2013 Outrider 422 Alpha Review

Outrider 422 Alpha Electric Bike Review 1
Outrider 422 Alpha
Outrider 422 Alpha Motor
Outrider 422 Alpha Battery
Outrider 422 Alpha Lcd Computer
Outrider 422 Alpha Front Gear
Outrider 422 Alpha Belt Drive
Outrider 422 Alpha Disc Brakes
Outrider 422 Alpha Makeshift Parking Brake
Outrider 422 Alpha Mirrors
Outrider 422 Alpha Pannier
Outrider 422 Alpha Electric Bike Review 1
Outrider 422 Alpha
Outrider 422 Alpha Motor
Outrider 422 Alpha Battery
Outrider 422 Alpha Lcd Computer
Outrider 422 Alpha Front Gear
Outrider 422 Alpha Belt Drive
Outrider 422 Alpha Disc Brakes
Outrider 422 Alpha Makeshift Parking Brake
Outrider 422 Alpha Mirrors
Outrider 422 Alpha Pannier

Summary

  • Extremely powerful and fast electric recumbent bicycle built on the KMX Venom frame
  • Custom fabricated battery case, durable LiFePo cells, powerful mid-drive Astro 3220 motor
  • Excellent two year warranty, upgraded rear rack, fender, lights, LED flag and water proof panniers
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.

Video Review

Trusted Advertisers

Introduction

Make:

Outrider

Model:

2013 422 Alpha

Price:

$11,995 USD

Body Position:

Recumbent

Suggested Use:

Commuting, Touring

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2), Moped or Motorcycle (Class 4)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2013

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

100 lbs (45.35 kg)

Frame Types:

Trike

Frame Colors:

Black

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

18 Speed 2x9 Shimano SLX Derailleur in Rear and Schlumpf Planetary Geared Crank in Front (2.5 to 1 Reduction)

Shifter Details:

Grip Twist on Right Bar, Heel Shifter on Front Crank

Brake Details:

Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Accessories:

Rear Fender, Plastic Chain Guide Tubes, Axiom Journey Carry Rack, Axiom Randonnee Aero 40 Waterproof Panniers, Cycle Lumenator (1,000 Lumen) LED Headlight, Arizona Whip (6 Foot Flashing LED Flagpole), Right and Left Handle Bar Mirrors, 700 Watt Battery Charger with Load Balancer

Other:

Completely Hand Built in the USA

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Astro 3230

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Gearless Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

Motor Peak Output:

4000 watts

Battery Voltage:

44.4 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

50 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

2200 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)

Charge Time:

2 hours

Estimated Min Range:

100 miles (161 km)

Estimated Max Range:

165 miles (266 km)

Display Type:

Backlit Monochrome LCD Display by Cycle Analyst

Readouts:

Volts, Voltage Cutout, Current Limit, Watts, Amps, Speed, Speed Limit, Distance, Time, Drive Mode (Choose from Assist, Economy and Power)

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

40 mph (64 kph) (Limited to 20 mph in Economy Mode)

Trusted Advertisers



Written Review

Outrider recumbent electric trikes are known for being fast, high quality, powerful and expensive. This is not an entry level product at all, it’s trickier to transport due to its size and weight (over 100 pounds) and uses an advanced battery pack that requires a load balancer to maintain. The 422 Alpha is Outrider’s top of the line offering and the name denotes its 4,000 watt motor and 2,200 watt-hour battery. This translates to “power and range” because most ebikes come with a 350 watt motor and a 400 watt-hour battery, you’re getting 11X the power and 5.5X the range. In addition, you’re also benefitting from the aerodynamic efficiencies of a recumbent and tossing in high quality extras such as Industry 9 custom wheels, Castle HV-160 controller, 700 watt quick-charger, CycleAnalyst software, rear rack with panniers and fender and an LED flagpole light. With its ~100 mile range and 45mph top speed, this thing can easily handle most commutes and has replaced cars on more than one occasion.

