What are lightweight EMTBs? and why are they such an interesting trend?

Rotor Bike Components
29th October 2021

E-bikes are constantly evolving. Not only in the number of sales compared to standard bicycle models, but also because of the options and variants that we have today. Lightweight e-bikes are one of those variants that try to find the best balance between the behavior of a conventional mountain bike and an electric one. Power when you need it, but with better handling and pure pedaling sensations.

What are lightweight e-bikes?

Lightweight e-bikes are mainly integrated into the category of mountain bikes, they are e-bikes that have smaller motors which are somewhat less powerful than conventional e-bikes and have smaller integrated batteries of around 300-320Wh of capacity. They usually have optional external batteries to improve the range.

We are talking about models that generally weigh between 15-20kg, depending on the range and whether the frame is made of carbon or aluminum. There are also some lightweight e-bike models that have a removable motor and battery assembly, which can be used as a conventional mountain bike, with significant weight savings when these are removed. For now, this type of lightweight e-bike with a removable motor and battery is exclusive to the Fazua® brand.

Who are these types of e-bikes for?

This type of lighter e-bikes is perfect for all those who are looking for the pedaling sensations of an e-bike to be as similar as possible to those of a conventional mountain bike, but with the plus of having assistance when you need it. As it is not as powerful an assistance as with conventional e-bike motors, you should be aware that with lightweight e-bikes, the muscular contribution you put into the bike will be greater than in a conventional e-bike.

The most positive part of lightweight e-bikes, especially the higher end models that tend to have a very contained weight between 16 and 17kg, even with long travel versions, is that the sensations on the bike are very similar to a conventional mountain bike. Being lighter, the handling is much better, they are more agile, and they respond better to your handling than a conventional e-bike weighing more than 20kg. Let’s say that they are the e-bikes that most closely resemble a conventional mountain bike in overall behavior, but with the assistance of a motor.

Why are they so interesting?

Lightweight e-bikes are very interesting, because they offer an outstanding balance between the power they give you, the great handling and similarity to conventional mountain bikes, and a good autonomy of battery use. An integrated battery that can also be complemented with an external battery, which is normally around 150-160Wh and a little over a kilo in weight.

There are many users who have not taken the step to conventional e-bikes, especially due to their higher weight. We are talking about mountain bikes that generally weigh between 20-24kg. On the plus side, that extra weight provides enormous motor power and very extensive range, but can be detrimental in handling, the lack of sensations in downhill sections and less feeling between rider and machine. Lightweight e-bikes are an intermediate step for those who do not need so much range, nor so much power and want to maintain all the pedaling sensations of a conventional bike.

Our e-bike specific cranks

At ROTOR we continue to believe in e-bikes, offering a very extensive range of cranks, made of aluminum and with a very reduced Q-Factor, focused on the 4 main engine manufacturers such as Bosch®, Brose®, Fazua® and Polini®. To make this possible with the highest quality standards and compatibility options, ROTOR has worked together with each of them, to achieve a perfect match between the new eKAPIC crankset and the Bosch® Gen 4, Brose® MAG, Fazua engine systems. ® Evation, and Polini® E-P3 144 mm. We have already told you about them on our blog, so be sure to take a look at all the detailed information.

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