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Rattan’s high-end Sequoia e-Bike
26-inch tires, 8-speed derailleur, 80-mile range, 28mph top speed
$2,199 (Currently on sale for $1,799)
RYAN: Listen, we’re not ready to rebrand as Believe in the Bike just yet, but we’re all about finding new ways to get around. After Robbe and Thomas put their own e-bikes to the test (the Engwe X24 and X26, respectively), I couldn’t resist when offered a chance to get in on the fun. After all, I ride a bike to the office every day of the week, so when a chance for a faster, higher-powered ride comes along, you know I’m gonna take it — especially with the coldest days of winter on the way.
So, when Rattan reached out with a few different bikes in mind, I was all too ready to plug in for some extra power. Rattan initially suggested its Quercus model, which comes with a sturdy cargo rack on the back, but I decided that the Sequoia seemed more my speed. Functionally, the two models are just about the same, packing identical motors, 8-speed derailleurs, and bright LCD computers. However, I’m not usually one to tote cargo, so I opted for the Sequoia with its larger tires and slightly taller frame.
Long story short, I just might be an e-bike convert. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
RYAN: I’ve been zipping around on the Rattan Sequoia for about a week now, and there’s quite a lot you should know about this speed demon. For starters, it’s fast. Rattan packed it with Class-3 speeds, which means it tops out at 28 miles per hour — a speed that I’m a little nervous to hit on the unpredictable Baltimore streets. The Sequoia is powered by a 48V, 960Wh battery that tucks comfortably into the frame and can easily be swapped out for a freshly charged cell.
You can also attach a second battery to the top of the step-through frame for additional range at the cost of a bit more weight. Rattan sent this second battery along, but my daily mileage hasn’t been enough that I’ve needed to attach it. When you do decide to double up on power, the Sequoia boasts a maximum range of about 80 miles before it becomes a normal, non-e-bike again. Thankfully, the bike only takes about four or five hours to charge back up with the included charger.
Outside of the battery, the Sequoia presents a pretty intimidating (in a good way) package. I have basically no qualms about tackling uneven terrain, thanks to the combination of 26-inch fat tires and front suspension. It’s all the encouragement I need to take the Sequoia off-roading through Patterson Park when parents and kids are enjoying their strolls on the paved sidewalks. Look, I’m just after any excuse for an adventure on the way to work, okay?
We’re not quite to the good and bad of the Sequoia yet, so let me get back to the important specs. You control this e-bike using the buttons attached to the left handlebar as well as the gear shifter on the right side. Rattan’s Sequoia offers five levels of pedal assist, ranging from having you do most of the work to letting the bike take over. You can also skip pedaling altogether using the throttle mounted on the left handlebar.
Between the two sets of controls lies a bright LCD panel that reads out your current speed, output in watts, battery level, and pedal assist setting.
RYAN: I don’t claim to be a mechanic of any kind. Changing a tire on my bike is about as close to a grease monkey as I’ll get. So, I was a little nervous when the Sequoia arrived in a massive box with a booklet of assembly instructions. As it turns out, the assembly itself wasn’t all that hard, but it’s probably a task best undertaken with help.
Long story short, you have to attach the handlebars, the headlight, the front tire, and the pedals of the Sequoia. None of the individual steps proved to be very difficult, though the weight of the bike itself can make things a challenge if you don’t have a way to prop it up. I ended up attaching the front wheel first so that I could stand the bike up before tackling the handlebars. All told, I think it took about half an hour of sweat and cursing before I had the Sequoia in riding condition — though again, I was operating a one-man garage in a small apartment, so not the ideal conditions.
Also, make sure you put the pedals on correctly. I got my rights and lefts mixed up and didn’t know that righty tighty, lefty loosey doesn’t apply in all situations, so I spent entirely too long trying to turn the left pedal opposite from how it’s meant to screw in. After a little more cursing and sweating, I got the pedals on properly, and it’s been smooth sailing — er, pedaling — ever since.
RYAN: Step. Through. Frame. No matter what else I have to say about Rattan’s Sequoia, the step-through frame is its best feature. I’m not exactly vertically gifted, so I’d pretty much have to hurdle a more traditional frame like the ones Robbe and Thomas received, but I can comfortably slip a leg right through the Sequoia. This helps to shift the (significant) weight of the bike a bit lower, which makes it a little easier to balance when I come to a stop.
Also, this is one sturdy bike. Everything on the Sequoia feels right, tight, and stable. I haven’t had to give offroading a second thought while zipping through Patterson Park, with the massive 26-inch tires chewing up everything in their path. The Sequoia’s suspension is smooth, too, dampening the lumps and bumps as I roll along.
