The Felt Electric line has been selling in Europe for three years, and for 2015 it’s coming to North America. The line uses Bosch’s motor integrated into the frame with downtube mounted batteries.

For the US market, they’ll have four models – a fat bike, full suspension and hardtail mountain bikes and a city bike with standard and step through frames. The idea is to simply offer an alternative way to get around, making cars a little less necessary. All use the same 350watt motor and 400 watt-hour battery and all are pedal assist, meaning they need to be pedaled for the motor to kick in. Across the line, spec is very impressive, suggesting the bikes are made as much for performance as for convenience.

For example, the full suspension DUALe 10, above, gets a 6061 alloy frame, Rockshox Revelation RL and Monarch shock, KS eTen dropper post, Shimano hydraulic brakes and Easton Vice 27.5″ wheels wrapped in Schwalbe Nobby Nic Snakeskin tires…


Considering the Bosch e-bike motor system adds about $3,000 to the cost of the bike, the $5,799 asking price makes sense. Yes, it’s expensive, but if you want an e-bike that can make your commute a helluva lot more fun, here ya go. Across the entire line, most of the cables and wires are run internal through a head tube port, keeping the bikes pretty clean looking.


The 29er hardtail NINEe 20 gets a double butted 7075 alloy frame with Rockshox Reba RLT suspension fork and Shimano XT group. Wheels are Easton EA70 XL with Schwalbe rubber. Other than the obvious changes required to fit the motor (which forces a longer chainstay, too), the frame is very similar to their regular alloy NINE series mountain bikes. Retail is $4,699.

The LEBOWSKe is the one we want the most, and their fantastic lifestyle video certainly doesn’t do anything to diffuse our enthusiasm. Say what you will about e-mountain bikes, this thing rocks.


The LEBOWSKe 10 fat bike has a 6061 alloy frame with a custom fork that they’re quite proud of. It’s suspension corrected, meaning the bike’s ready for a Bluto suspension fork if you want, even sharing the same axle configuration to make swaps as easy as possible. The legs are hollow hydroformed, leading to a crown with massive amounts of clearance. This one was fitted with 45NRTH tires, but OEM spec will be the new Schwalbe Jumbo Jim (or possibly Vee Rubber Vee 8 120tpi) fat bike tires on double wall rims. The rest of the spec includes an XO1 group, SRAM Guide brakes and Reverb Stealth dropper post.


This test model has seen some abuse.


The 150×15 thru axle is Bluto ready.


Bosch’s e-bike system encloses the motor in a weatherproof housing that drives the crank spindle to assist your pedaling efforts.



You can choose the level of assist and see basic metrics on the center-mounted display. Retail for the LEBOWSKe is $5,799.


For more traditional commuting, the SPORTe models include a traditional frame…


…and a step through model. Both use Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, wheels, SLX shifters and XT rear derailleur. A Selle Royale Lookin gel comfort saddle is a nice upfit, as are the Schwalbe Kevlar EnergizerLite tires. Retail on both is $3,999.


All models have the same controls.


It’s not shown here, but both SPORTe models get half-length chain guards to keep slacks from brushing against the chain.

The first models start shipping in two weeks, launching first on the West Coast in cities like Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. They chose cities that have a solid cycling infrastructure and with dealers that will go through training and service courses so they can hit the ground with a full fledged program. They’ll expand east soon enough and continue to grow as it makes sense.



  1. RE Video: So you’re gonna ride your $5799 LebowskE to Trestles, suit-up and surf…
    And the whole time it’s sitting there not locked to anything. Nice fantasy!
    How about re-shooting the video and this time you have Kate Upton as the girlfriend.
    She lays on the beach in her bikini while looking beautiful and guarding the bikes.
    If you are going to try to sell the fantastic you need to go all the way!

  2. Slick and sporty E-bikes are a great way to keep old dudes with cash buying new gear after their fitness has fallen off the back. I’d just skip the foreplay and buy a old Moto: Not as much smug factor as the pedal-prius but cheaper and more fun.

  3. I can get behind e-bikes for commuting. Anything that gets people out of cars and onto bikes is a win at any level and the fact is not everyone can physically pedal around town due to age or medical issues. That said, e-bikes for the trail are an abomination. At that point you’re really no better than people who shuttle to the top. What every happened to the days when “mountain biking” meant actually riding your bike over the entire mountain and not just down it? You might as well just call it a day and get a motorcycle at that point.

