November 11, 2019
Public-land hunters don’t need convincing as to “why” electric bikes are not only cool, but also one of the most versatile off-road vehicles outdoors enthusiasts can own. We were early adopters, reporting on the advantages of E-bikes several years ago and have been repeatedly singing their praises ever since as innovation keeps improving the product year after year.
Simply put, electric bikes can get you in farther, faster, and more stealthily than anything else on two wheels.
While this has been a category of constant evolution, the latest offering from QuietKat has taken the technology and refinements to new heights. The first thing you will notice about the QuietKat Warrior 1000 is the much more seamless integration of the battery compartment into the main tube. A short while ago, E-bikes all looked like a standard mountain bike with a huge battery bank secured to the main down tube of the frame or lashed to the rear rack. Not any more. E-bikes now are purpose-built to incorporate the battery system into the frame for a better-looking, smoother design. The Warrior 1000 features this new design technology.
Also, what is now standard is the mid-crank motor drive system. The earliest E-bikes we reviewed utilized a rear hub motor, which works fine for relatively level, in-town, paved cruising but doesn’t have the torque sportsmen require to pull steep grades over rough terrain. The mid-crank motor does. So much torque that if you crank up the power asset level and hammer the throttle, the Bafang 1000-watt motor will spin the aggressive tread 4.5-inch fat tire on loose terrain.
Testing the Warrior throughout Montana last fall, I was impressed on multiple levels. Range was far better than I had expected and actually matched QuietKat’s claims of 18 miles unassisted. (We have learned to take claims from some other manufacturers with a grain of salt.) I rode it up a constant, steep grade in the Bitterroot Mountains for eight miles, completely unassisted—the only way I could have assisted less would have been by eating a sandwich with one hand while smoking a cigarette in the other. At the end of the road, the LCD on the Warrior showed that half the battery’s power was still available.
On another day, I took it cross-country over a dirt track that had minimal elevation gain or loss, but it was a rugged, rough single track complete with rocks, ruts, and small ups and downs. The Warrior ate up the course, covering six miles at an average of 12 mph (some assisted, some not) with nearly three-quarters of battery power left. Over this type of rolling terrain, with its mix of flats and ups and downs, I think the 18-mile unassisted claim is completely legit.
Regarding unassisted speed, my results have varied somewhat. While I haven’t achieved 25 mph unassisted on flat ground, my Warrior 1000 seems to hover around a speed in the upper teens. However, while riding it I am always wearing heavy clothing, toting a pack or rifle (or both), and have gear in panniers, and the last time I checked the mirror, “svelte” isn’t a term most would use to describe my 200-pound physique. Furthermore, I’m not sure I want to travel at 25 mph over rough terrain —the upper teens is fast enough for me.
The fenders are another nice addition to the Warrior. Light, plastic, and adjustable, they work at shedding water and mud perfectly. Hardcore mountain bikers may like to come off the trail looking like they just competed in a Tough Mudder course, but a hunter does not. Wet and covered with mud—when it can be easily avoided—is not macho.
One comment about the Warrior 1000’s physical size: The bike is not small—that’s not a bad thing, mind you, but it is noticeably big. It feels like a real machine, more akin to a motorcycle than a wimpy mountain bike. The bike’s physical size isn’t an issue for most male riders, but it may pose problems for those of smaller stature. I will admit that loading the bike for transport requires a bit of strength and forethought. I used a Thule Classic T2 hitch mount carrier with the Fat Tire Adapter and it worked fine, but I wouldn’t want to try and put it on a roof-mounted carrier.
Final note, the QuietKat trailer is an excellent accessory and the best iteration of a bike trailer I have used afield. Many trailers are wide, dual-tire configurations. They are stable and work fine for wide gravel roads but try negotiating one over a tight, brush-choked trail or rough single track—you’ll hate it. The narrow profile of QuietKat’s single tire trailer, with a coil-spring suspension, will go anywhere the bike will, and it is solid enough to handle a heavy load of game meat. Best of all is the ingenious BOB quick-detach axle bracket that allows for instantaneous hook and removal of the trailer from the bike. Combine the trailer with the high-quality waterproof panniers and rear pannier rack and you have an E-bike system capable of handling any job you want to throw at it.
The Warrior 1000 is a high-quality, ingeniously designed bike and system. It’s well worth the price to quietly get afield.