QuietKat Villager Urban eBike Reviews

RickyBikes

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USA
The QuietKat Villager Urban eBike is a step-through urban cruiser retailing for $2,899.00 on QuietKat’s website. This is a Class-2 eBike meaning pedal assist and a throttle up to 20mph. This is a mid-market bike as far as price goes but it has mostly introductory/budget components. It is available in three frame sizes and two colors (Veil Poseidon Blue Camouflage and Classic Blue, however that one is not available currently), and comes in one approachable step-through frame designed for people ranging in height from 5’ - 6’3. It has a 500W motor and 48v battery with an estimated range between 23-48 miles. Here's Quietkat’s official website http://www.quietkat.com and I'd love to hear your thoughts below, especially if you own the Villager Urban eBike or plan to buy it!






While I haven't reviewed this electric bike myself, I have covered similar E-Bikes and I wanted to provide some insights and open things up for your feedback. I hope providing several sources, with varying perspectives, allows everyone to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes short reviews and those created by shops only cover the good aspects and can come off like a commercial, so I've tried to be neutral and objective with these insights:


Pros – things that stand out as good:
  • I really enjoy Quietkat's recommended kit upgrade options: Angler Kit, Urban Commuter Kit, Overland Kit. This bike is definitely designed to utilize Quietkat’s accessories, so to see something already recommended depending on what you’re using it for, is a handy tool.
  • I appreciate the 30-day risk-free ride policy and 1-year frame warranty. They also have a handy support center on their website. The tradeoff is they don't have the level of support available that dealerships or large brands like giant, trek and cannondale would offer, but I was also surprised to learn that there are over 300 dealerships/service centers in the United States affiliated with Quietkat.
  • I appreciate the upgraded frame from 2020's model, particularly the integrated rear rack. The Poseidon Blue Camouflage coloring is not my cup of tea, but the added rear rack gives this bike a more practical look. It looks sturdy, has a decent payload capacity and is perfect for adding additional accessories, depending on your biking needs.
  • I appreciate the battery integration. The frame does look heavier than it’s alleged weight of 50lbs; it's using pretty basic components that will add to the overall weight of the bike, so component upgrades could save you some valuable ounces. The blue camouflage color is an interesting choice for an urban cruiser, particularly one designed for such a wide variety of riders (but there is a classic blue option as well for a more neutral appearance, however it is currently unavailable). With the estimated 325lbs payload capacity, this is a bike that works for getting around town and using it for light errands.

Cons – considerations that seem like trade-offs or negatives:
  • I'm intrigued by the bike and like the overall look of the frame, but the Villager strikes me as a something that isn't quite sure what it wants to be. It's promoted as an urban cruiser, but QuietKat encourages you to get off the beaten path, so maybe it can be used as a hybrid bike. The thick Kenda fat tires aren't the most agile nor the most efficient as far as prolonging battery life goes, plus they add weight, so they don't seem to be best suited for urban use, yet the tires themselves aren't quite hybrid tires. The suspension fork is not meant for any serious off-road riding, and the display is large and bulky and not integrated to the handlebars. That doesn’t feel necessary for what’s essentially a beach cruiser. For the price, I’d want more available information on the hub motor and battery capabilities.
  • I like QuietKat’s website but it’s difficult to find the specific component information. The brand of motor, specifics on drive train and battery, it’s all a big vague. For example, the QuietKat promotional Youtube videos claim that the Villager uses a Sram 7speed drive train whereas the official website says it's a Shimano 7-speed. Most websites are straightforward with component specs, but this didn’t feel as forthcoming.
  • Mechanical disc brakes leave a lot to be desired, and hydraulic disc brakes (which are quickly becoming the norm) would make more sense for this bike. The real benefit to hydraulic disc brakes is that there's less hand strength required to brake (which makes the most sense anyways for an approachable step through frame designed for all variety of riders). The size of the rotors on the mechanical disc brakes do makes a difference; these 203mm rotors have more braking power than 160mm or 180mm offerings, but hydraulic brakes with motor inhibitors are the optimal choice. Without those you may be fighting the motor while braking which can present a potential safety issue - particularly since this is an urban bike and you'll be around some sort of traffic. These brake rotors are also too large for the chosen suspension fork (more on that below).
  • The Villager uses a budget suspension fork (RST Guide). This fork is heavy, basic and fairly inexpensive. The issue I find with it is that the RST Guide (both Guides 20 & 26) suspension fork lists a maximum brake rotor size of 180mm, but QuietKat decided on 203mm rotors for the Villager. Since this is beyond what the fork allows for, it may void any manufacturer warranties RST provides and could spell trouble in the long term for the bike. Rather than mechanical disc brakes and rotors too large for the fork, QuietKat probably could have provided 180mm hydraulic disc brakes with motor inhibitors.
  • A headlight and basic reflectors on the spokes are provided, but there isn't any reflective striping on the tires, no stock taillight, no brake lights, nor reflective paint accents to alert cars of your presence. When a bike is meant for urban settings, safety features weigh heavier in my evaluation. Even if one isn’t going to provide a taillight, perhaps add a rear reflector and paint it a color that will brightly reflect lights rather than camouflage (albeit a bright blue camouflage). Blue is actually the most common color found in vehicle accidents; this is suspected to be because that color blends in with the sky and is therefore not as noticeable to drivers/riders.
  • The provided charger takes an upwards of 8 hours to charge the bike. This may have once been standard, but with so many charging options available today, 8 hours is simply too long. QuietKat does offer an upgraded charger which cuts the time almost in half. That would be the optimal option.


As always, I welcome feedback and additions to these pros and cons, especially from people who have tried or own the bike. If you see other great video reviews for the Villager Urban eBike, please share them and I may update this post ongoing so we can get the best perspectives and insights.