This post was last updated on: August 1, 2020
Over the last couple of years, electric bikes have come a long way from something that was considered a novelty to a full range of capable products designed for specific purposes. And amongst the ranks of city cruisers and agile mountain units, we also saw the rise of hunting bikes.
If you think about it for a second, this was a match made in heaven. Whether you are following a trail, checking your traps or scouting, you need something to help you to quickly traverse rough terrains.
And what do you get when you put this neat feature into an affordable, powerful and durable body of a modified mountain bike? We’ll tell you – an offer no serious hunter can say no to.
Unfortunately, good ideas don't always translate to quality products and, as you would expect, the e-bike market is filled with half-baked units which should be avoided.
That is why we are going to round up five choices that are currently generating the most heat and try to see which one of them is the best hunting electric bike worth your money.
Before we proceed to important considerations and product reviews here is the short comparison table of the best e-bikes we covered for all of you who feel impatient.
The things you should consider before buying an electric hunting bike
Of course, before we proceed to actual reviews, we need to talk about some features that set these products apart. Essentially, hunting bikes should feature all the building blocks that make good electric bikes, but also throw into the equation a couple of features that come in handy once you girdle the rifle and wander off into the wild.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important mentions from both these feature categories.
The type of motor
The motor is a hearth of an electric bike. Its power and placement will largely determine how your e-bike will perform on different terrains. When it comes to hunting bikes, their motors can roughly be divided into three categories.
Rear hub motors – As the name suggests rear hub motors are placed inside the back wheel. Because they are easy to maintain, produce a lot of raw power and they are also very cheap to make, a lot of manufacturers use this type as their go-to choice. However, they produce low torque which means they are not that great climbers.
Mid drive motors – Mid drive motors are installed into a protective case located between the pedals. They don’t run the wheel directly but rather through the crank. This setup produces much stronger torque and allows the bikes to easily climb the hill. On the downside, they are a bit more expensive and harder to maintain.
Ultra mid drive motors – An upgraded version of mid drive motors. What sets them apart is improved performance and greater level of control over the vehicle.
The range is a feature that describes the power and efficiency of the e-bike's battery. Rather than telling you the battery's capacity (the number that means very little in real-life conditions), it tells you the distance your bike can pass in a single charge.
Needless to say, you’d want to buy a unit that allows you to pass as much of distance between forcing you to resort to pedals (not the most pleasant experience taking into account the weight of the hunting equipment).
Usually, higher quality units feature the range that sits between 30 to 50 kilometers.
As we just mentioned, hunting equipment tends to be quite heavy. And we haven’t even touched the issue of prey. If you are a big game hunter all these things can produce quite a heavy load. That is why you should aim for hunting bikes with a weight limit of at least 120 kilograms.
Keep in mind though, that loading heavier weights will take its toll on the bike’s range.
Although in the world of hunting bikes speed is not an absolute imperative (you’ll often ride the bike on rough off-road terrains that won’t allow you to safely reach the higher speed), it’s always good to have enough power to quickly close the distance between you and your prey.
So, even though you don’t need to be too excessive, you shouldn’t go below the usual 25 – 30kmh speed range.
This is an absolute must. Durability covers all the physical aspects of your bike – from the quality of its parts to the way they are put together.
As you are perfectly aware hunting often implies rough terrains and difficult terrains. If your bike is poorly made it will quickly be beaten into submission and no warranty in the world will be able to help you.
Keeping that in mind, you should aim for the units that feature at least a 12-month warranty that will allow you to properly test the vehicle and see does it have some hidden factory errors. Also, do your homework and read the fine print. Knowing what the warranty actually covers can save you a lot of money.
Furthermore, although electric bikes are almost never completely waterproof, you should make sure that your bike is at least water resistant and can deal with puddles and light rain.
Even if you never run your battery completely dry, there will come a point when you'll wish your bike is lighter. Like when you stumble upon the block that can't be avoided. Or you need to get the bike over the fence. And don't get us to start about hauling the vehicle into the truck.
You get the point – the lighter model you get, the better.
The level of noise
Although they are not the loudest vehicles in the world, e-bikes produce a certain level of noise that can scare off smaller prey. Your goal is to become as stealthy as possible and find the unit that produces the least level of noise possible.
Special features are all the small things that aren’t necessary but make life so much easier. In the context of electric hunting bikes, the usual suspects cover the likes of detailed LCD feedback, extensive speed settings, hydraulic shock damper, and other useful additions.
The great hunting bike roundup
Now that we know some of the most important things we should pay attention to, let’s take a detailed look at our contenders and see how they measure against the high standards we’ve just set.
The Best Hunting E-Bikes On The Market
1. BackCountry Mule
Editor's Choice, The best Electric Hunting Bike for 2020
This bike may be called Mule, but believe us is just as agile and fast as some of the wild animals you may be pursuing while riding on top of it.
It is a beauty and the beast packed into one beautiful aluminum body. So, our enthusiasm has probably spoiled you the winner of this roundup.
Still, we have a perfectly good reason to sing praises about this sturdy electric bike from BackCountry.
