a nice electric bike, but a bad hangover

a nice electric bike, but a bad hangover

Recently launched in France, the Hyboo electric bike is based on a strong and committed promise: an eco-responsible frame made of bamboo and carbon for a light VAE, partly assembled by people with disabilities. We took it in hand for a few days for a first impression.

Source: Anthony Wonner — Frandroid

We were able to take control of the Hyboo electric bike for a week, which stands out for its low weight and its choice of materials. At 3300 euros, is it worth it? Answer in this little feedback.

Technical sheet

Model Hyboo Comfort (2022)
Max speed

25 km/h

Engine power

250 watts

Number of assists

5

Autonomy announced

100km

Announced recharge time

120 minutes

Removable battery

Yes

Bluetooth

Yes

GPS

Nope

Screen

Yes

Weight

15 kilograms

Dimensions

n / A

Color

Silver, Yellow

Product sheet See the test

This grip was made from a model lent by the brand.

A successful framework

After a 15-year career in haute couture, design and ready-to-wear in Asia, Carla Sarantellis embarked on a new entrepreneurial adventure: that of the electric bicycle. Thus was born Tripbike, at the origin of the VAE Hyboo, whose particularity lies in the choice of noble and eco-responsible materials.

The promise of this model is as follows: a light electric bike, “ hybrid, lifestyle and designed with a feminine spirit“, according to the words of the person concerned. Above all, the Hyboo has a handcrafted frame made of bamboo, but also carbon. A combination that allows it to drop to 15 kilos, a relatively low weight compared to the market average.

The project also has a social and human dimension, since this two-wheeler is partly assembled by people with disabilities. To do this, Carla Sarantellis relies on the Associations for the Professional and Human Integration and Reintegration of the Disabled (ANRH).

At 3300 euros, the Hyboo is clearly not for all budgets. “Basically, we were aiming for CSP+, but in the end it’s all kinds of people who buy it: from the bank employee to the teacher through the retired gentleman. It is a community sensitive to the green side and its designexplains Carla Sarantellis.

A tilting stem

Except that at this price, the expectation is real as to the quality of the finishes, the choice of components and the driving experience. And unfortunately, this Hyboo doesn’t tick all the boxes. In terms of finish, however, the frame fulfills its promises. No welding crease is apparent, the design clearly has its effect. The bet is therefore successful.

Note also the good integration of the luggage rack, which still exudes solidity. Via a system integrated into the stem, it is also possible to manage its inclination according to your user profile. Again, this is an interesting idea that has been well exploited.

On the other hand, a few small details bother us: the remote control (on the handlebars) which is used to manage its levels of assistance is terriblycheap. More care could also have been taken with cable management. Those connected to the battery are notably attached by cable ties and that is not very “premium”.

At the rear, the fender is loose and totally wobbly as soon as you drive over tiny bumps. Result: it hits an element of the frame and tends to get damaged as you travel. Not to mention the frankly unpleasant noise that the shock causes.

And here is the drama

The Hyboo bike, or at least our test model, seems to suffer from deeper problems. After several tens of kilometers traveled in Paris, the “luggage rack” – I never put the slightest effect on it as it seemed fragile – simply came apart in the middle of the journey.

So here we are with an element detached from the bike, which could have been dangerous for other road users in the event of heavy traffic. This kind of event is unacceptable.

The Hyboo is based on a particular philosophy: it is not a bike designed to be electric from the outset. TripBike has simply added an electrification kit (motor, battery, remote control) called Add-e, the base price of which starts at 975 euros. It’s another way of looking at things.

In terms of driving, the experience is not there. Or let’s say it depends on what one is looking for. The roller motor built into the vehicle does not offer the best behavior in terms of electric assistance. You have to do two or even three turns of the pedals (it depends on your gear at the time) to get a taste of the assistance.

A “zero effort” aspect

Once the latter activates, there is no middle ground: the motor delivers all its power, but does not adapt to the intensity you put in the pedals to adjust the assistance, as can make it a quality torque sensor. In traffic, you spend your time alternating between pedaling phase and inactive phase, especially with the highest assistance modes.

In summary, I had the impression of riding with a VAE sailing around 1000 euros.

However, this system has the “advantage” of bringing a “zero effort” aspect to your journeys. At least you don’t arrive sweaty at work or home. It can also be suitable for part of the users. For its part, the Microshift shifter is decent, but the passage of reports (8 in total) could have been more incisive.

In terms of braking, the disc brakes lack bite. At each phase, I had to press the levers fully to stop or slow down as I wanted. The notion of progressiveness does not really exist. Worse, the brake lever systematically came to lean on my index finger with regard to the pressure required to be applied.

An easy-to-remove battery

The thinness of the wheels is an assumed choice to pull the weight of the bike down. But it does not provide a huge sense of security either, particularly in slightly tight turns at more or less high speed. Finally, the motor-roller system tended to “cough” at times, without really understanding why.

For those who wish, you can also remove the battery – very easy to extract – of 1.3 kilo to switch to muscle mode. In this case, do not hesitate to play with the gear ratios in order to lower your gear ratio when starting off. Note that the battery recharges in 2 hours, for an average range of 60 km.

Finally, an application, also managed by Add-E, accompanies the experience in order to provide you with a whole lot of information, such as your remaining battery level, the level of assistance currently activated or your RPM (Round Per Minute), which corresponds to the number of crank revolutions performed each minute.

What conclusions can we draw from this handling carried out over a short week? That the Hyboo electric bike has its own philosophy based on a social, human and eco-responsible project, focusing on the lightness of the product. But whofinethe overall experience does not correspond to the displayed price of 3300 euros.

Pricing positioning

At this price – and if the values ​​inherent in the Hyboo do not speak to you – much more efficient and balanced models, but also heavier are clearly to be taken into consideration. We think in particular of the ace of urban VAE, the iWeech, but also of the Mustache or Canyon range, or even Cowboy for less.

Certainly, the bikes are opposed in all respects and are difficult to compare with the Hyboo, but the driving experience is clearly located at the antipodes. Let’s say there are no bad products, only bad prices. That of the Hyboo is not very nice given the services offered.