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Best Full Suspension EBikes of 2024 – Helpful Guide

Best Full Suspension EBike

When you want to adventure offroad on an ebike, full suspension can make the ride much more comfortable. It can give you more control over rough terrain. If you are an aggressive rider and like to jump and take big drops, nothing but full suspension will do. There are tons of choices out there, from 1000 watt fat tire ebikes that can do the job of an ATV to lightweight, Class 1 electric mountain bikes built for riding technical trails and fast downhills. We are here to help you find the best full suspension ebike for you.

See our top picks below for the best full suspenion ebikes available today. Keep reading for the rest of our recommendations, a guide to electric bikes, and a FAQ.

The 10 Full Suspension EBikes Of 2024

1. BEST OVERALL – Mokwheel Obsidian

Mokwheel Obsidian product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 60-80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 400 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 77 lbs
  • Motor Power – 1000 watt rear hub
  • Speeds – 8 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 x 4.0 inch

What we liked:

  • Its high-torque motor ensures impressive acceleration and climbing capabilities
  • Its robust battery life allows for prolonged use, covering more distance.
  • Torque sensor for easy control offroad and efficient riding
  • Available inverter so you can turn the Obsidian battery into a power supply for off grid adventures

What we didn’t like:

  • Unfortunately, the bike is somewhat heavy, which may make portability a minor issue for some users.
  • Gear range is not quite high enough for easy high speed riding

The Mokwheel Obsidian is designed for fast and fun riding anywhere you want to go. It has full suspension with a 1000 watt rear hub motor and 48 volt 19.6 ah Samsung battery. Not only does its 1000-watt motor offer power and speed, but its full suspension system serves to provide unparalleled riding comfort, smoothing out those bumps and jumps that might normally unsettle or derail a traditional bike. 

The Obsidian uses a torque sensor with 5 PAS levels so you can easily control it while going offroad. It can go up to 28mph in PAS 5. The 8 speed Shimano driveline is geared well for offroad riding. It could use a bit more top end gearing to make going 28mph a little easier.

Imagine being able to turn your eBike into a portable power source whenever you need to. That’s precisely what the inverter option on the Mokwheel Obsidian EBike makes possible. This innovative feature transforms your eBike into a high-capacity power supply, capable of powering appliances and devices on the go. 

So, what does this mean for you? Let’s say you’re out camping and realizing that your smartphone or portable speaker’s battery is draining. Simply plug the device into your Mokwheel Obsidian EBike’s inverter, and its battery becomes an emergency power source to get your gadgets back up and running.

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Get up to $600 OFF EBIKES during the MOKWHEEL WINTER WARM-UP SALE


2. TOP PICK – Himiway Cobra D7

HIMIWAY Cobra product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 25 mph
  • Range – 80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 400 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 88 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt rear hub
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 x 4.8 inch

Himiway-Cobra-forest-trail

Overall Score

93
Power9.0


Range10.0


Ride and Handling9.5


Braking9.0


Controls8.5


Assembly9.5

What we liked:

  • Cushy ride over rough terrain with full suspension
  • Very long range with 20 ah battery
  • Can go up to 25mph on throttle or PAS
  • The torque sensor makes the bike easy to control at low speeds and tight spaces.
  • Very sturdy and robust bike construction
  • Easy to read LCD display
  • Easy to use controls and thumb throttle
  • Lots of traction on loose surfaces

What we didn’t like:

  • The bike is heavy at 88 lbs and challenging to load on bike racks
  • Shimano Tourney shifter
  • The torque sensor makes it challenging to pedal up to 25mph
  • No available fenders

The Himiway Cobra D7 is their flagship long distance and offroad ebike. It has full suspension with an air spring rear shock, a torque sensor and a 48 volt 20 ah battery that gives it super long range. The bike is available in 2 versions. The original Cobra with a 750 watt hub motor and the D7 Cobra Pro which has a 1000 watt mid-drive motor.

