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KBO Oasis E-Bike Review, 2023
Nov 09, 2023
Stylish Look for Long Comfortable Rides, and at a Good Price Point
The KBO Oasis is an entry-level cruiser electric bike that rides comfortably, looks stylish, and holds a big battery that can take you up to 55 miles on a single charge. The Oasis uses KBO’s own 500W motor that’s able to reach some decent speeds in PAS 3 and above. Currently price below $1200, it’s a cruiser option for people making their first splash on an e-bike.
Looking at this bike’s functionality, KBO offers the Oasis in two frame designs to accommodate rider heights: the High Step model (which we tested) for riders who are 6’ or taller, and the Step-Through model, for riders as short as 5’4”. Even though the frame designs are different, both bikes use the same components, so it should be fair to assume the step-through performs similarly to the high-step model.
With Oasis being an entry-level cruiser, one of our concerns is how well this bike will do, in the long term, needing additional service and repairs, because of its lower cost components. But this bike held up well on our tests, and that’s a good sign.
We recently tested and evaluated the Oasis on its performances in speed, range, stopping, climbing hills, and ride quality. We give a straightforward assessment that should answer all, or most, of the questions you have about its suitability. After reading this review, you should have a pretty good idea of how this bike rides and whether or not it’s a bike that can meet your expectations.
Class 2 E-Bike:Right hand throttle and pedal assist up to 20 mph
KBO Oasis Video Review
The Oasis’ overall build and mix of components make it an affordable entry level cruiser e-bike.
As a cruiser, the Oasis is comfortable to ride with upright posture, relaxing handlebar reach, and comfy well padded wide seat.
KBO claimed we could ride up to 55 miles on a single charge, and we did, thanks to its large 720 Wh battery.
Riding at night is made safer thanks to the bike’s LED front light and frame-integrated LED flasher tail lights.
Riders under 6’ tall have the option of getting the Step-Through version of this bike.
PAS 1 & 2 are too slow, and the pedal assist engages inconsistently. We would like to see KBO increase the power output in PAS 1 and 2.
We’d like to see KBO use a 11-28T cassette to give a larger gear range. We started to ghost pedal around 20 mph and found ourselves wishing we could shift to just one higher gear.
We found a few errors on KBO’s product sales page (listed as UL certified, and shows seat post suspension when our model didn’t have that).
Throttle: Twist the throttle on your right hand to accelerate
Tires: 26″ x 3.0″
Comfortable cruiser: the Oasis handled well, was easy to operate, and comfortable on long rides.
The mustache handlebar really gives the Oasis that cruiser look and feel when riding.
Have a seat: the generic seat was surprisingly comfortable on my 56-mile ride.
KBO Oasis Review: Speed Test
The Speed Test is something we do on every e-bike we review. It’s designed to help us identify this bike’s top speed in each of the PAS levels, and with no motor assistance. Knowing the top speeds for each PAS level is one of the first things we need to learn about this bike before we begin our other tests. This helps you, too, because your ride expectations will be rooted in reality. Another advantage in knowing involves being able to avoid speeds that could pose a safety risk to you and others.
When talking about how this bike rides comfortably, that does not include pedaling it with the motor turned off. I could only get the Oasis up to 8.1 mph. Part of the reason is it’s 72.8 lbs weight. The other issue is the 3” wide tires are not easy to pedal on an e-cruiser like this.
PAS 1 only got me up to 9.0 mph. I was expecting it to take me at least up to 10 mph in PAS 1. PAS 2 wasn’t much better, only reaching 10.1 mph. PAS 3 was better, reaching a top speed of 14.1 mph. PAS 4 got the bike up to 17.4 mph, and PAS 5 up to 20.1 mph. We feel PAS 1 and PAS 2 don’t give riders the kind of speed they are looking for, and we likely wouldn’t use either level when we ride.
This cruiser needs a more balanced speed range. We’d like to see KBO changeup and make PAS 1 reach 10 mph, and PAS 2 12 mph. The Oasis’ cadence sensor is limited in how well it tells the motor what speed to reach. The current speeds didn’t make us happy, and most other riders will probably feel the same.
The top three PAS levels were okay, so we don’t see a real need to change them. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, most people choose e-bikes to help simplify their ride. The first two speed limits on the Oasis’ pedal assist system barely take this bike past the average speed most people pedal regular bikes at.
Also, this poses a problem where we are using speeds that are higher than we really want, by forcing us to choose PAS 3 and higher for our rides. This not only poses a safety risk, but it also inconveniences us in having less choice when it comes to speed. Plus, we are missing out on the 12 – 14 mph ride experience that’s found on other cruisers.
Keep on cruising: the Oasis was a fun cruiser to ride around town, and the ergonomic comfort also made this a good long distance cruiser.
