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Himiway Cobra Dual Suspension Fat Tire Ebike – Test and Review

Updated April 9th, 2024

HIMIWAY Cobra ebike review

Manufacturer and Model: Himiway Cobra
List Price: $2399


Summary

The Himiway Cobra is an offroad beast with full suspension, a 750 watt motor, extra wide tires, and a 20 ah battery. The Cobra suspension does a good job of smoothing out rocks, roots, and logs when going offroad. The torque sensor gives it excellent control for riding in tight technical terrain. The Cobra is available with a rear hub motor or a pro version with a 1000 watt mid-drive. It is one of the best fat tire electric bikes out there for riding offroad.

What we liked:

  • Cushy ride over rough terrain with full suspension
  • Very long range with 20 ah battery
  • Can go up to 25mph on throttle or PAS
  • The torque sensor makes the bike easy to control at low speeds and tight spaces.
  • Very sturdy and robust bike construction
  • Easy to read LCD display
  • Easy to use controls and thumb throttle
  • Lots of traction on loose surfaces

What we didn’t like:

  • The bike is heavy at 88 lbs and challenging to load on bike racks
  • Shimano Tourney shifter
  • The torque sensor makes it challenging to pedal up to 25mph
  • No available fenders

HIMIWAY Cobra product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 25 mph
  • Range – 80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 400 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 88 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt rear hub
  • Battery – 48 volt 20 ah
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch x 4.8 inch tires

Himiway Cobra Review and Test

Himiway claims to be the long range ebike experts. We have gone on some epic length bike rides trying to drain batteries on our other Himiway ebikes. I’ve always loved mountain biking so I jumped at the opportunity to test out the Himiway Cobra which is their full suspension fat tire ebike. The Cobra has 80mm of travel in the front and rear suspension with an air shock at the rear end. The Cobra is available in 2 versions. The Cobra and the Cobra Pro. We got a regular Cobra for this review. The Pro adds a 1000 watt mid-drive motor to give it even more climbing performance.

Himiway-Cobra-forest-trail

1 – 750 watt geared rear hub motor

The Cobra is powered by a 750 watt geared rear hub motor. It has 86nm of torque. It can produce up to 1000 watts of peak power.

Cobra motor and disc brake

2 – 48 volt 20 ah removable battery

The Cobra has a 48 volt 20 ah removable battery. It is built using either Samsung or LG cells depending on the pack that you get. The battery mounts up into the downtube. One thing to note about the Cobra is that the battery tends casing to get dirty because the bike has no fenders. It’s right in the spray path of the front wheel.

Cobra battery

3 – 4.8 inch wide fat tires

The bike comes with CST Roly Poly 4.8 inch wide 26 inch tires. They have mega amounts of grip on dirt and offroad surfaces. They may be a little bit overkill for paved riding. They have lots of cushion.

3 – Full suspension

The Cobra has front and rear suspension with 80mm of travel at both ends. This is not a lot compared to a conventional mountain bike. Most trail bikes with 29inch or 27.5 inch wheels start around 120mm and go up from there. The Cobra has big giant fat 26 inch by 4.8 inch tires that provide a lot of cushion even without the suspension. More travel really isn’t needed. At the front end, there is a coil spring shock that has a preload adjuster and a hydraulic lockout. An air shock would have been nice to match the tunability of the rear air shock, especially for heavier riders.

Cobra suspension and pedal driveline

Air spring rear suspension

The rear suspension uses an air spring shock. You can tune it to rider weight by adjusting the air pressure. The manual mentions other tuning adjustments but I don’t see them on the shock that came with my bike. Only the air pressure seems adjustable.

Air springs are much better than coil springs for adjustability and smoothness. I was really excited to see the air shock on this bike when I opened it up.

One downside to an air spring rear shock is that will need a special air pump to adjust the shock pressure. You can’t use a regular bike tire pump. It looks like a Schrader valve on the shock. It needs a special fitting for it. The air pressure inside the shock can be 125 psi to over 200 psi. You need a pump designed for this purpose. You can pick one up off Amazon for a little under $30.

4 – Torque Sensor

The Cobra uses a torque sensor for pedal assist activation. It has 5 PAS levels that give proportionately more assist. The motor activation is very responsive to pedal force. It’s smooth and natural feeling while riding. Acceleration is very strong at max PAS settings. It’s very mild and easy to control on the lowest setting. This is a nice change from the Himiway Cadence sensor bikes which seem to go full blast on all PAS levels.

5 – Power (9.0/10)

The Cobra is powered by a Himiway 750 watt geared rear hub motor and 48 volt battery. This gives it good power for accelerating and riding at high speeds. The motor makes a bit of noise when it powers on but not too bad. It does groan and moan during slow steep climbs when it loads up.

Top Speed

The Cobra comes set from the factory with a top speed of 20mph for both pedal assist and throttle. We took it to a long straight smooth path and measured the top speed we could get using a GPS. The GPS measured speeds came in right around 20mph for both pedal assist and throttle.

