Meet the KBO Breeze Commuter Electric Bike
Spring is slowly creeping up on us, and if you live in a place where it snows, you know all about cabin fever – not to mention lockdown fever. Over the last year, we have enjoyed more time outdoors than we have in years, and eBikes have become a way we commute, ride for recreation, and cruise to the craft breweries in River North here in Denver, known as RiNo.
If you are not a hardcore cyclist or only are looking for a way to get to work that’s a little greener and a lot more fun, eBikes are an appealing category for many different reasons.
If you are looking to get from A to B and don’t want to arrive looking like you just got off the treadmill, then this might be a good bet and a hell of a lot better than riding one of those electric scooters. They are also suitable for weekend rides where you want to push your limits a bit but still have some juice if you go a little overboard.
We got a hold of the KBO Breeze, a rock-solid commuter, that we took through the paces of urban commuting and trail riding. So here is what we thought.
Build Quality: For the $1399 price tag and two-year warranty, you are getting a lot of bike for the cost. Like many brands that have popped up in the eBike world, KBO is focused on direct-to-consumer sales, which allows them to keep the price lower without sacrificing quality.
So what about the quality?
The KBO Breeze comes in two models, a standard and a step-through model, both priced the same, with the step-through being more for comfortable cruiser types (aka older riders). The standard Breeze comes exceptionally well equipped for the price and is built like a tank, literally. Coming in at 62 lbs, these are not light, and if you are going to put them on a rack, you need to remove the battery to reduce the load, probably no more than two on a rack – but check the capacity before attempting.
You also get about $200 worth of accessories, including a 16/1 bike tool, water bottle cage, fenders, and a fantastic rack. So, all in all, the build is great, the battery is swappable and relatively standard (easy to replace), and you get an incredible value for your moola.
How Does It Ride?
Let’s start with the good stuff first. The Breeze can be ridden as your standard 7-speed bike if you want to get some exercise, with a pedal-assist when you want some extra push or full throttle. If you are a commuter or recreational rider, it’s great to have all these options so you can dial in the bike for precisely what you want to do. Sometimes we go out on ours and never turn it on, as the Shimano 7-speed is perfect for an extended cruise when you want some exercise.
The gears and shifters are basic Shimano components but decent quality and can take a fair amount of abuse, even from the novice rider. The critical thing to remember is that your eBike is like a car and definitely should be given a tune-up every year to keep it in good shape.
The sustained 500W brushless geared hub motor has plenty of power and can quickly get you up to 22-24 mph if you are pedaling hard; we have hit 25 mph on the flats with it (but it is rather loud). They have also given you a front suspension fork that you can turn on and off to adjust to how much cushion you want depending on the surface. Having suspension is clutch, especially when you want to ride on gravel trails and need that extra relief from the bumps.
The added rack allows you to strap on a bag or other items to take your stuff along for the ride and not have to wear a backpack. They offer a bag on their site, but you can find cooler ones from brands like Chrome, which is what we use to port our computer, jacket, craft IPAs… you know, the essentials.
On one charge, you can go roughly 30-55 miles depending on how heavy you are and how much you are using the motor, so if you want to go further, it’s best to turn off the battery from time to time and just use a lower pedal assist mode.
If you are between 5’4″ and 6’4″, this bike should work for you, and if you are on the shorter side, you might consider the step-through model.
Now for the things we might change. The water bottle cage is a no can do, unfortunately, as the mounts are set on top of the frame, and while that makes it easier to get at, it also hinders getting on and off the bike.
As far as the throttle, we don’t love the twisting throttle and prefer more of a trigger, but you do get used to it, and neither of these should be a deal-breaker.
Overall, the bike rides well, can go the distance if you monitor how you ride it, and only takes about 5 hours to get a full charge, so if you are commuting to work, you can easily be back up to complete by the end of your workday.
Summary: The KBO Breeze is a well-built and very accessible bike for commuters and recreational users. It comes with reliable components and offers things that many other bike companies will charge you extra for, like racks and fenders. If you are looking to take the leap into ebiking and want an all-around type of bike that works on asphalt and gravel trails, you will be hard-pressed to find a better deal.
Pro Tip: If you plan to ride this bike on trails, you might consider getting Tannus Armour to prevent flats from thorns and other nasties. We have this stuff installed on all of our bikes, which will avoid a lot of aggravation.
For More info or to BUY the KBO Breeze – Go Here
KBO Breeze Specs and more info.
Removable 48V, 16Ah Lithium-ion Battery with Samsung Cells – Battery life is one of the most significant advantages of a KBO bike, rated for 900 full charge cycles. 768Wh capacity battery gives you up to 55 miles of riding on a single charge.
Powerful 800W (peak) 500W (sustained) Brushless Geared Hub Motor – Sustained 500W brushless geared hub motor will allow you to ride freely through the city blocks and hills just like the Breeze.
Quick & Smart 48V 3 Amp Charger – It only takes 5 hours to fully charge the battery, which significantly shortens the time between riding to keep up with the rapid pace of your commuting demands.
48V LED Headlight – Press and hold the “+” button for 3 seconds to switch on the light. This feature makes riding at night safer, allowing vehicles to see you. Editor Note – This light provides plenty of shine for late-night rides on dark streets or trails, definitely essential for safety and function.
Integrated Brake Rear Light: The rear light is an integrated brake light. The rear brake light will light up when you brake during your ride.
Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc Brakes: The sensitive brake system with the front and rear 180mm disc rotors can provide sufficient braking force even in the harshest conditions.
Shimano 7 Speed Derailleur: Shimano 7 speed gear shifter is designed for your riding experience and allows you to change the gears for adapting to different terrains on-demand.
Large-payload Rear Rack – The solid aluminum rear rack can perfectly carry various bike bags or allow you to bungee cord down your items. Editors Note: We recommend getting a Chrome bag or something similar so you can adequately carry items like jackets, wallets, beer, etc.
Twist Throttle on the Right Handlebar – Gently twist the throttle on your right hand to accelerate. Editors Note – This is just ok and requires a little practice to get used to; we prefer trigger-style throttles.
27.5″*2.4″ Panasonic Puncture-Resistant Tires – The tires are made of high-quality materials that are resistant to punctures from sharp materials. It is a bit wider than common tires, which makes your commuting journey more steady and smooth. Editors Note – GET TANNUS ARMOUR, this is the only way to prevent flats
Front Suspension Fork – The aluminum alloy front suspension fork has 80mm of travel, preload adjustment, and lockout. It has a good damping effect to reduce the feeling of bumps when riding on rough roads. Editors Note – This is an absolute lifesaver on gravel or mountain roads; while we wouldn’t go full-blown mountain biking on this, it allows you to get out in nature.
LCD Backlight Display – The display provides you with a variety of information to monitor your riding necessities.
Full Fenders: The aluminum alloy full fenders are super durable and protect you from water and mud. Editors Note – if you are commuting to work, well, these will prevent you from getting dirt and water splatters all over your nice hipster blazer. You can always take them off to lighten the bike if you don’t care about splatters.
Kickstand: The heavy-duty kickstand is made of aluminum alloy, which is rust-resistant, strong, and durable. Editors Note – you may think kickstands are dorky, but when your bike is 62 lbs. it’s fantastic to have it, and it does come in handy.