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A powerful folding fat-tire e-bike with speed, stability, and awesome value!
As a newer player in the e-bike market, Heybike has solidified its place by trying a unique approach. With the Ranger S, the company created a folding fat-tire e-bike with uncommon features – and gave it an awesomely affordable price! We tested the bike’s brakes, range, speed, and uphill power to present our findings in this Heybike Ranger S Review!
The Ranger S features a 750-watt motor (a rarity on a folder) that can blast the bike up to Class 3 speeds of 28 miles per hour! Most folders tend to stick at or below 25 mph – and some aren’t even the most stable feeling there. The Ranger S earned our respect through its confidence and stability at top speed!
With everything it offers, the bike’s price tag of around $1500 is simply hard to beat. We especially loved that it includes turn signals on both its headlight and taillight; only a handful of the bikes we’ve tested had this feature – and none of them were folding e-bikes. Safety is paramount, so we’ll give kudos to any brand that can up the ante!
We found that the bike had decent range despite its relatively small battery – but riders can hit the road again quickly thanks to its fast 4-amp charger. Some batteries can take 7 or 8 hours to recharge, but the Ranger S’ battery can fill up in roughly three and a half.
That’s just the start! Keep scrolling for Electric Bike Report‘s full Heybike Ranger S review below.
Bike Category:Folding / Step-Thru
Class 3 E-Bike:Throttle speed up to 20 mph and pedal-assist up to 28 mph
HeyBike Ranger S Video Review
Uncommon stability, speed, and power! The Ranger S is one of the few folding bikes we’ve tested with a 750W motor and the ability to comfortably reach the Class 3 limit of 28 mph.
An awesome balance of price and features, including both front AND rear turn signals!
Fast charging thanks to a 4-amp charger; it only takes 3-4 hours to refill the battery!
Solid braking performance thanks to the RSX hydraulic disc brakes.
Off-road capability! The bike’s knobby fat tires and front suspension can handle all kinds of environments.
Good uphill power! It won’t break speed records, but even the bike’s lowest PAS setting is effective!
Unique color options and improved looks over the standard Ranger.
Tons of customization through the HeyBike app! It’s not perfect but it gives options that many other bikes/apps do not.
The bike pedals well below around 19 mph, but we’d prefer to see an 8-speed cassette with a wider gearing range to reduce ghost pedaling in PAS 3 and above.
The bike’s throttle exceeded the Class 2 limit of 20 mph; we’d prefer that the bike meet that limit.
The folding feature is great, but the Ranger S’ 72 lbs might be a turn-off for riders looking for portability.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery : 48V 14.4Ah (691 Wh)
Display: Smart LCD Display
Motor: 750W Brushless Gear Motor
Headlight: Integrated LED Headlight w/ Turn Signals
Taillights: Integrated Taillight w/ Brake Lights and Turn Signals
Pedal Assist: 1-5
Range: 55 miles (claimed)
Weight & Dimensions
Claimed weight: 72 lbs
Total payload capacity: 400 lbs
Maximum load on the rear rack: 150 lbs
Components & Accessories
Brakes: RSX Hydraulic Disc Brakes w/ 180 mm Rotors
As a Class 3 e-bike, the HeyBike Ranger S delivers on speed and can help you keep up with traffic on city streets.
In addition to a bright headlight, the bike comes with turn signals on both the front and rear.
The folded bike measures roughly 29”H x 26”W x 40”L.
HeyBike Ranger S Review: Speed Test
Our Speed Test measures the top speed that an e-bike can achieve with the sort of casual pedaling that is suitable for a longer ride. As indicated by the graphic above, the Heybike Ranger S showed a mostly even distribution of top speeds across its five pedal-assist system (PAS) settings. We measured between 10.8 mph in PAS 1 and 28 mph in PAS 5, with a slight dip in speed at PAS 4.
This distribution aligns well with the levels shown in the Heybike app, though we measured approximately 2 mph above the speeds it indicated fairly consistently. The app was one of my favorite elements of the bike; its motor output can be adjusted using sliders within the app so the bike’s speeds can be tailored to match the rider’s personal preferences. I found the default settings to be tuned somewhat low for my tastes, but in about ten seconds, I adjusted them to the distribution I wanted. It is also possible to adjust the number of PAS settings through the app, though for some reason, this function did not seem to work if I chose anything but the standard PAS 0-5.
It’s also worth noting that the throttle on the Ranger S was able to exceed the Class 2 limit of 20 miles per hour – I measured just over 21 mph in my testing. I am sure this, as well as the speed limits with 3 PAS settings, could be improved easily with an update. Despite those minor flaws, the Heybike app is still ahead of the game and it offers features that I’d love to see more regularly with e-bikes from other brands.
