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iGo Outland Cabot RS Review, 2023
Oct 30, 2023
A commuter with rugged enough chops to handle off-road duties.
The Cabot RS ain’t your daddy’s commuter e-bike! It’s part of iGo’s Outland line of versatile, more rugged, and off-road capable models. We explore this hybrid commuter’s capabilities in this iGo Outland Cabot RS review!
While the other Outland variants lean more into their wild side, the Cabot keeps things mostly prim and proper with the ability to dabble in some light off-roading. It’s equipped with a modest Suntour XCM32 suspension fork with 80 mm of travel and unique hybrid 27.5”x2.4” Schwalbe Hurricane tires that combine road and off-road tread.
We were impressed by the feel of the Outland Cabot RS’ robust 500W mid-drive motor. The bike uses a torque sensor to engage the motor and adapt to changes in pedal pressure, resulting in a natural-feeling ride with plenty of muscle behind it. The bike has speed, uphill power, and a responsive feel that just felt awesome!
The testers at Electric Bike Report evaluated many of the bike’s capabilities, but the Cabot RS’ range was perhaps its most exciting. iGo advertises a maximum range of up to 60 miles, but we were able to exceed that in its minimum-assist setting while also managing some significant elevation gain. Such great range means more time on the bike having fun before needing to stop and recharge.
There’s a lot more to discuss, so strap on your helmet and hit the paths with us in this iGo Outland Cabot RS review!
Class 2 E-Bike:Throttle and Pedal Assist up to 20 miles per hour (can be unlocked to a Class 3 with pedal assist up to 28 mph)
iGo Outland Cabot RS Video Review
Versatility! With a front suspension and hybrid Schwalbe Hurricane tires, the Outland Cabot RS can handle hardpack just as well as pavement.
A powerful and responsive motor! The 500W mid-drive motor packs a punch, and uses a torque sensor to give a natural feel that adapts to your riding style.
Awesome range! With a 720 Wh battery, iGo advertises up to 60 miles on a single charge. We were able to exceed that in our testing!
Class 3 capability. We’re big fans of commuters that can pedal up to 28 mph and keep up more easily with traffic.
Great stability and control! With 720 mm handlebars and those unique hybrid tires, the bike handles well and feels solid when riding and braking.
An intuitive interface. We’ve become seriously attached to the color-coded iGo display with huge buttons. The RS model is also compatible with the iGO Ride app!
Eye-catching style! iGo’s bikes have some great paint jobs, and the Cabot RS’ glossy black-and-green hits the mark.
The bike’s brake performance was decent enough, but we’d welcome a system with 4-piston calipers and larger rotors for better stopping power.
With its single frame size, the Cabot is likely best for riders of short to average height; we’d like to see an increased number of frame sizes.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery : 48V, 15 Ah/720 Wh with Samsung cells
Display: Combined full color LCD/control panel
Motor: iGO DRIVE RS 500W mid motor, 48V
Headlight: XC-259A LED headlight
Taillights: SPANNINGA LED Commuter Glow XE with brake light Integrated into rear rack
Pedal Assist: Eco/Tour/Sport/Turbo/Boost color coded per PAS level
Range: Up to 60 miles (claimed)
Throttle: On-Demand, Removable
App: iGo Ride App
Weight & Dimensions
Claimed weight: 59.1 lbs (including battery)
Maximum rider weight: 275 lbs
Maximum load on the rear rack: 55 lbs
Components & Accessories
Brakes: TEKTRO HDE350 Hydraulic Disc w/ 180 mm rotors
Drivetrain: SHIMANO ALIVIO 9-speed w/ 42T chainring and 11-34T cassette
Grips: VELO, Rubber palm rest, 140mm
Saddle: SELLE ROYAL
Handlebar: 720mm, 28mm rise, 31.8mm dia.
