Looking for Suggestions on an ebike for hunting

Diggz1980

New Member
Hello All. I am new to the ebike world, actually new to biking in general haven’t been on one in a long while. I’m looking for help in choosing an ebike for hunting. Looking in the $2500 and under price range. I probably won’t use the bike a ton, just need it to help get me back in the woods a bit quicker and help pull a deer out with. Looking for a bike that is durable one that can drive through a couple feet high grass/weeds (if this is even possible), climb up hills, be able to put a rear rack on to haul a treestand, and be able pull a cart with a deer in hopefully.

Any insight I can get would be really appreciated. Especially from those of you who are hunters because I have no idea what the limitations are of these bikes in the field.
 

BrianK

Active Member
I have a “hunting e bike”, a Rambo R750 G3. I bought it at an archery shop that was getting out of hunting e bikes and sold me their two year old demo, the last one in their shop, at almost half what they were selling it for new.

I made some changes to it to make it better for the road and rail trails riding I do, including changing out the 34t front sprocket to a 46t.

As is came new, I have no doubt this would have been a decent hunting e bike. But their current prices for a similar new unit like mine were way out of my budget.
 

ez3putt

Active Member
My primary purpose for buying an e-bike was hunting. I am 73 years old, a buck-forty on a heavy day and 5'9" on a tall day, so your needs may differ from mine. After approaching paralysis by analysis, my mental list of wants/needs in no particular order was:

1. Step thru frame. While I can still swing a leg over, I knew that I would be carrying stuff on the rear rack that would make swinging a leg over difficult to impossible.

2. Twenty inch fat tires - I thought I would need to put a foot or feet down from time to time while riding in the woods. I was right. When riding in the woods, I lower both the seat post and the handlebar all the way and when cruising, I can raise them up for my preferred upright riding style.

3. Throttle - Most hub motors with cadence sensors have five levels of PAS. Level 1 typically tries to get you to 10-12 mph very quickly. For me, that is much too fast when I am pig trailing through the woods. My bike has nine levels, but even at level 1 it still wants to go 5 mph and even that may be too fast. The throttle provides infinite levels of power for slow speed maneuvers.

4. Rear rack capacity - Most rear racks are small and have low weight limits, usually 40-50 lbs. My stock rear rack is rated for 100 lbs, but it is still only 7x14 inches. I ordered a 20x18 inch platform rack from RAD and bolted it onto my existing rack which greatly enhanced the functionality and gave me room to mount Kolpin gun holders. I can now carry my crossbow, a fifty pound bag of corn, and my day pack with no problem.

5. Motor - Most people are probably going to say you need a mid-drive torque sensing motor for hills. I hunt in NW Ga., and there is not a flat piece of ground anywhere on the property. My 750W (nominal) hub drive has taken me anywhere I wanted to go and maybe a few places I shouldn't have gone. I think a 500W motor would probably work for me, but I wanted the largest motor I could legally ride in bike lanes. Probably a guy thing.

6. Suspension seat post - I didn't know I wanted one until my first real ride off-road. Rocks, ruts, roots, holes, and limbs convinced me pretty quickly how much I wanted one. I went with the Suntour and have been pretty happy with it.

7. Trailer - Last year, I bought a Hawk Crawler game cart. Amazing cart, but I still need to fabricate a hitch for the bike rack. I have pulled a Gorilla yard cart loaded with tree and shrub trimming just using the U hitch and pin designed for lawn tractors on my rack. It did surprisingly well over grass and sugar sand, but it did scrape the paint off my rack. At least aluminum doesn't rust.

I have ridden through weeds up to about eighteen inches high, but not all that thick (unless you count thick with chiggers) with no problem. I am not sure about some really thick stuff.

Good luck with your search. My e-bike has extended my hunting timeline.
 

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Diggz1980

New Member
@ez3putt Thanks for your detailed response. Interesting that your bike has 20" tires only. I was wondering why so many of these bikes have 26" tires. I'm more prone to wanting gear that is smaller and lighter weight. I'm younger than you but similar in size 5'9" 160 pounds so I don't think I necessarily need/want the biggest most powerful bike if I don't have to for hunting. Like you said I can see only wanting to no more than 5 mph through the woods as well. Have you any issue with brush, grass, twigs or anything getting caught in the bike where it needs maintenance? I hunt a lot of public land and get quite a ways back in so I'd hate to the thing break down a mile back in.
 

BrianK

Active Member
My Rambo has a Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear hub. They use that rear specifically to avoid debris in the field getting caught up in an external derailleur. As it came from them it was geared very low and slow and had no problems riding slow off road.
 

ez3putt

Active Member
Diggz, lightweight and e-bikes are an oxymoron. My bike weighs close to 70 lbs. I went with 20" tires so I could put a foot down without having to lean the bike over, which was important to me especially with a load on the rear rack. Occasionally, a twig or stick will get caught in a fender or pedal, but that is little more than an annoyance. My bike has a heavier than most metal guard over the derailleur and so far, no issues with it getting bent or damaged. The motor is sealed, so not much can happen to it. I have ridden through six inches of water with no ill effects.

