Electric Mountain Bike: Which is Better, Hardtail or Softail?

Electric Mountain Bike: Which is Better, Hardtail or Softail?

Electric mountain bikes (EMTBs) are becoming increasingly popular among outdoor adventurers and cyclists.

They provide a unique experience that combines an electric motor's power with a traditional bicycle's agility, allowing riders to explore new terrains and tackle more challenging trails.

This article will discuss the two main types of electric mountain bikes: hardtail and softail Mountain Bikes. We will explore their differences in performance, cost, and ease of use to help you decide which type is best suited for your needs.

Hardtail Electric Mountain Bikes

Hardtail electric mountain bikes are the most basic type of electric mountain bike. They are also the most affordable and straightforward to receive, use, and repair compared to their softail counterparts.

Hardtail electric mountain bikes feature a rigid frame with only a front-suspension fork, which is typically better for smoother trails in all terrain grades.

These electric mountain bikes are lighter in weight and cost less than softail models, making them the obvious choice for riders who prioritize price and performance while looking to save some money. However, they tend to have a rougher ride on technical trails as they don’t provide as much suspension or cushioning as softail ebikes.

Softail Electric Mountain Bikes

Softail electric mountain bikes

Softail electric mountain bikes, also known as full-suspension electric mountain bikes, are the latest evolution in electric mountain bike design. They feature a front and rear suspension system that offers a much smoother ride than hardtail models on technical terrain.

With increased comfort, better handling and control, and a more efficient power transfer from the motor to the wheels, softail e mountain bikes like the new ebike Magicycle Deer from Magicycle have become increasingly popular for riding on more demanding trails.

The added suspension system does come at a cost. However, these electric bikes are usually heavier than the hardtail models and tend to be more expensive. Despite this extra weight, softail electric mountain bikes remain highly sought-after as they provide all the advantages of a traditional mountain bike plus the added power of an electric motor.

So let's compare the features most riders are looking for: performance, cost, and ease of use.

Terrain Comparison

When we put the two types of electric mountain bikes side-by-side, there is a clear distinction in terms of performance on various types of terrain. Hardtail electric mountain bikes are better suited for smooth trails and rolling hills. Softail electric mountain bikes offer superior performance on more technical terrains such as rocky paths and steep inclines.

For instance, a hardtail electric mountain bike can provide the perfect balance of power and speed if you plan to ride on flat trails with moderate inclines. On the other hand, if you are looking for increased performance on rocky terrain or steep grades, then a softail e mountain bike is likely your best bet.

Cost Comparison

Every rider has different needs and budgets, so it's essential to compare the cost of hardtail and softail electric mountain bikes of similar quality. Hardtail electric mountain bikes tend to be more affordable than their softail counterparts, allowing riders to save some money if they prioritize performance over comfort.

On the other hand, softail electric mountain bikes offer superior comfort and performance on technical terrain, so they tend to be more expensive. The extra cost may be worth it for riders who frequently ride on rocky or steep trails, as the added suspension system allows them to perform better and have a smoother ride overall.

Ease of Use

Regarding ease of use, both types of electric mountain bikes require minimal maintenance and offer easy-to-use control systems. Hardtail mountain ebikes are more straightforward to operate than softail models due to their simpler suspension system.

Softail electric mountain bikes may require additional upkeep from time to time, as the shock absorbers and other components need to be monitored and adjusted for optimal performance. However, their increased comfort, safety, and efficiency on technical terrain may make them worth the extra effort.

Overall, it all comes down to personal preference. Riders who prioritize price over performance should opt for hardtail electric mountain bikes, while those.

Personal Preference and Riding Style

When choosing between a hardtail and a softail electric mountain bike, One should consider personal preference and riding style. The following are some factors one should consider when making their decision:

Riding style: Hardtail ebikes provide more stability, traction, and control for riders who prefer long-distance or racing on flat terrain, whereas softail ebikes are better suited for more technical terrain with rocks, roots, and jumps that require greater flexibility and maneuverability.

Budget: The cost of a softail ebike is typically higher than that of a hardtail due to the additional components needed in the frame. If budget is an issue, purchasing a softail mountain ebike may not be feasible, depending on your needs and riding style.

Weight: A hardtail ebike tends to be lighter than its softail counterpart due to fewer moving parts within the frame. It can make them easier to maneuver and lead to less comfort while riding over rough terrain.

Comfort level: Softail ebikes have extra shock absorption, which makes them ideal for tackling tougher trails with bumps, drops, or jumps as they absorb much of the impact from those features to reduce rider fatigue, whereas hardtails don’t offer this same amount of cushioning so riders will experience more vibrations from these obstacles on their ride.

Intended usage: While riders can use electric bikes for adults for various activities, hardtails are better suited for cross-country and recreational purposes. In contrast, softail ebikes are ideal for more technical or downhill mountain biking.

Ultimately, the choice between a hardtail or softail electric mountain bike should come from personal preference. Both types have their benefits and drawbacks depending on the terrain and activities you plan to do. Consider your budget, riding style, and intended usage to make an informed decision that is most suitable for your needs.


Hardtail and softail electric mountain bikes are available for riders who want to tackle more challenging terrain. Both have their benefits and drawbacks depending on their build and how they’re used.

In this article, we discussed the differences between hardtail and softail electric mountain bikes and looked at performance, cost, and ease of use to help you decide which type is best suited for your needs. No matter which one you choose, they will provide a great experience while allowing you to explore new terrain and tackle more challenging trails.

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