For most of us, the idea of building a custom hunting bike rig is a dream come true. There’s just something exciting about being able to customize an e-bike to suit your specific needs — you get the chance to design a hunting rig that will perform exactly as you want and will undoubtedly bring you far more enjoyment as a result.
However, there are many factors that need to be considered when building such a rig. First, you’ll need to know what type of bike you want and then accessorize it to suit your needs. In this article, we’ll cover some of the basic considerations that are essential to building your own custom electric hunting bike and recommend a few of our favorite hunting e-bike manufacturers. There are many things to consider on this topic, so let’s get started!
How to Build an Electric Hunting Bike Rig
If you’re thinking about building an electric hunting bike rig, there are a few important things that you need to keep in mind.
First of all, you need to decide exactly how you plan to use your hunting e-bike. There are models designed for short trips around your property, and there are others that can be used for long-range, backcountry hunting trips. You also need to consider your budget. While electric hunting bikes can be expensive, there are models available at all price points.
You’ll also need to determine what type of game you want to hunt with your electric bike. If you’re going to be packing out larger game like elk and whitetail deer, you’ll want to design a rig that includes a cargo trailer. For small game hunting, the standard cargo racks that typically come integrated into many bike frames will suffice.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in…
One of the first things that you should determine is what type of tires your electric hunting bike will have. Our preference has always been fat tires as they provide superior grip and traction, something that’s critical when traversing difficult terrain. Fat tires also offer increased stability and ride comfort, making them ideal for off-road use. Lastly, fat tires offer next-level versatility and perform incredibly well on sand, snow, dirt, and city streets. Most of today’s electric hunting bikes come equipped with fat tires for the reasons we mentioned above, so if you decide to go this route, you’ll have plenty of great bikes to choose from.
As much as we love fat tire bikes and the many advantages they offer, there are a few disadvantages that you should be aware of as you’re weighing out the pros and cons. First of all, fat tires are heavier than standard mountain bike tires. Fat tire e-bikes are also slower and harder to pedal, and their bulky size makes them a bit more difficult to transport. Last but not least, fat tires don’t perform as well as other tires when it comes to riding on pavement, so if that’s something that it important to you, it may be better to consider a standard electric mountain bike setup instead of a fat tire e-bike. For more details, be sure to check out our fat tire e-bike FAQ guide.
If most of your riding will be on concrete or smooth, well-packed trails, a rigid electric bike without front or rear suspension will be the best way to go. In addition to handling, you’ll also save a lot of money that would otherwise have gone towards a higher-end bike equipped with a costly suspension setup.
For most hunters, a front fork suspension is an absolute bare minimum requirement for their rig. Front and full-suspension e-bikes are far more comfortable to ride on bumpy, off-road terrain, and will make your hunting trips much more enjoyable.
Many hunting e-bikes include neatly integrated rear cargo racks which are very useful when it comes to hauling hunting gear and game. You can also customize your ride with a front cargo basket for added carrying capacity, something that’s a great option to have if you frequently take overnight trips or primarily focus on hunting small game.
If you’re a hunter that prefers larger game, a cargo trailer is a must-have add-on for your hunting bike rig. Not only does it provide a place to pack out large game, but it’s also easy to pull out of the woods and will even allow you to bring along a full-size cooler. Trailers are available in both one and two-wheeled designs, and as with e-bikes, you can buy them with fat tires that are much easier to pull through fields and other off-road terrain (recommended).
When it comes to electric hunting bikes, battery size is key. While larger batteries add expense, weight, and make it slightly more difficult to transport an electric bike, they deliver extended range capabilities that many hunters require. If you typically need an e-bike for shorter hunting excursions, we recommend batteries that provide enough juice to ride for at least 25 miles on a single charge. If long-range hunting adventures are your thing, we’d recommend a battery that will deliver at least 50 or 60 miles per charge.
Motor type is also another major factor to consider as you’re planning out your hunting e-bike rig. There are hunting bikes available with both mid-drive and hub-drive motors. Mid-drive batteries are located in the middle of the bike near the pedals, while hub-drive motors are located in the wheel itself (rear hub motors are most common).
