Discuss our eBike Review: QuietKat LT
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine 05-Sep-18
JTV 05-Sep-18
Will 05-Sep-18
Steve Leffler 05-Sep-18
Pete-pec 05-Sep-18
BULELK1 06-Sep-18
Deep Cut 06-Sep-18
loprofile 06-Sep-18
eBike John 06-Sep-18
PECO 06-Sep-18
APauls 06-Sep-18
Pat Lefemine 06-Sep-18
Cheetah8799 06-Sep-18
Pat Lefemine 06-Sep-18
loprofile 06-Sep-18
3arrows 06-Sep-18
GF 06-Sep-18
drycreek 06-Sep-18
Pat Lefemine 06-Sep-18
Bake 06-Sep-18
Bake 06-Sep-18
GhostBird 06-Sep-18
Zbone 06-Sep-18
Scar Finga 06-Sep-18
drycreek 06-Sep-18
elk yinzer 06-Sep-18
WFG in NM 06-Sep-18
Jaquomo 06-Sep-18
loprofile 07-Sep-18
wilbur 07-Sep-18
Cheetah8799 07-Sep-18
midwest 07-Sep-18
GF 07-Sep-18
tobywon 07-Sep-18
JM 07-Sep-18
Jaquomo 07-Sep-18
Jaquomo 07-Sep-18
loprofile 07-Sep-18
loprofile 07-Sep-18
drycreek 07-Sep-18
GF 10-Sep-18
From: Pat Lefemine
05-Sep-18

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
We review the QuietKat Ambush 750 LT
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
We review the QuietKat Ambush 750 LT

Pat Lefemine's Link
With all the talk of eBikes this year we decided to join the club - and do a serious in depth test and review at the same time. Discuss our results here.

Also, we welcome all questions. I spent a lot of time with this bike and learned what the bike can, and can not do.

From: JTV
05-Sep-18
Heck, for that price, I can get a used 4x4 ;0) .... might be good for some private lands, but I do know they are illegal to use on the Indiana State Fish and Wildlife area trails .... not sure about some of the State Forest lands and their trails and 'prolly not legal in the preserves and the Hoosier NF wilderness areas, one would need to check first before using .. .... what ever happened to walking and getting exercise (some could use it) (sarcasm intended) ... ;0) ....

From: Will
05-Sep-18
Pat, tell you what, on a human powered mountain bike, the number of deer I ride up on all the time is amazing. They just dont view you as a danger on the bike from what I can tell. Even if they run, it's that "hey, you startled me, but, um, what the heck are you?" run... Not the "Run for your life - HUMANS are coming!!!" run.

I've been doubtful regarding how the electronic bikes could work for hunting. I can see how they get you from the truck to the tree... or close to the tree. Is the idea that you would then ride back, and hike back to drag a deer out, or is it possible to cram a deer onto that tag along trailer and "ride" them out?

05-Sep-18
Pat, My land. Is crazy steep. My best stand is in a saddle at the very top of my property. Getting there for bow season is a sweaty mess. Driving my gator up there isn’t a great option due to the noise. I bought a Rambo 750 XP this summer from ebike generation who is a Bowsite sponsor, Got a nice discount because of Bowsite. I have had so much fun with the bike. For my property it is a total game changer. I can be in my saddle stand in 5 minutes without sweating or leaving any ground scent. I can use the bike to get into all of the other parts of my property quickly and effortlessly. I love the thing.

From: Pete-pec
05-Sep-18
You describe the benefits exactly as how I see it. It is most certainly my next hunting purchase. Purely for the lack of scent I'll leave behind on the 960 acres of private farmland I hunt here in Wisconsin. Good honest review in my opinion.

From: BULELK1
06-Sep-18

BULELK1's Link
Although I bought a different Brand, I really enjoy mine.

I use it for running errands and for misc trips that I normally would drive to before my eAssist bike.

I have been training all summer with over 100lbs in the panniers ( 6 gallon water jug on each side).

It certainly changes the balance while riding, even on pavement and deffinate learning curve on trails!

For way under $2k with lot's of extra goodies, I think it is a great option/alternative for many uses.

Good luck, Robb

From: Deep Cut
06-Sep-18
Most places I hunt have no clear trails. Heck, you can barely walk on them, never mind ride a bike. If I was to spend that amount of money, I would buy a used quad and put tracks on it.

