If you’re like me, you probably run a ton of small errands around town each week. Taking kids to the daycare/school, getting groceries, and going to the gym, are just some that come off the top of my head.
All these little trips usually involve driving a car, which also means dealing with traffic and finding a parking place. This can get pretty frustrating.
But, with the rise of the popularity of e-bikes, people are ditching their cars and turning to e-bikes for all their short-to-mid daily trips - more specifically, cargo bikes.
And thanks to the growing popularity of e-bikes, cargo bikes have never been cheaper. On top of that, even an entry-level model offers insane value.
enter Hovsco Hovcart - a reasonably-priced cargo e-bike with a pretty decent motor and enough range to last you for weeks.
On top of all that, you can also get a bunch of different racks and boards that can turn this bike into a modern pack-mule. I can easily see myself rocking Hovcart as my daily driver. Keep on reading to find out why.
Although it’s priced as a mid-range bike, Hovcart features a pretty basic frame design. Most other bikes in this price range are more akin to electric motorbikes rather than bicycles.
The story is completely different with Hovcart. The frame is as basic as it gets. There are no accents, cosmetic panels, or embellishments - you get a bunch of twisted 6061 aluminum alloy tubes that’ll hold this bike together for years to come.
Now, just because the frame design is basic, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with some advanced features.
For starters, all the cable routing is done through the frame. This means you won’t have to worry about accidentally snagging or pulling on the shifter cable, or, god forbid, you accidentally cut any of the electrical wires. It also means it’s pretty light - weighing just a sliver more than 66 lbs.
Then you have the integrated battery. This has become almost an industry standard, but there are still a few budget-friendly brands that still stick to semi-integrated batteries.
When it comes to carrying cargo, since this is a cargo bike, you get a pretty big rear cargo rack. The rack has a max cargo capacity of around 250 lbs which is more than enough for carrying just about everything - from passengers to cargo.
If a single cargo rack isn’t enough, you can always get a front rack addon as well as a back cushion and running boards. This will cost you a little extra, but it will turn this bike form a basic cargo bike to a multifaceted family packmule bike.
Hovercraft also features a front suspension. Unfortunately, it only has 45-milimeters of travel which is just enough to make riding over pavement comfortable - but not much else. I took this bike to my local dirt trail, and my back and buttcheeks were sore for the whole day.
The real star of the Hovcart has to be its motor.
This bike comes with a 750-watt 48V brushless rear hub motor that can really pull some weight. Even when at full capacity, this bike will be able to reach the top speed of 28 MPH in a matter of seconds.
Not only is the motor powerful, but it’s also insanely torquey for a cargo bike. The second you turn the pedals, you’ll feel all 85 Nm of torque this motor can produce to propel you forward. This also means Hovcraft can climb hills like it’s nobody’s business.
The only thing that’s kind of impeding the motor from really shining is the drivetrain. The Shimano drivetrain that comes with Hovsco is intended for more tame city streets rather than off-road trails. With that said, you can take this bike on a dirt road and have a pretty fun time without the shifter skipping a beat.
When it comes to controlling the motor, it’s your standard e-bike setup. You have your control cluster buttons on the right-hand side of the handlebars with buttons for selecting the level of pedal assist, turning the integrated light on/off, as well as selecting what information the LCD screen displays.
Speaking of LCD screens, the one on the Hovcraft is a real thing of beauty. You’ll have no trouble reading it even under direct sunlight and you can also download the Hovsco app and further customize your bike. You can even transform Hovcraft from a class 2 to a class 3 bike with just a couple of taps.
There’s also a thumb throttle conveniently located right next to the left-handle grip. It’ll come in useful when you get tired of pedaling.
Hovcart comes with a 48V 15Ah battery that provides around 60 miles of range.
However, the only way you can squeeze out that mileage from the battery is if you rode this bike on PAS 1 and were lighter than a feather. I clocked in around 40 miles before the battery finally died. This is still pretty impressive, especially for a bike that’s pretty hefty.
This battery also comes with a feature unique to Hosco - it comes with a freaking LED light. That’s right; you can take this battery out and use it as some sort of flood light. I don’t know why you would want that feature, but there you are.
Hovsco imagined you’d be taking this bike on camping trips, but with only 45 millimeters of travel on that front suspension, I don’t see how that's a good idea.
I guess the light will be useful if you ever get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of the night and need something to signal others your location.
When it comes to recharge time, it’s your standard 4 to 6 hours. You can charge it either while it’s on the bike or you can take it out and charge it somewhere more convenient.
The battery is secured inside the frame with a simple lock mechanism. Taking it out is as easy as turning the key and sliding it out.
If you’re planning on making this bike your daily driver, I recommend you get a spare battery. This way, you’ll never run out of gas.
One thing is for sure, Hovsco didn’t skimp on the brakes. Hovcart comes with Tektro hydraulic brakes with 180-millimeter rotors.
If you ask me, 180-mm rotors are kind of overkill on this bike, but that’s just a minor nitpick.
The brakes on this bike will get you to a full stop in just a couple of feet, and they’re pretty easy to maintain since you don’t have to adjust the brake cable every now and then.
On top of that, these brakes make this bike perfect for off-road riding, only if it wasn’t for that subpar drivetrain.
But, if you don’t mind voiding the warranty, you can upgrade the shifter and the casset for something more sturdy and turn this bike from a city commuter to an offroad beast.
Wheels And Tires
Hovcraft comes with gigantic 20x4 inch tires. The best thing about these tires is that they absorb almost all hits and bumps under you.
But then we hark on back to that front suspension with almost no travel.
These tires will ensure your ride is as smooth as butter as long as you’re on good old pavement. However, the second you hit a dirt road, your butt, lower back, and arms are going to feel every little hit and bump.
Pros And Cons After Testing
Even with its drawbacks, there’s a lot to like about Hovcart.
Let’s start with the obvious; the bike can carry an insane amount of cargo. This makes it perfect for grocery runs, taking your kids to school, and even for tame off-road adventures. The rear rack alone is pretty spacious, but you can further expand cargo space by purchasing a front rack and a rear-mounted basket.
Then you have that beefy 750-watt motor that can churn out 85 Nm of torque on a drop of a dime. This means you’ll be able to reach the top speed of 28 MPH in a matter of seconds and go over hills like they’re nothing.
Lastly, there’s the chonky battery that provides around 40 miles of range. Sure, Hovsco claims you can squeeze 60 miles out of the battery, but that’s under heavily controlled circumstances. Still, 40 miles is still insane for a cargo bike in this price range
The only thing that’s dragging this bike down is the sub-par suspension. 45 millimeters of travel is maybe enough for riding over pavement, but the second you hit a dirt road, you realize how little suspension you actually get.
Advice To Consumers
Even with its drawbacks, Hovsco Hovcart is still a pretty good choice for anyone that’s looking for a daily commuter. You get plenty of cargo space, a buttery smooth ride, and more range than you could ever need.
Our Rating - 85/100
Buttery smooth ride, lots of range, and a beastly motor - Gogobest GF600 brimming with value. You could easily mistake it for a high-end mountain bike if it wasn’t for some entry-level components.