I reviewed bikes from a relatively unknown e-bike company a little while back - the Gen 3 Ride. And I’ll continue this trend in this article by reviewing the Rhino e-bike lineup from ZuGo.
Because their bikes have many features in common, I decided to turn this into a double feature review. In this article, I’ll compare the Rhino e-bikes, talk about their similarities and differences, and give you my opinion on who these bikes are for and what their pros and cons are.
Rhino & Rhino Step-Through - In-Depth Review
If you’re looking for a moped-style e-bike for commuting around town that you can also take for a light offroad adventure, the ZuGo Rhino e-bike lineup should be on your shopping list.
ZuGo is a relatively new company; they’ve been around for only around two years. It’s based in Austin, Texas, and currently has two bikes to offer - Rhino and Rhino Step-Through.
Although their product line-up is pretty slim compared to other e-bike companies, ZuGo offers quality over quantity. Both the regular and the step-through version of their e-bike is incredibly decent for the price of just under $2000.
Both versions of the e-bike are made to last for decades to come. On top of that, they are super comfortable to ride. Sure, there are a couple of things I wasn’t too excited about these bikes, but none of those things were dealbreakers.
ZuGo Rhino e-bike has some of the cleanest frame lines I’ve seen. There are no curvatures to the tubes, and there are no accents. I dare to say that Rhino’s frame is the pinnacle of simplicity.
The only accessory you’ll find on the Rhino is the water bottle holder. The holder is located on the top tube, which isn’t ideal. Why?
Because the holder is mounted on the top tube, you are limited in what size of water bottle you can place in it. Thankfully, the solution for this is relatively simple - just take an extra bottle in a rucksack.
As for the step-through version, the frame is a bit more curved, but it’s still kept simple. Just like with the regular version, step-through Rhino has no accents or unique accessories.
Unlike the regular version, the step-through version has a better water-bottle holder because it’s not restricted by the upper tube. So, there’s one difference.
When it comes to durability, Rhino’s frame can take quite a lot of punishment without showing even the smallest crack. The frame is made of 6061 aluminum, known for its superb durability, flexibility, and low weight.
Speaking of low weight, both versions of the Rhino are incredibly lightweight - weighing only 65 pounds. That makes the Rhino one of the lightest moped-style electric bikes you can find.
Although it comes with walk assist mode, this e-bike is so light that you won’t have any trouble pushing this bike uphill even with the Walk Assist turned off.
One thing you don’t often see on this style of an e-bike is the ability to adjust the height of the handlebars. Rhino allows you to set the handlebars from their default 44-inch height up to 49 inches.
Because this is a moped-style e-bike, it comes with an unadjustable seat. Granted, the seat is comfortable enough for short rides, but any ride that would require you to pedal for longer than an hour will make you sore.
Both versions of the Rhino have their battery tucked away beneath the seat. On top of that, the battery is shielded from dirt and water with aluminum flaps that extend beneath it.
The only thing I don’t like about this setup is how hard it is to charge the battery while it’s still plugged into the bike. There is a bit of clearance - but not enough to easily plug in the charger cable.
Both versions of the ZuGo Rhino come with the same 750W gear hub motor. The motor is more than decent for the price and capable of zooming you around town - or over light offroad trails.
One of the coolest things about the motor on the Rhino is how responsive it is:
Thanks to pedaling sensors, the motor will kick in after just 0.7 seconds. That is great news for veteran e-bikers, but it will take some time to get used to it if you’re new to this. That is an issue with virtually all e-bikes with pedal assist, though.
The controller for the motor is located at the base of the handlebars. The controller features a large black and white LCD screen. Because of the high contrast colors, you won’t have much trouble reading the information off the screen.
The controller screen displays all the relevant information you need when riding, including the battery charge, distance traveled, current speed, and pedal assist level.
While we’re on the subject, both Rhinos offer seven levels of pedal assist. Thanks to superb pedaling sensors, you’ll feel the motor kick in with even the slightest turn of the pedals.
On the highest pedal assist level, you’ll be able to reach the max speed of 20 miles per hour in just mere seconds. That makes it incredibly fun for both commuting around town and zooming around off-road trails.
What’s more, this bike also comes with a thumb throttle. So, when you get tired of pedaling, you can simply press on the throttle and relax.
