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iGO Outland Torngat RS Review, 2023
Nov 16, 2023
A powerful fat tire eMTB for long rides over hills and loose terrain in all seasons.
If you’re seeking a rugged, all-season e-bike that can take on steep, loose, and rocky terrain alike, the iGO Outland Torngat RS has you covered. As one of three models in the brand’s Outland series, the Torngat is a fat tire eMTB made for trails and wilderness – but it also has commuter potential. We dive into the details in this iGO Outland Torngat RS review!
The Torngat RS rolls on massive 4.8”-wide Maxxis Minion tires with grip in all types of terrain. In addition to great traction, they help to absorb bumps and smooth out the ride. We liked how stable and planted these tires felt on dirt and sand – and while we don’t often have snow on our Southern Utah trails, we think they’d do just fine there as well. It rides as either a class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike with settings that can be controlled in iGO’s custom app.
Another feature we really appreciated was the bike’s RST Renegade suspension fork. With 120 mm of travel, the stiffness of this air-and-oil fork can be adjusted to suit the rider’s weight and the difficulty of the surrounding terrain. This fork is a higher-tier component that sets the Torngat apart from the other iGO Outland e-bikes we’ve reviewed using spring suspensions.
We also liked the Torgnat’s powerful, responsive 500W mid-drive motor. It encouraged more active pedaling, and delivered more or less power in response to our level of effort. The result was a natural-feeling but enhanced ride that felt perfect for tough trails.
So how did this bike perform in our series of tests? Keep reading our iGO Outland Torngat RS review below to find out!
Bike Category:Fat Tire / eMTB
Class 2 E-Bike:On-demand throttle and pedal assist up to 20 mph (Can be set to Class 1 or Class 3)
iGO Outland Torngat RS Video Review
Great traction, handling, stability, and added suspension on tough terrain from the 26” x 4.8” Maxxis Minion fat tires.
Offers flexibility in a broad range of terrain thanks to the air fork front suspension that can be precisely tuned.
We liked how responsive the 500W mid-drive motor was while pedaling, especially off-road where we needed precise power and handling.
The bike includes a 48V, 720Wh battery to keep the motor going on long rides.
It can function well as a commuter once unlocked to Class 3 speeds through the iGo Ride app.
The Torngat comes outfitted with a ton of reliable name-brand components.
We like how easy to use (and read) the bike’s color-coded display is.
With its huge tires and aggressive red and black paint job, we think the bike looks (and sounds) great!
Our taller testers had a comfortable fit, but we suggest that iGO expand their number of frame sizes to accommodate a wider number of riders.
This is nitpicky as their performance was good, but we’d like to see the option for a 4-piston hydraulic brake system.
Battery: 48V/720Wh, Samsung 21700 cells, removable, with security lock.
PAS: 5 levels of power assisted pedaling.
Throttle: on-demand, removable.
Sensors: Internal torque; cadence speed.
Class: Class2 / Class1 optional / Class 3 capable, where permitted.
Display Unit: 2” TFT, color LCD display; main power on/off; backlit for night viewing; battery level indicator; PAS level; current, average, maximum speed; walk mode; total distance odometer; trip odometer; trip time.
The Torngat RS’ powerful motor, big tires, suspension, and handling make you feel more dominant on the trails.
The natural-feeling 500W iGO Drive motor gives access to plenty of power for tearing through rough terrain.
We liked iGO’s 2” LCD color-coded display that shows ride info in an easy-to-read format.
iGO Outland Torngat RS Review: Speed Test
In our Speed Test, we first pedaled the bike with no motor assistance and then stepped up through each PAS setting to determine our maximum speed. Since the motor’s torque sensor dishes out more power when you pedal harder, it was important for our pedaling to be consistent so we could measure accurate results.
Due to the relatively high rolling resistance of the Torngat’s huge tires, pedaling with no motor assistance was expectedly difficult on this 65-lb fat tire bike. We reached a maximum of 9.9 mph with a moderate level of effort. Clicking into Eco mode (the lowest PAS setting), we saw an increase to 12.3 mph, which helped to make pedaling much easier.
Moving from Eco mode to Tour mode, we experienced another significant power increase which brought our speed to 15.8 mph. Then in Sport mode we reached 17.5 mph, which felt like an enjoyable cruising speed. The jump from Sport mode to Turbo mode was smaller, with a max of 19.5 mph. Finally, upon switching to Boost mode we reached and slightly exceeded the Class 2 limit of 20 mph, with a top speed of 20.2 mph.
Overall, the speeds we measured indicated a well-distributed balance of power output across nearly all PAS settings. This provides the rider with an expected level of pedal assistance in each setting. The “tapering off” of speed/power in Boost mode was a natural side effect of the motor’s Class 2 limit; while we did not record our speeds when testing the bike in Class 3 mode, the power distribution was even more balanced on the higher end.