From: loprofile
06-Sep-18
I bought a Radrover a couple of months ago for $1499. I love it and look forward to trying it out this deer season. Only two concerns: 1. will washing mud off of the motor, controller, etc. damage electrical systems. 2. How many Alabama banana spiders will I eat going to stand.

From: eBike John
06-Sep-18
Hey Pat, I knew you'd have fun, it is a game changer for a lot of people.

From: PECO
06-Sep-18
That would work in a few of my hunting situations. One of the local archery shops carries that brand and I was checking them out a few weeks ago. As a long time hard core cyclist, I find it difficult to get involved with one of these. However it would be a better option than trying to convert an old quad to electric for sneaking in and out of my hunting spots.

From: APauls
06-Sep-18
While I'd love one, I'm far too close to the time I convinced my wife I needed a quad. I can just imagine it now - "but you have a quad! What can this thing do that a quad doesn't?!" But hun, this is quuuiiiiiiieeet.

From: Pat Lefemine
06-Sep-18
Adam, after you get the quad, tell her the bike is for your exercise and weight loss program - per doctor's orders.

From: Cheetah8799
06-Sep-18
Wife bought a Rad Power Wagon bike to commute with and have the kids ride on the back. I was not too keen on the component choices to keep price down, but so far after assembling the bike and riding it a bit I find it quite fun to get around on.

For hunting purposes here are my complaints. 1. The bike is 70lb, and from what I've read most e-bikes are in this weight range. This is horrible and makes it near impossible to haul on a car roof rack like any other bike I own. Maybe fine if you have a ramp to get it up into the back of your truck. If you aren't careful it is also easy to dump the bike when simply standing with it due to the overall weight. Good luck pedaling a long distance if the battery dies, weight of the bike makes pedal power alone quite miserable. 2. Power is very good, goes up hills easily, almost zero effort to get the assist to engage. 3. Battery life on longer trips is a big concern for me, you would have to plan out how you will charge it if not staying at a place with a regular 120v power source. 4. I could not personally justify the price tag considering my age and fitness level makes it perfectly fine to use my normal mountain bike to cover distance on logging roads. Mountain hunts out west are the one place I was seriously considering an e-bike vs ATV costs, but power charging becomes a big problem that I have not found a good solution to overcome.

From: Pat Lefemine
06-Sep-18
Joshua, thanks for your comments. I agree with you. The bike is not easy to put on a car roof. You can remove the battery and the front tire to reduce about 15lbs but that's going to be about it. And if you have hills, pedaling without power is going to be harder due to the increased weight. On my flat roads I was able to pedal without power easily, but hills will require walking the bike.

Charging is a consideration. If you are leaving to wilderness areas from a base camp where you have a generator - that would work. But if you are backpacking in wilderness areas without power then an e-bike is not going to work. You have to get it charged, and the power required for charging is beyond any solar unit would provide.

My use case is whitetails, where I am on traveling on private land and can charge easily between hunts. Anywhere you can get a generator will work well. But it's not going everywhere and I don't think anyone has ever stated that, certainly not me.

From: loprofile
06-Sep-18
I bought a Fat Tire Receiver Hitch Carrier for about $150. Easy loading and unloading. I can see that it would be a tough job for a roof rack.

From: 3arrows
06-Sep-18
Will a Honda 1000 charge it and how long?

From: GF
06-Sep-18
“.If you are leaving to wilderness areas from a base camp where you have a generator - that would work. But if you are backpacking in wilderness areas without power then an e-bike is not going to work.”

And that right there is my #1 issue with e-bikes - the potential for Abuse.

I’m pretty certain that Pat is well aware of this, but Wilderness Areas are OFF LIMITS TO BIKES. Not just “e-bikes”, unless “e” is just short for “Every known variety”. And the fact that they have a power output less than some specified number does not change the fact that anyone who has one can (very quietly) explore beyond those gates which have been erected for the express purpose of excluding MOTORIZED vehicles from a particular area.

Nor does having a very small, quiet motor make it any more ethically tolerable to “hunt” by cruising an area on a motor vehicle. Rather, it’s all the worse, simply because of the greater stealth of the electric motor and the almost unlimited off-road accessibility. Road Hunting by any other name.

On private property, hey - Fine. Whatever. But if the states don't jump right onto shutting these down to where they are bound by the same restrictions as anything else which is not 100% human-powered, I think it’s going to be a Zoo out there.

