The Fast Lane and QuietKat recently teamed up for a test drive and interview in the rugged Colorado high country.
All right, Ryan, you know, E-bikes are having their moment right now, it seems like the hottest thing out there are electric bikes.
So tell me about QuietKat and Jeep.
And how did you two guys partner? Yeah, absolutely. So QuietKat, we’ve been making electric bicycles for hunting, fishing, exploring the backcountry, really going further and exploring more for a number of years. Got in touch with Jeep last year and the synergy just made so much sense with the overlanding, the off road, the capability in the utility of the bike really aligns well with the product and especially the new Jeep Gladiator.
Yeah. You know, we’re planning to do a video actually, where we’re going to race that bike against the gladiator up a mountain. So I’m super excited that’s coming. But let’s talk about the bike. You know, it’s a mountain bike, but it’s a fat tire mountain bike. But it’s much more than that.
Absolutely. So mountain bikes have really evolved quite a lot in the last few years.
We’re starting to see more suspension with the ability to still pedal up the hill. Really, that category is known as Enduro.
So we took inspiration from that and we wanted to build the most capable mountain bike ever. So best thing to do, big tires for a variety of terrain, big power motor to really get you and all your gear up the big, steep hills. And of course, having all the utility factors of the accessories like the Pannier bags, lights, trailers and everything to allow you to bring your gear with you to really enhance that experience and have a real fun adventure.
Yes. So let’s talk some numbers. You know, there are different, I guess, called classes of e-bikes, is that right?
Absolutely. So under U.S. federal law, there are three classes of an electric bicycle, and that’s to separate our electric bicycle from our motorcycle. And so our bikes come as a class two, which means it has a pedal assist mode. It also has a throttle. The beauty of this is you can simply unplug the throttle and you’re automatically class one compliant. So based on where you’re riding different trail centers, different specific trails, they all may have different regulations. So this has been built to be able to comply with all of those no matter where you’re at.
So a class two e-bike, pedal assist, throttle up to 28 miles per hour. Right.
So class one and class two give you a 20 mile an hour speed limit. Class one and two is a 20 mile an hour speed limit. That’s a 750 nominal watt motor. And of course, class one is pedal assist only class two would include the throttle.
All right. So let’s talk numbers on the bike. How big is the battery? How big is the motor? How much power is it putting out? Yep.
So the battery is a 48 volt fourteen and a half amp hour battery that’s going to give you a range of roughly 20 miles. Now, we all know you put the pedal to the floor, find the steepest hill, your range is decreased, get to the top of the hill, pretty much roll all the way back down. So range is about twenty miles on the battery, give or take the terrain. The motor is actually very unique to our bikes. The motor is a 750 fifty nominal watt, which is about three times as powerful as most traditional e-bikes. It also has a peak wattage of 1500, which is really going to pop when you really need that high speed or really need the power to get up the hills. The other key thing on the motor, one hundred and sixty nm of torque. What that’s going to do is provide you with enough oomf to be able to haul you and your gear out to where you want to go. So in the manual shifted, you have a wide range, nine speed. So the simplicity of nine gears, but the range to be able to have your top speed gears as well as your big hill climbing gears. I have found that I can climb hills that I never thought were possible on a mountain bike. So we’re asked all the time, how steep of a hill can it go up? And I have two answers. First is how steep of a hill do you want to go up and are you willing to come back down?
Yeah. You know, it’s like a motorcycle. Going up is the easy part, it’s going down that’s always a little bit tricky.
Let’s talk about the big tires. 26, is that right? Yep.
So standard mountain bike fat tire is twenty six by four inches or wider. So we’ve actually gone with a four point eight inch tire here from our partners at sixty. This is about as wide of a tire as you can get. The big advantage with this is it allows you to just like on your off road vehicle, change the air pressure so that you can have low pressure for maximizing traction or you can go with a little bit higher pressure for maximizing that that lack of rolling resistance. It also works if you’re in super soft sand, super soft snow in the wintertime, and then it can work in a myriad of different conditions, like rocks, roots, dirt, swampy farmlands that are full of grasses. So it really gives you the versatility to use it in almost any type of terrain a bicycle can go.
You’ve got full suspension. I see a rock shox on the back, makes your ride more comfortable.
Absolutely. It’s a traditional four bar linkage, just like you would find in a vehicle. So it’s a very, very stable suspension system. You’ve got a rock shox damper in the rear, and then we have our branded QuietKat suspension system in the front, which is an inverted fork typically found on motorcycles because of the weight and the strength and the power behind this bike, it was really important for the stiffness of the inverted fork, like you’d find on a motorcycle.
Yeah. And the bike, I believe, weighs 81 pounds, right? Yeah. You’re looking to give or take 80 pounds dry. Obviously, you can strap a lot of stuff to it. So it’s got some heft to it, but paired with the motor, you really overcome that weight very quickly.
And you know, for a big guy like me riding a big bike like that, you’re going to want big brakes, right? So tell me about the brakes.