  4. Chris, I generally agree with your comment. As a long time runner and mountain biker who just had a knee replacement, I am faced with the reality that wear and tear is keeping me from enjoying the sport that I love and lived for for 25 years. I’m rehabbing hard but haven’t yet been able to make it through trails I did before. Before, I dealt with the pain and the after effects. Now, I have no pain but can’t do it yet. I’m working on it. So, perhaps an assisted bike will help me enjoy it. I don’t want to whiz past people obviously using an assisted bike but helping me enjoy it doesn’t seem too awful.

  5. Yes, eventually slick, affordable commuter e-bikes will have their fair market share here. Not $4000 ones
    When will manufacturers get it??
    The Fly Kly all-in-one bolt on wheel is THE way to go.
    We shall see….!

  6. My wife and I had chance to demo these bikes (Fat bike and commuter) during San Francisco’s bike to work month this past May. While I am dyed in the wool bike dork and have worked as a courier, toured cross country, ride brevets, yadda yadda, my wife is newer to cycling and has a heart condition that makes any physical effort at least five times more difficult than normal. Mostly we get around town on a tandem and love it. She has her own bike, but doesn’t ride farther than three miles or so, and instead takes the bus (arg!). She can’t handle the hills.

    These Felts are awesome (so is SF’s New Wheel shop). I have rode more powerful ebikes (Strommer, A2B), but these mid-drive Felts are just so natural and intuitive and really just turn the hills into visual illusions. I can’t really explain what a paradigm shift for, well for society really. I will continue to happily “suffer” through my nice hilly eight mile commute because I enjoy the physical effort, but I long for the day when this Botsh (spelling?) system is available to more people (say $1500). You’re still riding a bike, and you can still push it hard if you want (you would just go farther faster), but this opens up commuting to whole other swaths of humanity and that’s a great thing.

    But…if you’re under 60 and you’re getting an e-mountain bike to go shred, you’re basically a turd.

  7. Mountain biking is not easy. It is not McDonalds. It is not for everyone. Keep it that way.

    Commuting – I get it. I have a mother. I understand the purpose.

    Just keep them the hell off of the trails.

  8. Chris, why can’t you apply the same logic: “…the fact is not everyone can physically pedal around town due to age or medical issues.” to riding other than commuting? Why can’t people who have medical issues or lack the physical fitness or endurance enjoy mountain biking on the trails? Not everyone is looking to set a KOM or rip down some singletrack…some just want to get out and enjoy riding their bike through the mountains.
    What does it matter, to you or to me, if someone is riding en e-bike?

  9. Beautifully designed bikes.

    A year ago, I was in top form, able to take on any ride. Heart failure threw everything upside down and I can no longer ride the trails I love. This looks like an elegant solution.

    I can’t wait until these come out.

  10. Mr. Rabbit,

    Giving unfit and unskilled people easy access to the backcountry that exists more than a mile from the trailhead is a recipe for disaster, for one thing. Especially when their battery dies.

  11. SillyRabbit gets it, but Land Manager doesn’t. Of course everyone should react out of as yet unfounded fears. That’s the rational thing to do, right?

  12. Ilikeicedtea, what disasters exist that aren’t part of mountain biking or are unique to e-mtb’s?
    People who choose to partake in mountain biking are aware, or will become aware, of the inherent dangers of the sport. Forgetting to charge the battery then being stranded or forced to walk/pedal a 45+lb bike will probably only happen once. Riding too fast or above ones skill level can happen to anyone, regardless of the bike they’re on.
    E-bikes are great tools for those who do not have the ability to fully enjoy the mountain biking experience with their own human power, or would like to see as much of the back country as possible in a given time.
    Why should they not be allowed on trails? Because an e-bike rider is not suffering up the climbs? Because they can make it out and back in half the time it would take us ‘normal’ riders to ride it? Because it goes against everything mountain biking should be?
    When did we as a community become so elitist? Remember when it was just fun to ride your bike and it did’t matter what the other kids were riding as long as we were all riding and having fun? I think some of us need to get off our high horse and realize that this new thing is only helping the sport by re-introducing people to the joys of riding a bike again.

  13. As someone with health issues, I added a motor to my bike to keep on the trails. Without it, no riding. Sorry I am taking up your trail space, but, tough!

  14. There should be a hard f’in line – motor? get a motorcycle license, insurance, and be subjected to the rules – lots of folks would also like to ride a crf250 on the same trails that rehab-dude or kumbaya-guy wants to “just” enjoy or share. Nothing elitist about that sh*t. Same for the road.

