Himiway Zebra EBike Review: Riding The Fat Tire Freighter

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There’s a new contender on the budget eBike scene: The Himiway Zebra boasts big power on a small budget, but can it outlast the competition?
Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Introduction
The Himiway Zebra is a budget-friendly electric fat bike with enough juice to take you to some incredible places.



Himiway Zebra EBike: Key Specs 

– Best use: Urban commute, off-road, and utility
– Bike Type: Electric fat bike
– E-Bike Classification: Class 3
– Motor torque: 86Nm / 63 ft-lbs
– Battery Type: Lithium-ion
– Battery Capacity: 960 Wh
– Range: 60-80 mi / 96-129 km
– Weight: 79 lbs / 36kg




Himiway Zebra EBike Review: In short 

When most folks look for a general-purpose eBike, they have a few simple demands. The bike should have enough power to take the sting out of pedaling, enough battery life to survive a week or so on a single charge, and enough reliability and user-friendliness to make owning it a joy rather than a chore. In this regard, the Himiway Zebra eBike has all the makings of a worthwhile investment whether you’re looking for an urban commuter, a backroad explorer, or a pack mule for off-pavement adventures. 

The Zebra caught our eye for a couple of reasons. The first is that its 750W hub motor puts out a claimed 83Nm of power, and the second is that its 960Wh battery is allegedly good for 60 miles of range without touching the pedals. These characteristics, combined with the Zebra’s impressive 400lbs payload capacity and a healthy smattering of including accessories like lights, a rear rack, and fenders, made us wonder if this relatively unknown model might be one of the best-kept secrets on the eBike market. 

We picked up one ourselves to find out with some first-hand testing. Here’s what we learned. 




The Test: Why You Should Trust Us

We handed the testing of the Himiway Zebra to one of our editors living in a small town in the French Alps, as they seemed to have the best proving ground for a heavyweight eBike like this. This included a healthy mix of commuting and recreational riding around an urban environment, as well as exploring a wide variety of unpaved roads and biking trails just a short ride from the front door. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - The Test
Our senior editor Thomas took on testing himself, making the most of his location in the French Alps.

We believe these two scenarios give the best possible representation of what most owners will use the Zebra for: urban riding and light off-roading. Of course we couldn’t resist pushing it a bit harder on some more technical singletrack trails as well, and also took a few opportunities to really load the Zebra down with gear to see how it handled some utility duty. 

First Impressions

The first thing that stuck out to us when riding the Himiway Zebra was the power. At a claimed 86Nm or torque, the Zebra has above-average power for bikes in this segment, and that fact is immediately apparent when riding. The bike takes off with ease and quickly climbs to its rated top speed with minimal effort and zero drama. This is particularly impressive considering both the total weight of the Himiway Zebra (79 lbs) as well as the extra large and extra knobby 4” Kenda tires that come equipped from the factory. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - First Impressions
The Zebra’s power 86Nm motor was the first thing that grabbed our attention: This thing is built to haul.

We also noted that the Zebra provides a very comfortable ride overall, and feels about as casual and low-effort as you could ask for. We chalk this up to the bike’s relaxed rider triangle and wide handlebar, and while “easy riding” isn’t what most would consider a “performance” metric, in a bike like this we believe it’s arguably the most important aspect of the ride. 

Ride & Comfort

As you might guess from reading the above, we’ve had a great experience with the Zebra when it comes to ride quality. The single largest contributor to this is likely the relaxed/neutral geometry of the bike, allowing riders to sit nice and upright without a long reach to the bars, but we found the Zebra had a few other things going for it as well in this regard. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Ride and Comfort
The Zebra’s supension fork is a fairly basic oil and spring unit, but it does a great job of smoothing out bumps and reducing chatter on less than perfect pavement or maintained trails.

The first is the Himiway’s front fork, which is a fat bike/eBike-specific unit that also includes a lockout function. The fork itself is nothing special, as it’s just a basic oil and spring design from a Chinese brand called “Exsho” but we found it did a commendable job of smoothing out rough terrain when called upon. Compared to rigid-frame commuter bikes we’ve ridden in the past, the hardtail design makes for a much more compliant and less jarring ride on rough pavement and gravel roads. 

