Electric mountain bikes have gained quite a reputation for being one of the most expensive types of e-bikes available. And when looking at costs, eMTBers usually look beyond the initial sale prices and focus more on the running costs down the line. That being said, you definitely have to put this into consideration if you are planning on buying your first mountain e-bike.
Yes, high-end mountain electric bikes normally push the cost to as high as $9,000. But you still have to be mindful of the after-sale costs you will have to take care of, namely, regular maintenance.
That said, how much do mountain e-bikes cost? Considering the price range of $1,200 to $9,000, the average cost of mountain electric bikes, if we are only going to look at the initial sale price, is around $4,150. However, it is also important to look at the regular running and maintenance costs of eMTBs as they can add up over time. At most, you have to be prepared to shell out $650 for maintenance alone.
Why do you have to be aware of the maintenance costs of electric mountain bikes in particular? Well, let us just say that these types of electric bicycles are usually subject to more extreme riding conditions. This, in turn, results in faster deterioration of its essential parts.
Consequently, maintenance has to be done consistently to ensure not only an optimal riding experience but safety as well. While some manufacturers are reinforcing their e-bikes with sturdier components in their later models, they are still relatively few.
Mountain e-bike comparison chart
|Specialized Turbo Levo Expert||$8,250||47 pounds (21,3 kg)|
|Scott Genius eRide 920||$4,999||51.6 pounds (23,4 kg)|
|Giant Trance E+ 1 Pro||$5,565||54.6 pounds (24,8 kg)|
|Bulls E-Stream EVO AM 4||$5,399||52.2 pounds (23,7 kg)|
|Haibike SDURO LT 9.0||$5,599||56 pounds (25,4 kg)|
|Spark Bikes Spark RX||$2,399||61 pounds (27,7 kg)|
|Biktrix Juggernaut Ultra FS||$3,399||77 pounds (34,9 kg)|
|VoltBike Outback||$2,399||61.8 pounds (28 kg)|
|IZIP E3 Edge||$2,000||52.2 pounds (23,7 kg)|
What should you look at when considering mountain electric bike costs?
Mountain electric bikes have features that immediately set them apart from other types of electric bikes. Nonetheless, their overall design and components still follow the standard e-bike paradigm. This is why their prices are still largely dictated by how superior their battery is and how powerful their motors are.
Read also: What is the difference between e-bike batteries? And, How far can e-bikes go? What is the e-bike range?
It is also important to note that an eMTB is categorized as Downhill, Enduro, or Trail. Trail mountain e-bikes are more of an all-around eMTB that can conquer most hills and go through all kinds of rough trails.
Enduros are lighter in general and built for speed, while Downhill varieties are heavier and are designed to go through downhill paths faster than most.
It is important to know the difference between these types of eMTBs because their design and components are partly determined by those categories.
Generally, riders prefer their electric mountain bikes to be fast, have helpful extra features, be smooth, and have a high riding range. These, more or less, dictate the price of mountain e-bikes, as shall be explained in each section below:
Mountain e-bike maintenance
Wear and tear, as said above, is more prone to happen in electric mountain bikes. This is especially true in models that still incorporate the standard components found in an average mountain bike.
Most of the time, these components cannot support the extra power produced by the motor which is required from mountain biking (e.g. when conquering difficult slopes).
To be specific, these parts are the chain, chainring, and cassette. This is why most eMTBers have a propensity to have these components replaced every now and then.
The same rings true for brake pads and discs as well as the frames, forks, shocks, and bearings in general. Overall durability will definitely suffer as a general result of the constant stress that these parts have to put up with each ride.
Read also: How to find a reliable e-bike? And, Should I buy a new or used electric bicycle?
That said, you definitely have to be prepared to set aside money for buying spare parts to readily replace any component that has depreciated after a season of riding. This applies to the chain, chainring, cassette, brake rotors and pads, and tires, in particular.
Most experts also advise having your mountain e-bike undergo shock service and fork service annually to keep your bike’s durability top-notch. On average, you can expect to pay more than $200 for those services.
Mountain e-bike power and torque
Your mountain e-bike’s ability to assist you on any type of climb is a fundamental aspect of these types of e-bikes. Of course, you have to anticipate that the difficulty of these climbs would vary a lot.
