Are you looking for an easier way to get to your blind or tree stand? Or perhaps check all your trail cams in a fraction of the time it takes today? Is that sweet spot you know getting harder to reach?
When you have to carry 50lbs of gear on your back for 5 or even 10 miles and if you’re lucky you have something to haul back out, using an electric bike built specifically for offroad and woodlands that is also capable of carrying your gear, wouldn’t that make the experience a whole lot more enjoyable?
Electric hunting bikes have been around for a few years and technology has come a long way. Today an ebike built specifically for the purpose of hunting can make a big difference to the success of your trip and every trip after that.
I recently sold an ebike to a hunter out in the mid west and as we got chatting about what type of components he would need it came up that getting the ebike was actually his wife’s idea.
She told him that since he was getting on in years and his knees were not as reliable as they once were, his wife would feel a lot better knowing he had the bike to help him get in and out.
If was the first time I really considered the emotional aspect of not only the hunter and the benefits the ebike brings to the hunt, but also to the piece of mind the family have.
Knowing the rider can still travel on the ebike without pedaling (in case of injury for example) by just engaging the throttle. Or just getting out of a precarious situation in a matter of second. The benefits stretch further than riding uphill with ease.
Anyway, I wanted to present to you what I feel are the best 7 ebikes for hunting on the market today. The list truth be told could have been 17 but who has time to read through all those?!
Before getting into the list of bikes I selected I thought it would be helpful to explain a few fundamentals and what actually makes a good ebike and more importantly what makes a good ebike for hunting, including the motor types, and how to calculate the range of the battery, as it’s the battery that determines range.
So what is an electric hunting bike?
Is it just an ebike with a slick camo paint job? Luckily not! Otherwise you wouldn’t get very far on one.
What makes an ebike adapt for hunting? Well, a regular ebike is basically a bicycle with a motor attached and a battery to power the motor. An electric hunting bike is so much more.
The really good electric hunting bikes that we’ll look at later in the write up start with the motor, a motor that is powerful enough to carry a 300lb rider and still tow a trailer with lots of gear. The bike is then designed and built around that motor.
The bike frame needs to be built to withstand the rough terrain yet be light enough to lift out of your pick up or trailer.
Front suspension is a very important aspect for a smooth ride. Nobody wants to clamp their finely tuned bow to their handle bars only to ride 10 miles rocking and vibrating all the way in.
Ebikes built for hunting also have fat tires ranging between 4” and 4.8” so most terrain is a breeze.
One ebike on the list (The Mule) actually has a walk-assist mode too. Imagine you are pulling a load on the bike trailer and you come to a terrain or hill that you’re not confident navigating on the saddle. You can walk beside the bike with the walk-assist engaged at 2.5 mph and the ebike does the heavy lifting.
As I explain which 7 ebikes make the list and why, take note of the different types of motors. The motor is the most important aspect of the ebike and depending on what you use it for and where you plan to use it, should be the biggest factor when choosing your next electric hunting bike.
Which ebike motor is best?
Well really it depends on what you’re planning on using it for. If you’re using it on moderate to rough terrain with some hill climbing a regular mid drive would be best suited.
If you know you will have some challenging hills and/or rough terrain that you need to be in complete control of the power output then the Ultra mid drive is the one that will get the job done best.
If you have moderate terrain with some hills but nothing too steep (not over 20°) a rear hub motor will do a good job and you won’t even need the higher priced mid drive or Ultra mid drive.
Rear Hub Motor
The rear hub sits inside the back wheel. The hub motor is simple and quite inexpensive to manufacture and so usually used on ebikes that don't need the hill capabilities of the mid drive which means a less expensive ebike. Hub motors tend to be more about raw power and brute force, it pushes from the back and can feel similar to the force of a motorcycle. One nice feature is since the rear hub spins the wheel, if the chain was to snap you could still get back to camp or home. The mid drive motor works with the drivechain so a snapped chain would prevent the bike from operating. Not so much an issue now with the bikes on this list as they all use harden steel chain links built to withstand the extra pressure put on the chain by the motor, but still something to consider...
Mid Drive Motor
Mid drive motors sit encased in the frame between the pedals and offer a more balanced, even force which feels more natural. Mid drive motors are known for higher performance and torque when compared to a traditional hub motor allowing it to perform better on hills.
