An electric mountain bike also known as E-MTB , is a bike designed to be used for off-road cycling. Electric mountain bikes differ from road going bikes in that they may have suspension on the frame and/or forks, large wide knobbly types and a wide range of gear ratios for steep terrain. Most mountain bikes also have powerful hydraulic disc brakes.
Mountain biking was thought to originate in Orange County, California, USA in the 1970’s. The original mountain bikes were modified road bikes fitted with wide tyres. The first MTB was built by Joe Breeze but it wasnt until the late 70’s/early 80’s that cycle companies started to manufacture MTB’s. The first mass produced bike was the Specialized Stumpjumper which appeared in 1981.
There are different types of mountain bikes.
Rigid bikes: these bikes have no suspension on either front forks or the frame.
Hardtail bikes: these bikes have suspension on the front forks. This helps steering on rough ground and reduces the strain on hands and arms.
Full suspension bikes: full suspension bikes have suspension on both the front forks and a shock absorber on the frame for the rear wheel.
Until recently MTB’s always had 26″ wheels but now both 29″ and 27.5″ wheels are becoming more popular.
Mountain bikes have fully embraced e-bike technology with hundreds of different models now available. Almost all major manufacturers such as Specialized, Trek, Giant, Cube and Focus now produce electric mountains bike. Most electric MTB’s above £1000 have motors placed at the bottom bracket (in between the cranks) but some cheaper sub £1000 models may have hub motors.