The 2021 Rattan eBike Lineup + Our Take On Each Model
Based out of Paris, France, Rattan is one of the older companies that manufactures eBikes. With more than a decade under their belt, they are focused on producing a small, but durable and high quality model range. This is counter to many other eBike companies that seem to have a model for every different subtype of riding possible.
Being direct-to-customer as an online business, the middleman and retail markup is removed from the equation. Rattan prides itself on offering excellent quality bikes, developed with one of the most experienced research and development teams in the European eBike segment, at affordable prices for the everyday common rider.
The Challenger 2020 is Rattan’s entry-level general-use mountain eBike, and despite its name, is available as a 2021 model. It is as comfortable going for a nice Saturday afternoon ride on the trails as it is helping you during your Monday to Friday commute. With an intelligent pedal assist system (what Rattan calls I-PAS), the 350 W motor combined with the 48 V 10.4 Ah battery adds power assist where needed, but also switches off power when it’s not needed. There is also a small thumb throttle to override the system and add power when needed.
By letting I-PAS, along with the selected level of pedal assist, manage the times when the motor is engaged, the bike is enormously efficient. As well, if the rider slows down their pedalling but maintains the same speed for 5 seconds, the I-PAS system will detect that and switch on its automatic cruise control. All of this in a bike that weighs 55 lbs and is available at $1,099!
The Compass 500 W is the primary mountain eBike that Rattan makes, and is built to take the rougher trails and harsher surfaces that true mountain biking experiences. This is partially because of the reinforced lightweight aluminum frame, but mostly because the bike is designed with the 3 inch wide fat tires working with the front suspension fork. Like the other mountain eBikes from Rattan, it uses the I-PAS pedal assist system, with a small thumb throttle to add power on demand.
The reason that the Compass 500 W is labelled as having a Mini Fat Tire is that the tires are “in between” regular 1.5 to 2.0 inch road tires and full 4.0+ inch off-road fat tires. By having a thinner profile, it reduces rolling resistance for road use, such as for commuting, while still having enough width and grip to power through gravel, mud, dirt, underbrush, and the like while out biking in the mountains.
In terms of mountain bikes, the Pathfinder 750 W from Rattan is their top of the line model. The 750 W rear hub based motor provides the most torque, for conquering the steepest hills, cruising the longest paths, and conquering the urban jungle during the weekday. Like the other Rattan mountain eBikes, the Pathfinder uses the I-PAS functionality to gain the most efficient use of power, and a thumb throttle is available to add power on demand.
The tires on the Pathfinder are designed to do just what the name says, being full 4.0 inch wide fats. These are tires that will grip everything from dry, dusty rock and dirt to snow, and ice. On the road, there is added rolling resistance, so even Rattan themselves recommend using a higher pedal assist power to keep the bike moving on pavement.
The LF 500 W Mini Fat Tire from Rattan is what you get when you combine intelligent portability with class-leading ruggedness. Able to fold across two hinge points to be no longer than the rear tire and the pedal crank, this is the perfect foldable eBike for those looking to charge it up, toss it in the trunk of the car, head out to the mountains, and crush some fun trails.
Since many eBikes are also used for commuting, the LF 500 W is equipped with the mini fat size of tire, allowing it to have both off-road grip and low on-road rolling resistance. As well, the battery is easily removable from its carrying cradle, so you can fold the bike, lock it up in a safe room or under your desk at the office, and charge the battery separately for the ride home!
Like it’s smaller 500 W brother, the LF 750 W is a premium, tough-as-nails folding bike that is designed to conquer the mountain trails. The difference lies in that the LF 750 W is much more aimed at the rugged off-roading crowd than it is the everyday commuter.
This is apparent in the fact it boasts full 4.0 inch wide fat tires with an aggressive tread pattern meant to dig and grab at loose and slippery surfaces. As well, the more powerful rear hub motor is optimized for high torque, reducing its overall range but giving the bike the grunt needed to get up and over harsh hills and challenging terrain.
Almost identical to its cousin, the LF 500 W, the LM 500 W Mini Fat Tire shares all the same running gear, LCD display, thumb throttle, everything except the frame. Where the LF series was all about slinging the weight and rigidity down low in a nearly “step-thru” style, the LM series offer a much more traditional rigid top bar style of bike.
With some engineering wizardry, the LM 500 W will still fold to the same compact size as its cousin, and even boasts the same 3 inch wide mini fat size tires. Aimed much more for the customer that wants a more traditional ride style, the LM 500 W will still crush both the daily commute and the mountain pathway!
As with the LM 500 W, the LM 750 W Fat Tire is the rigid upper bar version of the LF 750 W. The same running gear, the same I-PAS system, the same thumb throttle override for power on demand, the same 4 inch wide fat tires for the most grip on the mountain trail. The only difference is that the low slung step-thru style bottom bar has been replaced with a reinforced upper bar.
Rattan themselves have described the LM 750 W as their best folding mountain eBike, and has made sure that the entire frame is rugged enough when not folded up that the hinges will not suddenly open on you, and able to handle the up to 65 Nm of grunt the 750 W rear hub motor will twist through the rear wheel when the thumb throttle is pressed fully down. Ride with confidence, as the bike is designed to take far more punishment than you may think!