While falling gas prices have temporarily halted years of gains in the number of bicycle commuters, more and more of us are using the bicycle to get around. It’s economical, provides good exercise, and is much cheaper than owning a car. But unless you’re in really good shape, you aren’t going to get very far. Enter the electric bike: a glorious new contraption that lets you get around without having to worry about arriving at your destinations a sweaty mess.
I’ve been wanting to get an electric hunting bike for a while but I’m curious about charging the batteries while out hunting. How long would I need to run a generator for to top off a battery? Would a solar panel even get the job done? Seems like extra batteries might make the most sense. How long would one of these batteries take to charge from empty?
Electric bicycles offer the same great benefits as traditional bicycles and remove many of the roadblocks and challenges that people face with traditional pedal-powered bikes. With help of an electric motor you can get where you need to be faster, climb hills effortlessly and significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Also e-bikes don’t require registration, license plates, or insurance. So how come the electric bikes are have not taken over the world by now? The real problem—even now that e-bikes have been available for years—is cost.
Built around a heavy-duty alloy frame, the GSD eschews many of the traits of other cargo bikes: long wheelbases, bigger wheels, and especially, an unwieldy ride. Yet it boasts an extensive capacity, nimble handling—even fully loaded, thanks to a short wheelbase and 20-inch wheels—and enduring range in a package not much bigger than most non-cargo e-bikes. The stout frame holds a 250-watt Bosch motor that gives up to 275 percent of your power back to the pedals and reaches 20 mph. The GSD has room for two battery packs, extending the batteries’ combined range to a claimed 150 miles and making the Tern one of the longest-lasting e-bikes on the market. A laundry list of accessories and a (claimed) 396-pound carrying capacity round out the GSD’s status as an epic day-tripper.
This duo of battery and motor will give you a maximum speed of 19 MPH unassisted and a range of 20 miles without pedaling. A bright digital display will help you to keep up with your distance and speed along with the current battery level. A thumb throttle makes driving this fat tire electric hunting bike fun and easy. This bike has a maximum carrying capacity of 300 pounds which is perfect for the avid hunter.
The adjustable front shock offers smooth cushioning and buffers the jerks when cycling on uneven surfaces. However, the rear shock is rigid and hard to move. The Shimano 21-gear shifters will allow you to enjoy great speed with a maximum of 20mph. But, it would be better to have at least 24 gears at that speed, because you will feel almost no resistance when cycling at the max speed in the highest gear.
The Ghost is a sleek, quiet and practical bike with everything you need to carry out your daily chores and trips around town. It’s a simple and refined electric city bike – no gears, no shifter. No front suspension either, but there is the 500W motor that will get you to speeds up to 26mph. The design, the build quality and the specs are on par with much more expensive bikes. Features include the rack and fenders, an integrated LED tail light as well as a headlight. Because of the flat top tube frame style that is 28″ off the ground this bike is fits best to riders 5’4″-6’1″ tall.
In our head to head range test, the Rocky Mountain took the win by traveling 20 miles and 4,297 vertical feet. It is worth mentioning that our tester felt that he worked a little harder while range testing the Rocky Mountain than the other bikes we tested. The Giant wasn't far behind at 19.02 miles and 4,000 vertical feet, and the YT Decoy almost tied that with 19.01 miles and 4,039 vertical feet. The Specialized was nipping at their heels with 18.71 miles and 3,949 feet. The Ghost Hybride SL AMR was the least impressive with a range of just 16.75 miles and 3,559 vertical feet. The outlier in this comparison is the Bulls E-Stream with a 650Wh battery. We were not able to test the Bulls directly against these other competitors, but we did notice that you can ride it significantly farther than any of these other contenders. During one of our test rides, we rode the Bulls 24 miles and 4,500 vertical feet, and the battery still wasn't depleted. More battery storage equals longer rides; it's just that simple.
Pros versatile, fits water bottle, least e-bike looking, good battery life, low center of gravity Good controls, huge distance range, confidence inspiring at speed, good component spec Very nice build, stealthy looks, hard-charging downhill performance Reasonably priced, good distance range, well rounded performance, solid component spec Smooth and consistent power output, modern geometry,
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.
"It's nice to have a dropper post, fully-adjustable suspension, and a frame that is well-balanced. The drive system is positioned well and performs incredibly. Trek really dialed in their rear suspension and ABP reduces skipping so the rear wheel track the ground. The removable battery pack with a handle makes this an easy bike to lift, transport, service on the trail, and park securely."
The extra grip a 50lb e-bike normally helps to prevent overshooting corners when on the brakes, and bring pure DH-bike-like fun factor on the steepest trails. This electric Orange, however, rides more like a ‘standard’ enduro bike with a motor, which could be good or bad, depending on your expectations and riding style. It’s built tough and delivers stacks of fun in less time than any regular bike can. Adding a motor hasn’t upset Orange’s superb geometry.
This powerful eBike was designed with the hunter in mind and comes in several different colors including matte black, gloss red and Special Edition Kuiu Verde 2.0 for those looking to blend in with nature. Stopping quickly on the trail won't be an issue with the Mule because it comes standard with a pair of 203MM hydraulic disc brakes. A set of aggressive skid-proof pedals help hunters power past even the toughest off-road challenges.
The Blix Vika+ is a folding e-bike with a utilitarian execution: At nearly 50 pounds, it’s heavy for its size, and the folding mechanism isn’t as slick as other folding bikes we’ve tested. That said, it does fold into a small package and feels sturdy enough for riding between errands. The geared hub motor is adequately powerful and an included throttle makes it easier to get off the line. A rear rack, front and rear lights, and a kickstand come with the bike—it’s everything you need for zippy urban commuting.
Merida has done an amazing job with the EOne-Sixty 900E. It has a fun, playfully ride quality that few ebikes can match, and the price is simply unbeatable. It’s also the only sub 50lb bike in this test, and that’s without a single strand of carbon. It could be even better though. With a two degree slacker head angle and a little more power from the Shimano motor the EOne-Sixty would be able to keep up on the climbs, only to drop the competition on every descent. The biggest issue though, is actually getting hold of one.
All Cannondale E-bikes have one thing in common — pure, visceral cycling performance. Our goal is to create bikes that are so rider-focused, so seamlessly integrated and so much damn fun to ride, that you forget you've got power assist, forget you're on an electric bike, forget everything except how good it feels to be on that bike, in that moment. If that sounds like your cup of tea, power up. Let's Ride.
Mountain biking is all about having fun, right? About getting out there, enjoying the great outdoors, exercising your body and freeing your mind. So what if we told you there was a type of bike that lets you ride further, faster, and have even more fun? One that even made you LOL on the climbs? You’d still have to work for your rewards, but by assisting your efforts, it allowed you to wring every little drop of enjoyment out of your rides. Are electric mountain bikes allowed on trails?