91/100
Overall score
Users (0 reviews)
Our rating
91

freedare saiga tires

March 20, 2024

The FD Saiga All-terrain Fat Tire Electric Bike is pitched as the premier two-wheeler for riders of all stripes. As an e-bike designed to seamlessly transition between pavement and trails, it promises to elevate your daily commute and weekend adventures to new levels. This review aims to determine if its innovative technical features and rugged construction deliver on that ambitious promise.

The Saiga boasts cutting-edge specifications that could change how we view urban transportation and recreation. Powered by a potent 750-watt BAFANG motor, its performance both on and off-road is sure to impress. Additionally, integration of smart app control and GPS functionality could enhance convenience and safety for riders. However, questions remain as to whether its high price is warranted. So, what can you expect from the FD Saiga?

freedare saiga

Assembly

While FD markets the Saiga as 70% pre-assembled, reducing setup time, the remaining steps still require somewhat advanced mechanical skills. Tasks like installing the brakes, pedals, derailleur and fatty tires involve accurate adjustments and connections of small components. The instructions provide illustrations but limited handholding for novices. Mounting the heavy battery also necessitates decent strength. Beginners or those unfamiliar with bicycle mechanics may find full assembly a project only attempted with assistance. Nevertheless, it took me about 2 hours to fully assemble.

Pros

  • Comfortable to ride - Fat tires and upright riding position absorb road vibrations.

  • Powerful motor - 750W Bafang motor provides fast acceleration and hill-climbing ability.

  • High top speed - Can reach speeds up to 28 mph with only power.

  • Decent range - Rated range of up to 90 miles on pedal-assist allows for lengthy trips.

Cons

  • The battery is a hassle to charge - Large battery takes 8-10 hours to fully charge via the included charger.

  • Bit heavy for serious off-roading - At 79.3 lbs, it's heavier than dirt bikes and may struggle on advanced single tracks.

  • Needs better suspension - Front suspension is basic and small bumps are felt through the rigid frame.

FD Saiga Electric Components

Battery 

The Saiga employs a portable and lockable 20Ah lithium-ion battery that can be removed from the frame for storage or charging separately. FD estimates a maximum range of 90 miles, but this is optimistic under ideal conditions. Realistically, the 20Ah battery will likely provide 40-45 miles at top speeds using just the electric motor assistance. Riders utilizing the pedal-assist modes can expect a moderate boost, potentially achieving 70-80 miles of range. 

While not class-leading, the range is suitable enough for most daily urban commutes. However, removing and reconnecting the battery can prove fiddly, taking a couple minutes each way. Still, only occasional charging would be needed for typical use. Overall the removable battery offers flexibility, even if maximal quoted specs appear moderately inflated.

Motor

Powering the Saiga is a 750-watt Bafang rear geared hub motor. Rated for continuous output of 750W with peak bursts of up to 1000W, this motor delivers strong acceleration and climbing ability. Its high torque rating of 20 Nm consistently engaged and 80 Nm peak further enhances hill-scaling performance. As a geared hub motor located in the rear wheel, it drives the rear wheel directly for efficient power transfer. Additionally, its brushless design promotes excellent heat dissipation to prevent overheating, even during extended high-power rides. 

Combined with the intelligently programmed pedal assist sensor, riders enjoy smooth and natural power that feels far more like pedaling an ordinary bicycle, yet with added propulsion exactly when needed. This high-quality motor helps the Saiga redefine real-world e-bike capabilities.

Display

A large and clear TFT color screen installed on the handlebars allows riders to easily monitor key riding data. Through the intuitive LCD display, users can access important metrics like current speed, trip distance, power level setting, and remaining battery percentage. The multiple pedal assist modes are also selected via the interface. Its USB port additionally charging mobile devices directly from the e-bike's battery power. With all essential information concisely displayed, riders maintain convenient control and awareness of the bike's functionality without taking eyes off the path ahead.

saiga display

FD Saiga Mechanical Components and Accessories

Brakes 

Reliable braking performance is provided by a pair of dual hydraulic disc brakes. Unlike basic mechanical brakes that can fade in wet or demanding conditions, these hydraulic brakes deliver immediate and consistent braking power regardless of weather. Finely tuned stopping ability increases safety for both downhill sections and sudden slowdowns. The responsive disc brakes inspire confidence, enabling riders to fully focus on the road with quick, controlled braking available at the pull of the levers. Whether cruising or descending, the hydraulic system brings predictable, powerful braking to inspire confidence on every ride.

Tires

For confident handling over diverse surfaces, the Saiga rolls on high-quality Kenda 26 x 4.0-inch fat tires. Their oversized footprint provides a plusher and more forgiving ride, comfortably gliding over small cracks, rocks and bumps that might jar thinner tires. Meanwhile, durable tread compounds excel whether commuting on pavement or wandering off the beaten path. Whether put to use on grass, gravel, or snow, the wide, cushy tires never falter. Riders feel in control regardless of conditions thanks to sufficient grip and predictable cornering for leisurely cruising or spirited trail exploration.

freedare saiga tires

Frame & Suspension

Crafted from durable yet lightweight AL-6061 aluminum alloy, the Saiga frame stands up to rigorous day-to-day riding. Its construction allows for stiffness and transmission of power from the motor to the rear wheel. Up front, the full-suspension aluminum fork paired with balloon tires smoothly glides over cracks and bumps in the pavement. Combined with an IPX5 waterproof rating, riders can have confidence commuting in all-weather conditions. The alloy structure retains strength while minimizing weight to make climbs and accelerations feel effortless with each applied watt. It was engineered to withstand regular use and rugged adventure.