The Outrider 422 is built on a tadpole style recumbent electric trike (it’s called a tadpole because of the two wheels in the front and one in the rear which resembles the tail of a tadpole). The frame is actually made by KMX and called the Venom, it weighs ~50lbs on its own and retails for $1,999 so the other 50lbs and $10K cost of this bike is based on the motor, battery, computer system, frame customization, feature upgrades and warranty. That may sound like a lot but it’s actually pretty impressive given this thing is hand built in the USA! A lot of thought has been put into the custom fabricated battery holder, controller system and mid-mounted motor design. The bike has been refined over several years and Outrider provides excellent customer support, though they are based in Fletcher North Carolina which can make service a bit tricky. All of the owners I have met are very happy with the support they receive and I’ve spoken with Outrider reps and founders on numerous occasions, they’re good guys.

The motor driving this ebike is an Astro 3220 mid drive offering 4,000 watts of power. It’s mounted just under the seat and turns a system of belts that connect to gears and ultimately the rear wheel. This is a fast, powerful and light weight motor that is also quiet and the gearing system itself is one of the real highlights of the bike. I like that the motor is located centrally on the frame because that keeps the weight balanced and protects it from the elements a bit more. The belts are smooth, quiet and durable like those used on car engines. Wile the 422 Alpha does not offer pedal assist mode, the twist throttle on the left handlebar works perfectly and nearly takes your breath away when twisted because there is just so much power in the system! One note here is that in order to activate the motor the bicycle needs to be rolling at about five miles per hour.

Powering the motor on this bike is a 44.4 volt 50 amp hour (2,200 watt-hour) Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack. Its cells are contained in the rectangular metal box that has been added along the base of the bike in line with the frame. This design is rugged, water resistant and keeps the center of gravity very low on the bike making it very stable (perhaps more stable than a standard KMX Venom non-electric recumbent). On the sides of the pack are ports for charging and load balancing and a keyed switch that activates the system. It’s an impressive setup and the reason one might consider buying vs. building one of their own. The pack is durable, well thought out and great looking but demands respect given the quick charger, size of the battery and required load balancer.

On to the creature comforts! If you’re a geek, the CycleAnalyst software on the 422 Alpha will be a lot of fun. It shows a bunch of stats about battery performance and allows you to choose from one of three power settings that either keep the bike within the legal limits of US electric bike riding (750 watts and 20mph top speed) or far exceed them (2,200 watts and 45mph top speed). The LCD display is front and center making it easy to read and control when riding. The seat itself is quite comfortable and you can even get a head rest (as seen in the video) to reduce neck fatigue over long rides. The handle grips are easy to reach, the rear rack is pretty standard meaning you can add other bags if you’d like but the included waterproof panniers work great. The front light and rear LED flagpole are wonderful and really important on a recumbent like this for safety reasons. In a way the bike feels vulnerable given its lower position but the power, agility and balance it offers do a lot to make it feel safe and capable.

What really makes this bike work for people is its speed and stability, it enables you to work with traffic vs. being passed up all the time. It’s an electric bike that’s most comfortable on roads and since it can go faster, its easier to claim the lane without upsetting drivers. Few other electric bikes offer the same level of performance. You still want to avoid potholes because there aren’t any shocks and the seat padding only goes so far. The bike doesn’t really work off road or going up and down curbs and sidewalks. It’s at its best when riding on smooth, quiet backroads on adventure travel rides and that’s kind of what inspired the “Outrider” name. In general, these bikes are very responsive and works well in most conditions (snow is probably the exception) but I would suggest adding front fenders if it rains a lot where you plan to ride.

With 18 speeds to choose from when pedaling (9 on the rear cassette and two on the front planetary gear) the Alpha 422 works pretty well even when the battery is off but with such a large capacity and fast recharge rate you should always have electric drive support. It’s a challenge to communicate the the full potential and feature set of this ebike because it is so unique and custom. I want to close by describing the experience in my own terms. The bike is stable, very fast and responsive (almost frightening at high speeds), it has some great safety features including the large LED flag but should be handled with respect and care, the company is friendly and supportive and offers a solid warranty that garners a lot of trust. While it’s harder to transport and park this ebike, it functions more like a car and is built to last.

