QuietKat has carved its piece of the market pie by producing e-bikes that specifically cater to hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.
But what happens when a company with a treasure trove of knowledge on how to build a sturdy bike decides to build a commuter bike?
Well, you get the Villager!
I clocked in around 50 miles with this bike in the past two weeks and had a blast. The bike is just as comfortable on the pavement as on rougher terrains such as gravel or dirt.
Although it doesn’t come with a beastly motor like some QuietKat’s bikes, Villager is still pretty capable.
Sure, you won’t be able to explore your local backwoods, but that’s not what Villager is designed for. This bike shines over slightly rough roads and, of course, good ol’ pavement.
So, if you’re looking for a commuter that can handle an occasional off-road adventure, keep on readin’!
The first thing that really surprised me about Villager is how lightweight it is. I mean, you expect a rugged commuter to weigh anywhere between 60 and 80 pounds.
Surprisingly, this is not the case with Villager. It weighs just a smidge above 50 lbs. I don’t know which aluminum alloy they used, but it can’t be the regular 6061 most other brands use. And it figures since this bike is on the pricier side.
Of course, one of the reasons why Villager is so lightweight is probably because it features a step-through frame. The lack of an upper tube probably shaved off more than 5 pounds.
Although lightweight, Villager can carry as much as a pack mule. To be more exact, the max carry weight on this bike is 325 lbs. This means you’ll have no trouble lugging a week’s worth of groceries and still have room left.
Unfortunately, there’s not much cargo space. There’s a pretty hefty rear cargo rack, but you’ll need more if you’re planning on using Villager as your commuter. Thankfully, QuietKat sells a front cargo rack addon pretty cheap, all things considered.
My biggest gripe with this bike’s frame is how small it is. I had to pull the seat post all the way up to be comfy. I don’t know why QuietKat just doesn’t release this bike in more frame sizes, but it’s not like they’re going to listen to me - a rando on the Internet.
Since this is a, let’s say, entry-level e-bike, it doesn’t feature the most powerful motor. But the motor doesn’t have to churn out 1500 watts of power for you to have fun.
Villager features a rear-hub 500-watt motor from BaFang. The motor can churn out an additional 200 watts in a pinch, so don’t worry about it ever stalling in the middle of a hill climb.
Another reason why this motor isn’t that powerful is because Villager is a class 2 bike. This means its max speed is just 20 MPH.
At least the motor is pretty torquey. On max PAS, the bike will accelerate to the max speed in just a couple of turns of the pedals.
Speaking of peda assists, I’ve noticed that ther amount of assistance you get on the first two levels is almost negligible. So you basically get just three levels of pedal assist instead of five, which is pretty disappointing for a relatively expensive bike.
When it comes to controls, you have your control cluster on the right-hand side of the handlebars. There you’ll find buttons for turning the motor on/off, turning the integrated light on/off, as well as switching the level of PAS.
There’s also a pretty large LCD screen in the middle of the handlebar that’ll feed you all the riding info you need, such as your current speed, miles past, battery level, and much more.
Although Villager doesn’t come with the most powerful motor, it surely does come with a beefy battery.
This bike features a 48V 11.6 Ah battery that can power the motor for around 40 miles. That is if you ride this bike on practically useless PAS 1. As you increase the pedal assist level, the range drops off significantly.
On PAS 3, I was able to squeeze out around 25 miles of range. That’s more than enough for daily commutes, but if you’re planning on taking this bike on your local off-road bike trails, I recommend you get a spare.
As for the recharge time, it’s your standard 4 to 6 hours. You can charge it while it’s on the bike or remove it and charge it somewhere else.
The battery is integrated into the downtube, and removing it is as simple as putting the key into the lock and turning it - the battery will pop right off.
For a bike that’s meant for light riding, Villager sure does come with some large mechanical disk brakes.
To be more exact, the discs measure a whopping 203 millimeters. That’s an overkill if you ask me. QuietKat could just slap the first 180-millimeter brakes they ran into and call it a day.
If this were my bike, I would probably just switch the existing brakes to 180-mm ones. That would probably wood the warranty, but this bike is so rugged that the warranty will be long expired before anything brakes.
Wheels And Tires
You can’t have an “all-terrain” commuter without some fat tires. This is why VIllager comes with Kenda’s 26-inch Street Tread tires.
If all you’re going to do with this bike is drive around town, these tires are great. However, the second you hit a rough surface, you’ll start sliding a bit. This is because the tread on the tires isn’t aggressive enough.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re okay for flat dirt roads but not for much else. At least they provide more than enough cushioning for the incoming road shock.
Pros And Cons After Testing
Although I had a blast riding this bike for the past couple of weeks, my thoughts on it are pretty mixed.
On one hand, you have a pretty rugged frame, large tires, and a pretty decent range. On the other hand, you have a pretty small frame, subpar PAS, and comically large brakes.
All in all, Villager is a pretty decent e-bike. Sure, Villager leaves a lot to be desired if you’re a seasoned e-biker, but you’re not this bike’s target demographic.
The Villager is a great pickup for someone that’s looking for a sturdy commuter that’ll last them for years without breaking.
Advice To Consumers
If you’re not overly tall, have money to burn, and are looking for a rugged “all-terrain” commuter, you’re getting groceries, short trips around town, and an occasional dirt road adventure - I recommend you snag a Villager.