One of the primary purposes of an e-bike is transferring power from the motor to the drivetrain to "support" your regular pedal stroke. All of the different drive units do this in relatively the same way, although subtle differences in their power output make them all feel slightly different. It is important to note that all of these systems work pretty well; the differences between them are relatively subtle but noticeable. We tested this metric primarily based on feel, as opposed to any sort of scientific measurement, and our testers could all notice the differences between the various models. All of the e-bikes we tested have several support modes offering varying levels of pedal assist support.
You've gotta get up to get down, and one of the purposes of e-bikes is to make it much easier to do so. Since we spend significantly more time climbing than descending, we felt it was important to rate how well these bikes perform when pointed uphill. Climbing on an e-MTB with pedal assist support is somewhat different than climbing on a bike without a motor. These bikes are capable of carrying some serious speed uphill, changing the climbing dynamic with a much faster pace, often tossing finesse out the window in favor of power and momentum. The heavy weight of these bikes and plus-sized tires gives them incredible traction, keeping them planted on the ground, and dampening switches can be left wide open to enjoy the added traction benefits of active rear suspension. Each bike's geometry, handling, and power output all played a role in how well these bikes performed on the ascents, and we had plenty of time to test them while rallying back uphill for more downhill laps.
The MULE is far and away their most popular bike and has become the benchmark of high standard! BackCountry eBikes have spent countless hours in research, development, testing and trial of the MULE and believe it is the absolute BEST hunting ebike on the market! The "torque sensing" Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor certainly sets it apart from it's competition but the air suspension, hill climbing, small front chain ring and large rear cassette gearing, wide handlebars, locking grips, aggressive wide pedals, large 203 rotors and hydraulic brakes, Maxxis Minion tires with puncture proof lining placed between the tube and tire is what makes it so comfortable, safe, functional, and fun to ride. As you can see, the Mule in all its glory is one of the best eBikes for hunters.
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In our view, e-bikes are approaching a crossroads in concept and design. Heading off in one direction are longer travel, enduro-style e-bikes, which are largely designed for cruising up and then blasting back down. Plotting a slightly different course is the idea of a lightweight model that rides much more like a normal mountain bike, but requires more work from the rider. Of the two approaches, both have their benefits, but it’s the latter that gets us the most excited. Once the overall weight falls into the 16-17kg range (the lightest bikes are currently19-20kg) it’s going to be really hard to tell the difference between an e-bike and a regular trail bike on the descents and the flat, but you get the benefit of a gentle push up the climbs.
The RadCity is a bike that’s been optimized to help you conquer the urban landscape. A big 48V battery gives you an estimated range of between 25 and 45 miles of e-assist from the 750-watt motor, which packs enough acceleration to get you out of dicey situations in traffic. There’s also a wattmeter to help you manage your power consumption on the LCD display. A welded-on rear rack holds up to 60 pounds of cargo, and puncture-resistant Kenda K-Rad tires keep you rolling over precarious debris. Commuting essentials include lights (the tail light also functions as a brake light), fenders, and a rear-mount kickstand.
This bike comes in black, white or tan and is the only compact folding hunting eBike of the list. It’s lightweight and compact folding size makes extremely easy to take with you, stick it in the boot of the car and pull it out when you’re ready to enter woods to reach your blind or stand. It has 20” wheels compared to the standard 26” that the other full size eBikes use.
Another important element is the primary user interface or the controls. It should be user-friendly so that the rider can navigate the features easily. A straightforward control panel should not include anything more than a small, digital display with clear readings, ergonomic thumb shifters, and a charging connection. In fact, a thumb shifter is even better than electronic buttons, although some riders may disagree.
This is a question the designers and engineers of the FOCUS and BULLS bikes of this group test asked themselves. Instead of speccing them with the standard 500 Wh batteries, both have developed a sophisticated alternative. The idea: instead of riding around with unnecessarily large batteries and unnecessary weight on short tours, they integrated a smaller 375 Wh or 378 Wh battery into the bike. If you don’t have enough power for long loops, you can double the range of both bikes with an additional battery for up to a full 750 Wh. While the second battery is mounted in the front triangle of the FOCUS, it disappears sideways in the downtube of the BULLS. In practice, you’ll need the second battery relatively often with both bikes, and in either case, you should consider the additional € 499 investment in a second battery pack when you buy the bike.
"Powerfly really feels at home blasting around even the most extreme trails. Rough terrain is simply swallowed up by the capable suspension. The relatively long chain stays are a huge advantage on steep sections, letting you stay seated without losing any traction. The front wheel hardly ever lifts off the ground and the central position makes it easy to pedal on technical sections and maintain your balance."
If you are looking for a combination of durability and affordability, then look no further than BackCountry eBikes. BackCountry eBikes ( aka BAKCOU ) is newer to the electric hunting eBike market but they have done so much for the industry in a short amount of time. Each bike that they produce is made from the highest quality materials and are more affordable than both Rambo Bikes and QuietKat.
