Back in January 2021 I ordered the KBO Breeze Step-Thru and received it last week here in mid-June 2021. There was a long wait, likely due to the same reasons the entire bike industry has been affected. Components have long lead times, shipping takes longer, and high demand. Luckily, if you order today, you shouldn’t have to wait 6 months. It looks like there’s a 6-8 week wait right now. So what does the KBO Breeze Step-Thru have to offer?
As far as the bike’s components go, it’s nearly exactly the same as the standard KBO Breeze, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. It’s equipped with a 500 watt rear hub motor (750 watt peak), a 48 Volt 16 Ah lithium-ion battery with Samsung cells, a 7-speed Shimano transmission, 27.5″ x 2.4″ tires, 180mm mechanical disc brakes, 5 levels of pedal assist and a twist throttle.
It’s also equipped with fenders, integrated front and rear lights, a front suspension fork, and a rear rack. It’s only available in one color, but being that it’s a step-thru it accommodates a wide range or rider heights. The minimum saddle height is 29.5″ and the max saddle height is 38″.
>>>Where to Buy: KBOBike.com
Model : Breeze
Available in 1 Color:
Ebike Style: Commuter, Step-Thru
Ebike Class: Class 3; Throttle up to 20mph, Pedal assist speeds up to 28mph
Sizing: 5’1″- 6’3″
Min Seat Height: 29.5″
Max Seat Height: 38″
Standover Height: 18″
Motor: 500 watt rear hub (750 W Peak)
Battery: 48 V 16 Ah (768 watt hours); Samsung cells
Weight of Bike: 62 lbs
Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Frame Material: Aluminum
Brakes: Mechanical disc (front and rear) 180 mm; Tektro Aries
Tire Size: 27.5″ x 2.4″; Kenda Kontact, Puncture-resistant
Max Speed: 28 mph
Pedal Assist: 0-5 levels
Throttle: Half twist
Range: 30-50 miles
Riding Style: Upright
Where to Ride: Pavement, Light Off-Roading:
Reasons Why You May Want to Consider KBO
Notable of the Breeze and Breeze Step-Thru is KBO’s 2-year warranty. The industry standard is 1-year. It also has a higher capacity battery than what you typically find at this price point. 48 volts and 16 Amp hours translates into 768 watt hours for a range between 30-55 miles, depending upon what level of pedal assist you typically ride use, how much the throttle is used, rider weight, tire pressure etc. But generally speaking most people should easily be able to ride 30 miles even if you like a lot of speed.
It also comes with a 3-amp charger, when most ebikes of a similar price typically ship with 2-amp chargers. This means the bike will charge more quickly. It has a payload capacity of 300 lbs, which should accommodate most riders and any cargo they’d like to carry.
Test Ride Results
My first impressions of the KBO Breeze is that it is a peppy bike. When beginning at just pedal assist level one, the bike gives plenty of get-up-and-go. In pedal assist level 3 while in gear 7 it’s easy to cruise at 20 mph which makes the Breeze and the Breeze Step-Thru an ideal commuter bike. If you don’t want to arrive to work or your classes hot and sweaty, or late, then this is a good bike to look at.
In the throttle tests, the bike got me up to about 22-23 mph. It has a very smooth takeoff when using the throttle, unlike the pedal assist, which might take some getting used to if you’re a new rider. I prefer using the throttle to take off from a dead stop because it offers such a smooth acceleration.
The bike is equipped with a sealed cadence sensor which is fairly responsive. It takes about a full turn of the pedal to activate the motor, which I prefer. When I stop pedaling, there’s only a short delay until the motor turns off. The brake levers are equipped with motor inhibitors so whenever you use the brakes the motor will shut off immediately.
It is possible to pedal the bike without the motor on flat stretches of road, but with a bike weight of about 62 lbs, you’ll want to use the motor on hills for sure.
The 27.5″ x 2.4″ Panasonic tires offer a very stable and comfortable riding experience. This is a good multi-purpose tire size for pavement, gravel and some light off-roading.
The 180 mm mechanical disc brakes do a very good job stopping the bike in a sure and efficient manner. The brakes on the bike I was shipped don’t have a brand name on them, but function just fine. The brake levers are also unbranded but again, they function well.
I love that the charging part is high on the frame! It’s very easy to access. The battery can be charged on or off the frame and is locked into place with a key.
The Breeze Step-Thru is a comfortable bike to ride. I think it’s more comfortable than the standard KBO Breeze which has a stiffer frame. I don’t feel the bumps quite as much with the step-thru frame. The front suspension is adjustable and does a good job on pavement and gravel. The grips are ergonomic with palm rests. I didn’t notice having sore wrists, elbows, or shoulders after long rides.
It’s hard to review a seat because we’re all built a little differently, and what I think is comfortable may not be what someone else thinks. For me, I think it’s comfortable enough, but if you plan to go bike touring with those long 20+ mile rides, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a suspension seat post and/or a seat with springs or coils.
The reach is a little long for me since I’m only 5’1″, but changing out the front stem to something shorter would remedy this. It’s inexpensive and easy to change the stem if you choose to do so. Average height to tall people will probably find the reach to be ideal.
Of course, the best part of the riding experience is the step-thru frame. It’s hard to beat the convenience of it. If you have knee, hip, or balance issues, a step-thru is ideal. They’re also great if you plan to carry cargo on the rear rack. It can be very difficult to toss a leg over a standard frame with cargo on the bike. With a step-thru you don’t have to worry about that.
The KBO Breeze Step-Thru is in a crowded field of electric step-thru bikes, but it’s priced well. I appreciate that it has minimal branding. The battery sits very nicely in the frame to create nice lines on the bike. While it only come in one color, white, it suits the bike well and the white frame and black components look good together.
The Breeze is also equipped with front and rear lights. The front light offers good visibility. If you’ll be riding on dark roads, you’ll probably want to add another light, but for city riding it’s enough. The rear light also acts as a brake light whether you have the lights on or not. The light will blink when the brakes are applied. This is a terrific safety features, as are the reflective stripes on the tires.
As you can see from the photo below, the reflective striping on the tires is very effective at grabbing attention.
The KBO Breeze and Breeze Step-Thru live up to their advertising. They’re both very good commuter bikes. If you want a bike for exercise and a more traditional pedaling experience you’d probably prefer a mid-drive ebike, but bike’s equipped with rear hub motors and cadence sensors are enjoyable to ride for miles and miles.
The only change I would like to see is to add the ability for users to program how many pedal assist levels they want, and more importantly how much assistance they want from the motor at each level. The Ride1Up 500 and 700 Series allow this. But overall, I think most people would be happy with the Breeze. It’s a very capable commuter ebike at a good price.
You can check out both bikes on KBO’s website. They are currently going for $1499 with free shipping.
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