Would limiting use of e-bikes to the same applications as quads be “unfair” to older or physically handicapped hunters? JMO, no, it would not. No different than existing limitations on ATVs by any other name.

The mere fact that Technology has created a way to exploit a loophole does not bestow a Divine Right to go ahead and use it.

From: drycreek
06-Sep-18
I've been using an E-Z Go Beast (a "golf cart" built from the factory for hunting) for a few years now and I wouldn't be without it. Just like others said, you can drive by deer and mostly they just look up and stare until you're out of sight. We hog hunt out of it at night also. It allows us to drive up close enough to hogs to snipe them in the dark using night vision. About 30 so far this year. The best thing though, is the ability to get close to where I'm hunting without sweating and spreading scent. I can see where the E-bike would do the same.

From: Pat Lefemine
06-Sep-18
GF, good grief. Nobody is advocating for violating laws. I stated that fact clearly in my review. I see you live in CT. You can drive your truck down DEP state lands today. How is that better than some guy cruising around on an eBike?

From: Bake
06-Sep-18
I'd love one. I think it would be a game changer for where I hunt as well. Although I do have some steep, rocky hills, I could get around some of that.

Like the Garmin GPS watch I want, I think I'll wait a few years and see how the tech improves. . . . Battery life, weight, and power will surely just get better year after year.

From: Bake
06-Sep-18
And thank you for the review. I enjoyed it a lot!

From: GhostBird
06-Sep-18
Thanks a lot Pat... very good review.

And also a sarcastic "Thanks a lot Pat"... now I want one. Added to the list.

From: Zbone
06-Sep-18
Been thinking about a Ebike for a while now... Okay, since nobody has asked yet, I will - What's this beast cost?

From: Scar Finga
06-Sep-18
Bought one a few months ago, "For The Wife" Gotta be smart with these purchases! She loves the damn thing, I can use it whenever I want to:) Win, Win, Win!

From: drycreek
06-Sep-18
The argument against E-bikes, or any motorized bike, quad, cart, etc. sounds just like the libs argument for gun control. According to the law I live under, you gotta do the crime before you do the time. Of course they are gonna be abused, just like any thing else you can buy. I could gun hunt in bow season, but it doesn't mean the gun is at fault. If conservation agencies don't want people riding down closed roads, then open them or make it a heavy fine or jail time if you get caught. My two cents.

From: elk yinzer
06-Sep-18
Any comments on maintenance? How long have these things been made, and how have they held up?

Can you you have them repaired at the local bike shop, or if it shits the bed first week of November are you out of commission for weeks?

Public land, these things present an interesting dilemma, for sure. If I had a lot of private land to hunt, seems like a really cool option.

From: WFG in NM
06-Sep-18
Being that it’s a motor vehicle I wonder if it would be legal off road in NM?

—Bill

From: Jaquomo
06-Sep-18
Great review, Pat. Rambo makes a solar charger that should work with any ebike. A Honda 1000 will charge it just like at home. We carry ours on a heavy duty two-bike rear rack.

A USFS Regional Trails Supervisor told me he is all for them on trails open to other regular bikes, which is consistent with CO (and some other states) law for Class 1 and 2 assist bikes. He also said the policy on USFS will change but the "wheels turn slowly in DC".

My GF and I ride these mostly on private land or legal trails and roads in NF where ATVs can't go because of beetle kill deadfall. I carry a lightweight 40V lithium chainsaw on the rear rack for higher logs that are a PIA to lift them over. Her RAD Rover and my Rambo 750 each weigh about 50 lbs. They are a great workout because we only use low level of assist (or none) except on hills where only a pro mountain biker could ride. They hop over and around rocks with the fat low pressure tires. They are great tools, "green", quiet, and the biggest problems with them are disdain from conventional bike snobs and a general misunderstanding of them.

Earlier this year we decided to try to test the USFS TMR rule about closed logging roads, after the Regional Supervisor I spoke with told me they weren't enforcing it. We've encountered 8 different USFS folks back in there so far and none had a problem, one even rode with us on his conventional MTB for awhile and said he needed to get one. Another suggested other closed roads we should ride.

I have yet to meet a hiker or conventional MTB rider who has had a conflict with them. The imagined controversy is much ado about nothing. They are great for older folks, people with joint problems, people who dont want to own or maintain horses, and compared to ATVs, they are an environmental dream.

From: loprofile
07-Sep-18
For me it makes short after work hunts far more doable. I can hop on my bike behind my office, drive almost to my stand quietly, and hunt for 30 or 45 minutes if that is all of the time my schedule allows.

