Why do you want an all-terrain electric bike? You might be looking to go hunting or do some serious overlanding, or at the other end of the scale, you may want an off-road-capable e-bike mostly for road use. There are a host of e-bike options for these uses that we will consider in this article.
Key Elements of All-Terrain Electric Bikes
The vast majority of all-terrain e-bikes will have a few things in common. Here’s a list of things to consider:
- Wide knobby tires to help grip when you’re riding off road
- A front suspension helps soften the bumps
- A powerful motor and gears are helpful to handle steep inclines
- You should be seated in a forward-leaning trekking position for better handling
Does it need a big battery? There’s sometimes a problem where the size of the battery means added weight that can negatively affect the bike’s handling and maneuverability. So striking a balance between battery weight and range is important.
In the next sections, we will look at several all-terrain electric bikes to suit a variety of needs. A big overlander might be outfitted with a suspension fork and perhaps have enough power to haul a trailer. At the other end of the spectrum, you might just need fairly chunky tires to handle a bit of dirt or mud on the rare moment you choose to veer off the pavement. You might even need something that will fold up and go in the back of your car — there are all-terrain electric bikes for that too.
Now let’s look at an extreme overlander, a trekking e-bike, a trail bike, a more road-oriented electric bike, and a folding e-bike. We also added an e-bike in there for the kids.
Best All-Terrain E-Bike Overall
RadRover 6 Plus
At $1,399, the RadRover Plus is on the lower end of bikes when it comes to cost. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great electric bike. In fact, out of all the bikes on this list, it might be the best suited to road riding.
Some e-bikes will be happier in mud and far from the road, while others will be happier with occasional off-road use. This is very much the latter. Definitely not for charging down goat tracks with a death wish, the RadRover will nonetheless be happy headed up a mountain track while you leisurely explore the great outdoors.
Rad Power Bikes has a very good reputation for making quality, affordable electric bikes. And its big 4-inch-wide tires will handle a rough path or big potholes on a poorly maintained road.
Many will find that with the Rover’s wide tires and generally large build, they will feel more noticeable to other road users. That can be a good thing for someone returning to cycling after a long time away, as so many lapsed riders seem to be with the advent of electric bikes.
Plan on hauling a bunch of gear with you? We would recommend adding one of their many plug-n-play accessories as part of the purchase, as the bike can take a payload of 275 lbs, which is quite a bit. With the rack, just about any rider could bring a few days’ of groceries home or carry their work gear on a commute without getting sweaty.
Big Beefy Overlander
MTNBEX Explore EX750
There’s a tradition here in the States of making big machines with big engines. As we will see later, this differs from the European tradition of efficient yet nimble e-bikes. The MTNBEX Explore 750 is a classic example of the American tradition.
Weighing in at a hulking 83 lbs, there is nothing subtle about this electric bike! Fat, 4.25-inch-wide tires will assure you that you can ride over a plowed field or heavy snow, and the eight-speed drivetrain means business when it comes to tackling hills.
Like our famous Detroit-built cars, the Explore 750 has a brute of an engine. The Bafang ULTRA can be toggled between 1000W for off-road use and 750W for road-legal use and hurls out a huge 160 Newton meters of torque — almost nothing will stand in its way.
Powering the motor is an 840-watt-hour battery that MTNBEX says will do 50 miles between charges. On big terrain with a heavier rider, that range comes down significantly.
Riding the bike, you have a choice between throttle-only and pedal assist, allowing you to rest your legs after a big day in the hills. Of course, the more you rely solely on the throttle, the shorter the range you’ll get.
A big payload capacity of 330 lbs may limit the biggest riders, but even a 220 lb man should be able to take 100 lbs of cargo — that’s a lot of wild turkeys! Comfort comes from a 150mm-travel suspension fork, and maneuverability is assured thanks to the extra wide 780mm handlebars for finely tuned steering over extreme terrain.
Best Foldable All-Terrain E-Bike
Widely held to be one of the best all-terrain folding e-bikes on the market, Lectric’s XP 3.0 is one of the company’s best sellers too. Nowhere near as expensive as the likes of Brompton or other players in the folding electric bike field, this is nonetheless a very comfortable bike to ride.
Offering a great range for an e-bike that costs just under $1,000, it is ideal for exploring while on an RV holiday. Its beefy wheels and suspension will also make it comfortable to ride should you want to have a barbecue on a lakeshore a distance from the road.
The 1000W motor gives a great kick when required and the XP 3.0 will sit at 20 mph comfortably — even while using throttle only. It comes with fenders and a rack to carry your gear should you wish to go car-free for the day, perhaps out to a deserted beach.