The Cobra is great for blasting down Jeep trails and dirt roads. It has a top speed of 25mph for both pedal assist and throttle. You can cover ground quick with it The hub motor version is good for most regular climbs. If you need to do a lot of slow steep technical offroad climbs I recommend the Cobra Pro.

The Cobra has a longer wheelbase giving it extra stability at higher speeds. It is a much better bike for straight lining and large flowy turns. It’s a bit large for really tight slow technical mountain bike trails.

If you want an ebike that can go long distances and has real offroad ability, the Himiway Cobra is a great choice.

See our review of the Himiway Cobra to learn more about this bike.

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Use discount code AGI for $50 OFF at Himiway


3. BEST VALUE – Wired Freedom

Wired Freedom product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 35 mph
  • Range – 60-80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 88 lbs
  • Motor Power – 1500 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano
  • Brakes – Hydraulic Disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch x 4inch tires

The Wired Freedom is a beast of an ebike. It has a 1500 watt hub motor that can dish out up to 2200 watts of peak power combined with a 60 volt 20 ah battery. This bike is not trying to follow any Class 1-3 rules. It’s trying to give you way more performance than you would ever expect for the price.

The heart of the Wired Freedom is the motor which is one of the biggest hub motors that any ebike manufacturer uses. It can dish 138 NM of torque which is way more than the typical 60-80NM most 750 watt ebikes can put out. Their motor uses steel reinforced gears so this motor will last.

The settings of this bike are fully customizable. You can limit power and speed down to under 750 watts and under 20mph to make it Class 1, 2 or 3 legal. It ships labeled as a Class 2 ebike in that configuration. Make sure you can safely and legally ride this bike where you are before you go unleash it.

The Wired Freedom uses a BMX style handlebar and rear suspension to give it a comfortable and in control ride. It is ready to take you on or offroad anywhere you want to go.

What we liked:

  • Gigantic amounts of power with a 1500 watt motor
  • Can be setup as a Class 1, 2 or 3 ebike or unrestricted
  • Full suspension with air spring rear shock
  • Larger chainring for pedalling at higher speeds without ghost pedalling
  • Lots of torque making steep climbs easy
  • 60volt 20ah battery for high speeds and long range

What we didn’t like:

  • Cadence sensor can make it hard to control in tight spaces at full power settings
  • Only has a 7 speed pedal driveline

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4. BEST FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE – Specialized Turbo Levo Comp

Specialized Turbo Levo Comp product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 20 mph
  • Range – 25 – 43 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 52 lbs
  • Motor Power – 500 watt mid-drive
  • Speeds – 12 Speed SRAM Eagle GX
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 29 x 2.6 inch

What we liked:

  • Exceptional power delivery: The Turbo Levo Comp gives you smooth, immediate power the moment you need it
  • Outstanding suspension system: The combination of FOX suspension parts means you’ll get a plush, controlled ride
  • Advanced motor: Specialized’s 2.1 Rx Trail-tuned motor offers great torque and speed control
  • Powerful brakes: The SRAM Code R 4-piston disc brakes give you confident stopping power in any conditions
  • Available at several price points with different batteries and components to suit any budget or need

What we didn’t like:

  • Hefty price tag: This electric mountain bike is a significant investment. Even the cheapest version will set you back several thousand dollars
  • Requires regular maintenance: To keep this high-tech bike operating optimally, regular upkeep and services are necessary
  • Slower charge times: Compared to some competitors, charging the Turbo Levo Comp might take slightly longer
  • No throttle only mode

The Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Electric Mountain Bike is a high-performance, trail ready, Class 1 e-bike that combines innovative technology with modern geometry and suspensin desgin. I will admit to being a long time Specialized fan and both mountain bikes that I ride are Specialized. When the time comes that I need help while trail riding, I’ll be first in line for a Turbo Levo Comp.