The other major benefit we found with the Zebra is that its plus-sized fat tires added a considerable amount of damping to the ride, especially for the otherwise rigid rear end. Due to the weight of the bike, we were able to ride reasonably firm pressures between 2-3 bars while still getting solid traction and good all-around compliance from the rear, and felt the extra large tires were a smart design choice considering there’s plenty of power on tap to keep them spinning. 

Power & Performance

Power was arguably our favorite part of riding the Himiway Zebra, and we found the extra beefy 750W hub motor truly delivered the goods we were hoping for. The Zebra accelerates in a controlled fashion under pedal assistance or when using the half twist throttle steadily up to its roughly 25km/h average speed, and on flatter and rolling terrain, it more or less feels like zipping around on a magic carpet. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Power and Performance 1
The Zebra’s combination of power and extra wide, knobby Kenda tires allows it to climb with ease both on and off tarmac.

On steeper inclines and extended hill climbs, top speed typically falls to somewhere between 10-15 mph, but regardless of the length or angle, we found the hub motor remained steady and the pedaling effort required to keep the bike moving remained essentially non-existent on the highest setting, which most riders will use most of the time for climbs. 

As is often the case here at The Wise Adventurer, we couldn’t resist the temptation to push the bike to its limits. For this we rode the Zebra to the steepest hill we could find, a massive grassy climb at a roughly 40-degree incline (that’s about the same as your typical Olympic ski jump, by the way), and proceeded to launch the bike up the hill from a full stop. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Power and Performance 2
While it may not be the best thing for battery life, running the Zebra on full power (mode 5) is undeniably fun and addicting.

Naturally, the Zebra eventually ran out of steam, but our tester was particularly impressed by how well the bike managed such a steep, low-traction environment. We found the Zebra’s combination of extra wide tires, knobby tread, and excellent motor power was able to carry us about 50 meters up the hill before giving up the ghost, which was a truly impressive thing to behold. 

As far as downsides go here, we only have two complaints. The first is that the “level 1” pedal assist, which is the lowest available mode, is basically useless and feels awfully similar to no power at all, so most riders will want to skip it entirely. We also found that the bike’s initial power delivery, aka its “launch assist” was a little delayed, which can make getting started on an uphill section a bit tricky without a little practice. 

Braking

The Himiway Zebra sports Tektro hydraulic brakes front and rear, and the calipers bite down on matching 180mm disks as well. As is often the case with Tektro brakes, the system has a notable “no frills” feel, but delivers reliable stopping power which is important for such a large and heavy bike. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Braking
The Himiway Zebra’s Tektro brakes aren’t the most sophisticated, but the 180mm rotors on the front and rear of the bike get the job done reliably.

We often needed a little extra effort at the lever when slowing from full speed or during a downhill section, but we always felt in control of the bike and the system delivered predictable stopping distances both on and off tarmac. We’ll also note that even under hard braking, we experienced no squeaking at the disks or shuddering in the levers, which gave us added peace of mind on such a big bike. 

Battery & Autonomy

Himiway says the Zebra’s battery is good for 1,000 full recharge cycles before the unit’s total capacity drops to 80% of its original juice. Considering most owners will likely recharge their bike once a week or less, it would take most of us 20 years of regular charging to hit that mark, so natural degradation over time is likely to be the real limiting factor here. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Battery and Autonomy
The 960 Wh battery can be charged on the bike or easily removed with a key and charged remotely.

As for the actual performance of the battery itself, again Himiway claims the Zebra’s battery pack is good for up to 60 miles of throttle power or up to 80 miles with minimal pedal assist. In our real-world use test, which typically bounced between level 2 and 3 pedal assist as well as some occasional throttle use, we consistently got around 30 miles of range when riding through mostly smooth, gently rolling terrain with no dramatic elevation changes. 

If you leave the bike in mode 2 and can manage to stay off the throttle, 60 miles is definitely within reach, but self-control can be difficult on a bike this powerful. On the lower end we found that range dropped to around 20 miles total under extreme use with a full backpack, lots of hill climbs, and constant maximum pedal assist. 

