If you’re considering buying a Mountain Bike with an electric motor for assistance – I don’t blame you! While hardcore mountain bikers might look down their noses at someone using assistance to get up the mountain (some even look down on people using gears!), it’s becoming more and more common to see electric mountain bikes on the trails in the UK. Why would you want an electric ebike? Well, we’re not all as fit as we’d like to be, and we don’t get out on our bikes as often as we used to do when we were teenagers. So while we love the thrill of whizzing up and down mountain trails, our bodies don’t always comply! Hence…MTB ebikes. They usually have 3-5 levels of assistance, whereby you select as you pedal how much assistance you want from the motor. Particularly when you’re heading up a steep incline, that’s when you might want to rely more on the motor and get up there faster without as much strain on your lower limbs.
If you were to take a look on Amazon, the price for an electric mountain bike can range from about £800 upward. If you want anything decent – by which I mean parts that are reliable and fit for the purpose of mountain biking – then you’re looking at £1200+. The West Hill Ghost is in the mid price bracket and has a decent specification which should please most wannabe trail riders. Additions like 21-speed Shimano gears, disc brakes and lockout front forks come as standard and should meet your requirements. Main note here though is that if you’re going to be doing any major mountain biking you probably want to invest in a bike with front and rear suspension. A bike with just front suspension is more suitable for an all rounder, ie. you want to use your bike on the road and flat trails as well as some light mountain paths occasionally. Interestingly the West Hill has a suspension seat post for a more comfortable ride, but you’d have to test that out to see if you like it, it’s not to everyone’s taste.
One of the highlights of the West Hill Ghost is it’s large sized computer which is also centrally located for ease of use. While you would probably invest in another device if you were concerned about improving your pace and distance, the computer it comes with gives you a good indication of both as well as the level of assistance you’re using and the battery level. It also comes with 9 levels of pedal assistance modes including manual and walk assistance.
If you take a look at the Westhill Ghost one of the first things you’ll notice is the reason while it’s been named the Ghost! Where is the battery? Cleverly hidden within the frame of the bike. While other ebikes have done this they often have over-sized frames, whereas the Westhill Ghost doesn’t look ungainly. It does also do well in the weight department, weighing in at 18.5kg, which is lighter than most of its rivals.
The bike has a 36v 7.8ah Lithium-ion Samsung battery, which should be reliable and get you around 30+ miles from each charge. If anything this is the weak point of the bike because its rivals can boast 40+ even 50+ miles per charge because of being 10ah batteries. This lack of mileage is a trade off for the weight decrease.
So how does the West Hill Ghost rank versus its competitors? In my opinion, the Westhill Ghost is for you if you want to do light mountain biking as well as some other road cycling and even on road…it’s an all rounder. The second reason for buying it is if the weight of the bike (ie for lifting it onto your roof rack) is more important than miles per battery charge. If you’d rather have more battery charge then consider something like the All Seasons E-xplorer. If you’re willing to spend more money and want higher specification parts for your money then consider the Zephyr.
Frame: 19in Aluminium Frame
Forks: RST Front Forks – With Lockout Option
Gears: 21 Speed Shimano
Brakes: Disc Brakes
Tyres: Kenda 698,5mm x 51mm (27.5 x 2 inch)
Battery: Samsung 7.8ah Lithium-ion – 55 km travel distance per charge.
Motor: 250w Brushless 195RPM
Warranty: Frame 3 years, Motor 2 years, Battery & Electronics 1 year.