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Magicycle Cruiser Review
Jan 01, 2023
An affordable electric fat bike with a 750W motor and larger than average battery, the Magicycle Cruiser is an e-bike from a lesser-known brand trying to carve out space for itself in the e-bike world.
In this Magicycle Cruiser review, we take a look at the relatively new company’s bid to compete with some of the larger, better known and more established electric fat bike brands. Built around a 750W motor and a suite of components comparable to those we see on e-bikes from big-name brands, the Magicycle — at least on paper — makes a verisimilar argument that it is indeed a competitor to the Rad Powers and Aventons of the world.
But spec sheets and marketing can be deceiving, which is why we put the Magicycle Cruiser through a series of real world tests to suss out its true capabilities and to see if it’s a true threat to the more established affordable electric fat bike brands.
So can the Magicycle Cruiser compete? Let’s find out.
Bike Category: Fat Tire/Hybrid Path
Bike Class: Unlimited, not street legal | Throttle above 20 mph and PAS above 28 mph
Magicycle Cruiser Video Review
Compared to other affordable electric fat bikes, it certainly looks the part. The frame shape is nice and the semi-integrated battery blends nicely.
Compared to other Class 3 750W e-bikes, our testing showed this bike is a good hill climber.
The battery life is on par with other affordable electric fat bikes.
The overall component package (aside from the brakes) is good and fairly standard-issue for this category and price.
The handling is done well, with an overall balanced feel that’s nice for path riding and very light off-road use.
Though this bike is marketed as a Class 3 machine, our review model came fully unlocked with the throttle and PAS capable of much higher than legal speeds. We also had difficulty adjusting the speed down to legal levels and getting the setting changes to stick after the bike was restarted. Unlocked e-bikes designed for street use are a major red flag for our testing team and represent a large safety concern.
The stock unbranded brakes on this bike performed very poorly, which is an issue considering this e-bike’s speed and weight. Their nearly 30-foot average stopping distance is the worst we’ve recorded by a large margin. Magicycle says they are swapping out the brakes to a more reputable brand, but we cannot guarantee that.
While not a performance-related issue, we found evidence Magicycle had directly copied the website and marketing material of one of their competitor’s in the affordable e-bike market. Including photos of the other brand’s bikes on the Magicycle website, verbatim text and identical design.
Motor: 750W Shengyi rear hub motor, 86Nm of torque
Peal Assist: 7 PAS levels, cadence sensor
Range: 30-55 miles, claimed
Throttle: Twist throttle
Weight & Dimensions
Claimed weight: 76 lbs
Maximum rider weight: 350 lb total payload capacity
Maximum load on rear rack: 55 lbs
Components & Accessories
Brakes: Unbranded mechanical disk brakes, 180mm rotors front and rear
Fork: Suspension fork
Frame: 6061 Aluminum
Drivetrain: Mixed Shimano 7-speed, Altus derailleur and Tourney shifter
Grips: Faux leather
Saddle: Comfort saddle
Handlebar: Alloy riser bar
Pedals: Wellgo Alloy
Tires: 26×4” Kenda fat tires
Magicycle Cruiser Review: Bike Overview
Like many affordable electric fat bikes, the Magicycle Cruiser is built around a 750W rear hub motor. This one is made by a motor manufacturer called Shengyi and makes a notable 86Nm of torque.
Powering that motor is a 52V, 15Ah (780Wh) battery that’s a little on the larger end of the spectrum. Most e-bikes in this category sit at about 672Wh, though there are some larger ones.
You also get the standard-issue mixed Shimano drivetrain, which uses an Altus rear derailleur and Tourney Shifter — a setup that’s quickly become the norm for sub-$2,000 electric fat bikes.
Finally the brakes on our review model are an unbranded mechanical disk brake. All the other componentry is fairly normal spec of a bike in this category at this price. You’ve got a comfort saddle, Kenda fat tires, ergonomic grips, a rear rack capable of 55 lbs and a few other accouterments you’d expect like fenders and lights.
But while much of this bike is standard issue, there are some performance (and other) issues that came up during testing that are worth noting.
The first is the bike’s extremely high speed. Our review bike came to us fully unlocked, with both the throttle and pedal assist capable of powering the bike well over the respective legal limits. On throttle alone the Magicycle cruises at 27 mph on flat ground. This means this bike is not street or bike path legal in most U.S. states despite the brand marketing it as a Class 3 e-bike. We did attempt to change the settings to legal levels and even reached out to Magicycle for guidance, but we had trouble getting any speed adjustments we made to stick. Each time we restarted the bike, it would default back to unlocked speeds.
This unlocked speed is a safety and legal concern that we’ll dive into in more detail in the motor performance section, but it’s an immediate red flag for our testing team.