  • Throttle – Max Speed GPS – 20.0 mph
  • Throttle – Max speed shown on display – 19.8 mph
  • Pedal Assist – Max Speed GPS – 20.3 mph
  • Pedal Assist – Max speed shown on display – 20.1 mph

The Cobra has the option of increasing the top speed to 25mph in the options menu. There are good instructions in the manual for setting the speed. We maxed out the speed setting and tested out the top speed again. We got around 25mph with both throttle and pedal assist.

  • Throttle – Max Speed GPS – 24.8 mph
  • Throttle – Max speed shown on display – 24.7 mph
  • Pedal Assist – Max Speed GPS – 25.1 mph
  • Pedal Assist – Max speed shown on display – 24.9 mph

Hill climbing

I took the Cobra out to my standard test hill. This is a 1/2 mile hill with 10% grades. I use a 250 lb rider. I do the test twice with throttle only and with max pedal assist. I use the factory settings for top speed and power. We got the following test times.

  • Throttle Only – 1 min and 51 seconds. Average speed 17.18 mph
  • Pedal Assist – 1 min and 43 seconds. Average speed 18.32 mph

The times came in a bit faster than the Himiway Zebra we tested earlier this summer. It beat the Zebra by 6 seconds with throttle and 12 seconds with pedal assist. I was expecting the Cobra to be a bit slower since it has wider tires and a rear suspension. I was a bit surprised that it was faster.

Himiway Cobra hill climb test hill

6 – Range (10/10)

I took the Cobra out for my standard range test to see how far it would go on a charge. I use a route that goes from around home, out to a park, around a lake, and back again. It has some steep hills along the way. I use a 250 lb rider and ride as close to 15mph as possible. I did the test twice. Once with pedal assist and once with throttle only. I do both tests as close to 15mph as possible.

Pedal assist

For the pedal assist route, I settled on PAS level 3. This gave a decent amount of help on hills and made it easy to go 15mph. The Cobra went 55.3 miles with 1338 feet of climbing before the battery gave up. The bike did not go as far as the Himiway Zebra which came in at 63 miles. Both bikes have a similar motor and battery. The Cobra has bigger wheels and a rear suspension which reduces its efficiency. It has a torque sensor which should have increased its efficiency over the Zebra cadence sensor.

Throttle Only

I set out again using throttle only. I kept the bike as close to 15mph as possible. The Cobra went 40.2 miles with 803 feet of climbing before the battery gave up. This was only about a mile less than the Himiway Zebra for the throttle only test.

7 – Ride and Handling (9.5/10)

I spent a lot of time riding the Cobra both on and offroad. The 4.8 inch wide tires give it very good traction on soft surfaces as well as providing a good amount of suspension. The Cobra makes a good offroad bike for Jeep trails and dirt roads but is also at home cruising around on pavement.

Comfort

The Cobra suspension and fat cushy tires can smooth out almost anything. The rear air shock is adjustable so you can tune it as stiff or soft as you want. It almost makes this bike feel numb riding on pavement. It’s not a bike where you feel every crack in the pavement jammed up your spine. It feels more like riding around on a moon buggy that absorbs everything. The seat is nice and wide with enough support to sit on it for long rides.

The motor is quiet with only a little bit of hum. The tires do make a lot of road noise because of their offroad tread.

Cornering

The Cobra has a very long wheelbase at 51.1 inches. This makes it very stable straight lining. It does a good job of gripping the pavement taking corners at higher speeds without feeling too squishy. The tires get very grippy feeling doing slow speed tight corners and almost give the bike a bit of an oversteer feeling. If I was going to ride this bike mostly on pavement I would probably swap the tires out to something more appropriate for paved riding.

8 – Braking (9.0/10)

The bike has Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors. They are adequate for stopping this bike. A quad piston front brake would be a nice upgrade if you wanted a bit more stopping power. Every set of Tektro brakes we have tried on an e-bike has started squealing by the time we are finished with the review. This bike was no different. They work but they are not the most quiet disc brakes out there.

9 – Offroading with the Himiway Cobra

Offroad riding is where the Himiway Cobra really shines. It is very comfortable to ride on rough Jeep trails and dirt roads. I spent some time riding it around on a local mountain bike trail to see how well it would work there too. The Cobra is really happy on wider Jeep trail type terrain. It likes going fast through the dirt. I could have fun all day blasting along jeep trails with the Cobra.

The 4.8 inch tires do really well on soft surfaces like loose dirt and mud. They really keep the bike hooked in. Using lower tire pressure in the 10-15psi range really helps for traction and comfort when going offroad.

On a true mountain bike trail the Cobra has some limitations. The Cobra is really fun to ride through fast and flowy sections where you can keep the speed up. It is a long bike and is not that nimble going around a lot of tight corners. The bike is just large sized to try and squeeze through small spaces. The torque sensor gives very good slow speed control which helps.

The second area where the Cobra suffers is on steep technical climbs. The Cobra will do it but you can hear the motor really whine and complain when it is under a heavy load going very slow. This is where the Cobra Pro with a mid-drive would do much better. The Cobra has no problem going up straight steep climbs where you can keep it moving. For slow steep windy climbs with a lot of roots where you are crawling up the hub motor shows its limitations.

