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This report offers a detailed analysis by a team of engineers and cycling enthusiasts, sharing their first-hand experience. Our engineers are well-versed in electric bikes, their parts, and their functions. Our detailed analysis will help with the purchasing decisions of your first or next electric bike.
Today, we will be reviewing the Himiway Cruiser. The Himiway brand was introduced in 2017 by Mike Magaruh. Himiway offers a direct-to-consumer business with products manufactured in China and with offices in California and British Columbia. Himiway has grown to become one of the most well-known direct-to-consumer electric bike brands.
The Cruiser is Himiway’s benchmark product and has brought their brand into the limelight of the electric bike market, best competing with Heybike. The Cruiser model comes spec’d with a 750w brushless, gear hub motor and is paired with a 48-volt, 17.5-amp hour Samsung lithium-ion battery boasting 35-60 miles per charge.
The Cruiser model offers a Class 2 pedal-assist with twist-throttle and 5 levels of assist. This 6061-aluminum frame, fat tire, comfort e-bike comes with 26×4 inch tires and 100mm of front suspension. This bike weighs in at 74 lbs making it one of the heavier comfort e-bikes on the market. Despite the weight of this model, our engineers were impressed with many aspects including performance and comfort; let’s dive in and see what our engineers had to report.
One of the many highlights of this e-bike model is the 40-mile range from the 48v, 17.4 ah Samsung lithium-ion battery. We found their advertised range accurate for riders weighing up to 160lbs though our heavier testers experienced a range of 35-37 miles.
With the weight of the bike measuring 72lbs and the spec’d 4-inch, Kenda Juggernaut fat tires, our expectations for speed output were low. However, our engineers were surprised when the 750-watt, brushless gear motor produced speeds up to 20 miles per hour, and the 80nm torque made climbing steep hills a breeze. While this motor offers 5 levels of pedal assist, we found we were either in a low level, (to extend the battery life) or full throttle (to reach and maintain max speed). In fact, we didn’t find a major difference between the middle pedal assist levels.
Because of the high torque and powerful motor, we would prefer to see a lever throttle instead of the grip throttle. We experienced a lag when twisting the throttle and when the motor engaged and experienced the bike lurching forward when the motor engaged. This could prove dangerous for less experienced or smaller cyclists who could potentially lose control of the bike; even for average-sized experienced cyclists, the lag takes some getting used to.
The equipped charger is a US standard, 2-amp charger and it takes approximately 5-6 hours to charge the battery. There are faster, aftermarket chargers but be sure to check with Himiway if using one will void the 2 -year warranty.
We were also pleased with the addition of the Shimano 7-speed shifter and Shimano Altus rear derailleur and the inclusion of the rear derailleur guard. No doubt a fall with such a heavy bike would result in a snapped derailleur hanger and potentially a broken derailleur, so the derailleur guard is needed.
Even though the front chainring is a 46T paired with a 14-28 tooth cassette, our testers reported rarely finding it necessary to use any of the lower gears. However, having easier gears would be required should a rider pedal the Cruiser without any pedal assist given the heavyweight of the bike and the traction of the fat tires.
As with many e-bikes in this price range, the Himiway Cruiser comes with mechanical disc brakes, specifically the Tektro Aries. While we understand that these less expensive brakes keep the overall price of the bike down, we would prefer the performance of a hydraulic brake system given the weight of this model. While the spec’d 180mm rotor and 4-inch fat tires undoubtedly help to slow the bike down, our testers reported the need to squeeze the brakes with both hands when stopping after a descent. The addition of hydraulic brakes would enable riders to modulate and feather the brakes, allowing for one to two-finger braking thus providing the rider more steering control. Not to mention hydraulic brakes require less maintenance, therefore less visits to the bike shop too!
This model comes with an easy-to-read LCD display, (even in sunlight) and displays battery capacity, pedal assist levels, odometer, speedometer, and wattmeter plus a USB charging port.
This e-bike also comes with a front, 48-volt front light and brake-activated rear light. We found the lights suitable for low light use but for darker rides we would add high lumen helmet mounted lights.
The Cruiser model comes with a suspension fork with 100mm travel and a lock-out dial. The suspension paired with the fat tires had our engineers reporting a ride quality that resembled “riding on clouds”.
At top speeds, the e-bike felt stable and smooth, and the fat tires added traction and suspension which gave the ride quality a moto feel. However, due to the heaviness of this bike, riding at slower speeds proved awkward and we anticipate that lighter weight or inexperienced riders will struggle with steering.
The Himiway Cruiser bike is offered in a step-through frame with bottle cage mounts on the top tube. We are often perplexed why manufacturers add these mounts on step-through electric bikes because adding a bottle cage and water bottle to the top tube of the frame literally blocks the benefits of the low stand-over height in the first place. We would recommend instead, using a handlebar-mounted water bottle cage.
The Cruiser gives a rider weight limit of a substantial 350 lbs and the suggested rider height is 5’3-6’4 though we think a better-suited height range would be 5’4 to 6’1. Adjustable aftermarket handlebars and seat posts can be purchased to dial in the fit of the bike.
Also included with the Cruiser is the rear rack weighted to carry 45 lbs. Himiway has created mounts on the headtube of the frame for adding a proprietary Himiway front rack.
Often with electric bikes, it’s the addition of well-thought-out parts that have our engineers nodding in approval and the Cruiser offers many examples that we were impressed with such as the Wellgo pedals. These durable and wide platform pedals will support riders of all sizes.
We also liked the Velo saddle, comfortable and wide enough for an upright seating position with an integrated handle for moving the bike around or lifting it onto a car rack.
The integrated bell, cleverly positioned near the right grip and brake lever, makes it easy for the rider to use. The handlebar grips were comfy, but we found them slick when wet from light rain and this added to the possibility of accidentally engaging the throttle.
Though the Cruiser models come equipped with front and rear fenders, but our testers in the Pacific NorthWest were disappointed to learn that Himiway suggests riding the Cruiser in light rain only. This is due to the quality of the seal on the battery and the potential for damage to the LCD display. For riders residing in wetter climates, this could be a major deterrent in purchasing this electric bike.
The Himiway Cruiser won’t be winning awards on a sleek frame design, but that doesn’t seem to matter for their target audience who are likely newer to electric bikes and who put more value in a powerful and comfortable bike. The Himiway Cruiser looks big and bulky especially with the front suspension and fat tires, but we think it looks really comfortable too!
The Himiway Cruiser is selling for $1,599 but before we can assess the value it offers; we should recap the electric bike review as a whole:
|Performance||4 out of 5|
|Comfort||4 out of 5|
|Appearance||3 out of 5|
|Price||4.5 out of 5|
|Total||15.5 out of 20|
The Himiway Cruiser ranks above most of the comfort, fat tire electric bikes on the market today, likely because of the considerable value in performance and the quality of the parts. We think that the Himiway Cruiser delivers beyond the sticker price and offers an excellent choice for people who are looking for an affordable, yet comfortable electric bike that they can take on the road, trails, and paths.