Revi eBikes Cheetah Review

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Revi eBikes Cheetah Review

The Revi Cheetah is a cafe racer styled electric bike. The cheetah comes as either a 48V with a 13Ah Battery or as 48V 17.5Ah battery bike. For this review, we reviewed the 48V 13Ah model. With a tower ebike score of 51, the Revi Cheetah gets a mediocre ebike rating. It gets a specialty score of 52, also rating it a mediocre eBike. 

DISCLAIMER - Revi and Cheetah are trademarks of REVIBIKES, and use of that trademark in this review does not indicate that the reviewer is claiming any interest in the mark or any affiliation with or sponsorship or endorsement by REVIBIKES.

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Revi eBikes Cheetah Review

Today, we will review and rate the Revi Bike’s Cheetah Café Racer styled electric bike. It scored a 51 on our Tower eBike Score of 100-Point Scale, rating it as a mediocre bike.

But before we get into the scores, I’d like to introduce myself first. My name is Stephan Aarstol. I’m the founder and CEO of the Tower eBike Repair Shop here in San Diego where we see various models of e-bikes come through every month, which gives us the unique perspective to see the quality and reliability of a wide array of brands and models of eBikes. We're here to share what we've learned. 

In this review, our mechanics will lend their bike expertise of thirty years in the e-bike industry. Additionally, our staff has a decade of experience with e-bikes, and personal electric vehicle electronics, including electric skateboards. Hence, they have an excellent grasp between good and poor quality e-bikes.

Most consumers get confused about the quality of electric bikes – they don’t know what to look for. Looking for the ideal e-bike is no joke when it comes to costs. E-bikes cover the gamut, and can cost at least $500 and upwards of $15,000 and more. There are a lot of varieties when it comes to e-bikes, and it may get hard to tell which ones are good quality. Fortunately, we've created the Tower e-Bike Scoring system, which is a one hundred-point scale. We rate each bike from 1 to 100 based on seven different key attributes. Then, we normalize those scores to get a 100-point score.

Our scoring system is similar to the Wine Spectator Score. It’s a single score given to wine bottles that give people an insight into the wine’s quality (with no mention or regard to price) without the need to taste or buy them first. It’s an excellent way for those new to wine to have an idea of the wine’s overall quality. We do the same thing with e-bikes. We give each bike a single score to give you a quick insight of the bike’s overall quality without the need of testing them out because we have done that for you.

Behind the scenes, our mechanics score each eBike on a very structured array of over 400 data points across, over what we consider the 40 critical eBike attributes. Everything is feed into our spreadsheet based scoring system and it kicks out reliable and consistent scores across the 7 core areas of focus. Price is not a consideration at all and it's not factored in. Every bike competes head to head with every other eBike, regardles if it's a $500, $5000, or $15,000 ebike. What you get as a consumer is a single point quality score that's comparable to any other eBike on the market, and it's further broken down into  the seven attributes that make up the Tower eBike Score, which are the following:

  • Materials quality
  • Mechanical quality
  • Low maintenance
  • Hill climbing ability
  • Range
  • Comfort
  • Universality

The first three attributes: materials quality, mechanical quality, and low maintenance focus on the build quality and components of the bike. The fourth quality, hill climbing ability, looks into the bike’s torque rating. Range, the fifth attribute, considers how far it can go before the battery runs out. Then we have the last two attributes, comfort and universality.

These are the attributes that we will rate individually, with a score from 0 to 10 to get our Tower eBike Score. We also have another score called the Specialty Score, which is also based on the attributes listed above, except for comfort and universality. Comfort and universality are important. Most ebikes are made comfortable for commuting because you need to ride them for longer distances. And for universality, most bikes are made quite adjustable to fit a general audience. However, the Specialty Score omits the last two attributes because there are bikes made for a specific size person or a specific type of performance, where comfort and universality are afterthoughts.

For instance, specialized bikes like mountain and road bikes are built for performance. Therefore, comfort is sacrificed as it is not necessary for their primary intended function. It’s similar to high sport – you’re not using the bikes for relaxation or strolls. Instead, you are using these types of bikes for engagement and performance. So, if you’re looking more on the bike’s overall quality in terms of performance, you may look into our Specialty Score as well. It largely depends on the type of eBike you are looking at, but both scores are available to you to assess. 

