10 Electric Bikes for Hunting: 2022’s Best Off-Road eBikes

Hunter dressed in camo on an electric bike in the backcountry with the sun setting in the background

Electric Bikes for Hunting: 2022’s Best Off-Road eBikes for Your Backcountry Adventure

 

The off-road path to your next trophy elk or deer isn’t always a straight one, but with one of 2022’s best electric bikes for hunting, it’ll be a lot more fun.

Powered by 750w, 1000w, and even 1200w motors and large-capacity batteries, hunting ebikes drastically reduce the time it takes to get from point A to point B. These aren’t just any old mountain bikes; these fat tire, camo-clad monsters devour backcountry hills while hauling up to 330 pounds.

By riding an ebike and motorizing your movement, you’ll keep your scent to a minimum and your sound levels low. Plus, many hunters swear their ebikes don’t spook deer as as much as when they’re walking.

By not scaring the big game you’re after, you have a better chance of filling your tags and hauling your harvest to your truck — either on the bike itself or a specialized trailer that pulls behind.

So, before you start daydreaming about your next off-road adventure, let’s break down some of the advantages an ebike for hunting can give you.

After that, we’ll jump into our list of the ten best hunting ebikes of 2022 from trusted brands like Bakcou, Rambo, QuietKat, and more.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
BEST ELECTRIC BIKES FOR HUNTING OF 2022

Benefits of Using an Electric Cycle for Hunting

Compared with hiking in and out of the field to stalk your prey, ebikes offer plenty of invaluable benefits. The first and most obvious upside is that you’ll use far less energy just getting around.

But what else can cruising around on an ebike do for you?

Travel Faster

If you find yourself getting up there in age or just want to speed up your rounds, an ebike can help you access your trail cameras, tree stands, and favorite hunting locations faster than ever.

And because you can get back to your rig or your campsite faster, you can stay out on the hunt longer.

Go Further

For older hunters who can’t reach their favorite spots anymore, jumping on a bike can help them enjoy what they thought was lost. 

And for those who just want to get as deep into the woods as they can, save time and let the bike take you there.

Haul More

Because most of the bikes on this list feature 300 to 330+ pound weight limits, you can reduce back-breaking pack weights and bring all your favorite gear along.

Stink Less

Hiking through grass, sticks, and foliage generates body odor and leaves your scent all over the place — and that alerts the game you’re after as to precisely which areas they should avoid.

With an ebike, you’ll stop sweat in its tracks and zoom from your truck or tent, blind, tree stand, or favorite area in a flash. When you leave behind less human odor in the field, you’ll give yourself a better opportunity to fill your kitchen with the delicious aroma of your harvest.

If you want a more in-depth primer on the ins and outs of hunting ebikes, click here for a list of the considerations regarding components like motors, batteries, suspension systems, and even some legal concerns.

Best Overall Electric Bike for Hunting
Bakcou Mule Elite

Bakcou Mule Elite camo electric bicycles

Motor: 750w or 1000w Bafang Ultra Mid-Drive
Battery: Panasonic 48v 17.5Ah – 25Ah Options
Range: 40+ miles
Size: 18” frame (Step-Through Model)
Load Capacity: 300 lb
Gearing: 9 Speed
Weight: 68 lb
Front & Rear Brakes: 203mm Rotors and Tektro HD E750 Quad Piston
Tire Size: Maxxis Minion 26” x 4”
Suspension: BCEB GT MRK 100mm AIR Fork
Throttle: Thumb

According to Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want. But if you were to ask Bakcou, they’d probably point you in the direction of their Mule Elite ebike. With top-notch features and add-ons galore, you can get exactly what you want.

With two motor choices, four battery capacities, and a step-through frame for shorter hunters, the Bakcou Mule Elite ensures that nearly any requirement you set for your off-road hunting adventures will be satisfied.

Perhaps the most impressive component of the Mule is its powerful Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor with torque-sensing, which constantly monitors several inputs, including pedal torque and speed, to deliver a precise amount of power to the sprocket. It can make the difference between getting up a steep hill or hoofing it as you did with your old mountain bike.

Not that there’s anything wrong with walking beside the Mule Elite; Bakcou included a Walk Assist feature made for situations too challenging to stay seated.

Consider this: You brought along a bunch of gear, and you just killed an elk. It’s quartered, and you need to get it out. In the old days, you’d have to go on a lengthy hike and hope you had a few friends within walkie-talkie range to help out.

But with the Mule Elite, you can load your gear on the back rack, throw your harvest into a Bakcou game trailer, and the Mule’s powerful motor will do all the work while you walk alongside, smiling from ear to ear.

It’s no surprise the Mule’s motor is referred to as the “diesel engine” of ebike motors. Why? Because It has the torque to pull heavy loads efficiently, as a diesel should.

If you’re in the market for the best fat tire hunting ebike of 2022, the Bakcou Mule Elite fits the bill.

