off-road ability.
The Haibike HardSeven 4 is their entry-level model and offers excellent value for money with no compromise on build quality and ride.
At the heart of the HardSeven 4 is the excellent Bosch Performance Line mid-drive motor. This system is particularly suited to electric mountain bikes as it offers pedal assist up to 110rpm and produces 65 Nm of torque, making tricky steep climbs a hell of a lot easier!
Complementing the motor is a 400wh (watt hour) Lithium battery pack, which should ensure a range of anywhere between 30-60 miles depending on rider weight, terrain etc.
The Bosch Purion display offers a wide range of information from battery level to pedal assist.
The HardSeven 4 is a good all-rounder, equally at home on the road or light trails. It should be noted that the budget Suntour XCM forks are fine for light off-road riding, but the limit of these forks are very quickly reached and you should not be attempting jumps or any other heroics.
The rest of the components fitted to this bike would be par for the course on a regular mountain bike of around the £500 mark. The reliable Shimano Alivio 9-speed gears with a wide-range 11-36 cassette should ensure good progress on the rough stuff, and the Tektro M275 hydraulic brakes do the job well enough.
The Haibike HardSeven 4 is a great introduction in to the world of mid-drive electric mountain bikes. Haibike have been producing excellent mid-drive e-bikes for a good few years now, and they just keep getting better. As long as you are aware of the limitations of the components fitted to this bike and don’t go to hard on it, then it should give you many miles of off-road fun!
Buy Now: Haibike HardSeven 4 2022 £1999
|Frame:||aluminium 6061, Steckachse X-12 (1.00) x 148mm, disc brake Post Mount|
|Fork:||SR Suntour XCM32 Boost DS, steel spring/oil, Travel: 120mm, Aluschaft 1 1/8 – 1 1/2” tapered, 15 x 110mm thru-axle Boost|
|Stem:||XLC Alu, A-head|
|Bars:||XLC Topflat 720mm|
|Front Brake:||Tektro M275, 180mm|
|Rear Brake:||Tektro M275, 180mm|
|Brake Lever:||Tektro M275, aluminium|
|Rear Mech:||Shimano Alivio M3100, 9-speed|
|Shifters:||Shimano Alivio M3100, trigger switch|
|Rims:||Schürmann Yak25, eyed, double-walled rim, aluminium|
|Front Hub:||Fastace Alu Nabe|
|Rear Hub:||Haibike Alu Nabe|
|Spokes:||Sapim Leader, black|
|Front Tyre:||Impac Smart Pac, 57-584|
|Rear Tyre:||Impac Smart Pac, 57-584|
|Seat Post:||XLC, patent, 31.6mm, aluminium|
|Bottom Bracket:||Integrated in the motor|
|Cassette:||Sunrace CSM90 (11-36T)|
|Pedals:||Freeridepedal aluminium, mit Reflektor|
|Battery (Wh):||Bosch PowerTube 400Wh|
|Motor:||Bosch Performance Line, 250W, 65Nm, 25km/h|
The Giant Fathom E+ 3 is another excellent entry-level electric mountain bike. As with the Haibike this uses a Yamaha mid-drive electric motor, but the Fathom uses the better SyncDrive Sport motor, which has been designed specifically for Giant e-MTB’s in a joint venture with Yamaha.
Again this motor is not only incredibly responsive, but very smooth and quiet, producing seamless power when it is needed.
The removable 36v11.6 EnergyPaK battery uses the highest quality Panasonic NCR18650GA cells and should be good for a range of 50-80 miles (depending on terrain, rider weight etc.)
In Stock at Rutland Cycles (Medium frame only): Giant Fathom E +3 Electric Mountain Bike
The lightweight ALUXX SL aluminium frame and trail-friendly geometry combined with 27.5″ rims and Maxxis Forekaster 27.5×2.6 tubeless tyres give the bike a responsive and predictable feel.
