2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Review

2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Electric Bike Review 1
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker 7 Speed Shimano Acera
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Locking Rack Style Battery
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Lcd Display Twist Throttle
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Active Saddle Suspension Post
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Aluminum Battery Box
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Battery Handle Led Charge Indicator
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Headlight Riser Bars
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Integrated Wires
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Locking Flat Grips
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Mechanical Disc Brakes
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Oversized Kickstand Platform Pedals
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Vee Rubber 26 4 Tires
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Electric Bike Review 1
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker 7 Speed Shimano Acera
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Locking Rack Style Battery
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Lcd Display Twist Throttle
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Active Saddle Suspension Post
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Aluminum Battery Box
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Battery Handle Led Charge Indicator
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Headlight Riser Bars
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Integrated Wires
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Locking Flat Grips
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Mechanical Disc Brakes
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Oversized Kickstand Platform Pedals
2015 Pedego Trail Tracker Vee Rubber 26 4 Tires

Summary

  • A fat style ebike with zippy 500 watt geared motor and powerful 48 battery (available in 10ah or 15ah for extended range)
  • Four fun color options, integrated headlight, pedal assist and throttle mode, quality mechanical disc brakes
  • Rear heavy design, older style battery pack, only available in one frame size, lacks quick release wheels for easier transport

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Pedego

Model:

Trail Tracker

Price:

$2,995 USD (Up to $3,295)

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Trail, Sand and Snow

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive, 3 Year Limited

Availability:

United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Europe

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

65 lbs (29.48 kg)

Battery Weight:

9 lbs (4.08 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Black, Black with Lime Accents, Brushed Aluminum, Red

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, Wide

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera HG20 12-32T with HG40 Chain

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney FT55 SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right Bar

Cranks:

3-Piece Aluminum Alloy, 175 mm 38T Sprocket

Pedals:

Pedego Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

Neco

Stem:

Rigid, Angled

Handlebar:

Flat Mountain Style with 5" Riser

Brake Details:

SRAM Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers with Integrated Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Flat Rubber with Lockers

Saddle:

Pedego Narrow Trail

Seat Post:

EXA Form 525 Suspension Shock

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

28.6 mm

Spokes:

Heavy Duty 12 Gauge

Tire Brand:

Vee Rubber, 26" x 4"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Integrated Spanninga MICRO FF LED Headlight, Aluminum Alloy Bash Guard, Integrated Handle and LED Charge Indicator on Battery Pack, Oversized Kickstand on Left, Integrated Bell on Left Brake Lever

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Sealed 100 mm x 152 mm Bottom Bracket, Tool-Free Quick Adjust on Brake Calipers (Red Twist Disc)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Dapu

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

15 ah (Optional10Ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

720 wh (Optional480wh)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

Fixed, Backlit LCD on Left Bar

Readouts:

Current Speed, Ride Time, Odometer, Trip Distance, Pedal Assist Level (0-5), Battery Power

Display Accessories:

USB Charge Outlet

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (12 Magnet Pedelec Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)


Written Review

The 2015 Pedego Trail Tracker builds on the original Trail Tracker design which was launched in 2013. It was one of the very first electric powered fat bikes that I saw in the US and it offered the same power, quality build and customer support that Pedego has built its reputation on. The downside was that it only offered one gear to pedal with and that meant slow difficult starts and rapid unstable high speed rotations (if you tried to keep up). Thankfully, that issue has been addressed with the latest model! You get a seven speed Shimano Acera cassette with an oversized “granny gear” for climbing. Pedego has also added an integrated headlight, backlit LCD display panel with integrated USB charging port, a narrower more active saddle and pedal assist with five levels! It’s better in just about every way than the original but the price has stayed just about the same as before. The only real downside to the Trail tracker in my view is weight distribution. It’s a rear heavy bike (like many Pedego ebikes) and the battery is also mounted fairly high up which decreases stability. Thankfully, the included kickstand is really nice and does a good job of stabilizing the bike on most surfaces. Eventually Pedego might decide to built the Trail Tracker battery into the rear rack (like their other 2015 models) which would make it possible to add a bag or panniers. Their new designs also let you remove the key while riding (which this one does not) and that reduces jingling and potential snags.

Driving the Trail Tracker is a high quality Dapu geared rear hub motor. This is the same brand that Easy Motion uses on many of their bikes (the 350 watt Neo and Evo series) and it feels zippier and more powerful than some comparably sized alternatives. For the Trail Tracker, Pedego has installed a 500 watt motor and it feels very satisfying. Considering the heavier frame build and larger tires on this bike, it was a great choice in my opinion. I’ve test ridden a few 350 watt electric fat bikes like the Sand Viper and they tend to struggle in soft conditions. In the video review you can see me climb a fairly steep section of packed dirt and while the motor does struggle towards the top, I was able to ascend on throttle power only! I like that the hub motor used here isn’t too heavy or large (it’s basically hidden behind the disc brake and cassette) and I appreciate the quick disconnect they added to the power wire for simplifying maintenance.