A key lock and a removable cover keeps your battery secured and protected in the down tube.
The extra-wide Maxxis Minion fat tires provide excellent grip and stability.
On singletrack trails, we found ourselves using the mid-range of the Torngat’s PAS settings. With the significant rolling resistance of the tires, we needed the power of Sport and Turbo modes on gradual inclines. Boost mode could feel too fast and powerful for flatter sections of trail, but its extra brawn made tough climbs feel relatively easy. On the descent, Sport mode helped us to maintain speed without overwhelming the ride.
Bottom line: the Torngat RS has no problem reaching its maximum speed, and the bike offers a range of power levels and settings that felt appropriate for the various types of terrain we tested it in.
iGO Outland Torngat RS Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
Before setting out on a ride, it’s best to know what kind of range your e-bike will give you – trust me, nobody likes pedaling a fat tire electric bike without power! To determine the Outland Torngat RS’ real-world battery life, we performed a Range Test in its highest and lowest PAS settings (Eco and Boost modes) and compared our results with iGO’s advertisements.
When riding in Eco mode and using the least amount of battery power, our test rider Brenden traveled an impressive 82.9 miles over the course of 7 hours and 10 minutes. In Boost mode, which provided the maximum amount of pedal assistance, Brenden achieved a result of 37.3 miles in a time of 2 hours and 14 minutes. Compared to similar e-bikes we’ve tested, the Torngat’s 82+ mile range was great – which we did not necessarily expect based on the bike’s weight.
It’s important to note that our test course was a network of paved bike paths – so riders strictly taking the Torngat off-road may experience different results. With that in mind, the 1661 feet of elevation gain we encountered should help to make our results more balanced and accurate.
Based on its motor and battery specs, we anticipated that the low end of our results (in Boost mode) would end up closer to 29 miles over 1 hour and 26 minutes, but our real-world results showed a 29.5% increase in distance and a 54.9% increase in time.
The bike’s 48V, 15Ah/720Wh battery certainly helped the Torngat reach the impressive distances we measured, but its torque sensor also contributed to its efficiency. This allowed the motor to economize battery supply and use less power when riding on flatter areas of our local paths, while reserving the maximum amount of power only when pedaling uphill.
iGO Outland Torngat RS Review: Hill Test
By testing the Torngat RS’ hill climbing ability, we gathered valuable data on the motor’s raw power and its ability in the face of extraordinary riding conditions. Using the process described in the graphic above, we evaluated its performance with the maximum level of pedal assistance (Boost mode) and with nothing but the motor’s power by using the throttle.
In the throttle-only test, test rider Justin topped the hill in 1:29, with an average speed of 12.2 mph. This result is one of the fastest throttle-only results we have measured from a 500W mid-drive motor, meaning that the Torngat not only conquered the infamous Hell Hole Trail, but it did so in style!
E-bikes with mid-drive motors and throttles are less common in the wild, but they have distinct advantages over bikes with hub-motors: they can take advantage of the gearing. We liked having the ability to move to lower gears when climbing hills or accelerating from a stop; this reduced the strain on the motor as well as the load on the drivetrain. We noticed that the pedals wanted to spin along with the chainring when using the throttle, but applying a small bit of pressure to the pedals kept them stationary.
On the second part of our Hill Test using Boost mode, Justin reached the top of Hell Hole Trail at a slower time of 1:42, with an average speed of 10.6 mph. Comparatively speaking, this is relatively slow even among the other Outland e-bikes from iGO; this is likely a result of the bike’s increased weight and the rolling resistance of its tires. Despite this, the motor was still able to kick out the power we needed to reach the top.
When riding on singletrack and doubletrack, the bike climbed even steep hills of loose dirt effectively. Airing down the tires gave us added grip, and the Torngat’s 34T chainring reduced the effort required to pedal uphill.
Whether using the bike as a strict off-roader or taking it on the streets, the bike proved that it has the sheer power needed to handle difficult terrain and steep slopes.
With its ability to crank out up to 130 Nm of torque, the iGO 500W mid-drive motor is no slouch on the hills – just be sure you’re in the right gear when starting your climb.
The 8-speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain is entry level but functional, with an 11-36T gearing range.
We liked the RST Renegade 26 suspension that smooths the ride better than most spring forks.
iGO Outland Torngat RS Review: Safety and Brake Test
We used the process above to evaluate the Torngat RS’ Tektro E350 hydraulic brake system, which uses 2-piston calipers on 180mm front and rear rotors. The bike’s average stopping distance across all three tests was 23’-1”, which is within the range we consider safe and effective.
