So let's take a look at the fat tire electric hunting bikes on the list. And this review has been updated to name a clear winner from the pack. You can't go wrong with any of these three electric hunting bike brands but after the the last 12 months or so a clear winner has stood out so at the bottom of this review we name our favorite. So first off we have.....
Our testers were a little underwhelmed by the downhill prowess of a couple of our competitors. The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 has loads of potential with excellent geometry and trail-smoothing rear suspension, but the spec of a wimpy fork and non-aggressive tires detract from its downhill confidence when the going gets steep or rough. The Trek Powerfly 7 FS was our least favorite e-bike to ride downhill, with an even less impressive component specification that held it back and didn't inspire confidence on descents.
It used to be you’d have to shell out a pretty penny to grab a piece of the e-bike fun. And while high-priced models still and always will exist—you can own a Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo mountain bike for a mere 12 grand—there are now some very affordable options that weren’t available a year ago. If you’re in it more for the fun than you are for high performance, you likely won’t notice where that extra money is being saved. For example, every bike on this list uses a hub-drive motor versus a mid-drive type, is designed with less integration (think battery and lights), mixes in some lower-quality parts, and has a top speed of 20 mph (save for the Aventon Pace 500 that boosts up to 28 mph). The trade-off: Every bike on this list—save the $1,699, which we included for its relatively high value—is sub-$1,500. Here’s what you’ll typically get with an e-bike in this price range.
Fat bikes are the go-to machine in the world of mountain biking. It adds spice to the fat biking experience if it’s an e-fat bike. The Cyrusher XF800 is an impressive e-fat bike that is equipped with top-notch features. With a bombproof build and discreetly housed battery, the XF800 provides all-day action. It can take absolute beatings uphill or down with the beefed-up components.
The Rad Power Bikes RadWagon is a remarkable value proposition: It sports a powerful 750-watt direct-drive hub motor, a 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain, a throttle, fenders, and integrated lights. After a couple months of testing, we can report that it hauls just as well as competitors that cost thousands more. Cost-saving measures include mechanical disc brakes and a cadence sensor (rather than a torque sensor). We got about 35 miles of range from the battery and discovered that changing the wheel size to 28 inches on the display unit increases the top (e-assisted) speed to 24 mph.
With its steep seat tube angle and powerful motor, the Rotwild E+ Ultra masters even the steepest climbs. Its high centre of gravity, however, negatively effects downhill handling. The GIANT FULL E+ 0 is a very solid eMTB where what you see is what you get, although the rather slack seat tube and bulbous-belly isn’t exactly pretty. Not so with the FOCUS SAM²: With its clean silhouette it is a bike for design lovers. But only if you get by with the small integrated battery. As soon as you mount an additional battery, not only the appearance suffers, but also the handling. The BMC Trailfox AMP has minor weaknesses in the componentry, finish and downhill handling – at a price of € 12,000 we expected considerably more. The Thömus Lightrider E1 fares better, it’s no bargain either, but the handling is outstanding. It’s a pity that the bike isn’t available outside of Switzerland. Another exotic specimen is the FANTIC XF1 Integra Enduro 160. The bike from the Italian motorcycle brand can’t deny its roots, tremendously composed and capable on the descents, though it cannot keep up with the competition when going back up – the 180 mm version of the Fantic is significantly better overall.
Due to high total weights of over 20 kg, it doesn’t matter whether the scale stops at 21.44 kg or 22.2 kg for a modern eMTB. In our test, the difference between the lightest and the heaviest bike was just under 4 kg. This is not to be ignored… but a little extra weight in the form of functional, reliable componentry is better than an ebike designed and constructed to be as light as possible, at all costs, but which ends up in the workshop more often than on the trail.
Equipped with a high performance motor, this Ancheer Power Plus electric mountain bike has won accolades for its superior performance and unmatched reliability. It is built with a solid Aluminum alloy frame to keep it strong yet lightweight enough to maneuver with easily. It is everything one would want to get through any terrain and is excellent in every way imaginable.
It is important to note that the less power output you use while riding your e-bike, the longer the battery will last, makes sense right? All of the pedal-assist drive units we tested also have smartphone apps that can be used to customize your support settings and such changes may allow for more or less range on your electric mountain bike. Specialized's Mission Control app has a feature that lets you set a predetermined route, and the app then regulates the motor's support to ensure power lasts to finish your ride.
Ebike’s are much faster than walking in and out of your hunting area: It may be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people think hunting means either riding gas-powered bike or walking. But with an e-bike, there’s no need to strap everything to your back and go back to your campsite or car. With a rack on the front or the back of an e-bike, you can throw your gear and your kill on your bike and get going.
Thanks for your excellent article. I’ve been riding ebike for about 16 years. My first electric bike was a Meridian pedal assist bike. I just up graded to a new bike. I’m 73, so I wanted a pedal assist bike that had a throttle. I researched for several months and bought what I think is the best bike for the money. It’s a Rad Rover 2017 fat bike. It has a 750 watt mother with a 48 volt 11.6 amp battery. It’s a fantastic bike, that is a lot of fun to ride. You might want to check it out and add it to your list of bikes. Rad Rover also make a city commuter bike, a cargo bike and a folding bike. You can’t beat their price for a quality bike. Thanks again for both of your articles. They were very informative.
With different degrees of assistance at your fingertips, riders of varying fitness levels are easily accommodated on the same ride too. Which, depending on who’s setting the pace, can bring a social aspect back to big days out, because you can all ride together and the assistance from the motor makes it that much easier to string a coherent sentence together even on the steepest climbs.
With most ebikes the choice of motor defines aspects of the frame geometry and to a lesser degree the suspension characteristics of the bike. Not with new Rock Mountain Altitude Powerplay. With its bespoke motor Rocky has been able to design an ebike that reflects the ride quality of a highly evolved 150mm trail bike. With instant power pickup, extended battery life and streamline proportions it’s not just the handling of the Rocky that will get you charged up for riding. It’s the best bike in this test by some margin, but we had an issue with the motor momentarily cutting and raising questions over it’s reliability.