The Cyclotricity Stealth is for the adrenaline junkies among you.
It's a mountain bike at its heart, complete with 26-inch wheels and springy front suspension that easily absorbs stones on rough off-road surfaces. It looks every bit as aggressive as you'd want a serious off-road mountain bike to look. Made in Britain, it costs £1,295 from the company's website, which roughly converts to around $1,720 or AU$2,260. Cyclotricity ships around the world.
In the rear wheel is the electric motor, which provides a massive 1,000 watts of power. That's enough to propel you to 30 mph (48 kph) which, I can assure you, is an exhilarating speed when you're belting down gravel trails.
The motor can provide assistance to your pedalling, but there's a throttle too, which you can push down to ride the e-bike on the motor's power alone. You can use it if you're feeling lazy, but I found it immense fun to tear around hills purely powered by the throttle -- it turns mountain biking into something approaching motorcross. The Stealth is comfortable to ride on- or off-road, and even without motor assistance it's not difficult to get up to speed.
Hammering the throttle does take its toll on battery life. While you can get around 30 miles (48km) of range with pedal assistance, you can expect much less when you're just using the throttle to ride around at top speed.
It's important to note that in the UK, e-bikes on public roads are legally limited to 250 watts of power and a top speed of 15 mph (24 kph). The Stealth is sold with its motor limited for use on roads, but can be derestricted if you sign a legal waiver stating that you will only use it off-road -- which is really more to cover Cyclotricity's back than yours, were you to be caught. Once signed, you'll be provided with instructions on how to derestrict, and put the restriction back on, for when you want to take it on the road.
Restrictions in the US and Australia vary by state, so do make sure to check your local laws before riding it down the highway.
Not all is rosy with the Stealth, however. The brakes are pretty ineffective unless you really jam them on -- which isn't ideal when you're whizzing down trails -- and the gears sometimes clank noisily between changes. It does leave you with the impression that they're not the highest quality components, which is a bit galling when you've shelled out £1,295.
The battery is huge, and its weight brings the bike up to a hefty 24 kg (53 pounds) overall. It's not a bike you'll want to carry up and down the stairs to your flat. Handily though, the battery can be removed, so you can park the bike downstairs and carry just the battery inside to recharge.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with the Stealth. It's comfortable, fast and relatively affordable, but it's marred by the brakes and gears, which may require you to make a few trips to your local bike mechanic after some downhill jaunts.
It's by no means the most refined e-bike I've tested, but make no mistake: it's a hell of a lot of fun.