KBO Breeze Review

CharleyD

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Aug 26, 2021
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I've posted this review on a couple of other sites as well...just getting the word out there for those who may be considering purchasing a KBO bike. Just my opinion!

I received the Breeze a couple of weeks ago and have generally enjoyed my experiences so far. I mostly use the bike to commute to work 10 miles one-way on a combination of bike trails and public roadways here in Boulder, CO. I've put a little over 200 miles on the bike in that time and here are my experiences.
The bike was very easy to assemble and fits me well- I'm about 5'8" and it works well for me. The components are pretty good, running gear and brakes are similar to KBO's competitors- Shimano and 180mm Tektro respectively. The inclusion of aluminum fenders and a good rear rack were part of what helped me to decide to go with the KBO, in addition to the higher capacity of the battery (16 Ah) as compared to competitors. It's been reliable and capable from my experiences. So far so good.
However, the motor controller (made by JYTcon) definitely needs work to be on par with KBO's competitors and the general state of the art in terms of most mid-range ebikes on the road today. The basic functionality is very limited for the Breeze's controller, I am only able to change the units of display (KM or MPH) and reset the trip meter, nothing else. The reason this is an important note is because the overrun time (the time the motor provides assist after pedaling is stopped) is 1 second for the Breeze, which I feel is too long. Of course applying the brakes immediately stops the assist but there is a potential safety concern that with such a long overrun could surprise some less savvy riders and potentially result in a bad situation- like unexpectedly still providing assist while cornering or on loose surfaces. Having the ability to simply change the overrun setting seems like an important function for the motor control system. This is not available for the Breeze today.
Being able to adjust the assist levels for the various settings (1-5) would be valuable as well, as I think there are some unnatural jumps in assist levels by default- going from 2 to 3 for example.
This is an important consideration when buying an ebike- the main components that differentiate an ebike from a regular bike are the motor, the motor controller and the battery. The controller is the key component to controlling the system, so some focus here by KBO would take a an ok bike to the next level. Simply using a Lishui or Kunteng controller (like Ride1up and Rad Power) would be easy and eliminate the issues I describe above.
I have contacted KBO technical support as well as directly contacting the motor controller manufacturer (JYTcon, made by Yuecheng in Wuxi, China) and both have stated directly that any further capability of this controller is not possible and no improvements are planned. So unless the controller is changed (by yourself), what you get is what you will have. KBO support was ok, but the replies to my emails were from a different person each time and were very terse in nature.
My father in law has a Ride1up 500, and my dad has a RadPower ebike, so I have some direct comparison available to me for competitors to KBO in this space. I would rank KBO 3rd of 3 in this comparison, only due to the motor controller.
All that being said, I think this will be a good platform for a strong commuter ebike, even though I may end up replacing the controller myself.
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Bearabull

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Jul 29, 2021
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I assume the same issue with all kbos. Was looking at the walk through because of all the free upgrades. May have to reconsider this now.
 

CharleyD

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I assume the same issue with all kbos. Was looking at the walk through because of all the free upgrades. May have to reconsider this now.
I assume so too but can't confirm what the other models have for controllers. The 'freebies' (fenders and rack) are ok, but the battery capacity increase to 16 Ah was a big selling point for me, compared to Ride1Up and RadPower at the same price point. With the online $50 discount from KBO, and factoring in the extra money from R1U for the fenders and rack, The KBO is just a bit more expensive than the R1U for an extra 1 Ah of battery. Knowing what I know now, I'd probably go with the R1U Model 500 just for the controller.
However, the KBO is definitely a good looking bike, and I'm getting used to the controller's 'quirks.' I also have been making a few changes to make the bike better fitted to me and my riding style. I replaced the smooshy saddle with an old favorite from a MTN bike that's thinner and smoother (not grippy) and replaced the factory 46 tooth front chain ring with a 52 tooth for less spinning at higher speeds. This suits the bike much better IMO.
I also bothered KBO tech support enough about the controller issues that they offered to show me how to increase the top speed limit from 23 mph to 28 mph. This voids the warranty but I'm ok with that.
I've got about 300 miles on this so far and I'm pretty happy, controller issues aside.
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