  • Pros: Best-priced top-end bike available, top motor on the market, two camo options and four solid colors, can switch from 750w to 1000w for compliance, built-in rear rack, Teflon tire liners prevent punctures, and easy-to-see LCD display, tows well
  • Cons: Tires not the fattest
💥 Click the button below and enter the coupon code ‘EatElkMeat’ at checkout for a 5% discount on your order! 💥

VIEW ON EBIKE GENERATION

Second Best Mid-High End
Rambo Rebel 1000W True Timber

Rambo Rebel 1000W True Timber backcountry e-vehicle

Motor: 1000w Bafang BBSHD Mid-Drive
Battery: Frame-Integrated Samsung 48V 21Ah
Range: Up to 48 miles
Size: 19”
Load Capacity: 300 lb
Gearing: 11 Speed
Weight: 69 lb
Front Brake: 4 Piston Hydraulic 203mm
Rear Brake: 4 Piston Hydraulic 180mm
Tires: Maxxis Minion 26” x 4.8”
Suspension Fork: GT 860 Air
Throttle: Thumb

You might not see much difference when comparing the Rambo Rebel to the Bakcou Mule Elite, but the devil’s always in the details. Let’s take a quick look at why the Rambo Rebel our second favorite hunting ebike for the money.

One big reason we love this bike is its tire size. If you ride on a lot of sand, loose gravel, and snowy backcountry terrain, the Rebel’s 4.8” wide tires will provide better stability than the 4.0” tires on the Mule. Tires dictate the terrain you can travel on, and these Maxxis Minions excel in the tough stuff.

The Rebel also comes with an 11-gear cassette, giving it two more gears than the Mule Elite. A more comprehensive range of gears often means easier hill-climbing, a significant real-world benefit.

Ultimately, hunting comes down to finding the best gear for the situations you intend on putting it in. If you ride in a lot of sand and mud or want a few extra gears to play with, we think the Rebel might be the best ride for you.

  • Pros: Very powerful, comes with fenders and rack if bought through ebikegeneration.com, excellent for climbing, well-priced
  • Cons: Doesn’t have the torque sensing Bafang Ultra motor, slightly more expensive than the Mule

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Best Full-Suspension Choice
Bakcou Storm G2

Bakcou Storm G2 battery-powered off-road bike

Motor: 750w or 1000w Bafang Ultra Mid-Drive
Battery: Panasonic 48v 18.4Ah – 25Ah
Range: Up to 50+ Miles
Size: 19″
Load Capacity: 300 lb
Gearing: 9 Speed
Weight: 72 lb
Front Brake: Tektro Quad Piston 203mm
Rear Brake: Tektro Quad Piston 203mm
Tire Size: Maxxis Minion 26” x 4.0”
Front Suspension: RST Renegade Fork
Rear Suspension: RockShox Monarch Rear

Biking after big game in the Rocky Mountains or coastal hills of the Pacific Northwest can leave your rear end in pieces. So, instead of daydreaming about a pillowy saddle, opt for a full-suspension ebike to help absorb the shock of those hard bumps and jagged drops.

That’s the ultimate benefit of a soft tail bike — comfort. And we think the best one you can find, especially for the money, is made by Bakcou.

It’s coupled with the same Bafang torque-sensing motor as their Mule Elite, which, when paired with a nine-gear cassette, rockets you up hills and into the woods quietly and efficiently.

In fact, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to consider the Storm G2 the full-suspension version of the Mule Elite. After all, it’s got the same four-inch fat tires, 300-pound weight limit, 50+ mile range, LCD display, and battery options.

So, if the Mule is the diesel pickup of electric bikes for hunting, consider the Storm G2 a lifted diesel truck. The only difference is that the Storm G2’s beefier suspension can handle more twists, torque, and rugged terrain that hunters in technical conditions can throw its way.

  • Pros: Extremely comfortable, class-leading motor, fun to ride, basically a mule with a rear shock
  • Cons: Doesn’t tow as well as the Mule

VIEW ON EBIKE GENERATION

Ultimate Mid-Drive Hardtail
Rambo Venom 1000 XPR

Rambo Venom 1000 XPR camo hardtail

Motor: 1000w Bafang Ultra
Battery: Integrated 48v 17Ah (25Ah available)
Range: Up to 40 Miles
Size: 19.7”
Load Capacity: 300 lb
Gearing: 14-Speed Rohloff
Weight: 71 lb
Front Brake: Tektro 4 Piston 203mm
Rear Brake: Tektro 4 Piston 180mm
Tire Size: Maxxis Minion 26” x 4.8”
Suspension Fork: GT860 Air
Throttle: Thumb

If you take a close look at the electric bikes for hunting on this list, you’ll notice that many use very similar components. For example, the high-end 1000w Bafang Ultra motor and Tektro four-piston brakes make many appearances on this list, and you’ll also find them on the Rambo Venom.

