Haoqi has entered the e-bike scene with a range of thick-tire e-bikes at an affordable price. The company sent us the Haoqi Black Leopard variant to test and after several weeks of driving pleasure we’re back to tell the story.
Disclaimer: Haoqi sent us this e-bike free of charge for the purpose of this review.
For shipping, Haoqi is shipping from California, so our test unit arrived a day or two after placing the order. A domestic shipping base ensures faster shipping and less handling. This results in a lower risk of damage during shipping, so it is worth paying attention to. Our Haoqi test bike arrived in a completely intact box with no problems.
On the surface, the Haoqi Black Leopard looks like many of the fat tire e-bikes out there, with a matte black triangle frame, front shock absorber, and massive 26 ″ x 4 ″ thick tires. Digging a little deeper, there are a couple of key features that make it stand out, the first and most important being a larger 16 Ah battery that offers a sensible bit more range and power per charge. Most electric bikes in this price range use the more common 14Ah battery and that extra 2Ah capacity on the Haoqi is a nice boost.
Before we dive into the driving experience, let’s talk about the assembly. We have built and taken down hundreds of bikes over the years and the Haoqi is on the easier end of the spectrum when it comes to assembling. It arrives 95% assembled, with the front tires, handlebars, pedals, front fenders, and lights needing a few nuts and bolts before it’s ready to drive. The assembly was painless and took about 20 minutes before we tossed it on the charger to fully charge before putting it on its maiden voyage.
Just a few hours later, the massive battery was charged for our first trip into the wilderness. We have made it a habit of taking every newly assembled bike for a quick “tuning ride” around the neighborhood to identify loose bolts, seat height adjustments, or squeaky brakes that may need adjusting before you travel any serious miles. In the case of the Black Leopard, he was dialed right outside the gate so we took him back to the homestead to prepare for a longer drive.
Haoqi has a solid assembly video (link) that walks through the process. It is worth double-checking the battery to make sure it is properly attached to the frame as it will occasionally come off during shipping. It’s not just a Haoqi thing, it’s something worth checking out on any new e-bike. To do this, unlock the battery with a turn of the key and then press it down firmly. It’s a quick check, but it’s worth checking that the battery is securely attached to the bike before riding.
From the beginning, the Haoqi is full of power. Don’t get me wrong – its 750 watt motor is nothing special. What it packs is an oversized battery that allows the driver to lean into the battery more than usual without having to compromise. It’s more than enough to support putting in an inordinate amount of power for 30 solid miles. It’s easy to reset this a bit to give it much more range than you’d expect on a normal trip around town. Haoqi expects the bike to range between 35 and 60 miles per charge, and in our experience with the bike, that feels more than fair. As with any electric bike, you can expect your mileage to vary based on rider weight, support used, terrain and weight.
The bike is packed with a wide range of accessories, including a set of plastic mudguards that, while not glamorous, get the job done without weighing the bike down. A collapsible multitool is a great addition for on the go and the integrated front and rear lights are wired directly to the bike’s power system in order to get a very powerful front and rear light at the push of a button.
For people who ride the bike as a commuter, it’s likely that some components could be upgraded to keep up with more regular use, including the handles and seat, but overall it’s a very capable bike.
The grayscale LCD is attached to the front and center, with a nice positioning hanging over the stem for easy visual access without taking up valuable handlebar space. A small bell on the right is helpful for alerting pedestrians, vehicles, and cyclists nearby of your approach, although admittedly it’s not particularly loud.
The wide handlebars, the front damper and the massive 26 ″ x 4 ″ tires give the bike a confident presence that makes it stable and robust. We took it with us off-road, and whether we drove it on rocks, earth, gravel or grass, it confidently kept us on board. Don’t confuse it for an off-road workhorse as its entry level shock absorber won’t withstand regular abuse, but it’s more than capable of the casual off-the-beaten-path use.
Our test bike came to us with the wrong wheel diameter setting in the display. To fix the problem, we had to quickly dive into the settings for the S700 display on the bike and fix the problem. Most customers won’t experience this, but it’s important to know that owners have full access to change many settings on the bike, including switching from kilometers to miles, etc.
Overall, the Haoqi Black Leopard is a solid entry into the e-bike market with fat tires. As the COVID pandemic is driving up prices for the entire e-bike range due to supply chain problems due to a sharp rise in demand, the Haoqi is conveniently below average at $ 1,499 (with coupon code: 100). This price is understandably not getting you an electric bike with premium components, but it is a very solid competitor in the world of budget e-bikes with fat tires.
To sweeten the deal even further, Haoqi includes a range of accessories, including a luggage rack, a full set of fenders, a collapsible multitool for bikes, and integrated front and rear lights. That’s a pretty solid value proposition for a new contender to the electric bike world.
Haoqi Black Leopard E-Bike Specifications
- battery: 48V 16Ah Panasonic lithium battery
- engine: 750W high speed brushless gear motor
- display: KDS-KD51C + USB LCD display
- charger: US standard 2.0A Smart Charger
- Loading time: 6 ~ 9 hours
- tires: 26 “x 4”
- Frame material: 6061 aluminum
- Product weight: 72 pounds
- Recommended driver heights: 5 ′ 3 ”to 6’4”
- payload: 350 pounds
- price: $ 1,499 after coupon code: “100” (usually $ 1,599)
All picture credits: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica