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We were pleasantly surprised by this bike from a new brand. Its unique selling point is the stiff and light carbon composite frame – a material usually found on high-end road and mountain bikes. The battery and motor will always make an e-bike heavier than its unpowered cousin, but the lightweight carbon frame of the Hybrid helped offset that extra mass a little. That relative lightness, coupled with the frame stiffness, contributed to the confident handling and efficient pedalling our testers noted.
The Bafang mid-drive system delivers smooth power and lots of it. The Hybrid cruises up the steepest hills and assists to 45km/h, so it can eat up the kilometres. The battery life suffers though, and you might need to dial back the assistance to extend riding range. Its parts are all good quality, with a bump-absorbing suspension fork, puncture-resistant tyres, a large gear range, a full set of guards and a rack.
Hybrid has thought carefully about this bike and the intended rider. While its comfort-zone is covering long distance rides at speed, we think it’s more than capable of mixing it with urban traffic.
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Each e-bike was taken on a test route by two riders. The 5km route in and around Wellington’s CBD included city traffic, fast flat roads, hills, kerbs, wooden bridges and a busy waterfront path shared with pedestrians.
We also put the e-bikes through a gruelling 20km route around Wellington’s Wadestown and Northland suburbs. The main challenge was climbing a 2km-long hill five times at a steady 20km/h (a kilometre of vertical ascent) and descending the same twisty narrow road between climbs. It also included a short, steep section of rough path with a narrow barrier negotiated at walking pace, an undulating 5km of suburban streets, and a steep descent requiring brakes to keep the e-bike to the 50km/h speed limit.
Our riding tests, along with a static assessment of the features and functions of each e-bike, were used to score the performance of the motor system and the bike. Overall score includes:
Motor system (50% of overall score)
Bike (50% of overall score)
Bafang MM G33
Handlebar - central
10 / Trigger