One key reason is the mid drive motor drives the crank, instead of the wheel itself, multiplying its power and allowing it to better take advantage of the bike’s existing gears. Mid drive motors are more expensive than hub motors so the ebikes with this motor are a higher price point.
Ultra Mid Drive Motor
Ultra mid drive motors are the best motors on the market today. The Ultra mid drive motor is made by Bafang (G510) and has all the performance capabilities of the regular mid drive and more. A regular mid drive has both cadence and speed sensors, while the Ultra has a torque sensor too.
A torque sensor is the best control you can have over an ebike. The harder you push the more assistance you get proportionally. There are also sensors that will reduce power when the system senses that the rider is going to shift gears to make the shift smoother.
What about ebike range?
Well the range is determined by the battery. As long as you get a battery by a well known manufacturer like Samsung, LG or Panasonic the general rules apply. Get a lesser known lower quality battery and the lifespan and individual charges are not so great.
But how is ebike range calculated?
The way to calculate the range of an ebike is by checking the 2 key values, volts and Amp Hours (Ah).
When you multiply the number of volts by the number of Ah you get a new value, this value is known as Watt Hours. On average in real world terms an ebike will use around 20 watt hours per mile, so that is how we can figure it out.
Here’s an example: 48 Volts x 10 Ah = 480 Wh. 480 divided by 20 = 24 miles.
And that’s 24 miles with only throttle, no pedaling. If you use the pedal assist function the range can double.
There are factors that will vary this somewhat. Rider weight, wind conditions, terrain, uphill. Even really cold weather could cause you to lose 15% more battery juice compared to a nice Summers day.
But with the calculation I just showed you at least you can read an ebike listing and know the true range you get.
Anyway, Let’s get into it…
Let’s take a look at the Top 7 Electric Hunting Bikes for 2019….. and at any stage you want to check out the full description you can click on the model name or the image itself and the full ebike description will open in a separate page.
The Mule is available in either the 750 watt or 1000 watt and carries that phenomenal Ultra mid drive Bafang motor so the performance on steep hills and rough terrain makes this ebike a best in class.
Priced a few hundred bucks less than the other 1000 watt ebikes on this list yet it’s the only one that carries the Ultra motor. Built by hunters for hunters, the Mule comes as standard with front light, fenders, rear rack and Teflon liners to help prevent punctures.
The 750 watt model has a top speed of 20mph while the 1000 watt model reaches 28mph without pedaling. Stand over height of 26 inches so ranging from 5’6” to 6’4” this frame size is perfect.
The battery is a 48V, 14.5Ah extended distance built with Samsung cells. This particular battery releases energy more efficiently than most batteries so range can reach 40 miles on a single charge.
The Mule also has a cool walk-assist mode so if you need to get off and walk but don’t want to carry the gear you can engage the motor at 2.5mph and the bike will cruise along with you and do the heavy lifting for you.
The R750XP is Rambo’s 2018 model that was so successful they’re keeping it for 2019.
It has a Bafang mid drive 750 watt motor and is powered by a 48V, 11.6Ah Panasonic battery. Top speed of 20mph and can get over 20 miles of range. Stand over height of 28 inches. Comes in either the classic derailleur set up or a 3 speed hub.
Rambo Bikes have also the 1000 watt version of the model. Aptly named the R1000XP, same frame with a larger 1000 watt motor and a larger battery of 48V, 14.5Ah and a top speed of 28mph . The R750XP and the R1000XP are real good hill climbers making use of that mid drive so ideal for moderate to rough terrain and hilly areas.
This is also the model that was featured on Bowsite.com. You can see that video review here.
Since the Zion also has the mid drive it’s a good hill climber and can handle moderate to rough terrain.
Top speed of 20mph and with a battery of 48V, 11.6Ah you can go 20 miles unassisted (throttle only) before needing to recharge or swap batteries. There is also a 1000 watt version called the Canyon, same frame size with a top speed of 25mph. One key aspect between the 750 and 1000 watt models to bear in mind is the range. While the Canyon 1000 watt has a higher top speed, the battery size is the same so the motor requires more juice from the battery to power the larger motor so 20 mile range would be absolute best case scenario with 18 miles more realistic.
The Electric Juggernaut is a unique ebike hybrid, it’s like the lovechild between a bicycle and an ATV.
