More and more people are switching to electric bikes for a lot of practical reasons. It provides convenience because you do not have to wait in traffic or look for the perfect parking spot. That saves you time and money for gas. As for health benefits, you can squeeze in some exercise and manually pedal your way to work then switch to the electric motor when you get tired.
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We didn't take an existing charger and slap the Luna name on it. We special-ordered a quality charger from a respected manufacturer, and specified certain features that we feel are the most important. It has a difgital voltage read-out (why don't they all have that?), a choice between a slow charge at 3A, or a fast charge at 5A. Most importantly, we made sure to include an 80%/90%/100% three-way switch so you can choose max possible range, or max possible life. Other chargers give you only two choices...take it or leave it.
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The major reason I want a lightweight e-bike is so that I can largely ride it as a regular bike and only occasionally use the assist and so that I won’t notice quite so much when the battery runs out of juice going up a hill. Other reasons I want a lightweight e-bike: so that I can easily lift it onto the bus bike rack; so that I can hang the front tire on the bike hooks in our light rail trains; so that I can put it on a car rack; so that I can occasionally carry it up stairs.
Our testers were a little underwhelmed by a couple of our competitors. The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 has loads of potential with excellent geometry and trail smoothing rear suspension, but the spec of a wimpy fork and non-aggressive tires detract from its downhill confidence when the going gets steep or rough. The Trek Powerfly 7 FS was our least favorite e-bike to ride downhill, with an even less impressive component specification that held it back and didn't inspire confidence on descents.
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On the AM 4 you get 150mm of travel via a Fox Factory 36 Float fork, 11-speeds from a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain, and Magura MT-Trail hydraulic disc brakes. They also don’t gip you on the dropper with a wonderful, wonderful KS Lev. In terms of geometry, the build is pretty dope. It’s a nice slack feel, so you can do some solid downhills. A DT Swiss wheelset along with Magic Mary tires give you a lightweight and smooth ride.
It’s important to note that because this is an electric bike, not all trails are legally accessible. You’ll need to check with the federal, state, or local land management agency in charge of the trails you want to ride to see if it’s possible. You may also face some resistance from holier-than-though cyclist types. Those guys are best avoided anyway, and the glowing LEDs on the down tube should at least help you identify them quicker.
The 13amh battery is nestled at the down tube frame on a battery bracket, which you can remove quickly if required. The battery is powerful enough to provide life juice to the bike for a long distance. The trip distance is 25 miles in full electric mode and 50 miles on the assist pedal. The battery comes with a 48V 2.0A charger and it survives more than 500 times of recharge cycles.
In our head to head range test, the Rocky Mountain took the win by traveling 20 miles and 4,297 vertical feet. It is worth mentioning that our tester felt that he worked a little harder while range testing the Rocky Mountain than the other bikes we tested. The Giant wasn't far behind at 19.02 miles and 4,000 vertical feet, and the Specialized was nipping at its heels with 18.71 miles and 3,949 feet. The Ghost Hybride SL AMR was the least impressive with a range of just 16.75 miles and 3,559 vertical feet. The outlier in this comparison is the Bulls E-Stream with a 650Wh battery. We were not able to test the Bulls directly against these other competitors, but we did notice that you can ride it significantly farther than any of these other contenders. During one of our test rides, we rode the Bulls 24 miles and 4,500 vertical feet, and the battery still wasn't depleted. More battery storage equals longer rides; it's just that simple.
With mountain bikes already sporting hefty price tags, the cost of adding an electric pedal assist motor might be enough to send the value-conscious rider's head spinning. Fear not! We created a chart to help you sort through which bike has the best performance to price ratio. Bikes that fall lower and further to the right, such as the Best Buy winning Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro, represent the best value.
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The Bulls E-Stream EVO AM 4 is a new addition to our electric mountain bike test and it didn't take long for our testers to fall in love with this new contender. This bike comes ready to rumble with a beefy enduro ready build with 150mm of front and rear wheel travel controlled by a stout RockShox Lyrik fork up front. Testers found this bike to come alive at speed with stable and confidence inspiring trail manners that preferred to go fast, and big 2.8-inch wide Schwalbe tires that provided heaps of traction. Bulls has done a good job designing this beast, with a powerful and smooth Brose drive unit cleanly integrated into the frame along with a large 650Wh battery. The motor lays down very smooth power in all of its output settings and is one of the quietest models we tested. The large battery storage capacity provides the longest distance range of all the models in the test so you can stay out longer and ride farther than on models with smaller batteries. The e-bike controls have relatively good ergonomics and an easy to read display.