A fun and friendly to ride, budget commuter ebike, with long range, nimble handling, and good power.
Best Value – Best Commuter EBike
- KBO Breeze ST Review and Test
- Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?
- You might also like:
The KBO Breeze ST has all the features that most ebike commuters will want. It’s got good range and hill climbing ability. it has good maneuverability for riding around pedestrians. It comes set up with fenders, a rear rack, and a light. It’s a fun lightweight nimble electric bike to ride. All this in an ebike for just a bit over $1000.
What we liked:
- Nimble feeling and fun to ride
- Long range with 16 ah battery
- Easy to get on and off with step through frame
- Available in step through and step over frames
- Comes complete with fenders, rack, and lights
- Simple and easy to use controls
- Slow power ramp up makes it easy to ride in tight spaces and around pedestrians
What we didn’t like:
- Battery meter shows 1-2 bars left when battery is dead
- Included multi-tool is easy to strip
- Slower acceleration under 9mph when using throttle
- Max Speed – 25 mph
- Range – up to 55 miles
- Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
- Bike Weight – 62 lbs
- Motor Power – 500 watt rear hub
- Battery – 48 volt 16 ah Samsung or LG Cells
- Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
- Brakes – Mechanical disc
- Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.4inch tires
KBO Breeze ST Review and Test
So what does KBO stand for? Want to know? Killer Bike Option. I let my riding friend try to guess the first time we went riding together with the Breeze. KBO has a US warehouse and a US customer service office. They seem to be somehow related to Himiway Bikes. A Himiway charger came with ours and they give the same multitool and similar hat with their bikes. This isn’t a bad thing. We have gotten several Himiway Bikes now and they have all been good performers and reliable.
The KBO Breeze is their take on an entry level commuter ebike. It has some good features such as a 500 watt motor and a 48 volt, 16 ah battery that hit above the price point of this bike. They did not skimp on the 2 most important parts of the bike. The overall package is a really good value for a $1200 electric bike.
1 – 500 watt geared rear hub motor
The bike uses a 500 watt geared brushless hub motor that can give out 750 watts of peak power when you need it. It’s quiet and has a smooth kicking when it turns on.
2 – 48 volt 16 ah removable battery
The Breeze comes with a 48 volt 16 ah battery that uses either Samsung or LG cells. This is a larger battery than most other bikes in this price range which come with 12-14 ah batteries. This gives the bike longer range on each charge.
3 – Front suspension
The bike has a coil spring front suspension fork with about 80mm travel. It helps to take the edge of cracks and bumps in the pavement. It has a hydraulic lockout and some pre-load adjustment. It’s by no means an offroad mountain bike fork. It does a good job smoothing out rough pavement.
4 – Power (9.0/10)
The Breeze has a friendly feel to it. The initial acceleration is slow but picks up once you get over 8mph. It has strong acceleration from that point up to full speed. It’s not the fastest ebike out there. This makes it easy to ride in crowded places such as around pedestrians or regular bikes.
I measured the top speed of the bike using a GPS on a long, flat, smooth section of bike path. I checked with both throttle only and pedal assist. I got the following top speeds.
- Throttle Only – 22.0 mph measured by GPS. 22.1 mph on the display
- Pedal Assist – 21.8 mph measured by GPS. 21.8 mph on the display
The bike can be set to 25mph top speed in the settings menu for those who want to go just a bit faster.
I took the bike to our standard hill climb hill. This is a 1/2 mile hill with some 10% grades. I use a 250 lb rider for the test. I do the test once with throttle only and once with maximum pedal assist. We got the following times for the hill climb.
- Throttle Only – 1 minute and 59 seconds with an average speed of 15.98 mph
- Pedal Assist – 1 minute and 48 seconds with an average speed of 17.69 mph
This was 5 seconds faster than our Aventon Level 2 in throttle and 7 seconds faster with pedal assist. Pretty good times for a commuter ebike.