Pedals: large platform
Tires: SCHWALBE HURRICANE 27.5”x2.4”
The Outland Cabot RS comes fully equipped for commuting with lights, fenders, and a rear cargo rack with up to 55 lbs of carrying capacity.
The 500W iGo Drive RS mid-drive motor dishes out its power responsively thanks to a torque sensor.
With 27.5” x 2.4” Schwalbe Hurricane tires, the Cabot RS has great stability and can maneuver effectively on hardpack.
iGo Outland Cabot RS Review: Speed Test
To measure the speed capabilities of the iGo Outland Cabot RS’ five pedal assist system (PAS) settings, we pedaled the bike along a predetermined section of our local multi-use paths and maintained a consistent and moderate level of effort in each setting. We tested the bike both as it ships – a Class 2 e-bike limited to 20 mph through both its throttle and PAS – as well as in its unlocked Class 3 settings. This allows the bike to reach speeds up to 28 mph through PAS but is only possible through the iGo Ride mobile app.
The bike performed well, demonstrating a generally good distribution of speed and power in its standard settings as shown in the graphic above. It pedaled relatively easily (e-bikes are heavier than analog bikes) with no motor assistance; we measured 12.1 mph. With the PAS active, we saw consistent increases from Eco Mode (14.1 mph) through Tour Mode (16.2 mph) and into Sport Mode (18.4) mph. The differences in power were smaller on the top end, as we reached 19.5 mph in Turbo Mode and a maximum of 20.3 mph in Boost mode.
This pattern – especially the “flattening out” on the high end – is consistent with other similar Class 2 e-bikes that have the potential to reach Class 3 speeds when unlocked. The Cabot RS’ 500W mid-drive motor is tuned to be able to reach 28 mph, but it’s limited by the bike’s standard Class 2 settings. We tested the bike in Class 3 mode as well, and as our data shows, its power/speed distribution was much more even between all settings when the motor was not limited. With some effort (more than the moderate level maintained in my test), my speed in Boost mode topped out around 27 miles per hour.
It’s worth noting that, with a torque sensor, the speeds that the Outland Cabot RS is capable of in each setting are not capped, except at the maximum Class 2/Class 3 limits. With more effort applied to the pedals, the bike can easily exceed the speeds we measured. The goal of this test was not to determine the top speed the bike could go through maximum effort; we sought to understand how much assistance the bike’s motor gave, so a consistent but less intense amount of effort was more appropriate.
The speed capabilities of the bike are what we would expect for a 48V, 500W mid-drive. This is a powerful motor that provides an easy pedaling experience; many of the commuter-style e-bikes we’ve tested used 250W or 350W motors that relied more heavily on effort from the rider. With a 48V electrical system, the Cabot RS had rapid acceleration because its motor could quickly use and replace energy from the battery. Overall, we were highly satisfied with its performance!
The bike can be unlocked to Class 3 speeds for safer riding in traffic through the iGo Ride app.
We appreciated the 9-speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain; it was a wide and flexible gearing range for hills and flat roads.
The Cabot’s fully integrated 720 Wh battery is concealed by a removable cover on the underside of the down tube.
iGo Outland Cabot RS Review: Range Test
Our Range Test gave us an opportunity to test the motor and battery efficiency of the Cabot RS and determine how far riders could expect to travel on a single charge of the 48V, 720 watt-hour (Wh) battery. We also used our data to evaluate iGo’s claimed range of 60 miles.
The graphic above explains our process and the results of this test. As I hinted at previously in this iGo Outland Cabot RS review, our results were excellent; the bike exceeded both the manufacturer’s advertisements and our own expectations! We measured a bracket of roughly 45 to 67 miles of range depending on the pedal assist setting used.
Many factors affect a bike’s range – including speed, weather, terrain, etc – but most riders should expect to fall within this bracket. We measured between roughly 750 and 1200 feet of elevation change during our testing, so it’s possible that riders travelling on flat roads or paths might exceed our results. On the opposite side of things, users regularly riding on extremely hilly forest roads where the motor uses more power may achieve less.
