TST is a relatively new electric bike brand that was started in 2022. The TST Defender is one of their flagship models and we were excited to test it out and provide a thorough review.
We tested both the standard step-over frame and the step-through frame models. The TST Defender is a feature-packed electric fat tire bike designed for all-terrain performance. With a powerful 750 watt motor, fat 4-inch wide tires, and long-lasting 48V 15Ah battery, it can conquer just about any terrain while carrying you in comfort. It retails right around $1,199 which we feel provides a lot of value and performance for the price.
The Defender lives up to its name in being plush and comfortable while also having the power and durability to thrive off-road. The ultra-wide tires, front suspension, wide saddle, and upright riding position make it a bike you can ride all day in comfort across varied terrain. If you want an e-bike that can climb hills with ease, float over sand and snow, yet still cruise smoothly on pavement, the TST Defender is a top choice to consider.
- Very powerful 750W motor provides fast acceleration and high speeds
- Ultra stable and plush ride thanks to 4-inch fat tires
- Excellent traction on all types of surfaces including sand and snow
- Large 48V 15Ah battery provides up to 60 miles of range per charge
- Rugged build quality an d components handle off-road use
- Upright riding position offers comfort on long rides
- Responsive 7-speed Shimano drivetrain with quality derailleur
- Five levels of pedal assist for varied power when pedaling
- Slight delay in motor engagement when first pedaling
- Do not have brake light
- Pedal assist could have more variation between levels 1-5
Motor and Electrical Systems
The 750W rear hub brushless motor provides an immediate surge of acceleration as soon as you start pedaling. There is a brief lag as it engages but once powered up, it delivers swift speed. On straightaways we easily achieved over 20mph with minimal pedaling effort. It conquers steep hill climbs without hesitation or loss of momentum even fully loaded.
The power does take some getting used to as it can surprise you if you aren’t prepared for the initial launch. Starting off in pedal assist level 1 allows you to better control the powerband. The motor and drivetrain work harmoniously to maintain speed over varied terrain where some e-bikes struggle and slow down.
The 48V 15Ah Samsung lithium battery provides excellent range. During testing we achieved over 40 miles on a single charge using maximum pedal assist. For lighter riding you can expect 60+ mile range. It uses quality Samsung lithium cells and charges quickly. The battery is integrated cleanly into the downtube for a sleek look.
A bright LED headlight powered by the main battery provides visibility at night. The backlit LCD display shows speed, pedal assist level, distance, battery life, and more. It powers on easily with the integrated button pad.
Ride Quality and Performance
The ultra wide 4-inch Chao yang tires really give this e-bike its all-terrain abilities and plush ride quality. They absorb bumps and provide excellent stability even at higher speeds. The tread design delivers grip across surfaces from pavement to mud, sand, and snow.
The front suspension fork with 80mm of travel and lockout dial further enhances the plush ride. Together the tires and fork soak up bumps and vibrations exceptionally well. It almost feels like a full suspension bike gliding over surfaces and maintaining traction. Sitting upright with the swept back handlebars reduces fatigue on longer rides.
The hydraulic disc brakes provide adequate stopping power but we would prefer to see hydraulic disc brakes for even better performance given the bike’s weight. The 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain shifts smoothly through the gears. Overall the Defender handles well for a larger framed fat tire e-bike. The wide tires limit quick turns but add stability.
Comfort and Convenience
Several components contribute to the comfort and convenience built into the Defender.
Full-coverage plastic fenders prevent splashes and debris. An integrated rear rack holds up to 45 pounds of cargo. TST also offers a quick release front basket accessory for added carrying capacity.
For convenience, the Defender includes a thumb throttle so you can ride without pedaling if desired. The five levels of pedal assist allow you to fine tune the power output. Other accessories like the kickstand, chainguard, and bell add to the user-friendly nature of this electric bike.
Frame and Component Specs
The Defender frame is constructed from durable 6061 aluminum alloy in both a step-over and step-through design to suit different heights and mounting preferences. The step-through model provides easier on and off access. Both frame styles feel solid and robust.
A 750 watt brushless rear hub motor provides incredible power on demand. Five levels of pedal assist let you control the powerband. The 48V 15Ah battery uses premium Samsung cells for extended range.
Hydraulic disc brakes and 180mm rotors offer adequate stopping power. The suspension fork has 80mm of travel and a lockout dial for a plush ride. Chao yang 26″ x 4” Juggernaut tires have an aggressive tread for traction across terrain.
The Shimano 7-speed derailleur and trigger shifter provide smooth gear changes across the cassette. The drivetrain performs well managing the motor power and high speeds. The 70mm rise alloy handlebar, comfortable saddle, and pedals provide control and comfort.
Fenders, integrated lights, a rear rack, kickstand, and other accessories make the Defender fully featured for daily use. With puncture resistant tires, a rust resistant chain, and one-year warranty, it is built to last.
Our Take on the TST Defender
The TST Defender exceeded our expectations with its blend of rugged power and plush ride comfort. This electric fat bike feels more like a monster truck than a bike as it plows over terrain and climbs hills with ease. The ultra wide tires offer stability and absorb vibrations exceptionally well.
The powerful motor and long range battery provide confidence-inspiring performance on all-day adventures. Small issues like the glitchy speedometer and lack of hydraulic brakes do hold it back slightly. However, given the quality parts and reasonable price, the Defender offers outstanding overall value for an off-road ready e-bike.
Riders looking for a comfortable yet capable electric bike that can traverse sand, snow, trails, and anything in between should have the TST Defender on their short list. We feel it’s one of the best options out there for a sub-$1200 fat tire e-bike. With the ability to customize components like the seat, grips, and pedals, you can dial in the perfect fit for your riding needs.
So if you seek powerful performance paired with plush ride comfort, the Defender certainly lives up to its name. We applaud TST for delivering excellent technology, quality components, and all-terrain readiness at a reasonable price point.