The commuter category is the single-most-crowded segment of the e-bike market, which means that coming up with a unique design that will catch the eye of shoppers can be like trying to pick out the cutest angel in the Christmas pageant. So we give a tip of the hat to the Himiway Rambler, a commuter they produce at three different pricepoints to suit shoppers’ budgets. In our Himiway Rambler review we will focus on the Premium option, which is the most expensive of the three version and features the nicest pick of parts.
What makes the Himiway Rambler Premium different is that this is an unclassified e-bike; that is, it does not conform to any of the three classes of e-bike. That’s because its 500W motor can assist riders up to 25 mph either by pedaling or by throttle. Class 2 and 3 e-bikes can only be throttled up to a maximum of 20 mph.
Outside of that one detail, this is a well-equipped e-bike, offering riders a value-packed package. The base model Himiway Rambler (Basic) comes with a 500W brushless, geared hub motor, a 720Wh batter, 7-speed drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes. Step up and spend a couple hundred dollars more and the Himiway Rambler Upgraded swaps a 9-speed drivetrain for the 7-speed one and replaces the mechanical disc brakes with hydraulic disc brakes. It also adds a rear rack and rear light. The Himiway Rambler Premium takes everything in the Upgraded and then replaces the hub motor with a 500W Bafang mid-drive motor.
The various editions of the Himiway Rambler occupy very different price points, with the Premium going for roughly double what the Basic does. With such noticeable jumps in price, shoppers shouldn’t struggle much to figure which version best fits their budget.
In addition to the rear rack and rear light included on the Premium, Himiway equips all three versions of the Rambler with front and rear fenders, a headlight and kickstand.
Let’s take a deeper look at what makes the Himiway Rambler Premium an intriguing option in the commuter category.
E-Bike Category: Unclassified (25 mph max speed with pedal assist or throttle)
Who the Himiway Rambler Premium Electric Bike Is for: Commuters looking for a powerful e-bike that will offer great acceleration and excellent performance on hills will appreciate this e-bike, as will anyone who wants a bit more oomph while on the throttle.
Himiway Rambler Premium Electric Bike Review Ratings:
***All ratings are relative to e-bikes of a similar style and price point***
Himiway Rambler Premium E-Bike Specs
- Battery: 720Wh lithium-ion
- Expected Range: up to 55 mi., estimated
- Charger: 3A
- Motor: 500W
- UL Certification: UL 2849 certification coming soon
- Pedal Assist: 5 PAS levels
- Throttle: Thumb button
- Display: LCD with USB charging
- Headlight: LED
- Taillight: Included
- Frame: 6061 Aircraft aluminum
- Fork: 80mm-travel Trama suspension fork with lockout
- Fenders: Included
- Kickstand: Included
- Handlebars: Alloy, 700mm wide
- Grips: Rubber
- Drivetrain: 9-speed Shimano Altus, 38t chainring and 13-32t cassette
- Brakes: Tektro Hydraulic disc brakes, 180mm rotors
- Pedals: Alloy, with reflectors
- Saddle: SR saddle
- Tires: Innova 27.5 x 2.4-in.
In-Depth Himiway Rambler Premium Review
Himiway Rambler Premium Review: Comfort, Handling, and Ride Qualities
Himiway has made its name with fat-tire e-bikes. Whether the wheels are 20-in. or 26-in. diameter, they spec 4-in.-wide tires ordinarily. But the Himiway Rambler is a commuter that comes in three different configurations (and price points) and doesn’t have super fat tires.
So why no big tires? Well, for an e-bike that will only be used for commuting or at least only be used on paved roads, 4-in.-wide tires pose a couple of issues. The big issue is that those big tires weigh a lot and their big footprint results in substantial rolling resistance. When rolling resistance goes up, range and acceleration go down, as does maneuverability. Simply put, the Himiway Rambler Premium is designed to perform to a level on the road that other Himiway e-bikes would struggle to achieve.
Thanks to its 27.5-in. wheels and the 2.4-in.-wide tires the Rambler has plenty of traction and control, but at speed will offer a nice, stable ride. The low-profile-tread tires will roll quickly and give the Rambler better range than it would enjoy were it equipped with 4-in.-wide rubber.
As a commuter, the Himiway Rambler has a nice, upright seated position so the rider can see what’s going on. It comes in a single frame design, step-thru. Himiway says the Rambler will fit riders from 5 feet 2 up to 6 feet 4, but as usual, we think that’s generous and would urge riders under 5 feet 8 to consider the 22.2-in.-long top tube. That’s a fair reach to the bar.
Himiway Rambler Premium Review: Motor, Battery, and Drivetrain Performance
Himiway makes the Rambler in three different configurations. Think of them as different trim levels with cars. There’s the regular Rambler, the Rambler Upgraded and the Rambler Premium. The Rambler and Rambler upgraded both feature hub motors but for the rider to invest a few hundred more, Himiway swaps out the hub motor for a mid-drive motor. We will be focusing on the Rambler Premium for the most part.
All three versions of the Rambler feature a 500W motor. Now, a 500W hub motor and a 500W mid-drive motor are not the same thing. This is a distinction worth drawing for a couple of reasons. First, most mid-drive motors are 250W, so the Rambler Premium is twice as powerful as most e-bikes with mid-drive motors; not only is this an unusually powerful mid-drive motor—the Bafang M600—but it produces 120Nm of torque, which is the one of the highest, if not the highest torque figure for a mid-drive motor that we’ve seen.
