An In-depth guide
RIBBLE ELECTRIC BIKES
UPDATED - 21st September 2020
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INTRODUCTION TO RIBBLE ELECTRIC BIKES
Ribble is a trusted and respected name among UK cyclists, and now that they have begun to develop electric bikes, they’re provoking a lot of chatter among e-bike enthusiasts. Let’s see what all the fuss is about!
The history of Ribble Bikes
Veteran cyclists will be well aware of the Ribble brand. After all, they’ve been making bikes since 1897, making them one of the oldest brands in UK cycling history. Ribble unveiled its first e-bike in 2019.
Yet, ever since its inception in Victorian-era Lancashire, the brand has been at the forefront of engineering excellence.
The Ribble brand (which takes its name from the river which flows through the manufacturer’s native Preston) has enjoyed a reputation for innovation from day one.
The ungainly and impractical Penny Farthings had begun to give way to the sturdier and more efficient “safety bicycle”, and the Ribble Brand quickly gained a reputation for excellence owing to its sturdy, high-quality steel frames.
As the years went by, Ribble led the charge in cycling innovation, substituting steel frames for lighter materials like aluminium and carbon fibre.
After coming into new ownership in 2017, the brand began doubling down on its commitment to quality and innovation. With the new investment, it has already started delivering ever more technologically advanced bikes to professionals and casual riders alike, delivering performance and value at every price point.
With the introduction of its first electric bike, the Endurance SL e in 2019 Ribble threw its prestigious hat into the e-bike arena. In the past 12 months, it has developed three electric bikes.
In this handy guide, we’ll take a closer look at three of Ribble’s e-bikes to ascertain which is best suited to your needs.
1 - RIBBLE ENDURANCE SL e ELECTRIC BIKE
Ribble’s first e-bike caused quite a stir when it hit the market in 2019. And even at first glance, it’s easy to see why. The sleek and elegant frame will be familiar to anyone who’s previously ridden Ribble’s SL range of bikes and uses Toray T800/T1000 Full Carbon Monocoque frame and forks.
This helps to give the bike a wonderful sense of lightness and agility. And if you were worried about being weighed down by a hefty battery, fear not!
The Endurance SL e uses the X35 ebikemotion system, which is known for its exceptionally lightweight. The lithium battery, motor and other ancillary components between them weigh just 3.5 kilos meaning that complete builds can weigh as little as 11kg.
It has a lovely streamlined profile, too, given that the slimline battery sits inside the downtube while internal cables help to reduce clutter in the bike’s appearance.
The bike’s geometry and generous 32mm tyre clearance (25mm with mudguards fitted) are designed to provide comfort when you need it, while also giving you race bike performance when you need that instead.
As well as delivering power and crisp handling, the Shimano 34-50T x 11-32T gearing is low enough for off-road and uphill use, even if the rest of the bike isn’t necessarily designed with offroad use in mind.
2 - RIBBLE CGR AL e ELECTRIC BIKE
The electric version of Ribble’s ever-popular bestseller the CGR range, the CGR AL e is probably the most versatile bike on our list. After all, the CGR stands for Cross, Gravel, Road.
It uses a 6061 T6 aluminium frame for strength and lightness, while titanium or steel frames are available as optional extras. Full carbon forks help to provide greater comfort while absorbing “road buzz”.
A dropped seat stays design also provides support even when navigating bumpy and uneven terrain.
Like the Endurance SL e, the electric CGR boasts a streamlined appearance with nary a visible cable, battery or motor insight which is just as well for those who’ll be weaving through wet, muddy or rocky terrain.
There are a variety of Shimano or SRAM double chainring options available. Most are designed primarily for road use while others will provide lower gearing for regular off-road and mountain use.
For those who want super-low gearing, there are two single chainring options available- SRAM Apex and Rival.
One possible point of contention for riders, however, maybe the handlebars. While the drop handlebars are recommended for those who are likely to use this bike for long stretches of road use, they may frustrate those who spend most of their time off-road.
3 - RIBBLE HYBRID AL e ELECTRIC BIKE
For those who can’t decide whether they need a road bike or a mountain bike, Ribble’s hybrid range has always provided a happy medium.
The Hybrid AL e, however, seems most at home in the assisted urban market. It’s desirable good looks, charming profile and well-rounded spec make it an excellent choice for all kinds of riders who spend a lot of their time on the road but like to venture off the road in their downtime.
With flat handlebars and a comfortable posture, you can virtually see the comfort that this bike offers. The aluminium frame is sturdy and durable enough to deliver peace of mind on the rolling hills while full carbon forks take care of “road buzz”.
Tyre clearance of up to 45mm (40mm with mudguards) helps to lend the rise a smooth and pleasant feel.
Yet, that’s not to say that this bike can’t deliver speed when called for, using the same X35 ebikemotion system as the other entries on this list. Meanwhile, the Sram NX single chainring groupset offers low gearing when it’s needed for austere uphill climbs.
Easy and intuitive controls, a comfortable build and great value for money make this an excellent choice for anyone looking for their first e-bike.
HOW RIBBLE ENSURES QUALITY
One of the most beloved and trusted brands in the business, Ribble’s name is virtually synonymous with quality.
The carbon fibre or aluminium frames, the wide selection of chainring groupsets and performance of the X35 system show the brand’s commitment to innovation and quality.
RIBBLE ELECTRIC BATTERIES
One important point to note is that the X35 system used in all three of these models has a non-removable battery and the charge point is on the top part of the bottom bracket.
This is a somewhat vulnerable position for mud or rainwater and riders should be mindful of this when riding and storing their bike (although there is a rubber cover protecting the port).
RIBBLE COMPONENTS AND DESIGN
One of the most compelling reasons to trust the Ribble brand is its insistence on using the highest quality components in its motion system, brakes and gears to complement the outstanding bodywork.
A Ribble bike offers reliability and performance without coasting on name recognition.
Whatever your needs and however many electric bikes you’ve owned, the Ribble brand has something to offer you. Its impressive heritage, insistence on quality and good looks across the board make Ribble an excellent choice for your first or thirtieth e-bike.
While the CGR is without a doubt, the best all-rounder and the Endurance SL e is the higher-spec option for the serious enthusiast, and the Hybrid EL e is the perfect entry-level model for those who want a high performance yet reliable e-bike.
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