Review and photos: Pierce Kettering, November 11, 2020
Tested By: Pierce Kettering, Kristen Nelson, Griffin Hales, Justin Taylor
Please note: Before we dive into our review of the KBO Breeze, we want to make our readers aware this is a new type of review for us at ElectricBikeReport. KBO is a new brand that just launched this year.
This is the start of reviews we’ll be doing for newer brands looking to launch their e-bike lineups.
However, we want to make sure our readers understand this is not an endorsement of the KBO brand. We’re reviewing the bike as it was shipped to us in hopes it gives you an idea of how the brand is approaching the market.
We think KBO has done nice things with this bike and are excited to see how KBO performs in the future. We wish them the best of luck and hope they make it in this very fragmented and growing market!
Summary Review: KBO Breeze
The KBO Breeze is where budget friendly meets nice power and exceptional looks! With a top speed of 28mph, and a motor capable of 900w of peak power, we found the Breeze to be a comfortable, powerful, city cruiser/commuter ebike. Given this is KBO’s first ebike, we were pleasantly surprised at how well the bike was put together out of the box. For a bike under $1,400 we found decent, name brand components and we didn’t have to do much adjusting to the brakes or drive train – all good signs for budget-level electric bikes.
Overall, we feel the Breeze will check a lot of boxes for somebody looking for a capable commuter electric bike. We thought the Breeze was a blast to ride, and provided a good riding experience that falls somewhere between performance and leisure.
Oh, and we have to mention again how we really think that KBO did a great job with the paint job. The Breeze is a great looking bike!
eBike Category: Commuter / Cruiser
- Class 2: Throttle to 20mph and Class 3: Pedal assist to 28mph
- It comes with a powerful motor. This bike will give you confidence to handle longer rides, and any hills you come across.
- The Breeze has an ideal wheel size (27.5) . The tires are great for commuting and fit the rest of the geometry well.
- The Breeze had an eye-catching paint job.
- Comfortable bike. Riders won’t tire out too quickly while riding.
- Nice 180mm rotors to strong breaking performance. We’d love to see hydraulic disc brakes, but were happy with the mechanical brakes and didn’t need to adjust them much out of the box
- Drivetrain / derailleur didn’t require much adjusting – a nice bonus on a budget-level ebike.
- Some exposed wires. We hope for integration or at least braided wires in the future.
- Welds could be a little cleaner
- We felt a slight motor engagement lag.
KBO Breeze Electrical Specs & Features
- Battery: 48V 16Ah Lithium-ion battery with Samsung cells
- Display: LCD backlight display
- Motor: Aikema 500W brushless gear motor (900w peak)
- Lights: 48v Headlight and Integrated Brake Light
- Pedal Assist: 5 Pedal assist levels to 28mph
- Range: 25-50+ mile range
- Throttle: Twist Grip Throttle – Right Side, up to 20mph
KBO Breeze Components & Accessories
- Brakes: Tektro 180mm mechanical disc brakes
- Fenders: Included, alloy
- Fork: 80mm of travel, lockout adjustment included.
- Frame: 6061 Aluminum Alloy
- Freewheel: Shimano Freewheel 14-28T
- Gearing: Seven Speed Shimano Altus
- Grips and Saddle: KBO Comfort
- Handlebar: High Rise aluminum alloy
- Kickstand: Rear mounted; Heavy Duty Aluminum
- Pedals: Aluminum Alloy Wellgo pedals, Reflectors Included
- Tires: 27.5″ x 2.4″ Kenda puncture-resistant tires
KBO Breeze Weight and Dimensions
- Battery weight: 7 lbs
- Total bike weight: 62 lbs (includes battery)
- Rider Height: 5’4” to 6’4”
- Maximum rider weight: 300 lbs
- Maximum Load on Rear Rack: 50 lbs
- Unfolded Dimensions: 72 x 31 x 46.5
With a top speed of 28mph when pedaling, the KBO Breeze is one fast cruiser! We’re impressed with how easy it was to maintain high speeds on this bike. When pedaling on flat ground during our testing, we were riding over 20mph with ease.