Cobra on mountain bike trail

10 – Controls (8.5/10)

The Cobra has simple and easy to use controls similar to what we have seen on other Himiway bikes. They don’t have a fancy color LCD display. They give you what you need to make riding enjoyable.

Himiway Cobra handlebar controls

LCD Display

The bike has a simple black and white LCD. It’s very easy to read in bright and dark conditions. It shows speed and battery remaining. We prefer a battery display that shows percentages instead of bars. Bars get the job done. Black and white LCD screens do not look as nice as color when you are standing around with the bike. They are easier to read in bright daylight while riding than color LCDs.

Cobra LCD display

Control buttons

The Cobra has a 5 button controller on the left handlebar. It gives you a + and – button for changing PAS level. It has separate buttons for power, lights, and info. I prefer having a separate dedicated button for lights rather than pushing and holding a button or hitting a combination of buttons. I have no complaints about how Himiway does the control buttons on their bikes. It’s simple but it works well.

Himiway Cobra buttons and throttle

Pedal Assist and Throttle

The bike has 5 levels of pedal assist that give proportionately more power for each level. The bike has a torque sensor so it does not operate at fixed speeds. The bike will go at any speed at any assist level. We found ourselves riding in level 3 most of the time with level 4 and 5 for steep climbs.

A thumb throttle on the left handlebar is used for motor control when you don’t want to pedal. I’m a fan of thumb throttles over twist throttles. I was happy to see they went this way for this bike instead of the twist throttle that was on the Himiway Cruiser and Himiway Zebra we reviewed.

7 speed pedal driveline

The Cobra has a Shimano Altus derailleur and Shimano Tourney shifter. I hate seeing Tourney components on any bike that costs over $500. They are on a ton of bikes up to $2500.

The pedal driveline has enough range for easily riding up to 21-22mph. Above that you are spinning out the crank and it’s difficult to ride faster with pedal assist. You have to work hard to get 25mph while pedaling because of this. This is one of the downsides of a lot of torque sensor bikes.

11 – Assembly Ease (9.5/10)

The Zebra was easy to assemble with just a few steps required. The bike comes mostly assembled. There are no fenders or racks which usually add a lot of steps to the process. All you really have to do is attach the handlebar, mount the front wheel, and attach the front light. This was one of the faster bikes I’ve gotten for assembly.

Himiway Cobra shipping box and packaging
Cobra included tools and parts

Assembly Time – 45 minutes

It took me about 45 minutes to go from box to ready to ride (not counting charging time).

Extra tools required

No extra tools are needed except for the pump to adjust the rear shock. A multi-tool is included. There is no step where you need more than one tool to tighten anything.

Adjustments needed

The rear derailleur on my bike was adjusted correctly out of the box. This is rare. We have had to adjust it on the majority of e-bikes we have gotten to get smooth shifting.

See Parktool for how to adjust a rear derailleur if your bike doesn’t shift smoothly.

12 – Accessories

The Cobra doesn’t come with many accessories. Just lights. There is a rear rack available for it from Himiway. There are no fenders or front racks available for it.

Lights

The Cobra has a front headlight mounted on the front shock absorber. They include a rear light that mounts to the rear seat. The rear light is just a small battery powered flashing light you have to manually turn on, on the light itself. The front light has enough brightness for riding at speeds up to 10-15mph. Above that you would really want something brighter. Offroad riding at night is a lot easier with a helmet mounted light to supplement the bike mounted light. That way you can always see light where you are looking.

Cobra front lights and fork adjustments

13 – Size and Fit

I’m a little under 6′ and the Cobra fits me really well. I have plenty of room standing over the top tube. Someone several inches shorter than me could comfortably ride it. I have a 6’7″ friend who I ride with who felt the Cobra worked well for him. The Himiway 5’5″ to 6’5″ rider size range is accurate.

They publish a max capacity of 400 lbs for the Cobra. This bike would be good for larger riders out there. The only area of concern for really throwing the weight on the bike would be the front shock. It will start to bottom out on big hits for 300 lb and up riders. This is where an air front shock would have been really nice to tune the suspension for heavier riders.

13 – Portability

This bike tips the scales at 88 lbs. It has a very long wheelbase of 51.1 inches. I use a 1Up Superduty rack. The Cobra is below the 75 lb weight limit with the battery removed. The Cobra barely fits into it lengthwise. I would check the specs of any rack you want to use for this bike carefully to make sure it will fit.

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

The Cobra is a lot of fun to ride offroad. The full suspension does a great job of soaking up the bumps. It makes a great bike for cruising on Jeep trails and dirt roads. It’s not too shabby on pavement either. If you are going to ride it up a lot of steep technical climbs I would look at the Cobra Pro with a mid-drive motor. If you are riding on average offroad hills then the 750 watt rear hub motor has plenty of power for the job.

HIMIWAY Cobra product image

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Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com