  15. So this is what society is coming too.

    I work with a lot of international students and every single time they comment how lazy American’s are. They knew our reputation as being lazy, but once they come to America and see it first hand, it really shocks them. Especially the students from Germany.

  16. E-bike are motorized vehicles the same as ATV and dirt bikes . They are NOT allowed on hiking trails , horse trails etc . They are not allowed off road on state owned property unless that property is designated for that activity . At least in Michigan . Matter of fact they are not even allowed on rail trails .
    Pissed off mountainbikers ? AH ! Wait untill you run into pissed off hikers , equestrians , hunters , birders , and trail maintainence crews . Yeah, this ISN’T only about the mountainbike community . Its the whole back woods community .

  17. Christian — what a silly thing to say. Have a look at ebike sale stats from Germany, then look at the brand of that motor. They love ’em.

  18. Saying ebikes are motorcycles is like saying tractors are race cars. Legal ebikes can go no faster than 20 mph (under motor power only), which is easily attainable on a non-assisted bike. Standard bikes and ebikesare essentially the same, except when the going gets tough the ebike can provide some help.

  19. How long is the battery going to last dragging those Fat tires? I know it looks “cool” to some, but quite impractical. Pedaling this monster back home without e-motor assist would surely suck… no bike weight was mentioned in the article.

    Something wrong about the Bosch motor is that it makes the bike rear end so long. Coupled with 29er wheels, these bikes are looong! I have tested other brands with Bosch motor, handling is slow as a school bus.

    BTW, that fork crown and dropouts, chainstay yoke on the Lebowsk-e look a bit crude too, nothing to be proud of.

  20. For the mtbs, i am not too worried about them destroying the trails i ride or causing any other problem. i imagine the buyers of these are not going to be hitting serious trails and will be cruising the fire roads. Not to mention the high cost will likely be the biggest reason I wont be seing them destroying the local trails.

  21. and guess what Silly, tractors aren’t allowed on race tracks with race cars and race car sure as hell wouldn’t be used to pull a plow .
    E-Bikes are motorized vehicles . Doesn’t matter how fast they go or if they are only used to assist the rider . And human nature being what it is that E-Bike rider will be using that electric motor more then he will be peddling his electric motor assisted E-Bike.
    I find it disheartening that BIKE Rumor is even profiling this motorized vehicle on a bike related site . If I want to read about motorized two wheeled vehicles I go to Bike Exif for that info or watch “Whats in the Barn ” .
    As soon as they put a combustion engine on a bicycle it became a MOTORCYCLE . Why is that so hard to understand unless their is financialy motivated incentive to promote such products in any BICYCLE forum .

  22. They don’t wheel the mechanical pitching machine to the mound when the starter’s arm gets tired.
    Assisted bikes don’t have a place on human powered trails.

  23. E-Bikes will get trails shut down incredibly fast. Manufacturers are simply giving the mountain bike hating community a very strong weapon to shut us out of all trails. The haters are far more organized and can outspend us every minute of every day so why help them? Bringing these bikes into the US where land use is a very hot topic is irreversibly irresponsible.

  24. The tyrannical harsh judgements of the “elite cyclists” on these articles remind me of why I cannot stand to be around most cyclists I meet. The ebike fans seem to be well grounded and reasonable.
    I think the real issue here is the status many cyclists think they have obtained in fitness and access has just been rearranged by technology. Too bad.

  25. All – battery spec has been corrected to read 400 watt-hour (Wh), not amp/hour as originally typed very quickly during the live presentation.

    There are four levels of assistance, offering anywhere from 12 to about 74 miles of assistance depending on terrain. They range from 50% assistance up to 275% assistance, which almost triples your own efforts.

    Keep in mind that these bikes are only pedal assist, so there won’t be anyone ripping around the trails simply by twisting a throttle, so at the most, someone will have to be pedaling approximately 1mph to have the bike traveling at almost 4mph. With most well designed mountain bike trails having intentional speed limiting factors built into the design, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see folks ripping past one another or tearing up the trails because there’s a safe limit to how fast people can go and it’s often more limited by skills, experience and physics (traction, suspension kinematics, frame design, etc.) than how much motor assist is available.