Power to go: the 720Wh battery took us farther than expected, 56 miles using PAS 3.
Room to carry: 55 lbs capacity cargo rack enables you to shop and bring home goodies.
KBO Oasis Review: Range Test
When KBO bikes told us the Oasis can travel 30 – 55 miles on a single charge, we were ready to test this bike and see. After fully charging the bike’s battery, we took it on our first range test, called the “Minimum PAS Range Test.” The goal here is to pedal the bike using the lowest PAS level that provides continual pedal assistance to the rider. Since PAS 1 and 2 were useless, we did this part in PAS 3.
You’ll recall from the Speed Test that PAS 3 is where this bike came to life. I was a little concerned about battery consumption because the Oasis’s top speed in PAS 3 is 1 – 2 mph faster than most bikes’ average PAS speed in the Range Test. But that was all for naught, as the 500W motor and 720Wh battery worked together to take me and this bike nearly 57 miles on a single charge. Not only was this a good result for a cruiser, but it was also a good result using a PAS level that was a little faster than average.
It’s safe to say that if we rode this test using PAS 2, the Oasis likely would have traveled more than 60 miles, but I would have had to do quite a bit more pedaling than the standard we set for this test.
In the second part of the Range Test, I rode this bike using PAS 5, for maximum motor power output, combined with my basic (i.e. non-exertive) pedaling. Another success story here, with the Oasis making it to 33.86 miles before the battery ran out of juice.
Remember how I said we are obligated to make sure KBO was on the mark with their claim that this bike should go at least 30 to 55 miles? I am happy to say they were right.
KBO Oasis Review: Hill Test
If you are like most cruiser riders, then it’s probably safe for me to say that pedaling up steep hills isn’t one of your favorite things about riding? If that is correct then you probably won’t be disappointed when reading how the Oasis did on our Hill Test.
Conquering hills is a big part of why people buy an e-bike. Our hill test is run on a ⅓ mile trail with an average incline of 12 percent, and infamously called the Hell Hole Trail. We test the Oasis’ ability using throttle-only on the first test, and in the second test we use the maximum PAS level for maximum power output, while contributing basic pedaling.
The good news on the throttle-only Hill Test was that the Oasis made it to the top. But it barely had enough power at one point and our tester, Justin, was surprised when the bike sputtered all the way to the top, in a very slow time of 2:54, and averaging a very slow speed of 6.2 mph. The Oasis has the distinction of being the slowest cruiser to conquer the Hell Hole Trail, using the throttle-only. Like my coach used to say, “a win is a win.”
The Oasis did better on the second Hill Test. With the help of Justin’s basic pedaling, and correct choice of gear, the Oasis took him to the top of Hell Hole in an okay time of 1:32, and a modest speed of 11.8 mph. The main lesson on this part? When you put some pedaling effort in, the Oasis is going to do more for you.
Cruisers aren’t known as hill crunchers, and this bike confirmed that. Folks who ride cruisers don’t regularly use their bike for hill climbing. But if you live in parts of the US that have a lot of hills, like San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Denver, then this will matter to you. I can say, having ridden the hills in all four of those cities on a non-electric bike, that I think the Oasis can probably get you up the hills in those cities, as long as you pedal.
Feeling free as the wind: Cruising is addictive, and not having to buy gas makes it a healthy habit.
Good street tread: these tires handle great on dry pavement, but avoid the rain, snow and ice.
Easy reach: push the button to shift up, thumb lever to shift down, and the half throttle to go.
KBO Oasis Review: Brake Test
With so much of our prior focus being on the Oasis’ ability to power forward, it’s fitting now to talk about how well this bike stops. The Oasis’ brake system performed better than expected on our brake test, with an average stopping distance of 23’3”. For most e-bikes the average is 20’ – 22’, but for cruisers and commuter e-bikes, the Oasis landed close to the middle. That’s not bad considering these brakes are mechanical instead of hydraulic.
The Oasis uses brakes we haven’t seen before – Teboka MD 320 mechanical disc brake system. It uses 180mm rotors on the front, which is what we see on many other e-bikes, and 203mm rotors on the rear wheel. We were a little surprised by this because we don’t normally see an e-bike with different size rotors.
Taking a deeper look at this, there are a few reasons that support KBO’s choice. Using the bigger rotor means you don’t lose as much braking power because the larger 203mm rotor generates less heat than the 180mm rotor. Bigger rotors also stop better because their braking torque is closer to the outside part of the wheel. The physics around this are too advanced to explain here but it does support having the larger rotor on the rear. And since the hub motor is on the rear wheel, it generates additional heat that’s not present on the front brake rotor.
