E-Bike vs. Mountain Bike: What to Choose?

Buying a new bike requires much more thought than you might imagine. How do you plan to use it? Would you prefer an e-bike or a pedal bike to hit the trails? To answer these questions, you have to weigh your options carefully. A bike is a significant investment, especially if you choose an electric bike. As of September 2019, electric bicycles are allowed in all national parks and can be ridden on any trails open to conventional pedal bicycles. The question is, "e-bike vs. mountain bike. What should you choose?" Before you decide, peruse this article to learn the benefits of both.

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What Is an Electric Bike?

If you are not familiar with electric bikes, you may be picturing a moped, a scooter, or even a motorcycle, but they are pretty unique in appearance. The frame is comparable to a conventional pedal bike but adds a motor, controller, and battery. The general purpose of an electric bike is to allow you to travel as you would on a pedal bike but further without exhausting you. They also come with functional accessories. How does it do that?

electric bike

How They Work

Although heavier and bulkier, an e-bike handles just like a regular bicycle. The difference in operation is that an ordinary bike runs on human power alone, while an e-bike is designed to augment it. Some models run on motor power alone, but the most common e-bikes use pedal-assist.

There are four key components to the e-bike:

  • The electric motor is typically built into the hub of the back or front wheel or mounted in the middle and is very compact. It is the driving force of the bike.
  • The battery is usually mounted somewhere near the back, most often under the seat. It is an essential part of the design and contains all the power that operates the bike. The standard battery is about 350-500 watts. ZuGo Bike is offering a high-capacity battery of 750 watts or, even better, 1000 watts. Check all the Rhino bike models.
  • The brakes come in two types: hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes. Mechanical disc brakes are the standard bicycle brakes involving a mechanical disc, cable, and brake lever. Hydraulic disc brakes provide more control and use a fluid to replace the steel cables.
  • The frame differs slightly from a conventional bike. It is usually aluminum alloy and has stronger spokes on the wheels to support the motor's power.

Overall, electric bikes are an upgrade in speed and agility, and there are many different types. What you can do on a standard pedal bicycle, you can probably do on an e-bike more efficiently.

Different Types

E-bikes come in the same types as regular bikes. The most common styles are:

  • cruiser, which is best for recreational riders,
  • commuter, which is excellent for running errands or getting where you need to go quickly,
  • mountain, which is for the thrill-seekers that like to venture off-road,
  • and road bikes, which are similar to cruisers but are generally more narrow to make them faster on the road.

E-bikes are also categorized into three different classes. The fundamental difference in these classes is how the motor is activated, and regulations vary by state. The categories are:

  • Class 1 e-bikes are pedal-assist only, meaning the motor is activated while pedaling.
  • Class 2 e-bikes have throttle-assist and pedal-assist, which means that you can activate the motor by pedaling, but you also have the option to operate the bike without pedaling. The throttle stops assisting at a rate of 20 mph.
  • Class 3 e-bikes have a speedometer and throttle assistance up to 28 mph. They do not have pedal assistance.

The class variations work best in different circumstances. For example, most commuters prefer a Class 1 or 2 e-bike because they prefer to pedal whenever they need more control. For similar reasons, serious mountain bikers also prefer a Class 1 e-bike.

e-bike

How Does an E-Bike Compare To a Mountain Bike?

The main benefits of an e-bike are apparent. You can ride further, faster, and retain far more energy. However, not everyone prefers the e-bike experience. Mountain bikers, in particular, are often health enthusiasts, and for them, the benefit of an analog mountain bike is earning the turns and hills. It serves as an excellent cardio workout.

What Are the Pros and Cons of E-Bikes?

Since this article addresses e-bike vs. mountain bike, it is necessary to cover the pros and cons of both. Apart from the apparent speed and distance advantages previously mentioned, here are some other pros of the e-bike.

  • It assists up to 20 mph.
  • It makes climbing mountains and hills easier.
  • It can go between 40 and 70 miles on one battery charge.
  • It is a valuable asset.
  • It can still be operated if the battery dies.

Of course, there are some cons. E-bikes are more expensive than mountain bikes. They are also heavier and much harder to use when the battery is dead. Some e-bikes also have to be registered as motor vehicles, which incurs more costs on top of the more costly maintenance. However, keep in mind that they are an asset that can be sold, even used, for a great price.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Mountain Bikes?

Mountain bikes have many pros in the context of their purpose. They are designed for off-roading on various types of terrain, which makes them great for exploring your local surroundings or taking a ride through uncharted territory. If mountain biking is your passion and exercise is your primary reason for owning a bicycle, mountain bikes are certainly a great option.

In comparison to e-bikes, mountain bikes have several cons.

  • They are not designed for urban commuters or long commutes.
  • On an off-road trail, they require more physical exertion.
  • You cannot travel as far as you would on an e-bike.
  • They are not as versatile as e-bikes.
  • They are also not as valuable.

Ultimately, unless your primary concern is budgetary, the electric bike is the better choice. You can take an e-bike on urban streets, long commutes, errands, and off-road adventures. You are significantly more limited with a conventional mountain bike. To learn more about electric bikes, their capabilities, and their accessories, contact ZuGo Bike.