2023 Hot eBike Bakeoff: QuietKat Lynx vs Talaria xXx

I’ve been asked more and more to review eBikes coming online, so in the interest of time here’s a quick comparison of two that caught my eye:

2023 Lynx. Source: QuietKat

QuietKat Lynx (cafe moto) — $3,999

  • Motor: 1000W 2 Speed Hub Drive (Variable Power Output)
  • Range: 63mi
  • Battery: 20Ah/48V/960Wh
  • Power: 83Nm Torque/1440 Peak
  • Max load: 300lbs
  • Top Speed: 28mph
  • Weight: 100lbs
  • Regenerative: No
2023 xXx. Source: Sur Ronster

Talaria xXx (stunt) — €2.400 ($2,500)

  • Motor: Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM)
  • Range: 60k (40mi)
  • Battery: 40Ah/60V/2400Wh
  • Power: 45Nm Torque
  • Max load: 165lbs
  • Top Speed: 46mph
  • Weight: 125lbs
  • Regenerative: Yes

There are a ton of eBike reviews floating around already. They never seem to appeal to me, so maybe that’s why I’m being asked to add mine to the growing pile. I’ve not yet seen these two compared. Here goes:

A simple bake-off had a surprising result for me because the winner turned out opposite to first impressions:

  • Weight: Lynx 100lbs
  • Speed: xXx 46mph
  • Strength: Lynx 300lbs
  • Range: Lynx 63mi
  • Cost: xXx $2500

3 for the Lynx vs 2 for the xXx, and if I properly weight (pun not intended) the categories I care most about the Lynx is much further ahead.

I mean on first glance (maybe it was price tag) I felt the pull of a stupid-fast and light xXx. It’s powerful and nimble for fun rides, perhaps too much fun. I could see myself breaking it.

Where the Lynx shines is engineering for things more relevant to my interests: practicality, offering durability and distance. It hints at something more like “slow and steady” Dakar and much, much less at kids doing “endless burnouts in high school parking lots” or… *shudder*, white technocrats cruising Palo Alto.

Notably, the xXx has reliability issues with its motor cutting out without warning. That’s ok on fun rides, maybe. NOT acceptable for basically everything else. A dead 125lb bike at intersections or on trails… nope. Riding wheelies on the xXx and… ugh, why am I even looking at a bike marketed as xXx? Go away SEO bots.

When you’re ready for real life with responsibilities, the Lynx seems to be thinking about much more rational features for respectable long hauls (not the LOOOONG 200 mile haul of the new Buell but 63mi is plenty).

One nagging detail that kept me on the fence is regeneration of energy. Given the utility of eBikes for remote mountainous terrain (somehow I always end up on) a regen all the way down sounds great. Really great. Speaking of which, allegedly one of the reasons a xXx motor quits and requires reset is trying to regen over 90% causes thermal trouble. I’ll take a working engine over any regen one that abruptly quits, natch.

Even so, lack of any regen feels like oversight from QuietKat, especially given how they reference a Colorado mountain test environment and promote mountain this and that in their specs. Getting up to high elevation campsite is no bother if you know you have the option of charging back down.

As a final note, linking to a trailer seems like something Talaria doesn’t even think about, yet Lynx has a beefy cargo rack already setup behind the saddle and then offers options like their “Cargo Trailer”.

100lb capacity in a sizeable trailer is more than than enough for light Nextgen Anti-Tank Weapons. Source: QuietKat

If they spell cat with a K and they call a bike the Lynx, shouldn’t this be called something more creative like the “KatBox”? I’ll be here all week.

The cargo trailer doesn’t say it works well with NLAW mounts but you get the idea. QuietKat otherwise doesn’t hide the fact that they market towards “scout ahead” and the toughest “protect and serve” riders who “mount guns, bows, and more”. Remember their “Jeep” model? Maybe they should offer a decal set for riders to show how many helicopters downed or turrets popped? On a similar note their “Game Trailer” with the picture of a deer carcass doesn’t say it can be an ambulance gurney or extract wounded… but again, you get the idea.

Old side-car thinking ruins the anti-mine singletrack sensibilities of modern eBikes

All of this brings to mind military-grade engineering, regulated (in a good way) with long-term dependability for quiet professionals. The xXx however says race-to-the-bottom throwaway nuisance toy.

Between these two eBikes I might use an xXx for a few light-duty recreational trips, as a quick replacement for gas, but the Lynx seems far more likely to be the kind of infinitely useful bike I’d want to ride and ride and ride.

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