But this bad boy has a unique feature up its sleeve that no other bike on this list offers. Whereas all the other hunting ebikes you’ll find here sport external gears and derailleurs, the Venom features Rohloff’s internally-geared 14-speed system.

This clever mechanism doesn’t require you to guess which gear you’re in or need you to pedal to change speeds. Instead, just rotate the gear shift handle, and the bike will take care of the rest. Think about it like adding paddle shifters for your car transmission to enhance control over your gearing.

Aside from control, the Rohloff mechanism delivers upgraded reliability. If you’ve ever ridden an ebike through tall grass or mud, you know how easy it is to gunk up your gears or dislodge your chain.

Nobody wants to stop to free their gears, clean them off, or pull out their repair kit to get the chain back in order. With internal gears, you can slash through mud, rocks, and other challenging terrain without worrying about your derailleur.

Thanks to its innovative Rohloff’s internal gearing system, the Rambo Venom earns its place as our ultimate high-end hardtail.

  • Pros: Easy to learn, quiet, climbs like a dream, integrated battery lowers the center of gravity and creates a more responsive ride, modular motor and integrated controller make repairs easy
  • Cons: A bit pricey

Entry-Level Mid-Motor ebike for Hunting
Rambo Bushwacker 750 XPC

Camo Rambo Bushwacker 750 XPC with black tires and handlebars

Motor: Bafang 750w BBSHD Mid-Drive
Battery: 48v 14Ah
Range: Up to 38 Miles
Size: 19”
Load Capacity: 300 lb
Gearing: 1 or 8 Gears (Depending on Options)
Weight: 66 lb
Brakes: Tektro 2 Piston (Front and Rear)
Tire Size: Maxxis Minion 26” x 4.0”
Suspension Fork: GT MRK 860 Air
Throttle: Thumb

Hunters looking for a budget-friendly way to get into a mid-motor setup should consider the Rambo Bushwhacker 750 XPC ebike.

Sporting a powerful 750w Bafang motor and an available eight-gear cassette, hunters in even the hilliest terrain should have little problem traversing the wide-open backcountry or scorching down a trail on this beautiful camo electric bike for hunting.

And, if you know you won’t climb many inclines, Rambo offers a single-gear system for those who hunt in flatter states like Texas, North Dakota, and Florida. And don’t worry, it’ll still provide the same 300-pound weight limit and burly four-inch Maxxis fat tires that the eight-speed does.

The Bushwacker doesn’t offer the extreme backcountry performance of the Mule Elite, Rebel, or Venom, but not all hunters need a bike with such maxed-out features. If you don’t need a high-end bike, why would you pay thousands extra for it?

In terms of range, this bike’s 14Ah battery gives hunters up to 38 miles on a single charge. This should allow you to get to the places that matter most — the treestands, trails cameras, and backcountry campsites — in a fraction of the time you’d expect to spend walking.

In short, if you want the smooth power of a mid-drive hunting ebike without all the frills and extra cost of a top-end ride, look no further than the Rambo Bushwacker.

  • Pros: No derailleur on the single speed, outstanding performance per dollar, excels as an everyday bike for getting around the property, weighs less than more expensive options
  • Cons: Those who want to go faster will want more power

Best Front Dual-Tire
Rungu Dualie XR – Rubicon Trail Edition

Rungu Dualie XR Rubicon Trail Edition

Motor: Bafang 1120w Mid-Drive
Battery: Dual 52V 18Ah (36Ah)
Range: 37 Miles
Size: 14.5”
Load Capacity: 332 lb
Gearing: 9 Speeds
Weight: 120 lb
Front Brakes: Dual Hydraulic 180mm
Rear Brakes: Dual Hydraulic 180mm
Tire Size: Maxxis Minion 26” x 4.8”
Suspension: Dual Front Fork

And now for perhaps the most badass bike on our list, the Rungu Dualie XR. With dual 4.8” fat front tires, this electric hunting bike will help you conquer even the most challenging off-road terrain.

Because of its 75/25 weight balance, riders can expect more grip on the front end than single-tire bikes, which are far more vulnerable to dangerous slips and falls. Not so with the Dualie, as this bike grips loose ground with ease to keep you upright and off the ground.

When it comes to hill climbing, hunters can expect to climb inclines over 50% on this beast. But of course, what goes up must come down, and steep uphill climbs mean you’ll eventually have some intense downhill work to do. Thankfully, a beefy front dual-braking system will ensure that descending steep grades is safe and comfortable.

Did we mention that this hunting ebike is assembled by hand in Santa Ana, California? Supporting made-in-America companies is a win-win for everyone, even if you might have to wait a tad longer for the bike to arrive at your doorstep.

If you want a unique, powerful, and Made-in-America electric bike for hunting, the Dualie XR should stand tall at the top of your list.

