As a hunter and angler, my passion is to seek out the most remote hunting and fishing locations. Being one of a few to catch a big mountain trout or finding that elk nobody has seen, gives me thrills beyond any emotions I can describe.
Adventuring into the backcountry for me has been on foot for 30+ years. Having the right gear, backpacks, and boots have been important to my ability to have a good time and not cut my adventures short with sore feet and back.
But now I have a new tool to help me get deeper into the backcountry with less wear and tear on my body. A hunting e-bike takes away strain on my body while giving me the ability to cover more ground, faster and quieter than ever. Learn more about e-bikes for hunters and check out our blog on the Best Off-Road Electric Bike Buying Guide for a Hunter in 2023 where we cover 17 different factors every hunter needs to consider when buying an e-bike for hunting. Not only is the battery extremely important for the range and power supplied to the motor but the type and brand of e-bike motors will determine your optimal performance on hills and rough terrain.
Having an electric bike has taken thousands of steps away from my feet and its ability to carry gear on the bike rack or saddlebags and even better, the trailer has been a game-changer for my body.
Just so you know, not all my adventures allow me to use an e-bike, but when I can use the bike to get around the country or down two tracks or power line roads, I want to take advantage and utilize this tool where possible.
If you want to see three of the top-of-the-line hunting e-bikes for backcountry adventures check out eBike Generation they carry the Bakcou, QuietKat, and Rambo lines of bikes. Check out the Eunorau Spectrum S model which has a lower price point and excellent features.
The e-Bike allows me to cross miles of terrain quickly and quietly and has been a game-changer for me and other hunters and anglers.
As a newbie to the e-Bike for hunting revolution, I have learned about the different components that go into a bike and what makes for the best components and overall hunting bike. One such component that took some time to wrap my head around was the battery.
The bike battery is the powerhouse that enables you to effortlessly traverse rugged terrains, conquer steep slopes, and extend your range into areas no others have traveled.
In this blog, I will explain and educate you, my fellow hunter and fisherman, on the types of electric bike batteries in the market and what combination of volts and amp hours are best suited for hunters and anglers. By shedding light on their features, benefits, and specs you will be able to choose the right combination of power and range for your e-bike.
If you haven't checked out our blog on the 3 Types of e-bike Classes, you should head over there and make sure you understand there are different e-bike types and allowances for off-road and on-road e-bike travel.
Two Main Types of Batteries for Electric Bikes
Right off the bat, I learned that although there are four different types of batteries that have been used for e-bikes, there are only two main types of batteries being incorporated into off-road hunting e-Bike manufacturers at this time.
Knowing the differences and what else is out there for electric bikes is a must. The different types of batteries will influence the weight, distance, and charging capabilities. Here is a quick overview of all battery options for e-bikes on the market along with their characteristics and performance. The most common types of electric bike batteries are:
- Lithium-ion (Li-ion) Batteries: Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular and widely used type of battery for electric bikes. They offer a good balance between energy density, weight, and lifespan. Li-ion batteries come in different chemistries, such as lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2), lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), and lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4). Li-ion batteries provide high energy storage capacity, are relatively lightweight, and can offer a long cycle life.
- Lithium Polymer (LiPo) Batteries: Lithium polymer batteries are another type of lithium-based battery commonly used in electric bikes. They are similar to Li-ion batteries but use a different electrolyte and packaging. LiPo batteries are known for their high energy density, which means they can store a lot of energy in a compact size. They are lightweight and can be molded into various shapes, making them suitable for electric bikes with unconventional designs.
- Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries: While not as common as lithium-based batteries, NiMH batteries were once widely used in electric bikes. They have a decent energy density and can provide a reasonable cycle life. However, compared to lithium-based batteries, NiMH batteries are heavier, have a lower energy-to-weight ratio, and are less environmentally friendly due to the presence of toxic materials like nickel and cadmium.
- Lead-Acid Batteries: Lead-acid batteries are the oldest and least advanced type of electric bike battery. They are heavy, bulky, and have a relatively low energy density compared to lithium-based batteries. Lead-acid batteries are often found in cheaper or older electric bikes. They are being phased out in favor of more advanced battery technologies due to their disadvantages.
It's worth noting that within each battery type, there can be variations in quality, capacity, voltage, and other specifications. We will discuss the volts and amp hours further in this blog.
Okay, now that you know the different types, you should know I found that the most popular hunting e-bikes have either a Lithium-Ion or Lithium Polymer battery. The Lithium-Ion battery can hold a charge the longest and these batteries are typically lighter than their counterparts.
How to Decipher Amp Hours for Electric Bikes
Ready to buy, but what is this "Ah" and how do I interpret what it means?
