Electric bicycles can be seen more and more often on the bike paths and commuting routes of cities all across the world, but they’re no stranger to mountain bike trails either. Everything from classic hard tails to full-suspension fat bikes are being equipped with electric motors. What may surprise you, is that the first electric mountain bikes were developed by Montague Bikes in the early 1990s.

The first iterations were based on Montague’s Bi-Frame design, a traditional double diamond frame that folded around the seat tube with two quick releases. Montague worked with several car companies in the early 1990s, initially with standard full-size folding bikes that could easily fit into trunks, and later on e-bikes as car makers began research into electric vehicles. Montague worked with BMW, Mercedes Benz, and more with early versions of electric folding bikes, all with full-size wheels and standard components. These models were equipped hub motor systems developed with Heinzmann GmbH & Co in Germany.