The Revi eBikes Cheetah is a café racer-style bike, which is a unique eBike look. Let’s get into reviewing and rating it using our different key attributes.

Materials Quality: 5/10

The first attribute we look at is materials quality, and the Revi Bikes Cheetah scored 5 out of 10.It has an aluminum frame with some nice touch points on the seat, pedals, and grips. The company used decent quality materials to build this e-bike. I think its overall materials quality would improve if they used a better quality for its seat. But for a beach cruiser style bike, the materials quality is not bad. However, one downside I noticed is that they put cheap tires on this, which is common to many ebike brands. The tires are very cheap – like the cheapest ones that you can find. Although the build is decent, spending thousands of dollars for a bike with cheap tires stings a bit. They are not puncture-resistant. Hence, having bike tires like this will lead to frequent flat tires, which will not only be a hassle, but cost you more over time.

In addition, getting flat tires on an e-bike is a hassle. for repairing the rear tire you need to first disconnect the electric parts before being able to replace the tire. We see this scenario in our electric bike repair shop often because bike owners don’t want to change tires themselves because it’s a complicated task. Also, the tires can be heavy, so they turn to repair shops for tire replacement. Suffice to say, it's more complicated that repairing the tire on your kids bike. Overall, the Revi Bikes Cheetah gets a five out of ten on materials quality.

Mechanical Quality: 5/10

The second attribute that we look into is the mechanical quality where the Revi Bikes Cheetah also received a 5 out of 10. It’s nice to see that it has hydraulic disc brakes, which you will only see often on higher-end bikes. For lower-end bikes, they often come with traditional mechanical disc brakes.

The problem with mechanical disc brakes is that they need constant adjustment on its calipers after every hundred miles of use or so, so every few rides on an eBike. You’ll need to adjust them in every two, three, or four rides, which adds to your maintenance headaches. If you don’t adjust them, the brakes will get looser until they won't work anymore, which is dangerous of course. This is equivalent to having a bike (a fast one as it has an electric motor) with no brakes at all, which is very dangerous.

Hydraulic brakes are better as you don’t need to adjust them. It will automatically adjust everytime you squeeze the brake trigger. That's the beauty of them for eBikes. As a result, they are self-adjusting, which means less maintenance over time. Although expensive, having hydraulic brakes on your e-bike provides a huge benefit compared to traditional mechanical brakes. So, we give the Revi Bikes some points for that.

Additionally, we noticed that there is not much suspension on this bike, and we think that it should have front suspension. It's a bit odd that it doesn't even though it has a huge front fork – like a two-pronged fork. It lacks suspension but it does has fat, balloon tires which add a bit of cushion on the ride to this e-bike. Most e-bikes, mopeds and motorcycles come in fat tires for the added cushion of the tires, which add a bit to the suspension.

The other components on this bike have low to mid-range quality, so it lost some points for that. Overall, the Revi Bikes Cheetah got a score of 5 out of 10 for mechanical quality.

Low Maintenance: 5/10

The next attribute is low maintenance. From a scale of one to ten, the Revi Bikes Cheetah also got a score of 5 for this attribute. I'm sensing a trend! The low maintenance attribute looks into how often this bike will be repaired. The higher the score here, the less issues you can expect. This is all based on the eBike design, and the quality and reliability of its components and mechanical parts.

The biggest issue with this bike is its tires. It also has a mid-range derailleur. The only part that doesn’t require too much maintenance on this bike is its hydraulic brakes. It has decent parts, but not super high-quality parts. Hence, a mediocre score of five for low maintenance. Still, better than a lot of eBikes. 

Hill Climbing Ability: 9/0

For our next attribute, hill climbing ability, the Revi Bikes Cheetah gets a high score of 9 out of 10. It’s an excellent score. Hill climbing ability is essential, and some companies overlook this factor. In the Tower electric bike repair shop, we highly consider this attribute as one of the essential uses of bikes is transportation. If you have a friend that lives up a hill, or you do, or there's a hill in between you, you want to have a bike with an ability to climb hills effortlessly. Hills are why Americans don't commute on regular bikes IMO! Ebikes are transportation. If your electric bike can’t do hills, then it’s a big problem. Some ebikes brands quote motor wattage but lack gearing and the battery to support the motor adequately, so the whole system design is important. 

