Having gotten the chance to review the Turboant T1 fat tire electric bike, we didn’t waste much time agreeing to follow up with another e-bike review. The Turboant Ranger R1 Electric City Bike comes designed for urban use. It features more traditional tires and lasts up to 60 miles on the battery.
Turboant R1 Electric City Bike Overview
Turboant has several (4 as of this writing) electric or e-bikes. Each has its own focus and intended user. The Turboant “Ranger” R1 Electric City Bike is just that—a bike intended for heavy urban use. Its range and torque make it suitable for use as a commuter bike. It even tackles hills and imperfect terrain.
Give our pretty extensive experience with brushless motors, it didn’t surprise us that Turboant would bring an e-bike designed specifically for the commuter. Having released the folding Swift S1, the Ranger R1 provides something for those not as constrained by size and portability.
They once again stuck with some of the same manufacturing partners for handling the battery, derailleur, chain, and brakes. Priced at around $1300 this E-bike is the least expensive Turboant currently offers.
The Overall Design
Of all the electric bicycles offered by Turboant, the R1 looks the most “traditional”. With 26×1.96-inch Kenda puncture-resistant tires, the bike fits in well with more traditional models. You don’t really have to adapt your tastes much.
The regular tire makes street-riding comfortable. We don’t recommend going off-road on this bike. You don’t get the suspension of wide wheels of the T1. After assembling the front wheel on this bike, we filled them to around 40 PSI—though you can go a lot higher if you want. We frequently fill the tires in our road bikes up to 60 psi or more. It really gave us a very comfortable, confident ride.
Like their fat tire bikes, the Turboant R1 E-Bike gives you a Shimano drivetrain with 7-gears available from the convenient thumb shifter. We did have to adjust ours somewhat out of the gate as it didn’t accurately move the chain throughout the full range of gears. That’s not surprising and it didn’t take a long time to make those adjustments.
The Shimano derailleur also seems solid and has a lot of adjustability to dial everything in just right. We also love the disc brakes which do a great job of quickly stopping the bike.
The Turboant R1 Electric Bike comes 90% assembled. You only need to attach the handlebars, fasten the front wheel, pop on the fender, and screw in the pedals. After that, we merely adjusted the seat to our liking and got riding. Turboant also recommends fully charging the battery before riding. It can take up to 7 hours, though the pack comes almost fully charged.
LED Mode Display and Controls
Unlike their fat tire e-bikes, the Turboant R1 lacks an LCD display. You don’t get a speedometer—just LED indicators for battery and mode. The simplistic design focuses on what you need—namely pedal-assist mode selection and a display of remaining battery power.
As you might expect, the Pedal Assist mode matters most and really affects how the bike responds to pedaling effort/input. The Turboant R1 city bike has four modes including 0 (none) plus three pedal assist levels. This influences just how much power the Turboant R1 e-bike adds to your pedaling efforts.
How the Turboant R1 Electric Bike Works
The TurboAnt R1 Electric Bicycle operates just like a regular bicycle until you engage the brushless motor in the hub of the rear wheel. Three Pedal-Assist modes let the 500-watt brushless motor contribute to the work you put into pedaling. Low adds a little bit of power to your pedaling. Medium actually does quite a bit of the work for you. High—it almost overrides your pedaling with how much the 500-watt motor adds to your work. For uphill climbing, High works fantastically. We doubt you’ll need it on flat terrain.
As soon as you cease pedaling, the R1 begins to coast. We recommend starting with the pedal assist modes off and then turn it on Low to see how it works. Once you’re ready and want to power the e-bike directly, pressing the red button lets you engage the manual twist throttle. For those simply wanting to let the R1 provide all the power, this mode works really well.
Possibly the most impressive feature of the Turboant R1 E-Bike involves the way you can customize both the 7-speed gearing and three pedal-assist levels. Combined, you have tons of options for maximizing both the speed and range of this urban-focused electric bike.
How Fast Does This Urban E-Bike Go?
The Turboant Ranger R1 city e-bike is pretty quick. We clocked it around 20 mph using just the brushless hub motor. It seems plenty quick for commuting applications and you can get several more mph out of this bike by pedaling alongside in the pedal-assist mode.
Using the pedal assist modes (mostly Low and Medium), I could get around my neighborhood without much effort at all. Since this bike excels as a road bike, we did all of our testing on the streets. Occasional runs over sections of grass didn’t seem to phase it, however. While hills are a bit hard to come by around here, that High pedal-assist mode should do quite well.
Braking with the Tektro Aries brake levers felt smooth and stopped the bike quickly.
48V 13Ah Locking Removable Battery
For safety, the Turboant R1 E-Bike includes a 48V 13Ah locking removable battery. They give you two keys that let you quickly unlock and removed the battery from the frame. With lithium-ion batteries, storing and charging indoors and out of the heat always seems to extend the life of the pack. Turboant expects around 3 years off this battery. The removable battery certainly makes the bike less appealing to thieves when you have to leave it parked outside. It should easily fit into most full-size backpacks. The hefty battery can be replaced and seems to run anywhere between $260-400 from various manufacturers.
The battery offers a considerable amount of runtime and we rode this bike for dozens of miles before recharging. Depending upon how much you use the pedal-assist modes, you could get up to 60 miles on a fully charged battery.
While you can see the charge level on the LED display while you ride, the battery itself also indicates the charge level. We like the way it unlocks using a key and we keep that right with the charger to avoid losing it. You could put the second key on your keychain for removing the battery pack while at work.
Turboant R1 Electric Bike vs T1 Fat Tire
It seemed to make good sense to compare the Turboant R1 Electric Bike vs the T1 Fat Tire model. Overall, these bikes match up pretty well—from features to price. Most notably, the motor is larger on the T1, but that doesn’t seem to affect either top speed or range. The reduced frame weight of the Tubroant Ranger R1 e-bike likely helps.
|Ranger R1 E-Bike||Thunder T1 E-Bike|
|Max Speed (motor only)||19.9 mph||19.9 mph|
|Max Speed (pedal assist)||28 mph||28 mph|
|Max range||35-60 miles||35-60 miles|
|Battery||48V 13 Ah (~562Wh)||48V 14 Ah (~605Wh)|
|Charge Time||7 hours||7 hours|
|Wheels||26 x 1.95 in.||26 x 4 in. fat|
|Derailleur||Shimano 7-Speed||7-Speed Shimano Acera|
|Braking||Tekto 7.1″ Aries||Tekto 7.1″ rotors|
|Max Load||264 lbs.||264 lbs.|
|Weight||51.8 lbs.||73 lbs.|
The Turboant Ranger R1 Electric City Bike really delivers. We find it an excellent value for anyone looking for a commuter bike that can get you to the office and back. It really compares well in an increasingly crowded market. We can really appreciate the speed and range you get with this electric bicycle. You can certainly pay more—but you may not want or need to.
Turboant R1 Electric Bike Specs
- Tires: 26 x 1.95 in. tubed pneumatic
- Motor: 500W brushless
- Battery: 48V 13Ah Samsung removable
- Charge time: 7-hours
- 7-speed Shimano derailleur
- Integrates steel front fork
- Max speed (motor only): 19.9 mph
- Braking: Tektro Aries
- Range: 35–60 miles
- Max load: 264 lbs
- LED headlight + LED brake light
- Price: $1299
Get more info here.