  26. the hardtail is 38 lbs and the full squish is 44, that’s getting down to fighting weight. I like but it would kind of suck riding home up hill if the battery died, and the looks people would give you on trails, priceless

  27. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its a MOTOR cycle!!!!!! what is it doing on here??????
    motorcycles are going electric, how will we tell the difference, where does the electric motorised bike finish and the electric motorised motor cycle start. How will the law tell the difference, if you say the power or speed your having a laugh. Every kid in the world will find a way to boost the motor so don’t give me ” they only do …. mph”. MADNESS and purely about money.

  28. E-bikes are motor cycles that you pedal. Its kind of backwards there isnt it. if it has a motor then it dont need pedals. If it has pedals, you are the motor. Cycling is hard, thats why you get in shape when you do it, now companys are taking the effort out of getting in shape. I hope this is a quickly ending fad. I can see the benefit for commuters, but not “cyclists”. But hey that’s just my opinion.

  29. Tyler Benedict: the battery energy rating unit is not designated by watt/hour… It is simply watt hour or watt-hour. 1 Wh is the energy equal to 1 watt of power expended for 1 hour. It is akin to the kWh (killowatt hour) which is the unit of energy electric companies use in billing customers.

    Watt/hour ( or watts per hour) refers to change in power per hour, i.e. it is a measure of the rate of power change, not energy.

  30. Lots of “the sky is falling” commentary here.

    The only impact e-bikes are likely to have is adding trail users and most likely the more safety minded type. So far, e-bike buyers have been older, less aggressive people. If you’re an aggressive DH type guy, you are a bigger threat to trail access than e-bikes.

    To the snobs claiming that cycling should be “hard”- you sound like your favorite band just got too popular. Get over yourselves. If electric MTBs become popular it will change nothing about the way you choose to enjoy your riding. Keep doing what you’re doing and have fun. Don’t worry so much about others.

  31. Dinger – this is a website for people who ride bicycles, we ride trails for bicycles, we ride bicycles because we want to pedal and keep fit. If we don’t want to pedal we buy a motorised bike, which includes an electric bike, this should need a licence like other mortorised bike and come under the same laws.
    This is an electric bicycle… http://ineedthis.net/stealth-electric-bikes-silently-races-into-your-wish-list/
    this is an electric motorcycle… http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/13/bmw-unveils-concept-husqvarna-electric-motorcycle-concept/
    and the difference is… a pair of pedals.

  32. Hate to tell you Christian, These e-assist MTB/commuter bikes are alive and thriving in Europe. Its not an American thing, its 3 yrs coming to the states. Your lazy theory is bunk. SLamman, you just don’t get it. You have to pedal to get power assist, they don’t have a throttle.

  33. e bikes can be kind of cool. the rides I do, almost nobody can ride up them. It is not that they are too hard. They are too long, and really hard. I need 4 hrs to ride one of my favourite trails. There is about 1/2 hr of coasting, 45 min of easy DH riding. The rest is climbing and pushing. I don’t get to do this trail nearly as much as I would like primarily due to the time constraints involved. An e-bike would solve this problem. I would likely be able to ride the entire up sections, and then the rest would be pretty much the same speed as any other bike. Total of 2.5 hrs of riding rather than 4. And much less pushing! Am I super fit? No. Can I be? I could if I didn’t have all the commitments of a young family (thus not enough time to play on the longer rides). I want to enjoy some good riding. If I wanted to ride a motorbike I would. I want to ride some good mountain bike trails, but the time and fitness are beyond me, until the e-bike has come. Seems like a great idea.

    BTW: if you go back 20 years, front suspension and full suspension bikes were cheating too. Now it is standard. Having full suspension on any downhill section will increase bike speed huge. Should I be complaining because these people are dangerous and are likely to scare hikers and horses far more than a no-suspension bike would? I am pretty sure the answer is F-off. I like my full suspension bike. Well that is cheating too, just in the DH category. E-bikes cheat in the uphill category.

  34. Interesting to see how the young think they’ll never get old or injured. Keep riding hard and fast and I can guarantee that you will do both. Then see what it feels like when some young (deleted) thinks you should no longer participate in the activities you enjoy just because you might get in his way, and then makes up all kinds of excuses about why shouldn’t be there. I’ve ridden and driven horses all my life, raced motorcycles for a good part of it, and done things with airplanes and helicopters no sane person would do. In all of that I have had the greatest respect for those who by fate or fault or advanced age, do not have the same abilities as I. I’ve just had my hip broken when some texting jerk drove his pickup truck into my motorcycle. And yupp I’m buying an E mountain bike so I can keep riding, (deleted)

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