Pros:

  • Durable, high quality frame with mirrors, rack and rear fender by KMX; optional head rest and front fenders
  • Enormous 2,200 watt-hour battery pack is capable of powering the bike over 100 miles
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells are known for being durable, heat resistant and long lasting; the larger size also extends life since it is less likely to be fully discharged as often
  • Powerful 4,000 watt Astro 3220 motor offers plenty torque and speed for climbing hills or keeping up with traffic
  • Three riding modes (Assist, Economy and Power) help the bike comply with US laws, conserve battery but go a bit faster or zip quicky and powerfully out of harms way
  • Grip shifter and twist throttles work well and balance out the two handle bars, the heel-activated front gear works well and is convenient
  • Plastic chain covers keep your pants clean and out of harms way, also protect the chain
  • Super fast 700 watt charger only takes two hours to recharge the bike from empty and the included load balancer protects the battery for extended life
  • Included front light and LED flagpole are critical for safety since the trike is so low to the ground
  • Hand built in the USA with continuous refinements and improvements ongoing
  • Custom made wheels by Industry 9 designed to be more rugged at high speeds and avoid loose spokes
  • Very stable with low center of gravity, battery pack acts as a ballast and enables hard turning at higher speeds

Cons:

  • Mechanical disc brakes vs. hydraulic require a bit more effort to use, may create more hand fatigue over long distances
  • Nowhere to mount a water bottle, consider using a CamelBak but putting it on the front of your body vs. back
  • No shock absorbers and smaller wheels make potholes and large bumps feel uncomfortable at any speed (though the seat is quite forgiving)
  • More complex computer system and charging routine, more advanced ebike all-around that should be taken seriously to avoid wrecking the battery (balancer is not built in as with other bikes, require correct connection and settings when charging)
  • Harder to transport than traditional ebikes, battery is not removable, frame is long
  • In the event of a fix or maintenance requiring help from Outrider you’ll have to ship it to North Carolina
  • Have to pedal up to five miles per hour before motor can be activated, can be a challenge if on a hill

Resources:

More Outrider Reviews

Outrider Nomad 3 Series Review

  • MSRP: $14,985
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A recumbent electric trike that balances power with speed, the motor uses a 9 to 1 reduction making it capable of powered starts from rest but still hitting a top speed of 35 mph, it's the rally car equivalent for on and off road use. Three suspension points with RockShox Monarch shocks, custom padded seat with optional headrest, integrated LED…...

Outrider Alpha 4 Series Review

  • MSRP: $14,985
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A high speed capable (20 mph to 45 mph top speed settings) recumbent electric trike with full suspension (three RockShox Monarch shocks) and a custom foam seat for maximum comfort, highly adjustable body position and angle. The tadpole configuration (2 wheels in the front and one in the back) provide complete…...

Outrider Horizon 2 Series Review

  • MSRP: $12,985
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A highly customizable recumbent trike, hand cycle or adaptive platform with electric power in the form of a twist throttle, ships with 750 watt output and 20 mph top speed, unlocks up to 25 mph. Heavier, larger and more expensive than traditional two wheeled electric bicycles but comparatively cheaper and…...

Outrider Horizon Review

  • MSRP: $8,545
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

An adaptive electric bike that's customizable to transport any rider virtually anywhere a normal bike could go. Can be setup with normal pedals, hand cranks, twist throttle, foot tray, tri-pin hand controls…...

Outrider 422 Alpha Review

  • MSRP: $11,995
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

A powerful recumbent style trike capable of distance commuting or adventure riding, comes with panniers. Multiple speed settings, available in seven colors, comprehensive two year warranty, made in America...


Comments (2) YouTube Comments

George Sears
5 years ago

Court,

I watched the video for this ebike and then stumbled on a ‘First Ride’ video of the Stealth Bomber. I guess this is the high end of electric bikes. I really would not have believed the motor on the 422 could be that small. Overall, the 422 seems like those sports car concept cars you see at auto shows. I don’t know if they will sell, but it’s impressive to see the layers of design and engineering. I really think these vehicles with 4,000 watt motors are another category. If nothing else, they are never going to make the Federal definition of a bicycle. It’s still an incredibly efficient form of transport, many times more efficient than a Tesla. I think they could probably use some kinds of screens or fairing to make it more aerodynamic, but they have enough power and battery capacity to do what they want, apparently.

  Reply
chris@propelbikes.com
5 years ago

Yeah, the bikes are very impressive and the small size of the motor is pretty deceptive when you actually feel it move you! I’ve also ridden the Stealth Bomber but have not posted the video and review yet. Fast and strong… both ebikes are a step further in terms of performance and I wonder how that will play out with laws/regulation or if they can sneak by if not being misused (just like a Ferrari or Porsche gets a pass if the driver isn’t breaking the law :)

  Reply

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.