A true fat tire electric hunting bike, this model was built to provide maximum comfort, especially the shorter person with a stand over height of 26.5" thanks to those 24" wheels. You can go just about anywhere with this bike so getting to those hard to reach hunting areas will not be a problem. This bike features a Bafang 750W BBSH02 High Torque Mid Drive and a long-lasting LG 48V10.4AH battery.
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You can explore the pleasure of mountain biking with the three levels of pedal assistance – High, Medium, and Low – and you can select them from the handlebar controls. The 21-speed Shimano shifters will help you to dominate various trails but it would be better to have 24 gears because it’s hard to keep up with the pedaling at the 15mph maximum speed.
While my first reaction to the surge in fat tire bikes made for hunting was one of curiosity, that has turned to excitement for trying out this new mode of transportation. Will this be another of those trends that ends up as a bit of hunting history, or will they find a niche that offers long-lasting usefulness? Speaking as a DIY bowhunter, let’s hope it’s the latter.
I continued to have issues with the rear brakes. The rear disc brake was bending when I braked and I could not figure out how to get it from rubbing on the pads. I eventually took the bike over to REI and paid for a tune-up. Fantastic work by them, the bike has a better top speed by a couple mph now and shifting/braking are much smoother. I was also having issues with the chain jumping off the front derailleur on high torque (high gear from standstill). Looks like I just needed the experts to give it the tune.
Trevor Porter, Kona's e-bike manager, said that motors can demand longer chainstays and adding batteries to downtubes can require larger headtubes, increasing stack height. This is common across the range of e-mtbs we tested. The reach and head tube angle tend to remain similar to standard bikes, but the chainstay length, head tube length, and stack height are generally increased.
In order to make the final judgement of every bike as objective as possible, the test team includes ex-racers and engineers as well as amateur riders and eMTB newbies. Even if we explored the bikes’ performance on the trail to the limit, we attach as much importance to their everyday usability. A potent and balanced bike which shines on demanding singletrack and is fun to ride should ride just as well on more moderate trails. And even if you’re not taking yourself and your bike to the limit every time you ride, it’s good to know that the bike is prepared for any situation you might feel like throwing at it.
Powered by a 250-watt Brose Centerdrive system, the Redux is capable of reaching speeds of up to 28 mph, which comes in handy when dodging traffic. The lithium-ion battery provides enough juice to give the bike a range of up to 80 miles between recharges, making it a great option for daily commuters. Raleigh even outfitted the bike with wide tires which provide stability and traction, even when the road gets wet. Other key features include a 10-speed Shimano crankset and shifters and a built-in LCD screen that displays all the usual information.
To help the rider find the perfect fit, the stem is adjustable. The bike also boasts dynamo powered lights alongside hydraulic disc brakes. The bike will suit riders from 4 ft 10 to 6 ft 5, and also integrates with a child seat. The total weight is 22.5kg, making it admittedly a fairly hefty folder – but that’s fairly uniform across electric versions.
Living life on the edge is certainly respectable, but there comes a time in every rider’s life where they want to enjoy their favorite trail without all of the work that’s typically associated with a trip up the mountain. Luckily, the electronically-assisted mountain bike has become insanely popular in recent years, thanks to an entire subset of riders who want to spend less time pedaling and more time enjoying their hard-earned therapy hours. Below, we’ll outline a handful of this year’s most capable cycles, and give you some elaborate insight as to why they’re the best of the best when it comes to hybrid traversal.
The Ranger is the only rear hub motor that made the list. I wanted to include one rear hub as not everyone is looking for the best hill climbing bike out there. If you want an ebike that is built tough, reliable and has a good Bafang 750 rear hub motor, the Ranger is the best for you. It performs well on moderate terrain with some hills but performs better on lower gradient inclines.
Over the past few years, electric mountain bikes have exploded in popularity. Our team researched the top models on the market and purchased seven models in the $4500-$6000 range to test and review. Our testers rode these pedal-assist mountain bikes for thousands of miles, countless hours, and many tens of thousands of vertical feet. In the process, we scrutinized each model's uphill and downhill performance, tested their distance range, paid close attention to the user-friendliness of their e-bike controls, and analyzed their power output. We rode of each of these bikes hard in an effort to expose their strengths and weaknesses and determine the key ride characteristics of each one, and most importantly how they compare to each other.
On a trip to Palo Alto we had the chance to ride Specialized’s pedal-assisted Turbo Vado, and the model is still our favorite ebike on the market. With a 350-watt motor and 604-watt-hour lithium-ion battery, the Turbo Vado is capable of traveling a whopping 80 miles on a single charge, which should be more than enough for any daily commute with plenty of miles left over.