It’s been a while since I’ve used a bike that actually shifts between gears, but the Sequoia makes it more enjoyable than I remember. I can easily pop between all eight speeds on the derailleur with my right hand, while the five levels of pedal assistance almost make the manual controls an afterthought. Personally, I prefer to limit my pedal assistance, keeping it closer to level two or three rather than all the way to level five. Sure, it limits my overall speed a little bit, but I feel like I maintain a bit more control this way and still feel like I’m doing a little work to get to the office. Don’t worry, I still hit between 23 and 25 mph at level three, so it’s not really like I’m slowing the Sequoia significantly.
Although I usually put in at least a little bit of work when riding the Sequoia, I don’t have to. If you really want to cruise, you can skip the pedaling altogether and crank the clutch. It’s… well, it’s a little bit terrifying, but also a lot of fun when zipping down a hill. The clutch is tucked on the left side below the pedal assist buttons, which means you never have to worry about accidentally shifting gears when you meant to punch the throttle or vice versa.
Rattan’s handlebar-mounted display is handy, too. It looks a bit like a dashboard in a modern car, showing the remaining battery, output in watts, and current speed, which just about covers the essentials. All of the dials are large enough to glance at without really having to take my eyes off the road, but the display itself is about the size of an iPhone 7 (around 4.5 inches across), so it’s small enough not to be intrusive.
All told, it doesn’t feel like Rattan has left a single detail of its flagship Sequoia to chance. It manages to mix comfort, speed, and smooth handling without totally breaking the bank (at least compared to some other e-bikes). I just might find myself reaching for an e-bike more and more often.Shop Rattan Sequoia
RYAN: You could probably guess this by looking at it, but the Rattan Sequoia is no small piece of hardware. It’s a rugged, adventure-ready piece of hardware and has the heft to match. I mean, e-bikes are automatically heavier than their manual counterparts, given the batteries hidden inside, but it does make for a challenge when walking the Sequoia out of my apartment building. Now, I haven’t tried to ride the Sequoia powered off as a traditional bike, but I can’t imagine it’s as much fun.
As a heavy bike, you automatically have to do a bit more work to move that mass, so you’ve gotta be pretty careful about keeping a charge in the batteries. You’ll also have to be mindful of where you park your bike. The fat tires and larger frame also mean that I can’t store the Sequoia in a traditional bike rack, though parking in my apartment is just fine, thanks to the kickstand. Also, if you do find yourself at Whole Foods trying to lock up your bike, I’d recommend a cable lock. Most U-shaped locks aren’t big enough to fit around the frame and a bike rack, so you’ll want a cable to loop through for security.
Oh, and the Sequoia isn’t fully waterproof, which is… not ideal. It has an IPX4 rating against water, which means the Sequoia is protected from splashes of water from any direction. While I’d prefer a little more protection against the elements — this is a bike to be used outdoors, after all — at least IPX4 means the Sequoia can handle puddles and a bit of rain or snow.
Outside of that, though, there’s very little to complain about with the Sequoia. It’s kind of expensive when compared to a traditional bike, but actually on the reasonably affordable end of the spectrum when put against e-bikes from other brands. Also, the Sequoia is currently on sale for the holidays, so it’s an even better value.Shop Rattan Sequoia
RYAN: I wasn’t sure that I would become an e-bike convert. For whatever reason, I just really like the amount of work I have to put in when pedaling my Fuji Feather to the office. It wakes me up on a cold morning and puts my head in the right space for work.
That said, the Rattan Sequoia has kind of won me over. It’s a blast to ride, and it cuts down on my commute time immensely. On top of that, using the pedal assistance means I’m not even sweaty by the time I reach the Believe office. It’s honestly the perfect complement to my Feather, offering an easier, more relaxed way to get around when I need it but also acting as an adventure machine when I’m itching for a little bit of off-road action.
Ultimately, I think I’m an e-bike guy now. I can finally join Robbe and Thomas in their electric biker gang and tear around the streets of Baltimore without a care in the world — except for keeping an eye on the remaining battery.
You can pick up the Rattan Sequoia for $1,799 (on sale from $2,199) directly from Rattan using the buttons below.
Ryan is kind of like Robbe’s Igor behind the scenes. He helps to compile and clean up everyone’s reviews, and finds time to get in a few miles of his own. When he’s not running or editing, Ryan writes and reviews for Android Authority, spending time with the latest tech and complaining when things don’t work quite right. If he’s not doing any of that, maybe you’ll find him nose-deep in a crossword puzzle or trying to catch up on an endless backlog of shows to stream.More from Ryan