ProdecoTech Rebel X9 Electric Fat Bike Review Part 2: Ride & Range Test [VIDEO]
The ProdecoTech Rebel X9 fat electric bike is a big bike in every way!
It has massive 4″ wide tires that can handle sand, snow, dirt road/trail cruising, and they provide for a fun ride around town.
In addition, this all wheel drive fat eBike can handle almost any terrain.
And with its continuously variable drivetrain from NuVinci it is very easy to dial in your perfect gear ratio.
The 4 piston SRAM Guide hydraulic disc brakes do a good job of slowing this big bike down.
At $2,799 it offers a lot; 600 watt motor, large 36V 14.25ah battery, high quality components from Samsung, SRAM, NuVinci, Truvativ, and more!
And like all ProdecoTech bikes the Rebel X9 is assembled at their facility near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In this second part of the full review you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test results, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this electric bike.
Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with large pictures and specifications to get a detailed look at this fat eBike.
What you can expect from the ProdecoTech Rebel X9:
To get acquainted with the Rebel X9, checkout this video:
Riding the ProdecoTech Rebel X9:
If I had to condense the ProdecoTech Rebel X9 ride characteristics down to one word it would be “big!”.
The X9 is big in every way; from the ride style, to the tires, to the motor, to the fork, to the components, and to the hum of the fat tires on the road.
The X9 is a versatile bike that can go almost anywhere. It’s fun riding around town and noticing how people take a double take as you ride by on this monster!
It’s a also a great bike for riding dirt roads and trails because the massive tires provide great traction and a bit of suspension from the large volume of air that you are riding on.
Riding on sand is much easier when compared to a traditional mountain bike tire because these fat tires “float” on top of the sand instead of cutting in and bogging down.
Fat eBikes are also great for riding in the snow because they also tend to float on top of the snow instead of cutting in. Unfortunately it was not the right time of year for me to test the Rebel X9 in the snow so I can’t say how this particular fat eBike does on the snow.
I can tell you from previous experiences with front hub motor eBikes that they can be very helpful because they create an all wheel drive eBike: the motor powering the front wheel and your pedal power to the rear wheel.
This all wheel drive set up helps to pull you and the bike through tough sections of deep snow or other slippery and loose terrain.
The feeling of the front wheel pulling you provides motivation to put your power to the pedals to get through rough sections.
I have found that it takes some time to get used to powerful front hub motor eBikes and that you need to place enough weight over the front wheel in loose terrain to prevent the front wheel from losing traction. Speaking of that, lowering the tire pressure to accommodate the terrain you are riding on will help to improve traction.
One advantage of fat bikes is that you can lower the tire pressure to improve the tire traction while getting some suspension effect as the tires contours over rough terrain. For sand/snow conditions 8 psi is not uncommon with 15 psi for off road and 20 psi for riding on the road.
I did notice that riding on pavement with the lower tire pressures made the handling of the bike feel a bit odd. The 15-20 psi range was best for me for riding on and off road.
Those pressure probably seem ridiculously low when considering normal mountain bike tires (~2″ wide) but the large volume of air in these fat tires allow for the lower pressure without having to worry too much about a pinch flat.
With a normal bike tire, (~2″ wide) running lower pressure can put you at risk of pinching the tube and getting a flat (unless you are running a tubeless set up) and you won’t get the same suspension effect that a fat bike can provide.
Coming back to the front hub motor; by using the right tire pressure and maintaining weight over the front tire you can minimize losing traction while benefitting from the all wheel drive nature of these eBikes.
While we are on the topic of the front geared hub motor I will give you an idea of it’s performance characteristics.
First of all it does have some significant power (600W with 828W Peak) and torque to get this big bike up to a max assisted speed of 20 mph. 600 watts may seem like a lot for a front hub motor but it takes quiet a bit to accelerate large fat tires from a stand still up to and maintain 20 mph, so it feels like the motor is sized well for the size of this bike.
There is a small delay from when you twist the throttle and when motor kicks in to provide assist. This takes a little getting used to when compared to other systems that kick in immediately but it gives you some time to be ready for the pulling effect of the front hub motor.
Like all geared hub motors the motor on the Rebel X9 has a humming noise and it is probably more noticeable because it is on the front of the bike. Personally I got used to the motor noise because the fat tires also have their own hum when riding on pavement.
For those adverse to a front hub motors and/or motor noise you may want to consider the direct drive rear hub motors on the ProdecoTech Rebel X (rigid or with suspension).
ProdecoTech designed the double crown fork to handle the torque from the front hub motor and it definitely has a solid feel with no noticeable flex. The fork also adds to the tough style of the Rebel X9!
Even though running lower pressure in the tires helps with a suspension effect, in some rough terrain it would be nice to have a suspension fork. ProdecoTech does make a Rebel X with a suspension fork and a rear hub motor.
The Rebel X9 features the new ProdecoTech downtube integrated frame battery that uses 50 Samsung lithium cells (18650-29E) to create a a 36V 14.25ah (513 watt hour) battery pack.
The battery pack is fully silicone sealed inside and out which includes the ports for enhanced water resistance.
The battery can be charged on or off the bike. It is removed from the bike by unlocking it with the supplied key and sliding the battery pack to the side. Installing it is easy; attach the lower part of the battery and slide the top portion to lock in place.
The centered and low battery location is great for overall bike handling and it really blends in well with the look of the bike.
In many ways it is hard to tell that the Rebel X9 is an electric bike because of the integrated frame battery and the front and rear hubs that have similar sizes.
Now let’s talk about shifting “gears”, or lack there of! The X9 comes with the NuVinci N380 continuously variable rear hub that creates a simple drivetrain experience for bikes. Instead of specific gear ratios, this continuously variable drivetrain can be fine tuned from the low end to the high end to fit your exact riding cadence preferences. It has a 380% gear ratio range from low to high.