One of its key features is the Specialized 2.2 motor, which amplifies the rider’s input by up to 410%, providing significant assistance on challenging terrain. The Turbo Levo comes in several versions. I recommend at least buying the Comp level bike to get the larger 700 watt battery. It gives you much more range for a long trail ride.

Another notable feature is the Turbo M2-Series battery. With a capacity of 700 watt, it offers a significant range, allowing for long rides without the worry of running out of power. The battery is seamlessly integrated into the frame, maintaining the bike’s sleek aesthetic.

The bike is equipped with a SRAM Eagle GX drivetrain, offering a wide range of gears for tackling various terrains. It also features powerful SRAM Code R hydraulic disc brakes, providing reliable stopping power in all conditions. Rider comfort is also a priority in the Turbo Levo Comp’s design. It features 150mm of front and rear suspension, courtesy of a Fox Rhythm fork and a FOX FLOAT DPS Performance rear shock. These components absorb shocks and bumps, providing a smooth ride.

Finally, the bike includes a Turbo Connect Unit (TCU) on the top tube. This unit displays key ride metrics, such as power, speed, and battery level. It also allows for easy on-the-go tuning and connects to the aforementioned Specialized Mission Control App for additional customization and control.

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5. BEST FULL SUSPENSION EBIKE UNDER $3000 – HAOQI Cheetah Pro

HAOQI Cheetah Pro product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 400 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 83 lbs
  • Motor Power – 1000 watt mid-drive
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 x 4 inch

What we liked:

  • Lots of power with a 1000 watt mid drive motor with an impressive 160 nm of torque
  • Dual batteries giving it 22 ah of capacity and a range of up to 80 miles
  • Smooth cushy ride with full suspension and 26 x 4 inch offroad tires
  • 400 lb capacity for big riders and carrying lots of gear

What we didn’t like:

  • Shimano 7 speed pedal driveline
  • Only comes in a Camouflage color scheme
  • Simple black and white LCD display on a $3000 bike

The HAOQI Cheetah Pro stands out with its 1000 watt mid-drive motor and full suspension system. This bike provides a smoother ride, absorbing shocks and bumps, making it ideal for off-road cycling or rough terrains. The 1000 watt mid-drive gives up to 160 nm of torque giving it tons of power for going up steep climbs.

Another distinctive feature of the HAOQI Cheetah Pro is its large capacity 48V 22Ah dual Samsung lithium batteries. These batteries provides an impressive range of up to 80 miles on a single charge, depending on the mode and terrain. Most other ebikes top out at a 20 ah battery. In addition HAOQI offers a 3 year battery warranty with free battery replacement if anything goes wrong.

One place where HAOQI did choose to save money on the Cheetah is the 7 speed Shimano pedal driveline. For the money, the bike should come with something better. This is a bit disappointing for an offroad bike and one with as much power as the motor on the Cheetah can produce. The rear derailleur is the one part on this bike that worries me for long term durability. Fortunately, the rear derailleur is an easy part to get and replace if it breaks.

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6. BEST VALUE CLASS 1 EMBT – Polygon Siskiu T6E

Polygon Siskiu T6E product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 20 mph
  • Range – not published
  • Max Rider Weight – not published
  • Bike Weight – 54 lbs
  • Motor Power – 250 watt mid-drive
  • Speeds – 10 Speed Shimano Deore
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 29 x 2.6 inch

What we liked:

  • One of the cheapest Class 1 eMTB’s out there
  • Reliable and smooth Shimano mid-drive motor and 10 Speed Deore pedal driveline
  • 29 inch wheels with trail tires
  • Good ride and performance on the mountain
  • Available in 4 frame sizes for different rider heights

What we didn’t like:

  • Only available in 1 color
  • Coil spring fork
  • No throttle

The Polygon Siskiu T6E Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bike is a high-performance e-bike designed for off-road adventures. It is one of the cheaper true trail ready Class 1 eMTB’s out there with a price under $3000. It features a powerful Shimano DU-EP600 motor, which provides a smooth and reliable power output, making it easier to climb steep hills and traverse rough terrain. It has 29 inch wheels and a Shimano Deore pedal driveline to round out the package.