The Revi Bikes Cheetah has a 750-watt rear hub on a 48-volt system. They also have adequate gearing. Hence, a 9 out of 10 for hill climbing ability. Well done Revi. This is their strongest rated area! 

Electric Bicycle Range: 2/10

The fifth attribute that we will rate for the Revi Bikes Cheetah is the range. Here, we look into how far the bike can go before its battery runs out. Batteries are the most expensive components found in an e-bike, like up to one third of the overall production cost if a brand invests in a quality battery. It’s also one of the indicators that can help us tell a high-quality and poor-quality electric bike apart. While the Revi Bikes Cheetah did a good job on hill climbing, but they fall short on range. They failed to match the powerful battery with a sufficient quality and capacity e-Bike battery. 

It’s best to check the cells of the battery. Most companies, especially the cheaper low-end ones use Chinese cells. It may have decent battery power at first, but it will degrade quickly over time. So if you get non-branded Chinese battery cells that claim to have an excellent range, they're probably lying. Even if not, after a few months, it’s going to have a different range of power as lower quality cells degrade performance wise very quickly. 

Unfortunately, the Revi Bikes Cheetah have batteries with Chinese cells. Therefore, it will degrade year after year. It’s also a poor match to pair its powerful 750-watt hub motor with an undersized battery pack. Although the batteries can be upgraded, it can be expensive - like $600 to $1000 just for a quality battery pack replacement if they even offer one. Worst case scenario, you can't even buy quality cells for this eBike because they might not offer them now or in the future. It's uncertain. 

However, there are still consumers that gete seduced by the sticker price of an eBike and just go for the parts that the base model comes with and see where it goes – we don’t recommend that. Upgrading your battery is a better option as it’ll make you more confident with the range of your bike. It may come at an affordable price, but its configuration won’t be as good as high-quality battery cell bikes. Hence, a two out of ten for the Revi Bikes Cheetah on range. This is their weakest score by far. 

Electric Bike Comfort: 5/10

The next attribute is comfort where the Revi Bikes Cheetah scored a five out of ten, which is average. This is almost like a chopper style bike. You are in a slightly hunched over sitting position on this bike. It also has no shocks but has a bit of cushioning due to the balloon tires. As a result, it offers adequate comfort on the road. Additionally, the seat is excellent and they also have the right raked back handlebars. All of these are critical features when going at farther distances. It has decent comfort attributes, but not close to the comfort quality of high-end bikes. So, the Revi Bikes Cheetah gets a mediocre score of 5 out of 10 for comfort.

Universality: 5/10

The last attribute that we will rate is universality, Here we look into the bike’s versatility to fit different types of riders. We look if it has a universal fit design. The Revi Bikes Cheetah scored a 5 out of 10 for this. Although it’s not a step-through bike, it has a low seat. Hence, different kinds of people can easily get on this bike. The step-over design is only subtle, so it may limit shorter adult riders and kids.

The low seat post also has a lot of adjustability. Its handlebars are also adjustable. So, overall, it gets a 5 out of 10. The fit of this bike is customizable enough to fit different kinds of rider, but the quality is mediocre.

Tower e-Bike Score: 51/100 | Specialty Score: 52/100

Combining the score of the seven attributes give the Revi Bikes Cheetah an overall Tower eBike Score of 51 out of 100. For the Specialty Score, we omit comfort and universality. The Revi Bikes Cheetah gets a 52 out of 100. The last two attributes add a bit of score to put this bike in the mediocre rating.

eBike Weight: 76 pounds

We also look into the bike’s weight. Although we don’t factor this in the Tower eBike Score, we still like to provide consumers with the true weight of this bike. Most companies list in their specs on their websites an estimated weight or they just flat lie about it often times (it's silly). So, as a remedy, we've got into a habit of throwing every eBike that comes thru our shop up on the scale so we can provide you their true weight with the battery on the eBike.

The Revi Bikes Cheetah weighs 76 pounds, which is heavy. Really heavy. 76 pounds is a hefty weight. It has a beefy frame and front shocks. If you live in an apartment, it will be hard to lift this bike to transport it or store it. Unlike beach cruiser bikes, some of the low-end, traditional ones will weigh only 30 to 35 pounds. Our Tower electric beach cruiser only weighs 51 lbs and it has a high capacity battery. If you live in a place that requires you to lift your electric bike frequently, then consider this bike’s weight.