As with the Haibike, the components are all fairly entry-level spec, and will be ideal for the novice or beginner electric mountain bike rider.
The Giant uses the same Suntour XCM 120mm front forks as the Haibike. These are ideal for lighter trail riding and should provide more than enough damping for light to moderate use.
The Giant Fathom E+3 is another excellent entry-level electric mountain bike, and although it is marginally more expensive than the Haibike, you do get things like Tubeless tyres, Shimano Deore rear mech and of course the slightly better SYNC drive Sport Yamaha motor.
Riding the Giant inspires confidence on the rough stuff, but as with all the other bikes in this category I would not recommend it for heavy off-road riding. When the pedal assist is in full-power mode it really does produce a remarkable boost for a 250w motor, and due to the efficiency of the motor, the battery should provide enough power for a few hours of fun.
Frame: ALUXX aluminum, Overdrive 1½ – 1⅛” head tube, 141mm Boost QR, integrated KS18 kickstand mount
Fork: SR Suntour XCM 34 HLO 27,5+ 120mm travel, Tapered 1½ – 1⅛” steerer, lockout
Stem: Giant Connect
Bars: Giant Connect TR, 780mm
Front Brake: Tektro HD-M285, hydraulic disc, 180mm
Rear Brake: Tektro HD-M285, hydraulic disc, 180mm
Brake Lever: Tektro HD-M285
Rear Mech: Shimano Deore
Shifters: Shimano Altus 1×9
Rims: Giant AM 27.5, Tubeless ready, 30mm inner width, e-bike optimized
Front Hub: Giant eTracker Sport, 15mm Thru-Axle QR, e-bike optimized
Rear Hub: Giant eTracker Sport, 141mm QR, e-bike optimized
Spokes: Stainless steel
Front Tyre: Maxxis Forekaster 27.5×2.6, foldable, 60 TPI, EXO, Tubeless ready
Rear Tyre: Maxxis Forekaster 27.5×2.6, foldable, 60 TPI, EXO, Tubeless ready
Seat Post: Giant 30.9mm, 2-bolt Micro Adjustable, Forged Aluminium
Saddle: Giant Contact, Neutral
Chainset: Forged Alloy minimal Q-factor, 36T Steel Direct Mount ring
Chain: KMC e.9 Sport, e-bike optimized
Cassette: Shimano CS-HG201, 11-36T
Pedals: Aluminum Platform
Battery (Wh): 400 Wh
User Interface: Giant RideControl ONE
4. KTM Macina Ride (currently unavailable)
KTM has a long heritage of producing some of the best off-road motorcycles in the world, but they have also been producing bicycles since 1964.
The Austrian company were also an early entrant on to the e-bike market, with their first electric bike being released in 2011.
The KTM Macina Ride is new for 2019, replacing the very successful Macina Force as their entry level hardtail electric mountain bike.
The Macina Ride is available in both 29 and 27.5 wheel sizes and two specification options. All versions of the Macina Ride feature Bosch’s excellent Active line plus motor, which provides 50Nm torque, has near silent assistance and is controlled by the Purion display. It also features features the 400wh battery that uses the industry standard Panasonic NCR18650GA cells.
The bike is commuter ready, so it can easily be upgrade with lights, mudguards and a rack, if you are looking for a bike to be more commuter, than sport.
The Macina Ride is an ideal option for anyone looking for an entry level mountain bike whilst also being great for commuting or more urban activities. The larger tyres and mountain bike spec offer more comfort and robust components over a traditional hybrid style bike.
I really like the KTM, it is very well put together and is also a very comfortable ride. It is also incredibly versatile and would make the perfect commuter bike with some more road friendly tyres fitted.
The KTM name is synonymous with off-road performance, and this bike performs as expected for an entry-level machine. It is also a very attractive looking bike. The weight of the KTM is similar to all the other bikes in this category
The Bosch Active Line Plus is an excellent motor, it is quiet smooth and responsive, but it lacks the overall grunt of the Yamaha motors found on the Giant and Haibike. If you are using this bike for commuting, that shouldn’t be a problem, but it would become more evident on steep off-road climbs.