Pro Tip: Rungu offers several more affordable versions of this bike, so check them out if the Rubicon Trail edition isn’t quite in your price range.

  • Pros: 7.5 amp charger fully charges the battery in 2.5 hours, supremely stable, supports 332 pounds of payload, tows 300 lbs, 4.8” fat tires all around, up to 41 miles range
  • Cons: Heavy

VIEW ON EBIKE GENERATION

Best Dual-Motor Beast
Rambo The Megatron

Rambo The Megatron with double battery pack

Motor: Dual 1000w Bafang Hub Motors
Battery: 48v 34Ah
Range: Up to 80 Miles
Size: 19.7”
Load Capacity: 300 lb
Gearing: Single gear
Weight: 77 lb
Front Brake: Tektro 4-Piston 203mm
Rear Brake: Tektro 4-Piston 180mm
Tire Size: Maxxis Minion 26” x 4.8”
Suspension Fork: GT MRK 355 Air 26
Throttle: Thumb

Not to be outdone by the Dualie XR’s dual front tires, the Rambo Megatron boasts double motors, a high-end feature you won’t find anywhere else on this list. One 1000w hub motor sits in the back of this beast, and another powers the front, combining for up to 3000 watts of peak performance.

This setup will give you on-demand all-wheel drive to power up hills, charge through mud, and go just about anywhere you can dream up. For quick changes in terrain, Rambo built in an advanced controller to toggle between front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and AWD on the fly.

Functionality like this enables riders to squeeze as much range out of the dual 48v 34Ah battery as possible. We’re talking a maximum capacity of 80 miles on this electric bike for hunting, nearly doubling the range of just about everything else on this list.

Reliability is the name of the game when it comes to the Megatron’s rock-solid hub motors. Should the chain snap, you’ll still have the ability to get yourself back. And, there’s only one gear to deal with, so you won’t need to worry about your derailleur and gearing system failing you.

We think the Rambo Megatron is the best off-road, fat tire hunting ebike you can find at the ultimate high-end. Its massive power, quiet performance, and undeniable reliability make it the top option for 2022’s most ambitious hunters who refuse to let anything get in their way.

Check out the Rambo Krusader for a more budget-friendly 500w 2WD setup.

  • Pros: Unique drivetrain, dual battery enables stellar mileage, chews up snow, grass, and mud, save gas and still feel the power
  • Cons: Expensive, but we think worth it

Inexpensive Rear Hub Drive Option
Rad Power RadRover 6 Plus

Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus fat tire off-road cycle

Motor: 750w
Battery: 589 – 672 Wh
Range: 25 – 45 miles per charge
Size: 17”
Load Capacity: 275 lb
Gearing: 7 Speed
Weight: 73.4 lb
Brakes: Hydraulic 180mm Front and Rear
Tire Size: Kendra 26” x 4”
Suspension: RST Spring Fork
Throttle: Half Twist

Eight of the top bikes on this list ring in over three thousand dollars, and we’re well aware that’s not a realistic price point for many of you hunters out there.

So, while the Rad Power RadRover 6 Plus isn’t purpose-built for hunting, it does present an excellent budget option for those who don’t require the most extreme off-trail ebike on the market. If you’re in that group, let’s see why this ride might stand out as the best pick for you.

First, the RadRover 6 Plus uses a powerful 750W motor paired with a seven-gear rear-hub motor that can push riders up steep hills. (It’s important to note that this bike’s actual power on the street is less than 750W to maintain compliance, but it still performs well.)

That power is transferred to the ground via its grippy Kendra 4-inch fat tires. These tires aren’t as wide as some other options on the list, but they still deliver a stable platform to riders on loose ground. And when the terrain gets choppy, this rig’s front suspension will help maintain a smooth and comfortable ride.

We think RadRover 6 Plus is an excellent entry-level ebike for hunters on a budget who stray away from the harshest terrain.

  • Pros: Inexpensive, designed in the USA, puncture-resistant tires help keep you on the hunt
  • Cons: Not explicitly defined for the harshest terrain, rear-hub motor can’t keep up with mid-drive on hills, hunters will need to purchase rear rack accessory to increase storage space, no camo paint available

VIEW ON RAD POWER BIKES

The 350 Chevy of Hunting eBikes
QuietKat Ranger

QuietKat Ranger inexpensive camo hunting ebike

Motor: 750w or 1000w Rear Hub
Battery: 48v 12.8Ah
Range: Up to 48 Miles
Size: (S) 15” | (M) 17” | (L) 19”
Load Capacity: 325
Gearing: 7 Speed
Weight: 65 lb
Front Brake: Tektro Dual Piston 180mm
Rear Brake: Tektro Dual Piston 203mm
Tire Size: (S) 24” x 4.0” | (M & L) 26” x 4.5”
Suspension: Moxo Coil Suspension Fork
Throttle: Thumb

Not everybody needs the fanciest hunting ebike on the market.

