Batteries are getting lighter and cheaper. E-bikes are getting lighter too - the Orbea Rise
pictured above weighs as little as 16.5Kg (36.4lbs) and Specialized's Levo SL
is similarly svelte. That's no heavier than some of the pedal-bikes we ride.
Sure, these stripped-down e-bikes have tuned-down motors and smaller batteries than most e-bikes, but they will still smoke any regular bike uphill and get more laps done in any given timespan. Call that lazy if you like, but anyone who's taken a shuttle or a chairlift can see the appeal.
While riding a 25Kg (55lbs) eMTB has its upsides (they smooth out fast, rough chatter like nothing else), the slow speed handling can be lethargic, they can be hard to slow down, and it's a mission to get one over a fence or into a car. In that context, these lighter e-bikes are far more intuitive to ride if you're used to regular bikes, and they're more responsive and engaging too. But while they weigh no more than some enduro rigs, they're still a few kilos heavier than similarly high-end trail bikes, so they're never going to feel quite the same to ride.
Speaking of high-end bikes, e-bikes are still considerably more expensive too. The top-spec Orbea Rise I mentioned costs $10,500, while the equivalent Orbea Occam LTD
non-assisted bike costs a mere $7,999 and weighs almost four kilograms less.
Similarly, the S-Works Specialized Kenevo SL
costs $15,000 and weighs 18.5 kg (40.9 lb), while the S-Works Enduro
it's based on costs a trifling $9,750 and weighs 14.7 kg (32.5 lb).
So, e-bikes still come with a hefty penalty in terms of both money and weight, yet e-bike sales are booming. That got me thinking. Hypothetically, if an e-bike version of your ideal trail/enduro bike weighed and cost the same as the pedal-powered version, which would you go for?