KBO Breeze Review

KBO Breeze
KBO Breeze

The KBO Breeze is an electric commuter bike that offers a lot for the price. At $1399 it is very competitively priced, especially considering the 48 volt 16 Ah battery it comes with. Most electric bikes for the same price have a smaller capacity battery. The Breeze also comes with a 2-year warranty which is twice the standard 1-year warranty for many ebikes. KBO is a newer company, but they’ve done a good job with their first product offerings. I’ve had a chance myself to put several miles on the Breeze and these are my thoughts.  

First off, the orange color pops! It has a metallic flake that shines and glistens in the sun. The fenders, rear rack, and suspension fork are all color matched. I appreciate such a vibrant color for a bike, not just because I like vibrant colors, but because it increases the visibility of the bike for added safety. But if orange isn’t your thing, the Breeze is also offered in black. See both options on KBO’s website.

 

Frame Style

The high-step frame of the Breeze is very reminiscent of Ride1Up’s 500 Series. Actually, several brands use this tried and true frame style because it’s strong and offers a very stable ride, even at higher speeds and under a heavy load. In fact, the Breeze has a payload capacity of 300 pounds.

The battery is semi-integrated into the aluminum frame, and is easy to remove for recharging or bringing inside. The battery can also be charged on the frame and has a handy USB port for charging your phone or other compatible electronic devices. The controller is exposed, but it doesn’t draw attention to itself. Overall, the bike has a good clean look. I also appreciate that the branding is minimal. KBO did a good job on the look of this bike.

Normally, I’m riding step-thru electric bikes due to my height, so it was nice to test out a bike with a high-step frame. The weight of the bike is balanced well on the Breeze, and it offers an incredibly stable ride even at higher speeds. Those are the pros of a high step frame. A few of the cons are that they’re more difficult to mount, especially if you’re shorter or have knee, hip, or balance issues.

I felt more of the bumps in the road on the Breeze as compared to the step-thru ebikes I’ve tried, but there is no speed wobble or frame flex.

And speaking of step-thru frames, the Breeze also has a step-thru version that will begin shipping soon. It has the same exact components of the high step frame, and I will be reviewing it as well. It will be fun to compare and contrast the riding experience of both bikes.

Recommended Rider Height

Even though I’m only 5’1″, I’m able to ride the Breeze without too many issues. The minimum seat height of 32″ accommodates shorter riders though you’ll have to toss your leg over the frame to mount the bike. With a max seat height of 40″ KBO recommends the Breeze for riders between 5’4″ and 6’4″. That’s probably about right.





If I were to make this bike my own, I would opt for a shorter stem to bring the handlebars closer to me. The 31.8″ stem diameter is standard sizing so finding an alternative stem to suit your reach or desired riding posture would be easy and inexpensive. For most people though the stem that comes with the bike is ideal.

Riding Comfort and Riding Experience

The Breeze has a semi-upright riding position, but also a little sporty since some of your weight is placed on the handlebars. This offers good weight distribution of the rider for an even more stable ride. I found the seat to be comfortable though since I enjoy pedaling so much I’d switch to a seat with a more tapered front to reduce rubbing. If you want to add a suspension seat post the 30.4 mm diameter seat post size on the Breeze is a common size so finding a suspension seat post that will fit should be easy.

Grips

The grips are comfortable and provide good support for your palms for a good ergonomic fit. The display, shifter, bell, and brake levers are positioned ideally. I’m able to keep most of my hand on the grip when changing pedal assist levels, etc.

Front Suspension

The Breeze comes with front suspension and 80 mm of travel it’s enough to take the bite out of the bumps in the road and prevent sore wrists. The suspension fork is also adjustable, so you can tweak it to your liking.

Electronics

The Breeze has a backlit display that shows your speed, distance, max speed, and trip distance, though I didn’t find a way to see how much wattage was being used. There is a bar indicator for power but not a number readout. The battery indicator is also graphical in nature and seems to be fairly accurate.

Pedal Assistance

There are 5 levels of pedal assist through the display, as well as a walk mode (hold down the minus button to use). Holding down the plus button and mode button at the same time turns on and off the integrated lights. A half-twist throttle is located on the right grip and offers full power whenever you need it.

Pedal assist level 1 offers very minimal assistance and the motor is extremely quiet at this level. I found myself using levels 2 and 3 most often. There’s no way to customize how much assistance the motor provides at each level. Still, I was able to find a comfortable cadence between the pedal assist levels and the 7 gears.

Throttle

I am impressed with the throttle because it is very smooth while still providing enough power to begin getting up to speed fairly quickly. The Breeze would make a very good choice for those new to ebikes because it doesn’t have quick herky-jerky starts. It’s a very approachable bike, even for beginners.