The frame is cast out from aluminum alloy that's both durable and light enough to keep the bike weight manageable. The tires are high-quality and offer very good traction improving the overall stability. Even the pedals saw the improvement over the previous iteration of the product and now feature the size that can comfortably accommodate boots.
All these parts are resistant to water and won’t pick up any rust no matter what kind of torture you subject them to. So, the foundations of Mule's greatness are more than solid.
When it comes to sheer power, Mule comes in two varieties – 750W and 1000W. Both these options are ultra mid-drive Bafang motors that easily climb steep terrains and produce some sweet core specs.
Namely, the bike can breeze at speeds up to pretty impressive 45km/h (in the 1000W variety) and cover the range of 64 kilometers on a single charge. Of course, these two numbers are mutually excluded but they still put on one pretty impressive performance. The load capacity scores rock-solid 136 kilograms.
This power is easily tamed with a left throttle that allows a great level of control over the bike, and capable hydraulic brake system makes sure you will be brought to a halt without flying off the seat.
Even if you run the battery dry, the capable Shimano Alivio 9-speed gearing will make sure you are able to traverse different terrains. We would like to see the inclusion of chrome in the cog-set, but this is a minor gripe.
As we can see, all these things make the Mule one incredibly capable hunting bike. The fact this vehicle is stacked with interesting features only help it to cement its place at the top of this list.
For instance, if you need to take a walk, you can put the bike into “walk-assist” mode and allow your vehicle to run at pedestrian speed. Also, you get the air fork suspension, shock-absorbing seat post, beautiful full-color LCD that gives you essential information about the vehicle’s status and many other things that makes riding all the more pleasant.
There are other things we would like to mention but we are running dangerously out of space. You get the idea, though. This Mule is more than worth your attention.
The things we liked
The things we didn’t like
2. Rambo R1000XP G3 Electric Bike
Speed: You can go up to 45 kilometers per hour.
The fact that Rambo R1000XP G3 somehow managed not to end on top of this roundup is a small miracle. This bike is so good. If it weren't for Mule's stellar performance it could've easily taken the number one spot. What ultimately brought it down was lack of consistency.
You see, when it’s good, R1000XP easily leaves Mule behind. However, it also features some drawbacks that seriously bring it down. What you’re left in the end is the hunting electric bike that’s still excellent on average. We still prefer more rounded specs, though.
So, Rambo R1000XP is powered by incredibly robust and snappy 1000W ultra mid drive motor that easily deals with any type of terrain you might throw under the bike’s wheels. The speed you can achieve clocks at around 45 kilometers per hour and you are also able to mount up to 136 kilograms of weight. All these numbers are pretty good.
Unfortunately, the range is all but great. Namely, R1000XP can pass only 32 kilometers in one run. Of course, if you don’t push the vehicle to its limits. These numbers are not bad, but they belong more in the entry-level market segment.
Fortunately, the good people from Rambo made sure to compensate for this noticeable drawback with some pretty impressive treats.
So, let's cover the bike's aluminum alloy frame – it's both capable to withstand all kinds of elements it can find in the open and environment and features one of the best looks in the market. Seriously, we haven't laid our eyes on something so beautiful in who knows how many years.
The braking system is excellent. This time, we have dual disk brake setup (203mm hydraulic disk rotor on the front and 180mm on the back) that makes braking so hassle-free you'll have a hard time reverting back to other units.
As you would expect from the manufacturer with such a strong reputation, the tires (this time we are treated with Maxxis Minion) are durable, produce excellent traction, and perform a healthy dose of the heavy lifting when it comes to shock absorption.
But, that’s only a half the story. RST Renegade front fork suspension system covers the other half and makes sure that no bumps on the road will decrease your control over the vehicle.
Unfortunately, R1000XP is surprisingly barren when it comes to special features. You get your standard full-color LCD display and a couple of options for mounting backpacks and trailers but that’s pretty much it.
So, what we are left with in the end is an excellent electric hunting bike with one major flaw – enough to lose the top spot. Still, if you are a hunter that requires powerful performance but uses the throttle only in short bursts, this might be the bike for you.
If you're considering this bike, but need a bit more info before buying, check out our in-depth QuietKat Rambo R1000XP Review.
The things we liked
The things we didn’t like
Speed: You can go up to 35 kilometers per hour.
It doesn’t make more than the fact that this bike features hub motor instead of mid drive to see why QuietKat’s Ranger can’t seriously compete with the previous two contenders. If you are living in a hilly area, good luck climbing the more serious inclines.
But, it’s also hard not to notice this neat vehicle costs a couple of grands less than the two bikes we just reviewed. If this sounds interesting it’s because it actually is.
And let’s get straight about that hub motor we used to disqualify Ranger from the race for the top spot – it actually works great. It’s silent, well-encased, runs the bike at speeds of up to 30km/h and mount the weights up to 132 kilograms. Its only drawback is the lack of produced torque which makes it unsuitable for climbing.
The motor is also very power-efficient so you won’t have a problem squeezing approximately 30 kilometers out of it – not great but still on par with much more expensive Rambo R1000XP.