What’s it all add up to? This will be one of the better-accelerating and better-climbing commuter e-bikes on the market. But here we have to remind riders that acceleration isn’t the same as top speed. The Rambler’s drivetrain plays a role in both of these functions.
Because the Bafang M600 motor is a mid-drive unit, it includes a torque sensor rather than a cadence sensor. This gives the rider of the Himiway Rambler Premium a more reactive e-bike, one that accelerates the moment there is pressure on the pedals. And as we noted above, this motor produces 120Nm of torque, which is more than we see in most hub motors, where torque makes a bigger difference.
A torque sensor blend’s the motor’s response seamlessly with the rider’s effort, giving them a superhero feeling.
The base model Rambler ships with a 7-speed Shimano drivetrain, while the Rambler Upgrade and Premium both feature a 9-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain. With a 38-tooth chainring and a 13-32t cassette, it has the low gears to make climbing easy, but its high gear (38 x 13) will require some pretty quick pedaling for the rider to reach top speed. Which brings us to one of this e-bike’s quirks.
The Himiway Rambler Premium is an unclassified e-bike. Simply put, this is an e-bike that isn’t legal in many places. At issue is the fact that the rider can throttle up to 25 mph. That’s 5 mph faster than what Class 2 or Class 3-conforming e-bikes are permitted. Top pedal-assist speed is 25 mph as well, which isn’t surprising considering the high gear.
Powering the 500W Bafang mid-drive motor is a 720Wh lithium-ion battery. Himiway estimates that this will provide riders per charge. Over at Electric Bike Report, our sister site, our colleagues tested the Himiway Rambler Premium and found that they covered 55.9 mi. in PAS 1, which may be one of the more accurate estimates we’ve encountered. More impressive was that in PAS 5 EBR’s test rider rolled a very admirable 42.9 mi. That’s a lot of speedy commuting.
Himiway Rambler Premium Review: Braking, Safety & Warranty
The Premium and Upgrade versions of the Himiway Rambler are both equipped with Tektro hydraulic brakes paired with 180mm rotors. The disc brakes in question, the Tektro E-350 may be the single-most-popular hydraulic disc brake being spec’d on e-bikes today; we’ve had a great experience with these brakes on many models.
With commuters, our safety concerns run toward the being-part-of-traffic (riders aren’t in traffic, we are part of traffic) issue. The upright seated position the Himiway Rambler Premium affords riders a good view of what’s going on around them and with front and rear lights they stay visible to drivers. The 2.4-in.wide tires balance rider comfort and traction with efficient rolling.
Himiway covers their e-bikes with a two-year warranty, and while it doesn’t extend to any included accessories, such as the lights fenders and rear rack, it doesn’t include a bunch of exclusions, either. It’s a pretty good warranty.
Himiway Rambler Premium Review: Recommendation/Final Verdict
We love it any time a manufacturer offers a particular model of e-bike at multiple price point as Himiway has done with the Rambler. The Basic, Upgraded and Premium versions give shoppers a terrific window into how different features affect pricing.
A more powerful motor, mid-drive motors, hydraulic disc brakes and more gears/wider gear spacing all drive up an e-bike’s cost, just as a bigger battery will. The question isn’t a matter of whether they improve the e-bike; rather, the question is a matter of which features are necessary to a rider’s needs.
The rider who wants the motor to follow and amplify their effort will love the Rambler Premium. And this version along with the Rambler Upgraded, which both include a 9-speed Shimano drivetrain, will be of particular interest to anyone whose riding will include lots of hills.
The rider drawn in by the notion of going 25 mph on throttle, need not go spendy with the Rambler Premium. The Himiway Rambler Basic will give riders the 25 mph cruising speed, but it won’t have the same climbing performance or acceleration from a dead stop. It’s fair to ask: How fast does an e-bike need to accelerate? Of course, one way to improve acceleration is to pedal harder, but we get that not everyone will love that answer. That’s part of the beauty of the Himiway Rambler Premium; a rider need never work any harder than they are inclined.
The Himiway Rambler Premium lacks classification. And that’s a real issue. That is, this e-bike does not conform to the three-class system that the entire industry had to cooperate on in order to come up with a legislative framework to present to legislators in order to establish e-bikes as legal machines. If that doesn’t sound like a big deal, this might change that: Prior to the three-class system, e-bikes were flat-out against the law in many cities. Consider: it’s much easier to tell the difference between a regular bike and an e-bike than it is between a Class 1 e-bike and an unclassified e-bike. And being arrested while commuting to work would result in a very interesting conversation with one’s boss.
All this is to say, we would recommend this e-bike even more highly were it adjusted to perform as a Class 3 e-bike.
The rider who doesn’t go 25 mph on the throttle on a bike path will likely never be noticed by law enforcement. After all, less speed is a pretty foolproof way to avoid scrutiny.
The Himiway Rambler Premium is a dynamite commuter for the shopper who wants their ride to work to be a little extra sporty. It comes with an accessory package that sets a rider up to commute upon assembly, and Himiway offers plenty of additional accessories for the rider who may want a front basket or some bags.
Thank you for reading through our review of the Himiway Rambler Premium. Still have further questions? Wondering how it compares to a similar e-bike we’ve reviewed? Let us know in the comments below!