When you are looking at bikes and they state the battery is a 15Ah, 17Ah, 24Ah, or some other number they are providing you the "amp hours" for the battery. Ideally, this means how many miles you can get or hours of riding time you should get based on some specific criteria.
Another way Energy is measured is by Wh or Watt Hour. A Bafang BT F38.960.0, which is a popular battery combination with Bafang motors in Fat Tire Hunting e-Bikes has an Amp Hour of 20 and a Wh of 960. This battery will have a good range depending on conditions.
What they are trying to let you know is in testing conditions the battery should last 20 hours on a full charge and provide 960 watts of power.
What you need to know as a consumer is the lower the amp hours the less time you have on the trail or road. While battery manufacturers will give you their max charge and range, these figures are variable and will depend on several additional factors to give you actual range.
5 Factors Influencing The E-Bike Battery Run Time or Amp Hour
- Load on the Bike - how much gear you are carrying.
- Your Personal Weight - many Fat Tire hunting bikes max out at 300 lbs - if you max the bike you will be maxing the battery and run time.
- Charge - did you get a full charge? You need to monitor the battery charge levels.
- Terrain - the manufactures suggested run time is 17 hours, for example, but it most likely doesn't consider the terrain. If you are running up and down hills or mountains your battery will drain quicker.
- Weather - battery output can be influenced by the weather.
In our research and discussions with other knowledgeable e-Bike sales and manufacturers, the best Amp Hour for a standard hunting electric bike is 17Ah or higher and some bike sellers offer upgrades or optional batteries with higher 21-24 Ah options.
** Special note: when you get higher voltage and amp hour batteries consider the additional weight to the bike. Bike batteries are not light, you will find that a 48V 21Ah battery may weigh 8lb or more.
How Long Will It Take to Recharge My E-Bike Battery?
The charge time to get a full battery recharge will vary. Each manufacturer will give you a different time based on a 2A or 3A service. The "A" is the amp and indicates the max current a charger can supply.
The Bafang BT F38.960.0 model has an 8-hour charge time using a 3 amp charger and DC2.1 charge port.
Wrap-Up Ah "Amp Hours" for Hunting E-Bike Batteries
To wrap up this part on the battery and how long you can ride before you run out of time we have this to offer. Use the manufactures noted run time allotment of 17 hours, 22 hours, or whatever they mention in their owner's manual, and know your overall run time will be something less based on your load and terrain. While there is no specific number for how much less, you will need to track your time and distance and get familiar with your battery's true usage specs.
If you plan to run the bike along forest service roads or more flat terrain you will get a similar ultimate run time to that of the manufacturer's specs. But if you are running a heavy load, keep track of your location and distance back to your charging location so you are not left with zero battery assistance.
My suggestion is you should do your own testing and research of the bike you purchase before you head out on a multi-day backcountry hunt with your e-bike. Before you go, test around your home on trails or hills and see how the battery drains. Test changing the conditions including adding weight, subtracting weight, and doing your own analysis pinpointing your sweet spot for your battery's life.
The bad thing is when the bike's battery is dead you are riding a heavy mountain bike. Make sure you know your limitations and what you can handle in this situation. Bike smarter, not harder!
Battery Volts and Torque: How and Why They are Important for Hunting Bikes
Now we are talking...
All the men out there want to know about horsepower under the hood of each other's trucks and for e-bikes here it is. The volts a battery has will define the power or torque output on your hunting bike.
If you purchase a hunting bike with 36v and 70-80N.m (max) and you are not happy with the bike because it appears to have no guts, well you bought the wrong battery or bike!
Here is what you need to know about Volts and Torque
- The "V" stands for Voltage Scope - that means how much electricity is leaving the battery to push the motor and propel you forward. The power the battery provides influences how much N.m is able to be put out.
- N.m stands for Newton meters and is the rotational power of the motor that is used to assist the rider while pedaling. The higher the torque (N.m number), the stronger the support from the motor and battery and the less effort you as the rider need to provide for that uneven terrain.
Therefore, when you have a battery with 36v you will get less torque and power, and this bike battery would be best to use on flat ground.
But for us using the e-bike as a tool for hunting and fishing we want to use a battery with more Volts and N.m like a 48v battery providing 160N.m maximum.
Many Fat Tire and Off-Road Electric bikes will come standard with a 48V battery and you may even see them as high as 52 or more. Start with a 48V battery as this will provide the correct amount of power for traveling up and down mountains and terrain, while also providing enough energy to propel the bike faster. Remember the weight of the battery will increase with the more volt and Ah the battery carries and bikes may be limited to the size of the overall battery because of the limitation of the designs and space on the bike.
How to Charge a Hunting e-Bike Properly
To ensure optimal performance and longevity of your electric bike battery, it's important to follow the proper charging method recommended by the battery and bike manufacturer. While there may be a variety of options here, this is a general step-by-step guide to charging an electric bike battery:
- Read the Manual: Start by familiarizing yourself with the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations specific to your electric bike battery. Different models and brands may have slight variations in charging procedures.
