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The Rhino from Zugo is a fat-tire eBike styled to look more like a gas-powered minibike than a classic bicycle. Rhinos come in two body styles: a step-thru frame for easy on-off access and a traditional high-bar design that echoes something like a Honda minibike of past decades.
The designers at Zugo tinkered with bicycle geometry for the Rhino. They eliminate the seat post, tilt everything back a bit, and put the rider on a long, wide, comfy padded seat that rests over the rear tire, where a cargo rack might be found on a classic bicycle-style frame. The result is a fun little minibike with a powerful 750W rear-hub motor that gives a pedal-assist boost through seven levels of increasing power or can kick in the juice with the throttle up to 20MPH.
The Rhino is a fun way to zip around, but it’s probably not an ideal commuter bike for regular trips to work. It doesn’t have cargo storage space since the rider is perched over the back tire where a rack would typically sit. However, there is a rear-rack accessory option, which is much smaller than many rear racks and rated to carry just 20lbs of cargo. So a cargo rack isn’t out of the question, just not as functional as on bikes designed to haul more stuff.
At 65 pounds, the Rhino isn’t the heaviest e-Bike around, but its bulky frame and fat tires make it less than ideal for multi-modal commutes. Imagine trying to lug a Rhino onto a bus or train on a daily basis – it may take some of the fun out of the ride.
Zugo offers two battery options: the standard 15.6Ah (750 Wh) powerpack comes with the base model for about $2,200. It’s rated for a 30-60 mile range. The huge difference between the top and bottom end of the potential range has everything to do with rider size and riding style – like how much throttle you use and which pedal assist level you set it at, for example. Or, for a $400 upcharge, you can get the long-range 21Ah (1 kWh) battery that can go 50-90 miles on a charge. With either of the two options, the battery pack is removable for easy recharging off the bike or to potentially swap out a backup pack to double your riding range, if that’s your thing.
With the power and mass of the Rhino, you’ve got the potential to get some pretty good momentum going when you get up near top speed of the pedal-assist power of 28MPH. Zugo engineers sensibly designed the Rhino with powerful hydraulic disc brakes that provide extra-powerful 2-piston stopping force.
The front suspension helps soak up some rough spots on your ride. The short and wide, 20″ x 4″ balloon tires also do their part to smooth the bumps on your road. It’s a hardtail with no back suspension, though, so it’s really not an off-road trail monster like a full-suspension mountain bike.
The handlebar and seat height support a wide range of adjustments for riders from 5’1″ to 6’5″, according to the company’s estimates. People on either extreme of that range may find the Rhino makes for a less-than-ideal riding experience, especially if you’re thinking of riding in the traditional bicycle style of pumping pedals to get to your destination. Fortunately, the Rhino adds power to your pedaling efforts, or even just by hitting the thumb-throttle to go faster, so it’s not all about how much or hard you can pedal.
This is the 21st century, so of course, there’s a cup holder built into the frame and a large display that keeps you posted on your battery charge, power assist level, and other key metrics as you ride. Additionally, there’s a USB charging port for your phone and other electronic devices to power up while you ride.
If you’re in the market for a fun minibike to zip around town and enjoy some recreational riding with an electric power boost, the Zugo Rhino may be the thing. If you want an eBike for a commute that involves a bus or a train or a need to park your expensive ride inside your office, the size and bulk of the Rhino may frustrate you. Going into the potential purchase aware of how you plan to ride and what you want to do with your eBike makes all the difference.
If you’re looking for a mini bike style e-bike, the Rhino is a great alternative to some of the more popular and more pricey mini bike style e-bikes. The Rhino provides plenty of performance and exceptional durability for an e-bike in the $2,000 range.
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