By Paul Norman
Promotional feature in partnership with Ribble Cycles
Whatever style of riding you’re into and whatever your cycling ambitions, there’s an electric bike out there to help you enjoy your riding that bit more.
Take Ribble’s e-bike range. It’s evolved and expanded as more and more people take to e-bikes and now includes flat bar hybrids and electric gravel bikes for off-road adventures as well as its multiple award-winning road e-bike range.
Lightweight and versatile
Ribble uses the same Mahle ebikemotion motor system in all its electric bikes. It’s super-lightweight at 3.5kg for the entire system of rear hub motor, battery and unobtrusive controller, but still offers 250 watts of power and 40Nm torque output.
It’s a system that provides a good level of support for riders of a wide range of abilities and which can be tuned for different uses, while the 250 watt-hour battery provides plenty of range. There’s no frictional loss in the drivetrain as the motor drives the rear wheel directly rather than through the bike’s gears.
The motor’s light weight has allowed Ribble to build what it says is the lightest electric bike range in the world including the Ribble Endurance SL e, the lightest e-road bike with the top spec Hero build with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shifting and Level DB35 Superlight EBM aero carbon wheels as light as 10.5kg - not much heavier than many non-assisted bikes.
The considered design, compact, stealth motor and battery also mean that Ribble’s electric bikes are difficult to distinguish from a non-electric bike. The Ribble SL e has similar wind tunnel tested aero tube shapes to the pedal powered Ribble SL used by Ribble’s sponsored men’s and women’s pro teams and uses aero components like the Level 5 integrated bar and stem. It was selected for our Editor’s Choice awards for the best products we tested in 2020.
In Hero build the Ribble SL e starts at £6,999, but SL e builds are available from £2,999. Even at this price you get the same Mahle motor system, paired with Shimano 105 shifting and Mavic Ksyrium S Disc wheelset.
The Mahle motor comes with its own app too, allowing the tech-savvy to customise their ride, get maps, diagnostics and upload activities to Strava. You can even use the app to pair the motor up to a heart rate monitor to regulate its output based on your effort level.
E-bikes for all users
It’s not just the Ribble SL e Hero build that benefits from Ribble’s design expertise and the lightweight motorisation, with Ribble offering electric bikes for a wide range of riders and at prices starting from £2,199 for the Ribble Hybrid AL e - another Ribble e-bike that featured in our 2020 Editor’s Choice awards.
It’s a bike that’s designed to be easy to live with and includes a wide range, single chainring SRAM groupset, hydraulic disc brakes and 35mm wide Schwalbe tyres that soak up road imperfections. There’s a step-through model available as well, to make mounting and dismounting a bit easier.
The Hybrid AL e is still lightweight for an e-bike, with Ribble saying that a medium sized bike weighs 13.1kg - again that’s comparable to many non-assisted hybrid bikes. For just £100 more, the Fully Loaded edition comes with mudguards, lights and a rear rack, making it ideal for shopping or commuting use or just a gentle leisure ride.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a versatile electric bike option to take on gravel and off-road rides, the Ribble CGR AL e is a good option. CGR stands for cyclocross, gravel and road, pointing to the CGR’s versatility. Prices start from £2,399 for a Shimano Tiagra build with wide-range 10-speed groupset and Mavic wheels. The CGR is a popular all-rounder in pedal-powered format and the addition of the Mahle motor only makes it more versatile. There’s a step-through option as well as a frame with a crossbar.
Finally, the newly launched Ribble Gravel AL e brings electric power to more technical off-road terrain, with a Shimano GRX gravel groupset and 650b wheelset with 47mm WTB tyres on the £2,699 Sport specification.
Alongside the suggested build options, Ribble’s build to order system allows you to choose your own specs across its range of electric and non electric bikes via its BikeBuilder tool.
That lets you, for example, choose different gearing options, a different saddle, including women’s models, and select add-ons like mudguards and lights.
Customisation doesn’t stop there either. You can choose your own colour from a wide range of options and add your own special touches like a glitter effect and colour gradients if you want to get creative. CustomColour shows you your design as you choose your colours and you can save your design to modify later and download an image as well.
All Ribble’s bikes are built up by hand in the UK, with one mechanic responsible for the entire build, which is how Ribble can offer such a high degree of personalisation to match your needs.
There’s a lot of support for the order process too, with Ribble showcasing its bikes at its showrooms in Kent, Birmingham and Lancashire. It’s also created a virtual showroom, where an in-store expert will guide you around your bike via a one-way video call and will answer your questions, seven days a week.
They can also help with sizing questions, supplementing Ribble’s extensive on-line sizing advice on how to choose the correct size frame and other components like saddle options and stem length.
Along with Ribble’s custom spec and colour options, the online and in-person support means you really can find your perfect electric bike.
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