For some, a reliable, functional, and heavy-duty option wins out over a high-tech, high-cost piece of equipment. Think of it like this: not everybody needs a brand-new truck with all the bells and whistles when their old rig has everything they need.

Enter the QuietKat Ranger. It’s a sturdy and reliable bike built around its rear-hub motor. And while many ebike enthusiasts may consider this motor to be “older” technology, remember that a 350 Chevy still works pretty darn well these days, too.

The Ranger comes standard with fat tires, which come in either 4 or 4.5 inches, depending on the size of bike you order. Their grippy treads will help you carve through mud, rip through sand, and conquer off-road terrains that lesser mountain bikes can only dream of.

But because its motor is of the rear-hub variety, it’ll struggle with steeper hills though moderate inclines won’t get in your way. And thanks to its large 203mm mechanical disk brakes, you’ll have a pretty easy time working your way back down those hills.

Perhaps our favorite feature of the Ranger is its upgraded rear rack storage system, which is built to haul loads of your heavy hunting gear. And, of all the single-tire hunting ebikes on this list, this beast can carry among the heaviest loads, a whopping 325 pounds.

If you want to save a bit of coin by using older tech (and put that extra cash towards more hunting goodies), we think the QuietKat Ranger is the best option for 2022.

Pro Tip: Buy it with the complete Hunter Package to save some dough on accessories.

  • Pros: Made for hunting, good great range, relatively lightweight, quiet operation, improved storage and braking over previous models, two camo options, great if you hunt in flatter areas
  • Cons: Not as smooth as a mid-drive, struggles with steeper hills

Stylish Hunting eBike for the Road and Trail
Aventon Adventure

Green and black Aventon Adventure everyday e-vehicle

Motor: 750w Rear Hub
Battery: 720 Wh
Range: Up to 48 Miles
Size: S | M | L
Load Capacity: 325
Gearing: 8 Speed
Weight: 73 lb
Front and Rear Brakes: Hydraulic Disc 180m
Tire Size: 26” x 4.0
Suspension Fork: 80mm Travel
Throttle: Twist

Compared with many purpose-built hunting ebikes on this list, the Aventon would appear more at home on a well-manicured trail than on choppy BLM land. We think that’s a safe assumption.

Of course, not all hunters go deep into the woods to hunt. Many hop on a trail or traverse relatively flat land to get to where they need to go. In that case, the Aventon Adventure offers an excellent battery-powered bicycle for those who don’t want to drop more than two grand.

Compared to the Rad Power bike we just mentioned, there are two significant differences. First, the Aventon uses an eight-gear cassette instead of the seven-gear system on the Rad Power bike. Second, you get a bigger battery with the Adventure than you will with the Ranger.

Of course, these two budget bikes share many similarities, including 4” fat tires, up to 48 miles of range, and a basic hardtail frame. If you plan on riding it in the streets as much as you do in the wild, the Aventon Adventure will make a great companion at a fraction of the price of other options on this list.

  • Pros: Inexpensive, decent travel in the fork, good battery range, suitable for some hilly terrain
  • Cons: Not as powerful as many options, rear-hub not as smooth as mid-drive, rear rack costs extra, less weight capacity than hunter-specific option

VIEW ON AVENTON

Extra Accessories for Your eBike

Hunter dressed in camo on a bike pulling a trailer with an extra battery and other accessories

There are plenty of helpful accessories on the market to upgrade your ebike

 

Once you buy your hunting ebike, the fun doesn’t stop there. Hunters can add batteries, trailers, solar power, and many other valuable modifications to their rig.

Let’s dive into the popular accessory upgrades you can consider regarding your bike.

Extra Batteries

If you want to add significant range to your electric bike for hunting, the easiest way is to swap in a new battery or carry an extra.

  • Rambo: Their batteries range from 11.6Ah to 21Ah. Take a look at Rambo’s site or eBike Generation for all the options.
  • Bakcou: Adding 29 to 50 miles to your Bakcou Mule or Storm is as easy as swapping in a new battery. eBike Generation has you covered with options from 14Ah to 25Ah.
  • QuietKat: Show your QuietKat a little love by giving it the gift of longer life and extra range at the QuietKat battery center.
  • Rad Power: Stock up on electrons with an extra battery for your RadRover 6 at their store.
  • Aventon: Need some extra juice for your Aventon Adventure? Head over to Aventon’s battery center to get what you’re after.

Trailers

While some electric bikes for hunting offer some storage on the rear rack, adding a trailer makes hauling your gear in and your game meat out quite simple. Here are some of the best options on the market.