A huge contributing factor to the bike’s great efficiency is its mid-drive motor, which requires at least some contribution from the rider. Rear hub motors (especially those with cadence sensors) are typically less efficient because they only require that the bike’s pedals be moving, not that any pressure be applied. You can learn more about the differences in e-bike motors in our guide to mid-drives and our guide to hub motors.
The Cabot RS’ efficiency is reinforced by math; specifically, a calculation based on nominal motor wattage and battery watt-hours. This indicated that the Cabot RS’ battery charge should theoretically last a maximum of 1 hour and 25 minutes in Boost mode. Our test ran almost exactly an hour longer, proving that the motor was drawing less energy from the battery due to the added human input and extending the bike’s overall range.
iGo Outland Cabot RS Review: Hill Test
Our Hill Test allowed us to evaluate the raw power of the Outland Cabot RS’ motor and its ability to confidently climb steep inclines. Our goals were to determine how effective the motor’s input was and how much effort was required by the rider. Using the process explained in the graphic above, we measured the time and average speed from the base to the summit of the hill.
With the Cabot’s throttle – using 100% motor power – the bike successfully climbed Hell Hole in 1 minute and 36 seconds, with an average speed of 11.3 miles per hour. With added effort from our test rider, Justin, we measured 1 minute and 40 seconds while maintaining an average of 10.8 mph.
The Outland Cabot RS’ 720mm handlebars provide great control for pavement or dirt riding.
The bike includes Tektro E-350 hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors on both wheels.
With 80mm of travel on the Suntour XCM32 suspension fork, the Cabot rides smooth on pavement and light dirt roads.
By the numbers, these results are relatively middle-of-the road when compared to similar e-bikes we’ve tested. While this may sound unremarkable, it’s actually a good thing; this means that the Outland Cabot RS largely keeps pace with its peers, and is capable of climbing even intimidating hills.
Since the bike’s throttle result was faster than its maximum PAS test, we aren’t sure there is much benefit to pedaling uphill with the Cabot if speed is a priority. Using the pedal assist system should help to conserve battery power and may provide a light workout, but the bike can certainly handle the job on its own.
Regardless, we were completely satisfied with the Outland Cabot RS’ performance in this test; it possesses plenty of power to conquer challenging hills, and provides flexibility to the rider in how they may approach such terrain.
iGo Outland Cabot RS Review: Brake Test
Using the method explained above, we evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the Outland Cabot RS’ brake system. As with most of the iGo e-bikes we’ve tested so far, the bike is equipped with Tektro E-350 hydraulic disc brakes, including 2-piston calipers and 180mm rotors.
Using three sets of data from our trials, we calculated an average stopping distance of 23’-0”. This result falls within our expected range, but is firmly on the slower end; the average of all commuter and commuter hybrid e-bikes we tested previously is currently 21’-7”.
The difference between the Cabot’s result in this test and the commuter average is reasonable, and we consider the bike to be within the safe range, but we’d prefer to see a system with 4-piston calipers and potentially larger rotors to provide more trustworthy stopping power. Considering the likelihood that the bike will ride alongside motor vehicles – as well as its ability to travel off-road – the ability to stop quickly may be essential.
I do want to give credit to the Cabot for being one of the most stable-feeling bikes I’ve tested. Even when riding on loose pea gravel and applying the brakes (a situation that can easily cause many bikes to slide out), the Outland Cabot RS remained firmly planted and didn’t deviate from its line of travel. This was primarily due to the bike’s unique Schwalbe Hurricane tires, which include a combination of smoother street treat bordered by chunkier teeth and studs for biting into looser ground.
iGo Outland Cabot RS Review: Ride Quality
As a hybrid e-bike, the Outland Cabot RS blends elements from a light mountain/trail bike with more expected features often found on a dedicated commuter. The combination of these elements created a unique ride quality that I found generally quite pleasant. I have a few minor points of critique, but these are largely due to personal preference instead of being related to any fundamental issues with the bike. It’s a cool one!
