The pros and cons of five major motor brands.
Five motor brands dominated our electric bikes test. Here’s a summary of what they offer, and what we think of them.
Motor manufacturers usually specify the maximum torque of their motors (in newton metres, Nm). This relates to how much grunt they have for climbing hills – more torque equals better hill climbing. Several brands also supply the maximum support from the motor (a percentage). This is the amount by which the motor can multiply your pedalling effort – 300% support means the motor can put in up to three times the power you supply.
Use the numbers as a guide only. Measurements may not be consistent between brands, and numbers alone won’t indicate how the motor feels to ride.
All Bosch systems come in Cruise or Sport variants. Cruise assists to 25km/h, Sport to 32km/h.
All Shimano STEPS systems assist up to 32km/h.
Specialized e-bikes use motors manufactured by Brose. All Specialized motors assist up to at least 32km/h.
Giant e-bikes use motors from Yamaha. All Yamaha motors assist up to at least 32km/h.
Bafang motors assist up to at least 32km/h.