Himiway Expands Its Lineup With A Solid Electric Commuter Bike

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Himiway has made a name for itself in recent years with a range of long-range, fat-tire electric mountain bikes (e-MTBs) that positively steamroll down the road. But it’s entering a new field in 2023, as Himiway has launched its first-ever “narrow” tire bike. Meet the 61 lb Rambler — a solid electric commuter bike option that’s priced right.

If you’re familiar with the Himiway Zebra or its higher-spec cousin, the Cobra Pro, you’ll find that the Rambler has that same “beefy” feel to it. The frame, the welds, the pedals — it’s all stout and seems equally built to last, but as it’s aimed squarely at the commuter market, the question here isn’t whether or not the Himiway will be up to the everyday challenges your A-to-B will throw at it, but whether or not the Rambler hits that elusive sweet spot between tank and road bike that makes for a great ride.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Himiway Rambler. Photo by the Jo Borrás | CleanTechnica.

While my first impression of the Zebra I tested last year was something along the lines of, “It’s so big!?,” the Rambler seems to be — dare I say — “properly” sized? It’s big enough to be comfortable, with an upright seating position that will be instantly familiar to European electric commuter bike fans.

My tester came with a 500W hub motor paired with a 720Wh battery that’s supposedly good for a whopping 55 miles of range, qualifying this electric commuter bike as a genuine “long-range” e-bike option (a Bafang mid-drive motor is available on the higher-end premium model with the same battery). Unlike the Zebra with its Shimano SIS shifting and right-hand throttle, the Rambler uses more conventional trigger shifters on the right handlebar and a thumb throttle on the left side.

At this point, I should tell you that the left thumb throttle is a no go for me. Old injuries and limited movement on that side means that, as far as I’m concerned, the Himiway Rambler is a purely pedal-assisted proposition — and that’s OK, because as pedelecs go, it’s actually a pretty good one!

ON THE MOVE

Himiway Rambler e-bike motor
Mid and rear motors available. Photo by the Jo Borrás | CleanTechnica.

The bad thing about hub motors is that they add mass to the back of the bike, changing the “feel” of the ride. The good thing is that they usually allow multiple chain rings up front, which means more gearing options, torque multiplication, and range. Combined with the 62 Nm of torque that the motor pushes out, the Himiway Rambler is more than up to the task of keeping up with Oak Park’s 25 MPH suburban traffic.

This electric commuter bike has a shorter wheelbase and significantly lighter weight than the Zebra, too, which means that the Rambler feels much more nimble and sporty on the road. The narrower wheels, which also provide less rolling resistance than the Zebra’s fat tires, only add to that feeling — and I’d even say that the Rambler feels quicker, despite the 50% power advantage of the other bike.

Overall, it’s just a less intimidating machine than the Zebra or Cobra — and much more accessible to riders who aren’t avid cyclists. Matching the Rambler up to another favorite, the NIU BQi-C3 commuter, it compares exactly the way you’d expect a Himiway to compare to a NIU. It feels burlier, and the compliant suspension gives the impression that you can jam it into curbs and potholes with reckless abandon, whereas the NIU feels more — let’s go with “serious.” The Himiway’s beach cruiser-style handlebars are more relaxed, putting less strain on the wrists for added comfort, and the new Himiway-standard lighting is significantly brighter.

In a head-to-head comparison, my basic Himiway Rambler tester is a lot closer to the NIU than NIU would probably want it to be and carries a price tag $700 lower. The $2199 mid-drive Premium Rambler that’s priced to compete head on with the NIU? I can only guess, but I imagine the final choice would be down to matters of taste, not quality.

THAT’S CLEVER

We talked about how the Rambler felt on the move — but there are a few ways an e-bike moves, right? One of those ways is when it’s being carried — carried up stairs, for example. And while the Zebra was decidedly not a bike I’d want to have to hoist up and down even a few steps, the new-for-2023 Himiway Rambler has this great little grab bar in the frame that makes it even easier to carry than awkwardly balanced bikes that weigh significantly less.

You can check that out for yourself here:

Himiway Rambler Grab Handle
Grab handle. Photo by the Jo Borrás | CleanTechnica.

Another clever feature is the high-contrast LCD display. It’s easily visible and functional, and I never found myself missing a full color TFT display. It just works.

Himiway Rambler high-contrast LCD display. Photo by the Jo Borrás | CleanTechnica.

MAIN FEATURES & BENEFITS

This article is sponsored by Himiway.


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