Thanks to its 500w geared hub motor (with a 900w peak), it has quick acceleration. Whether it was on a steep hill or riding into the wind, we felt the KBO Breeze take over and keep us comfortable and in control when things got tough.
The throttle is also relatively smooth and responsive when engaged and provides you with speeds up to 20mph. Throttling is excellent for getting up to speed without pedaling and maintaining momentum in areas with sharp corners and steep gradients.
Shifting / Gear Range
Shifting the KBO Breeze was relatively easy and smooth. We all felt seven gears were enough for this bike. The seven gear range meshes nicely with the five assistance levels on the Breeze. And with the combination of the two, you’ll be riding exactly how you want to.
While the shifting is smooth, we wouldn’t recommend shifting gears on hills or pedaling out of the saddle. Otherwise, you’ll have to worry about dropping your chain. Instead, take advantage of using the throttle to get your speed where you want it.
Handling (cornering, slow speeds, etc.)
Good handling is essential for such a quick bike, and we were pleased with the KBO Breeze’s handling performance. With 2.4” tires and larger 27.5” wheels, this bike was a cornering machine. We were stuck to the ground even at higher speeds.
Our team thinks much of the traction comes from the suspension fork because it tracks the ground and absorbs much of the feedback that could throw you off on a fully rigid bike.
We’ve reviewed many e-bikes that put you in an upright position and several that put you in a performance-oriented position. The KBO Breeze falls somewhere in between. Our team liked the geometry of the Breeze. It put us in a comfortable place for long days on the bike while still feeling “sporty.”
The KBO Comfort grips and saddle were another crucial part of us staying comfortable. Both components provided a very soft feeling and felt like the right choice for this bike.
The saddle was a tad bit wide for some smaller test riders, but the saddle’s plushness and position made up for it. We know many bike riders prefer the wider seat, so we don’t count this as a fault. Just be aware.
Starting the KBO Breeze is simple. With a push of a button on the LCD Display, you’ll be ready to ride in seconds, saving you time.
Most e-bikes require a key to be inserted into the battery to ride, but you won’t have that hassle on the KBO Breeze. This could be a plus or a minus, depending on your situation.
It means losing your key won’t mean losing bike access, but it also means thieves have an opportunity to run off with a fully functioning eBike unless you remove the battery each time.
Turning off the bike is as easy as it is to turn it on. Simply hold down the button on the LCD display to power down.
The KBO Breeze slows down quickly, even from higher speeds. This is due to the 180mm rotors that come standard with the Breeze.
We appreciate KBO deciding to go with 180mm rotors as strong motors need to be accompanied by strong brakes. A smaller rotor size would mean less stopping power. That becomes problematic when slowing down at higher speeds.
Parking and Locking
Thanks to the heavy-duty kickstand, and the excellent handling, parking the KBO Breeze is quick and easy. We’re confident you won’t have any issues parking this bike regardless of where you ride.
The frame and wheels provide plenty of places to loop a lock around for security too. The Breeze comes with keys to remove the battery, neutralizing the threat of being stolen once removed.
We were curious how far we could get on the KBO Breeze if we used the highest assistance level (5) and pedaled the whole time. Despite being on full power the entire time, we reached over 26 miles on one charge.
Considering the 900w peak power and 28mph top speed, this is a pretty impressive range. You should easily get 30 miles on a charge if you aren’t riding in a lower level the whole time (with the capability of doing much more with less dependence on the pedal assist and throttle).
We enjoyed the 500w motor on the KBO breeze. It’s quite powerful and has no problem taking over when things got tough on steeper hills.
Our team was impressed with the motor having a peak power output of over 900 watts, and we could feel it when it kicked in. The motor is easily one of our favorite components on the KBO Breeze.
We’re confident you’ll love it too.
Although we liked the motor, we all agreed the engagement could be smoother and quicker to respond. While pedaling, we felt there was a half-second or so before the motor kicked in. And when we stopped pedaling, it took about the same amount of time before it stopped assisting us.
We got used to feeling this quickly, but we’d still like to have a little more of a seamless feel with the motor when riding.
