Many cyclists have feared the development of electric mountain bikes, arguing that they will take the sport out of mountain biking. They could also destroy trails and give e-bikers an unfair advantage. And they could add motorized noise to an otherwise peaceful forest experience. After all, what’s the difference between an e-bike and a motorbike?

One difference is amount of power: a KTM 250cc four-stroke motorcycle produces about 32,000 watts, while the Specialized Levo eMTB produces 530 watts.

Another difference is that you must be pedaling in order for the motor to be engaged on e-bikes, unlike motorcycles that require a throttle. E-bikes give each rider about 6.5 watts per kilo of bodyweight, so an average rider could be on par with a professional cyclist.

In the past couple years big name bike companies, such as Specialized, Trek, Giant, Scott, and other have been developing their own off terrain e-bikes. When electric mountain bikes first came out, they were described and bulky and clumsy on the trail, but reviews of the newly released e-bikes have been more positive.

E-bikes can also serve as great haulers, so for any bikepacking, camping, or hunting trips these e-bikes will be the difference. Electric mountain bikes could also open the door to people who might not otherwise be able to enjoy this great sport for physical reasons.

What are your opinions of e-bikes? Share your thoughts below.