Of note, the Revi EBikes website doesn't bother to list the weight of this bike. That's usually telling when they don't list it - translation... crazy heavy :)

eBike Aesthetics

We also give you our take on the bike’s looks. We don’t factor this into the Tower eBike Score. And frankly, look at the picture above and decide for yourself! Looks are subjective, and it depends on a person’s preference. But we still give our assessment. 

We say the Revi Bikes Cheetah looks cool! Especially to those who prefer cafe racer types. But it looks a bit more like a motorcycle than an eBike, so that might be an issue if you're cruising down the interurban trail or boardwalk at 25 mph. It has a nice front headlight that actually intentionally makes it look like a motorcycle. Its design has a battery pack that goes on the frame, placing it in a position that makes it look like a gas tank. Most people will probably think that this one is a motorcycle instead of an electric bicycle. It is what it is, as they say. 

In the Tower eBike repair shop, we prefer e-bikes that still look like traditional bikes so you can take them on trails without getting nasty looks. Also, it’s less trouble as some bikes that look like motorcycles or mopeds are going to get regulated. It’s best to consider if you want an e-bike that looks like a traditional bike or a motorcycle.

Low Proprietary Risk: 3/10

In addition to the weight and looks, we also have one more rating to give that is also not included in the Tower eBike Score. We call it the low proprietary risk, and we score it from one to ten. Here, we look into the company’s reliability and more specifically the degree to which this eBike is built with proprietary parts (which is a bad thing, usually). This rating answers questions like, if a bike company goes out of business or discontinues the bike model, will they still manufacture parts to support the model? Also, we look into the viability of this bike getting fixed in case the company discontinues production or goes under entirely.

Most ebike companies come and go every two or three years. It's shocking, really. This is something we have experienced in the Tower eBike Repair Shop. Riders bring in a bike brand that went out of business and looking for components is difficult especially if the company uses proprietary parts instead of standard off-the-shelf bike components that we can substitute.

For the proprietary risk score, the Revi Bikes Cheetah got a low score of 3 out of 10. Brands are always optimistic and seem to do things this way. They have a lot of proprietary parts on the electrics, including the motor. Revi Bike is not an e-bike company from a branch of another highly-diversified company. Hence, there is a risk of this company going out of business. We believe that 90 to 95% of the e-bike brands in business today will not be here in five or ten years, and many in just a few short years. We've seen this happen in different highly fragmented industries, especially in high-growth markets, which have even more turbulence. Even the biggest players that raised hundreds of millions of dollars have not just the possibility of going out of business, but the overwhelming likelihood, of going doing so. As a result, you don’t know which companies will last and continue to support their bike models.

As such we tend to recommend consumers go with electric bike companies that use off-the-shelf parts because their parts are easier to find and replace if (and really when) said company implodes. You can have an ebike that can last for five to ten years or more - honestly that should be the expectation with a quality electric bike brand. If you’re going to get bikes with proprietary parts, it’s equal to getting a $2,000 piece of equipment that you can no longer use if some little thing goes wrong, which always does, even on the best of quality eBikes. 

The Revi Bikes Cheetah has a few standard parts like the tires. It has a standard 26x4-inch fat tires. It also has other standard parts as well, however, the electric components will be difficult to repair or replace. Overall, a 3 out of 10 for proprietary risk. So you've been warned on that front! 

Conclusion

That's it for the Revi Bikes Cheetah. It has a Tower eBike Score of 51, rating it as a mediocre e-bike. Feel free to check out our site for more Tower e-Bike Scores on a growing list of other electric bikes that come through our eBike Repair Shop here in San Diego.


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DISCLAIMER - Revi and Cheetah are trademarks of REVIBIKES, and use of that trademark in this review does not indicate that the reviewer is claiming any interest in the mark or any affiliation with or sponsorship or endorsement by REVIBIKES.


Stephan Aarstol is an American internet entrepreneur and author of the book The Five Hour Workday, which is based on Towers' invention of the 5-hour workday in 2015 that would eventually spread the idea to over 10 million people worldwide. Since founding Tower in 2010, it has gone on to become one of America's fastest growing companies and Mark Cuban's best investment in the history of Shark Tank. Tower has diversified into a direct to consumer electric bike company called Tower Electric Bikes, a beachfront event venue called Tower Beach Club, and NoMiddleman.com, where consumers can shop all the world's finest direct to consumer brands from one easy place.