Of course, all that electric power would be for nothing if there wasn’t a top-of-the-line drive train supporting it. Thankfully, ZuGo spared no expense in this region and decided to use a 7-speed drivetrain from Shimano.
Both the regular Rhino and the step-through version come with a 750 Wh battery by default. This battery holds enough charge to get you around for around 60 miles on flat terrain. If you live in a hilly area or if you’re planning to ride this bike exclusively over off-road trails, you can expect the range to fall off drastically - to around 30 to 40 miles.
If you’re willing to spend an extra 500 bucks, though, you can get a long-range 1000 Wh battery that boosts the Rhino’s range significantly. With this battery, you’ll be able to cruise for roughly 90 miles before you have to recharge the battery.
As for charging, the stock charger this bike comes with can top out an empty battery in around 5 hours or so. If that’s too long, you could opt-in for the fast charger that halves the charging time for just $100.
Both versions of the Rhino e-bike come with hydraulic two-piston brakes. These are some of the best brakes on an e-bike I’ve had the please to test out.
The brakes work perfectly in all weather conditions. On top of that, they’re incredibly responsive:
With even the slightest squeeze of the brake lever, you will feel the bike slowing down. I can't say anything bad about the brakes. In fact, I hope more e-bike manufacturers will start using hydraulic brakes instead of regular disc brakes.
Rhinos come with double-wall punch-out rims with black spokes. The rims are built out of 6061 aluminum, which means they’re sturdy and lightweight.
That’s incredibly important because this is a fat tire bike and anything that can shed extra weight helps with maneuverability - a lot.
ZuGo Rhinos come with all-terrain fat tires that measure 20x4 inches. But while they look pretty cool, they’re incredibly noisy when driven over the pavement. That said, they perform admirably on terrains with lots of dust and sand - although they do tend to slide over gravel.
If you plan on using this e-bike for city commuting, I recommend switching the stock tires with those designed specifically for driving over the pavement.
Post Test Summary: ZuGo Rhino & Rhino Step-Through Pros And Cons
I would recommend both Rhinos to anyone looking for a sturdy moped-style e-bike they can use to cruise around town.
Although I have my gripes with the water-bottle holder, everything else on this bike is more than solid. Thanks to the simple frame design, you won’t have any troubles maintaining and cleaning it - which is always a plus.
The 750W motor is more than powerful to take you uphill at max speed - and help take the load off the pedaling. The latter’s critical because the seat can become uncomfortable if pedaling for longer than an hour.
What I Like About ZuGo Rhino & Rhino Step-Through
There are many things to like about ZuGo's Rhino e-bike line-up.
For starters, both e-bikes are incredibly sturdy. Even if you crash the e-bike somehow, you can rest assured the frame won’t crack.
Besides the sturdy design, I love the range. And if you opt for the extended battery, you won’t have to recharge the battery for days.
Lastly, I love the pricing of these bikes. Although you might think that nearly $2000 might be too much for an e-bike, it’s a steal when you factor in how well-built and powerful the ZuGo Rhinos are.
There are only a handful of moped-style e-bikes in this price range that offer the same amount of comfort, range, and power.
What I Don’t Like About ZuGo Rhino & Rhino Step-Through
The list of things I don’t like about these bikes is pretty short.
For one, I don’t like how noisy the tires are. I realize they’re designed for rougher terrain - but in most cases, you’ll be using this bike to commute around town. That’s why I’d recommend that you switch the all-terrain tires for something more suitable for city riding.
The tires are not the only source of noise on this bike:
I also found that the passenger footsteps produced quite a lot of noise. I removed them after the first test drive - and I’d recommend you do the same.
Besides the noise, my only other major complaint is the inability to adjust the seat. I guess that goes with the whole moped-like design, but I think ZuGo could fix this by introducing more types of seats.
Advice To Buyers
If you’re looking for a reliable cruiser you can use to commute around town during the weekdays and take on an offroad adventure on the weekend, ZuGo Rhino is your best choice. It features a more than powerful motor - and a beefy battery to boot.
Even with their flaws, the ZuGo Rhino e-bike line-up is pretty decent for the price. And when compared to other e-bikes in this price range, Rhinos are practically a steal.
There are only a handful of other e-bikes in the two-thousand-dollar range that come with such a powerful motor and so many extra goodies out of the box.