This is why eMTBs that have more powerful motors are often preferred and, therefore, are more likely to cost more. Experienced riders also always opt for mid-drive motors because their ideal weight distribution usually leads to better overall performance.
Read also: Front, mid-drive, or rear e-bike motor. Which one to choose? And, What is the difference between e-bike motors?
Most motors have smart sensors that can instantly detect the level of assist that the rider currently needs based on the torque applied by the rider on the pedals. Motor support is crucial in ensuring that the general riding experience will always be satisfactory.
This is why most torque electric mountain bikes that can ensure smooth riding in any situation can command higher prices. Most of the time, you will see these types of mountain e-bikes that serve as the pinnacle of eMTBing power selling for $8,000+.
Furthermore, the most popular motor brands are Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, and Panasonic, most of which are big brands that are reputable enough to attach loftier price tags to their motors.
Batteries will always play an integral role in any type of e-bike. But mountain e-bikes certainly need to have batteries that have a longer life and riding range. This is because they are directly related to the motor’s performance. After all, the more it assists you to conquer a climb, the more it takes a toll on battery life.
Read also: What are the differences between e-bike batteries? And, How to properly store an electric bike?
When looking at battery quality and cost, you have to look at the e-bike battery’s watt-hours. This parameter is a good gauge of total battery life and output, after all.
Any mountain e-bike with higher watt-hours will have a longer riding range. And a larger riding range, as mentioned, is always preferred in a good eMTB. Additionally, faster-charging batteries are certainly more prized compared to slower ones. 4 hours of charging time are already considerably quick for most eMTBs.
Ironically, batteries that sport this characteristic are usually heavier. In general, lighter e-bikes are more expensive. But in the case of electric mountain bikes, those with bigger (and heftier) batteries will often be the costlier ones.
All the better if you can find models that are lightweight but still have long-lasting batteries, assuming you will be prepared to pay for their undoubtedly more expensive price.
Mountain e-bike adaptability to terrain
As said above, trail eMTBs often have the capability to handle any type of terrain. This is why they are normally the most expensive types of mountain e-bikes.
There are numerous factors to look at here, besides the motor’s performance. For one, mountain e-bikes that have bigger wheels usually adapt better to any kind of terrain.
That is not to say that the size of the wheel plays that big of a role in that component’s price, though. Some models that have smaller or average-sized wheels can still cost a lot.
Generally, wheels that can handle any kind of terrain (especially the rougher ones) will definitely cost more, either because of their durability or having other features like higher puncture resistance.
Also, mountain e-bikes that have been fitted with parts that ensure better handling will also cost a lot more because of better performance. The integrated brakes play a vital role here.
Read also: Can e-bikes help climb steep hills? And, How safe are electric bikes?
Those with disc rotors that manage to provide smoother and more powerful stops are favored and, thus, cost more, considering you may have to have them checked and replaced every now and then to guarantee safety.
Mountain e-bike warranty and insurance
The cost of sale is also greatly determined by the length of warranty that a specific brand can assure for its model. Those that have more than two years of warranty might cost more initially, but it will certainly help you save a lot more money should emergency breakages happen.
These kinds of mountain e-bikes immediately stand out because they are still relatively small in number. Considering the beating that most electric mountain bikes take on a regular basis, this should not at all be a surprise. More so for models that have lifetime warranties on the frame.
Read also: How to select insurance for your e-bike? And, Does it make sense to buy specialized insurance for an electric bike?
A few words in conclusion
Not a lot of electric mountain bikes can assure a smooth riding experience anytime and anywhere. This is why the general rule of thumb for eMTBs is that more powerful models are definitely big-ticket, so to speak.
And running costs surely have to be minded as well. Most passionate electric mountain bikers are more than willing to pay for these maintenances because they only extend the life of the bike further, allowing them to save more in the end.
Incidentally, the trend of mountain biking is already showing a huge shift towards electric mountain bikes because of the sheer convenience they provide. Yes, there are still purists out there who still like to conquer mountains with standard mountain bikes, but their numbers are evidently dwindling. Whether eMTBs becoming the norm will affect their costs still remains to be discovered.
What is certain is that people can expect sharper price drops once e-bikes, in general, reach the peak of their technology’s maturity. And eMTBers are undoubtedly the ones that anticipate it the most.
Read also: Why are e-bikes so expensive? And, What is the difference between cheap and expensive e-bikes? And, Will e-bikes become cheaper?