With its 48V, 750W rear hub motor, the Ranger S was easily able to deliver the speeds we expected from it, as well as the same exciting, rocket-fast acceleration we experienced when we had the chance to do our review of the Heybike Brawn earlier this year! 48V systems transfer power quickly from the battery to the motor, and 750-watt motors can use that power to travel fast and climb hills easily – though I’ll discuss that potential later in our Hill Test section.
The Ranger S proved to be a supremely fun ride, though our enjoyment was limited somewhat by the bike’s gearing. We’ve consistently found that 14-28T cassettes result in ghost pedaling on Class 3 e-bikes, and this held true on the Ranger S; the bike ghost pedaled in PAS 3 and above, starting at around 18 mph. We’d prefer to see an 8-speed cassette with a wider gearing range (11-32T) in the future to eliminate – or at least reduce – this effect.
Fat tires and a suspension fork give the Ranger S the ability to ride on- or off-road.
The 750W rear-hub motor is integrated into the 20” cast alloy wheels.
The Ranger S’ down tube conceals all but the top lip of the removable 48V, 691 Wh battery.
HeyBike Ranger S Review: Range Test
Using the process described above, we tested the Heybike Ranger S to determine how far the bike could travel using both the maximum and minimum amounts of pedal assistance. Our results landed between 18.2 and 42.1 miles depending on the amount of motor assistance we used, which fell somewhat short of Heybike’s claimed range of 55 miles – though there is likely at least one contributing factor.
Brands often base their range estimates on circumstances that don’t always reflect real-world use: riding the bike in its lowest PAS setting with a relatively lightweight rider on flat ground. Our tests are performed with riders of varying weights on a network of bike paths with significant elevation changes requiring more battery power. In the case of our low-PAS test, we used PAS 2 to get a more practical level of power, which used more power. We also gained nearly 800 feet in elevation, which undoubtedly affected our battery efficiency as well.
The results of our PAS 5 test were relatively short, but not unexpected for a bike with a TON of power and speed in its max-assist setting and a 48V, 691 watt-hour (Wh) battery. The battery on the Ranger S is physically smaller than that on the standard Ranger because of the space restrictions resulting from its integration into the bike’s down tube, and its watt-hour capacity is fairly small when considering the needs of the bike’s robust 750W motor.
Using the method described in our guide to e-bike batteries, we determined that the Ranger S should be able to travel for about 55 minutes in PAS 5 based on its 750W motor and 691 Wh battery. We traveled for 54 minutes in that setting, so the match checks out. The bike’s motor/battery pairing is also as efficient as expected – and perhaps more so considering the elevation changes I mentioned above.
Compared to other folding e-bikes we’ve tested, the Ranger S fell toward the lower end of the spectrum, though nearly all of those other bikes used 500W rear hub motors that naturally require less power, and therefore deplete their batteries at a slower rate.
All things considered, the Ranger S provides a good balance of power and potential distance, and its range is likely to allow for a few hours of fun before needing to recharge.
HeyBike Ranger S Review: Hill Test
The Ranger S demonstrated some relatively unusual results in our Hill Test, though it still proved itself to be capable on steep inclines – under the right conditions. Using the process described above, we measured a time of 1 minute and 19 seconds and an average of 13.7 mph in PAS 5, but the bike failed to climb our test hill with only its throttle.
This is odd for a bike with the Ranger S’ specs; we have not previously tested a bike with a 750W motor that was unable to scale the slope. I reached out to HeyBike for more detailed specs on the motor, and was told it peaks at 1100 watts and produces 80 Newton-meters (Nm) of torque, but in my test rides, I did not see the output exceed 900-950 watts. Regardless, the Ranger S is not the first bike to fail its throttle-only test, and will certainly not be the last. It’s also important to note that it performed much more closely to what we expected on many of the less-extreme hills in our test environment.
When pedaling in PAS 5, the Ranger S’ results were on the slower side when compared to other folding bikes we have tested. I attribute this largely to the bike’s weight; 72 lbs is fairly heavy for any e-bike, let alone a folding bike. More energy is required to move more weight, so it makes sense that the bike would end up moving more slowly.
The 20” wheels make the bike feel nimble and maneuverable.
The 7-speed drivetrain uses a Shimano Tourney shifter and derailleur.
RSX hydraulic disc brakes have serious bite to bring the bike to a halt quickly.
