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One of the most capable feeling electric bikes I’ve ridden to date, the QuietKat Jeep is a full suspension electric fat bike that’s a member of a new family of e-bikes I’m dubbing the “all-terrain” category.
Part eMTB, part high-powered electric fat bike, the QuietKat Jeep is an ultra-powerful and ultra capable e-bike equipped to romp through terrain few other e-bikes could handle. It’s powered by the Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor, one of the most powerful mid-drives on the market and thoughtfully spec’d for heavy duty off-road use. QuietKat loaned Electric Bike Report a Jeep e-bike for an afternoon during the Big Gear Show in Park City, Utah this past August so we could get a feel for their flagship e-bike.
It was a shorter test than our typical in-depth reviews and we were somewhat limited by little access to e-bike friendly mountain bike trails, but I was incredibly impressed by this full-squish electric fat bike. Several members on QuietKat’s development team are hard-core mountain bikers, and their touch is clear nearly everywhere on this bike — from the four-bar suspension linkage to the components chosen on the bike, it’s obvious they put real effort into building a bike that would perform in dirt, mud, sand and snow.
The QuietKat Jeep uses a cool moto-style inverted fork that noticeably stiffens the front end.
It’s enough of an all-terrain bike that Jeep felt it deserving of their name and was released around the same time the famed 4×4 company debuted their hybrid Wrangler 4xe.
QuietKat Jeep Review: Performance and Handling
Speed and handling
Quiet a few electric fat bikes we test ride more like stable path cruisers than eMTBs, but not the QuietKat Jeep. This bike derives quite a bit of its geometry and components from modern mountain bikes and eMTBs.
The head angle is on the slack side and the wheelbase longer, giving the bike very stable handling, and wide handlebars that give a rider more control over the front end. But if I had to point at one part of the bike that I thought really made this bike more capable off-road, I’d pick that moto-style inverted front fork — which is much bigger and much stiffer than the average e-bike fork. We ride lots of electric fat bikes at Electric Bike Report, and nearly all of them struggle with a flexy front end. Those 4-inch (or wider) tires are incredibly heavy and pose quite a challenge to most suspension forks on the market, particularly the more affordable ones. In every corner and every time you change direction, that fork is fighting the substantial centrifugal force created by that heavy tire and wheel and coaxing it to lean over and change direction. This can cause a “noodly” sensation when cornering at high speeds or under high load, which many electric fat bikes suffer from to some degree. But the Jeep e-bike, with that burly fork, is the first I’ve ridden that had no hint of that sensation. It tracked true, straight and had a scalpel-like ride characteristic despite it’s big tires and high weight. I expected the fork to be a bit of a gimmick designed to appeal to dirt bikers, if I’m being honest, but I was pleasantly proved wrong.
On the battery front, the Jeep e-bike’s 48V, 14.5Ah (696Wh) battery is nicely integrated into the frame. That’s the only battery size currently offered for this bike, though you can buy an additional battery for longer rides.
The Jeep’s four-bar suspension linkage felt stable while pedaling and planted in rougher terrain.
For the motor, QuietKat gives you the choice of two variations of the same Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor, depending on where you’re riding and the applicable e-bike laws. The first is street-legal 750W “classified” option that conforms to the widely-adopted three class legal system that regulates e-bikes in most states. The second is a 1,000W “unclassified” flavor for use on private land or public land where OHV’s are allowed. Both these versions are Class 2 e-bikes, with throttle and pedal assistance to 20 mph.
QuietKat is another e-bike manufacturer with roots in hunting and backcountry traveling, where higher-output “unclassified” motors are useful for hauling gear or negotiating tricky terrain, like snow, sand and mud. This much power can be unwieldly on true mountain bike trails, but on more open doubletrack it can be seriously helpful. It’s one of the reasons I describe these bikes as “all-terrain” e-bikes; they’re perfect for 4×4 roads and other off-road areas.
QuietKat Jeep Review: Components
Motor and battery: Bafang Ultra mid-drive
The Bafang Ultra is one of the most powerful mid-drives on the market.
A Bafang Ultra motor with a whopping 160Nm of torque sits between the crankarms and a 48V, 14.5Ah battery is integrated into the frame. I’ve already mentioned this bike is available in a street-legal and “unclassified” versions, but while the wattage may change between the two the amount of available torque does not.
We rode the 750W classified version of the Jeep e-bike in Park City and holy moly did it climb quick. It was unfazed by anything I threw at it and I could tailor the power to require as little or as much physical output from my legs as I liked. This Bafang system has a high-output sport mode and a battery conserving eco mode, with five pedal assist settings per mode. I found myself mostly in sport mode, though eco still kept me rolling relatively easily.
Drivetrain: SRAM 9-speed
The Jeep e-bike we tested comes with a reliable 9-speed SRAM X5 drivetrain.
This isn’t the most technologically-advanced drivetrain on the market nor the most expensive, but it works fine and won’t be expensive to replace when the Jeep’s ultra-torquey motor inevitably snaps a chain or wears out a cassette. It’s a handful of gears less than what we’d typically see on a performance eMTB, but keep in mind this is more of a utility off-roader than a sport bike.
The 9-speed SRAM drivetrain is affordable and reliable; important features considering that 160Nm motor will likely wear things out quick.
Brakes: Tektro four piston hydraulic disc brakes
QuietKat spec’d the Jeep e-bike with a set of Tektro Dorado four piston hydraulic disc brakes, a powerful system that handled the Jeep’s weight with ease.
Other notes: Lots of accessories, three sizes and an optional dropper post
The Jeep e-bike comes in three sizes — small, medium and large — which means you can tailor the fit to most shapes and sizes. You can also add a dropper post to the bike, an extra I highly suggest if you plan on doing anything serious off-road.
With its roots in hunting and backcoutry travel, QuietKat has spent a considerable effort designing a line of special-made bags, racks, trailers and other accessories for its bikes. Most of these accessories are built for hauling off-road and in unpredictable circumstances.
The Jeep e-bikes cockpit is pretty clean. The display and touchpad work well and are pretty standard-issue from Bafang.
QuietKat Jeep Review: Final Word
I’ve got a long history on traditional mountain bikes, so I’ll admit I approach fat-tire eMTBs like the QuietKat Jeep with a healthy amount of skepticism.
Fat tires aren’t a new concept in the cycling world, but it’s an idea that’s gaining steam again as e-bikes become more popular and droves of new riders are buying bikes. In some cases, it feels like companies put fat tires on their e-bikes just for the looks. QuietKat’s Jeep e-bike, however, does not feel like that. This bike feels functional and like it was built for a very specific purpose: To take riders — specifically those who may not have a strong cycling background — further into unfriendly terrain. It’s a cross between an all-terrain vehicle and an eMTB.
I’m very impressed with the Jeep e-bike’s handling, performance and how well it harnesses its full-suspension chassis and fat tires. If you’re looking for a quiet, low-impact and capable machine to help you get out into the wilderness and back, it’s worth a look.
QuietKat sells the Jeep e-bike on its website and ships bikes directly to consumers. Or, if you’d prefer to buy the bike in person, you can find it at QuietKat’s grown network of dealerships..
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