  • Rambo Bike/Hand Cart: Rambo’s bike/hand cart pulls double duty by enhancing your bike’s storage capacity, and it also has a hand grip for use around camp. Hauling beer, firewood, and elk meat has never been easier.
  • Bakcou Hunting Cargo Trailer: Bakcou has three different trailers to choose from, and you can use them with pretty much any brand bike on the market. This trailer can haul 50 to 90 pounds and is made to work on single-track trails where space is limited.
  • Bakcou Folding Hunting Trailer: For even more hauling capacity, the folding hunting trailer enables you to carry 150 to 200 pounds. It connects via a ball hitch, and hunters can use axle extenders when they need more stability.
  • Bakcou Folding Deer Trailer: While you can use any of these trailers to haul out game meat, Bakcou has a purpose-built game trailer with lattice-like metal bottom to let the meat breathe or blood trickle through. That makes the clean-up easier, too.
  • QuietKat Cargo Trailer: Adding extra capacity to your QuietKat trailer is as easy as picking the best trailer for your needs. Luckily, QuietKat has two to choose from. This single-wheel all-terrain trailer helps you haul your gear through tricky terrain.
  • QuietKat Game Trailer: If you want a little more storage space than the single-wheel trailer, give QuietKat’s game trailer a look. Don’t just think of it as a game trailer, though, as it’ll haul whatever fits with ease.

Solar Panels

Charging your bike’s battery from the sun’s natural energy will expand your range in the backcountry. A solar panel kit will help you do just that.

Why an Electric Bike for Hunting Over an ATV?

Bowhunter crouched down next to a dead deer next to his vehicle

Ebikes are more valuable than ATVs for hunters for multiple reasons

 

When you compare an ebike with more-traditional methods of locomotion in the field, namely ATVs, you’ll find that several advantages stand out.

The first, and most obvious example, is the noise that each machine creates. Prey animals can hear ATVs coming from miles away, alerting them to your presence and pushing them further away. On the flip side, electric bikes make very little noise as they zip through the woods.

But there’s more to it than that.

Let’s break down some critical points in comparing electric bikes for hunting vs. ATVs.

ATVs Emit Stinky Exhaust

Using a pungent gasoline-powered engine makes it easy for elk and deer to detect you. Their best sense is their smell, after all.

If you know how unmistakable the odor of an ATV is, just imagine what an elk or a deer would think of it. That’s why electric bikes have a massive advantage in the scent department. They operate on odorless batteries that help keep smells down to a minimum while scouting new areas, checking your cameras, or making your way to your tree stand.

eBikes Costs Less to Own Than ATVs 

Depending on the make and model of ATV or ebike, the initial investment could look pretty similar on your credit card statement. That said, the most expensive ATVs can run tens of thousands of dollars higher than the most costly ebikes. It all depends on which model you buy.

But no matter how you spin it, ATVs require ongoing costs that electric bikes for hunting simply don’t.

The first factor to consider is the fuel costs. Gasoline prices rarely stay flat; some months, you’ll pay an arm and a leg at the gas pump, and others, just the leg. ATVs require gas to run and aren’t known for their fuel efficiency. You do the math.

When charging your electric bicycle, you’ll simply plug it into your wall and pay a little extra on your monthly electric bill. If you get a solar panel to charge your bike, your power is free after the initial investment.

Aside from what it costs to power the vehicle, maintaining an ATV costs more than maintaining an ebike. You’ll have to pay for or perform tune-ups on your ATV every so often, as there are far more working parts to keep in order. ATVs cost more to maintain that ebikes, plain and simple.

And don’t forget the pesky insurance and registration song and dance that goes along with owning an ATV. Ebikes, on the other hand, don’t need to be registered or insured, though doing so is probably a good idea.

ATVs Require Much More Storage Space

Out of the box, an ATV requires much more storage space than a bicycle, but some ebike accessories make this advantage moot. For example, you can attach a trailer to the hunting bike to haul meat and gear, which will broaden its footprint significantly.

That said, ATVs are much bigger and heavier than ebikes and thus require much more storage space overall.

eBikes are More Portable Than ATVs

If you want to haul an ATV, you’ll need a truck or SUV with decent pulling power and a trailer to pull behind. On the other hand, a mountain-style ebike can easily affix to a rack on your car, much like any non-motorized bike.

Or, you could simply pick up your electric bicycle and toss it in your pickup bed (though they weigh upwards of 70 pounds).

Also, many trails and nature areas aren’t nearly as friendly to big, heavy ATVs as they are agile bicycles. Depending on where you hunt, an electric bicycle could actually help you get further into the woods than an ATV.

Hunters Considerations for Electric Bikes

Rambo brand camo bicycle propped up with its kickstand in a snowy field

There are countless different factors to consider when choosing your next electric bike

 

When studying ebikes, several components and concepts come together to create a cohesive whole — the bike itself. We think having a base knowledge of each of these pieces can help you make the best decision when it comes to purchasing your next rig.

Size

The first thing to consider is the size of your electric bike for hunting. Products generally come in three sizes, small, medium, and large, so make sure you take some measurements at home and choose the proper bike for your size.