The Siskiu comes with a 504 wh battery. They do not have a published range for the bike. I expect it will get you somewhere between 30-40 miles on pavement or around 15 miles of mountain bike trail riding.

The bike is equipped with a full suspension system, featuring a SR Suntour ZERON 35 Boost LO-R fork and a SR Suntour Edge Plus RC rear shock. We would prefer an air-sprung front fork. At this price point we really can’t complain too much. This combination isn’t the best suspension out there but it gives very good performance for the price on a budget full suspension electric mountain bike.

The Siskiu T6E boasts a Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain, which offers a wide range of gears for different riding conditions. This is a tried and true pedal driveline that has been popular for mountain bikes for years now. It has plenty of range for climbing and high speed riding when combined with the Shimano mid-drive motor.

The bike comes with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, providing reliable stopping power in all weather conditions. It also features a TRANZ X JD-YSP23JL dropper post for easy saddle height adjustments during rides.

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7. BEST EBIKE FOR HUNTING – Bakcou Storm

Bakcou Storm Product Image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – up to 35 mph
  • Range – Not published
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 80 to 82 lbs depending on battery
  • Motor Power – 1000 watt mid drive
  • Speeds – 9 speed SRAM
  • Brakes – 4 Piston Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch

The Bakcou Storm was designed for use by hunters as a quiet alternative to an ATV or a side by side. This means it has to be able to go anywhere an ATV could go and pull a trailer. What this means is it needs to have monstrous amounts of power and be built rugged enough for truly any offroad condition.

The Storm has a very high price tag. It has capability that few e-bikes can match. It has a 1500 watt mid-drive motor that can be limited to 750 watts. It has 120mm of air sprung suspension in the front and rear. It has dual piston hydraulic brakes for stopping. To round it out it has a frame that looks like it could have been built for military use.

The Storm for all its power is a very stable and easy to ride bike. It has to be so that it is able to go over rutted out fire roads along with snow and mud without throwing the rider into the dirt. It has an extra wide handlebar to add to the stable feeling. It has quick acceleration and power thanks to its torque sensor. It doesn’t lurch or feel out of control like some of the more powerful cadence sensor only fat bikes.

The Storm is available in 2 frame sizes and 4 colors to suit different rider sizes and preferences. It can be ordered with 1 of 4 different battery sizes as well. You can get the Storm with a 17.5 ah to 25 ah battery depending on your range needs.

If you need the ultimate in a heavy duty offroad e-bike for hunting or backcountry use, check out the Bakcou Storm.

What we liked:

  • Up to 1500 watts of power combined with a 9 speed SRAM driveline
  • Air spring front and rear suspension with 120mm travel
  • This bike is built to go anywhere offroad. They truly mean anywhere
  • Ability to limit it to 750 watts and 20mph where only Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed
  • Available in 2 frame sizes and several colors

What we didn’t like:

  • Ultra high cost
  • No built in lights
  • Very heavy at over 80 lbs

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8. Co-op Cycles DRT e3.1

Co-op DRT e3.1 product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 20 mph
  • Range – 80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 55 lbs
  • Motor Power – 600 watt mid-drive
  • Speeds – 12 Speed SRAM Eagle SX
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 or 29 x 2.6 inch

What we liked:

  • Good value for a true Class 1 electric mountain bike with trail ready components
  • 12 speed pedal driveline gives good gearing range
  • Air sprung front and rear suspension
  • Available in 5 different frame sizes with 27.5 or 29 inch wheels depending on size
  • Very smooth power assist with the Bosch mid-drive motor

What we didn’t like:

  • No throttle for those who like to take a break from pedalling
  • Only available in 1 color
  • Higher price
  • Top assisted speed of only 20mph

The Co-op Cycles DRT e3.1 full suspension electric mountain bike is a high-performance Class 1 e-bike designed for off-road use. REI has been one of my favorite long time places to go for outdoor gear. The Co-op branded bikes are their house bicycle brand. They represent everything good about REI which is good performing gear that is durable for a reasonable price.