Compared to similar eMTBs, fat bikes, and all-terrain e-bikes, the Torngat’s result is less than a foot beyond the average for those categories. Averages are always in flux as we test more e-bikes, but at time of writing, this combination of categories has an average stopping distance of 22’-5”.
This difference is small, but considering the Torngat’s higher price tag, we’d like to see iGO upgrade to larger 203mm rotors and swap out the dual-piston calipers for a 4-piston caliper system. We were generally satisfied with the performance of the E350 system both on- and off-road, but we think it’s likely that its parts will wear out sooner. A system with larger rotors and upgraded calipers would provide better overall performance and longevity when riding in harsh conditions.
iGO Outland Torngat RS Review: Ride Quality
This section of our iGO Outland Torngat review is where we do our best to describe what it’s like to ride the bike. The first thing I noticed was the aggressive, forward-leaning riding posture which allowed for good balance and control. The ergonomic rubber grips fit my hands well, and while we tend to prefer wider handlebars, the 730mm flat handlebar felt like a good width.
When comparing the Torngat’s geometry to similar e-bikes from popular brands, it appears as though iGO was aiming for a medium-to-large frame. Most of our testers are in the neighborhood of 6’ in height, so we found the bike to be comfortable and suitably designed for trail riding. However, to give a more precise fit to taller and shorter riders, we suggest that iGO expand the Torngat’s number of frame sizes from one to a minimum of three.
We liked seeing the RST Renegade 26 air fork because it’s a noticeable step up from the spring forks on the Outland Sawback and Cabot models. Using compressed air compression and rebound, this fork enabled us to dial in more precise damping that met the specific suspension needs on our rides. Besides eliminating the worry of bottoming out the fork on a drop-off, the air fork was also better at adjusting to the variety of terrain we tested the bike on – including loose rocks, hardpack, mud and soft sand.
The Torngat’s defining Maxxis Minion fat tires also helped to absorb some of the big bumps we encountered on our rocky desert trails. The tires’ enormous width made the bike feel incredibly stable, and provided great traction on loose terrain with their huge, chunky tread. The Minion M346 model on the front has a tread pattern with narrow center knobbies, making the tire better for steering and meeting initial bumps. The rear uses the M347, which has wide knobs in the center, making it more efficient for distributing motor power to the back wheel.
An integrated headlight allows for later rides and improved visibility on roads.
The performance-oriented Selle Royal Viento saddle was a bit slim but generally comfortable.
The 730mm wide handlebars provided good control and included comfortable Velo rubber grips.
The bike’s Tektro brakes performed decently but we think the bike’s price justifies an upgrade.
We liked how quickly the 500W motor engaged with and responded to our pedaling. When we applied more pressure, the motor delivered an almost instant increase in power to make the ride easier, and when we stopped pedaling, the motor stopped as well. This allowed the bike to feel and respond intuitively in the same way that a non-electric bike would; riding on trails felt natural.
Operating the bike was easy due to the color-coded LCD. Most of the screen changes color in each PAS setting (Tour and Sport are both nearly identical shades of blue, however) making it possible to check the current setting with a glance.
We also liked the included EXA KSP900-1 dropper seatpost, which allowed for easier shifting of our weight when descending. We found that the throttle lever and dropper post lever conflicted in their placement on the left bar, so we took the throttle off when riding on trails to prioritize dropper access.
The inclusion of lights was appreciated as well, lending the bike (and its rider) better visibility in dim light or during precipitation. In our opinion, the Torngat feels like a long hauler that’s suited for packing panniers loaded with gear and supplies for a weekend expedition. The bike has no cargo rack, but our contact at iGO stated that a number of aftermarket cargo racks are compatible – just be aware of the tire width!
In summary, the Torngat RS felt, responded, and handled quickly and comfortably in all conditions we tested it in. It’s a capable trail or overland bike with plenty of power that’s well-equipped for extended adventures or short trail runs.
iGO Outland Torngat RS Review: Summary / Where to Buy
Our takeaway from this iGO Outland Torngat RS review is this: the bike is a successful fat tire eMTB that can give its rider freedom to explore in nearly any environment. Whether used as a means to extend the trail riding season, explore the backcountry, or ride to work on weekdays, it’s a powerful and comfortable e-bike with an appealing aggressive design.
The points of critique that we have are few, and they apply to nearly all of the iGO bikes we’ve tested; we think the Torngat RS could be improved in sizing and brake performance. We suggest that the brand expand their sizing options to offer more tailored frames for riders of varying heights. And while the current brake system performed relatively well, we think the Torngat’s price point justifies a 4-piston system for better performance and longevity.
The bike includes some other entry-level components (like its Shimano Alivio drivetrain) that we think riders will likely upgrade as parts wear out, but with a foundation of name-brand components including the supple RST Renegade suspension, it’s functional and well-equipped right out of the box.
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 Torngat RS.