Two of the world's best e-bikes get a redesign for city commuters

Ribble electric bike
(Image credit: Ribble)

Two of the world's best electric bikes, the Ribble Hybrid AL e and Ribble CGR AL e, are now available with step-through frames, making them more practical for city riders who want to commute in their regular clothes, and weekend riders who want a more comfortable option.

The new step-through designs will also prove useful for riders who find it awkward to swing their leg over a standard top tube. This is a real advantage for anyone who's interested in using an e-bike as a gentle re-introduction to cycling due to age or injury.

"Cycling’s popularity has increased over the past decade with more and more people discovering the benefits and joy of cycling," said Andy Smallwood, CEO of Ribble.

"We’ve added the new e-bike step through models to our existing world class range to provide even more choice for everyone, whether thinking of getting into cycling or life-long cyclists like myself."

Ribble electric bike

(Image credit: Ribble)

Road, gravel or trail

The Hybrid AL e has a typical hybrid design that's suitable for both roads and gentle trail action, with wide, flat handlebars. It gives a smooth ride, and in your review, we found it a joy to use.

The CGR AL e (standing for cross, gravel, road) has drop handlebars and stable geometry to tackle any terrain. Although the standard tires are fairly smooth, if you're planning to stray off the beaten path you can customize it with something more rugged in Ribble's Bike Builder (the frame provides plenty of clearance for mud-coated MTB tires).

Both could be easily mistaken for regular push-bikes at first glance due to their cunningly hidden batteries and small Mahle ebikemotion drive unit. Their motors are quiet, but deliver an impressive boost to your pedalling, with a range of assistance levels that you can adjust to suit the terrain and manage power use on long rides.

They're surprisingly light too, with the standard spec Hybrid AL e weighing just 13.1kg, and the CGR AL e tipping the scales at 13.8kg. This, combined with the battery's position in the downtube rather than the seat tube, makes them much more practical to shoulder and carry than other e-bikes.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)