The DRT 3.1 features a powerful Bosch Performance Line CX mid-drive motor that provides ample power for climbing steep hills and tackling rough terrains.The bike is equipped with a 625Wh battery, which offers a range of up to 60 miles on a single charge depending on the terrain and rider input. I expect it to give about 25-35 miles of range on steep technical mountain bike trails. This makes it ideal for long-distance trail rides.

Another key specification of the DRT e3.1 is its full suspension design. It has a RockShox Recon Silver RL Solo Air fork with 140mm of travel and a RockShox Deluxe Select Plus RT rear shock, providing excellent shock absorption and control over rough surfaces. The bike also comes with a SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, offering a wide range of gears for tackling various terrains. This, combined with the electric assist, ensures you can conquer any hill with ease. The bike also features 2.6-inch wide Kenda Nevegal tires, providing excellent grip and stability on a variety of offroad surfaces.

The DRT e3.1 comes with either 27.5 inch or 29 inch wheels depending on the frame size you get. Sizes XS and S come with 27.5 inch wheels. Sizes M, L, and XL come with 29 inch wheels. This is nice for shorter riders where the frame geometry gets very distorted trying to fit 29 inch wheels.

The DRT e3.1 has a dropper post, allowing the rider to easily adjust the saddle height without needing to stop and dismount. This is particularly useful for steep technical descents. Braking power is provided by Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, ensuring reliable stopping power in all weather conditions. 

The bike has a robust aluminum frame, which is both lightweight and durable. It also features a sleek, integrated design with the battery seamlessly incorporated into the downtube, giving the bike a clean, modern look.

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REI

9. Magicycle Deer

Magicycle Deer product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 400 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 93.2 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt rear hub
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 x 4.0 inch

What we liked:

  • Powerful motor combined with a 52 volt long-range battery.
  • Available in several different versions to cater to different needs including Touring, Offroad, Step-Thru and 20 inch.
  • Equipped with essential accessories, like lights and racks, for touring.
  • Offers smooth and comfortable rides on varied terrains.
  • Cadence sensor makes it easier to ride the bike at it’s maximum speed

What we didn’t like:

  • It’s not the lightest eBike on the market at 92.3 lbs
  • Only has a cadence sensor for motor control which is not as good for controlling the bike offroad in tighter terrain

If you’re searching for an electronic bike that combines power, range, and excellent design, the Magicycle Deer E-Bike might just be your match. Equipped with a 750W high-speed brushless gear motor and 52 volt battery that delivers top speeds of up to 28MPH, it’s a great option for thrill-seekers. The e-bike boasts a long range thanks to the 52V, 20Ah LG removable battery – you can travel up to 80 miles on a single charge. The deer has front and rear suspension.

The Deer is available in several versions. There is a touring version that has racks, fenders, and lights.  An offroad version that takes away the fenders. The touring version is also available with a step-thru frame for easier getting on and off. For smaller riders, the Deer is available in a 20 inch wheel version as well.

The Deer uses a cadence sensor with 7 levels of PAS and 12 position sensor. This makes it one of the more sensitive cadence sensors out there, it’s still a cadence sensor which is not as good for controlling an ebike in tight technical offroad terrain. It does make it much easier to ride the bike at it’s 28mph top speed.

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10. Quietkat Ibex

Quietkat Ibex product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 28+ mph
  • Range – 32-63 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 75 lbs
  • Motor Power – 1000 watt mid drive
  • Speeds – 9 speed SRAM
  • Brakes – 4 Piston Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch

The QuietKat Ibex is an offorading beast. This bike is expensive at north of $5000 but has performance that few other e-bikes can touch. It has a 1000 watt mid-drive motor that could pull stumps out of the ground. It has air sprung front and rear suspension combined with 26 inch by 4.8 inch tires that mean it can go anywhere. If this bike won’t climb over it, there probably isn’t another e-bike out there that will.