So for the brakes, we partner with Tektro. They’ve got this great new four piston calliper along with a hydraulic lever. So it’s a true hydraulic brake, 203 millimeter rotor like you would find on a big beefy downhill bike. And then, of course, the power of the four piston brake caliper to really be able to control that speed and give you that confidence. I would say my favorite part of the bike is the fact that you can really go anywhere and do anything with it. I hooked the trailer up with it, thrown a cooler in the back and used it for tailgating at my daughter’s soccer game.
I’ve thrown tents and gear in it and used it for multi-day adventures out in the back country. And sometimes I just use it to get out of the office and go get some lunch.
So really the best part about it is it is so capable that you can really go anywhere and do anything.
All right. Let’s talk about the battery a little bit more. So lithium ion battery, if you drain it, how long to recharge it?
So from a full, full drain, you’re looking at about four to six hours to fully charge it back up. From 50 percent, you’re looking at it at less than half of that. It charges by plugging right into the wall, 110 volt AC. It can be charged off a generator. And we are working on some solar options as well.
And then, of course, there’s a controller to it. Besides the throttle, you’ve got two modes right there, sport mode. And then there’s eco mode and then there are five different levels of assist in those. Right. So tell me about that.
Absolutely. So eco mode gives you, we call it zero through five power level at power level zero, the motor is not going to assist at all. It’s full on manpower. A lot of it’s a lot of weight to push. Right. You go up to power level five and that’s where you’re going to get the maximum amount of power coming out. Now, in the eco mode, it’s really trying to save the battery. So it’s not going to pull peak power out of the battery.
When you pull peak power, you really drain the battery much more quickly. So the eco mode allows a nice consistent drain to really extend the range. Now, you can turn it over into sport mode where range might not be as much of a consideration. And now you’ve got the full pop in the full power Power level one, power comes on nice and easy. It’s easy to control. Power level one, two, and three is typically where I find myself riding the bike until I get to that real steep hill or that real gnarly section. Then I turn it up to four or five and get the maximum out of it.
All right. And then, you know, you’ve partnered with Jeep. So let’s talk about that. Is the idea that, you know, you throw this in the back of your gladiator, you go to the trailhead or you go as far as you can in the jeep and then you jump on the bike, or is it just a pretty cool accessory, you know, to to have with your jeep?
You know, it’s really a choose your own adventure story. You know, certainly throw it in the back of the gladiator, take it out on trail rides. Where the road ends, the adventure continues. You know, out here in Colorado, we’ve got a lot of really fun off roading trails, but we also have a lot of trails that have been closed to motorized vehicles over the years for all sorts of reasons. So the bike does allow you to get to the end of that road and then keep going.
The other thing that the bike allows is for things like scouting. You know, perhaps you want to check out what’s down the trail a little bit.
Do I need it before you have to take your jeep down there and then not be able to turn around?
Exactly. You might come to a creek crossing that you realize is impassable and you’re looking at a. I’m not worried about that. To shelf roads. You know, in just any type of obstacle you may come across or you’re looking at a mile and a half in reverse versus, you know, a quick ten minutes on the bike to scout out and see what’s going on. And then it also works on these multi-day camping and adventure trips where you just have a different activity. You know, personally, for me, I love nothing more than going seven miles an hour, romping around in my truck, off roading and four wheeling. My wife would like to get to the destination and then maybe do something else.
She wants to go fishing in the lake or maybe jump on the bike with our daughter and go for a ride. So it allows for just some more activities to kind of be brought into the whole weekend trip.
We’re not just sitting in the truck the whole time. And if people want the bike, where do they go get it and how much is it? Yep.
So the Jeep e-bike is available now at quietkat.com. It’s also shipping to Jeep dealerships and some of our QuietKat dealers now. And you’re looking at a retail price of $5,899.
So, you know, if you guys want one of these bikes, I would say go to a dealership and see if they can throw it in as part of the deal. Right. You know. Absolutely. Joking about that, but it would be cool if they did.
It’s a great accessory, you know, we know that in our Jeep dealerships, you know, you can go in and buy your base jeep and then they’ll sell you wheels, they’ll sell you tires, they’ll sell you lift kits. They’ll sell you accessories like fenders and roll bars and lights. And this really ties right into that. And we are excited to partner with Jeep in the Jeep dealerships to make that a possibility so that this can be a part of the package that can be purchased right from a Jeep dealership and all roped into the same financing.
Yeah. Yeah. Oh. So you can actually add it to your financing, that makes that makes it a lot more a lot more attractive. How about the warranties? Absolutely. So we have a one year warranty on all the components and that warranty is really backed by the component manufacturers. So that’s your brakes, your shifter’s, your motor and your battery. And then we have a lifetime warranty on the frame. At QuietKat, we stand behind the product and we believe we’ve made the most capable bike out there. So any issues that are manufactured defects on the frame, we will take care of it. Great. Thank you very much. Really appreciate it.
And guys, if you want the hottest, well, accessory, I think, for your Jeep after you’ve lived in it, after you, you know, put on the lights, after you got put on bigger wheels and tires than get yourself a pretty cool e-bike because, yeah, I fallen in love with the e-bikes and they’re just a hoot.