Published on November 13th, 2020 |
by Derek Markham
November 13th, 2020 by Derek Markham
With the choice between several powerful motors — available as either hub drive or mid-drive models — and the option for mounting dual battery packs to get more than 100 miles per charge, plus the fattest of the fat tires, a front suspension fork, and a top speed of 35 MPH, the new Biktrix Juggernaut HD Duo looks to be one hell of a contender for the title of top dog in the e-bike world.
While the idea that some drivers will regularly experience range anxiety in their electric cars is thankfully starting to die out, it was a very real limiting belief that may well have kept some would-be EV buyers from dropping the hammer on a fully electric vehicle for a long minute. In contrast, the concept of electric bike range anxiety got nearly zero
ink electrons spilled on it, perhaps in part because of the fact that unlike an electric car, e-bike riders that have ridden their batteries flat can actually just keep riding, albeit powered fully by their own body. Too bad there’s not a Fred Flintstones-style option for EVs…
However, as personal electromobility options continue to grow with the birth of each new e-bike and e-scooter startup (which seems to be just about every week these days), prospective electric bike buyers are starting to pay more attention to not only the performance of the motor (and where those motors are mounted — i.e. a mid-drive or a hub motor) and the bike’s payload capability, but also to the distance they can travel before having to stop and plug in for a few hours (alas, no fast-charging for electric bikes just yet).
This latest release from Biktrix seems to check off all of the boxes — at least for a commuter bike or off-road e-beast, if not for serious cargo hauling — and it’s being offered at a sweetheart of a price through an Indiegogo campaign right now. Biktrix isn’t a Johnny-come-lately to the e-bike scene, as the company launched its first Juggernaut back in 2014 (featuring a 750W mid-drive motor — something rather rare on e-bikes at the time), and has come a long way since then, and continues to build robust electric bikes at a fair prices (plus free shipping to US and Canada). A quick search of CleanTechnica’s archives revealed that we had (gasp!) never written about the company’s e-bikes before (something I was surprised to find out, considering how many e-bikes and scooters that Kyle has ridden and reviewed here over the years).
First, a caveat: I have not ridden a Biktrix e-bike, but have followed the company’s progress over the years since I covered the launch of the original Juggernaut on Indiegogo six years ago. I have ridden a fair number of e-bikes, though, and most recently bought myself a Rad Power RadWagon 4 this summer, which has been an absolute blast to ride (long-term review coming), and I’ve finally got my stable of bicycles down to just four now, so I’ve got a little bit of experience on two wheels, but I don’t consider myself an expert on e-bikes by any means.
I have to admit that the first thing that jumped out at me on the Biktrix Indiegogo campaign for its Juggernaut HD Duo was the absolute units that served as tires on this bike — 4.8″ on 26″ rims — and the second was the option to build one with a 1500W mid-drive motor (160 nM of torque) and the option for a second mountable battery for a massive range increase. Now, most of us don’t really need all that speed (35 mph possible off-road) or the neck-snapping torque for getting around on the daily, but then again, some of us do… In any case, Biktrix is offering a number of options for the newest Juggernaut, so it appears that there’s an e-bike choice for just about everyone (except for those looking for a purpose-built cargo hauler), and the prices ain’t too shabby either.
The newest Juggernaut is available in a number of different configurations (if you find yourself a little confused when pondering the options, you’re not alone, as it took me a minute or sixty to really see my choices), starting with a 750W geared hub drive motor and then moving up to either a 750W mid-drive motor or a 1000W mid-drive motor (or even a limited edition 1500W mid-drive motor!). The bike can be built with either a 17″ or 19″ frame, in either step-through or step-over aluminum frame format, with your choice of either 4.8″ (26″ rims) or 3″ tires (27″ rims), and it comes in several different colors as well. They all feature a front suspension fork for a smoother ride, which when coupled with the fattest of the fat tires promises to be a velvety ride indeed, and because the Juggernaut comes with full fenders, a built-in headlight and tail light, and a rear cargo rack, this e-bike seems to be on track to become the luxe SUV of the electric bike world.
The Juggernaut models all have disc brakes (a must-have on an e-bike — don’t ask me how I learned that the hard way), plus Shimano components and a thumb throttle in addition to the pedal assist feature, along with a lifetime warranty on the frames (12-month warranties on the batteries and electronics), and are built in Saskatoon, Canada.
With prices through the Indiegogo campaign starting at just $1399 for the 750W geared hub model, up to $2699 for the limited edition 1500W mid-drive HD Duo model, backers of this e-bike can save up to 50% off of the future retail price, and deliveries of some models will begin as early as December 2020 (though most will ship in March of 2021, just in time for prime cycling weather). If this tickles your e-bike fancy, don’t sleep. The campaign blew past its initial crowdfunding goal right away, and it will run for another 28 days, but if it was me (and if I could get a second e-bike purchase — the 1500W mid-drive Duo has me feeling weak in the knees — approved by my very own House Ways and Means Committee, it would be), I’d drop the hammer on a pledge right away.
All images courtesy of Biktrix
[Disclaimer: Although Biktrix is an established company with a delivery guarantee baked into its campaign, every crowdfunding campaign comes with its own risks, so as with any major purchase decision, do your homework and consult your financial advisor — or at least count the loose change in your car or between your couch cushions — before committing all of your grocery money to it. Caveat emptor and all that…]
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