The e-bike hype continues! For a long time, the sporty categories of mountain bike and road bike were excluded from motorization. This was not only for image reasons, the motors were simply unsuitable for a sporty riding style. For a road bike they were too big and too heavy, for a MTB too lame. In the meantime, this has been improved. The drives provide powerful, but finely tuned support. The result is an absolutely natural riding experience that differs from an unpowered bike in only one respect - it's much more effortless.
This is a hardtail - Things to know about unsuspended e-mountain bikes
What is a hardtail anyway? To answer that question, we can start by adding some confusion: actually, any bike that isn't a mountain bike full is a hardtail. Hardtail is English and simply means: rigid rear triangle, and after all, that's what every bike has that doesn't have a frame shock. Road bike, kids bike, city bike - technically all hardtails.
A mountain bike hardtail, however, is a very special bike after all. It has the sporty geometry of a mountain bike, a well-sprung fork, plus the thick tires and wide handlebars typical of these bikes. These features make a hardtail rideable off-road, you can tackle dirt roads, loose surfaces or even challenging terrain.
The bike finally becomes an e-bike hardtail when it comes with an electric drive .
The equipment of an e-bike hardtail
Depending on the intended use, there are different tire widths for a hardtail, wide ones and even wider ones. At just under 8 inches wide, mountain bike tires are the fattest things on the market. Rough lugs on the casings dig through any surface.
When it comes to wheel size you have some choice, there are maneuverable 27.5-inch tires or 29-inchers. Which size fits your dream bike will be in the bike specs, some bikes ride on both(s) as well.
If you need new coats, wheels or tubes, look for goods that are approved for e-bikes. More mph and more weight require extra durable bike parts.
The suspension fork is the component that most clearly identifies a hardtail. The suspension travel of the fork makes an e-bike a marathon hardtail, a racer, a trail e-hardtailor an all-mountain e-bike and so on. Lots of travel means more off-road capability, little travel represents better efficiency of your pedaling and thus more speed.
Maybe we're going out on a limb here, but it's not a stretch to say that you can't buy an e-bike hardtail with rim brakes. There isn't. Mountain bikes usually have discs. E-bikes almost alwayshave discs. E-MTBs always have discs.
There are different systems. Mmechanical disc brakes are cheaper, hydraulic brakes with less hand force. Brakes with four brake pistons have better stopping power than brakes with two brake pistons. Also, large brake discs achieve better braking efficiency.
How much braking you need depends on your riding plans. The steeper, more difficult, and more technical your tours turn out to be, the thicker your braking system should be.
Again, when buying spare parts, always go for parts that are approved for e-bikes.
An e-bike hardtail will almost certainly have MTB-specific 1x11 or 1x12 gears. Along with the drivetrain, 11 or 12 gears provide absolutely enough variation no matter what's in front of you. You can expect a wide range of gearing, between 400 and 500% most of the time. How much you really need depends again on your plans. The steeper and more rugged the terrain, the more gear bandwidth your e-bike should have.
Many e-mountain bikes come with a lowerable seatpost from the factory. This allows you to adjust the height of the saddle at the touch of a button, or lower the saddle altogether, removing it from the field of fire.
"Watch out, here I come!" suggests the wide handlebars of a mountain bike. A flat bar 750mm wide or more is standard on a mountain bike today, but this isn't about looks. The handlebars are also not getting wider so that all sorts of things can be attached. Sure, for brake levers, gears, display, control for the Vario post and so on it needs some space, but not sooo much again. The thing is, the wider the handlebar, the better control you have over your bike. On your off-road trips, you'll notice!
Many mountain bikers like to ride with clickies, which are system pedals that MTB shoes snap into. Especially off-road, the direct connection you make with your bikes this way improves control. Other bikers still prefer flats, wide pedals with biting pins that dig into the sole of the shoe. Here, you can choose between cages and paws. Cages (from cage) have a metal "cage" on the outer edge, a band tipped with teeth that the shoe holds onto. Paws are rather flat, but they are equipped with metal tips that drill into the shoe sole and thus ensure a good power transmission and good grip. Both pedal versions can cause unsightly cuts to the shin, though, so it pays to wear shin guards when off-roading!
The best drivetrain for an e-bike hardtail
An e-mountain bike with a floppy drivetrain isn't much fun. That's why the production of E-MTBs really took off when the drivetrains were ready for the high demands. Today, there are electric motors available from several manufacturers at once, with assistance that matches the ride. While other bikes need the motor power constantly and permanently, off-road often requires sensitive stop-and-go. These three components influence the riding experience:
Mountain bike drivetrains pack a lot of power. They have a high torque, which can fire off concentrated power at points. Numerous sensors dose between 85 and 120 Nm, so you always have the optimal power assistance available.
