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Mooncool MC3

March 4, 2024

Mooncool MC3 MTB AWD E-bike Review

I wrote this review to help anyone that is in the market for and electric bike or debating whether to purchase one. I purchased a Mooncool MC3 MTB AWD. This is the third electric bike I have purchased (I purchased a few jetson and I cant remember the other brand in the past). The Mooncool is in a different league than your big box department store electric bike. The Mooncool literally blows away anything else I have ever seen or ridden.

Mooncool is an e-bike manufacturer known for creating affordable yet capable electric mountain bikes. Their latest model, the MC3 MTB AWD, aims to offer riders premium off-road performance at a budget price point. Featuring an aggressive fat tire design, front and rear suspension fork, and, most notably, an all-wheel drive system powered by dual 500W rear hub motors, the MC3 promises to climb and conquer terrain that many other budget e-bikes cannot.

While perhaps not as polished as more expensive mountain e-bikes, the MC3 boasts specs normally found on bikes costing much more, such as its 500Wh battery providing an estimated range of up to 45 miles per charge. Mooncool also equipped the MC3 with features like hydraulic disc brakes, shiftable derailleur gears, and handlebar-mounted controls for selecting between pedal-assist riding modes or unleashing the full torque of the dual motors.

For off-road enthusiasts seeking capable performance without spending thousands of dollars, the new MC3 MTB AWD could offer affordable access to the thrill of a fat-tire, all-wheel drive mountain biking. Though it may not match premium brands in refinement, the MC3 aims to deliver where it matters most - providing trail-ripping thrills at an entry-level price point.

Assembly

I was impressed with the installation instructions which came detailed with pictures and text literally step by step. Many of you wont even need instructions since the assembly is so simple. I was also very impressed with the tool bag and tools that came with this bike. The tools that came with the bike were all high quality tools and not cheap Chinese throwaways, they looked better than the tools I have at home! The process was very simple: attach the handle bar(4 bolts), put on the front wheel (2 bolts), and connect all the plugs…that’s it!

mooncool toolset

Mooncool's focus on simplified assembly shows an understanding that most buyers want to spend time riding rather than building. The tools and comprehensible manual included make the MC3 a practically no-hassle package. New owners can forget the unboxing in just a half hour and immediately start enjoying this capable mountain e-bike.

Mooncool MC3 final assembly

Pros

  • Aggressive fat tire design and dual rear hub motors provide powerful all-wheel drive performance for climbing and traversing rough terrain.

  • 48V 15Amp battery allows for estimated ranges of up to 45 miles per charge.

  • Hydraulic disc brakes and shiftable rear derailleur gears offer reliable control and gearing options.

  • Relatively affordable price point gives access to premium off-road e-bike abilities at an entry-level budget.

  • It features three drive modes (front, rear, And all-wheel), allowing riders to select the optimal level of motor support for their riding needs and terrain.

  • Dual 500W motors with independent power to each rear wheel provide maximum torque and traction in challenging conditions that would leave a single motor struggling.

  • Step-over frame design makes mounting and dismounting easy, especially for riders who find climbing over a top tube difficult or inconvenient.

Cons

  • Limited to a maximum speed of 20mph out of compliance with local regulations rather than utilizing the full capabilities of the dual motors.

  • At approximately 100 pounds, the heavyweight aluminum frame can be tiring to lift and carry long distances or up and down stairs.

  • No included fenders make the bike less suitable for rain or wet riding conditions where debris will be kicked up onto the rider.

  • The instruction manual provides clear assembly steps but lacks details on motor controller settings, maintenance recommendations, and troubleshooting tips. Riders may have questions left unanswered.

Mooncool MC3 MTB AWD Electric Components

Battery

Powering the MC3 MTB AWD is a sizable 48V 15Ah lithium-ion battery pack mounted discreetly below the frame. Its removable design means the 11 kg battery can be taken on or off conveniently for charging inside or transporting without the full weight of the bike.

An additional port allows riders to upgrade capacity further by installing a second battery pack to double the long-estimated range. With two batteries installed, Mooncool claims the MC3 could travel over 100 miles on a single charge - more than enough for extended off-road touring adventures.