The Ibex can operate as a Class 1, 2, or 3 ebike or in unlimited mode. It has both pedal assist and throttle only operation. It has a torque sensor but can also operate as a cadence sensor mode allowing you to ghost pedal at higher speeds.

The suspension features air springs with 140mm travel in the front and 150mm travel in the back. Combine that with lower tire pressure and it can smooth out almost anything.

The Ibex comes with a 21 ah 48 volt battery to give it long range. It has a 9 speed pedal driveline that gives it a good range to handle all the torque. The published range is 32-63 miles. Based on our range rides with other bikes. We expect you could easily get to 45-50 miles on pedal assist in real world hilly conditions.

The Ibex does not come equipped with lights, racks, or fenders. It is a little bare compared to most other fat tire e-bikes. That leaves you with lots of customizing options.

What we liked:

  • 1000 watt mid-drive motor makes it a monster for climbs
  • 21 ah battery
  • Air spring front and rear suspension with lots of travel
  • Pedal assist and throttle only modes combined with torque and cadence modes.
  • 9 speed SRAM pedal driveline
  • Great overall package for an offroad bike that really is ready for offroading.

What we didn’t like:

  • High cost
  • Doesn’t come with any extras like fenders, racks or lights

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Full Suspension EBike Guide

There are a lot of things to consider when shopping for a full suspension bike. Is a full suspension electric bike really right for you? How much power do you need? Where do you plan to ride your ebike? What type of driveline and components are the best? We’ll answer all these questions and more below.

Why should I buy a full suspension e-bike?

Imagine yourself comfortably cruising down rocky terrain, effortlessly navigating bumps and grooves on the trail. That’s the sweet ride of a full-suspension e-bike. These bikes are designed with a superior shock absorption system, with suspension incorporated into both the front and rear wheels. The double suspension is not merely for show; it’s a practical and essential feature for any recreational or serious cyclist.

Full suspension e-bikes can transform your off-road biking experience. They provide an unparalleled combination of control, comfort, and traction, which conventional bikes are hard-pressed to match. And, when it comes to uphill climbs, full suspension e-bikes shine. Their electric motors give that extra boost needed to conquer steep inclines without breaking a sweat. When it comes to downhill runs, they offer greater balance and stability than their hardtail counterparts thanks to their superior shock absorption. No more jarring bumps or jarred wrists making you think twice about that trail adventure.

Why shouldn’t you buy a full suspension e-bike?

You might wonder why we’re talking about reasons not to buy a full suspension e-bike in an article dedicated to praising them. The truth is, they’re not for everyone. Knowing the drawbacks is just as important as knowing the benefits when you’re shopping for a full suspension e-bike. 

The first point to consider is the cost. Full suspension e-bikes generally have a higher price tag than their hardtail counterparts because of the extra components and technology involved. At atleast $500-$1000 to the price for full suspension. If budget is a constraint for you, this might pose a challenge. That said, some argue that the superior riding experience of a full suspension e-bike is worth the extra money.

Next, full suspension e-bikes, with their complex mechanics, may require more maintenance and servicing over time. That’s not to say they’re unreliable. You will need to be prepared for the upkeep. This might involve regular visits to the bike shop or learning how to do some bike repair work yourself. 

Finally, the added weight of the suspension system can have downsides: full-suspension e-bikes are generally heavier than hardtail e-bikes. The weigh 5 to 10 lbs more than a hardtail bike. This means they may be more difficult to carry upstairs, transport in a car, or maneuver in tight spaces. This extra weight also has implications for speed and battery life, although the impact may be marginal for casual riders.

What features should I look for in a full suspension e-bike?

Let’s get into some of the most important things to look for when shopping for a full suspension e-bike.

