HeyBike Brawn Review
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HeyBike has covered the spectrum of e-bike builds with a fat tire e-bike, a fat tire folding e-bike, step-thru design e-bike and a couple commuter e-bikes. But now they are stepping up their design game with an all terrain, motorcycle inspired e-bike that is built for adventure, suitably named the Brawn. And of course we had to check it out to see what the full capabilities are and find out who it might be best suited for.
HeyBike Brawn Unboxing and Assembly
As with our previous experience with HeyBike, the Brawn was delivered in a very well packaged standard e-bike box.
The components that needed to be installed were the handlebars, gooseneck, front tire, headlight and the pedals. All of the tools that were needed for assembly were included with the HeyBike Brawn and putting everything together was very straightforward and took about 15 minutes.
HeyBike Brawn Motor
The HeyBike Brawn is equipped with a 48V 750W brushless motor. Generally most fat tire e-bikes on the market are equipped with either a 500W or a 750W motor. From my experience, it is always best to opt for the large wattage motor, that way you will never be lacking any power or speed and be able to tackle almost any ridable terrain. The powerful 750W motor on the Brawn fuels even the most ambitious riding routes and enhances the e-bikes climbing ability, easily tackling steep slopes with more power even at lower speeds.
HeyBike Brawn Battery
Installed in the square down tube is a rechargeable 864Wh removable battery. Generally speaking the more Watt Hours (Wh) on an e-bike battery the better. Typical 48V e-bike batteries range from ~625Wh to ~750Wh, so HeyBike definitely gave the Brawn’s battery a bump in performance by packing in 864Wh. With a beefier battery the Brawn will have plenty of riding range and a lot power.
The Heybike Brawn also comes with a 4A fast charge that cuts the typical charge time almost in half, delivering a full charge in about 4 hours.
HeyBike Brawn Hydraulic Seat
You will notice in the picture above there is no lever lock to secure the seat height, that is because the Brawn is equipped with an adjustable hydraulic seat. This new and brilliant feature allows the rider to change the seat height while on the move.
The seat height can be easily adjusted for changing terrain by simple pushing the lever located below the light and horn button. The seat will spring up or can be pushed down with your weight, allowing you to quickly adjust your riding center of gravity for climbs or descents. A first I thought this might be a gimmicky feature that was totally unnecessary, but after using it for awhile it is truly a worthy addition. To the extent that I often question why all bikes don’t have it and definitely miss it when I am not riding the Brawn.
HeyBike Brawn Hydraulic Suspension Front Fork
By extending the front hydraulic suspension fork above the top tube, HeyBike has been able to achieve one of the smoothest riding e-bikes that I have ever been on. This allows for longer hydraulic shafts, which in turn better absorb any bumps in the road, also giving the Brawn it’s motorcycle look and feel. The dual suspension can be adjusted to the riders preference or locked out completely by the knobs on top of the forks. Thanks to this style hydraulic suspension, the Brawn delivers an unbelievably comfortable and buttery smooth ride regardless of terrain or the road conditions.
HeyBike Brawn Hydraulic Disc Brakes
With increased speed and power comes the need for greater stopping power. Which is why HeyBike supplied the Brawn with hydraulic disc brakes, this allows the rider to apply less force to receive the same stopping power as mechanical brakes. Hydraulic brakes give optimal modulation of the pad against the rotor since the fluid is not compressible like cable wire, providing a safer and more enjoyable overall riding experience. As a bonus, hydraulic brakes automatically adjust and require less maintenance than their mechanical counterparts.
HeyBike Brawn Tires
I have called the Chao Yang tires a middle of the road quality tire in past, but as I get more experience with them and stack more miles on them, they are truly holding their own against some of the more well known and expensive brands. The traction provided by the 26 x 4 tires are great when tackling off road trails, and riding on pavement provides plenty of stability and grip, even on fast sharp corners.
HeyBike Brawn Adaptive Headlight
The HeyBike Brawn is equipped a motorcycle-esque adaptive headlight with a halo for daylight riding safety and provides excellent visibility during night rides. The headlight has it’s own on / off button, but can automatically sense the surroundings, and turn on when in darker conditions. The large integrated adaptive headlight delivers confidence and safety no matter what time of the day you are heading out for a ride.