Features

Another one of the major highlights we found with the Himiway Zebra was that you get a lot of value-added features for such a budget-focused bike. The Zebra comes equipped with a headlight that’s plenty bright enough for safe night riding, an integrated automatic brake light, a sturdy rear rack, and functional fenders for both the front and rear tires of the bike. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Features
The Zebra’s beefy rack is large and stable enough to haul hundreds of pounds of gear, and the Bamboo decking adds a touch of style.

We were also big fans of the Zebra’s handlebar display, which was much larger and easier to use than many ebikes, including more premium models with more minimalist cockpits. The display is large enough to include everything you need at a glance including speed, assist level, battery life, and an odometer, as well as a real-time power meter that’s handy for training purposes. We also love that Himiway integrated a USB charging port into the display, so wiring your phone to charge on the handlebars is as simple as buying a cable and adding your phone mount of choice. 

Assembly & Ease of Use

We had zero issues setting up the Himiway Zebra, and from out of the box to fully assembled, we spent about 30 minutes putting it together. The bike arrives roughly 90% complete in the box, and all that’s left to do is essentially install the front wheel, handlebars, and pedals and you’re ready to ride. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Assembly and Ease of Use
The Zebra arrives mostly assembled, and you’ll only need about 30 minutes to get everything put together and plugged in.

We were particularly impressed by the fact that Himiway even includes all the tools you need to put the bike together including a pair of wrenches and a folding multi-tool which includes all the usual hex wrenches, screwdrivers, and sockets you’ll need for regular maintenance. The only issue we ran into during assembly was balancing the considerable weight of the bike while installing components, so while a bike stand isn’t required, it would certainly be helpful. 

Value 

Value will be the main appeal of the Himiway Zebra for most, and considering that it’s currently on sale for around $1,500, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more capable bike for less money. The amount of power, range, and carrying capacity that’s baked into this bike are well worth the asking price, and as a reliable daily-driven workhorse or weekend runabout, the Zebra is a homerun. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Value
We found the Zebra makes a worthy competitor to other bikes in this class and is well worth the money as long as you understand its limitations in the dirt.

More experienced cyclists will likely find fault in a few of the Zebra’s components like the budget-focused brakes, drivetrain, and suspension, but that kind of refinement really isn’t on the menu for this price anyways. This is a high-performance bike in the utilitarian sense rather than a technical one, so as long as you understand what you’re buying, the Zebra should make a solid investment. 

Who Should Buy the Himiway Zebra E-Bike?

After logging some long miles on the Himiway Zebra, we believe the bike is a good fit for several end users. The first and most obvious to us will be urban commuters, who will appreciate its extended range, excellent power, and above-average carrying capacity. Backcountry hunters and fishermen will find considerable utility here as well, especially if they’re looking to venture further into public lands into places that can’t be legally accessed by conventional vehicles. 

Himiway Zebra EBike Review - Who Should Buy the Himiway Zebra E-Bike
The Himiway Zebra is a ton of bike for the money, and well suited for commuting and backroad exploration alike.

In fact about the only person we don’t recommend this bike for is anyone looking for a serious offroad tool for technical trails, as it simply isn’t a serious mountain bike despite its burly appearance and large, knobby tires. You can definitely tackle easier going trails on the Zebra without issue, but for steeper tracks with more challenging obstacles, the Himiway’s combination of weight and simple suspension will be quickly overwhelmed. 

Alternatives

  • Aventon Adventure 2: Pound for pound the Adventure 2 serves all the same purposes as the Himiway at a similar price point, but is a much more well-established brand with a reliable track record. 
  • Co-op Cycles Generation E1.1: A more affordable option for folks who don’t need the extra heavy-duty design of the Himiway. Decent range and component set with the benefit of big brand accountability and local support from brick-and-mortar stores. 
  • Cannondale Adventure Neo Allroad EQ: A well-made eBike from a premium brand that’s actually less expensive when ordered direct. Decent 45+ mile range and 300 lbs payload capacity.

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