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Troxus Explorer Electric Bike Review, 2023
May 09, 2023
Adventure awaits on this highly-capable Class 3 e-bike with awesome power and speed!
With fat tire e-bikes being a dime a dozen these days (or rather, many dozens of dimes per single – but still all over the place), it can be difficult for newer e-bike brands to differentiate themselves from the competition. With only a couple of years under its belt and a catalog chock-full of fat tire e-bikes, it’s fair to say that Troxus has such a challenge with the Explorer. We dive into the bike’s features and take a look at what separates it from the rest in this Troxus Explorer review!
As a Class 3 e-bike with throttle power up to 20 miles per hour and pedal-assisted speed up to 28 mph, the Explorer is seriously expeditious! Its 750W rear hub motor has super-speedy acceleration and a responsive cadence sensor for quick access to its substantial power.
We’ve come to expect such speed from most fat tire e-bikes, but the Troxus Explorer kicks things up a notch by featuring a full complement of quality components. Shimano, Bafang, and Tektro: these are just a few of the big names we see on the bike’s spec sheet, and all make parts with demonstrated performance and reliability.
We were seriously impressed by the Explorer’s uphill capability when pedaling, too. It’s not uncommon for e-bikes to struggle in their lowest pedal-assist setting, but for us, the Explorer confidently handled hills even in PAS 1.
Read on for more details about the bike’s specs, performance, and general ride feel in our Troxus Explorer review!
Bike Category:Fat Tire / Hybrid Path
Class 3 E-Bike:Pedal-assist up to 28 mph, Throttle up to 20 mph
Troxus Explorer Video Review
A fast, powerful, and responsive motor! The Explorer is a Class 3 e-bike with maximum motor assistance of up to 28 mph. It features a 750W rear hub motor with a sensitive cadence sensor for quick access to speed and power.
Quality components! With a Bafang motor, Samsung battery cells, a Shimano Acera drivetrain, a KMC chain, and Tektro brakes, you know you’re getting reliable, name-brand parts.
Solid uphill capability! The Explorer’s motor happily does 99% of the work and is quite functional when using pedal assist on inclines even in its lowest setting.
Commuter-friendly features! With lights, fenders, and a rear cargo rack, the Explorer functions as a weekend adventuring bike just as easily as a daily ride to work.
Solid range. With a demonstrated real-world range performance of between 26 and 72 miles, the Explorer lives up to its name!
Good aesthetics. With a high-step and step-thru frame design that comes in black, red, or blue, the Explorer is both accessible and visually pleasing!
Accessories! The bike is compatible with a range of optional extras like bags or baskets for both front and rear racks.
The Explorer’s gearing feels great at Class 2 speeds, lower PAS settings, and on hills – but we think a slightly larger 48T chainring might mitigate the ghost pedaling we experienced once the bike hit higher speeds starting around 24 mph.
We found the Explorer’s basic black-and-white LCD display to be functional, but also a bit dated. We’d love to see a full-color unit instead. Similar models from other brands also often pair with an app, which we think would be a cool addition!
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery : 48V/20Ah, Lithium, Samsung
Display: L401 LCD, Black and White
Motor: 48V 750W Hub motor, Bafang, 80 Nm max torque
Let’s start with the obvious: the Troxus Explorer looks great! Our test bike was the blue model (no fancy color names like “cerulean” or “electric blue” here), which allowed it to leap out from the row of more standard black, white, and grey frames we see regularly at the Electric Bike Report office. After getting my first look at the bike, I couldn’t wait to hop on and see for myself if its power matched its appearance!
As a Class 3 e-bike, the Explorer definitely delivered. Its 750W rear hub motor had no trouble getting up to the pedal-assisted speed limit of 28 miles per hour. Whether using throttle power or motor assistance when pedaling, the Explorer offered smooth acceleration and thrilling speed! I found that its cadence sensor responded to just a quarter-turn of the cranks and triggered the motor’s input quickly. This means you don’t need to put in a lot of effort if you don’t want to; this is a bike that wants to do most of the hard work for you!
We’ll examine the bike’s performance in our Hill Test later in this Troxus Explorer review, but we were pleasantly surprised by how easily it was able to handle inclines. Many of the e-bikes we have tested needed to be set to PAS 4 or 5 to conquer even small or moderate hills, but the Explorer’s motor was able to do the heavy lifting even in its lowest pedal-assist setting. This makes for an easier, more enjoyable ride without the need to burn through tons of battery power when encountering more challenging terrain.
With a 960 Watt-hour battery and a claimed range of 30-62 miles, the Explorer lives up to its name!
The Explorer’s 750W rear-hub motor delivers power in relatively even, measured jumps between PAS settings.
With fat tires, fenders, and a rear cargo rack, the Explorer is functional for a wide variety of uses in just about any environment.
