Great Gift Ideas for Hunters | A QuietKat E-bike
At some point, it would be fair to say that, boy or girl, we asked Santa for a bike. It would also be fair to say, that even though we may grow older, sometimes we never grow up. This year, it’s time to ask Santa for a bike again—a QuietKat e-bike.
Out of the box, quite literally, the bike makes a great first impression. When our staff first received the QuietKat APEX in the mail to demo, we braced for a long day of assembly. To the contrary, the bike arrived nearly complete with just a few parts to fasten down to the already assembled frame. QuietKat also included all the tools needed to complete the build, which was much appreciated. Securing the handlebars, installing the Explorer 900 lumen light (optional), screwing in the pedals, inserting the seat post, tightening down the wheels, and connecting a few control wires took us about 30 minutes. If assembly is not your thing, you’re in luck. QuietKats are also currently sold, assembled, at 66 Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.
With the bike assembled, we inserted the pre-charged battery and took it for its first spin around the block. It was exhilarating as the 26” tall, 4½” wide “fat bike” tires effortlessly began to roll with the simple depression of the throttle lever. The bike was quiet, smooth, and had instantaneous pick-up driven by its 1,000-watt motor. Just out of curiosity, we Googled the power conversion and discovered that 1,000 electric watts is the equivalent to 1.34 mechanical horsepower. That may not seem like much, but given the bike weighs in at only 75 pounds and combines human pedal power with its motor, I was quickly motoring along at 25 mph. I couldn’t resist on a straightaway to see its full potential and reached a wind-whistling 40mph.
All the neighborhood testing was great, but this bike isn’t intended to be some sort of urban green kind of deal. It is built for off road with a GT 100mm air suspension fork, 9-speed wide-range gearing, two piston hydraulic breaks paired with 203mm rotors, and added optional suspension seat post—so we headed to the deer lease.
Our lease is mountainous, full of winding trails, and littered with rocks, all of which the tires ate up with ease. This was no surprise to us given the reputation QuietKat has, but could it handle the climb to the highest point on the lease? How much battery would that climb eat up? And, how much additional effort would it take from pedaling to complete the climb to prime hunting areas? The answers: surprisingly positive.
To create at a bit of a competition, I was challenged to a race against our Kawasaki MULE or “The Beast” as we call it. I was given a five-minute head start. With 2,200 feet of elevation change and grades ranging from 10 to 20 degrees stretching a mile in front of me, I gripped my handles tightly and pressed the soles of my hunting boots to the pedals.
Starting off in a mid-range gear on level two of the bikes five power settings, I quickly realized I may just beat my counterpart, Ryan, in the 812cc, three-cylinder engine UTV. Increasing to power five, I actually had to shift to a higher gear to make up for the lag in pedaling compared to the motor assist power that was being delivered. Looking down at the electronic display, I was moving along at 15+mph up the steep rocky trail. Nearly ¾ of the way to the finish line, I could hear the sound below of the UTV firing up its engine and throwing loose gravel from its tires. Pressing down the throttle, I gave it my all. I could hear Ryan gaining ground behind me but to no avail. I reached the summit first, hardly winded, and without burning a bit of fuel or making any loud engine noise.
We were convinced that the QuietKat is a must have for the season. If it could handle that climb, we were sold. I pushed it to its limits, and it won only expending 19 percent of its total battery. But that led to one final question: how far could you go on a single charge with and without pedal assist? Again, the answer was positive. A rider could travel on flat ground on power level one, 23 miles without pedaling or double that to 46 miles combined with pedaling.
Bottom line, it can go the distance nimbly threading trees that would stop its four-wheel counterparts allowing you to hunt deeper in the woods at a quarter of the price. Mix that with the stealth-like silence of the electric motor, there is no better vehicle to navigate the woods without spooking deer this season.