The KBO Breeze’s 48-volt battery is sleek and fits nicely into the frame itself. We’re happy the battery is rated for 16ah, as any less, and the bike would die quickly from the power it produces.
Even at the highest assistance level, we still got over 25 miles before it died, which is quite impressive for the speed this bike can go.
The KBO Breeze’s display is simple to use and provided us with a readout for everything we needed to see. The low profile keeps it from distracting you when riding.
The display shows your speed, power level, assist level, total miles, and more.
The ‘’M” button on the left side of the display is how you turn on and off the bike. It’s also how you toggle through the different display settings.
Our team felt the lights that come on the KBO Breeze fit the bike’s theme quite well and provided us with enough light to get home in dark conditions.
We also think that these lights do a great job of keeping you visible to others in low light conditions, increasing your safety overall.
However, we would recommend a secondary headlight if you plan on doing a lot of night riding. The stock headlight doesn’t provide quite enough power for a larger field of view.
We understand this headlight isn’t designed to be super bright and is for others to see you, so the light it comes with might be sufficient for you.
Rear tail lights further add to the safety features on this bike. Cars will be aware that you’re in front of them and when you engage the brakes.
KBO has equipped the Breeze with five total assistance levels. However, we feel some of the intervals between the assistance levels could be more consistent. When testing the different assistance levels, we noticed the jump from level 1 to level 2 felt too big of a leap in power with the rest of the assistance levels.
Level 2 felt far more powerful than we thought it should be for being the second level out of five. We would like to see this adjusted in future models from KBO.
However, we all agreed level 5 felt precisely how a max assistance level should feel… so kudos to KBO for that.
Overall we spent a lot of time in assistance levels 3,4 and 5. Level 3 felt like a great compromise of efficiency and power, while level 4 felt like a mix of power and speed.
Level 5 showed us the motor’s capabilities, and we were able to pedal over speeds of 23mph with ease.
We liked how responsive the throttle was on the Breeze, and we also liked how they made it a different material than the rest of the grip.
You’re going to know exactly where your hand placement is, and it significantly reduces the chances of accidentally engaging the throttle. Overall we think KBO did a great job with their throttle design.
We have no complaints.
KBO Breeze Components and Accessories
KBO decided to equip the Breeze with Tektro Mechanical Disk Brakes with 180mm rotors. We feel this was the right choice for the Breeze because they provide ample stopping power and significant modulation. And replacement parts are easy to find for this brake setup.
We also found these brakes were easy to adjust and work with overall – a bonus since we can’t say the same for all braking systems on e-bikes.
After multiple test rides, we found the brakes to be very consistent, and we were confident in the stopping power and modulation.
The fenders provided great coverage from puddles and other debris. We liked the KBO team deciding to put matching paint on the fenders.
It adds to the aesthetics of the bike and shows us they care about small details. The front fender does come very close to the tire, and rubs every once in a while. So if you want to run an even wider tire, you’ll probably have to remove the front fender.
During our testing, the 80mm fork helped immensely with comfort, bumpy surfaces, and overall traction.
The 80mm of travel seems to be the perfect amount to give you a soft front end without feeling too squishy. The KBO Breeze’s fork comes with an adjustment dial that allows you to stiffen up and lockout the fork.
With this adjustment, we set up the fork for every surface we rode on, which helped optimize the KBO Breeze’s performance. Having a suspension fork come standard with the bike is always a plus in our book.
The KBO Breeze is constructed out of a 6061 alloy, which is pretty standard for e-bikes in the $1000-$1500 price range. The 6061 alloy provided us with plenty of strength and support but is a little on the heavy side at 62 pounds.
KBO absolutely nailed the paint job on the frame. The creamy orange paint they chose is vibrant and lively. Not only does this enhance safety (cars will see you better), but it’s head-turning in a good way.
We would’ve liked to see a little cleaner welding on the KBO Breeze. It does detract slightly from its overall look. But the structural integrity feels great, and we have no complaints about the durability of the frame.