The Explorer comes outfitted with a host of quality, name-brand components. With a Bafang motor, a Shimano Acera drivetrain with a KMC chain, Samsung battery cells, Tektro Brakes, and more – the bike’s price point is supported by some big names. The bike’s Uding suspension fork is the only outlier we could see, but even that part performed well for us.
We did notice some ghost pedaling on the Explorer when approaching maximum Class 3 speeds in its higher PAS settings. This wasn’t a deal-breaker for us, as it’s not altogether uncommon on similar e-bikes, but we did have some thoughts on how Troxus could improve the experience.
To learn more, and to see how the Explorer performed in our testing, check out the rest of our review below!
Troxus Explorer Review: Circuit Speed Test
Our Circuit Test, which is explained in the graphic above, is usually the first test we perform to become familiar with a bike. We start things off with no motor assistance to establish a baseline, and then increase the bike’s PAS setting to see how much of a difference its motor makes.
With no motor assistance, our time and speed on this first lap were exactly what we expected. As with most fat-tire e-bikes that weigh northwards of 80 lbs, pedaling the Explorer with leg power alone is not much fun! It IS possible in case you find yourself a short distance from home if the bike’s battery dies, but it’s not likely something you’ll want to do regularly.
The infographic shows a dip in average speed when we moved the Explorer up into PAS 1, which might (rightly) seem unusual. I chalk this up to our test rider TJ being tired after that first lap with no assistance, and taking it a little easier since the motor was engaged.
Most e-bikes with cadence sensors (the Explorer being a perfect example) use their pedal assist systems to set different “top speeds” at each PAS level. Their riders can pedal faster if they wish, but generally, this typically becomes more difficult on heavier bikes. In this case, the Explorer’s PAS 1 setting tops out at 10 miles per hour, so this is one more factor that likely contributed to our average speed result in this lap.
According to the Explorer’s webpage, its PAS makes a pretty substantial jump in power between PAS 1 and 2, moving up to a top speed of 15 miles per hour. This continues through its higher PAS settings to 20 mph, 23 mph, and 28 mph respectively. The data we gathered from our circuit test reflects these increases closely, with some flexibility granted for turns and uphill/downhill travel.
Overall, this distribution of speeds across the bike’s PAS settings feels pretty natural for an e-bike that has to balance 5 assistance levels and speeds between 0 and 28 miles per hour. We like seeing such a linear progression in assistance levels on this test because it translates to a more user-friendly and intuitive experience for the rider. This means that you get the speed boost you expect when increasing the bike’s PAS setting.
The Explorer comes with plenty of features that make it fun for running errands or commuting!
The Explorer uses an 8-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain.
The bike’s gigantic 960Wh battery is fully integrated into its beefy down tube.
Troxus Explorer Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
We perform our Range Test for a few reasons; first, to validate or refute the claims made by an e-bike’s manufacturer. We also use this test to evaluate the efficiency of the motor and battery pairing, as well as to determine if a battery’s capacity matches the needs of the motor and the design intent of the bike.
The Troxus Explorer’s 48V, 960 Watt-hour (Wh) battery has an unusually large capacity when compared to what we’ve seen on similar models, but one that we think matches the bike’s name and design intent. Troxus designed the Explorer to handle a wide variety of environments and to take its rider far; they advertise a range of between 30-62 miles. To establish their estimates, Troxus performed their own range testing on the Explorer “using a rider weight of 180lbs on 80% flat terrain,” as stated on the bike’s webpage.
In our testing, the bike achieved a distance of 24.7 miles using maximum assistance and 72 miles in PAS 1. We were very happy to see the Explorer’s results when using the minimum amount of assistance; considering the 10-mile-per-hour speed limit in this setting, we were unsure of how practical it was going to be. In most other cases, we would have increased our test setting to PAS 2, but with the Explorer’s jump to 15 mph there, we felt that it was better to be conservative.
In my experience, the Explorer still feels quite a bit like a non-electric bicycle in PAS 1, despite the benefit of its motor’s assistance. This setting takes the weight of the bike away and helps significantly on hills, so I do think it’s a practical setting for riders who still want to feel like they’re contributing to the experience. For this reason, I’m glad that we kept the bike in its lowest setting.
The Explorer’s result in PAS 5 is somewhat less exciting when compared to those of similar e-bikes, but it does match closely with Troxus’ claims. If we go by the math, a 960Wh battery should be able to power a 750W motor for roughly an hour and 15 minutes in this setting. We had slightly less time on the bike, but we don’t feel the difference is great enough to be concerned with; overall, the Explorer’s advertised range seems accurate.
As it is, the 25 miles we measured in PAS 5 should likely cover most adventures or commutes when traveling at its top speed of 28 miles per hour. As our Circuit Test results showed, the Troxus Explorer is also quite capable in its lower PAS settings – so if you need to travel farther, using the bike at lower speeds will provide extended range.