From: wilbur
07-Sep-18

wilbur's embedded Photo
wilbur's embedded Photo
I have had local bike shops help me with maintenance. Sourced the parts from the manufacturer (Rambo) with the help of John at ebikes. Rambo was great and covered the parts under warranty. My local bike shop was awesome, more than fair on the repair bill and they loved my bike.

From: Cheetah8799
07-Sep-18
Couple more thoughts after reading further replies in this thread.

On my wife's Rad Power bike, the majority of the components are standard mountain bike parts that I believe could be swapped out easily by anyone with a little bit of mechanical intuition. There is a lot of good reading material online for maintaining bikes. The only special parts are really the battery/motor assembly and wiring, which have to go back to the manufacturer to repair/replace. I was told to expect 3-4 years on the battery that came with my wife's bike. I do not expect any other serious issues considering her bike is for commuting, but if I was riding in the mountains I would want better quality components.

In the past I had read many accounts of guys upgrading battery and gearing ratios to get longer charge times and more power in the mountains out of their ebikes. Battery being the most expensive part to swap.

Solar charging options exist, as I saw mentioned already. I've seen some home-brew ideas on the internet. Expect to have to charge for quite a while on solar, and obviously requires good weather. I think it might be fine though for areas you ride into and then just park the bike all day while hunting on foot. Depends how many miles you went though and how much charge is needed to top off the battery.

From: midwest
07-Sep-18
If you strapped a Honda generator on the back for a continuous charge, would it then be considered "motorized"? :-)

From: GF
07-Sep-18
“You can drive your truck down DEP state lands today. How is that better than some guy cruising around on an eBike?”

That’s not the question, Pat. The question is: How is cruising on an e-bike any better/different than cruising in a pick-up truck?

You're looking at it as “what happens when an individual uses it legally and responsibly”, when (as a matter of public policy) the question really ought to be posed as “even assuming that EVERYONE uses this technology legally and responsibly, would it still be good for Hunting if EVERYBODY were using it?”

And I’d say No.

Let’s say that Jaq uses one so that he can continue to access those areas that he has come to know & love over the past 50 years (I’m using Lou as my example because I like him, I trust him to do the right thing, and I’d love to hunt with him sometime; in other words, he’s the best case scenario).

But you see where he mentioned carrying a chainsaw to help get past downed logs, which eases access for the next e- biker coming through. And if the e-bike allows an older, creakier Hunter to continue to access those rough, out of the way places that he’s been willing and able to get to for the past 50 years, they also allow younger, softer, lazier hunters and wannabes to access areas that used to be off-limits to all but the hardest of fit, young men.

Which means that the younger guys will never know the quiet and solitude that Jaq enjoyed for all those years when he was ready & wiling to bust his hump to get to it, because the technology has now lowered the bar for entry. Once you fill up those Empty Places with people, they’re not just different.. they’re GONE.

It’s bad enough to see how much more crowded an area can become simply because the cow-only tags now allow people to bowhunt an area without having to put all of their eggs in the Archery basket; you get guys who will now pitch camp for the year and are now in the area for both bow AND a rifle season - increasing their annual presence (days in the field) by double, triple or more, and that doesn’t even consider the impact of a camp full of man-stink being left in place for a month solid. Multiply that by the number of guys who think they can slam-dunk a shot at 60 or 80 or 100 or whatever the new figure is, and the places that used to be left to those who were willing to bet the farm on a 30-yard shot are suddenly looking like Good Sam’s Family Campground.

It comes down to the reality that not everything that’s good for Me is good for Everybody once everybody starts doing it. And that’s what Ethics is all about: are we ALL better off when we ALL act in a certain way, or not?

Some would say that we are all better off with increased access to areas that used to be what I like to call God-Help-You country - wonderful, wild country to hunt, but God Help You if you go and kill something. Personally, I think we’re all better off leaving those places as Refuge areas where the Elk (deer, whatever) can go to escape the pressure down low where the lard-asses go. A day will come when I can no longer get to those places, but at least they’ll still be there for the younger guys to come to know, love, and protect for their kids.

From: tobywon
07-Sep-18
There has to be something out there where the system charges on down hills or as the wheels spin. I know some spin classes have stationary bikes where entire classes produce electrical power.