Drivetrain & Shifting

Changing gears with ease is made possible thanks to the reliable 7-speed Shimano rear derailleur system. Taking advantage of the full range of gears optimizes performance across varied terrains and inclines. Whether setting a leisurely cruising pace or tackling a steep hill, the precise shifting allows dialing in the optimal gear. Working harmoniously with the geared hub motor, any rider will appreciate the intuitive Shimano trigger shifters and precise shifting under load. The 7-speed drivetrain supplies just the right gear for every scenario to maximize control and enjoyment on every adventure.

freedare saiga motor

Throttle

Riders enjoy a precise acceleration experience thanks to the Saiga's thumb throttle integrated with a torque sensor. Rather than a simple on/off switch, the sensor detects the force applied to the right handlebar grip and matches the motor's power output accordingly. This allows for smooth, nuanced control like a gasoline vehicle when twisting the throttle. Riders can gradually ramp up speed for gentler merges into traffic or dial in sharper takeoffs. The torque-sensing system brings a more natural feel to accelerating, for an improved experience getting up to speed around town.

Extras & Accessories

Headlights

For safety after dark and low-light conditions, the Freedare Saiga features a powerful LED headlight mounted at the front of the handlebars. activating through a simple switch on the left grip or via the smartphone app. The bright headlight floods the road with light, illuminating the path ahead and enhancing visibility so riders can safely navigate evenings and poorly-lit areas with ease.

Stand 

The Freedare Saiga includes a handy built-in bike stand as an extra feature for convenience. Located near the pedals, this side stand kicks out easily to prop the bike up steadily when parked. Riders can utilize the stand at their destination to lock the bike upright without needing to find something else for it to lean on. This small addition saves effort and prevents damage when stopping for breaks.

Fenders

Freedare Saiga Fenders

When it comes to fenders, the standard Freedare Saiga model does not include pre-installed fenders. Customers have the option to add aftermarket aluminum fenders separately to their order to provide protection from road spray and debris kicked up by the wheels. Alternatively, buyers can select a Saiga version that includes fenders as an upgrade option, though they would need to be installed upon receipt of the bike.

App, GPS, & Antitheft

The Freedare Saiga contains a built-in GPS module that pairs with the Freedare app, granting it valuable security and convenience functions. Through the app, riders can track the location of their e-bike in real-time. While not a foolproof anti-theft system, this provides peace of mind against theft by allowing the bike to be located if ever stolen. Furthermore, the app serves as a diagnostics tool, notifying the rider of any issues that may arise with components. 

An intelligent onboard detection system identifies problems and reports them through the app. This lets riders know precisely what issues have occurred for quicker repairs. The GPS tracking and diagnostic features take the hassle out of ownership by enhancing visibility, security and maintenance of the expensive electric bicycle investment.

Handling

The Saiga handles well both in traffic and on light trails. Switching between full electric power and pedal assist is intuitive with the throttle, allowing quick starts from a stop. Dual hydraulic disc brakes enable confident, strong stops even at high speeds. While heavy at first for new riders, its weight quickly feels normal. An upright seating position and front suspension absorb bumps for comfort over lengthy rides. Wide fat tires provide stability on various surfaces. Overall the Saiga is easy to manipulate and comfortably rolls over pavements or beyond, limited only by the skill of the rider piloting this dependable urban mountain steed.

My Experience with the FD Saiga

I recently had the opportunity to test ride the Freedare Saiga fat-tire electric mountain bike. Having only basic bike assembly experience, I was able to construct the Saiga from its complete kit in around two hours by following the step-by-step instructions on Youtube. From the moment I began my initial test rides, I was incredibly impressed with the bike's powerful performance. With my 200+ pound frame, it had no problems achieving speeds up to 28 miles per hour and allowing me to travel well over 50 miles on a single battery charge. 

The electric motor provided more than enough pedal-assist up hills, letting me power past neighbors with comparable e-bikes with ease. The oversized tires excellently handled pavement as well as lighter off-road trails. In all of my real-world riding tests, the Saiga surpassed my expectations for speed, range and handling. I regret nothing when it comes to purchasing this bike. I look forward to getting a set-up where I can have my 7 year old ride on the back!

Conclusion 

In summary, the Freedare Saiga presents an affordable and versatile e-bike well-suited for daily urban commutes and weekend excursions. Its 750W geared hub motor supplies ample power for zippy acceleration and climbing ability, while the removable 20Ah battery provides acceptable range for most practical needs. Convenient features like the TFT LCD display, variable pedal assist modes, integrated lighting and alarm further enhance the ownership experience. 

Though somewhat heavy, its padded seat and suspension fork absorb bumps to keep riders comfortable on longer journeys. Capable Kenda fat tires and reliable Shimano shifting optimize traction and control on diverse surfaces. While not fully capable for intense off-roading, the Saiga strikes an excellent balance of performance, value and functionality for a do-it-all electric bicycle that expands riders' reach both in town and beyond city bounds.

Addmotor GRAOOPRO Cargo E-Bike Review
Our Rating - 91/100
logo

The Freedare Saiga is a formidable off-road warrior. The powerful motor and fat tires provide you with true versatility, while a 20Ah battery is much larger than similar bikes in the price range 


About the author

Ruaan is an electrical engineer born in South Africa and currently working in Oslo, Norway. He loves tech and gadgets and owns an electric car (Tesla) as well a front-wheel-drive electric bike. He rides his bike all year, even through snow and ice covered roads in the cold winter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}