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A couple of years ago, I was sent the Himiway Cruiser e-bike to review.
Not only was it my first experience with a fat bike, but it was actually my first in-depth test of any electric bike.
And it surprised me. A lot.
At first, I was a bit self-conscious about riding this monstrous thing that felt more akin to a motorbike than a bicycle.
But after a couple of weeks, I fell in love with it.
So when Himiway got in touch to ask if I’d like to review the new Himiway Zebra model – I jumped at the chance.
A premium, all-terrain electric fat bike, upgraded from the Himiway Cruiser. With a 750W gear hub motor, a 960Wh Samsung/LG battery, and 26-inch Kenda fat tires, it offers a payload capacity of 400lbs and a range of up to 80 miles with pedal assist, or 60 miles with pure electric power. Its robust frame supports off-road adventures, making it perfect for those with a wild side.
- Sleek design
- Good range (easily 40+ miles)
- Removable battery
- Can carry upto 400lbs (181kg)
- Very comfortable to ride on any surface
- Very heavy (79lb/35kg)
As I say, I fell in love with the Cruiser – and the Zebra is basically the natural evolution of it: keeping all of the Cruiser’s best features, while moving the battery into the frame (keeping it removable) and providing a significant boost on the bike’s range.
Who’s an Electric Fat Bike For?
In case you’ve never heard of an “electric fat bike” before: no, the name “fat bike” isn’t in reference to the rider, but instead the bulky nature of the bike itself. That said, with a 400lb load capacity, fat bikes are also fantastic for heavy riders.
The point of a fat bike is to be durable and to be able to handle any – and I mean any – terrain you throw at it. You can ride through mud, snow and even the softest of sand.
But the problem with fat bikes, traditionally, has been that their extremely heavy weight (which comes a lot from their big, chunky wheels) has made them extremely hard to ride. However, this issue has been eradicated with electric bike technology.
With an electric fat bike, you really can blast across snow, mud and sand with ease – and bumps in the road are barely felt.
So, is the HImiway Zebra the best fat electric bike around?
Himiway Zebra Test
While the Himiway Cruiser was the first electric fat bike I tested hands-on, I’ve tried lots of e-fatties since. But few have come close to matching the sturdy, quality feel of the Cruiser.
This is where Himiway stand out from the rest of the pack, because they’ve made the Zebra to feel even more premium.
You feel like you can take on the world when you ride this massive bike. You can go anywhere. I love taking this bike through not only trails in the forest but even flying down the beach. And it’s not sure along the firmer shoreline – it can even comfortably navigate the deep, soft sand to get there. This bike is fun.
Himiway Cruiser vs Zebra
So, how did the Zebra compare to the previous generation Cruiser?
Well, in terms of specs – as you can see in the table below – the key points are that it offers 25% more range (it’s advertised as 80 miles, but in reality it’s closer to 40-45 miles with normal pedal-assist mode), it’s a little heavier, it can handle more rider/load weight and it costs £/$300 more.
|80 miles (128km)
|60 miles (86km)
The ride feel is very similar between the two bikes, but the design of the Zebra is a big upgrade. I feel the Cruiser has a slight prototype-y first-generation look to it, whereas the Himiway Zebra is a genuinely beautiful beast.
Building the battery into the frame (so that it’s still easily removable from beneath) makes a massive difference to the aesthetics of the bike and I much prefer it.
What’s more the metallic chrome finish of the bike also really sets it apart from the Cruiser – and any other bike in this category.
Himiway Zebra Pros + Cons
That said, this bike isn’t for everybody.
For people who like the idea of being able to ride on any terrain imaginable, the Zebra is fantastic. And if you’re already sold on the idea of an electric fat bike, I believe this is the best one money can buy right now.
But if you’re used to – and love – riding non-electric bikes (acoustic bikes, if you will), the Himiway Zebra may not be to your taste.
Riding an electric fat bike just has a different feel to normal bicycles and the additional weight takes some time to get used to (and forget about trying to carry it upstairs). It can also be quite the shock when switching back from a fat bike to a normal bike, as it makes other bikes feel frail and unstable. I do wonder if it riding an electric fat bike leads to picking up some bad riding habits, such as avoiding potholes!
That said, the Himiway Zebra is a great deal of fun – but it is a very different riding experience to more traditional bicycles.
Is the Himiway Zebra Worth It?
I’d highly recommend the Himiway Zebra for two very disparate types of people: the extremely adventurous who want to go anywhere and everywhere on their bike and also for less confident riders.
The former should be obvious: this is the go-everywhere e-bike. But for less confident riders, this bike should also appeal. When you get used to riding the Zebra, the bike’s sturdiness is greatly appreciated, while the throttle helps you to move off comfortably, even on hills.
At £/$1,999, the Himiway Zebra represents excellent value. It offers very good range for an electric fat bike (40-45 miles in real-world use with full assistance) and it is an eye-catching monster of a bike.
If you are budget conscious, you can sacrifice a bit of range and beauty, you can most of the same functionality on the Himiway Cruiser for £/$300 less. But if you can afford it, I would take the extra cash and have fun with the Himiway Zebra.