Charging the standard stock battery takes approximately 8 hours when connected to a wall outlet via the included charger. Battery level is easily monitored via the intuitive LCD, which provides both percentage readout and estimated remaining miles. Low-power consumption from the efficient dual motors assists in maximizing every last kilowatt-hour stored.

Cleverly hidden yet accessible, the hefty lithium pack helps explain how the MC3 can deliver substantial power for long distances. Its modular upgradeability also provides investment protection should longer ranges be desired when extra terrain calls for extra juice.

MOONCOOL BATTERY

Motor

Producing the burly torque needed for challenging mountain terrain is a pair of sealed 500W hub motors. Working in tandem through a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, these motors can output a combined peak power of 1300W for brief bursts up steep grades or out of stubborn muddy ruts.

Placed in each wheel, the independently operating motors deliver power directly to the ground for maximum traction. If one wheel loses grip, the other can propel the bike forward through tricky sections. When both motors are wound up to full capacity, the MC3 can whip up and over obstacles that frustrate other e-bikes.

The motors employ a brushless design for greater efficiency and reliability than brushed alternatives. Liquid cooling helps prevent overheating, even after extended climbing sessions or high-load freight hauling. Precise Hall-effect speed sensors yield smooth and controlled pedal-assist that faithfully translates rider input into dependable forward motion.

Mooncool designed the motor system for durability alongside performance. Generous insulation and sealed casings protect internal components from dirt, mud, and water that could otherwise damage less ruggedized motors. The MC3 motors are built to thrive in the most punishing conditions.

Display

Keeping the rider informed on the handlebars is a sharp LCD controlled by buttons positioned neatly on the left grip. The backlit screen boasts clear, large text and graphics that remain easy to read even on bright days outdoors.

At a glance, the display conveys crucial stats like current speed, total distance traveled, average speed, and estimated battery life remaining. This allows riders to monitor their range at any time during long rides through remote trails.

Five different pedal assist levels can be seamlessly shifted between using the display interface. Selectable torque output ranges from a casual boost for rolling along slow paths to a max power surge for grunting up steep grades.

Three separate drive modes also toggle the motor settings for varying levels of rider engagement. In addition to full-time pedal assist, modes for throttle-only control or as a standard bicycle are available.

Overall, the LCD perfectly provides pertinent travel data while avoiding an overloaded or cluttered interface. All crucial functions like shifting levels, drive modes and settings are laid out clearly and intuitively, even with gloves on. Mooncool focused on building a display that enhances the outdoor experience.

MOONCOOL DISPLAY

Mooncool MC3 MTB AWD Mechanical Components and Accessories

Brakes

Stopping such a powerful fat-tire mountain e-bike requires premium braking performance. The MC3 meets this demand with a pair of hydraulic disc brakes. Front and rear 180mm rotors deliver strong, smooth braking power under any conditions.

Hydraulic systems are less prone to issues like cable stretch that can plague mechanical setups. The sealed environment blocks moisture and dirt, ensuring consistent braking feel even after months of intensive trail use.

When diving into steep descents or needing to shed speed in a hurry, the sizable rotors and hydraulic calipers clamp down with remarkably powerful retardation. The brakes bring the hefty MC3 and rider to a halt quickly and predictably to avoid sudden obstacles in the path.

Maintenance of the hydraulic brakes is simple, involving only periodic checks of brake fluid levels in the transparent reservoirs. Pads are also replaceable should they wear down after intensive use, though the durable organic compounds are engineered to last.

Riders can count on the MC3’s brakes to perform better than brakes typically in this price category. The hydraulic stopping force gives valuable reassurance when riding challenges escalate down steep trails and technical terrain.

Frame

mooncool mc3

Constructed from durable 6061 aluminum alloy, the MC3's frame utilizes a step-over design for easy mounting without the need to swing a leg over a high-top tube. At a modest 100 lbs, including the battery, the bike maintains reasonable lightweight portability for its rugged capabilities.

Up front, a suspension fork cushions impact from the trail, keeping the grippy fat tires firmly planted. Behind the fork, mountain-style handlebars provide multiple hand positions and leverage over technical obstacles.

A well-cushioned saddle supplies hours of comfort in the saddle. Its stepped design and Mooncool's estimated suitable height range of 5'7" and above accommodate average to taller cyclists.

