REVIEW – We are a family of cyclists. We love to bike for recreation, but we’d also love to be able to take our bikes to work and school. The problem? Our climate gets very hot and humid, and nobody wants to start the day a sweaty mess. Enter the eBike. We chose to test this as a fun, climate-friendly, budget option for commuting, that wouldn’t leave us sweaty and tired before the day even begins. The Rattan Pathfinder electric bike seemed like a good option.
What is it?
The Rattan Pathfinder is a fat tire electric bicycle with a 1200 w (peak) motor and three speeds. It comes with front and rear fenders, a convenient rear rack, and an optional app for additional controls.
What’s in the box?
- Rattan Pathfinder eBike 85% assembled
- Fenders and rack
- Battery and charger
- Hardware and assembly tools
- Instruction manual
- Motor: 750W brushless gear hub motor
- Rated/peak motor: 750W/1200W
- Lithium-ion battery: 48V 720Wh
- Throttle: Thumb-press
- Gears: 8-speed Shimano
- Top speed: 28mph
- Range: 40-65 miles
- Height recommendation: 5’5″ to 6’6″
- Load capacity: 400 pounds
- Tires: 26-inch x 4-inch fat tires
- Wheelbase: 47.2 inches
- Total length: 77.2 inches
- Wheel height: 31.9 inches
- Minimum seat height: 33.5 inches
- Maximum seat height: 39.4 inches
- Reach: 19.7 inches
- Handlebar height: 45.7 inches
- Standover height: 17.7 inches
- Brakes: 180mm (front) and 180 mm hydraulic (rear)
- Charger: 5.3A fast charger
- Time to charge: 4-5 hours
- Pedal assist: 3 modes; 5 levels
- Warranty: 2 years
- Colors: Space gray or midnight green
Design and features
The Rattan Pathfinder eBike Pathfinder eBike arrives in a very large box, 85 percent assembled. Give yourself an hour or two to put it together; having more than one person is helpful, and it’s even better if your assemblers have some experience with bicycles. It comes with all the tools and hardware you’ll need.
We suggest charging the battery right away, which can take 4-5 hours. You’ll want it to be charged up when you’re done with the assembly, so you’ll be ready to take it for a spin. The light on the charger turns green when it’s fully charged.
You’ll need to put on the front tire, which is very easy since it has a quick release. You put the bar through it, screw and clamp one side, and it’s ready to go. With both tires on, you can now use the kickstand as you put the rest together.
You will need to attach the handlebars with screws, and make sure your brake cables are tightened (or you may get an error message like we did). Then you put the front and rear fenders on with several small screws.
You will also need to screw on the pedals (left-handed threads) and connect all the electrical cables.
The headlamp is simple, it just has one bolt that you tighten to get it into position. Note that it’s a very nice, bright, heavy-duty headlamp, and very convenient to have the front and rear lights integrated into the design.
When your battery is charged, it pops right into place.
You turn the battery on with a red toggle switch, that’s under a protective flap.
With the parts in place and the battery fully charged and in place, you just need to adjust the seat to your height, and you’re ready to go.
The Rattan Pathfinder eBike Pathfinder eBike is incredibly fun to ride. My assemblers didn’t finish until after 10 p.m., but once we took it for the inaugural ride around the block, we spent a good hour playing on it, with everyone in my family taking several turns. It was past my bedtime, but I just couldn’t help it! We knew it would be fun to ride, but it immediately surpassed expectations. We were laughing so hard, that we may have woken a few neighbors. Both my husband and son offered to take it to work the next morning, and we’ve had no shortage of volunteers to test this.
It rides smoothly and just feels like riding a sturdy, heavier fat-tire bike. The seat and handlebars are very comfy.
On my first ride with the Rattan Pathfinder eBike Pathfinder eBike, the regenerative braking surprised me a little. When you pump the left handbrake, it regenerates the battery (cool!) but may stick a little and make it hard to pedal for a few seconds. It’s a very easy fix, you just quickly squeeze the brake all the way and it pops out, but it may feel a bit strange if you aren’t expecting it.
Speed-wise, you can really get the Rattan Pathfinder eBike Pathfinder eBike going. We’ve clocked it at 30mph and even a little more!
Sound-wise, you can hear it coming if you’re really flying. On slower speeds, it’s more stealthy.
We like the pedal assist mode that gives you a little boost with every pump. You can also use the throttle with your left thumb to get a boost without pedaling at all. Both the throttle and pedal assist are very smooth and responsive.
Of course, you can also ride the Rattan Pathfinder eBike Pathfinder like a regular bike, which comes in especially handy if you run out of batteries. As a normal bike, it’s an 8-speed with a shifter on the handlebar.
