BESV TRB1 Urban - Best Electric Bike
The formidable Winora Yakun Tour has been my favourite electric bike for a long time. But now there's a new contender for best electric bike. I rode the BESV TRB1 Urban e-bike around 50cycles' home town, Loughborough, this weekend and was more than impressed.
We've found the electric bike we and our customers have been looking for
First, I'll explain why I like the Winora Yakun so much. It's powerful, has plenty of gears, rugged good looks and it's fast in an important way. Most electric bikes assist up to a maximum speed and then kind of hold you back from cycling much faster under your own power. The Yakun's Yamaha PW-X motor and gearing saw me hurtling along at 20mph or more with relative ease, on the flat, without any contribution from the motor.
But on the downside, that PW-X motor is a little noisy and is supported by a 500Wh battery pack. And though a powerful hill-climber, the sensation when climbing a mighty slope was more like being winched up than riding up. Yes, it could climb anything, but in its own way.
The BESV TRB1 Urban is an entirely different beast. What I noticed first is how very quiet it is. Effectively silent when you're out in traffic. And this silence reflects how smooth assistance from its 250W Brose motor is. The sensation is one of gliding rather than being winched or pushed. Just gliding, effortlessly. Unlike anything else we have in our line-up, a world away from the likes of Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha or Impulse.
Despite being so quiet (or maybe because it's so quiet and efficient), this bike is incredibly powerful. I did a couple of hill climbs up Loughborough's Beacon Road. It's a moderately steep but long climb. Unlike ANY bike I've ever tested on this hill, it maintained top speed all the way up! I couldn't believe it, so I did it again and again.
I had completed the same climb on another bike earlier that day and managed a top speed of around 21kph (13mph) - but the BESV TRB1 Urban stayed at around 30kph (18.5mph) all the way to the top. I have to confess, I was not expecting that of this bike. The Brose motor is clearly not to be underestimated. This bike is a massive winner for that alone.
Largest battery capacity, longest range
But another winning characteristic is its enormous battery capacity. It's not 500Wh like Bosch, Yamaha or Shimano. Nor is it 612Wh like some of the Kalkhoff Impulse range. No, the TRB1 Urban comes with a 762Wh Lithium-ion battery. So you're not going to pay the penalty for all that power by conking out sooner than you like - this is the biggest battery capacity we've seen.
This model comes with all the equipment you'd expect - front and rear lights, sturdy luggage rack, kickstand, exceedingly good brakes, puncture-resistant tyres and 10-speed gears, so it's the complete package.
Who's it for? Commuters will find its speed, hill-climbing and road presence very welcome. Long-distance tourers will love it for its battery capacity. Recreational riders will love it because it's simply a very, very nice e-bike to ride.
Don't miss out on this one
If there's one problem with the TRB1 Urban right now, it's availability. We have one in our possession, in November 2018 (it's in our Loughborough showroom if you'd like to try it) and only a dozen more are immediately available to sell to you. We'll have more coming early in 2019, but if you want to own the most capable electric bike we've ever offered (and one that looks the part too), you'll have to be quick or you'll have to wait until next year.
Here's BESV's own promotional video for the TRB1 Urban
And there are Scott of 50cycles first impressions