Even though e-bikes have been around a few years, they weren't on my radar until 2018. We had added a new sponsor – ebike generation - and several Bowsite visitors took the plunge and purchased a fat-tire electric bike from them. I was intrigued, but I didn’t want to jump in until I read feedback from people I knew (and whose opinion I trusted). As that feedback rolled in, I started to realize that my preconceived notions about e-bikes may have been wrong.
The more feedback I read, the more I wanted a fat-tire hunting bike. There were a handful of manufacturers, but I was primarily interested in a QuietKat. I had seen them at a hunting show and the quality and technology appeared to be superior to other brands. We contacted them, and arranged to review the QuietKat Ambush 750 LT – which will be renamed the Zion in 2019.
Un-boxing and setup
The bike came in one big box and required very little setup. You have to put on the front wheel, bolt on the attached handlebar, and attach any purchased accessories like fenders, a light, and gear rack. The bike includes a charger and a battery. You only need three tools: a metric hex key set, a 10mm wrench, and a Phillips head screw driver. The instructions are clear, and setup took me 30 minutes. The battery was showing 50% charge, so I decided it had enough charge to go for a quick spin.
My first ride
With my new QuietKat Ambush 750 LT put together, I headed out for “the loop” - a 6-mile trail that runs the perimeter of my 312-acre hunting property.
The first stretch of trail is my steepest (30 degrees) and I was curious to see whether I needed to walk the bike up that incline, or whether I could just let the bike do all the work I’m 200lbs and the bike is 70 so I quickly understood that the bike power alone was not going to cut it. I switched to pedal-assist and raced up that steep hill with almost no effort, I never got out of breath! I was impressed.
The remaining trails are mostly level so I was curious how far I could get on ‘bike power’ alone – meaning; no pedal assist. Amazingly, I did 'almost' the entire 6-mile loop without pedal assist. Incredible. During that ride I drove up on 3 Jake turkeys, and cruised by a doe and fawn in my Trefoil plot. They never heard me coming and didn’t know what to make of me as I cruised quietly by on bike power alone.
When I returned, I called my son (who is an avid mountain bike rider) and said two words; “Game Changer.”
The QuietKat Ambush 750 LT is built on a solid, one-piece Aluminum frame. It includes an 8-gear Shimano shifter, mechanical brakes, and has a top speed of 19 mph – although I hit low 20’s during my review. The bike sports two 26” fat tires that absorb the shock and abuse found on off-road trails. I tested this bike in mud, sand, and gravel, and it traversed them easily. The bike contains a small gear motor that sits between the pedals. That motor is powered by a 48v Lithium-Ion battery. The power supplied to that motor is adjustable. Using a convenient power switch on the handlebar, you can set the bike power from 1 to 5, with 5 being the maximum power applied.
QuietKat e-Bike Accessories
I received these accessories with my QuietKat Ambush 750 LT bike:
Fenders/mud guards – fat tire bikes kick up a lot of stuff – including water, mud, dirt, and small rocks. Fenders are essential, and the rear guard worked great and installed easily. The front guard also installed easily, but I found it far too short to be effective. I had all sorts of water and mud spraying up at me during my tests. I shared this feedback with QuietKat and purchased an additional down-tube mud guard shield for $6 on Amazon. This was the only negative I experienced during my extensive testing. more
Hunter 800 Bike Light – This rechargeable light mount easily to the handle bars and includes several lighting options such as high/low white light, high/low red light, and lights that can light your bike when you are getting set up in the dark. more
Pannier Rack – this rack sits right behind the seat and is big enough to lash gear on. more
Pannier Bags - Fully waterproof, marine grade, dry bag material. Allows for quick attachment and removal from the rear pannier rack. The pannier bags come as a set (2 bags). more
Cargo Trailer – This 14” x 24” trailer includes a quick release system for rapid install and removal from all QuietKat bikes. Contains a single, 24” fat-tire, unique shock absorbing system, and is useful for hauling gear, hindquarters, and meat. more
The marketing specification claim that the Ambush 750 LT can go 20 miles on a full charge (10 bars). On day two of my review, I started with a fully charged battery and spent all day testing and filming. By the time I wrapped up, I had gone 18 miles with 3 bars remaining (30%) on the bike console. So, I believe that the marketing claims are accurate.
Full discloser; battery life is tough to predict because conditions can vary widely. I don’t have many steep trails, and the temperatures were warm when I performed my tests. I would assume that if you were taking the bike up Pike’s Peak in Colorado, the battery discharge rate may be different.
A fully drained battery takes 4-6 hours to charge. The charging can take place on the bike, or you can remove the battery and charge it indoors. The QuietKat bike includes a charger designed for the 48v battery.
e-Bike hunting benefits
In my opinion, this bike is amazingly useful for hunting.
For whitetail hunters, you can move quickly, quietly and effortlessly to that distant treestand without leaving a scent trail. I surprised four deer who never heard me coming – and frankly, couldn’t figure out what I was when I cruised by? I was able to drive my QuietKat to every treestand on my property. My best stand is located 1 mile from the barn and it took me 3 minutes to get there on this e-bike. I plan to charge the battery every evening and that should allow me two round-trips per day (24 miles) based on my test results.
For Western hunters, the bike is useful for getting to pronghorn blinds, cutting the distance prior to a mule deer stalk, and for speeding up those forest road hikes in elk country.
A note on eBike laws
After a brief search, it appears that e-bikes are lawful for hunting use in most states, including the states that I hunt. Some western states are questionable. I strongly advise you to research state regulations prior to making an investment in a fat-tire e-bike.
Prior to my review of the QuietKat Ambush 750 LT (Zion) fat tire bike, I was skeptical of the claims and questioned whether a fat-tire hunting bike was suitable for a 53-year-old whitetail hunter? Not only has that question been answered, but I would be hard-pressed to find a reason for hunters not to own one. As I stated in my video review, my fat-tire e-bike will change my whitetail hunting, and perhaps other hunts as well!
The QuietKat Ambush 750 LT was far more effective than I imagined. I knew the QuietKat would be high quality and built exceptionally well. What I didn’t expect was how easy it was to use, especially for a middle aged guy who is not in top physical condition. I was amazed at the performance. I did two 6-mile off road loops and pedaled (maybe) 20 revolutions each ride. I also didn’t expect to go 18 miles on one single charge - with 30% still left on the battery.
Simply put, the QuietKat eBike is amazing. I can’t wait to use it this hunting season!