Full-Suspension HovScout Puts Power and Comfort in the Hands of the Average Rider

The time for this year's outdoor adventure is just around the corner. It should help to see what's available on the bicycle market in terms of a capable machine for low bucks. This is where Hovsco and their HovScout full-suspension e-bike come in.
HovScout MTB 6 photos
Photo: Hovsco / Edited by autoevolution
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Let's face it. Very few of us need or would use a bicycle designed to bring home gold medals. But everyone wants as capable a machine as possible for as low a price as possible. Cue the HovScout fat tire full-suspension e-bike. It's that monster of a machine that you see in the image gallery.

Now, the HovScout is built by a crew that we've covered on several occasions, Hovsco. Just to bring you up to speed, this crew has made a name for itself by offering capable bikes on a budget most of us can handle. For example, the Scout is selling for a reasonable $2,500 (€2,300 at current exchange rates). So let's take a closer look to find out what's in store for your summer rides.

First off, the Scout is a fat tire bike, and that sets some limits to your riding experience. For example, larger tires are great at offering a bigger contact patch with the ground, but that's only a good thing on certain terrains. Loose leaf litter and gravel are typically a problem because that debris doesn't allow the tires to touch solid ground.

HovScout MTB
Photo: Hovsco
Aspect number two is a fat bike's innate ability to be more sluggish on the turns. Again, a larger contact patch is to blame. But not all is lost. For your average rider that won't be flying down hills, catching airtime, or carving their way through virgin terrain, fat tires bring a whole lot of comfort to your experience. Think about it: 4 in of air sit between the bike's rim and solid ground. It feels like riding balloons. Couple that with a suspension fork that boasts 80 mm (3 in) of travel and a rear shock, and we may be looking at one of the softest rides this sort of cash can buy.

All that sounds absolutely amazing for dirt roads, sand, and even snow, but the downside of a full-suspension two-wheeler comes to light in an urban setting. Because the rear construction is meant to buckle under pressure, softening up your travels, it also means that precious energy is lost whenever you're out dominating the urban jungle. Don't worry, though. Hovsco added a shock with lockout, so this won't happen if you don't want it to.

However, the Scout is an e-bike, so none of the above matters. As I mentioned, Hovsco is fearless in putting power in the hands of its would-be customers, and so they've strapped a 750 W motor to the rear hub of the Scout. With the ability to crank out a whopping 85 Nm (63 lb-ft) of torque, riding uphill should feel like riding on a flat surface. Speaking of flat areas, the motor can achieve a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph). This can be done with nothing more than a throttle function, but kicking your legs is sure to squeeze out a bit more speed. That's one power-hungry motor, so we're going to need lots of power. Well, a 720 Wh battery boasts a solid 60 mi (97 km) range under optimum testing conditions. Since you'll be soliciting the motor quite a bit if you ride off-road, expect that range to drop. The presence of a cadence and torque sensor is sure to optimize the flow of electrons in your battery.

HovScout MTB
Photo: Hovsco
A cool feature that this manufacturer also includes in their batteries is an LED light strip that can be used to illuminate surroundings at night. This is rather neat if you and your loved ones decide to take a trip out of town and camp overnight. I do recommend picking up an extra battery for such adventures. Considering one of these packs can take up to seven hours to recharge, a second is a must for long rides.

One aspect of the Scout that I don't quite understand is its ability to support up to 450 lb (204 kg) of weight, with the bike included, which weighs 72.8 lb (33 kg) on its own. Since I didn't notice any cargo racks on the bike, that weight limit is reserved for the larger humanoids among us. You may have never considered this a problem, but folks like Shaquille O'Neal need to have bikes built specifically for their dimensions and weight. Hovsco seems to have bypassed any need for a different bike builder by simply crafting a solid machine that can carry the biggest of us.

While a 7-speed drivetrain with a 14-28T cassette won't do much for your legs, this is an e-bike we're talking about, so that won't matter much. But be happy that hydraulic brakes with 180 mm (7.1 in) rotors are in place, as you'll need the stopping power.

All that's left to do now is figure out how to take a test ride on a HovScout and go from there. Just be warned: the level of softness this bike can offer, you're bound to be tempted to write that check. Something to think about over the coming days.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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