New Ebike Models from KBO

KBO Tornado, Fat Tire Ebike

KBO Bikes has announced two new electric bike models to add to their lineup. This includes a folding ebike, called the Flip, and a full-size fat tire ebike, called the Tornado. KBO has been selling electric bikes in the United States for a few years. They focus on more affordable electric bikes that are sold direct to consumer. You won’t find their bikes sold in stores, but you will save some money being directly from them. They are manufactured by the same company that sells Himiway ebikes.

KBO Flip

The Flip is being sold for just $869 right now, which is a terrific price for a folding ebike. The full retail is listed at $1069, which is still very competitive. The Flip is very reminiscent of many folding electric bikes you’ll find being sold online. It’s a tried and true folding ebike frame. What is unique about the Flip is the 36 volt 15.6 Ah battery.

Most fat tire ebikes are 48 volts, which increases their price. Also, most 36 volt batteries usually have lower amp hours. The voltage of an ebike battery translates into how much power the bike has, such as speed, while amp hours translate into distance or range. A 15.6 Ah battery will allow you to ride for long distances. KBO lists the range at about 60 miles. I’d put the range closer to 45 miles, if you ride moderately, meaning you’re not using the throttle a ton or the highest pedal assist level all the time.

The Flip weighs 57 pounds, so it’s not light, but there are much heavier folding ebikes out there. Its 20″ X 3″ tires help reduce the weight some, and make the bike a little more nimble, compared to a true 20″ x 4″ fat tire. It does have front suspension, so I’d expect a fairly comfortable ride.

Other features include a 500 watt geared hub motor, aluminum frame, integrated front/rear lights, twist throttle, 7-speed Shimano gears, LCD display, integrated rear rack, front/rear fenders, cadence and speed sensor, 160 mm mechanical disc brakes, and a hefty 330 pound payload capacity.

You can learn more about the Flip and check current pricing on their website.


KBO Tornado

KBO Tornado Step-Thru Frame

The KBO Tornado comes in two frame styles, a high-step and step-thru. The pre-order price is $1199, with full retail listed at $1399. The Tornado is priced very competitively against other more popular fat tire ebikes, such as the RadRover from Rad Power Bikes, or the Aventure from Aventon.

At 72 lbs for the step-thru, the Tornado is on par with the aforementioned ebikes. Full-size fat tire ebikes aren’t featherweights, but they’re built tough. With a 400 lbs payload capacity, it better be built tough!

The Tornado features 26″ x 4″ fat tires, which are very comfortable on pavement and gravel. If you have a sensitive back, you’ll appreciate the smoother ride such tires provide. My Aventon Aventure rides like a Cadillac in comparison to some of my other ebikes. They can do some off-roading, just be aware of the weight and size of the bike. A larger and heavier bike is more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, such as around tree roots or large rocks. It’s really more of a cruising machine, even on gravel.

A can tell where KBO did some cost-cutting on the Tornado to make the price so competitive. The 6-speed transmission will likely leave something to be desired. The thumb shifter is a budget component, and the 160 mm disc brakes are undersized, in my opinion. For such a heavy and fast bike, I’d much prefer 180 mm disc brakes as a minimum. These are all parts that you could swap out yourself, or by using a bike mechanic.

Of course, you could ride it as is and be happy with it, but I would recommend upgrading the brakes for sure.

The top speed isn’t listed for the Tornado, but with a 750 watt rear hub motor and 48 volt 13 Ah battery, it should be quite capable. As far as the motor and battery goes, the Tornado is priced very well, but it’s probably an ebike that you’ll want to upgrade over time with better bike components.

Still, I appreciate the base price. You’re still getting a powerful ebike that I think looks pretty darn good, too, for a good price.

For more information and current pricing of the Tornado, visit KBO Bikes website.

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