Cadence Sensor

While there is some delay between pedaling the bike and the motor responding, it’s what I would expect and desire. I think it’s actually more responsive than the Ride1Up bike I own. It is a safety feature that the motor doesn’t immediately kick on when you move the pedals. It’s easy to accidentally move the pedals when you’re at a stop or just moving the bike around in your garage or whatnot. You wouldn’t want the motor to kick on when you’re not expecting it, so it takes about a full pedal stroke to start the motor.

Lights

Both front and rear lights are integrated with the bike’s battery which I always appreciate. The front light is quite visible even in daylight and offers decent light during night. The rear light blinks when the brakes are used, even if you don’t have the lights turned on. That’s a very good safety feature.

 

Battery

The battery is one of the strongest selling points of the Breeze. Most bikes priced at $1399 come with a 10 Ah or maybe a 14 Ah battery. The 16Ah that KBO offers is a good deal. Basically the voltage determines how fast the bike can go and the amp hours determines the bike’s range. The Breeze has both good speed/power and range due to its battery. I think the advertised 50+ miles of range is very doable, especially when using lower pedal assist levels.

The Breeze is equipped with a Reention battery that uses Samsung cells. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a replacement battery well into the future since it’s not a proprietary design. That’s a big plus when deciding which ebike to buy.





Motor

The Breeze uses a 500 watt (800 watt peak) brushless rear hub motor that offers ample power to tackle almost any hill. I have no problems cruising up even fairly steep hills. It’s taken me up hills with only the throttle or with pedal assist, though if you use pedal assist you’ll be able to tackle even bigger hills.

The motor is fairly quiet and lower pedal assist levels, but more noticeable at higher levels which is typical for rear hub motors. The motor loudness is on par with other rear hub ebikes I’ve tried. It does seem more quiet than my RadWagon or the RadRunner I’ve reviewed in the past. I appreciate that the motor is very quiet in pedal assist level one. I don’t like riding by pedestrians with an obnoxiously loud motor, so it’s great that the motor is quiet in lower pedal levels.

The max speed of the Breeze is about 25 mph using the highest level of pedal assist and about 20 mph if just using the throttle. I was able to hit 21.3 mph using the throttle and that’s plenty for me!

Components

You’ll find name brand components on the Breeze. It’s equipped with a Shimano 7-speed thumb shifter, Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes, and a Shimano Altus derailleur. These are all very industry standard and what I would expect at the $1399 price point.

 

Right out of the box the gears were adjusted correctly. While I typically prefer hydraulic brakes, the mechanical brakes work just fine at stopping the bike within an acceptable distance. The 180 mm rotors offer plenty of stopping power and are ideal for a bike that weighs 62 lbs and is capable of speeds of over 20 mph.

The 27.5″ x 2.4″ tires are also ideal for a commuter style ebike that can handle some light off-roading. I rode the Breeze over gravel and dirt, and it remained very stable and fairly comfortable.

Accessories

Something I really like about the Breeze is that it comes with many of those must-have accessories for a commuter ebike. It comes with full fenders, a rear rack, integrated lights, and even a bottle cage holder made of metal.

I’ve had some trouble with the front fender rubbing on occasion. It’s a very tight fit against the front tire, and KBO is aware of this issue and is sending out a fix for this issue to customers that request it. It’s great to see that KBO listens to their customers.

Assembly

The bike was shipped to my house using FedEx. The box came undamaged as well as the bike. I didn’t notice a single scratch on the bike as it was packaged well. Assembly was straightforward and only took about 45 minutes or so.

You’ll have to attach the front wheel, install the front fender and light, screw in the pedals, and slide the seat post into the frame. Other than that the bike comes mostly assembled. It’s definitely much less assembly than I had to do on my Ride1Up 700 Series.

Concluding Thoughts

The KBO Breeze is an affordably priced commuter ebike. Even though it is a newer company, they have chosen wisely in their first product offerings. The Breeze, Breeze Step-Thru, and their stealthy Hurricane are all very attractive and competitive products in the bike industry. They’re becoming strong competitors against Ride1UP, Aventon, and Rad Power Bikes.

KBO did send the Breeze to me to review, but didn’t require that I give a glowing review. These are my true thoughts on the bike. I’ve had the step-thru Breeze on order for several weeks, and I’m expecting to receive it soon. I’m looking forward to comparing the two frame styles.

Overall, I can recommend the Breeze for those looking for an affordably priced commuter style ebike. I appreciate that it comes with the accessories you need for a commuter such as fenders, lights, and a rear rack. The assembly was easy and everything has functioned well right out of the box.

If I were to suggest improvements, I would like to see hydraulic brakes and a display that offered more customization for pedal assistance in the future, but the mechanical brakes do the job (they’re easier to maintain) and I think most people would be more than happy with the performance of the bike. I had a great time riding and reviewing it!

Find out more about the Breeze at KBO Bike .