The Electric Juggernaut is truly an all terrain vehicle. It has 2 massive fat tires up front, each one with it’s own front suspension and one wheel at the bike. Originally designed for riding the soft sand dunes of California hunters quickly saw the potentials for taking it offroad. With 2 wheels upfront it can tackle even soft snow and no risk of the front wheel washing out.
It also uses a Bafang mid drive motor and can tackle all types of terrain and hills.
It has a 1000 watt motor and 52V, 15Ah battery. Top speed is 22 mph and a range of approx.. 18 miles unassisted and over 50 miles on pedal assist. The range is hindered by the extra size and weight and that why the range unassisted is not as far as some of the other models listed.
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.
The Ranger reaches a top speed of 19mph unassisted and go for 20 miles unassisted on a full charge, if assisted by pedal assist the range can double. Stand over height is 32 inches.
The beauty of the Ranger is what you get for the price. It’s a Quietkat bike, so built to last, and if you don’t need to tackle steep hills you can save $1000 and choose the rear hub motor Ranger.
The Storm is built by the same guys that make the Mule so that’s already a guarantee.
The Storm by BackCountry eBikes comes in either 750 watt or 1000 watt, both versions are the Bafang Ultra mid drive so you get the best motor there is. The Storm is also full suspension (the only one one the list). It’s built for extreme terrain and offroad. It’s very agile and can go pretty much anywhere.
It has a larger wheel base, all the other ebikes of the list have the standard 26” wheels and fat tires. This has 27.5” wheels and a slightly smaller 3” tire compared to the usual 4” to 4.8”.
With the extended distance battery made of Samsung cells with 48V, 14.5Ah you can expect to get 40 miles on a single charge. This model is more of a joyride than a cruiser so choose wisely, if you choose the Storm you may have too much fun!
The Warrior boasts a 48V, 11.6Ah but since it’s powering the 1000W motor the range is approx.. 18 miles per charge if unassisted. Double that if using the pedal assist mode.
With a stand over height of 32 inches it’s a larger frame size so can feel big to anyone 5’8” or smaller.
The aggressive style makes it look and feel powerful. Like all Quietkat ebikes, the frames is rustproof and has a lifetime warranty against flaws in workmanship. It’s built to take abuse and rise above. It will raise your hunting success and make it look easy. Mid drive motors are notoriously quiet so there’s no spooking game.
Whichever electric hunting bike you choose, take a look at some of the benefits:
- Go Farther – Electric hunting bikes help you go farther in a fraction of the time it would take to walk in
- No Scent Trail - With an electric hunting bike you can move around without leaving a scent trail and gain a very important advantage when you need it most.
- Move Stealthily – Electric hunting bikes are surprisingly quiet so you don’t spook the game.
- Carry Extra Gear - They are built to carry 300lbs and if that’s not enough the trailers can carry an additional 100lbs so you can make it one quick effortless trip in and out instead of a tiring back and forth lugging heavy gear on your back. Plus the bunch of other accessories available like rear racks and waterproof saddle bags for extra storage on the bike and not on your back.
- Stay Out Longer - With the possibility to carry more gear and supplies you can stay out longer than before.
- Age is Not a Factor - Electric hunting bikes make it easier for anyone to reach distant spots without the fatigue of hiking with gear so no matter your age or physical stature those once forgotten golden spots are attainable again.
- Limited Mobility Not an Obstacle - Hunters with limited mobility, whether it’s an old injury that didn’t heal properly or a life changing injury, an ebike for hunting can make a world of difference and get you back out hunting again.
- Reach Remote Unspoiled Spots - You can go farther than the weekend warrior is willing to walk. Leave them behind and take your hunting ebike to that remote location.
- Check Trail Cameras Quickly - Electric hunting bikes can go between 20 and 28 mph depending on the model. You can check your perimeter and trail cameras and be back before you miss anything.
- Stay Safe – These hunting ebikes are fast so you can get out of a potentially dangerous situation in seconds
- Environmentally Friendly - Hunting is also about preservation. Ebikes are extremely friendly to the environment.
I’d love to know what you all think, and if you have another model you would put on this list. I could have had a dozen more bikes of the same caliber get a mention but this is a good start.
If you have any questions about any of these ebikes you can drop my an email on John@eBikeGeneration.com. I’d be happy to help you find the best electric hunting bike for your needs.