Frame: Macina MTB 29″
Fork: Suntour XCM, coil-HLO-9QR
Headset: Ritchey OE Logic Zero
Stem: KTM Comp ST-92A, 7°
Bars: KTM Comp HB-RB11L, rizer-15-9°, 680
Front Brake: Shimano MT200 / 180mm
Rear Brake: Shimano MT200 / 180mm
Rear Mech: Shimano Altus M2000 SGS-shadow
Shifters: Shimano Altus M2000-9 w/Display
Rims: Ambrosio sport 23mm, 32H
Front Hub: Shimano Acera M3050 CL QR/100, 32H
Rear Hub: Shimano Acera M3050 CL QR/135, 32H
Spokes: DT Champion 2.0 / DT Alpine II 2.34 silber
Front Tyre: Schwalbe Smart Sam, 57-622, K-Guard
Rear Tyre: Schwalbe Smart Sam, 57-622, K-Guard
Seat Post: KTM Line SP-612N 30.9/350
Saddle: KTM VL-3381
Chainset: KTM Delta 170mm (mini-ISIS) 38T
Bottom Bracket: Bosch mini-ISIS
Chain: Shimano CNE6070-9 E-Bike
Cassette: Shimano HG200-9 black 11-36
Pedals: Wellgo C280DU, one piece alloy
Battery (Wh): 500Wh
Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus
User Interface: Purion Display
The Orbea Keram 30 is the Spanish company’s entry level electric mountain bike. The Keram’s geometry is designed for a more comfortable riding position, making it suitable for commuting as well as long weekend trail rides.
The upright riding position gives the rider great visibility and control, contributing to a safer feel on the bike. This really is a user-friendly bike and an excellent introduction to the world of e-MTB’s.
The Keram uses the same excellent Bosch Active Line Plus system as the KTM and Cube, and is complemented with a 400wh (watt hour) battery. The battery on the Orbea is nicely integrated into the down tube.
Another excellent entry-level electric mountain bike, that holds its own against the competition. Orbea have a long history of making excellent bicycles and this one is no exception. The Keram 30 is definitely more suited to light trail riding and would also make an excellent commuter bike. For 2021 the drivetrain has been upgraded to Shimano’s latest Deore M4100 with a wide gear range thanks to an 11-46 10-speed rear cassette.
My only gripe is the battery pack looks a little old-fashioned, all of the other manufacturers have attempted to integrate the battery into the flow of the frame. Apart from that, the Orbea Keram 30 is a good solid e-bike.
|Maximum Speed||Assistance up to 15.5mph|
|Optimum Range*||49 miles / 80 km|
|Frame||Orbea Keram 2019, Hydroformed Alloy 6061, Hide out battery technology, bottle cage and dual battery compatible and hidden kickstand compatible|
|Fork||SR Suntour XCR32 LO Coil 100mm QR|
|Motor||BOSCH Active 25 kmh|
|Battery||BOSCH Performance 400Wh|
|Display||BOSCH Performance Purion|
|Charger||Compact Charger 2A (100-240V) Worldwide|
|Shifters||Shimano Deore M4100|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Deore M5120 SGS Shadow Plus|
|Chain||KMC e10 Turbo Silver|
|Cassette||Shimano Deore M4100 11-46t 10-Speed|
|Wheels||Orbea Black Rock 23c Disc|
|Tyres||Kenda K1153 2.35″ 22TPI|
|Brakes||Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc|
|Handlebars||OC1 Flat 31.8mm 740mm|
|Stem||Alloy 31.8mm interface 7º|
|Saddle||Selle Royal 2077 DRN|
|Seatpost||Alloy 31.6x400mm Offset 0|
6. Cube Acid Hybrid One 400 electric mountain bike 2020 model
Please note: This model is no longer available. Check out my review of its replacement: The 2021 Cube Reaction Hybrid Performance 400
The Cube Acid Hybrid One 400 combines the capabilities of a mountain bike with the comfort of an urban e-bike. With a Bosch Active Line Plus motor and 400Wh hour battery pack combined with Suntour XCM suspension forks, Shimano drivetrain and powerful disc brakes, the Acid Hybrid One 400 really is a ‘go anywhere’ bike.