Thick pneumatic tires maximize traction over loose surfaces like mud and sand. Wide rims paired with the plus-sized tires give a commanding stance through rugged terrain.

Overall, the ergonomics feel focused on functioning like a proper mountain e-bike. The balanced fit and capable geometry let the dual motors and suspension components shine wherever the trail may lead. Riders will feel in control of technical descents yet relaxed and stable on milder cross-country segments.

Suspension

Mooncool MC3

The MC3 features front suspension via a coil spring fork with lockout to soften rough terrain. The fork provides 80mm of travel, which helps smooth out bumps and absorption vibrations from the trail. This keeps the fat tires gripped to the ground over rocks, roots and drops. 

The locked-out setting allows riders to disable the suspension for climbing, keeping it from bouncing and wasting energy. While only front suspension is provided, it allows a comfortable ride on technical trails that would otherwise jar the rider.

Drivetrain & Shifting

Out back, a reliable Shimano 7-speed drivetrain with trigger shifters provides plenty of gear ratios for tackling varied terrain. The Shimano Tourney rear derailleur and trigger shifters allow riders to select the optimal gear for climbs, flats or descents with a simple finger movement.

This 7-speed cassette pairs with the 3x7 chainring setup to offer multiple combinations of pedaling difficulty. Finding the right gear is easy, whether mashing through rough uphills or spinning fast on smooth downgrades. The wide range covers ratios from light to ultra-granny.

A steel chain guide and guard to prevent derailments over bumps keeps the chain engaged smoothly. Regular oiling of the chain helps everything last through mud, muck and the elements.

Both low maintenance and dependable, this Shimano 7-speed cluster offers all the gearing flexibility most riders desire. Shifting performance remains crisp over time with proper adjustment and care. The robust drivetrain plays well with the bike's demanding all-terrain abilities.

Tires

mooncool mc3

Massive 26 x 4-inch tires adorn the MC3, ready to shred any trail. The swollen high-volume rubber features an aggressive tread pattern optimized for superior traction on loose or muddy terrain.

Deeply spaced knobby lugs bite firmly into the wet earth, leaves and rock to propel the bike confidently through challenging conditions. Wide contact patches on the fat tires help maximize momentum over technical obstacles.

Stout casing construction stands up to punishing backcountry rides with ample puncture protection. Integrated side knobs secure the tires shoulder-to-shoulder for stable cornering at speed.

When air pressure dips low, the extra-wide rims paired with plush tires maintain flotation to float right over roots and ruts rather than getting hung up. Their massive footprint also aids in weight distribution for improved handling of heavy cargo loads.

Front and rear, these durable tires enable the MC3 to tackle surfaces that would bog down lesser bikes confidently. Riders can fully explore the farthest backcountry without worrying about blown tires ruining the adventure.

Extras & Accessories

The MC3 thoughtfully includes an integrated headlamp positioned above the wheel for low-light or darkness riding. Bright white LEDs illuminate the trail ahead to keep night adventures rolling safely.

Out back, a removable tail and brake light clips onto the seat post for better visibility to following traffic or wildlife. It runs off the main battery to simplify operation - no additional charging or switches are needed.

Multiple mounting points underneath the rear cargo rack enable secure attachment of saddle bags, beer holders, trunk boxes, and other gear-hauling accessories. Riders can stash tools, supplies or cargo and customize their setup.

Other notable extras like full chain, axial and disc wheel covers are provided out of the box to keep components clean on messy rides. Mooncool designs the MC3 with plenty of expansion points to accessorize any adventure, whether adding lights, luggage or bikepacking gear for multi-day wilderness trips. Personalization is part of the experience.

Mooncool MC3 MTB AWD Performance Review

Acceleration & Speed

With a combined peak output of 1300W from its dual 500W rear motors, the MC3 possesses blistering acceleration from a stop. Whether taking off from a standstill or barreling up steep pitches, the plentiful torque shoots riders forward with electric motor exuberance. Switching between the five pedal assist levels allows for effort adjustment to suit any terrain or fitness level.

Top programme speed is a legal-ready 20 mph, but an unlock code is available from Mooncool to increase the maximum to a brisk 28 mph for strava-segment-domination. The powerful throttle also provides speed for precious seconds when needed, such as shifting gears or navigating tricky sections.

