Hovsco HovRanger electric bike review – A truly fun bike to ride

We use affiliate links. If you buy something through the links on this page, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

REVIEW – I love zooming around on a bike. However, I need to be more in shape, and a few hills around where I live can make an otherwise enjoyable ride a bit of a chore. Along came the HOVSCO HovRanger Electric Bike, and I’m back in business!

What is it?

The HOVSCO HovRanger Electric Bike is a 7-speed, 27.5″ adult ebike with a 500W electric motor with torque sensor.

What’s in the box?

  • HOVSCO HovRanger Electric Bike
  • Tool kit
  • Charger
  • Instruction manual

Hardware specs

  • 500W Peak 970W Motor
  • Torque-sensing assist feature
  • 48V 15Ah LG Battery
  • 40 to 60 mile range
  • Max speed 28mph
  • Total Length: 72.6″
  • Wheelbase: 45″
  • Max seat height: 40.6″
  • Payload capacity: 300lbs

Design and features

The HOVSCO HovRanger Electric Bike came almost 85% pre-assembled. I was planning on assembling it outside, but after a long period of not snowing, it started to snow the day the bike arrived. That was a real buzz kill.

The bike was packaged very well and even had a nice cloth bag over the seat, which I later decided to use as a carry bag for the charger and tools. Assembly primarily involves attaching the handlebars, front tire, kickstand, and pedals. The directions were clear, and most of the assembly was common sense. There is also a Youtube video showing how to assemble the bike.

I chose the Step-Over model in the Indigo color scheme. It looks terrific with the slightly metallic finish. Featuring a 500W high-speed BAFANG SUTTO brushless motor and 65Nm torque sensor, the HOVSCO eBike outperforms cadence sensor e-bikes.

A very nice looking bike. Several people commented on how nice it looked when I stopped to take photos!

The removable 48V 15Ah (720 wH) LG Lithium-Ion battery provides up to 40 miles of range, 60 miles of range on pedal-assist mode, and recharges in as little as 4 hours. The battery can be recharged before it’s depleted without harming its capacity. A 120 LED flashlight is built into the battery, providing a useful light source for camping or repairs.

Three light modes also make the light handy in an emergency. There is also a battery level indicator on the battery so you can check the charge when the battery isn’t in the bike. The battery can also be charged in or out of the bike by simply plugging it in. The battery is quickly moved by turning the key and a knob, making it easy to take inside to charge.

There is a lock to prevent the removal of the battery.

The HOVSCO eBike is the first bike I’ve owned with disc brakes. The professional front and rear 180mm hydraulic disc brakes perform very well in all conditions. The dual hydraulic front suspension fork provides a smooth and comfortable ride. However, there is no rear suspension.

The brakes get a workout with
Read More... Read More

IBIS Ripley AF Mountain Bike Review: All the Fun for Half the Price

The IBIS Ripley is a well-respected and almost universally loved short-travel trail bike.

For years, the short rear triangle and DW-link rear suspension with a long and slack front end have delivered a playful ride — a mix of stability and agility that has mesmerized riders since 2013.

In 2021, IBIS launched the Ripley AF, the aluminum-framed cousin of the Ripley. The big play was the price.

A current Shimano Deore outfitted Ripley AF complete bike retails for $3799, nearly the same price as the carbon Ripley frame alone ($3,499). So comparably, the Ripley AF is quite the deal.

But what about the performance? Does it do the IBIS Ripley and DW-link names justice?

In short, the Ripley AF delivers its much costlier cousin’s pedaling efficiency and suspension performance. The tradeoffs are minimal compared to the cost savings. It is one of the best deals for a trail bike with proven DNA.

First, the Suspension

Rear Suspension

DW-link rear suspension has impressed me every time. The resistance to power-robbing suspension bobbing while seated has always been stellar, and it was the same happy story on the Ripley AF.

Whether churning a big gear on the flats or grinding the lowest gears on steep and rocky climbs, the DW-link provided a stable platform and put the most power into the rear tire. And this was with the shock left wide open. I never remembered once to change it. That’s how good the DW-link was for seated pedaling.

2022 IBIS Ripley AF DW–link
(Photo/Seiji Ishii)

Stomping while standing elicited much of the same wonderment, but there was some bobbing. If I knew I had to stand a lot over a long period, I would consider switching the shock setting to a stiffer mode.

On the descents, both fast and flowy, and slow and chunky, the DW-link kinematics, Fox Performance Series Float DPS, and resultant 120mm of travel let me bomb down without hesitation or worry.

With the recommended 25% sag, I could tackle most intermediate lines at the bike park without any surprises. The rear end was predictable and never slowed me down. And again, this was with the shock wide open.

Front Suspension

2022 IBIS Ripley AF suspension fork
(Photo/Seiji Ishii)

The Fox Performance Series Float 34 fork with 130mm of travel was a great match. Again, at the recommended 25% sag, I didn’t feel anything annoying while climbing and attacked descents with abandon.

Surprisingly, with both ends left wide open, I never once bottomed the shock or fork out, try as I might. I routinely bottom 130mm forks out on specific jump faces or drops, and it never happened once on the Ripley AF. This speaks to the progressive nature of the suspension when it’s near the end of travel.

Overall, I had zero complaints about the suspension on the IBIS Ripley AF. The balanced climbing and descending performance made it a super-fun bike.

