We love eMTBing, and it’s only going to get better in 2019 thanks to exciting, sometimes revolutionary new concepts! The differences between eMTBs have become bigger than ever, with more variety and more specialisation across the board. Nevertheless, when reviewing the 14 most exciting models of 2019, we’ve been able to find definitive answers to the most burning questions. Which is the best eMTB of 2019? What are the trends for the new season? And what developments will we be seeing in the future?
The test field – bigger and more diverse than ever before!
With 14 bikes in the test field, this group test isn’t only the largest we’ve ever done, it’s also enormously diverse in terms of motors, wheel-size concepts, bike philosophies, and prices. Priced at € 6,199, the Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 is the most affordable bike in the test field, while the Specialized S-Works Levo marks the upper end of the price range at € 11,299. On average, the bikes cost € 7,541.93 and weigh 22.60 kg. The heaviest eMTB in the test field weighs 28.3 kg, whereas the lightest weighs only 18.4 kg – a weight difference of almost 10 kg! Is that difference in weight also reflected in the riding performance? You can look forward to some enlightening insights!
|Bike||Price||Weight||Travel (f/r)||Perm. total weight*|
|Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0||€ 6,199||21.72 kg||150/150 mm||130 kg (108 kg)|
|Focus JAM² 9.8 DRIFTER||€ 7,499||20.56 kg||150/150 mm||120 kg (99 kg)|
|GHOST HYBRIDE SL AMR X S 7.7+ LC||€ 6,499||21.29 kg||160/140 mm||140 kg (118 kg)|
|Giant Trance E+ 0 Pro||€ 6,299||23.64 kg||150/140 mm||156 kg (132 kg)|
|Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 FLYON||€ 6,999||28.30 kg**||150/150 mm||120 kg (92 kg)|
|Husqvarna HC 9.0||€ 7,199||24.72 kg||180/180 mm||130 kg (105 kg)|
|Intense Tazer||€ 7,499||22.28 kg||160/150 mm||136 kg (113 kg)|
|Lapierre eZesty AM LTD Ultimate||€ 7,599||18.40 kg||160/150 mm||120 kg (101 kg)|
|MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E||€ 6,499||22.16 kg||160/160 mm||140 kg (117 kg)|
|Mondraker Level RR||€ 7,999||25.29 kg||170/160 mm||150 kg (124 kg)|
|Scott Genius eRIDE 900 TUNED||€ 6,999||23.71 kg||150/150 mm||128 kg (104 kg)|
|Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR||€ 11,299||20.70 kg||150/150 mm||130 kg (109 kg)|
|Thömus Lightrider E1||CHF 10,290||21.21 kg||150/150 mm||130 kg (108 kg)|
|Trek Powerfly LT 9.9||€ 7,999 €||22.68 kg||160/150 mm||136 kg (113 kg)|
* in brackets: max. payload (rider + equipment, rounded down)
** incl. light
You’ll find all the important motors that are currently available on the market in this group test. Interestingly, 8 of the 14 bikes in this year’s group test rely on the Shimano STEPS E8000 motor, while only two feature Bosch’s Performance CX. We’ve got two exciting motors coming out of the greater Munich area: the TQ on the Haibike and the FAZUA on the Lapierre. Even though the nominal power of all motors is 250 watts, there are huge differences. It’s not the average rated power that matters to the actual riding performance, but the maximum power output in the respective support levels at peak loads – depending on the motor, this can mean a peak power output of up to 920 W! Torque is very important too – the TQ motor with an output of 120 Nm of torque is twice as powerful as the super-compact FAZUA. The battery capacities range from 250 Wh to 700 Wh, though we’re increasingly seeing the standard 500 Wh pack being replaced by larger batteries.
CUBE didn’t want to send us a bike for this group test. The previous year’s Best Value Tip, BULLS, is experiencing delivery problems and the test bike we requested currently isn’t available.
Are the bikes of this group test too expensive for your budget?
At the start of each year, we begin by reviewing the absolute best bikes of the new season to find the best eMTB of the year. Price plays a subordinate role here since we’re out to find the latest technologies and the new benchmarks. The good news: for all buyers on a budget who can’t afford the Ferraris or Porsches among eMTBs, you’ll find a group test with more affordable models in the next issue.
Why is the test field so broad? Are these bikes even comparable?
We are convinced that the 14 models tested offer a realistic cross-section of the market and thus can help guide and orient riders looking to buy. Even if there are big differences between the concepts of Haibike, Lapierre and the Bosch-style bikes, they’re all interesting options for the same type of rider. We’re very critical of comparing bikes on the basis of seemingly obvious parameters such as travel or wheel size since that places the emphasis on properties that have little relevance in real-world applications. Reviews of that kind are far too simple and of no use to our readers. The goal of our group tests is to provide a realistic buyers guide and not comparisons for the sake of compatibility.
All Bikes in Test
Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | Focus JAM² 9.8 DRIFTER | GHOST HYBRIDE SL AMR X S 7.7+ LC | Giant Trance E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 FLYON | Husqvarna HC 9.0 | Intense Tazer | Lapierre eZesty AM LTD Ultimate | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | Mondraker Level RR | Scott Genius eRIDE 900 TUNED | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR | Thömus Lightrider E1 | Trek Powerfly LT 9.9