Troxus Explorer Review: Hill Test
We chose our test hill due to its challenging nature; it’s not a slope that most riders would choose to pedal up on a traditional bicycle, and it exceeds the difficulty of most hills that riders are likely to encounter. Therefore, if an e-bike can make it to the top of Hell Hole, it should be much less likely to struggle on more average-sized hills.
Our first run with the Troxus Explorer used only the bike’s throttle. The bike made the climb in just under a minute and a half, with an average speed of 12.5 miles per hour. This isn’t the best performance we’ve seen from similar fat tire e-bikes, but the Explorer made it, so we can’t fault it too much for its speed.
The bike’s result when pedaling at PAS 5, however, was excellent! With an average speed of 16.2 mph and a time of one minute and seven seconds, the Explorer easily kept pace with some of the better hill-climbers we’ve tested. The Explorer didn’t set any new records, but its performance was absolutely solid, and much better than we expected after its throttle-only trip.
To see what the bike could do in its other PAS settings, I tried the Explorer on less-extreme hills outside of our hill test, and was impressed with its performance! In PAS 1, the bike easily climbed hills that have proven challenging to similar bikes in settings as high as PAS 3. The bike moved expectedly slowly in this setting, but I never felt uncomfortable. Its abilities improved even more as I increased the bike’s pedal assist setting, with more power and faster speed, and its motor never struggled or sounded strained. When pedaling uphill, this thing is a champ!
The bike’s Kenda 26”x4” fat tires handle rough roads and loose terrain just as well as paved surfaces.
Knobby tread on the bike’s Kenda 26”x4” fat tires allow it to handle dirt, sand, and other loose terrain.
Tektro hydraulic disc brakes on 180mm rotors are appropriate for a Class 3 e-bike that weighs over 80 lbs.
Troxus Explorer Review: Safety and Brake Test
To ensure that the Troxus Explorer’s brake system can balance out its motor power and speed, we performed a Brake Test where we pedaled the bike up to 20 miles per hour, slammed on the brakes, and measured the distance it took to stop. When applying brakes, we kept our weight on the saddle and we maintained control of the bike, but our goal was to replicate the response of a near-emergency situation. We performed this test three times, then took the results from each test and calculated an average.
With Tektro hydraulic disc brakes on 180mm rotors, the Explorer’s average stopping distance was 21’-7”. This is about two feet greater than our average when looking only at the fat tire e-bikes we have tested, but certainly still within the expected range. At 83 lbs, the Explorer is decidedly on the heavier end of the e-bike weight spectrum, which likely had at least some influence on its brake performance.
We noticed that the rear wheel did have a tendency to lock up and skid when braking hard, but the bike’s size and weight were able to keep it stable and almost completely in line with its path of travel. All-in-all, we were happy with the bike’s performance and also with its overall braking feel!
As is common with e-bike braking systems, the Explorer’s brakes have a motor cutoff feature that prevents the brakes and the motor from competing to slow down the bike. When it comes to other safety features, there isn’t much to discuss aside from the included reflectors, headlight, and taillights.
While the headlight seems somewhat small and underpowered in the context of the rest of the bike, the taillights are a great feature. There are two taillights – one on each of the bike’s seat stays – that also function as flashing brake lights. This placement is becoming more commonplace, and for good reason; it allows for better visibility when carrying cargo on the rear rack that might otherwise cover a higher-placed single light on the underside of the saddle or the seatpost.
Troxus Explorer Review: Ride Comfort & Handling, Cockpit, and More
As a fat tire e-bike, the Troxus Explorer features puncture-resistant Kenda 26”x4” tires. These give the bike good traction on both paved and unpaved surfaces, and also help to soften the bike’s ride. In my experience, it handled well overall, although it is a large bike that feels its size in terms of maneuverability.
It’s worth mentioning that the Explorer comes in just a single frame size, which Troxus claims can accommodate riders between 5’-4” and 6’-10”. This seemed on the broad side to us, but we did our due diligence by having various testers between 5’-4” and 6’-5” ride the bike. All of those riders thought that the Explorer felt comfortable – so color us impressed!
While the Explorer is by no means an all-terrain e-bike or eMTB (we’ve seen plenty of similar e-bikes marketed as such), I did try it out briefly on sand and dirt to see how it would perform. To be clear: the bike is a hardtail, so it’s always going to be fairly stiff in rugged terrain, but I was generally pleased with its performance. The front suspension fork handled bumps well despite being a budget-tier component, and the bike’s tires carved nicely through loose ground. The Explorer’s motor did seem to struggle a little, especially in sand – but this is generally expected. Still, I might recommend sticking to more compact surfaces when adventuring.
