If you are in the market for an e-mtb, 2021 is an interesting year as the great bike shortage of 2020 carries on to this year. In some ways, it's even more pronounced in 2021 as the popularity of mtbs and e-mtbs shows no signs of letting up. E-mtbs cater to a wider range of skill sets and there is not yet a big supply of them yet. Add to that the great component shortage of 2021 and options are definitely limited. Try buying a Specialized Levo, Trek Rail, YT Decoy, Canyon Spectral today and you might be greeted by a 16-30 week wait period, possibly missing the 2021 prime riding season.

But there are options out there if you have a dealer that has existing inventory. There are also online retailers who are now selling complete bikes and with their massive buying power, outfits like JensonUSA have been to amass and sustain a significant inventory of e-mtbs. In times of shortage, the manufacturers, dealers, and even consumers that commit their cash early can get ahead

Here are our Top 5 recommendations of bikes that can be on your doorstep within a few days.

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1) Orbea Wild FS - From $5399
It's not easy to get a full-featured All Mountain e-mtb these days under $6k but the Orbea Wild is a fine choice. It's a 29er with 160mm of front and rear travel with an alloy frame. 12-speed Shimano shifting with the new Shimano 4-piston brakes are perfect for the rough duties of driving and stopping this bike.

The motor is one of the best with the Bosch CX Gen4. This is the finest effort by Bosch with up to 85 nm delivered from low RPMs all the way to way to very fast pedaling. It's complemented by the best software as well that features the one mode, called EMTB that spans all the low and high power ranges of the motor. Thus the rider can leave the motor setting in this mode, get a workout, and have available power for the steepest hills. The battery is the latest with 625 wh capacity, usually good for over 5000 feet of climbing and 4 hours of riding.

Maxxis Minions, Fox Float DPS, and Rockshox 35 Gold complete the spec on the $5399 model. There are several model upgrades available as well leading up to the top model Orbea Wild FS M10 for $7499.

Orbea Wild FS H30 - $5399 Orbea Wild FS H30 E-Bike 2021 | Jenson USA
Orbea Wild FS M20 - $6899 Orbea Wild FS M20 E-Bike 2021 | Jenson USA
Orbea Wild FS M10 - $7499 Orbea Wild FS M10 E-Bike 2021 | Jenson USA

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2) Santa Cruz Heckler e-mtb - $8399

The Heckler is a landmark bike from Santa Cruz as its iconic brand took the plunge into the risky PR water of e-bikes early last year. Their first effort last year was admirable as they incorporated their lower link suspension with the bottom bracket real estate space-hog motors required for these systems. They achieved to create a bike that was poppy and lively, unlike many e-mtbs before it. But it was missing a couple of key ingredients, a newer motor/battery, and a more capable wheel size.

This version 2 of the Heckler delivers with the new EP8 motor and 630wh battery mated with a mullet 27.5/29er wheel size. The EP8 motor is like a laser printer compared to the outgoing E8000 motor, much like a dot matrix printer. The new motor not only has more power and range, but it also has much better resolution and is a more natural feeling. It is able to detect what the rider wants to do more quickly and it's able to respond with very fine adjustments in power delivery. The mullet wheel size delivers the turning and change of direction quickness of the 27.5 but it now mates it with the traction, braking, and rough terrain abilities of the 29er front tire.

Cap this off with the good looks and great brand image of the Santa Cruz and we're fairly sure all these bikes will be gone before the summer season hits.

Santa Cruz Heckler 8.1 CC MX S - $8399 - Santa Cruz Heckler 8.1 CC MX S Kit E-Bike 2021 | Jenson USA

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3) Norco Sight VLT A1 29er - $5999

The Norco Sight VLT A1 29" E-Bike is an all-mountain bike that has excellent descending capability and sure-footed climbing and trail charging grip. Part of its secret sauce is a very aggressive 78.3 seat angle and a slack 64-degree head angle. Mate this with a long 455mm reach (Medium) and you have the recipe for a very modern bike that will handle all that an active rider is able to dish out. The aluminum frame uses 160mm of travel on the front and 150mm of travel on the rear. This bike is powered by Shimano's STEPS E8000 E-Assist motor a quiet, tried, and true unit that has proven to be the most reliable around.