And the grin factor increased with speeds; I

Read More... Read More

A fun fat-tire electric utility bike

The Himiway Big Dog is a new “cargo” bike from Himiway, a popular electric bike brand that has expanded its product line considerably over the last year. While I’m not sure this bike qualifies as a true cargo bike by most definitions, it’s definitely a fun little utility e-bike that cruises more like a mini-moped.

Himiway Big Dog tech specs

  • Motor: 750W 86Nm rear hub motor
  • Top speed: 40 km/h (25 mph) after unlocking
  • Range: Claimed up to 130 km (80 mi)
  • Battery: 48 V 20 Ah (960 Wh)
  • Weight: 36 kg (79 lb)
  • Max load: 181 kg (400 lb)
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum
  • Suspension: Front suspension fork
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes on 180 mm rotors
  • Tires: 20″ x 4″ Kenda fat tires
  • Extras: LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, front and rear LED lights, half-twist throttle, includes rear rack (wooden) and front/rear fenders, center kick stand, front of bike has mount for optional rack
  • Price: $1,999 (or $200 off with code BF200 for Black Friday) or $1,799 on Amazon

Himiway Big Dog video review

My wife and I had a blast testing out a pair of Himiway Big Dogs on a recent trip to Vermont, where we soaked up the fall weather and enjoyed cruising on powerful electric two-wheelers.

Check out our experience in the video below:

Fun, powerful, and comfortable too!

We only had the bikes for a couple days, so I wasn’t able to do as in-depth testing as I normally do, but even in just a few days we still got to really enjoy these e-bikes and get a sense of what they’re made of. And while these aren’t high-end e-bikes like fancy $4,000 electric cargo bike options, there’s a lot to like.

Sure, there are pros and cons to the Himiway Big Dog just like most e-bikes. But there are enough of the former to outweigh the latter in most cases.

Let’s get those downsides out of the way first. The bike is quite heavy, weighing in at a hefty 79 pounds (36 kg). And it’s not just they’re heavy — the bike is also bulky. I only had to carry the two Himiway Big Dogs up three or four steps each day, but it was a doozy. The bikes are fairly long and the big hub motor puts that weight quite rearward. It’s doable, but it’s not at all like picking up a smaller e-bike.

himiway big dog e-bike

Next, the pedal assist is quite surge-y. I’m not sure if that’s the best word to describe it, but it really comes on with quite a surge of power.

In fact, that’s why I consider these to be more of a moped-style e-bike. With that hand throttle at the ready and plenty of power on tap, it’s hard to fight the temptation to ride them like a moped where the pedals are largely for resting your feet.

If you do want to pedal, you certainly can. But

Read More... Read More

An electric bike for fast and fun all-day cruising

I’ve been eyeing the Zugo Rhino electric bike for a while now, especially the version in that trippy color-changing indigo paint job. I finally got the chance to test out not one but two of them when the company let me put some good honest miles on the step-over and step-through variants of the Zugo Rhino.

Having spent some fun saddle time on both of them, I can tell you that the bikes give you exactly the type of ride you’d expect just from looking at them – a powerful and fun joyride that is somehow equal parts relaxing and exciting.

A big part of the mix of a laid back and yet exciting ride comes from the combination of performance and comfort.

With a powerful motor and nice big battery, the Zugo Rhino electric bike has plenty of acceleration, speed, and range. But when you add in the tall bars and long bench seat, you get a bike that is just as comfortable as it is brawny. Those two attributes combine beautifully into a ride that will have you picking the bugs from your teeth after smiling ear from ear.

See what I mean from ride video below, where I tested the Zugo Rhinos on some fun cruises. Then read on for my full thoughts.

Zugo Rhino video review

Zugo Rhino tech specs

  • Motor: 750W continuous hub motor
  • Top speed: Shipped 20 mph (32 km/h), can be unlocked to 28 mph (45 km/h)
  • Range: Up to 80 miles (130 km) on pedal assist with larger battery option
  • Battery: 48V 15.6Ah (750 Wh) or 21Ah (1 kWh)
  • Weight: 65 lb (30 kg)
  • Wheels: 20 inches with 4-inch fat tires
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes (160 mm rotors)
  • Suspension: Inverted suspension fork
  • Extras: Long bench seat, included fenders, large LED headlight and tail/brake light, LCD display, kickstand, Shimano 7-speed trigger shifter, wide range of accessories
  • Price: $2,199 (currently on sale for $1,999).

It’s all in the design

It only takes one look to get a perfect idea of what this e-bike is designed for; this is a moped-style electric bike, through and through.

Many people would call this a Super73-inspired e-bike, though of course there are many electric bikes that have since co-opted similar mini-bike stylings that harkens back to the golden age of mopeds, but I would say that the fact that there is both a step-through and a step-over version of the Zugo Rhino is a big advantage.

Gone are the days of step-throughs being considered “girl’s bikes.” I actually really like the step-through version as it’s easier to mount and dismount, making it a more comfortable bike. But if you want top tank style moped vibes, the step-over is the bike for you.

Both have the same parts and performance, with the single exception of the step-over having a built-in cup holder.

The Zugo Rhinos both quickly and easily get up to 20 mph (32 km/h) on throttle-only operation, though they are just as much fun to operate by

Read More... Read More