One of the great things about this bike, that really clinches the deal for me is the price – at £1599.00 it is a whole £150 cheaper than the Haibike!
****New for 2022: Cube Reaction Hybrid Performance 500 £2399Conclusion
Cube’s mountain bike heritage shines through one this bike, and the frame geometry provides a very sure-footed feel.
Cube have done a great job of neatly integrating the battery pack and motor, making for a very clean finish.
Although the Bosch motor doesn’t produce the amount of torque found on the Giant and Haibike, it is still going to be more than suitable for most riders needs.
Frame: Aluminium Superlite, Advanced Hydroforming, Agile Ride Geometry, Double Butted, Tapered Headtube, Internal Cable Routing, Full Integrated Battery
Fork: SR Suntour XCM ATB Coil, 100mm
Headset: FSA Orbit 1.5B ZS-R, Top Zero-Stack 1 1/8″ (OD 44mm), Bottom Zero-Stack 1 1/2″ (OD 56mm)
Stem: CUBE Performance Stem Pro, 31.8mm
Bars: CUBE Rise Trail Bar, 680mm
Front Brake: Shimano BR-MT200, Hydr. Disc Brake 180mm
Rear Brake: Shimano BR-MT200, Hydr. Disc Brake 180mm
Rear Mech: Shimano RD-M2000-SGS, 9-Speed
Shifters: Shimano SL-M2000, Rapidfire-Plus
Rims: CUBE ZX20, 32H, Disc
Front Hub: Shimano HB-TX505, QR, Centerlock
Rear Hub: Shimano FH-TX505, QR, Centerlock
Front Tyre: Schwalbe Tough Tom, Active, 2.25
Rear Tyre: Schwalbe Rapid Rob, Active, 2.25
Seat Post: CUBE Performance Post, 30.9mm
Saddle: Natural Fit Active
Chainset: FSA CK-602, 38T, 175mm
Chain: KMC X9
Cassette: Shimano CS-HG200, 11-34T
Pedals: CUBE PP MTB
Battery (Wh): 400 Wh
User Interface: Bosch Purion
Is there a clear winner?
At last years prices, I would have had no hesitation in declaring the Rockrider E-ST900 the clear winner, but Brexit has taken its toll and the Decathlon bike isn’t quite the bargain it once was. At £1999 it is now firmly in Cube Reaction Hybrid Performance territory, and although the Cube has a 400Wh battery you only have to fork out £100 more to get the 500Wh version.
The Cube Reaction is in my opinion much better looking than the Rockrider, although I still feel the Decathlon has the edge when it comes to all-round ability and components.
Another strong contender for the 2021 season is the Haibike HardSeven 4 – their entry-level e-MTB now uses the excellent 65Nm Bosch Performance Line motor with a 400Wh battery. Again, the components aren’t quite up to the Rockriders spec, but it’s a great looking bike all the same.
I’ve had a look at the latest Giant Fathom E+3 and it now comes in at around £2299 – unfortunately these price hikes have occurred across the board this year with an average of 20% being added to a lot of decent mid-drive e-bikes.
As soon as I get some more info on the latest Orbea Keram I will update here. I’m also on the lookout for other decent e-MTB’s under £2000 but it’s getting very hard to get a decent mid-drive below this price.
I will update this article accordingly – apparently a lot of the big retailers will have new stock arriving in the spring (fingers crossed!)