Motors

Motors represent probably the most critical choice you’ll make when buying an electric bike for hunting, and you’ll run into two main options. Click the ‘+’ sign to learn a little bit about each type of motor.

Hub Motor

This type of motor is installed directly in the wheel hub. As a result, the torque can take some getting used to since the hub motor powers the wheel itself, not the sprocket and chain like you’re used to in a traditional bike.

But, that’s a benefit: If your chain snaps, you’ll still be able to drive the bike to camp, your truck, or wherever you need to be. Plus, hub motors have been around forever, so they’re inexpensive, and the technology is tried-and-true.

Hub motors also have fewer moving parts than mid-drive motors, meaning they have fewer failure points and they’ll ultimately be more reliable.

Rear hub motors aren’t great at propelling riders up hills in terms of drawbacks. Because the wheel itself is powered, it’s easier to slip and lose traction. Many hub motors lack gearing, as well, so climbing hills becomes much more difficult.

Ultimately, we think hub motors make for good electric hunting bikes as long as you hunt flat areas with limited hills. That said, you can eliminate the advantage of a mid-drive bike by choosing one with a hub motor up front and another on the back, essentially giving you an AWD or 2WD bike.

Just be aware that changing a tire on a hub wheel is more intensive than simply swapping one on a mid-drive motor.

Mid-Drive Motor

Unlike the hub motor, mid-drives sit between the pedals and powers your hunting ebike through its sprocket (gear connected to the pedals) and chain. The result is a more balanced ride feel when compared to hub motors.

Plus, because the weight of a hub motor lies in either the front or, more commonly, the back wheel, the bike won’t have the balanced feel of a mid-drive electric bike for hunting. Part of that differentiation is also due to their gearing.

Mid-drive motors have more gears than hub drives, meaning you’ll have a better chance of finding the perfect gear to help propel you up the hill. While it’s true some hub motor bikes have upwards of seven gears, you’ll find double the amount in the best mid-drive motor systems.

But mid-drive motors aren’t without their drawbacks. Because so much stress gets placed on the chain by the motor, it’s much more common to break the chain in a mid-drive motor system than in a hub motor system.

To mitigate this issue, riders must diligently shift their gears to ensure their chains don’t snap. By keeping the system in the correct gear, you’ll produce less stress on the chain. With proper care and usage, we think you’ll prefer the more balanced ride that goes along with driving a mid-drive motor.

It’s our opinion that mid-drive motors are the better option over hub motors when it comes to electric hunting bikes. They’re smooth, efficient, responsive, and climb hills with ease.

Battery

Think of your battery like your gas tank.

When analyzing different types of batteries for your ebike, you’ll come across a few numbers repeatedly. They can seem confusing at first, but we’ll walk you through them.

Voltage

The first number you’ll see is volts, which indicates that the battery supplies a given amount of electromotive force to a given electric circuit. Essentially, think of voltage like pressure in a pipe. The higher the voltage, the more pressure.

The majority of hunting ebikes generally operate on 48 volts.

Amp Hours (Ah)

The second number you’ll come across is the amp hours or Ah. Amp hours measure the capacity of a battery. The higher the amp hours — e.g., 14Ah vs. 25Ah — the more “fuel” your bike will have and the longer it’ll be able to run.

A bike with a 25Ah battery will have nearly twice the range of an identical bike with a 14Ah battery, so long as they’re driven in the same fashion.

Range

The rated range of your bike depends on its battery, of course. But the wattage of the motor, the weight of the rider and their gear, terrain, and temperature will impact precisely how many miles you can ride the bike before it runs out of juice.

Let’s look at some basic examples.

A higher wattage motor (1000w vs. 750w) will pull more energy from the battery and deplete it faster. You can expect to go around 20 mph with a 750W motor, but with a 1000W motor, you’ll reach speeds of 28 with throttle alone.

The faster you go, the more energy you burn.

Then, if you load your bike up to its 300-pound weight limit with yourself and gear, you’ll go fewer miles due to the stress it puts on the motor compared to a 150-pound rider with no gear.

If the miles you cover feature steep hills and harsh terrain, the motor will have to work harder to climb those hills and get through the choppy stuff. Doing so will require a higher wattage and deplete your battery faster than if you were on flat ground.

Temperature also impacts batteries in substantial ways. On very cold mornings, you can expect to get about 15% less range from your battery than you would on a 70-degree day.

The best way to extend your battery life is to use your bike’s pedal-assist system. If you pedal and help power your bike through the field, you can nearly double its battery life.

Consider where you hunt and its terrain, the type of gear you’ll bring, and roughly how many miles you’ll ride the bike. We think it’s best to get a slightly bigger battery than you think you’ll need so that you can eliminate a bit of range anxiety.

Man in camo cycling through an open field with a rack of antlers strapped to his backpack

Ebikes are rapidly gaining popularity in the backcountry hunting community

Gear Systems

All but one of the bikes on our list feature external gearing systems with cassettes, which are gears on the outside of the bike’s back tire. A derailleur helps move the chain to different gears on the cassette.