First thought that came to mind reading this review is running and gunning for turkeys. Can cover much more ground on some of the state land roads by calling, going 50-100yards, calling again, etc. I have done this before on a regular mountain bike, but it would be nice with pedal assist on the extreme uphill's. Price of the bike for me would prevent me from getting one at this point. Maybe as I get older that would change.

From: JM
07-Sep-18
What advantage do you see for an electric bike vs an electric off road golf cart?

I see mainly that it would be easier to transport the bike and I am sure you can get the bike into more rugged areas.

On the other hand the golf cart can carry more, it would be more likely to keep you out of the mud and water. I also think it is a lot less likely to do a face plant on a golf cart.

I like the stealth aspect of both and have been contemplating them for a little while.

John

From: Jaquomo
07-Sep-18
GF makes some good points. On some others we can agree ro disagree. One clarification, however. I'm not cutting logs on any trails except ATV-legal trails where someone on an ATV could also cut them. I only cut wide enough for foot, bike, or horse. Beetle kill deadfall is blocking access on these trails all over the West and the USFS doesnt clear them.

On another ebike thread one individual mentioned that "elk hunting is supposed to be hard". It is, on all bn public land. We are talking about access to get to where the hunt starts. But that same individual has a very expensive high-tech 4WD truck to access difficult places, and has no problem hiring people to pack him in on horseback and pack him out when the hunt is over. I guarantee riding a backpack camp in on a rough trail on an assist bike is a hell of a lot "harder" than riding a horse with a couple loaded pack horses trailing behind.

Lets talk about technology. Modern backpack hunting technology makes it easier than ever to go deep into the roadless backcountry carrying a pack that weighs 40 pounds, where my old similar gear weighed 60. GPS, InReach, mapping apps, Sat phones, high tech clothes and boots (Goretex, anyone?). Lets not even discuss compound bows and the other technological advancements in bowhunting. How many people would be hunting Alaska and Canada without Cubs and DeHaviland Beavers and Otters? Lets make everyone park and walk into the tundra on foot.

Those wild places will still be there and have nothing to do with assist bikes. They will never be allowed in wilderness areas. But take away all the other technology I mentioned above, make everyone shoot trad bows and revert back to 1960s backcountry gear, and we would all be way better off. At least, those of us willing to eschew technology and do it "the hard way" like when I started backpacking and mountain hunting around 1970.

But for the aging population of hunters and outdoor people, an assist bike lets them continue to do what they've always done while still using their own muscle power, with virtually no impact on the environment. Both the USFS Regional Supervisor and the Colorado State trails manager I spoke with mentioned that aspect, and said thats why they are all in favor of assist bikes so long as they are true "assist" bikes and not high powered true electric bicycles like Class 3.

BTW, this skinny "lard ass" hunts down low because the five wilderness areas around my territory are so crowded with entire battalions of Sitka Warriors that you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone. Last weekend every trailhead I passed was overflowing with hunters and backpackers seeking "solitude in wild places", LOL!

From: Jaquomo
07-Sep-18
I'm going elk and bear hunting so you fellas carry on. I'm accessing my camp in a $55K 4WD truck with twin-turbo engine, but since my 4G lte phine wont get signal there I can't follow this interesting thread.

Tally ho! ;-)

From: loprofile
07-Sep-18
I hunt private land and we have permanent facilities and keep equipment there. We use golf carts and UTV's and 4 wheelers but the electric bike is a great enhancement. It is easier to transport. Can go on trails and between trees if necessary, and is quieter than all of the rest. It is much less conspicuous and allows you to drive extremely close to your stand. It is a great addition and like Pat says, a game changer. I just hope that they come out with an Ozonics attachment.

From: loprofile
07-Sep-18
I hunt private land and we have permanent facilities and keep equipment there. We use golf carts and UTV's and 4 wheelers but the electric bike is a great enhancement. It is easier to transport. Can go on trails and between trees if necessary, and is quieter than all of the rest. It is much less conspicuous and allows you to drive extremely close to your stand. It is a great addition and like Pat says, a game changer. I just hope that they come out with an Ozonics attachment.

From: drycreek
07-Sep-18
Great posts Lou, all of them. I think most all of this no technology crap (actually it's selective technology) comes from people who think other people are gonna hunt "their" spot and kill "their" game. Public means open to everyone, whether they do it like you or not. As long as it's legal, don't sweat it, because you're fighting a losing battle.

Good luck filling your tags !

From: GF
10-Sep-18
Good luck, Lou!

  • Sitka Gear