On the e-bike hardtail there is usually a mid-motor. Since the power here is transmitted directly to the bike chain, these motors are the most effective. They also don't make the bike's center of gravity shift uncomfortably backwards, forwards or upwards. So it has good straight-line stability and doesn't tip sideways too easily.
When it comes to battery packs, you have a choice: would you rather have a large reserve of power to drive around, giving you backup for long distances? Or do you only need the help on short sections, and you can manage the rest on your own or at a small assistance level? A smaller battery is not only cheaper, it is also lighter. But it will have less range.
Mountain e-bikes have frame batteries, on the current MTB models it is usually integrated into the frame.
To keep them safe, mountain bike displays are often small and not mounted directly on the front of the handlebars. The display tells you your speed, remaining battery range, and miles ridden, but nothing more. That way, it doesn't pull your attention away from more important things. even adjust the assistance level automatically. So you can keep your head clear for the trail and not waste battery power.
Many drives can be controlled via your smartphone. A Bluetooth connection couples e-bikes and mobile phone, you can then also let it navigate you at the same time.
But which drive is the best? Quite simply, if you buy an e-bike hardtail with one of the specific mountain bike drivetrains, you'll be perfectly equipped.
Which is better, an e-bike hardtail or an e-fully?
Both bikes have their advantages, that much is clear, otherwise one of them would have disappeared from the market by now. Comparing the two divisions shows the advantages of a hardtail particularly clearly, so we contrast the two here. Generally speaking, hardtails are cheaper and require less maintenance and adjustment, but a full can take a bit more of a beating terrain-wise.
- Hardtails and Fullys - which costs more?
A fully has one shock more, which of course costs. But what really drives up the cost of a Fully is the complicated frame construction. You can think of it something like this: Take a bike frame, saw a chunk out of it, and then make it strong enough again to withstand nasty downhill rides. Cheap would be negligent here! The rigid frame of a hardtail is "all of a piece", adds no extra cost, and holds up quite easily. It's no different with the motorized versions. E-fullys are among the most expensive bikes you can buy! And e-hardtails? Can be had for significantly less!
- An e-bike hardtail requires less maintenance
One or two more joints, the few bolts, plus the one shock - doesn't sound like much, but in fact the moving frame of a fully requires significantly more attention than a hardtail demands. A hardtail doesn't stress about anything besides thenormal care and maintenance that comes with any bike. Brake and fork service, that's all it needs until the first signs of wear show up over time. Every now and then you should clean it, especially if you've dragged half the bike park home with you in your drivetrain.
> Here you'll find bike tools for any maintenance that's due, and cleaners and lubricants to keep everything running nice and smooth.
That e-bikes are generally no flyweights, has surely already spread around. That with the price in most cases the weight goes down is also no secret. The formula can also be applied to e-bike hardtails. Hardtails weigh between 15 and 25 kilos. Carbon hardtails in particular manage to weigh well under the 20 kg limit, despite the electric drive, so while you'll find a good selection of lightweight hardtails, you won't find any fullys. Hardly any of the full-suspension e-mountain bikes can crack this mark.
- On the e-bike hardtail, less needs to be adjusted
You can adjust the fork of a hardtail, so you can tighten or soften the shock in it. With the Fully you must additionally readjust the frame damper again and again, after all, you sit right over it. Your weight, the terrain, there are many factors to consider! This makes a hardtail e-bike much less stressful. You never have to ride around with the uneasy feeling that your bike is somehow misadjusted.
A damper is supposed to reduce shock. But it can't tell if the shocks are coming from below or above, consequently it responds whenever there's a bump. Unfortunately, "bumps from above" are not bumps, but your pedaling movements. In plain English, the more damping a bike has, the more energy it dissipates. Therefore a hardtail rides much more economical than a fully, it can convert more energy into distance. Especially with e-bikes this is an important factor, because here not only your muscle power is used optimally, also the battery charge lasts longer.
- Sounds like stress. Then why do fullys exist at all?
A fully presents you with many challenges, and that's before you've even climbed it for the first time. However, a Fully just manages a much larger radius than a hardtail. The frame shock allows you to ride on technically challenging terrain and surfaces, on which you would never have suspected a bike.
All this makes a hardtail overall much more suitable for everyday use. You can use your e-bike hardtail as an efficient transportation vehicle during the week or even as a commuter. Especially in areas with a lot of climbs or in the countryside, a hardtail is a good everyday vehicle. When Friday approaches, you can use your e-bike hardtail to hit the bike park or enjoy alpine trails.
So it's "best of both worlds", the perfect combo for leisure and everyday life.
