Harry here. Over the past few years, I’ve become a big fan of e-bikes. They’re also a great option for delivery drivers who live in busy and dense downtown areas. The cost savings are about 10x compared to a car, but which e-bike model should you consider?
I recently had the opportunity to try out the Rattan e-bike, and below, I share my experience with the unboxing and assembly, how it rode, and the price point for what you get.
The model I went for was the ‘Sequoia’ Rattan e-Bike.
Most e-bike companies will ship their bikes directly to their customers, although you can also find some bike shops that are willing to order/assemble for an extra fee. I like the convenience of home shipping, although it’s important to make sure you track the delivery and have someone home to receive the bike (it is not ideal to leave it on your front porch, but it is ‘hard to steal’ lol) then assemble it yourself (surprisingly fast/easy).
I’m located in Los Angeles, CA, so my book took just a few days to be shipped to me, but others may experience longer shipping times if you’re on the other side of the country.
Check out the conversation the RSG Community had about Harry’s experience over on his Facebook post!
As you can see, the bike came in a giant box. What’s nice is that it comes pre-assembled, so there are just a few pieces you need to stick together. I also went for the extra battery since the range is important for delivery drivers.
There is a front basket option when purchasing which might come in handy also.
I like that It came in several large pieces with all the fittings needed to put the bike together and clear instructions.
The Sequoia bike is very heavy-duty with fat tires for multiple terrain types, a sturdy frame, and front shocks.
It took me about one hour to set it up on my own. I didn’t need to substitute anything with tools of my own. It came with everything I needed for full assembly. Overall, it was a lot easier than I expected it to be, and I was satisfied with the end product. It looks great, and after a couple of months of riding, there are no issues with the assembly. I did a great job!
Mine is the Dark Blue option. There is also a Silvery Gray option available for purchase.
My Experience Riding It
It took about 4-5 hours to charge the batteries before it was ride-ready. But with a top speed of 28 mph, it does a great job of keeping a steady pace. When I went for top speed, I actually got it over 30 mph.
One small thing I noticed that I really liked was that you can power the LCD display on with just one tap/button. With other bikes I’ve tried in the past, you have to turn the battery on and then power on the bike, which can be a hassle if you’re doing this dozens of times a day.
The throttle has a lot of power and I actually could get riding over 30 MPH with just the throttle alone. This is a great way to get off the line at red lights so you’re not holding up traffic.
The total weight with batteries is about 88 lbs (with one battery, add another 11 lbs if you’re riding with both), so it’s a sturdy ride, but it’s not something you can easily pick up and move around as you might with a standard bicycle. So keep that in mind.
The step-through frame made it super easy to climb onto the bike and get going. I don’t know about you, but my knees aren’t the same as they were in my 20s, so I’m happy for anything that makes mounting a bike easier.
The bike seat itself was fairly standard and comfortable enough, but it was also easy enough to replace with whatever bike seat best suited your needs and wants.
Two of my favorite upgrades for an e-bike are:
If the bike doesn’t turn on when you press the power button, check to make sure the battery switch is flipped on.
The Sequoia also had a solid front light for night riding.
Range of Distance
With both batteries attached, you’ll obviously get a longer range than if you used just one battery.
According to their website, the range is up to 100 miles when using both batteries, which makes for a good, busy day of delivery gigs. The less you use the throttle and the less ‘speed assist,’ the more range you’ll get out of the batteries. Of course, this will depend on the terrain you’re riding on, weather conditions, traffic, etc.
I’d recommend taking it for a few trial runs in different conditions to get to know the bike so you don’t have to deadhead it home with no charge after a long day of working.
According to their website, the Sequoia bike’s list price (as of Feb. 2024) is $2,358, but it’s currently discounted to just $1,899. I also saw a couple of coupon codes, so make sure to peruse the site and keep an eye on the latest deals.
For example, there was a $50 off Valentine’s Day special, and you can sometimes save money by signing up for e-mail newsletters, so look around.
Overall, if you live in a bike-friendly city, an e-bike is, by far, the more affordable option than dedicating a car to delivery gigs. Save the wear and tear on your vehicle, and don’t bother with paying for gas for the fuel. Just make sure you charge your batteries overnight for a fresh start each day.
Delivery Driver Options
Obviously, an ebike of this magnitude could be a great option for people looking to do delivery with Doordash, GrubHub, etc. The front basket provides more carrying power, and the dual batteries allow for a longer day of work.
Using an ebike like the Rattan Sequoia will be easier on your joints than using a standard bicycle. And as mentioned earlier, can be a much more affordable option than depreciating your personal vehicle for deliveries.
Keep in mind the fat tires and larger framing make this bike difficult to lock up as it doesn’t fit standard bike racks. So, you might want to consider getting a strong lock on Amazon for when you’re parking at restaurants to pick up deliveries or if you don’t have storage space for it at your home or apartment.
Thanks to the front basket, you can use it as a personal vehicle to run quick errands outside of gigwork, saving money on gas for personal errands each week.