On this bike, the battery meter will drop 1 to 2 bars on a steep climb even with a full battery. We did the hill climb with a full battery just off the charger and it still dropped a couple bars during the climb. They recovered at the top of the hill. We go up the same hill as part of our range test and noticed it then also.
This bike has a gentle kick in until about 8mph and then the acceleration increases rapidly. This makes it a lot easier to control in tight spaces and around pedestrians than some other cadence sensor bikes. It is better in those situations than a cadence sensor bike that always give you 100% power right from the start. This slow initial acceleration happens for both pedal assist and throttle.
The downside to this is if you’re trying to cross a busy intersection fast. You have to put some effort into pedaling if you want to get the bike up to speed faster. We would prefer a stronger response when you jam it into full throttle.
5 – Range (9.5/10)
I took the bike out on my standard range test ride. This involves a cruise around on some bike paths and roads. There is a decent amount of climbing along the way with a few steep hills. I do the ride as close to 15mph as possible. I use a 250 lb rider. I do the ride 2 times. Once with pedal assist and once with throttle only.
Riding in PAS 3 going 16mph, I was able to get the bike to go 46.8 miles with 1076 feet of climbing. This is right where I expected a bike with a 16 ah battery and 500 watt motor to land. For reference, the Aventon Level 2 went 44.5 miles in the same test. The published range for the bike is up to 55 miles. I’m confident you could get 55 miles out of it riding flat ground going 10-15mph with a lighter rider. We like to give our bikes a more realistic challenge when we test range.
The calibration for the battery meter is a bit off on our bike. It took a long time to go through the first 3 bars on the battery. The battery was dead with 2 bars left on the meter. The bike has absolutely nothing left to give with even a small incline. The 46.8 miles I got was right where I expected to be for that battery size. It’s just a weird battery meter.
I repeated the test with throttle only going 15mph, I was able to get it to go 30.6 miles with 820 feet of climbing. This is about a mile farther than our Aventon Level 2 went on the same test.
Both range tests are very good for an entry level budget commuter electric bike and competitive with the more popular ebikes out there.
6 – Ride and Handling (9.5/10)
The Beeze ST has a very upright comfortable riding position. It has a non-slack head tube angle. This means that the bike is very nimble at low speeds and easy to weave in and out of people. You can tell when you are riding it at max speed that, that is as fast as the bike wants to go. It’s not a speed demon. The bike feels light and nimble going through corners and feels very stable at its designed speed. This is not a bike geometry I want to try to ride at 30mph or 40mph.
The seat is comfortable for riding for a few hours. The bike is flexible enough to absorb some cracks and bumps in the pavement. The front suspension helps smooth it out a little more. The bike is easy to get on and off with the step thru frame. If you are used to riding step over frames, you have to train yourself how to pass your leg through the frame instead of over the seat.
7 – Braking (8.5/10)
The cable pull disc brakes are adequate for stopping this bike. The bike is lightweight and the wheels are much lighter than big fat tire wheels on other bikes. The mechanical disc brakes do a good job of slowing down and stopping the Breeze. The brakes on our bike did start to squeal about halfway through our range test ride. This seems to be normal for most sub $2000 ebikes. You get good stopping power but you don’t get quiet brakes.
8 – Controls (8.5/10)
The KBO Breeze has simple and easy to use controls. It has a 3 button controller built into the grey and black LCD display that is on the left handlebar. It has bell built into the left brake lever. It uses a twist throttle on the right handlebar.
The display is simple and easy to read. The numbers are big so there is no struggle reading tiny numbers or colors that disappear in bright light. The only complaint we have about the display is the battery meter which shows 2 bars left when the battery is drained. Once you understand that the battery is almost dead when you have 2 bars left this isn’t a problem when riding the bike. The image below was taken right at the end of our range test after riding almost 47 miles.
