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QuietKat Apex Review 2023 | Electric bike review

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The QuietKat Apex is an electric bike designed to transport heavy loads over difficult terrain. It is a hardtail electric fat bike with a sturdy luggage rack and a super powerful mid-motor.

The Apex is the highest quality of several hardtail electric fat bikes in the QuietKat range. Equipped with the Bafang Ultra mid-motor, an inverted moto-style front fork, powerful brakes and a 9-speed SRAM drivetrain, the Apex is a member of a newer niche of electric bikes that I’ve come to refer to as “all-terrain” -Category. Electric bike review I rented an Apex during the Big Gear Show in Park City, Utah in early August to get a feel for the bike.

Electric Bike Report’s home base is in a corner of southwest Utah known for its off-road vehicles, and every weekend our area is flooded with sophisticated Jeeps, side-by-sides and rock crawlers with huge tires and suspension, which is sturdy enough to handle Utah’s famous red sandstone vehicles. The Apex reminds me of these vehicles. Its chunky, fat tires provide plenty of grip, and the stronger-than-average front fork feels more capable than the suspension we see on some other electric fat bikes. Combine these features with the high-torque Bafang mid-drive and you have an all-terrain e-bike that can take a beating.

Right now you can purchase the QuietKat Apex for $2,850 off! Click the button above or visit our Black Friday e-bike deals page for more information.

*Editor’s Note: Updated November 20, 2023 with award badges and links to the latest information and pricing.

QuietKat Apex Electric Bike Test PaintQuietKat Apex Electric Bike Test Paint

The QuietKat Apex we tested had a camouflage finish.

We had limited time on the Apex during the Big Gear Show and had little access to legal e-bike trails, but the bike’s above-average off-road capabilities were evident as soon as I pedaled. While it’s a little too brutal to fit squarely into the e-MTB category and far too powerful to be called simply your average electric fat bike, the QuietKat Apex – and bikes like it – are carving out their own niche in the e-mountain bike world -Category. Cycling world that appeals to hunters, nature lovers, overlanders and really anyone who wants to ride difficult terrain and discreetly transport their gear to faraway places.

QuietKat Apex Review: Performance and Handling

Speed ​​and handling

The Apex is the workhorse cousin of QuietKat’s full-suspension Jeep e-bike. The two bikes have mostly the same components, but as a hardtail, the Apex has an integrated rack welded to the frame and has a slightly higher load capacity – 325 pounds.

It also just feels like a more resilient bike. I was able to ride the Jeep e-bike and the Apex back-to-back, and the Apex felt more like a freight train than the Jeep’s rock-crawler nature. The Apex climbed very well and it felt like the power of my pedaling and the engine was being transferred directly to the ground and the handling felt quick but very balanced. None of this detracts from the Apex’s off-road capabilities, but I do believe the Apex is more comfortable on 4×4 roads or dual track than on more technical trails.

The Apex also features an inverted moto-style front fork, which QuietKat includes on most of its e-bikes. It’s noticeably stiffer than many of the standard forks we see on other electric fat bikes, making the front end feel more precise in hard corners. Based on my experience with larger and stiffer forks on traditional mountain bikes designed for fast, technical trail riding, this sturdier fork would also likely provide better control over rough and choppy terrain.

QuietKat Apex Electric Bike Review ForkQuietKat Apex Electric Bike Review Fork

The moto-style front fork really stiffened up the front end of the Apex, which was noticeable on some high-speed descents.

Quietcat built the Apex based on the Bafang Ultra mid-engine, which produces an enormous torque of 160 Nm and a rated power of up to 1,500 W. To comply with e-bike laws, you can buy the bike with a “classified” 750W motor with a Class 2 throttle that shuts off at 20 mph. If you ride on private property or in OHV areas, you can also purchase the unclassified 1,000W model.

This considerable power is one of the reasons why the Apex doesn’t clearly fall into the e-MTB category. In either configuration, that torque and wattage can be unwieldy in tight terrain like singletrack. But for hunters and others transporting gear to a tree stand or campsite, this capability is extremely useful.

