The chances are that if you’re riding an electric mountain bike, then you’re looking to optimise your ride as much as possible, and grabbing yourself a pair of the best electric mountain bike wheels is going to do more for you than pretty much any other modification.
In general, electric mountain bikes are more suited to long-distance enduro riding, so we’ll be focusing on wheels which are aimed at that style of riding. However, there’ll still be an option for those few who are interested in finding the balance between agility and the ease of an electric bike.
What Makes a Good Electric Mountain Bike Wheel?
Since most electric mountain bikes are mid-drive, there aren’t really any wheel differences, so you can rock standard mountain bike wheels with an eMTB. This means that the best mountain bike wheels for a standard bike are going to be just as useful for an electric mountain bike.
There is one caveat though; in the UK and EU, electric mountain bike wheels made for bikes heavier than 150kg must be ECE-75R compliant, which means they'll be extremely resistant to the high forces imparted through e-bike motors. Although, we don’t know many bikes coming in that heavy, so for most, this won’t need to be something you worry about.
What Makes a Wheel Good for Long Distance/Enduro Riding?
If you’re planning on bombing down hills or trekking long distances, then you’ll probably want larger wheels. This is because larger wheels can maintain speed more easily, due to their larger mass, so after building up initial velocity, they’ll feel super smooth to ride over long distances.
Larger wheels also have the benefit of a better angle of attack, which affects how your wheel reacts to obstacles of different sizes – the bigger the obstacle, the bigger the wheel needs to be. And if you’re going to be traversing a lot of terrains, it makes sense you’d want to make it as smooth as possible.
What Makes a Wheel Good for XC/Trail Riding?
It’s pretty unheard of for an XC rider to sport an e-bike, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t those out there who want to make more agile choices for their bike. It probably won’t surprise you that less weight is the gold standard for agility because it allows for higher acceleration, i.e. you can turn much faster and jump much higher.
Best Electric Mountain Bike Wheel on a Budget | DT Swiss H1900 Spline Hybrid Wheels
DT Swiss comes into the market with a budget aluminium wheel that goes easy on your wallet, without compromising on quality. These wheels are specifically-designed for the high torque forces of e-bikes, and reinforce the external central sections of the rims, where force is disproportionately applied.
These wheels also come with DT Swiss’ Ratchet LN technology, which applies force more evenly by engaging each tooth simultaneously, cleverly sidestepping the problem of high torque forces, whilst keeping the wheels lightweight.
Being understandably proud of their engineering, DT Swiss have an interactive webpage, which shows the mechanisms of the Ratchet LN technology. To top it all off, the wheels are designed for tubeless tyres, bringing some luxury to riders operating on a budget.
All in all, these wheels are a great entry point into the market for more general riding and should last you a long time. You can pick them up on eBay for $383.03, with the option to buy front and rear wheels separately at $176.77 and $206.23, respectively.
Best Electric Mountain Bike Wheels for Enduro Riding | Hunt E-Enduro Wide
Bike enthusiasts have been going wild over Hunt’s new E-Enduro wide, and with good reason. The E-Enduro wheelset has been designed with the help of Brighton’s own elite rider, Oli McKenna, to ensure that they have great rideability alongside quality technical specifications.
They’re a standard 6-bolt brake system, so they shouldn’t be too difficult to mount, and they come with all kinds of benefits, including eMTB-specific hubs with heatsinks and triple-butted, pillar-reinforced spokes, so you won’t have to worry about broken wheels any time soon.
These wheels do come with a little caveat – well if you’re impatient, a big caveat: they aren’t released until January, so you’ll have to wait a little longer for a late Christmas present. It’s a good thing these wide rims accommodate some great snow tyres.
You’d think that something with this many features would come with a huge price tag, but you’d be wrong. Their release date price isn’t too much higher than our budget option, coming in at $599, and you can pre-order them over at Hunt’s website, to get them ASAP.
Best Electric Mountain Bike Wheels for Tricks/Trail-Riding | Syncros Revelstoke 1.0
Syncros have pulled out all the stops to craft their Revelstoke 1.0s, a wheelset with top-of-the-line engineering that manages to make a pair of 29” wheels that are amazing for trail-riding.
Despite the 29” diameter and wide rims, these bikes remain pretty light at a combined weight of 1850g (850g front + 1000g back). The carbon fibre frame is the obvious reason why, but it also comes with a few other solutions like its relatively low spoke count and hookless rims.
Its low spoke-count might ring some alarm bells in the durability department, but thanks to its DT Swiss hub mount, it has some great force distribution, so these wheels won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon.
Now, as you may know, carbon fibre isn’t cheap, and even though these wheels are on the lower end of the price range, you should still be expecting to spend upwards of a grand for a pair.
For aggressive riding, it’s hard to beat the quality and performance of Syncros’ Revelstoke 1.0s, so if you’re willing to pay for the premium of carbon fibre, you can pick up a pair from Scott Sports for $1799.99.
With the world of electric mountain biking expanding so quickly, it’s easy to get lost in the parade of new tech. That being said, we’ve deliberated hard and settled on our personal favourite pick – the Hunt e-Enduro Wides.
It’s really hard to beat the sheer value of the wheelset with its sub-$600 price. The DT Swiss hub mounts were hard to look away from but in the end, Hunt walked away with the grand prize. That being said, the other wheelsets are available to the public right now, so if you wanted to go grab yourself some solid upgrades, we couldn’t blame you.