The second issue, which also ties in to the bike’s high speed, is the brakes. The unbranded mechanical disk brakes on the Magicycle are unacceptably poor performing. We’ll dive into the particulars of just how poorly they worked in our brake test section, but the short and sweet of it is that this bike far outpowers and outweighs its braking capability.
Lastly, which isn’t directly related to on-road performance but is information I’d like to know if I were a consumer eyeing this bike, is that, during our testing, a competitor to Magicycle reached out to us with evidence that Magicycle had cannibalized much of their website and reappropriated it as their own. Everything from the design to the words to even some of the product photos were directly taken from this competitor’s site and rebranded as Magicycle. We independently verified these claims and found articles, photos and even an entire product page on the Magicycle website that belonged to this competing brand.
Asked for comment on this issue, Magicycle in an email defended their website and said they were attempting to “learn” from the competing brand in question and other successful affordable e-bike brands.
“We respect them as great competitors but we are totally different and we are not their duplication,” Magicycle said in the email. Magicycle has since changed or removed much of the cannibalized content after Electric Bike Report reached out for comment on the issue.
This last fact isn’t performance related, but it is something I’d like to know if I were on the other side of this screen trying to decide which e-bike to spend my money on. It may seem trivial, or like a spat between two competitors that doesn’t hold bearing over the end consumer, but issues like this can serve as a smoke signal for problems that could directly affect the end consumer.
Though happiest on pavement, you can do some light off-road riding on the Magicycle Cruiser.
The 7-speed Shimano drivetrain is fairly standard issue for this category of e-bike.
The Cruiser rolls on a set of 4-inch Kenda fat tires.
Magicycle Cruiser Review: Motor Performance, Speed and Acceleration
Obviously the Electric Bike Report testing team has concerns over the Magicycle Cruiser’s higher-than-legal top speeds, which we’ll dive into shortly, but from a performance perspective, the Cruiser’s 750W rear hub motor performs about as expected.
It makes 86Nm of torque, which makes it good uphill, and it has an aggressive acceleration profile reminiscent of the Himiway Cruiser. (In fact, there are many performance, style and even — ehem — naming elements of the Magicycle Cruiser that are reminiscent of the Himiway Cruiser.)
Among other affordable electric fat bikes, the Magicycle’s performance is fairly standard if not slightly higher powered than its competitors. It does have seven levels of pedal assist, which is quite a bit higher than my (and much of the EBR testing team’s) preference of three, but that’s a detail that’s likely adjustable. On our test circuit, the bike performed well, though it’s speedy hot lap in PAS 7 does serve as a reminder that this bike does not meet the legal definition of an e-bike.
And really, that’s the rub that overshadows much of the 750W motor’s on-par performance in our testing. Our review bike is not a street or bike path legal e-bike, despite indication on the Magicycle website that it’s supposed to be. The bike tested here arrived with a throttle capable of speeds up to 27 mph on flat ground and pedal assistance capable of speeds over 30 mph. E-bikes in most U.S. states are capped at 20 mph using the throttle and 28 mph using pedal assistance, so while our review model has pedals and is marketed as an e-bike it more fits the definition of an electric moped.
We attempted to adjust the speed settings and even reached out to Magicycle for guidance on how to do so, but no matter how many times we changed them the bike reset back to its stock unlocked speed each time we restarted the bike.
Aside from the legal issues, an e-bike capable of speeds this high poses a major safety concern for both the rider and pedestrians. Like other affordable electric fat bikes, the Magicycle Cruiser’s natural habitat is bike paths, bike lanes and other paved thoroughfares where you’re likely to encounter high volumes of pedestrian foot traffic. Considering the several hundred pound gross weight of this bike plus the weight of an adult rider, you could inflict serious harm on a dog walker or a parent pushing a stroller should you barrel into them at 30 mph.
Setting aside our concerns over max speed, the motor’s 86Nm of torque makes it a good climbing e-bike.
The Magicycle Cruiser uses a 750W Shengyi rear hub motor.
The 780Wh battery is semi integrated into the frame.
Magicycle Cruiser Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
The Magicycle Cruiser’s 52V, 15Ah (780Wh) battery gives the bike a good battery range that’s comparable to many of its competitors.
We came to this conclusion after conducting two range tests on the bike, one in PAS 2 and the other on PAS 7. In the lower power test the Magicycle lasted 60.61 miles before dying and in the high power test it lasted 28.32 miles before dying.
Compared to other 750W electric fat bikes, the Magicycle’s battery life is of a comparable distance and duration in both the high and low tests.
The fact that the battery is a 52V unit as opposed to the more common 48V units we see on most affordable fat bikes is interesting, and likely gives the bike slightly higher performance — which I will say was noticeable uphill and when accelerating. The higher voltage does hamper battery longevity, which is why the Magicycle’s range is shorter than some of its competitors spec’d with smaller batteries.
Magicycle Cruiser Review: Hill Test
The Magicycle Cruiser is no slouch uphill, largely thanks to its powerful 750W rear hub motor and its 52V battery.
We did two timed laps on the Magicycle up our test hill Hell Hole, once using just the throttle and again on PAS 7. Hell Hole is a one-third of a mile long steep with an average gradient of 12 percent, which is plenty to puch most e-bikes to their limit.
In the throttle only test, the Magicycle cleared Hell Hole in 1:15.00 with an average speed of 14.5 mph. And in the PAS 7 test, the Cruiser made it to the top in 1:06.00 with an average speed of 16.4 mph. Both of these are great results that are near the top of our all time leaderboards on Hell Hole.
The Magicycle’s climbing capability is likely not just due to its powerful 750W motor that makes 86Nm of torque, but also the fact that it’s spec’d with a 52V battery which gives the motor an extra hit of juice.
Braking is the Magicycle’s weakest suit; the mechanical disk brakes spec’d on our review bike are the worst performers we’ve tested by a large margin.
The brakes on our review bike clamp down on 180mm rotors front and rear.
Detail of the Magicycle’s front fork.
Magicycle Cruiser Review: Brakes and the Brake Test
The unbranded mechanical disk brakes spec’d on our review model of the Magicycle Cruiser are by far the bike’s weakest link. They stop so poorly that I’d actually describe them as unsafe for a bike capable of such high speeds.
In our brake test, where we take the average stopping distance of five full-power stops from 20 mph, the Magicycle Cruiser came to a stop at an average of 28-feet-8-inches — the worst result we’ve recorded in our brake test by a sizable margin.
For context, the Magicycle’s stopping distance from 20 mph is a full 13 feet longer than the current 15-feet-8-inch average of all the bikes we’ve reviewed thus far — almost double. This is a concerning result for a bike capable of 30 mph, and casts considerable doubt on if a rider could control the bike’s speed should they need to slow down quickly. To be sure these braking results weren’t a fluke or result of rider error, we actually repeated the Magicycle’s brake test four times with four different riders, and each retest yielded similarly poor results.
Reached on this issue, Magicycle responded that they would no longer be spec’ing the Cruiser with unbranded mechanical disk brakes and would instead be switching to a setup from Tektro. They even went as far as to send us a set of the Tektro brakes as proof.
But due to Electric Bike Report’s policy of testing e-bikes as they’re sent to us, and over concern that we could not independently verify that Magicycle had in fact swapped brake manufacturers, we continued testing the Cruiser with the stock brakes.
If you’ve ordered a Magicycle, reach out to us and let us know what type of brakes you received and tell us your experience with them.
Magicycle Cruiser Review: Ride Comfort, Handling and Cockpit
Handling wise, the Magicycle Cruiser does well.
Like most affordable electric fat bikes, the Cruiser is going to be most at home on bike paths and light-duty gravel roads. The handling is fairly neutral, relaxed and intuitive, which is what I think most rider’s interested in this category of e-bike are looking for.
Its cockpit setup is fairly standard, with a eMTB-style riser bar, a Tourney thumb shifter, twist throttle and an easy to read display in the center of the handlebars. There’s a broad comfort saddle, a rear rack and even integrated front and rear lights — all fairly expected in the affordable fat bike category.
All-in-all, it’s a comfortable e-bike.
The Magicycle Cruiser’s display.
A wide and comfortable saddle supports your rear end.
The Magicycle’s cockpit is fairly standard for an affordable electric fat bike.
A rear rack, integrated lights and fenders front and rear.
Magicycle Cruiser Review: Summary / Where to Buy
For the past several years, or at least since e-bikes became really in demand, many industry observers have described the affordable e-bike market as the Wild West of the bike industry.
I’d say that’s a pretty apt assessment.
As the affordable e-bike market exploded and became flush with cash from naive first-time buyers, so too did the market explode with e-bike brands looking to cash in on the frenzy. There’s a nearly innumerable number of affordable e-bike makes, models, styles and flavors to choose from, and though on paper many of them seem very alike, there certainly are good choices and there are bad ones. Knowing the difference between the two — the good and the bad — can be difficult, especially for a first time e-bike buyer.
In the case of the Magicycle Cruiser, it’s not an e-bike I can recommend. It’s not terribly uncommon for us to see an e-bike that arrives with any one of the issues we’ve encountered on the Magicycle, but the multitude of issues with this bike — it’s very high speed paired with an inability to slow down safely — creates a compounding effect that in my assessment is just unsafe.
If you’re considering the Magicycle, my suggestion would be to take a look at any one of the dozens of competing affordable electric fat bikes that are spec’d and priced similarly but made by companies with a more established reputation. Check out our reviews of other affordable electric fat bikes if you need a nudge in the right direction, there’s many e-bikes on that page we’ve happily put our stamp of approval on.
Like many other affordable electric fat bikes, the Magicycle Cruiser is sold online and shipped directly to your door.
‘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 Magicycle Cruiser.