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We travel all over Europe in our overland truck and have always carried traditional bikes and a scooter as a way of getting about when we’re parked up.
This summer, we hired a couple of electric bikes in the Dolomites and loved the experience of managing hills without too much effort and being able to get around faster than on a normal bike.
When Himiway offered us a Himiway Zebra fat tyre e-bike, we jumped at the opportunity to take it for a test ride!
Himiway kindly provided us with this Zebra e-bike, but as always, all opinions are our own.
What is the Himiway Zebra?
The Himiway Zebra is a fat tyre e-bike equipped with a 250W gear hub motor and a removable 960Wh Samsung/LG battery. The e-bike has a riding distance of up to 80 miles, a top speed of 15.5mph and can carry loads of up to 400 lbs or 181kg.
Fat bikes are designed with oversized tyres for riding off-road, particularly on soft terrain such as snow or sand. But the Zebra is so much more than that!
What’s in the Box?
Get ready for a large and heavy cycle-sized box to arrive!
The packaged Himiway Zebra e-bike weighs in at 90 lb / 40.8kg, but the box has handy plastic hand-holds built in and with two people is relatively easy to manoeuvre. Once opened, the protective foam and plastic are easily removed and assembly can start!
The Himiway Zebra comes with the following in the box:
Himiway Zebra Specification
The Himiway Zebra e-bike carries the EPAC (electrically assisted pedal cycle) CE mark according to European Standard 15194. If you’re comparing the Zebra with the Himiway Cruiser, the Zebra has an integrated battery and a greater range than Himiway’s entry level electric bike.
The bike comes with a good quality Himiway branded hex wrench for assembly. The only other tool you may need is an adjustable spanner.
The instructions are clear, full of diagrams, and tell you exactly what to do, how to do it, in which order and with what tool.
The e-bike comes almost assembled except for the front wheel, the handlebars and a few component parts. You don’t need to be a DIY or bike expert to put this bike together. A lot of the component parts are self-explanatory with a simple plug-and-play fitting, or a few twists of the hex wrench.
When you lift the Zebra out of the box, without the handlebars and front wheel to add stability, the e-bike is heavy and you may want two people for this part of the process.
You’ll need to fit the front wheel, handlebars, pedals, front light, bike computer and front mudguard before you’re ready to charge up for the first time.
Himiway Zebra Features
We tested the Himiway Zebra step-over model, which is the type generally used by men as there is a top bar to step over. The step-through model does make the bike easier to get on and off for ladies (although who rides a bike in a skirt these days?) and is ideal for us more mature types, or those of us with short legs!
The Himiway Zebra can be ridden three ways:
The handlebars feature leather-covered grips, a twist throttle on the right, the gear shift for the 7-speed drivetrain, the bike computer, the e-bike controls, and the brake levers.
The LCD screen of the mini-computer is easy to see in bright sunlight and gives you information about battery level, speed, power output, range, and motor power. You can also customise some parameters like pedal assist level, number of levels, and tyre size.
There are a lot of cables and wires coming to and from the handlebars, but they are managed well with cable wraps and they don’t hinder riding at all.
One great feature of this e-bike is the quality of the name-branded parts. The hydraulic disc brakes are from Tektro, which is a solid option given that this is an 80-pound bike capable of 15.5mph!
The tires are from Kenda, the gearing is from Shimano, the chain is from KMC, the saddle is from Selle Royal and the stem is Promax; all mainstream and well-respected bike parts manufacturers.
The accessories that are included as standard with the Zebra really up the offer from Himiway. Full-coverage mudguards, bright powered front and rear lights, and a heavy-duty rear rack mean you’re ready to ride out of the box.
The rack is a particularly good option, enabling the rider to carry shopping, parcels and bags, or even take a passenger.
For a bit more wonga, you can also buy a speaker, bike rack pannier bags, water bottle holder, a handlebar bag, a triangle bag, and an adjustable bike stem.
Himiway Zebra Performance
Despite the bike’s weight and chunky design, it’s surprising how effortless the ride is when using power assist. When first using the bike, you’ll notice a very small delay before the power kicks in, but you’ll soon get used to this. Once power assist starts working, you’ll feel the bike coming into its own as you start to move quickly. Now the fun starts!
For this bike review, we trialled the Zebra on several surfaces, in the wet (we are in the UK after all!) and dry. Whether it’s a tarmac road, gravel track, forest floor or the edge of a muddy field, the bike just eats up the surface and keeps going. The light feel and agility of the bike make it a joy to ride.
The rider assist levels 1-5 are simple to use with a plus and minus control on the left-hand side of the handlebars, and the level you’re using is clearly visible on the LCD display screen. This allows you to determine easily how much assistance you want or need.
The lights are LED and pretty effective and the kickstand is robust and works perfectly.
The range of the Himiway Zebra e-bike is very impressive. We shared a ride of around 15 miles, starting with a full charge. Our ride was on a combination of asphalt roads and gravel tracks, mainly on the flat, and that lowered the battery level by one of the five bars, so the marketed range looks to be spot on.
What We Liked
What We’d Change
It’s heavy, which can make moving it around difficult. If you’re able to take it out of your garage or shed and ride, then this is the perfect e-bike. But if you live in a flat with no lift or need to take the bike on public transport, this probably isn’t the bike for you.
Also, the range of bike racks able to take the weight is limited and if you’re travelling in a motorhome or campervan it’s a lot of additional weight for your payload to absorb.
That said, it’s lighter than our scooter, which weighs 150kg including the top box and helmets.
We’d love to see this e-bike come with a solar charging kit as an extra. We have a sufficiently large solar system on our truck to manage the extra power required, but for the bike to be self-contained, a solar charger would be amazing!
It’s a Wrap!
Is the Himiway Zebra the best electric bike in the UK? We don’t know the answer to that but what we do know is that we didn’t think we’d be converted, but we have been!
The Himiway Zebra e-bikeis a LOT of fun and an awesome viable alternative to a scooter. It is a more environmentally friendly option and gives us each a bit more independence.
Click below to see purchase options and use code ‘TheGapDecaders‘ to get £50 off your order!