Fastest Electric Mountain Bike: A GRB Buyer’s Guide

By Sam Hartman

Group 278

Mountain bikers have all been there. You’re cruising along, have plenty of energy, then all of a sudden you hit that hard patch of terrain or a steep hill. You’ve got this, right?

Cut to 20 minutes later, you blew up 10 minutes in and have been on the struggle bus since. Your eyes were bigger than your thighs, happens to the best of us.

Now, you know what would really help in those situations? A motor.

Electric mountain bikes are taking off in the US. There’s never been better options available to everyday riders, but with so many options available you might not know what you’re looking for. What if you’re looking for the fastest electric mountain bike, where do you even start?

Well, you start at Go Ride Bikes! We’re a collection of electric bike enthusiasts who love all things ebikes. In this blog we’re going over the electric mountain bikes, including your options for the fastest electric mountain bike, but if you’re looking for some other great electric bike reviews (and our helpful ebike range calculator) feel free to explore our site!

Performance vs. Speed

We all know the Top Gun quote, “I’ve got the need. The need for speed!”

Lots of bike riders share that thrill, and it’s a major reason for adding a motor for pedal assist to your bike riding experience. That extra oomph to feel the wind whip by on a fast electric bike, it really is a fantastic feeling.

But when you’re looking for the fastest electric bike, you have to look past just speed. You really should look for a motor with great overall performance. To judge an electric bike’s performance, you have few factors you should consider:

  • Motor power
  • Torque
  • Battery life
  • Handling

Finding a great balance between all of these factors is how you get the best electric bicycle experience, whether you’re using a mountain bike or a road bike. If you’re just focused on motor power or speed but don’t consider your overall handling, higher speed can actually get kind of dangerous.

Speed limit for electric mountain bikes

Like any other motor vehicle, there are limits to how fast you can drive that are for both your safety and public safety. For electric bikes, the United States breaks motors into three different classifications.

Class 1

These motors are most commonly known as pedal assist bikes, and they’re the most popular motor in the US. These electric bikes have a motor that provides assistance to the rider when pedaling, and the motor cuts off when you reach 20 MPH. Class 1 ebikes also have their power output maximized at 750 Wh.

Class 2

Similar to the class 1 motor, a class 2 motor also provides assistance to a rider while pedaling. The difference, however, is a class 2 motor can also be engaged while the rider isn’t pedaling. These electric bikes can reach up to 20 MPH without pedal assist, so they’re more suited for a leisurely road ride than a challenging mountain path.

Class 3

When looking for the fastest electric bike, you’re looking for a class 3 electric bike. Also known as a speed pedelec, these bikes have a speed limit of 28 MPH and their electric motor provides assistance while the rider is pedaling or without pedal assistance. The maximum power output is still 750 Wh, but class 3 electric bikes are designed for more speed and more power. Riders must wear a helmet when driving a class 3 electric bike, and there are other specific safety regulations similar to a motorcycle.

GRB’s picks: Five fastest electric mountain bikes of 2023

Here’s our picks for the fastest mountain bike of 2023.

Specialized Turbo Levo SL

Max Speed: 20 MPH
Motor: Specialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motor
Battery: Specialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh
Suspension:FOX FLOAT DPS Performance, 3-position adjustment, 52.5x210mm, Rx Trail Tune

The Turbo Levo SL from Specialized is a top-of-the-line bike in many ways. Its class 1 motor can reach the maximum 20 MPH with pedal assist, but its power and handling in rough terrain is really what sets it apart as a quality electric mountain bike.

Trek Powerfly FS9 EQ

Max Speed: 20 MPH
Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX (85 Nm)
Battery: Bosch PowerTube 625Wh
Suspension: RockShox SID Lux Select+, 190 x 45mm

The Trek Powerfly is one powerful electric bike. It’s got a super tough aluminum frame that houses an internal 625Wh Bosch battery. That combined with the Bosch Performance Line CX motor gives this bike an easy 20 MPH top speed. And for the rugged terrain, its 120mm suspension fork, powerful 4-piston hydraulic brakes, and its 12-speed drivetrain will have you zipping all over the mountainside.

Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0

Max Speed: 20 MPH
Motor: Flyon, HPR120S, 120 Nm, 25 km/h
Battery: Flyon, The Battery, 630 Wh
Suspension: FOX 38 Factory Kashima, Travel: 180mm

The XDURO Nduro 10.0 is the top model in Haibike’s Nduro series, and it’s a significant step forward in ebike tech. The FLYON performance system perfectly integrates their 630Wh battery and 120Nm motor, all with an innovative operating concept and display for riders. It also features a great set of powerful headlights for convenient night trail riding.

Bulls E-Core EVO EN Di2

Max Speed: 20 MPH
Motor: Shimano STEPS E8000
Battery: Twin Core 36V/10.4Ah/750Wh (2 x 375Wh batteries)
Suspension: Fox Float X2 Air

I’m truly a sucker for dual battery ebikes, and the E-Core EVO EN Di2 from Bulls has to be one of my favorites on the market. The two 375Wh battery units, one conveniently on each side of the downtube, adds up to an efficient and powerful 750Wh total that powers the Shimano STEPS E8000 motor. This electric bike gives you an advantage tackling steep and technical terrain.

Giant Trance E+ 0 Pro

Max Speed: 20 MPH
Motor: Giant SyncDrive Pro
Battery: Giant EnergyPak Smart 500, 36V 13.8Ah integrated Lithium-Ion
Suspension: Fox Float DPX2 Factory, EVOL Large Volume sleeve, 3-Pos Adj. lever, 185×52.5mm Trunnion mount

If you’re looking for more speed, faster climbs, and longer runs on a single charge, the Giant Trance E+ 0 Pro is the ebike for you. Giant’s custom SyncDrive Pro motor has a huge 80 Nm of torque and 360 percent tunable support, which lets you enjoy every aspect of ebike riding. If you need power to get up steep and rocky terrain, you’ve got it. If you’re on a nice leisurely ride and want to cruise, you’ll get smooth speed the whole way.

Choosing your perfect electric mountain bike

Speed can be a huge factor when choosing electric bicycles, but when you’re looking for a quality electric mountain bike you’ve got to consider a few other factors.

Riding needs

Before investing in an electric bike, take the time to think about how you’re going to use it. Are you going on nice trail rides and want to enjoy the view, or are you looking for more of a challenge and need a boost up the hill? Are you taking this for a cross-country trek or more of a short sprint? All things to consider.

Motor and power

Knowing your motor types is incredibly important when looking for fast electric bikes. If you’re truly looking for just speed, a class 3 electric bike motor is going to be the fastest but it also can’t go on many trails. Meanwhile a class 1 motor is perfect for many mountain bikes because it provides a variety of assistance when you need it.

Battery

Speaking of power, your battery means a lot to your bike’s overall performance. It’s important to have a strong battery when mountain biking, both for longer trail rides and for more power getting over rough terrain. Your battery’s integration is important too. Your battery should seamlessly integrate with your frame, either internally or fixed on the frame itself. This is crucial both for aesthetics and balance for overall performance.

Tire size and traction

Most mountain bikers know tires can make or break your ride experience. Most mountain bikes come in two sizes, either 27.5” or 29”, called 29ers. There’s also the option for a fat bike, which features giant specialized “fat” tires that handle well in all terrain, including snow, sand, gravel, and mud.

Braking system

Speed is awesome, but when looking for a fast electric bike you have to remember the brakes, too. Hydraulic disc brakes provide a ton of stopping power when you need it, and can help you effectively control down hill portions while mountain biking. There are also other great brake options you should explore.

Weight

Heavier bikes have a harder time getting the most out of their battery, because it takes more power to move at high speed (and low speed for that matter). And when you factor in things like a fat tire, battery, and motor, your electric mountain bike can get heavy quickly. Always keep your bike’s weight in mind, and do your best to keep the weight low for higher battery efficiency.

Go Ride Bikes

No matter if you’re looking for maximum speed or high performance, you really can’t go wrong picking up an electric mountain bike. They’re so versatile, from a fat tire to a hidden battery and a powerful motor every mountain biker will find something they love.

Go Ride Bikes is our name, but it’s also our philosophy. We want to encourage everyone to get out and, well, go ride bikes. Explore the Go Ride Bikes electric bike reviews, read more of our informative blogs, and keep up with curated lists of the best ebike advancements from our experts.

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