HeyBike Brawn Multifunctional LCD Display
With advanced, real time metrics, the back-lit LCD display on the HeyBike Brawn is visible at any time of day and provides a myriad of options. The functionality of the LCD display offers customization with five pedal assist riding modes, including walking mode and Bluetooth connectivity with the HeyBike app, for complete customization, tracking and locking / unlocking the e-bike. The screen displays all of the crucial ride information, such as battery levels, speed, mileage, power, PAS level, odometer, light and Bluetooth indicators.
HeyBike Brawn Independent Tail Light
The independent multi-color tail light is a bit of a disappointment, while it provides three modes of bright steady, flashing and alternating lights with a handful of colors to choose from – it is not integrated into the Brawn’s electrical system. This means that you have to remember to turn it on separately from the e-bike, it also means no integrated brake light. When HeyBike went over the top with everything else on the Brawn, this feels like an afterthought. Yes, it’s bright – yes it works, but considering everything else, HeyBike should have integrated the taillight.
HeyBike Brawn Shimano 7-Speed
The smooth shifting, seven speed Shimano Tourney offers a great range of gears. The 7 speeds deliver an enjoyable riding experience, that is perfect for both pedaling up steep inclines and cruising around at high speeds.
The higher gears allow for a more fluid movement going downhill, while the lower gears provide plenty of leverage when heading up hill.
HeyBike Brawn Handlebars
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the short and stout handlebars on the HeyBike Brawn. This was obviously done to stick with the motorcycle inspired design. The steering and handling performance is not really lacking at all due to the shortened design. But it does make you feel like you are riding a fast chopper style motorcycle. A gain on looks (if you are into the motorcycle thing), but nothing lost from a control standpoint. Plus the Brawn can squeeze through tighter spaces, like parked cars or narrow trails.
HeyBike Brawn Controls
Starting on the left side of the handlebars is the headlight and electronic horn button cluster, and just below that is the hydraulic seat lever. The next set of buttons consists of the +/backlight, power, mode and the – buttons. And moving across to the right side is the 7 speed Shimano shifter and the throttle lever. The throttle gives the e-bike on demand power for when you need motor assistance and greater acceleration or for when you just feel like cruising with no pedaling effort.
HeyBike Brawn Riding Experience
The HeyBike Brawn is a beast of an e-bike that packs a powerful punch with it’s 750W motor pushing it to speeds of up to 28 mph. It offers a sizable torque rating that helps with climbing hills and quick take offs. And thanks the large 846Wh battery the Brawn is capable of going longer distances, ~45 miles with only electric power and ~65 miles with the pedal assist with optimal conditions. Plenty of capacity for a commute to work, errands and enough left over to do some playful riding afterwards. The Brawn is equipped with pedal cadence sensors that have just an ever so slight delay in the pedal start response, but once it kicks in the Brawn offers an exceptionally smooth and intuitive ride. The HeyBike Brawn has been nothing but fun to ride, whether it is on the road or on trails, this all terrain e-bike delivers an absolutely smooth riding experience that is reminiscent of riding a motorcycle without all of the noise.
Specs of the HeyBike Brawn
- Motor – 750 W
- Max Range – 65 Miles
- Top Speed – 28 Mph
- Battery – 48V 18 Ah
- Charge Time – 4-5 Hours
- Front Fork – Hydraulic Suspension Front Fork
- Brakes – Hydraulic Disc Brakes System
- Seat – Hydraulic Seat
- Max Load – 400 Lbs.
Final Thoughts on the HeyBike Brawn
The HeyBike Brawn is tough enough for off road adventures but definitely smooth enough for urban errands and cruising on downtown streets. It is versatile, has plenty of power and brings in a unique motorcycle like styling to the e-bike realm. While I wouldn’t quite call the HeyBike Brawn a masterpiece, it does get a thumbs up from me. If you are looking for a unique e-bike that offers a sleek look and delivers a fluid riding experience the HeyBike Brawn is worth taking a look at. For more info on the Brawn and other Electric Bikes from HeyBike, visit www.heybike.com or www.amazon.com/heybike. Canadian readers can visit www.heybike.ca.