Mid-drive motors tend to be more expensive than hub-drive motors, and they offer better performance and torque. Hub-drive motors are cheaper, ultra-reliable, and require less maintenance, but they can’t match the power and acceleration of mid-drive motors.
For hunting trips that involve serious hill-climbing and trailer pulling, we recommend spending the extra dough for a mid-drive motor.
Most electric hunting bike manufacturers offer higher-end models with hydraulic disc brakes and more affordable, entry-level bikes with mechanical disc brakes. While mechanical disc brakes will do the job for flat ground riding, we would recommend buying an e-bike that’s equipped with hydraulic disc brakes if you’ll be frequently pulling heavy loads and riding on steep terrain.
Stopping power is a very important consideration when choosing a braking system for your e-bike. Hydraulic disc brakes outperform mechanical disc brakes in terms of stopping power, but they are more expensive. Ultimately, it will come down to your personal budget and how you plan to use your hunting e-bike.
There are also a variety of mounts to choose from which will allow you to secure gear and accessories to the handlebars of your bike. Mounts are a great add-on for hunting bikes and ensure that items like a shotgun or rifle, bow, fishing rod, phone, GPS, or water bottles are always mounted safely and securely to your e-bike.
Who Builds the Best Electric Hunting Bike Setups?
As more hunters have discovered how quiet, portable, and easy hunting bikes are to ride, more e-bike brands have jumped into the ring and begun to offer electric bike models specifically designed with hunting in mind. While there are a lot of great options on the market, our go-to brands at the moment are Bakcou, QuietKat, Rungu, Bikonit, and Rambo Bikes…
Bakcou (Ogden, UT)
Utah’s Bakcou is a friendly, down-to-earth company that was founded in 2016 by Dave Andre and Bryan Child. At the moment, Bakcou has 9 fat tire e-bike models and they come well-equipped with powerful motors, top-shelf build quality, and high-quality componentry such as BAFANG mid-drive and hub-drive motors, Tektro braking, and Shimano gearing. The MSRP of Bakcou’s electric bike line ranges from $3,747 to $8,997, and the company includes a 1-year warranty.
QuietKat (Eagle, CO)
The most well-known of the fat tire hunting bike manufacturers, QuietKat is an industry-leader that produces a range of reliable, high-performance fat tire rides for serious sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts. Covered by a rock-solid 1-year/1,000-mile warranty and unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee, QuietKat’s 9 models provide top-shelf performance and rugged durability. Priced from $2,499 to $8,299, QuietKat’s e-bikes are a popular choice with hunters, anglers, and outdoorsmen, and the brand’s growing range of trailers, waterproof bags, and racks gives riders ample opportunity to customize their rides.
Rungu (San Clemente, CA)
With 5 e-bike models in its lineup, Calfornia-based Rungu offers a hunting experience that’s dramatically different from the other companies we’re recommending — unique dualie designs with two front wheels. These special bikes deliver amazing safety, stability, and off-road performance, and are highly-capable in sand, snow, and other challenging environments. Ranging in price from $4,978 to $8,517, Rungu’s bike’s certainly aren’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a high-performance hunting bike platform that offers some very unique benefits, Rungu’s Dualie range is worth taking a look at.
Bikonit (Ontario, CA)
With just three e-bike models, Bikonit is the brand on our list with the least number of options for hunters. Bikonit’s Warthog hunting bikes range in price from $2,899 to $7,799 and feature air suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, BAFANG motors, and integrated dual-battery pack designs for hunters who ride for longer distances.
Bikonit’s electric bike lineup is backed by a 1-year warranty, while the batteries are covered for 2 years and the frames are guaranteed for the lifetime of the bike.
Rambo Bikes (Centerville, IA)
Finally, Iowa-based Rambo Bikes offers hunters the largest number of options with 17 impressive models in their current lineup. Built from the ground up with hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities in mind, Rambo’s tough electric fat tire bikes feature powerful motors, big batteries, and top-notch reliability. Starting at only $1,999, Rambo sells some of the most affordable e-bikes on our list and everything they make is backed by a 12-month warranty.
In conclusion, there are many things to consider when buying and setting up your hunting e-bike. By following the tips discussed in this guide, you can create a setup that’s in line with your budget and perfect for your needs. As always, if you have questions or comments, please post them below and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction for whatever you need. Happy hunting!