The A1 version of the Norco Sight VLT comes with a SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain that has a cassette that has an 11-50T gear range. This cassette makes climbing and riding in rough terrain much easier. Shimano MT520 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes provide confidence-inspiring stopping power so you can descend under control merges the best of both worlds. E*Thirteen LG1 DH rims are paired with Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II tires that can be set up tubeless for a smoother ride, better traction, and fewer flats. A no-frills TranzX dropper post caps off this commendable under $6k package.

Norco Sight VLT A1 - $5599 - NORCO SIGHT VLT A1 29" 2021 E-Bike | Jenson USA

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4) Orbea Rise - from $8599

The Rise is a special bike as it pursues the under 40 lb weight barrier for full-suspension e-mtbs. Most e-mtbs weigh 50 lbs and above and that's fine for most folks since the motor can help the rider climb the steepest and highest heights. But descending and changing direction are often compromised by such mass. Thus the Rise attacks this issue with a lightweight e-mtb with less weight and less power. In top spec, it weighs a just a hair over 35 lbs and it harnesses 60nm of torque from the latest Shimano EP8 motor. The much more expensive Specialized Levo SL only outputs 35nm of torque so Orbea Rise is truly an achievement.
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The Orbea Rise M10 20MPH E-Bike is designed to expand your trail experience and bring you closer to the moment. It starts with an OMR carbon frame that uses 140mm of travel on the front and rear. The Shimano EP8-RS motor is designed to provide up to 20mph of pedal assistance. The harder you pedal, the more assistance the motor provides. This provides the most natural feel and encourages riders to pedal. The motor is also customizable via the Shimano E-Tube Mobile App. The frame also features trail balanced suspension, internal cable routing, and a lightweight and slim battery.

The M10 version of the Orbea Rise comes with a Shimano XT M8100 12-speed drivetrain. This includes a cassette that has a hill-crushing 10-51T gear range that makes climbing and pedaling through rough terrain much easier. Shimano XT M8120 hydraulic disc brakes provide superior stopping power so you can descend under control. Race Face Turbine-R30 rims are paired with Maxxis tires that can be set up tubeless for a smoother ride, better traction, and fewer flats. With the OC2 Dropper, you'll be able to quickly change your center of gravity with the press of a lever.

FEATURES
  • OMR carbon frame with internal cable routing, an internal battery, and trail balanced suspension
  • Shimano EP8-RS motor provides pedal assistance based on how hard you pedal
  • Shimano XT drivetrain performs well in demanding terrain
  • Shimano M8120 hydraulic disc brakes provide confidence-inspiring stopping power
  • Tubeless-ready rims and tires for a smoother ride, better traction, and fewer flats
Orbea Rise M10 $8599 - Orbea Rise M10 20MPH E-Bike 2021 | Jenson USA
Orbea Rise M-Team $9999 - Orbea Rise M-Team 20MPH E-Bike 2021 | Jenson USA
Orbea Rise M-Limited 10999 - Orbea Rise M-LTD 20MPH E-Bike 2021 | Jenson USA

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5) Niner WFO E9 - $6295
Today, Niner bikes, joined the e-bike category with two mountain bikes, the 150mm travel RIP e9 and 180mm travel WFO e9. Mtbr had a chance to ride the WFO e9 for several weeks and our impressions on the $6295 bike are detailed in the video above. It is basically a downhill bike that one takes on any big descending adventure while skipping the shuttle vehicle or lift access to get to the top of most peaks.
The RIP e9 is a more versatile bike with 150mm rear travel and 160mm front both on 29er wheels. This bike, like the WFO, is well-spec'd for $5995. Both these bikes utilize the fourth generation Bosch Performance Line CX motors for smooth, responsive, and usable power. This motor has been updated in July 2020 that firmware that increases the power from 75 to 85 NM of torque and makes it more responsive in difficult trail conditions.

Both bikes use an internal 625 wh battery to give bikes long-range or incredible punch for that quick two-hour jaunt. Another key feature is a Niner-tuned Horst link suspension system that optimizes kinematics for the active, supple needs of eMTB riding. The suspension is complimented by free-moving bearings even in the rocker links to optimize supple, ground-gripping performance.

Niner WFO E9 - $6295 - Niner WFO e9 Bike | Jenson USA