If an eBike can't get you to your hunting spot and back on a single charge, you won't buy it. For many, it's that simple.
Electric bike range is one of the most, if not the most, vital details to consider when shopping for a hunting eBike.
When you're carrying around hundreds of dollars worth of gear, the prize game you just bagged, and dozens of pounds of equipment, the last thing you want is to manually peddle your bike back home or ditch your gear.
However, eBike range is not a concrete measurement, and you often can't trust what the manufacturer's telling you. Most times, you have to figure out how far your eBike can take you through simple trial and error.
With that in mind, how do we determine how far you can go on an electric hunting bike?
Let's discuss what eBike range means to you and your hunting adventures.
The eBike range measures approximately how far an eBike can go on a single charge. This measurement incorporates everything from weight, terrain, and power modes to provide an approximate range. Additionally, your eBike range only incorporates full-electric peddling with the throttle and doesn’t consider other factors, such as actual peddling or laying off the throttle when going downhill.
However, the keyword in that paragraph is approximate. Often, eBike ranges can differ significantly from the manufacturer's range.
For example, an eBike manufacturer will likely estimate their approximate distance by measuring how far a lightweight rider can travel on easy terrain.
Luckily, some manufacturers will provide the details about the rider and conditions, so be sure to read carefully before buying.
So if we can’t trust the manufacturer to provide an accurate estimate of your hunting eBike range, how should we actually determine your electric bike’s range?
To determine eBike range, you’ll need to know your eBike’s:
We will discuss watt-hours later because it requires more detail. But, first, let's talk about everything else that influences your eBike range.
First and foremost is yourelectric bike’s weight. Like any other vehicle, piling weight onto an eBike entails working harder to get moving, which reduces the range. Don't just concern yourself with rider weight, either. You will need to factor in the weight of your:
All of these things will slow down your eBike and even make it more challenging to peddle, which helps preserve your battery and range.
Secondly are the conditions and terrain. For example, wet conditions can pose issues that will impact traction and make steep terrain harder to climb. Additionally, steep terrains require more work in general.
Most riders don’t think about temperature either. For example, colder ambient temperatures during deer season make quick work of the eBike's lithium-ion battery.
Third, throttle type and power settings can also factor in. For example, a bigger motor and an open throttle could increase power, but they could also decrease your battery’s range. Basically, anything that provides more power also does so at the cost of battery life.
Additionally, plenty of electric hunting bikes with varying tire sizes and motor options, includingfat tire electric bikes, mid-drive electric bikes, etc., will influence the battery range.
Don't get all down and out about it, though. None of this means that the manufacturers are smudging the details of how far your hunting eBike will go.
Ultimately, to get an accurate estimate of how far your hunting eBike can go on a single trip, you need to understand its battery’s watt-hours.
Hunting eBike watt-hours measures how much electrical charge and output your battery can produce in an hour while using the throttle.
There are numerous battery cell options available hunters that must compare to the strength of your motor. So, for example, if you have a 200-watt motor and your battery is rated for 600 watt-hours, then you will have a full range of about 3 hours of continuous full-throttle use.
From there, we could get an approximate estimate of your electric bike’s range. So if your eBike can travel up to 50 mph at full throttle, then you could expect your eBike to travel around 150 miles on a single charge.
As discussed earlier, many things can impact your range, so having a heavier eBike with tons of hunting gear like a hitch or a luggage rack will eat into the range of your eBike.
With that said, you can’t count solely on watt-hours to determine your eBike’s range, but they serve as a helpful measurement to compare between competing models.
In other words, don't make the mistake of believing an eBike with a high watt-hour rating has a longer range than those with a lower rating because other specifications might make it less efficient. It's still something to read into. Just know that it means different things for different platforms.
The best way to find out your hunting electric bike’s range is to get out and test the bike before you take it out into the woods. Simulate the distance and power you’ll be riding the eBike out in the wild on a closed-loop track. This way, you can determine what changes in your loadoutor riding style, if any, you need to make to have the eBike travel as far as you need it.
It's also not a bad idea to do multiple laps until the battery is totally depleted to get a good idea of how far the bike will take you on a single charge.
Fortunately, if you are not satisfied with your hunting eBike range or want to improve it, there are some helpful tips below we’ve outlined for you.
Try to get into the habit of using pedal-assist or the throttle only when you need to. It might be tempting to hit the throttle like you're conquering the Aisle of Man when those long, flat straights appear, but be conscious of preserving your battery’s charge. Similarly, be sure to lay off the throttle and pedal-assist when descending steep hills and use gravity to your advantage.
Burying the throttle to overcome a steep incline or rocks will result in loss of traction, which is power wasted. Instead, apply the throttle smoothly at critical moments to give yourself a boost over whatever it is you're tackling. This tip also applies from a general safety perspective.
Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly. Too much or too little air in the tires will hurt your range. Routine maintenance of the bike, in general, is essential. Smoother operating parts heed the best efficiency.
What tools are vital for your next hunting trip? Do you need multiple carriages or attachments to carry one deer or a few fowl with you? Consider how many guns you need or even take off unnecessary gear used for everyday rides to improve efficiency and range.
Hunters know a thing or two about surveying their terrain and tracking wild game. Apply the same principles to tracing your hunting route. Avoid steep terrains and climbs, and make your path as quick and easy as possible to save on your hunting eBike’s battery life. It also pays to survey the land before hunting to know where wild game like to settle and the shortest paths to your destination.
To summarize, the eBike range a manufacturer provides you with is just a point of reference. While watt-hours help compare the relative power and battery capacity of different models, other factors will impact the overall range of your eBike.
Your gear, riding habits, and the places you take the bike will all impact just how many miles you can squeeze out of it.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend looking at user reviews and finding a company you can trust to provide you with anelectric hunting bike that meets your expectations.
After purchasing the right hunting eBike, take some time to learn to what extent you can push your electric hunting bike. You’ll find out what kind of range it has, how fast it can go, and how dependable it will be for those hunting trips that take up entire mornings and cross multiple miles.
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