Velowave Ranger E-Bike: A Budget-Friendly E-Bike for Light Off-Roading
The Ranger is a fat-tire e-bike by the budget Chinese brand Velowave designed for light off-roading. You can buy this Velowave e-bike on Amazon or the company’s website.
This electric off-roader competes with other fat-tire models like the Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus, Aventon Aventure.2, Himiway Cruiser, and Ride1UP Rift. It has more sporty MTB geometry but isn’t equipped for commuting.
The Velowave Ranger stands out for its low price, tidy integration, and high-torque motor, making it a worthy consideration if you’re in the market for an electric fat bike.
Our Velowave e-bike review will analyze the Ranger’s specs to see how it stacks up against similar popular fat-tire electric bikes and help you make the right choice in your hunt for a new electric bike.
Velowave Ranger Specs:
- MSRP: $1,799
- Class: Class 2 or 3, 28 mph
- Motor: 750 W Bafang hub, 80 Nm
- Battery: 720 Wh, 48 V
- Range: 50 miles
- Tires: 26″ x 4″
- Drivetrain: Shimano Tourney 7-speed
- Brakes: Logan hydraulic disc brakes
- Weight: 74.6 lb
- Payload Capacity: 330 lb
Velowave Ranger Pros and Cons
Velowave Ranger Review: An All-Terrain E-Bike with a Competitive Price
The fat-tire off-road category of electric bikes has a range of solid options below $2,000. Naturally, it’s hard to distinguish yourself from such stiff competition, but this Velowave e-bike does so on price and style.
The 4-inch all-terrain fat tires, fork suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and MTB geometry mean you can confidently take the Ranger onto surfaces like snow, sand, and grass. These features also create a smooth ride quality on paved surfaces.
At the commonly-found sale price, the Ranger is an appealing choice. However, at full price, you may find it hard to justify the lack of rack, fenders, and rear light, especially if you want to use the bike for urban duties as well as off-roading.
Overall, the level of components and performance match the price of this Velowave e-bike. If you’re on a limited budget but want a sleek, integrated bike with plenty of power, it could be the bike for you.
A Sleek Integrated Frame with Off-Road Geometry and One-Size-Fits-All Sizing
One of the Ranger’s standout characteristics is its frame design. The large 720 Wh battery is integrated seamlessly into the downtube, giving it the appearance of a more expensive model. Likewise, most of the cabling is routed through the frame, but it is messy in the front.
Full integration, as seen on this Velowave e-bike, usually raises the weight slightly, meaning the Ranger is quite heavy, despite not having fenders, a rack, or a taillight. The model-specific rack and fenders weigh 4.5 lb, which would take the weight to 79 lb, higher than average for this type of bike.
The geometry is typical of a hardtail MTB, which is slightly more aggressive than, say, the RadRover 6 Plus or Aventure.2, giving you more control on off-road terrain. But, at the same time, the Ranger is comfortable and suitable for riding around the city.
Like most entry-level e-bikes, the Velowave Ranger is only available in one size, fitting heights 5’6″ to 6’4″, an identical range to the Rift but less than the Aventure.2 and Himiway Cruiser.
High-Torque Cadence-Sensing E-Bike System with Modest Range
The Ranger’s electronics are hit-and-miss. Power comes from a high-torque motor that’s ideal for tackling steep gradients and taking advantage of the 330-lb payload capacity.
A primitive cadence sensor leads to a clunky power transfer with a slight delay for assistance to kick in or stop. This issue is hard to avoid in cheap hub-drive e-bikes, so more expensive models like the Aventure.2 use torque sensors to improve ride quality.
The real-world max range of this Velowave e-bike is roughly 40 miles on the low pedal assist settings and 25 with throttle-only power. This is slightly lower than the average for this category and may be worth considering if you need a bike for longer journeys.
Where Are Velowave Bikes Manufactured?
Velowave bikes are manufactured in China. The company headquarters is located in Hong Kong, so the entire operation, including design, is run from there. Velowave states that it shares a factory with other popular direct-to-consumer brands like Juiced Bikes and Aventon.
No-Frills Components That Are Fit for Purpose
Again, e-bike manufacturers are limited to entry-level components at this price point. These compromises are most evident in the drivetrain, a basic Shimano Tourney 7-speed setup, and budget Kenda Krusade tires. These 4″ knobbly tires offer plenty of traction on varied off-road terrain but are not puncture-resistant.
Shimano’s Tourney drivetrain isn’t durable, especially for use off-road where mud and potential strikes increase wear. In addition, a 52t chainring makes it hard to pedal up steep hills, so you will likely need to rely on the throttle more.
Thankfully, Velowave chose hydraulic disc brakes for the Ranger, providing enough stopping power for you to feel confident and in control. Logan brakes aren’t well-known, but they perform well for this price point.
Other notable components include a 10W headlight that’s suitable for being seen in urban environments, a sturdy kickstand, and a budget RST Guide 80mm fork, which takes the sting out of bumpy terrain but isn’t suitable for proper mountain biking trails (like most cheap fat-tire e-bikes).
What Is the Top Speed of the Velowave E-Bike?
The top speed of the Velowave Ranger is 28 mph, making it a Class 3 e-bike. However, riders can program the Ranger to have a 20 mph max speed and meet Class 2 regulations. The speed limit is adjustable through the settings on the display.
Other Similar Models We’ve Reviewed:
- Ride1UP Rift Review
- Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus Review
- Aventon Aventure.2 Review
- Himiway Cruiser Review
Our Verdict: Ride or Pass?
This Velowave e-bike is cheaper than similar models and has a high-torque motor and integrated look. Given that, the Ranger earns a thumbs-up from us based on price and frame design.
If you’re an adventurous rider, you’ll enjoy the smooth and controlled ride quality on mixed terrains provided by the fat tires, fork suspension, MTB geometry, and hydraulic disc brakes. Unfortunately, the underwhelming range and lack of commuting accessories limit the bike’s versatility, but all entry-level models have compromises.
While there are superior options if you have a higher budget and want more accessories or range, this Velowave e-bike is undoubtedly a solid choice if you’re on a tight budget.