The N380 can be easily adjusted with the twist grip shifter on the left side of the handlebars. A good comparison is that you can adjust the gear ratio like adjusting the volume dial on a radio.
You can adjust the gear ratio when you are pedaling hard or not pedaling at all. Those are nice features when compared to the traditional cogs and derailleur drivetrains that can have some “hard shifts” when pedaling under load and they should not be shifted at a stop.
The NuVinci N380 ride feel is very smooth and fluid like and it allows you to make multiple quick adjustments to your cadence as you ride up and down hills or cruise along flat roads.
Here is a video from NuVinci with more info on their system:
According to NuVinci, the N380 hub doesn’t require any maintenance and it is a self-contained system.
The N380 twist grip shifter is on the left side of the handlebars and the twist grip throttle is on the right side of the handlebars.
I found that with the grip shifter on the left side of the handlebars it took some time to get used to it because my instinct was to twist it in the opposite direction than I meant to i.e. I reduced my cadence when I meant to increase it. After some time on the bike I got used to it but initially it seemed a little counter intuitive.
Slowing the Rebel X9 down is an important job because this is a big bike! The 4 piston SRAM Guide hydraulic disc brakes and Centerline stainless steel disc rotors are used front and rear and they do provide an impressive amount of power.
The Guide brakes have a wide range of power from just a little to full stop and everything in between. It is nice to have this progressive range compared to some brakes that have a full on or off feel. The Guide brakes have enough power for 1 finger braking.
The brake levers have a dial adjuster so that you can quickly set the brake lever reach that you prefer.
Speaking of the bike’s dexterity, ProdecoTech spec’ed lock on grips that have a very solid feel and it nice to have a bike come equipped with these right out of the box.
Another highlight of the Rebel X9 component spec is the TruVativ Hussefelt line up of handlebars, stem, cranks, and pedals. These are tough components designed for rugged riding and they fit the look and feel of the X9 very well.
For instance, the Hussefelt pedals have a very wide platform with a solid grip to keep almost any shoe on the pedals.
The VeloPlush saddle is a good all around saddle with a narrow front and wider back portion with a cut out in the center. Personally I found it to be comfortable while still being able to pedal in an efficient manner.
ProdecoTech Rebel X9 Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the ProdecoTech Rebel X9 electric bike performed on a riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.
While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed. I tested the Rebel X9 with a lot of assist with relatively easy pedaling on paved roads.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the Rebel X9 traveled 23.9 miles and did a total elevation gain/loss of around 2,000 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled very lightly this is good range for fat eBike with a 36 Volt 14.25 ah battery pack (513 Watt Hours) with a 600 watt motor.
The range was pretty good considering this is a fat eBike with high rolling resistance from the large tires.
Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.
Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weigh less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.
Speed: The Rebel X9 will assist up to 20 mph with the twist throttle.
Weight: The stated weight of the Rebel X9 is 66 pounds.
The weight distribution is pretty good with the battery integrated into the downtube of the frame. The large front hub motor does make this bike a bit more front heavy.
All Wheel Drive: For a fat eBike it is nice to have the all wheel drive set up of the front hub motor pulling as you add your pedal power to get through tough terrain. When combined with dialing the optimal tire pressure on the 4″ wide fat tires the Rebel X9 can ride on almost any terrain.
Integrated Frame Battery: This is a great location for the battery because it provides for good weight distribution of the battery and it blends in well with the overall look of the bike.
Assembled in the USA: Like all other ProdecoTech electric bikes, the Rebel X9 is assembled at their facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This is rare for a company of this size in the bicycle industry and especially unique in the electric bike industry. It is good to know that some of the purchase price of these bikes goes to employing workers here in the US.
Price: $2,799 is an impressive price for everything that is included in the Rebel X9. The electrical spec is good with the 600 watt geared hub motor and 36V 14.25 Samsung lithium battery integrated into the frame. The component spec is very strong with the NuVinci N380 continuously variable hub, SRAM Guide brakes, and healthy selection of Truvativ Hussefelt parts.
Heavy: The Rebel X9 is a big bike and that includes the weight at 66 pounds. It is also a bit front heavy with the front hub motor which makes is a little awkward when lifting the bike.
Throttle: The twist throttle on the Rebel X9 works well but compared to the level of quality of the other components (SRAM, NuVinci, Truvativ) it has a lower quality look and feel. It would be nice to see a higher quality throttle to match the rest of the bikes quality.
Noise: The geared front hub motor does have a significant hum and that can be distracting to some riders.
Overall the ProdecoTech Rebel X9 is an impressive fat eBike that is definitely worth serious consideration if you are in the market for an all terrain electric bike.
For $2,799 the ProdecoTech Rebel X9 offers a lot of value considering the features that it offers and the high quality component spec.
Please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test. This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability. My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes. If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.
Where to buy a ProdecoTech Rebel X9: Check with ProdecoTech for a dealer near you or purchase online.
Do you have any questions about the ProdecoTech Rebel X9? Do you own a Rebel X9? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you or not.
P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!
[…] Part 2 of the ProdecoTech Rebel X9 review will give you information on the ride characteristics, results from the range test, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this e-bike. […]
Murray McCall says
I found the report on the Rebel X9′ to be quite well written ……then I read what would stop me from buying the bike
Anytime I go to buy an eBike / Trike and I hear the electrical whine II immediately refuse to have anything to do with the noisy brand If the electrical motor makes noise KEEP it off of my bike……..If I want noise …I’ll buy a motorcycle…….one of the reasons for riding a bike is the silence…….from the looks of the
X9,Lets give it a Bosch [Ba Fang 8fun] bottom bracket, with a belt drive!! and the silence is golden!!