E-bike hardtails for men and women
A hardtail usually has a diamond frame, which is the classic shape of a men's bike. Does that mean these bikes are not for women? No, don't worry, hardtails are also suitable for women and very popular with women. The low entry of a typical women's bike is only obligatory if you get on the bike in a skirt, with a MTB this is rather rarely the case. E-bike hardtails come in different frame sizes, and almost every model and manufacturer has a different fit. So you can find the right bike for everyone. If you look at the specifications of the e-bike hardtails here in the online shop, you will usually find a data sheet with the dimensions of the frame. It tells you if a bike has a taller frame (i.e. a big stack) or a long reach to the handlebars (i.e. a lot of reach). These two values describe how you sit in the frame, and can help you pick the bike that fits your build.
Many e-bike mountain bikes are basically made for men, but there are some specific women's bikes. The majority are simply unisex and therefore suitable for anyone, woman or man.
Is a hardtail e-bike the right bike for you?
You want to buy a bike. A bike. Just one, but it should be able to do as much as possible. Commuting to work across town every day, for example. It has to be able to do everyday rides, even with a child seat over the rear wheel. One-day bike tours or bike trekking over several days should be possible. But also alpine trails or flow trails. Here a hardtail plays its versatility skillfully out.
The speed can be crisp, the bike should run efficiently and not cost you unnecessary power and battery. An unsuspended MTB fulfils all these wishes. Since a hardtail always weighs less than a comparable full, you have less weight to move.
If you are looking for a bike that covers a similar range of use as an e-hardtail, you can check out our e-gravel bikes. Despite their completely different look, their capabilities are very similar to a hardtail e-bike. A slightly more conservative alternative to the hardtail e-bike would be an E-trekking bike. This is where the core capability shifts a good bit towards long distance and everyday comfort.
The features of an e-bike hardtail at a glance:
- off-road and off-road capable
- efficient to drive
- sporty and fast
- relatively light for an e-bike
- well suited for your everyday life
- Free time fun in the fresh air
How does an e-bike hardtail ride?
An e-bike hardtail rides without much stress or effort if you set it to a high level of assistance. At a low level, you'll have to pedal more, but fill up the battery less often. The MTB motor is told by its sensors when you need how much push, it then plays out the appropriate support in a fraction of a second.
By the way, an e-bike doesn't get faster per se than a bio-bike. However, pedaling is much easier, which is why e-bike riders can pedal faster with the same amount of power. You can think of it something like this: It's downhill all the way. So much for the riding characteristics of an e-bike.
A hardtail rides fast and efficiently, rolling over almost any surface without bucking. The wide tires and suspension fork absorb shock before it reaches your hands, shoulders, and arms, causing pain or tension there. But a bike with a suspended front is not just for the comfort of the rider, it delivers a safe riding experience with good control over the bike. Bumps and rocky roads won't make a bike with good traction lurch, bounce or even swerve, you'll just roll over them with confidence.
The wide, grippy tires with coarse lugs make the bike rideable even on wet surfaces, it can even make headway in the snow. Here, however, the generous tread creates a different problem. Rainwater or even sand, pebbles and dirt get trapped in the gaps. The centrifugal force then throws it at you along the way. Mudguards or Ass-Savers are a good purchase if you're biking in all weathers.
An overview of the riding characteristics of an e-bike hardtail:
- secure ride
- good traction
- effortless driving pleasure
- powerful and perfectly metered assistance
What are the advantages of an e-hardtail?
To cut to the chase: With an e-bike hardtail, you're buying a cool, sporty, versatile bike. Hardtails come in many different versions and thus orientations. You can decide for yourself with the model, frame shape and equipment whether you are buying a super-sporty off-road vehicle or a good-natured commuter with a leisure bonus. Plus, there's a wide price range (see below), so you can stick to your budget or treat yourself to a little luxury.
And even if you buy an e-bike, you're doing something for your health and fitness. You hear it all the time: if you buy an e-bike, you'll be leaving your car behind more and more often. The casual ride on a motorized bike is just too much fun to let it languish in the bike rack. As a result, e-bikers spend more time on their bikes than in cars or buses, and thus in the fresh air. It's good for your immune system and proven to lift your spirits. Even if the motor supports you, you can't do it without pedalling! You don't have to push yourself to exhaustion if you don't want to, but you're still moving.
And what you're doing for your city and the environment by doing so is hard to quantify!
The advantages of an e-bike hardtail at a glance:
- great looks
- Sporty bike, still rideable in everyday life
- environmentally friendly
- good for your health
- Great substitute for short trips in the car
- Sports instead of public transport
- Exercise in the fresh air
How much does a hardtail E-MTB cost?
This brings us to the question of price: What do you have to spend on an e-bike hardtail?