Power

Most full suspension ebikes have anywhere from 250 watts to 1000 watts of motor power.  Is more power always better?  Not for everyone. A 1000 watt mid-drive will be a beast going up climbs. The motor will also weigh a lot more than a 250 watt motor. It will put a lot more wear and tear on the pedal driveline meaning you will need to replace chains and cassettes more often.  Broken chains out on the trail aren’t fun. 

A 250 watt mid-drive can give you a lot of boost on climbs. European regulations limit ebike power to 250 watts, so you will see many ebikes out there with 250 watt motors. US Class 1, 2, and 3 ebikes are limited to 750 watts so you will see a lot of 500-750 watt ebikes in the US. 500 watt to 750 watt motors provide a nice compromise between having good power without having a very heavy bike.

Range

Full suspension ebike range can be anywhere from 20 miles to 100 miles. The range is dependent on the battery size along with motor power and gearing. If you are using your ebike as an ATV replacement somewhere with noise restrictions, you might need a lot of range. If you are doing mountain bike trails rides you may only need 20-30 miles for a days worth of riding. Lots of climbing, heavy riders, and riding at higher speeds drain the battery faster and will reduce range. It’s not uncommon to go on a ride and only get 50% of the published range and have a battery that is already dead.

Motor

There are two main motor systems used in full suspension electric bikes. Hub motors and mid-drive motors. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Mid-Drive Motors 

A mid-drive motor, as the name suggests, is located in the middle of the bike, usually between the pedals. This position gives the e-bike an ideal balance and weight distribution, providing a more natural riding feel. E-bikes with mid-drive motors are known for their efficient power output. They deliver the force directly to the bike’s drivetrain, creating a smoother pedaling experience, especially in hilly terrain. Motor power in these e-bikes is transferred through the bike’s gears, allowing for efficient power use.

Mid-drive motors require more bike maintenance. Because they use the pedal driveline they can wear out chains, cassettes and freehubs much faster. They high torque of the motor can also cause more breakdowns of those parts. Mid-drive motors cost more.

If you want the highest performance full suspension ebike for fast trail riding on steep technical terrain, the cost and maintenance of a mid-drive is worth it.

Hub Motors 

On the other hand, hub motors are situated in the rear wheel hub. E-bikes with hub motors are generally more affordable and easier to maintain. These motors offer two types: ‘Direct Drive’ for a smoother, faster ride and ‘Geared’ for higher torque, useful for big climbs. While hub motors can provide a reasonably fast ride, their position in the rear wheel affects the bike’s balance. Since the power doesn’t pass through the bike’s gears, these e-bikes tend to be less efficient in terms of battery use, especially when climbing hills.

Hub motors require less maintenance than mid-drive motors. They don’t power through the pedal driveline, so they don’t wear out or break chains, cassettes, and freehubs the way a mid-drive motor will. Hub motors are the way to go for a simple, more reliable, and easy to maintain full suspension ebike.

Torque Sensor or Cadence Sensor

The magic of a full suspension e-bike experience lies within its electric motor system, particularly embedded sensors that determine how effectively the bike’s motor will assist you. The 2 main types of sensors are torque and cadence sensors

The torque sensors are engineered to detect the amount of pressure or force you apply to the pedals. These sensors are designed to transmit this information to the motor in real-time, resulting in a quick, proportionate power boost. This means that the harder you pedal, the more assistance you receive, making your journey more comfortable and less exhausting.

Torque sensors provide a smoother, more natural riding sensation, mimicking the experience of cycling on a regular bike. They allow you better control in tight technical terrain where you don’t want a constant blast of 100% power.

They are, however, more expensive than cadence sensors. They make higher speed riding more difficult than cadence sensors since it takes more effort to peddle at a higher cadence to get to higher speeds.

On the other hand, cadence sensors detect that you are spinning the pedals and nothing else. They only know that the crank is spinning. They can’t tell how hard you are pedaling. Once you start pedaling, they signal the motor to kick in and offer a set level of assistance, regardless of your effort. They operate at either a fixed watt level or fixed throttle position. You always get 30% of max power or you always get 30% throttle position.