Folding down to just 37″L x 18″W x 28″H, it will pack away into a car trunk or a closet at home should you live in a condo/apartment where space is at a premium. As such, this is a far cry from the mud-munching monster that we looked at at the beginning of this article.
Best All-Terrain E-Bike for the City
The Juiced Scrambler is a fun and funky e-bike that dares to be different. It departs from most designs with its motorcycle-inspired big frame and double seat. If you want to stand out from the crowd and turn some heads, this is the e-bike you’re looking for. It’s also the ideal bike for utility runs in the city, overlanding, or simply having a blast.
That beefy appearance matches its specs, with a 750W Bafang rear-hub motor that hurls up to 80 Newton meters of torque and a max speed of 28 mph. It comes with 20” x 4.25” puncture-resistant road tires that can handle soft sand and gravel if you want to pedal off-road.
The Juiced Scrambler is also packed with features, like rear suspension and advanced cadence sensors, that make it a comfortable ride on all terrains. Especially those sensors. They have over 100 signals per crank revolution, which eliminates lag and makes your ride smoother. It’s also got a low step-over height! So, it could be a good choice if you’re an older rider.
Unfortunately, that wonderful beefiness extends to its weight. At 78 lbs, this is not a lightweight e-bike. There’s a chance you’re in trouble if it falls on its side. Also, really important: the Juiced Scrambler’s throttle takes it up to 28 mph, which is 8 mph over the max speed permitted by the three-class e-bike system. Finally, because of its large 52V battery, you’re looking at a 7.5-hour charge time.
The Funnest eMTB We've Tested
The Grand Canyon: ON is a game-changer. We’ve tested some of the best all-terrain e-bikes on the market. And out of all of them, the Grand Canyon: ON was the e-bike we felt could be the most significant difference maker on the broader market. It’s a fantastic entry point into the eMTB space.
The Grand Canyon: ON is well-designed, affordable, and incredibly versatile. It’s an excellent e-bike to start with. It has enough features to make it worthwhile for the long haul. And it’s capable enough to try some off-road riding. It’s a sporty, stylish bike with excellent design surfacing, which is unusual for a starter model.
That quality extends to the interior as well. The bike is built around the Bosch Generation 4 Performance CX motor, one of the best motor systems on the market at its price range. And the designers have made a well-proportioned e-bike open to upgrades and accessories. Add a rack, and it can become an off-road tour bike. Throw a kickstand on and park it anywhere.
Possibly its best feature is Bosch’s latest ABS braking system. ABS brakes keep your wheels from locking up and skidding out. If you’ve ever had your tires move out from under you, you know how amazing this feature is. We can say with confidence the Grand Canyon: ON is worth a look regardless of level or experience.
All-Terrain E-Bike for Kids
The Haibike AllTrack Kids is an excellent hardtail eMTB to introduce your little ones to e-bikes. Designed with smaller geometry in mind, it’s ideal for kids looking to enjoy serious trail riding and overloading rides.
Haibike is one of Europe’s leading e-bike brands. It’s like the VW of e-bikes – it produces high-quality, reliable machines. With its Yamaha PW-TE mid-drive motor, your youngster could get up to 15.5 mph – just enough to have fun while staying within your sight. It’s nimble and fun to ride.
Being a mini eMTB, its SR Suntour fork has 63mm of travel — nothing like the 150 mm of a long travel hardtail, but still plenty for a miniature rider to go for a thrash.
We think the 30-mile range is also a huge selling point. That’s more than enough range for a fun family day ride on your favorite trail. And even given that overlanding will shorten that range, a 15-mile ride with the family is perfectly reachable.
Something to think about with this e-bike is that its motor offers a bit of drag when pedaling without power. And that drag is something competitor brand Woom doesn’t have. That drag only becomes an issue when the battery runs out, but it’s essential to keep in mind. Fighting this drag could be an issue when the battery runs out and will tire the rider out.
There are also only a few outlets in the U.S. that sell Haibikes. So it can be challenging to get quick customer support and components if something needs to be fixed. That being said, Habikes are known for their quality and durability.
An All-Terrain E-Bike Doesn’t Need to Be a Monster!
This article covers a wide variety of electric bikes. They range from big beasts you might ride 30 miles into the deepest wilderness to ones that get you to a lakeside campfire a few miles away. The bottom line is they’re wildly different machines that meet wildly different needs.
Across that spectrum, we hope you can see that an all-terrain electric bike can mean different things according to your needs. That choice is up to you.