There is a +, -, and power button. They do the normal functions such as holding down + to get the lights to turn on and holding down the – for walk mode. Tap the power button to change the bottom display information. The bike is simple and easy to use.
Pedal Assist and Throttle
The bike has 5 pedal assist levels. We rode the bike in lowest gear pedaling slowly to see how fast it would go while ghost pedaling the bike. We recorded the following speeds.
- Level 1 – 8.5mph
- Level 2 – 12.5mph
- Level 3 – 16.5mph
- Level 4 – 19.5mph
- Level 5 – 19.5mph
When doing the speed test, the bike went faster in PAS 5 when pedaling hard before the motor cutout. It went 21.8mph during that test.
7 speed pedal driveline
The Breeze has a 7 speed Shimano pedal driveline with an Altus derailleur and Tourney shifter. They work and are simple to use. The above handlebar shifter makes it easy to see what gear you are in. It’s not as smooth shifting as the higher level component sets but it gets the job done.
9 – Assembly Ease (8/10)
Assembly Time – 1.0 hours
This was a very easy bike to assemble. The only real steps involved are mounting the front fender and headlight to the front wheel. The rear rack and fender are pre-assembled in the box. You have to attach the pedals.
Extra tools required
The bike comes with a multi-tool which is similar to what we saw from Himiway. This tool also stripped out while tightening the fender like 2 of our similar Himiway tools did. It looks cool with features such as a socket set. The metal of the hex wrenches is very soft and will strip easily when tightening bolts with it. I had to go get a hex wrench set to finish assembly because of this.
You will need a small wrench in addition to the multi-tool for removing the fender supports so you can get the shipping plastic off of the fender. You’ll need the same wrench again for mounting the fender and headlight. You need the wrench and hex wrench at the same time.
The rear derailleur was set up well out of the box and didn’t need any adjustments. This is a rarity with ebikes I have seen. I like it any time a bike has one that is set up and shifts through all the gears and doesn’t grind at either end.
If your bike doesn’t shift smoothly, Parktool has a really good guide for adjusting a rear derailleur. Go there before you start messing with yours.
After putting the front wheel on and riding the bike I noticed a rubbing sound on the front wheel. After riding for a few minutes I figured out that the back of the front wheel was rubbing the fender support. The supports for the front fender do not have a lot of clearance to the tire. A little bending and pushing on the fender support was all that was needed to get it to clear and not rub.
10 – Accessories
The bike has front and rear lights from the factory. The headlight is bright enough for riding 20mph in a dark unlit place. The tail light also acts as a brake light when you hit the brake levers.
The bike has metal fenders that are sturdy feeling. They feel much stronger than the typical plastic fenders that most commuter bikes come with. The only issue we had with them was the small clearance to the front tire which we mentioned above. It’s easy to bend the supports enough to get them to clear.
The bike has a built in rear rack with a 55 lb weight limit. It’s got 4 attachment points to the bike frame. It’s not adjustable at all. It looks and feels like it will stand up to some abuse.
Water Bottle Cage
The bike came with a water bottle cage. The only attachment points on the frame are on the bottom of the downtube. I really do not like putting a bottle in this location because it gets a constant spray of road dirt. We did not install it on our bike.
11 – Size and Fit
The step-thru frame makes the bike easy to ride for almost any size rider. We have had someone as small as 5′ try to ride the bike and thought it was okay. I’m just under 6′ and the bike felt good riding. The seat can get very low to the pedals for very short riders. The only size constraint is really the reach to the handlebars.
Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?
The KBO Breeze ST is a solid, good value, entry level commuter ebike. It hits above its price point for range and hill climbing power. The step-thru frame will work for almost any size rider. It is a fun and friendly feeling bike to ride around.
See Best Deals!
You might also like:
- The Best Ebikes For Big Guys Helpful Guide
- The Best Electric Bikes Under $2000 Of 2023 Helpful Guide
Co-Founder & Chief Editor
I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.
I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.