Ribble’s Hybrid AL e is a great-looking bike with its metallic copper finish (it also comes in petrol blue). Add in ebikemotion’s subtly integrated motor system and internal battery, and you have a stealthy ebike that cuts a sharp image on the road.
Ebikemotion’s system is based around a 250w rear hub – rather than bottom bracket – motor combined with a slim integrated 250w battery in the down tube. This system provides just enough assistance when you need it: more of a gentle push in the back than a surge of torque-laden power.
The Ribble is more of a cyclist’s choice of power assistance than the leisure rider’s options from the best electric hybrid bikes that were also on test with Bosch motors, such as the Carrera Crossfuse.
Control of the motor system is incredibly simple. Press the top tube button (called iWoc) to turn it on and the LED light shines white; press and hold and it turns green (low assistance), orange (medium), red (full).
This is also the battery level indicator; white is 75 to 100 per cent, green 75 to 50 per cent, orange 50 to 25 per cent, red 25 per cent; flashing red indicates less than 10 per cent battery charge remaining.
The ebikemotion system is also Bluetooth-compatible and the controller flashes blue as it connects to your phone via the free ebikemotion app. The app offers a wealth of information with accurate battery level, distance travelled, altitude, average speed, cadence, gradient and current speed.
You can pair the app with both the bike and a heart-rate monitor and set heart-rate-based assistance. It also uses GPS mapping and has functional navigation, and will upload any recorded activities to Strava.
The Ribble has a much enhanced experience when combined with its app, so would benefit from a phone mount to give you full information at a glance.
The Ribble’s ride position is undeniably sporty but the head angle is nice and relaxed, which adds a stable feel to the handling especially when you ride on rougher surfaces.
Ribble has cleverly made the stem length on the one-piece bar/stem short, which speeds up the steering and makes this bike an agile beast for cutting through traffic – an essential asset if you’re looking for a good commuter.
It feels nimble, thanks to the relatively light Mavic wheels and the tough, but fast-rolling Schwalbe Marathon (ebike rated) tyres. The SRAM 1x drivetrain offers all the gear range you could want and when combined with the motor system it makes for a fun ride.
The power assist feels natural through all of its levels and in all weather conditions, such as riding with a forceful tailwind. The maximum setting will see you ascend the steepest of inclines when combined with your own efforts (you don’t get away scot free!).
My only niggle with the system is the placement of the iWoc control button on the top tube. Its position means that you have to take your hand off the bars when you want to change modes, which can feel a little cumbersome.
Ribble should be applauded for this Fully Loaded edition because it includes good-quality full SKS mudguards complete with a spray-reducing mudflap on the front, as well as a matching rack, chainring chainguard, lights and even Knog’s good-looking Oi bell.
The Ribble’s range is far more about you as a cyclist riding cleverly with assistance. A reasonably fit cyclist will get plenty of range out of the smaller capacity (than Bosch) 250w battery. At its best I managed 94.27km (58.58 miles) with 1,120.77m (3,677ft) of elevation. It’s pretty impressive and much beyond most people’s daily commute.
The handling is both stable at speed and nimble enough to navigate traffic. Combined with a specification that’s a serious step above its rivals (plus Fully Loaded extras and great looks), it’s the perfect choice for cyclists who want to buy a commuter that rides like their Sunday-best bike but gives you that additional bit of assistance so that you arrive at work ready for the day ahead and looking forward to the ride home at the end of your shift.
Ribble Hybrid AL e Fully Loaded geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||73||72.5||72.5||72|
|Head angle (degrees)||71||71||71||71|
|Seat tube (cm)||42||49||54||59|
|Top tube (cm)||55.2||58.5||60||63.4|
|Head tube (cm)||12.2||16.5||19||23|
|Bottom bracket drop (cm)||5||5||5||5|
How we tested
We put four options around £2,000 to the test that should get your to work feeling fresh. Each bike was ridden from 100 per cent charge down to zero across multiple rides, and included the type of terrain you’d normally encounter on a commute: roads, towpaths, bike paths and city traffic – and were tested in all weathers.
We were concerned with comfort and traffic-friendly riding position, as well as components to ease commuting, such as wide-range gearing, great brakes and tough tyres, rather than any racy features.
Also on test
- Carrera Crossfuse
- Boardman HYB 8.9e
- Raleigh Motus Tour
|Price||EUR €2326.00GBP £2099.00USD $2270.00|
|Features||SKS 45mm guards, with mudflap
Wellgo MTB pedals
Ribble FL300/RL150 lights (not fitted)
Knog Oi classic bell
|Tyres||Schwalbe Marathon 700 x 35c|
|Stem||Ribble integrated alloy|
|Shifter||SRAM NX 11-speed|
|Seatpost||Level 1 Alloy 27.2mm|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM NX|
|Motor||Mahle Ebikemotion X35 M1 250w, internal Panasonic 36v/250Wh battery|
|Handlebar||Ribble integrated alloy|
|Available sizes||S, M, L, XL|
|Frame||6061 T6 alloy|
|Cranks||SRAM GXP 42t|
|Cassette||SRAM PG-1130 11-42|
|Brakes||Shimano GRX400 with Shimano RT10 rotors|
|Bottom bracket||SRAM GXP|
|Wheels||Mavic Aksium Elite EVO UST|