Controls and app
The Rattan Pathfinder eBike Pathfinder eBike has three modes:
- Pedal Mode: Just like normal cycling. It automatically switches to this mode when the battery dies while riding.
- Electric Mode: Press the throttle slowly to go into electric mode.
- Pedal Assist Mode: Pedal assist uses a cadence sensor built into the drive-train of the bike to give the level of assistance that you select (1-5), using the + and – on the controls
To look at the display info, you click the “i” button. The display will show you your trip miles, total miles, max speed, average speed and total time traveled.
There’s a switch on the handlebars to turn on or off your suspension. Everyone in my family prefers to keep the suspension turned on for a smoother ride.
One cool feature I’d never seen before is how the backlight gets brighter when you brake. In fact, there are extra lines of red lights that illuminate when the brakes engage. My guys took a spin at night on the Fourth of July to check out fireworks, and the rider in the back really appreciated the heads-up when this bike was braking. To turn on the lights, you just press and hold the light button.
You can switch your driving mode between Eco (lower acceleration to save battery consumption), Normal, and Sport mode (higher acceleration and battery consumption). There’s a walk-assist mode you can activate by pressing “-” for 2 seconds, which makes it easier to walk with this bike. As mentioned earlier, you can adjust your pedal assistance level (1-5); you do this by clicking the “+” or “-” button, the default is 0.
To access additional settings, hold the “+” and “-” button for 2 seconds. This will allow you to view the settings for the wheel, speed limit, lamp brightness, mode, voltage, dormancy, unit, password, display, and more. You can also adjust additional settings through the app, called Key-Disp.
You can connect the app/eBike with Bluetooth. The app lets you adjust many of the same controls shown on the display. You can control the headlight, switch the assistance levels on the display, change the display units, and set a speed limit and wheel size. You can also see your riding records or tap into the app’s navigation program.
To set the cruise control, press the throttle for 5 seconds while you’re at the speed you want to maintain. The bike will then keep you at that speed until you use the brake. My husband used this feature on his commute to work and really liked that he could maintain his speed without hitting the throttle multiple times.
As for battery life, the display is a bit inconsistent. For example, I rode 3.8 miles in Normal mode with pedal assist level 5, and it said I had 68 percent battery left. However, when I turned it off and on again, the percentage popped up to 89 percent.
Mason rode in Sport mode, pedal assist level 5, and it registered zero battery at a little over 8 miles and switched into manual mode. He rode home, plugged it in for just a few minutes, and when I went to take a photo of the display the battery life jumped all the way to 48 percent.
It also feels very low risk for the battery to run out, because you can always just ride it like a normal bike (unlike our electric skateboard, which is nearly impossible to ride after the battery runs out). And, while the battery may go out suddenly, it charges quickly. It’s best to keep an eye on it, switch down to Eco mode, and take it easy on the throttle if you’re going more than 6 or 7 miles and want to keep some juice until the end of your ride.
When you want to release the battery to take it out for charging, you need to turn the key. However, you can also charge it without taking it out, as long as your cord reaches. It takes 4-5 hours to fully charge.
A few words of caution. If your parking options are space-constrained, take some measurements before assuming the Rattan Pathfinder eBike will fit. We learned this the hard way when my husband rode the eBike to work only to realize it wouldn’t fit in his company’s bike lockers. With the quick-release front wheel, you may get some wiggle room, but be aware that the Rattan is probably bigger than what you’re used to riding.
It’s also heavy and bulky, so if you plan to put it on a car rack or hang it on hooks in your garage, make sure it will fit/hold. For example, we would have expected to be able to transport this in my husband’s truck bed, but have learned that it’s just too heavy to hoist that far up and down.
Also, be aware of terrain that changes quickly. Mason took a spill when he turned a corner and the bike path was unexpectedly covered in sand that had washed up from a riverbank after a bad storm. Anyone who cycles a lot knows that falls happen. Just be extra cautious, even though this bike feels very sturdy, it’s still a bike, and a quick turn or change of terrain could cause you to flip (just like it would on any bike).
I got caught in a big storm riding this bike, including a complete downpour, and I was fine riding through it (visibility was more of an issue, the eBike and especially its fat tires handled great). Just remember to pedal cautiously, there’s a lot more power here than a regular bike. Take the corners easy. And we found it best NOT to pedal around corners while using the pedal assist, but to coast around them instead, for better control.
What I like
- Fun and easy to use
- Thoughtful, useful design features (fenders, rack, integrated lights)
- Helpful settings and options (multiple riding modes, cruise control)
What I’d change
The Rattan Pathfinder eBike is sturdy, with lots of settings to play with and adjust to your liking, and it’s a ton of fun to ride.