Unfortunately, that is not the only compromise the bike makes to reach such a handsome price tag. This time we have the mechanical brakes instead of hydraulic and the number of different gears is dialed down to seven. Still, this is not the bike for hilly terrains – you’ll get enough variety out of it.
The thing we actually liked a lot is the stainless steel chain that's incredibly resistant to water, mud, and grime. We haven't had any problems taking care of its maintenance.
Throw into the equation a strong build, a water-resistant metal frame and a pair of pretty good tires and you’ll see why this cat can put up a very good fight.
Now, as you would expect from a budget entry, all semblance of advanced features is all but present. That’s not something we’re particularly thrilled about, but also not something much pricier bikes are guilty of. Still, would it be too much to ask for a carrier and a pair of decent mudguards?
In the end, all that is left to be said is that Ranger is undoubtedly a budget option, but a budget option that easily outperforms anything we’ve seen in this price range. The more demanding hunters will probably move on to some more capable piece of hardware.
But, if you don’t plan to carry too much weight or climb the sharp inclines, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here.
You can read more about the Ranger, as well as other QuietKat bikes on offer in this review.
The things we liked
The things we didn’t like
Range: 32 kilometers in a single charge
If Ranger was QuietKat’s attempt to establish itself as the king of affordable hunting electric bikes, Apex has to be its effort to challenge the heavyweights like Mule and R1000XP. At least that's the impression we got looking at its price. Well, it looks like QuietKat feels much more comfortable in lower price segments.
That doesn’t mean Apex is a bad bike. On the contrary, it has all the building blocks of a great vehicle. The thing is, the competition is just too harsh and QuietKat did nothing to set their product apart from the rest of the similar products.
To illustrate this we don’t have to go much further than the core specs. The bike is powered by a quality Bafang 1000W motor (this time mid drive, not ultra mid drive) that pushes the vehicle to speeds up to 40 kilometers per hour while allowing you to pass the range of 32 kilometers in a single charge – not bad, but far from stellar.
Once you run the battery dry and switch to pedaling you will get to choose between nine different gear settings. That’s on par with BackCountry’s Mule but still behind R1000XP’s 11-speed settings.
This impression casts its shadow over the rest of the bike as well. The high-quality aluminum alloy frame, the tires that do their job more than well, the hydraulic brake system (this time we don’t get the dual disk system) are all above the average, but neither one of them is worth talking about in more detail.
Ok, by now you’ve probably got the impression we are unfairly beating this poor bike into submission. That’s not the case – we actually loved this vehicle and loved it a lot. We are just struggling to find one reason to recommend it to you instead of some other contenders.
But, if you are rooting for QuietKat and don't mind spending a couple of thousands of dollars on a bike that doesn't truly excel at anything, you won't find anything particularly bad about this entry.
The things we liked
The things we didn’t like
Weight capacity: 132 kilograms
The fact that Rambo R1000XP lost its top spot to another bike (be it as capable as Mule) is weird. On the other hand, the fact that Rambo R750 C26 ended up as the obvious loser of this short roundup is positively shocking. But, for all of you in favor of this brand, don’t worry – we’ve ranked only the five best hunting bikes. And there is nothing bad at being fifth.
Either way, R750 C26 is Rambo’s attempt to use the brand name to find its audience in the lower price segments. As such, it offers solid specs and competent performance. Namely, the bike is (as the name suggests) powered by a 750W mid drive motor, which is pretty impressive at this price point.
The said motor produces the speed of 30km/h, the range of 30 kilometers and a weight capacity of 132 kilograms. Oh yeah, and the ability to climb smaller inclines, that's always good to have.
So we have at least one obvious advantage compared to QuietKat’s Ranger. The area where the latter product beats R750 to a punch is the overall refinement. The hub drive we’ve seen in Ranger may be, at least on the paper, weaker but it produces much smoother and snappier performance. In comparison, R750 feels somewhat loud and jerky.
Too bad because this affordable electric hunting bike retains some of the great things we’ve seen installed in its far more expensive cousins. That includes powerful aluminum alloy frame, high-quality tires, and even a dual disk braking system. With all the things said, the decision to limit gearing to only three speeds seems very curious to say the least.
Be that as it may, Rambo R750 is a compelling little bike that does a lot of things right. Its main problems fall in the same compartment as the ones we've seen when we talked about its expensive sibling. The good things are great – dual disk braking and mid drive motors are definitely amongst the honorable mentions.
These efforts, however, are undermined by the lackluster performance that brings the whole package down.
The things we liked
The things we didn’t like
We are finally at the end of the roundup, and as you’ve already concluded from our enthusiastic review BackCountry’s Mule takes the victory. Not by a landslide, but its achievements can't be ignored. We are talking about the hunting electric bike that checks all the important requirements and has no obvious flaws. What else could you wish for?
Well, maybe for a bit stronger performance and exciting design? If that’s the case, Rambo R1000XP might just be an option for you. As long as you stay within its somewhat limited range, you'll get a blast of this bike.
Last but not least, we have to mention QuietKat’s Ranger. We always like to see manufacturers knowing what features need to be sacrificed for their products to be cheaper. The truth is that Ranger sacrifices very little and puts on a performance that's far out of its price range.
A reward for those who read to the end..
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