The Cabot RS leans – literally – into its commuter side when it comes to rider positioning; the bike features a moderate-to-aggressive forward angle that didn’t quite fit my personal taste. That said, it was made infinitely more comfortable by the bike’s contact points; the saddle was accommodating, the pedals provided a large and stable platform, and the broad Velo ergonomic grips may just be my new favorites!
There is just a single frame size for the Cabot RS, which iGo’s advertises can fit riders between 5′-0″ and 6′-2″. The bike felt cramped for some of our riders above 6’-0”’, so we’d like to see the brand offer multiple frame sizes to offer a better fit for riders on the taller end of the spectrum. At 5’-11” I felt relatively comfortable, but there was undoubtedly room for improvement.
The combined display/control panel offers big buttons and a color-coded PAS system.
A Selle Royal saddle provides comfort and support.
The bike’s rear cargo rack has an integrated taillight that functions as a brake light.
These huge Velo grips felt awesome, providing good support and control.
The bike includes a modest front suspension fork; a Suntour XCM32 model with 80mm of travel. Despite offering less “squish” than expected for an off-road capable e-bike, it performed well and effectively smoothed out dips, bumps, and dirt in my testing. Overall I think it felt appropriate for the Cabot and its intended uses.
I mentioned the Schwalbe Hurricane tires previously, but their remarkable stability and traction extended to riding as well as braking. They did, however, seem to be somewhat prone to flats even with light off-roading, so I’d recommend some added flat protection. Good control of the tires was provided by the bike’s 720mm handlebars; these are decidedly on the wider side from what we typically encounter, and the added width was appreciated.
The bike’s cockpit was straightforward. After testing a handful of iGo e-bikes, we’ve come to thoroughly appreciate the brand’s color-coded display unit. This is combined with the button pad into a single small unit on the left handlebar. Shifting with the Shimano Alivio Rapidfire Plus felt somewhat awkward due to the low riding position, but the system’s responsiveness was a great tradeoff; we often see drivetrain components well below the Alivio’s tier.
iGo offers a mobile app that the Cabot RS is compatible with; this offers navigation, settings adjustments, etc. This is the only method by which the bike can be unlocked to Class 3 settings. Finally, the bike includes a handful of commuter-friendly accessories that add to its functionality: lights, fenders, and a cargo rack with 55 lbs of carrying capacity.
iGo Outland Cabot RS Review: Summary / Where to Buy
To sum it all up: the Outland Cabot RS is a solid bike! We were impressed by most areas of its test performance, the responsiveness of its ride feel, and the appropriate measures of its power and speed. While the bike leans heavily into its commuter elements, we appreciated the unique spin that iGo composed with the Cabot, primarily by including the hybrid Schwalbe tires.
While its brake performance was on the better side when compared to all of the iGo bikes we’ve tested, we’d like to see a 4-piston system with larger rotors for even better stopping power both on- and off-road. And while the single frame size accommodated our riders of medium height, we’d welcome at least a couple of frame size options so riders above 6’ could ride without feeling cramped.
Those are fairly minor concerns, however; we think the Outland Cabot RS would be great for shorter riders who commute on the daily and want a little more freedom on the weekends. It may also be perfect for those whose weekday commutes include some (relatively) smooth dirt or pea gravel roads.
The Cabot can certainly go the distance, and includes all the base features we expected for a bike of its style, making it firmly capable for its intended purpose. On top of that, the bike provides solid value in proportion to its price; there are a host of name-brand components with proven track records – which we’re happy to see on an e-bike that will likely see a ton of miles.
All-in-all, we’ve been pleased with all of the iGo bikes we’ve reviewed so far, and the Outland Cabot RS is certainly another win for the brand!
Happy Riding! Make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the iGo Outland Cabot RS.