Placing electric bike motors and batteries: where do they go?

There are many different ways to power an electric bike. Deciding which is the best e-bike for you depends on how you plan to ride, and possibly which motor you want. The good news is that no matter what you have in store for your e-bike, from grocery getting to mountain bike shredding, there’s certainly one that will fit your requirements. 

  • How to electrify your normal bike
  • 10 reasons to try an e-MTB
  • Electric bikes explained

Electric bike motor and battery options

At a recent e-bike expo, I asked manufacturers: “How many types of e-bike motors and batteries are available?” Every single person I spoke to smiled, then some laughed, because that’s a hard question. One manufacturer alone specs five different motors, and four different battery types for their current year of e-bikes. 


There’s an endless array of ways to power an e-bike currently. In America, Bosch has the biggest market share, but Yamaha has been making e-bike motors for the longest, and a number of companies lay claim to having the most powerful battery or motor. 

The motors generally are in either the rear wheel hub or in between the cranks – known as mid-drive. Typically, most urban and hybrid e-bikes have a hub-mounted motor for the increased response and quick feeling. 

Electric bikes: even more choices

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SpeedX Leopard: an entry-level aero road bike that seems too good to be true

We’ve just been shown the SpeedX Leopard, and it kinda seems too good a deal to be true. A carbon aero race frame with full internal cable routing, an integrated GPS computer with various built-in sensors, Shimano 105 groupset and more for just… £1,000 / $1,399? That can’t be right, surely.

In case you’ve forgotten, this is the bike that smashed its Kickstarter funding goal of $50k a few months ago, on the back of claims that it’s the “only smart aero road bike with the ability to help you train and track your progress in real time”. What we didn’t realise at the time is just what a stunningly good deal it’ll be – if it lives up to those claims, and rides well.

  • Best GPS devices for cycling
  • Canyon’s Smart Bike computer is a world first
  • Six slippery aero road bikes, put to the test

The SpeedX range


The SpeedX team visited BikeRadar in our Bristol offices this week, bringing three bikes with them: the SpeedX Leopard, Leopard Pro and Mustang. The Leopard Pro is a higher-spec version of the Leopard road bike, and the Mustang is a hardtail mountain bike. All three are in production now, and we’ll have our hands on review samples soon.

The Leopard frame weighs 1.2kg and was designed with aero testing in the Harbin Institute of Technology’s wind tunnel, in northeastern China. It comes with full internal cable routing, hidden aero brakes and an impressive lifetime frame replacement guarantee. 

  • How to choose road bike geometry

The smarts

SpeedX specs

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BC Bike Race picks up Pearl Izumi as sponsor and supplier, and Brian Lopes as a racer

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN) — Organizers of the BC Bike race have announced a major sponsorship agreement with Pearl Izumi and also said Pearl-sponsored athlete Brian Lopes will race the event this year, for the second time. “With celebrating our 10th anniversary this year we are thrilled to be partnering with such an innovative company as Pearl Izumi, and also one that holds the same philosophy of quality and customer satisfaction that we at BC Bike Race do,” said BC Bike Race president, Dean Payne. Pearl Izumi Canada marketing manager David Blondel said, “Throughout the last 10 years the team behind BC Bike Race has worked hard to create the best mountain bike stage race in the world

Project Bike Tech gains BPSA endorsement

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (BRAIN) — Project Bike Tech, a bike tech skills program for high school aged youth, is expanding nationally and now has the endorsement of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association.

Pedego opening its fifth Colorado e-bike store

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — E-bike maker Pedego is opening its fifth Colorado store on June 28, in Denver.? The new store will offer test rides, sales, tours and rentals. It is being operated by co-owners Terry and Jean Gehrke and is in the downtown area, at 1338 Tremont Place.

Kitsbow works with Polartec on high-tech mountain bike T-shirt


Vista Outdoor’s Bell, Giro and CamelBak sponsor OIWC regional events

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) —Bell Helmets, Giro Sport Design and CamelBak — all brands now owned by Vista Outdoor — are sponsoring regional events being planned by the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition this year

Summer PressCamp Day 3: Protection, apparel and industry bonding

PARK CITY, Utah (BRAIN) — Wake, caffeinate, eat, meet, eat, ride, eat, socialize…repeat in a spectacular setting.

Blue continues to rebuild in marketplace

PARK CITY, Utah (BRAIN) — When editors at PressCamp walk into Room 6131 at the Silver Barron Lodge, the Triad Elite SL Di2 is an attention grabber.

Bulls Outlaw first ride review

Bulls’ Outlaw is billed as a hybrid, but there’s more to it than that. With the minimal tread 27.5 x 2.4in Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires, it’s definitely a tarmac machine, yet add in the tough alloy frame, 120mm Revelation fork, and SR Suntour battery and motor, and the lines definitely begin to blur. Is it the machine to turn your commutes into something more? 

  • 10 reasons you should try an e-MTB
  • The real problem with e-MTB
  • Electric bikes explained

Bulls Outlaw spec overview

  • 7005 alloy hardtail frame
  • RockShox Revelation RL Solo Air, 120mm
  • 27.5in Ryde wheels with Schwalbe Super Moto-X 2.4in tires
  • Shimano 10-speed drivetrain
  • 203mm Tektro Dorado discs
  • SR Suntour 670 watt-hour battery
  • 70 mile range
  • 28mph top speed assisted
  • 3.5hrs charge time to 80%, 5.5 hrs to 100% (approximately)

Bulls Outlaw ride impression

The mountain bike geometry, combined with the big, round-profile 2.4in rubber makes for a carve-happy, surefooted urban machine. Potholes, busted pavement and the occasional dirt path are all mere afterthoughts on a bike like this. I enjoyed every corner on this rig, mostly due to the aforementioned qualities, but also the pull of the SR Suntour motor. With four modes to choose from, it was pretty easy to start with minimal boost (eco mode) to get a feel for the torque. Once accustomed, bumping the setting up to Climb mode adds substantial kick – and makes looking ahead out of corners a much bigger necessity. 

All that fun does come at a trade off of pure speed. The fun seating position keeps you in the wind, and increases aero drag significantly. The suspension fork may feel like overkill if you’re simply trying to get to work on paved surfaces, and the wide, heavy tires aren’t going to win any rolling contests.


But that’s not what this bike is about. I could see myself mounting up some proper knobbys and taking this on the dirt. The frame, fork and components, especially the wide rims, are more than ready to do just that. 

Bulls Outlaw vs the competition

The Outlaw, which costs $4,000 / €4,200, occupies somewhat of a niche space in not just the e-bike market, but the general bike market as well. It’s very simple to slap on some Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires on any e-assisted hardtail, but not many companies are offering what Bulls has done here out of the box. That’s what makes the Outlaw unique, and so much fun. 

Early verdict

Bulls’ Outlaw makes me want to carve corners and see how far I can dip the bars over. Its silhouette and riding position remind me of a rowdy hardtail mountain bike. It’s likely a good thing it has a battery and motor, because I can see every ride getting longer as I seek out the best corners and features to ride. 

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