Hydraulic brakes tend to work better than mechanical brakes, so it stands to reason that using a larger rotor than normal makes these Teboka brakes work better. And looking at this further, with some subjectivity involved, another reason for the 203mm on the rear is that most riders use the rear brake more than the front brake.
There are a lot of articles out there that claim riders tend to use their rear brake more, but I can tell you in my years of working at a bike shop, many riders have told me they were taught to not use the front brake as much because of the risk of going over the handlebar.
Putting aside that last assumption, KBO’s choice on the rear rotor was a safer bet. The Teboka brakes are not well-known, so we don’t have experience with these brakes on other bikes. The fact that this bike stopped well on our test, and uses a larger-than-average rotor, gave us a little more confidence in using these unfamiliar brakes.
Our only other issue is that the brakes are still squeaking. Sometimes we get new bikes with squeaky brakes, which usually come from a coating on the brake pads that wears off after your first couple of rides. This may be an aberration. Sometimes glazing develops, in which case our mechanic will have to remove the pads, lightly sand them down, and then re-install. But if you’re not a bike mechanic, that means put up with the squeaks, or pay a bike mechanic to get rid of the squeak.
KBO Oasis Review: Ride Quality
Next, we ask the question, how does this bike feel when riding it? As a cruiser, the Oasis gives an upright posture, arms comfortably extending forward and resting on the 700mm mustache-style handlebar. The effective top tube length of 26.3″ gives a reach of approximately 16”, which is normal for a cruiser. Whether you have short arms or long arms the handlebar height and reach can be changed using the adjustable stem.
For more comfort, I moved the stem up and back so my bake was straight, and my arms more relaxed, using a shorter reach. If you don’t have experience making this adjustment, we recommend you work with a skilled bike mechanic or trusted friend or family member who has experience doing this.
Also common with cruisers is the pedal positioning that’s a little more forward than on most other bikes. This helped me recline back a little more, although it slightly reduced the effectiveness of my pedaling. As long as I was using PAS 3, at the very least, I had no complaints with the pedaling.
The Oasis doesn’t have suspension, and I felt it whenever I rode on gravel or over potholes. The fat tires helped absorb some of the bumps but couldn’t replace having a suspension fork or suspension seat post.
The 7-speed shifted well, but the 14-28T rear cassette delivered ghost shifting in 7th gear.
Rigid suspension means you rely more on the tires (and your body) to absorb the bumps.
Brake lights for safety, good for avoiding rear-enders. 500W motor and PAS give slower speeds for cruising, and faster for commuting.
Simple 3-button display for PAS and settings. Faux leather grips look cool, but be sure to carry gloves in case things get wet.
Motor engagement was inconsistent. When starting from a stop, sometimes it bolted ahead, and other times it was smooth. Sometimes it took the cadence sensor several pedal cycles before it would engage the motor with my pedaling. Other times it engaged quicker; and a few times longer gaps of non-engagement where it felt like PAS 1 and 2 were not going to kick in, so I had to move up to PAS 3. Like I mentioned earlier, this might be an issue that can be solved with a software update – which we’ll update here if that’s the case. And on top of that is the ghost pedaling issue. You may not notice it if you’re not often trying to reach 20 mph, but KBO still needs to address this, too, and maybe replace the 14-28T cassette with an 11-28T one.
The street tread tires gave good handling on dry pavement. During my rides I discovered that braking and turning on roads that are wet or have loose sand can be tricky and I don’t advise it. Also, we recommend that you avoid ice, snow with these tires.
The cockpit was easy to ride, with its simple layout, light-pull levers, easy display buttons, and the Shimano Tourney shifter. The high-step frame we tested is too tall for riders under 6’, so shorter riders will want to choose the Oasis’ Step-through model. It has the same components as its high-step sibling.
KBO Oasis Review: Summary / Where to Buy
At the end of the day, the Oasis has a mixed bag when determining it as a suitable entry-level cruiser. We think they did get some things right, like the bike’s look, feel and ride comfort. It looks and feels like a classic beach cruiser. I can attest to its comfort based on my non-stop 56-mile ride and 33-mile ride on the range test. We would still like to see them make corrections to the things we noted here, especially with the motor’s PAS speeds and pedal engagement.
The KBO Oasis has a look that should appeal to a lot of cruiser riders. In my riding experience on this bike, I noticed a few more heads than normal were turning to take a look at this bike. And I had no complaints about comfort – the Oasis was a comfortable riding cruiser. Considering this bike’s look, comfortable ride, ability to go 56 miles on a single charge, and it’s price, I can see how folks can like this bike.
The Oasis has some positives and with some small improvements, we think this could be a popular entry-level cruiser e-bike. KBO ships directly to consumers, so if you are interested in learning more, then please use our link above as a way of showing you value the information presented in our review.
Happy Riding! Make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the KBO Oasis.