From 2300 euros to 3200 euros you get entry-level e-bike hardtail.If you stumble across a cheaper e-hardtail, you should look closely, possibly it is a 24-inch bike, so a youth bike or an older model that comes from model series before MTB-specific drives. Don't expect any miracles from the components, you're more likely to get smaller motors and batteries here, as well as the cheaper shift groups and brake systems. You might also have to change the handlebars, grips or saddle for more comfort. If you only ride once in a while and for short distances and everyday commutes, a bike like this is a solid choice. It's fine for off-road rides, as long as they don't require too much riding technique.
If you spend 3200 to 4200 euros, you've arrived at the hardtail middle class.You can expect much better performance from your bike here, plus it will last longer, rattle less, shift more smoothly, brake better and so on. You can also take on more difficult trails on an e-bike like this. The drivetrain will also be up to "real" challenges, as MTB drives are usually bolted on here.
If you want to spend 4200 euros and more, you drive an e-bike hardtail of the top class. Top components are common here, they often gather around an extremely lightweight carbon base. So that the look is also right, all cables are routed internally or there are electronic shifting groups. All in all, the material is superbly finished, which boosts performance and, of course, durability.
The cost of an e-bike hardtail at a glance:
- From 2300 euros to 3200 euros you get entry-level e-bike hardtail
- If you spend 3200 to 4200 euros, you have arrived at the hardtail middle class
- If you want to spend 4200 euros and more, you are riding a premium class e-bike hardtail
What do you need to look out for when buying an e-bike hardtail?
- Where do you want to ride?
The more difficult the terrain gets, the more you'll have to deal with three questions:
- Is it worth buying a more expensive bike? As price goes up, so does quality and performance breadth.
- Does it go up, down, or bump-dip-dip? That tells you whether you need a downhill hardtail (rare, but have been spotted), an all-mountain, a trail hardtail and so on.
- Wouldn't a Fully be the better bike after all?
- How long do you want to ride?
As the price goes up, so does the ride comfort, which is especially noticeable on long hauls.
- Which e-hardtail do you need?
Among e-bike hardtails, there are very different talents. AllMountain ebikes are all-rounders, they can do a little bit of everything. On a racer you lie low, sporty and aerodynamic in the frame, a trail hardtail the specialist for difficult ground conditions.
To make sure you fit your bike well then, check out the BMO blog for a buying guide to help you determine the right frame size.
- Want to buy an e-fully or e-bike hardtail?
Further up we've already compared the two types of bike, so here's just a quick reminder: whether you buy an e-bike hardtail, or treat yourself to a fully is obviously a question of price. You'll pay significantly more for a full-suspension e-mountain bike than for an e-hardtail. That's one difference. Difference number two: a hardtail is less hassle. Less maintenance, less adjustment headaches, less prone to damage. Difference number three defines the area of use. A hardtail goes almost everywhere, a fully goes everywhere.
- Which drivetrain is the best?
As long as you buy an electric drivetrain that's built and programmed for a mountain bike, you can't really go wrong. However, these systems haven't been on the market too long. If you're buying an older or used e-bike mountain bike, it should at least have as much torque as possible. The power is the same for all motors anyway, 250 watts and 25 km/h, that's all the law allows.
A hardtail is made for off-road use. The drive is well made, robust and the material doesn't wear out too quickly. And you can make it last even longer. Especially off-road, all sorts of things collect between the crank, chain and cassette. Sand and fine dust act like scouring powder, they rub off these components without mercy. If you regularly ensure cleanliness and then lubricate properly, you'll save cash and annoying breakdowns.
- Is the hardtail your everyday ride, too?
If you want to ride the bike also in the city and in everyday life, the StVZO applies, the bike needs lights, reflectors, bell and so on.
Electric-powered mountain bikes are always tempting the odd biker to muck about in areas where bikes are more broken than fun. To keep the woodland fairy from chasing you, be considerate of nature.
Buy an e-bike hardtail from the best manufacturer
You must have heard of Haibike, Trek, Orbea, Liv, Ghost or Giant. That's because these are well-known brand manufacturers whose bikes have stood the test of time and have a huge following. You can find these bike brands at Bike-Mailorder, here the quality is consistently high and there are bikes in many different designs and fits. So we can deliver your new dream bike with confidence
If you've already decided on an e-bike hardtail, you can take a look around our bikes at this point and decide on one of the great models. If you want to check out other bikes first, you should continue reading at Gravel Bikes, Urban Bikes and City Bikes or Touring Bikes. Dirt Bikes, Race Bikes and regular E-Bikes, are of course also available here. You can also buy a children's bike for your little one in the BMO online shop. Our bike advisors are all set up the same way, so you can compare the capabilities of the bikes, making the choice a breeze.
Please note that we cannot make any binding statements on the current legal situation.