The biggest danger is a flat tire, but barring a blow-out, you can fix that in the woods. The only blow-out I have had was in the parking garage of my condo. I did replace the rear tire with a more puncture resistant tire. I have had my bike for about eighteen months and most of my riding is recreational, but I spent a couple of days riding around my yard (I have lots of trees) getting comfortable avoiding obstacles, determining how much space I needed between trees, and even riding over some stumps that hadn't been ground out yet before I took it hunting.

Good luck with your decision.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
My brother in law has a Rambo that he uses for deer hunting. It comes with a trailer for hauling stuff in and out of the woods. It’s fat tire and camouflage color.
He teased me a bit when I got my gray Vado because it wasn’t camouflage. 😆😁😊
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Sadly Rambo sold BBS02 motors where BBSHD will be a better choice for a hunting bike. SA IGH 3 speeds aren’t the best choice in hubs for heavy duty use.
 

BrianK

Active Member
SA IGH 3 speeds aren’t the best choice in hubs for heavy duty use
I had heard the SA IGH with a higher number of gears was to be avoided with an e bike build but I thought the 3 speed fat bike version of the SA IGH was somewhat more robust and more reliable for e bike use?

Maybe that’s why they went with BBS02 instead of BBSHD in the SA IGH models?
 
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BrianK

Active Member
The conclusions and recommendations section of this article is helpful for deciding what IGH might work with the power of your motor https://www.electricbike.com/mid-drive-kit-igh/
Excellent article, thanks. It’s long but worth wading through.

It also links to this article, which specifically addresses the SA 3 speed fat IGH:

 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I won't argue with Karl, I can only add my experience in handling customer service calls, 2015 to today, from BBSxx series kit customers. I had a couple of SA IGH wheels built. After destroying one and experiencing the limited gearing I sold my last SA wheel to someone with a low powered BBSxx.
 

BrianK

Active Member
I won't argue with Karl, I can only add my experience in handling customer service calls, 2015 to today, from BBSxx series kit customers. I had a couple of SA IGH wheels built. After destroying one and experiencing the limited gearing I sold my last SA wheel to someone with a low powered BBSxx.
When I bought mine, the archery shop had sold a half dozen bikes with the SA 3 speed fat hub. Five of them had no problems whatsoever. One of them, an “extreme” e biker, blew up his SA 3 speed fat IGH within a couple months. Literally blew a hole through the outer casing.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
if your going to be hauling deer out of the woods gets something with some power like an Ultra or BBSHD motor, you will need the torque, and avoid Rambo like the Black Death! they are grossly overpriced! $4000 for the friggin Bushwacker? you have got to be joking! lmao! thats the same bike Bolton,Biktrix and Eunarau sell for around $2500 just with a SA 3 speed and a smaller battery!(both downgrades for hunting imo)there is no way a SA 3 speed and a battery downgrade is worth $1500
 

BrianK

Active Member
if your going to be hauling deer out of the woods gets something with some power like an Ultra or BBSHD motor, you will need the torque, and avoid Rambo like the Black Death! they are grossly overpriced! $4000 for the friggin Bushwacker? you have got to be joking! lmao! thats the same bike Bolton,Biktrix and Eunarau sell for around $2500 just with a SA 3 speed and a smaller battery!(both downgrades for hunting imo)there is no way a SA 3 speed and a battery downgrade is worth $1500
Yes, they are now way overpriced. That’s why the archery shop where I got mine got out of selling Rambos. His typical clientele couldn’t afford their price increases. He had one leftover 2018 R750 G3 he just wanted out of his shop and I got it for $1200, which to me was reasonable for a mid drive BBS02 fat bike.

Some unsold 2018 and 2019 Rambo bikes are showing up online at discounted prices from their retail. A recent thread here showed them available recently at Costco but they are no longer listed and weren’t discounted like mine was.

Their current pricing is going to drive them out of business.
 
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ruffruff

Well-Known Member
I use the Biktrix Juggernaut Classic for hunting. It's OK. I think it's a better choice for the money than the Rambo bikes.
You pay a big premium for a "hunting" branded bike. You can find essentially the same bike for less money that isn't sold as a "hunting" bike.

FYI I have driven through about everything you can imagine from wheat, to corn stubble to, snow to tall grass and have yet to have any issue with the derailuer hanger. Sure it collects some garbage but it has never interferred with my hunt/ride. I just pull the garbage out when I get home as needed.



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BrianK

Active Member
The only real difference on a “hunting e bike” seems to be the low gearing. Mine came with a 34t front sprocket and a 24t rear cog so they could go slower and climb better off road and hauling a trailer.

I already changed the front sprocket to 46t and have a 52t front sprocket on order as my riding is road and rail trails oriented.

I also had the controller reprogrammed to unlock Rambo’s speed and PAS settings