- Use the Correct Charger: Always use the charger provided by the manufacturer or a compatible charger recommended for your electric bike battery. Using an incorrect charger can damage the battery or compromise its performance.
- Connect the Charger: Locate the charging port on your electric bike and plug in the charger securely. Ensure that the connection is tight to prevent any interruptions during the charging process.
- Power Source: Plug the charger into a standard electrical outlet or an appropriate power source. Ensure the outlet is compatible with the charger's voltage and amperage requirements.
- Charging Indicator: Most electric bike chargers have LED indicators that display the charging status. It could be a simple light that turns on when charging or a more detailed indicator that shows different stages of the charging process.
- Charging Time: Allow the battery to charge fully according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Charging times may vary depending on the battery's capacity and the charger's specifications. Avoid interrupting the charging process prematurely, as it can affect the battery's performance.
- Safety Precautions: While charging, keep the battery and charger away from flammable materials, heat sources, or water. Follow any safety instructions provided by the manufacturer to prevent accidents or damage.
- Unplug and Store: Once the battery is fully charged, unplug the charger from the power source and disconnect it from the electric bike. Store the charger in a safe and dry place until the next charging cycle.
It's essential to note that lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries, commonly used in electric bikes, do not require full discharge before recharging. In fact, frequent shallow charging cycles (topping up the battery) are often recommended over complete discharge. This practice helps maintain battery health and extends its lifespan.
By adhering to these guidelines and the manufacturer's instructions, you can ensure efficient and safe charging for your electric bike battery, allowing you to enjoy reliable power during your off-road adventures.
The question remains, can I charge my e-bike while camping and hunting? And the answer is yes, but be cautious. Here are a few things to consider.
- Using a Generator - make sure you are getting the right power output. The generator is great but the flow of power output can be variable.
- Use Safety - the use of charging from variable sources could impact the battery and cause unsafe conditions.
- Plug directly into the generator - using extension cords can inhibit and cause damage to the bike's battery.
- Charging Time Could be Impacted - on a normal 8-hour full charge window it may take longer to charge when using a generator.
- Fuel and Noise - charging while on a camping trip will cause you to run a generator for a long period of time. Make sure you have the window of time available for a complete charge and that you have enough fuel to run the generator.
- Room Temperature for Storage and Charging - do not charge the battery in cold conditions. Lithium Ion Batteries need to be at room temperature for optimal performance and charging. If you are camping or hunting in cold conditions try to warm the battery itself prior to plugging in and charging.
Best Practices for When to Charge an E-Bike Battery
Lithium Ion batteries are built to function best between 65 degrees and 95 degrees. Cooler temperatures and hotter temperatures are generally not good for the battery life.
When charging a battery make sure the battery is at room temperature before charging. Do not try and charge the battery when the temperatures are near freezing or below as you could damage the battery.
As a rule of thumb don't let the battery get below 10% charge and do not keep the battery at full 100% charge for long periods of time. The best charge for storing a battery is between 40-60 percent of capacity.
When charging your e-bike battery make sure you are charging directly into a wall outlet for your battery charger. The best charging conditions are ones that are stable and using an extension cord could prohibit the proper charging and could cause additional damage. Manufacturers will not warranty a battery if they are not being charged according to their manufactured regulations.
The battery doesn't need to be completely drained before charging. Periodic charges when the battery is between 50-90 percent are good for the battery.
If you plan on storing your bike for extended periods (1 month or longer). Make sure you follow these suggestions:
- Remove the battery and store it in a safe location at room temperature. Do not store the battery in a heated location that can get up over 90 degrees continuously and do not store where the battery will be cold for long periods of time.
- Drain your battery to 40 percent before storage. Never store a fully charged battery as you will damage the cells.
Safety is Concern #1 with hunting e-bike batteries and charging. Make sure you are charging your battery in a safe location and be prepared for the worse. Batteries to catch on fire. Having the proper safety procedures ready is best. Having a proper fire extinguisher on hand for worse-case scenarios and knowing what NOT to do is very important.
Never overcharge the e-bike battery. Charge to full and then remove the battery from the charging cord and wall outlet. Don't leave the battery plugged in unattended and don't overcharge the battery. Store the battery in a safe location until your next trip. Remember it is not good for the battery to be fully charged while being stored.
Bakcou Mule Elite
What is the Life Expectancy of a Hunting E-Bike Battery
Different battery manufacturers will give different expected life predictions for their individual batteries. While a good rule of thumb is a battery should last you 5-8 years, that bold statement can be influenced by several factors.
