The electric MTB boom: a technological opportunity for brands

If the trend is globally upward on the international market of electric bikes, the dynamics are more observable on certain segments. For example, the electric cargo bike has seduced urban families, making its use more popular. In the face of this dynamic, another segment is also doing well: electric mountain bikes.

A favourable context for the development of electric MTBs

In 2020, the electric mountain bike market was valued at over 4.5 billion euros. According to some forecasts, its value is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2026, a growth rate of about 12% each year.

The increase in the practice of outdoor sports 

These ambitious forecasts can be explained by a context favorable to the development of this segment. The practice of outdoor sports has strongly democratized after the Covid crisis confinements, thus stimulating sales. According to the European Sporting Goods Industry Federation, in 2020 more than 55% of outdoor retailers reported an increase in demand for outdoor equipment. In this dynamic, mountain bikes are among the most popular items. In France, in the same year, the segment of electrically assisted mountain bikes increased by 46%.

The e-MTB to convince new profiles of cyclists

A recent study conducted by Edinburgh Napier University, highlights that electric mountain bikes are attracting a new user profile. Out of more than 1,300 people surveyed, it was found that this type of bike makes mountain biking more accessible for people with disabilities or for older people. In terms of motivation, mental health and the desire to spend time with family or friends were the main reasons mentioned.

a person on a mountain during sunset

The choice of an electric mountain bike for versatility

If users are turning to the e-MTB, it is also for its versatility and assistance. The e-MTB is to Sunday adventurers what a cargo bike is to urban families. In the city as well as in the mountains, it has proven itself by helping cyclists climb steep hills and overcome obstacles with less physical effort than their muscular version. For the cyclist, especially the novice, it saves energy to enjoy a longer ride. Indeed, the ability to adjust the speed, the level of assistance as well as some battery parameters allows riders of all levels to find their rhythm.

Back in town, some electric MTB adapt well to the urban environment, allowing their users to be at ease on different circuits.

a person on the top of a snowy mountain doing e-mtb

European governments, accelerating the use of electric mountain bikes

Europe dominates the electric mountain bike market. In addition to the desire of cyclists to switch to this type of bike, some governments are also taking steps to encourage its use. In France and the United Kingdom, government financial aid for the purchase of an electric bike also applies to e-MTBs.

Despite the attractiveness of the electric bike, the price remains a major obstacle for mountain bikers. Indeed, while to acquire an entry-level muscular mountain bike you have to spend an average of 500 €, to get the electric version, prices start from 1500 € and go way beyond for the more qualitative models.

Innovation to boost the attractiveness of electric mountain bikes

Faced with this price constraint, the key to success for mountain bike brands is innovation. In a sector where performance and experience are appreciated, the innovations offered to riders must be in this direction.

A challenging and innovative sector

Yamaha Motor, Pedee Electric Bikes, BH bike and Cube are the main players in the market. Due to the attractiveness of the mountain electric bike market, new players are also entering the market with a continued focus on innovation. For example, in October 2022 Ibis Cycle launched its new Moutain Bike with a full carbon frame and equipped with a Bosch motor, one of the lightest on the market.

In the sector of batteries for electric mountain bikes, innovation is also important with Bosh, which in its latest update makes its batteries increasingly customizable. From now on, on certain range of batteries, especially on those intended for electric mountain bikes; it will be possible to refine one’s riding experience via two modes: mountain biking & cycling. What to suit both adventurers and lovers of travel.

Connectivity for a new e-MTB experience

In addition to innovations related to the technical side of the product, brands can also offer a new brand experience. Thanks to connectivity, they will be able to offer new services and thus reinforce the attractiveness of electric mountain bikes.

Thus we can imagine a set of services facilitating and improving the excursions of the riders such as :

  • real-time geolocation
  • trip statistics: km, average speed, duration, altitude difference
  • visualisation of the path
  • maintenance following  

For electric mountain bike brands, connectivity can be used as a marketing tool to unite riders in this field. Brands will be able to :

  • Send personalized notifications
  • Put forward personalized challenges or tips
  • Collect anonymized data on users and their product usage to better design future models

Velco assists electric MTB brands

At Velco, we assist off-road electric bike brands with their connectivity projects. With our IoT products and white label application, they will be able to offer connectivity services to their riders.

Naka e-power, the connected e-MTB 

In this project, Velco has accompanied the Manufacture Française du Cycle and Intersport in their project for their range of electric mountain bikes: E-Summit 740 and E-Summit SUV. Via a dedicated application, they were able to bring new services to cyclists such as :

  • The possibility to save a route: to find your most beautiful rides
  • The remaining autonomy: to enjoy your rides in complete serenity
  • Measure your performance on a route
  • Share your experience on social networks