QuietKat Apex Review: Components

Motor and battery: Bafang Ultra Mid-Drive

QuietKat Apex Electric Bike Review MotorQuietKat Apex Electric Bike Review Motor

The Apex’s powerful mid-engine is housed in a housing that protects it from the elements.

The aforementioned Bafang Ultra mid-motor powers the Apex, giving riders access to 750W, 1,000W or 1,500W of power and 160Nm of torque. You can choose between one of three engine options when purchasing the Apex. Depending on what you choose, this motor is powered by a 48V 14.5Ah battery for the 750W and 1,000W motor options and a 52V 17.5Ah battery for the 1,500W motor.

Keep in mind that e-bike laws play a role in motor selection and unfortunately there is some inconsistency in these laws between states, land managers and others. If you plan to ride your bike on the road or on many other state or locally managed areas, the 750W is probably the best option. If you stay on private property or OHV areas, the larger engines might work.

Also, don’t underestimate how much power each of these three engines produces. Most E-MTB motors weigh 250W; Not because they are too weak or because they are designed for fitness, but because that alone is sufficient for most off-road use. Boost that power to 750W or even 1,500W and that’s a significant amount of energy.

Drive: SRAM 9-speed

QuietKat has equipped the Apex with a 9-speed SRAM X5 drivetrain, a cost-effective but reliable option.

It has fewer gears and slightly less technology than some of the higher-end drivetrains, but there’s some logic behind using a cheaper set of gears. Firstly, the bike has enough power so you have to shift less and need fewer gears. And secondly, the extremely powerful engine is likely to wear out the drivetrains more quickly; Cheaper setup means cheaper maintenance.

QuietKat Jeep Electric Bike Review PowertrainQuietKat Jeep Electric Bike Review Powertrain

The 9-speed SRAM drivetrain is affordable and reliable; Important features considering the 160Nm engine is likely to wear out quickly.

Brakes: Tektro four-piston hydraulic disc brakes

Slowing the bike is handled by a pair of Tektro Dorado 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, a fairly standard setup for e-bikes of this caliber. I’m a big fan of these brakes, which have proven to be reliable and strong on some of Park City’s larger descents.

Other notes: Lots of accessories, three sizes and a completely new integrated rack

A new feature of the 2021 model of the Apex is an integrated and color-matched rear luggage rack. This rack, which is welded to the frame rather than bolted, can support a weight of up to 100 pounds. The Apex is an e-bike designed for people who transport heavy loads to distant areas. That’s why they also designed the rack to keep the load weight low and directly over the center of the rear wheel, thereby maintaining the bike’s handling.

Since this is a transport bike, QuietKat offers a whole range of them Racks, Bags And Off-road trailer specially developed for the Apex and your other e-bikes.

QuietKat Apex Electric Bike Review FrontQuietKat Apex Electric Bike Review Front

The Apex’s cockpit is clean and complete with a Bafang display and touchpad.

QuietKat Apex Review: Final Word

The Apex is a formidable competitor in the emerging new class of all-terrain electric fat bikes.

It is a workhorse that can carry and pull heavy loads, but is also equipped to handle the most difficult terrain such as mud, snow and sand. Its component package – particularly the fork, brakes and integrated luggage rack – is top-notch, and the Bafang Ultra motor is a souped-up mid-engine that flattens hills. It’s a bike that would probably be a bit unwieldy on tight terrain, but when left in its natural habitat on 4×4 roads or dirt trails, it’s more than capable.

I’m also impressed with how sturdy the Apex feels. Some QuietKat employees who were instrumental in the development of this bike have extensive mountain biking experience, which is also reflected in the design. They clearly built this bike to go anywhere and do anything, and I think they hit the mark.

QuietCat sells the Apex e-bike on its website and ships bikes directly to consumers. If you prefer to purchase the bike in person, you can find it in QuietKat’s growing dealer network.

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