Powering this bike is a super strong 48 volt pack with high quality Lithium-ion Samsung cells. You get to choose from a 10 amp hour or 15 amp hour version (for ~$200 more) and this will extend your range but add a couple of extra pounds. I like that the battery is locking and removable for easier charging (you can charge on or off the bike) and I like the matching black paint job. One possible downside here is that black absorbs heat and heat is not so great for batteries… I’m not how big of a deal this is and you could always take the pack inside using the nice little built in handle on the back. I’m a big fan of Pedego’s newer battery+rack design which surrounds and protects it. On the Trail Tracker, you really don’t have much to work with in terms of mounting a bag or panniers and this might also prevent air from cooling the battery. I also don’t love that you have to leave the keys in this bike in order to operate it, sometimes they jingle and are just more exposed to bumps and snags. In short, the cells and power are great but the mounting design and position limit your options.

Operating this updated version of the Trail Tracker is more complex than the original (which just had a twist throttle and LED battery gauge). Now you get a full LCD display panel with speed, distance and assist level readouts. The display is backlit for use at dusk or dawn and also controls the headlight (just press tap the power button). There’s no rear light unfortunately (this is built into the battery on other Pedego models) but there are plenty of reflectors on the wheels, pedals and even below the headlight. The display itself is not removable but it does swivel forward and back to help reduce glare or just improve your viewing angle. There are four buttons along the left ridge of the screen and these are fairly easy to reach while gripping the left bar. Overall it seems well sealed against rain and other elements and I love the USB charging slot underneath (which includes a rubber plug for water protection). Once the pack is charged, mounted and clicked to on using the key you can press power on the display and pick from 0-5. At any time you can twist the throttle to override assist and the assist itself is fairly responsive and easy to ride with. The bottom bracket area has a plastic disc with 12 magnets installed that activate a sensor as your cranks turn. It starts and stops fairly quick but you can always override it by tapping either brake lever. These levers also activate the mechanical 180 mm disc brakes that provide great stopping power, even for heavier loads.

There are some obvious areas that the Trail Tracker can still be improved but so many great updates have already been made. As stated early on, I feel like this is really a neighborhood electric bike with the potential to romp around trails, sand and snow but not really excel there. Consider a mid-drive powered bike for something like that but expect to pay at least $1.5K more. Pedego has a solid reputation, they stand behind their products and have a specialty dealer network that will assist you along the way. I wish this bike had quick release wheels because the tires are so large but at least the battery is removable and I like the bottle cage bosses and kickstand. The colors are fun, the power is fun and with the addition of pedal assist and the larger 15 amp hour battery option this bike should go the distance.

Pros:

  • Trail Tracker frames are available in four different color schemes and the wheelset is painted to match or compliment for a fun aesthetic!
  • Wider availability than many other fat style electric bikes (great if you want to test ride before buying) and Pedego offers a solid warranty, up to three years
  • Powerful 500 watt geared motor pairs with the 48 volt Lithium battery to deliver impressive torque and power for trails, sand or light snow conditions
  • Offers “throttle only” mode while riding in assist level zero, you can also override any of the five levels of assist for a burst of energy while climbing
  • Upgraded grips feature locking rings to reduce spinning, narrow performance saddle doesn’t chaff legs while pedaling rigorously, suspension seat post and 4″ tires help to absorb shock
  • Neat integrated USB charging port built right into the LCD display panel mounted to the left bar, charge your portable electronics while riding
  • Integrated LED headlight and backlit display are powered by the main battery pack so you don’t need to worry about purchasing additional cells or having them run out
  • The battery locks to the frame for security but is removable for convenient charging and to reduce the overall weight of the bike during transport
  • Integrated motor inhibitors cut power immediately when activated, oversized 180 mm disc brakes are smooth and powerful
  • Threaded eyelets are included on the downtube so you can mount a portable pump, folding lock or water bottle cage
  • Includes a very sturdy single sided kickstand that is capable of holding the bike on pavement or off-road, not very many mountain bikes or fat bikes come with kickstands but it can be difficult to find a good one like this after market so I’m glad Pedego did

Cons:

  • The battery used on the Trail Tracker is of an older design and lacks the rear light, surrounding rack tubes (for use with a bag or panniers) and requires that you leave the key in while riding
  • Rear heavy design with the hub motor and battery both mounted on the back half of the frame, the battery is also positioned higher up which isn’t as stable while parked or riding
  • The battery pack must be activated independently from the LCD display, this might deter tampering but requires extra time and may be forgotten (leaving the battery pack on to drain slowly)
  • Only available in one standard size with high-step “diamond” frame style, this may be difficult to mount or fit across a wide range of users but Pedego has chose a slightly curved top tube to help lower the standover height
  • The display panel is fixed which means you cannot easily take it off the bike for storage, this may increase exposure to weather elements or vandalism, thankfully it does swivel up and down to help reduce glare
  • No quick release skewers on either wheel, this feature can be handy for doing trail maintenance, transporting bikes in a car or storing them in a garage (especially for fat bikes because their wheels are so large)

Resources:

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