If you’re choosing a mountain bike, you’ll be benefiting from a stronger frame, suspension and 'knobbly' off-road tyres – all to help you cover rougher terrain, but there are some subtle variations you need to be aware of.
If you’re mostly cycling in the city, you may be better off with a more affordable hybrid bike, or a folding electric bicycle if you’re using it to commute a lot. If you’re in the country however, an electric mountain bike could be perfect for you, but there’s a couple of things you should know first.
Any electric mountain bike should be light enough to pedal uphill quickly (although this isn’t as much of a problem with a power assisted electric mountain bike) whilst being fast on the downhill.
Lightweight mountain bikes are desirable, but take a bit more “magic” from the designers; better materials and manufacturing methods means the price tends to go skywards. If you can afford a lighter bike, by all means go for it – provided it isn’t “silly money” of course.
Suspension is a key issue with mountain bikes, particularly if they are power-assisted. In general, you don’t need expensive and complicated suspension unless you are doing ambitious runs up and down rocky sides of hills.
Similarly, good brakes are essential. Disc brakes (more like the brakes you’d fit on a car) are far more effective than normal bike brakes which simply grip the wheel. Particularly if you have a fast, electric mountain bike, disc brakes are best.
The best electric mountain bikes are light, fast, efficient and feature good suspension and brakes. They’re also good fun!
I recommend taking a look at MTB Britain which is a specialist mountain biking site run by Gareth. He's put together lots of tips and techniques and also a forum to ask questions.