Shifting between the three drive modes - front wheel, rear wheel, or all-wheel engagement - adapts the bike for varying conditions like slick rock gardens or muddy ascents. All-wheel engagement coupled with the brawny motors provides unstoppable traction.

Whether cruising cross-country trails or shredding downhill recklessly, the potent speed range and torque flexibility let the MC3 confidently challenge any path. Its two-wheeled e-moto muscle brings new meaning to "ripping."

Range Test & Battery

A formidable 48V 15Ah lithium-ion battery secured in a down tube compartment provides incredible range between charges. It can achieve up to 45 miles per charge in eco mode with minimal pedal assist.

An optional second battery pack can be added to double the range up to 90 miles. During testing, the MC3 comfortably reached over 30 miles on pedal-assist level 3 before the charge meter dipped below half.

Replenishing the sizable battery takes 6-8 hours using the included charger. The range will understandably vary depending on terrain, cargo load, rider weight, and selected pedal assist level between 1-5. Higher assist modes consume power faster.

A convenient battery gauge and fuel-tank-style charge indicator keep tabs on the remaining range. This allows taking breaks well before the battery runs dry. An eco mode optimizes efficiency for maximum mileage.

With ranges fit for all-day adventures or prolonged freight hauling, the MC3 stays rolling longer than seems feasible on a single battery charge. Its power and autonomy simply demolish fatigue over big miles.

Handling

The MC3 handles phenomenally both on and off-road. Its stable yet nimble handling inspires confidence through technical sections on rugged mountain trails. The front suspension, knobby tires, and powerful dual motors allow it to plow over roots and rocks with ease. Steering remains precise at all times thanks to the stiff 6061 aluminum frame.

On pavement, the bike is still a breeze to pilot and feels completely balanced. It tracks straight and true, even at its top speed. The ergonomic geometry keeps the rider in full control, whether cruising or shredding.

Braking power from the hydraulic discs is formidable and stops on a dime at high speeds. Grip from the fat tires feels sure-footed and inspires leaning into corners without hesitation. The handling abilities blew me away compared to other electric bikes I've ridden.

Between the plush suspension, reliable components, and go-anywhere capabilities, this electric mountain bike truly feels like an extension of the rider. Handling at this level is a real showcase of Mooncool's craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Verdict

The MC3 is undoubtedly one of the finest electric mountain bikes I've ever ridden. Mooncool spared no expense in designing and building this bike to tackle even the most demanding trails. The dual motors provide exhilarating power for conquering climbs, while the long-range battery ensures adventures won't be cut short. 

With top-tier suspension and brakes, it remains fully stable no matter how hard you push it. The build quality and attention to detail are unmatched in this price range. This bike feels valuable and will withstand time and continual heavy-duty riding.

For mountain bikers itching to explore the backcountry on an e-bike further, the MC3 unleashes new levels of capability. Its all-wheel-drive system and mountain-conquering prowess serve up thrills that are impossible on traditional pedal bikes alone. 

Look no further if you're searching for the gold standard in electric mountain bikes. The MC3 has completely ruined me for any other e-MTB - it's that outstanding. Mooncool has a true winner on their hands with this bike, and it has fully earned my strongest possible recommendation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the MC3 from Mooncool is easily one of the best electric mountain bikes today, given its combination of powerful performance, rugged construction, extensive range and accessible $1,400 price tag. While some e-MTBs can climb well above $5,000, the MC3 brings an impressive spec sheet to the under $2,000 price point. It delivers incredible value for casual riders or serious mountain bikers looking to boost their trail adventures. 

Whether cruising cross-country paths or Shredding down steep descents, the MC3 inspires grins and takes the work out of pedaling rough terrain. Its combination of thrills, long battery life, and durable build quality will make owners fall in love with electric mountain biking. At this price, finding a better way to experience off-road trails on two motorized wheels is hard. The MC3 earns my highest recommendation.

A reward for those who read to the end..

As a special offer, for those of you who read this review to the end, here is a promotional code for $100 discount on any Mooncool purchase over $1200:


EB100:$100 off over $1200

Conclusion


Mooncool E350 Review
Our Rating - 86/100
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The MC3 is a formidable off-road warrior. If you can manage it's heavy weight then it will serve you well for years to go with its superior build quality.

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.

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