We think KBO chose the right drivetrain on the Breeze. It’s budget-friendly and has the perfect gear range for commuting and cruising around town efficiently and comfortably.
Our team found the seven gear range to be useful and versatile. Regardless of where we decided to ride, we had a gear to pedal comfortably–even on the steepest hill, we could find.
We could still sit back and relax while the Breeze took over.
The Shimano Altus Derailleur feels very smooth when shifting and offers a consistent feeling when shifting up and down.
Grips and Saddle
A good saddle and pair of grips are essential for comfort on rides. It doesn’t take long to notice if they lack comfort. Luckily, our team found KBO did an excellent job creating a comfortable saddle and set of grips.
The saddle is very plush and holds its shape quite well, even on longer rides. None of our test riders had a problem with the comfort of the saddle.
However, some of our smaller riders noticed the saddle was a bit wide for their liking. We agreed this isn’t a deal-breaker because of how comfortable the saddle is. But short riders beware: The saddle’s width can cause some rubbing on the inner leg when pedaling.
The KBO grips were even more comfortable than expected. The plush feeling mixed with the ovular shape provides comfort regardless of how far you’re riding; all of our test riders loved these grips and felt KBO nailed their grip design for the Breeze.
The handlebar on the KBO Breeze provides enough rise to keep you comfortable, but not so much that you’re sitting completely upright. We appreciated seeing this from the KBO team. It feels like the happy medium of comfort and performance with the position it puts you in.
The handlebar is also plenty wide for stability regardless of the rider’s height and will help keep you in control regardless of what terrain you find yourself in.
Even our tallest test rider (6’5”) felt the bar was plenty wide to be confident and comfortable when riding the Breeze.
The aluminum Wellgo pedals that come on the KBO Breeze are pretty standard and will provide you with a large platform with sufficient grip.
We had no complaints about the pedals and are happy to see KBO decided to use alloy pedals for the sake of durability and longevity. The pedals come with reflectors to increase your overall visibility. That’s what you need when commuting and riding in busy areas.
The KBO Breeze comes with a rear-mounted kickstand made out of heavy-duty aluminum. We agreed that this kickstand feels exceptionally durable and high quality.
The kickstand does a good job of staying in place when riding. Even when hitting bumps, the kickstand stays where it should. It’s also great to see adjustability on the kickstand height. We think this kickstand adds up nicely on KBO Breeze.
The 27.5” x 2.4” Kenda tires are durable, fast-rolling, and great on corners.
We found these tires to have excellent traction and to be resistant to thorn and debris punctures. Even when riding on rougher roads and gravel, these tires are up to the test. They handled the terrain exceptionally well.
We liked the standard size tires because your local bike shop is likely to have plenty of 27.5” tires and tubes in stock. So when it comes to replacements, you’re covered.
This bike’s geometry is designed to comfortably fit riders between 5’4” and 6”4– which is quite an impressive range. Even our mentioned 6’5” test rider felt comfortable on the KBO Breeze. It’s not very often one bike can fit such a wide range of heights.
We’re confident that you’ll fit the KBO Breeze quite well.
Summary Review / Where to Buy
The KBO Breeze was a fun bike to test, and we think it’s an excellent bike for those looking to commute to work or school, or to just cruise around town. We all felt that the Breeze provided a unique feeling somewhere between performance and comfort and we were able to ride comfortably regardless of where we decided to go.
The Breeze’s looks and performance add up quite nicely, and we genuinely believe this bike checks a lot of boxes for the regular e-bike rider, especially for the price point. For what you pay, the KBO Breeze is quite powerful, comfortable, and smooth. In addition to its smooth ride, it also provides plenty of traction for control over rougher surfaces.
KBO is new to the U.S. market and they have started out with a direct to consumer business model. Thanks to its easy assembly, when the bike arrives at your home it’s only a matter of minutes before you’re up and riding. Overall, we feel they have done a great job with their first electric bike. Being a newer company, we hope their customer support will be as solid as their bike is.
In conclusion we genuinely think the name “Breeze” is a fitting choice for this bike as that’s the feel you get while riding, and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing what else they’ll offer in the future.
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