Now is as good a time as any to address the Ranger S’ weight; it’s one of the heaviest folding bikes we have tested. For a folding bike to be practical, it needs to be able to be lifted easily, and in my opinion, the current weight may be too much for riders hoping to fold, transport, and reassemble the bike regularly. The battery can be removed to reduce the weight by 8 lbs, though again, this is relatively small in both capacity and physical size.
Regardless, the Ranger S conquered Hell Hole Trail in PAS 5 without struggle, proving that it is capable of making even extreme climbs possible. I was impressed with the bike’s capabilities even with low power; it managed an 8% grade in its factory PAS 2 setting.
HeyBike Ranger S Review: Brake Test
The Ranger S performed very well in our Brake Test (explained above) with an average stopping distance of just 20’-2”. The bike is equipped with RSX hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors, which were able to bring it to a stop much more effectively than we expected considering its weight.
Hydraulic brakes are responsive, and the Ranger’s rotor size is what I anticipated based on its speed and weight, but RSX is a brand I have no prior experience with. Based on this test, they seem to be solid in terms of performance – they had some serious bite! – but I can’t speak to their longevity.
In terms of feel, the Ranger S handled hard braking well. The rear wheel seemed to want to slide to varying degrees, but overall, the 4” diameter tires kept it feeling solid and stable.
Compared to similar folding e-bikes we’ve tested, the Ranger S earned its place near the top of our list! It did not quite break any new records, but again, it’s a heavier bike than most of the other folders we have tested; as such, its brakes need to work a bit harder to slow the bike down. Regardless, the bike’s result was excellent and we’re quite pleased with its performance.
HeyBike Ranger S Review: Ride Quality
As I mentioned previously in this Heybike Ranger S review, the bike felt impressively stable when riding at top speed, which helped to give it a great overall ride quality. There were a few aspects of the bike that I wasn’t the largest fan of, but in general, it’s a comfortable bike that handles well and offers a huge number of features.
I noticed that, in terms of the bike’s geometry, its reach distance was fairly long, but I appreciated the telescoping stem that helped me to find a comfortable riding position. This is an area that some folding e-bikes do better with than others, and the Ranger S was firmly on the better side! The collapsible stems on many folders can result in handling that feels somewhat loose and wobbly, but the Ranger S felt much more crisp and stable than I expected.
The Ranger S’ cockpit packs a ton of features into a relatively small package.
A rear cargo rack with a 150-lb capacity makes sure you can carry all your gear.
A unique internal locking mechanism keeps the two halves of the bike firmly in place.
The bike’s pedals are small but fold down to reduce the overall width when stored.
The cockpit layout of the Ranger S was unusual and felt somewhat cluttered and challenging to manage at times; this is one area that I’d personally like to see some changes and improvements on. There are a lot of controls to juggle and a ton of information on the bike’s display to sift through.
I appreciated the large module on the left handlebar with controls for the lights, turn signals, and horn; but I’m used to the throttle on that side, and the combination of the throttle lever and Shimano Tourney over-the-bar shifter on the right handlebar felt awkward. I’d prefer to see an under-the-bar shifter that might allow the large module and throttle lever to switch places. Overall, the bike’s current setup works, but it took some getting used to.
The bike maneuvered well in large part due to its 20” x 4” fat tires, though in my experience it seemed to want to take corners relatively wide. The tires and the bike’s suspension fork performed well when riding off-road as well, which ultimately made the Ranger S much more versatile.
HeyBike Ranger S Review: Summary / Where to Buy
The Heybike Ranger S proved to be an awesome, fun, and functional bike! It was refreshing to experience full Class 3 speeds on a folder, especially one that handled that pace so comfortably. Unexpected features such as the bike’s 750W motor and front and rear turn signals helped elevate the bike to a level I haven’t previously seen on a bike of its kind.
There are certainly a few areas where the Ranger S could be improved, though the bike currently has a great starting point. A change to a larger 8-speed cassette with greater flexibility would improve its overall ride feel in higher PAS settings, and we’d prefer to see the bike meet Class 2 speed requirements of 20 mph with its throttle.
Otherwise, the Ranger S is a great choice for riders who don’t mind sacrificing weight for increased power – the bike is certainly heavy and not the easiest to fold and/or move, but it delivers speed, solid braking, and the grit to climb demanding hills when using pedal assist.
I would highly recommend the Heybike Ranger S to anyone looking for a truly versatile e-bike! While it may not be the easiest to lift and transport, it proved to be competent both on- and off-road, offering uncommon levels of power and functionality for a bike that can fold. I greatly enjoyed my time testing it, and I’m pleased to say that it impressed me!
Happy Riding! Make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the HeyBike Ranger S.