If you’ve ever ridden a regular mountain bike, you’ll be familiar with these systems.

But, those components won’t be present on the more advanced bikes or those with a single gear. The Rambo Venom is an example of a bike with an internal gearing system.

Tires

All of the electric hunting bikes on this list feature “fat” tires, wider than you’d typically see on a traditional mountain bike. The benefits are simple — fat tires provide more traction on the types of surfaces you’ll encounter in the wild. That includes mud, sand, and uneven surfaces.

Imagine trying to get through sand with a typical road bike tire, and you’ll understand the benefit of using fatter tires. Most fat tires you’ll encounter on this list are between 4 and 4.8-inch widths. Depending on your expected environment, one width might perform better for you than the other.

If you know you’ll ride through extremely loose surfaces, consider a bike with a dual front tire system like the Rungu Dualie XR. Because of the added gripping power of two wheels, you’ll find enhanced stability and traction on challenging terrain.

Suspension

For extremely choppy surfaces, you might want to consider a full-suspension bike like the Bakcou Storm G2. Full suspension bicycles have shocks in front and a linkage system underneath the seat. These rear systems make harsh rides on choppy terrain much more comfortable for your backside.

That said, a hardtail bike, or one without a back suspension, might be better if you plan on putting gear on the rear rack. The extra weight on the back could squat your suspension and make the comfort gains negligible.

Surprisingly, the suspension system can make an impact on your range. Hardtail bikes generally weigh less, so you could get better mileage with them than with a softtail.

And, of course, with extra suspension linkages, you’ll pay more for a full-suspension bike than you would with a standard front shock system.

Considering all these factors, we think that a hardtail bike makes the most sense for most hunters. But, if you know you’ll need some extra bounce in rugged terrains to keep your rear end comfortable, a softtail bike also makes a lot of sense.

Rules and Regulations

As with any motorized vehicle, Johnny Law often has set some rules about where you can and can’t ride your ebike. Check out what restrictions apply to ebikes in the areas you expect to hunt beforehand. There are too many different rules and regulations by state for us to break them all down here.

Check out peopleforbikes.org for a detailed breakdown of the rules and regulations for individual states. To know more about how the BLM manages ebikes, click here.

For your knowledge, we’ll briefly discuss the standard legal definition of the three tiers of ebikes below.

  • Tier 1: This type of ebike has a motor that only engages when you pedal. As soon as you reach 20 mph, the motor shuts off.
  • Tier 2: Tier two has the same pedal assist function and a throttle. The throttle enables the bike to take off with zero pedaling. Tier 2 also stops assisting hunters at the 20 mph threshold. These bikes must also possess motors under 750w, so manufacturers often advertise bikes at 749w to get around this stipulation.
  • Tier 3: You’ll find the fastest and most powerful options in tier three. With motors often over 1000w peak power, these hunting ebikes can fly. You’ll get both pedal assist and throttle up to 28 mph.

Because they’re a newer technology, ebikes often fit into a legal grey area, so be sure to understand the laws where you plan on riding beforehand to avoid any confusion.

Durability

The best electric bikes for hunting on this list are purpose-built for the off-road conditions hunters often find themselves in. These aren’t simply run-of-the-mill electric bikes with a few updated components. They’re made for hunters, featuring heavy-duty parts and sweet camo wrappers.

All that said, our list features a few ebikes that are designed for lighter duty than others, just for a well-rounded selection across all price points.

You can expect most bikes on this list to be durable enough to withstand harsh backcountry terrain.

Ready to Step Up Your Hunting Game With an eBike?

Man cycling down a dirt road with bow and arrows strapped to the outside of his backpack

An ebike could open up a whole new world of possibilities on your 2022 backcountry hunt

 

If, at this point, you’re not sure which off-road electric bike is best for your 2022 hunt, we’ve failed you.

But don’t lose hope if you haven’t yet made up your mind.

Like any other piece of gear, the perfect ebike for you depends on the demands of your hunt. While you may only need a 750w bike, your inner voice will tell you to choose the 1000w. Why go for a 14Ah battery when you can score a 25Ah tank?

Here’s the truth: You really can’t go wrong.

Because these battery-powered bikes are built to glide through off-road mountain terrain at speeds you may have never imagined possible without gasoline. And they do it all while keeping odors down, moving quietly, and looking immaculate in camo.

So, whether you’re about to pull the trigger on a Bakcou, Rambo, QuietKat, or Rungu ebike, it’ll get the job done for the 2022 hunting season and beyond. A quality product from this list will help open up new horizons and expand your capabilities as a hunter.

No matter which model you pick, we think 2022’s best hunting ebike is the one you bring along. Now mount up, hunters. It’s time to jump aboard your electric steed, hit the field, and fill those tags.

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All images in this post are credited to eBike Generation.

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