In perfect charging and storage conditions with standard or typical wear, tear, and usage, you should expect a good life expectancy of between 3-6 years. Batteries are not cheap, a quality 48V 21Ah battery for your hunting bike could cost $700-$1200 depending on the manufacturer.
Lithium Ion batteries decline in capacity over time. So while you are charging consistently the battery itself will hold less of a charge and deplete quicker over time.
Higher temperature conditions can influence the battery's overall life. Use and storage in hotter climates have proven to reduce battery life. On Blixbike.com website they discuss their Blix Batteries and note "The battery's capacity in cold weather may be temporarily reduced, but its lifetime is diminished at higher temperatures."
Here are 5 Tips To Save Your Battery and Prolong its Life:
- Use the Manufacturer's Charger - do not buy a cheap imitation. If you spent a lot of money on your hunting e-bike then don't skimp on the charger.
- Maintain a 20-80 percent charge at all times - that includes storage and transport. Don't fully charge the battery before you take off on a long drive to your hunting location.
- Charge during best conditions - don't charge the battery in cold weather
- Keep the Battery dry and clean - don't get the battery submerged in water. A little rain is okay, but sitting outside in the rain is not good for the battery.
- Store your battery in room temperature conditions - if you know you will be off the bike for several weeks or months, then store the battery in a room temperature location. Don't store in the garage in extreme heat and cold and don't store the battery with a full charge. Check on the battery while in storage. If it is hot or you see the battery has gone below 30% charge then charge the battery back to 40-50% for continued storage. Don't allow the battery to drain completely.
How to Replace My Hunting E-Bike Battery
Each bike manufacturer has a suggested battery for their bike. They could have two or more options for which battery to choose when purchasing. But, each bike is only equipped, by the manufacturer, for one or two options.
The newer aerodynamic bikes with better weight distribution and battery security have a custom frame construction with the battery enclosed in the tubing and locked into place. These self-enclosed battery sleeves on a bike will typically only have one manufacturer's battery capable of fitting into the space correctly. These batteries are designed to fit the space designed for the battery. The manufacturer designs the bike with a secured location, but this also limits your ability to change battery styles or types.
Eunorau, Rambo, QuietKat, and Bakcou all offer replacement batteries for their bikes. It is my recommendation and that of the bike manufacturers that you replace the battery with a like kind from the bike manufacturer.
Battery prices will generally be between $700 and $1200 for a 48v 17Ah battery. Battery prices will vary based on the manufacturer and specs.
When you purchase your bike, the battery is generally one of the largest cost. Consider the replacement cost when making your final decisions regarding which bike to buy. If you know the battery will go bad in the next 3 to 5 years consider that added cost of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Just like your cell phone, nothing lasts forever.
Rambo Replacement Batteries
Bakcou Replacement Batteries
Eunorau Replacement Batteries
What is the Best e-Bike Battery For Hunters and Backcountry Anglers?
When heading into the backcountry to catch some mountain lake trout or hunting you want a battery that has the best chance for success and one that will give you the best relief from carrying gear and walking miles.
Choose a battery that has 48 Volts to give you the torque necessary to climb hills and grab a battery that can get you in and out without being recharged. The batter should be, at minimum, a 17 Ah battery.
If your bike manufacturer offers a battery that is 52 volts and 22 Ah - pick that choice. But, ultimately the decision as to which battery is right for you need three considerations.
- Can you handle the additional weight - a larger battery, if available, will weigh more and if you run out of charge you will be pedaling a mountain bike that could weigh 75 lbs or more on its own.
- How far off-grid do you plan on going - if your hunting terrain is rugged and you plan on traveling several miles into the backcountry, then a 48v 21Ah would be a great choice. If you are running around the flats of Unit 4B in Arizona and you heading back to town every night, then you could get a 48v with 17Ah and that would suffice. Don't get a 36v battery if you are doing any heavy terrain.
- The cost will be more - yep the better the battery the higher the cost. It may cost you $100 or $500 more for an upgraded battery. Know your expected riding area and you can choose which size battery is right for you.
Final Thoughts on E-Bikes Batteries for Hunting Bikes
Now that we've gone through what every hunter needs to know about hunting e-bikes let's review. When it comes to e-bike battery options for hunting off-road bikes, selecting the right battery can greatly enhance your outdoor experience.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) and Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries emerge as the top choices due to their high energy density, lightweight design, and long cycle life. These batteries offer the power and endurance needed to navigate challenging terrains and reach remote hunting spots.
Prioritizing compatibility, safety, and proper charging techniques will ensure optimal performance and longevity for your e-bike battery. With the right battery choice and charging approach, you can embark on your hunting expeditions with confidence, enjoying the advantages of electric-powered transportation while minimizing your impact on nature.
Now get ready to embrace the thrill of off-road exploration and elevate your hunting adventures with the versatility and reliability of electric bike batteries.