This means in tight terrain you need to use a low lever which also means you might not get as much power as you want for say a steep climb. If you ride at a high PAS setting the bike can feel jerky with sudden acceleration up to full speed. The plus side to this is riding fast. If you want to ride at high speeds, a cadence sensor bike can give you full power with just enough pedal effort to keep the cranks spinning. A torque sensor bike will require you to be actively pedaling hard to get higher speeds.

Battery

The ebike battery determines how much range it has, how much power it has, and how fast it can go. Battery voltage determines how much speed potential the bike has. 48 volt batteries have a higher speed potential than 36 volt batteries.  52 volt batteries even more so.  The capacity of the battery determines how far you can go.  You can expect to find batteries ranging from 500 to 1000 watts in full suspension ebikes.  The range of a 500 watt battery is in the neighborhood of 25-35 miles.  The range of a 1000 watt battery can be 60 to 80 miles.

Brakes

Almost every full suspension ebike has disc brakes on the front and rear wheels.  All disc brakes are not created equal. Full suspension ebikes can be heavy and built to handle high payloads. Hydraulic disc brakes will have more stopping power with less finger effort than cable pull disc brakes. They also require more maintenance, with a bleed being required every now and then. Going beyond hydraulic brakes is double piston versus quad piston brakes. A quad piston brake has double the stopping power of a double piston brake. 

Pedal Driveline

Most hub motor ebikes will have a basic 7 or 8 speed pedal driveline using a freewheel on the rear hub. They are basic and they work. The motor directly drives the wheel; you don’t need the pedal gear range to get to higher speeds or more climbing power.  Most of these are Shimano Tourney, Altus, or occasionally Alivio.

Mid-drive powered ebikes are where you will find a lot of variation in the pedal driveline.  The higher end Class 1 electric mountain bikes will have 10-12 speed 1x pedal drivelines. They are almost always Shimano Deore/XT or SRAM Eagle SX/NX/GX components. A 12 speed driveline will have more gear range, which lets you climb steep hills efficiently while going fast. Some full suspension ebikes with mid-drive still have basic Shimano Tourney or Altus 7 or 8 speed pedal drivelines. These limit the efficiency of the mid-drive motor because they do not have a lot of gear range.

Suspension

Suspension, along with the shocks, can be very different between bikes. ATV replacement ebikes such as Quietkat and Bakcou have very beefy suspension with heavy frames. High end Class 1 emtbs such as Specialized, Trek, and Polygon have lighter weight components with more complex 4 bar linkages. They are meant for fast riding on mountain bike trails.

Budget ebikes such as Himiway, Mokwheel, and Magicycle can have single link or 4 link suspensions. They are usually beefier looking to give the bike more of an offroad capable look.

Basic bike suspension will have coil spring shocks at the front and back ends.  More advanced bike suspensions will make use of air springs.  Air sprung forks and shocks are much more tunable for different rider weights. They can weigh less than coil forks. For heavier riders, coil spring suspension may not be able to be tuned stiff enough, so you will bottom it out on bumps. Air springs can be tuned for much heavier riders to avoid bottom outs.

E-Bike Classes

The 3 classes of ebikes are:

  • Class 1 – 750 watts power, pedal assist only, 20mph top speed
  • Class2 – 750 watts power, throttle control, with 20mph top speed
  • Class3 – 750 watts power, pedal assist only, 28mph top speed

A lot of places only allow Class 1 ebikes on mountain bike trails. If you want a full suspension ebike for riding on dedicated mountain bike trails you will want to look at a Class 1 ebike such as a Specialized Turbo Levo or Polygon Siskiu.  If you are a hunter and want an ebike to carry a trailer back into the woods to your hunting camp, you probably don’t care about Class 1 to 3 rules. You will want something like a 1000 watt mid-drive Bakcou Storm that will get the job done.

See this article from Bosch to learn more about e-bikes classes

Fat Tire Electric Bike FAQ

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Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com