Since we first got involved in the electric mountain bike industry, we’ve been receiving a lot of related questions, like “how I can fix a flat tire?”, “how to maintain an e-bike chain?” etc. Among them, one of the most heated questions is, “What is the range of an electric mountain bike?”
Well, it is quite normal that people always ask this question as it affects how far they can go on their e-bikes. As they google it, all kinds of answers will pop up, which can be quite confusing. In this article, we will cover all the needed details about the range of an electric mountain bike.
What is an electric mountain bike?
Before getting to the topic, we need to talk about what exactly an electric mountain bike is as some of you reading this article is not clear about the differences between a regular electric bike and an electric mtb.
There are a variety of electric bikes with different sizes of tires. For example, some e-bike brands are selling commuter e-bikes, which may be equipped with thin tires, while those beach cruiser electric bikes are most likely to be equipped with fat tires. That is because city roads and streets are usually flat and not as bumpy as country roads, and there is no need to have a pair of fat tires. Of course, we don’t mean you cannot have them on a commuter electric bike. There are still many of them which are equipped with fat tires.
However, it is obvious that an electric mtb should be equipped with fat tires because this e-bike is specially designed for riding off-road or in mountainous areas. Also, another reason is that e-bike fat tires can prevent punctures effectively.
Most manufacturers in the e-bike industry apply mainly two types of brakes – mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes. In fact, both of them can be used for any kind of electric bike. The only and biggest difference is their effect.
Many of you may already know that mechanical disc brakes are not bad when riding on smooth streets. It might just be kind of hard to use those brake levers. But, if you are to take an adventure on electric mountain bikes, a pair of hydraulic disc brakes are badly needed. Hydraulic disc brakes can provide great braking power compared to mechanical brakes. And when it comes to pulling their brake levers, it will be really easy and smooth to control with only 1 or 2 fingers.
A suspension fork plays a key role in an electric mountain bike’s performance. It is able to absorb shock from riding over bumps on the roads. Most e-bike brands manufacture e-bikes equipped with alloy front forks, while few of them, including Magicyclebike, produce hydraulic suspension front forks. Well, quite like the mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes, a hydraulic suspension front fork can perform far better than an alloy one.
The Factors affecting the range of an Electric mountain bike
Well, after figuring out what an electric mountain bike is, we are supposed to get to the main topic today – what are the factors affecting the range of electric mtb?
The total weight of an electric bike can greatly impact the range. It is quite easy to understand. Just imagine when you are riding a regular bike with somebody else on the rear rack, it will be much harder to pedal, and you have to pay more effort. Even though you don’t pedal that hard on an e-bike with PAS and throttle, the range and speed can be affected greatly.
Here what we mean by “weight” includes the weight of riders, gear, and loads. The heavier your gear and loads are, the more effort your e-bike motors need to pay. Under this circumstance, your battery capacity can decrease faster than usual. Thus, the range will be shorter.
Power output equals power consumption. That is to say, the more the power output is, the more battery capacity your e-bike will consume. This factor is most related to the ways you ride your electric mountain bikes.
Normally, an electric mountain bike has both throttle and PAS. To keep it running as far as possible, you can pedal and use the PAS all the way. This requires the least power consumption (except you pedal without any electric assistance.) and provides you with the longest range. Oppositely, when you use the throttle instead of pedaling all the way, you can go really fast, but the range you can get from your electric bikes can be shorter. This is why many e-bike brands tend to tell you two different ranges. One is achieved in PAS mode, and the other one is in full-throttle mode.
However, it will be pretty slow sometimes when you keep using PAS. If you want to make use of your electric bikes efficiently, just use both PAS and throttle at the same time. For example, when you are about to start, you can use the throttle first, then you can switch to PAS mode only when your electric mountain bikes reach a specific speed, which is up to you.
Terrains have an impact on your e-bike range in an unnoticeable fashion. When you are riding on rugged terrain, your electric mountain bikes tend to lose more energy as they are running against friction and bumps. Moreover, they can lose much more energy because of gravity when it comes to going uphill. Losing energy means more battery loss. Traveling on smooth pavements always requires less energy than riding over dirt and gravel.
This is the last but the most important factor affecting the eMTB range. Simply, your e-bike range is up to your battery capacity. Usually, we can see an e-bike battery is measured by voltage(V) and amp hour(Ah). A majority of e-bike brands provide 48V 15Ah batteries.
The size of your batteries mainly depends on the amp hour. That is to say, the more the amp hour is, the more battery capacity your battery has. Due to a variety of factors affecting the e-bike range, we can not tell you exactly what the range of an electric mountain bike is. As an example, the Magicycle Cruiser Pro has a 52V 20 Ah battery, and after our range test, we found out it has a range between 60-80 miles.
How Much Range Is Enough for an Electric Mountain Bike
People buy electric bikes for diverse purposes. Those who have purchased electric mountain bikes tend to take adventures on bumpy and rugged terrains. As mentioned above, this kind of terrain can reduce the e-bike range. It is critical to have a large battery, providing a long enough range.
Here we will take Magicycle Cruiser Pro as an example again. You already know that it has a range between 60 – 80 miles. And we would love to tell you that it is totally enough. Why? In the current e-bike market, 20Ah is almost the highest for a battery, and it is nearly impossible to find a battery of a higher Ah.
Also, besides the Ah, we think you could pay more attention to a battery’s voltage if you buy an electric mountain bike. Higher voltage means more power to your electric bikes. A 52V 20Ah battery can give you a longer range and extra power.