Pretty much the only major e-mountain bike brand not to tout an integrated downtube battery this year is Merida. Integrating the battery into the downtube makes a lot of sense from an aesthetic and a structural point of view – it also helps to keep weight low on the bike, thus improving handling.
The major challenge for manufacturers and distributors, however, will be making sure that replacement and spare batteries are available to consumers when they need them.
2. Bigger is better
MBA has specifically focused on mid- to long-travel e-mountain bikes in this feature, and there’s a reason for that: it’s where the bulk of the performance E-MTB development is happening. While there are shorter-travel e-mountain bikes available – notably from Merida and Haibike – the bulk of the market is playing around the 150mm trail/all-mountain space.
3. Progressive geometry
Long, low and slack is the name of the game – albeit with a few tweaks for E-mountain bikes. Bottom brackets skew slightly higher, to avoid smashing the motor into rocks and suchlike. Chainstay length seems to be directly affected by the motor selection, with Shimano STEPS and Brose motors apparently enabling shorter chainstays (and theoretically snappier handling).