In terms of the Explorer’s ride experience, I found it to be somewhat noisy. We were unable to determine the exact source of the noise – it was likely a combination of factors – but it didn’t affect the bike’s ride quality.
One thing that did, however, was the Explorer’s gearing. I found that I was frequently ghost-pedaling at my preferred cadence when traveling at speeds around 24 miles per hour and above, and I kept reaching for the shifter to find a higher gear (that wasn’t actually there). Upon comparing the Explorer’s specs to those of similar e-bikes that I felt more consistently engaged with, it seemed to me that the 46T chainring was the culprit. The Explorer’s gearing is great for lower speeds and hills, but we feel that the bike could benefit from a slight increase to a 48T chainring for better engagement at higher speeds.
The large black-and-white display is easy to read but also feels somewhat dated.
The saddle is generally comfortable and fits the Explorer’s overall styling.
We liked the bike’s textured traditional grips, and well-distributed controls.
Taillights with integrated flashing brake lights are small but nicely visible on the seat stays.
I’ve mentioned the Explorer’s cadence sensor in previous sections, but I do want to call specific attention to it again. This type of sensor is generally regarded as inferior to a torque sensor, due to being less responsive. The cadence sensor on the Explorer, however, is one of the better cadence sensors I’ve experienced. It takes just a quarter-turn of the cranks to engage initially, which is about as good as it gets. On top of that, it is sensitive enough when re-engaging the motor after braking or coasting that the response time is almost indistinguishable from that of a torque sensor. Considering that other successful fat-tire e-bikes are now starting to use torque sensors, I’d love to see one here, but regardless, I have to give props to Troxus for using such a responsive system!
When it comes to contact points, I found the Explorer to be generally satisfactory. The bike’s saddle was comfortable but didn’t match my personal preference in terms of shape. The pedals were basic but good – but I really liked the rubberized grips as well as the bike’s handlebar width.
The Explorer’s cockpit layout is basic but functional. As expected, the bike’s throttle lever and control panel are mounted to its left handlebar, with the shifter on the right. The control panel is a familiar design, with quick access to the bike’s lights and PAS adjustment. Additionally, it allows for fast and easy control over the bike’s top speed! This means that, when riding in more speed-restricted areas, you can effortlessly change the Explorer to a Class 2 e-bike by bringing its maximum speed down to 20 miles per hour (actually, 45 kilometers per hour, since this field doesn’t use the Imperial system for measurement).
Considering the Explorer’s price tag between $2,000 and $2,500, we were a bit surprised to see a simple, black-and-white LCD display. Many similar e-bikes at (or even below) that price point commonly use full-color screens, and some even pair with an app using Bluetooth. We appreciated that the Explorer’s display was well-organized and easy to read, but we’d prefer to see something more contemporary on the next iteration of the bike.
To wrap up this section, I want to be sure to mention the Explorer’s cargo rack and optional accessories. The bike comes equipped with a rear rack that has a fairly standard 55-lb weight capacity. This makes it functional for weekend adventures, but also for weekday trips to the office. With the addition of the optional front rack, or the baskets or bags compatible with both racks, the Explorer’s functionality can be expanded even more.
Troxus Explorer Review: Summary / Where to Buy
If I’m being honest, I didn’t expect to be wowed by the Troxus Explorer. I began this review by saying that there are plenty of fat tire e-bikes on the market, so it is difficult for newer models from less-established brands to stand out. This is true, but over the course of my time on the bike, I believe Troxus has successfully found its own place in a crowded market.
The Explorer may not break any new ground – but it is a solid offering that excels in both expected and surprising ways.
The bike definitely has the exhilarating power and speed that we anticipate from a Class 3 fat tire e-bike with a rear-hub motor. Its cadence sensor, however, is refreshingly responsive – which means that the bike’s power will be there when you want it! It is also unexpectedly comfortable and capable on hills, making it easy to cover just about any terrain without switching out of your preferred PAS setting. Furthermore, the spread of name-brand components included on the bike is appreciated – this inspires confidence in the Explorer’s ability to perform well over an extended period of time.
We do think that the Explorer would benefit from the inclusion of a full-color LCD display that might feel more up-to-date than its current black-and-white screen. And if we were really wishing, we’d love to see the ability to pair with an app for ride data tracking, easy Class setting adjustment, and some of the other commonly-seen features on similar fat-tire e-bikes. Additionally, while it’s a relatively minor gripe on a bike that wants to do most of the heavy lifting, we’d appreciate seeing a slightly larger 48-tooth chainring on the next iteration of the bike, as this would help to reduce or eliminate the ghost pedaling we encountered near the top end of the bike’s speeds.
As it stands, we think the Troxus Explorer is a great choice for riders drawn to the fat tire category – especially those who want a bike with speed, style, quality parts, and superior uphill capability!
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 Troxus Explorer.