Contents of Report
To get a special BoatTEST.com discount on the QuietKat bike, click here.
For people who enjoy cruising, a bicycle is a natural addition to the list of supplies to have on board. How many times have we seen a yacht arrive at the marina and the owners step off and unfold their bicycles? QuietKat offers an extension of that experience with a collapsible bike that is also electrically powered. Let’s take a look at the features.
We’ll start our features inspection with the right side of the handlebars. It starts with contoured grips that feel comfortable to hold. Just inside the right-hand grip is the shifter for the bicycle’s (we’ll get into another shifter for the electric engine shortly) three speeds and a gear indicator is right in front. Extend the fingers to activate the mechanical rear disc brake. This unit has the optional LED light mounted to the right side of the handlebar. Just to the left is the color display that not only provides the bike’s speed and trip information but the battery condition as well.
Moving further to the left, there’s a control for the color display. It activates the power, serves as a selector for the various display functions, and lets the user shift between the electric motor’s two speeds. This shifter consists of a simple one and two buttons on the left handlebar. One, of course, is the low speed and it would be used for getting up hills or rough terrain. Two is for more level terrain and higher speeds. This is not to be confused with the other shifter that works the hub gearing. Just like on an old three-speed, no derailleur. Next is the throttle trigger, the disc brake for the front wheel, and what would a bike be without the trusty bell?
Moving to the front, there are air suspension shocks, the drilled brake disc, the brake calipers, and a 20” (50.80 cm) wheel with a 4” (10.16 cm) tundra tire. The pedals are connected to a 750-watt torque-censored motor.
Just above is the battery. It’s an 11-amp hour, Panasonic lithium-ion battery. Just a turn of the key and a lift of the handle has it removable for charging or swapping out with another to extend the range. It also includes a charge level gauge.
The battery weighs in at 8 lbs. (3.63 kg) and fits easily into the optional saddlebags which are supported by a center rack. Down below is the rear brake disc which is also drilled, the brake caliper, the geared hub controlling the shifting for the wheel, not the motor, and a belt drive instead of a chain. This makes it much cleaner and easier to maintain. The contoured saddle includes a quick release for the post to allow for quick adjustments on the fly.
To collapse the QuietKat, first the pedals flip in. Then there’s a quick release for the frame and another for the handlebars to drop down. Once completely broken down, the bike fits into a storage compartment on the boat or in a supplied wheeled case.
Riding it is just as easy as riding a standard bicycle. Use the pedals or give a slight push to start rolling it, press the thumb trigger and off it goes. The throttle trigger is spring-loaded and progressive. So the more you squeeze, the faster it goes. To slow down, simply ease up on the throttle trigger. There is little to no effort needed when riding it. Its top speed is 20 MPH. The knobby wheels give a good grip on all types of terrain, so ride it like a mountain bike.
When using the QuietKat for hunting, it makes bringing your gear to the hunting site a lot easier than carrying all your gear on your back. Being Quiet, it has obvious advantages. It’s also advantageous where there are long distances between hunting locations. We strongly recommend taking advantage of the cargo trailer to allow even more gear to be carried in or out.
The QuietKat makes for a nice addition to any cruising boat, but it is so much more than that. It’s easy to transport, easy to store, and easy to ride. As with any high-end bike, it is good to make sure that it is protected at all times with a sturdy bike lock. We would also remove the battery when it's not in use. It is always fun to explore a new region upon arrival and by having the QuietKat in your cruising plans, your area of exploration just grew exponentially.
For more information on the QuietKat bike and to get a special BoatTEST.com discount, click here.