Heybike Explore Review
With eBike demand exploding, there are more companies jumping into the market every year. One of those companies is Heybike, established in 2021 with the goal of creating a cleaner, more efficient way to commute. Since their initial start they have had tremendous growth as a company and in popularity, enabling them to offer many different styles of eBikes, covering everything from daily commuting to off road riding. With so much talk about the Heybike brand, we wanted to see what all the fanfare was about. So we got a hold of the Heybike Explore to test to see if all the hype around Heybike is warranted.
Unboxing and Assembly of the Heybike Explore
They Heybike Explore comes well packaged with everything securely zip tied together onto the frame of the bike.
Once the zip ties are cut, we were left with basically five pieces to install; the front tire, front fender, pedals, seat and handlebars. Assembly is quick and easy thanks to the detailed user manual and included tools.
Once completely assembled, all that was left was to air up the tires, charge the battery and the Heybike Explore was ride ready.
Heybike Explore Components and Build
Heybike Explore Frame
The Heybike Explore frame is an aluminum build with a step-thru design that can accommodate riders that are 5’5″ to 6’6″. Weighing in at 77 lbs. the Explorer is a sizable machine that can support riders and cargo up to 330 lbs. The first thing that jumped out at me was the length of this eBike coming in at 80″. While there are not really any downsides to this other than taking up more space in the garage. Below are some comparison photos to other eBikes to help show the size.
The Explore is most comparable to the Rad Rover Step-Thru and the picture below will give you a better idea on the length that I mentioned. I lined up the seat posts on both bikes to help gauge the difference. Check out the length of the chain – Wow!
HeyBike Explore Motor
The motor on the Heybike Explore is a brushless 750 watt motor that has a massive amount of torque and power. Out of the box settings on the pedal assist were actually far to aggressive for this large of a motor, which almost caused the bike to do a wheelie. But once the settings get dialed in the motor delivers reliable, strong and fast power, both on and off road.
Heybike Explore Battery
The Heybike Explore comes with a 48V 20AH removable battery that offers riders the ability to tackle a range of up to 55 miles using only the throttle and up to 70 miles when using pedal assist. While these numbers are estimates, they proved to be close in testing. Range of course depends on many factors; rider and cargo weight, tire pressure, terrain, wind, temperature, etc. With Heybike choosing to add a larger than standard battery, it gives the bike more power and the chance to out distance many other eBikes on the market.
A battery indicator gauge is built right on the battery for pre-ride checking.
The battery can be charged on or off the bike and is easy to remove by accessing the seat lever that flips up the seat. Charge time on the battery from empty lands just shy of six hours.
Heybike Explore Throttle and Controls
The Heybike Explore is equipped with a twist grip throttle on the right side handle bar that allows riders to power the bike without pedaling. This is extremely useful for quick takeoffs, steep hills and rapidly changing terrain. The left side handle bar has controls for the LCD Display, power button, lights on/off button and an electronic horn button.
Heybike Explore Display
Front and center on the handlebars is the Explore’s backlit multifunction display which shows: battery level, speed, pedal assist level, odometer, wattmeter and an on/off light indicator. This is also where you can go in and tweak a number off settings to accommodate your ride style. As you can see on the display above, I have it set for 9 different pedal assist levels which really offers a nice riding experience. If you want to take a deep dive on all of the available settings you can check out the manual here. Going with a black background and white numbers really improves the readability of the display even in direct sunlight. Out of all of the eBikes that I have tested this display is the best one to date.
Heybike Explore Brakes
Heybike went with a Tektro brake setup which is the general go to for most eBikes on the market. But for whatever reason they opted for the smaller 160 mm disc and in my opinion really should have gone with the 180 mm disc at the very least, especially for the size and weight of this eBike.
The Tektro brakes work decently enough and do stop the bike, but they do not offer the confident stopping power that you would get from a 180 mm disc brake set. While this isn’t a deal breaker, it is something to keep in mind especially if you are a hard charging rider.
Heybike Explore Suspension
The front fork on the Explore has built-in suspension that improves shock absorption and delivers smooth riding. The suspension fork has 80mm of travel that helps cushion bumps along the ride and depending on your preference, the suspension fork can be locked out as a rigid fork, which yields higher efficiency while pedaling. The lockout lever located on top of the right side of the suspension fork, can be turned counterclockwise until it stops to completely lock out the suspension fork’s travel. To unlock the lockout lever, turn the knob clockwise until it stops.
When the lockout lever is unlocked, resistance can be adjusted by turning the preload adjustment knob, located on the top of the left side of the suspension fork. To soften the ride, subtract resistance by turning the preload adjustment knob counterclockwise, in the direction of the small “-” on the knob. To make the suspension softer when going over bumps, add resistance by turning the preload adjustment knob clockwise, in the direction of the small “+” on the knob. Both of these add nice personalized suspension to improve the ride experience on the Heybike Explore.
Heybike Explore Gears
Propelling the Explore is a 7-speed Shimano gear system that provides smooth shifting and just the right amount of gears to deliver the flexibly to tackle almost any terrain.
Heybike Explore Tires
The Heybike Explore is equipped with Chao Yang 26″ x 4″ fat tires. While these are not necessarily considered a top of the line brand, they have been more than adequate, delivering plenty of grip on trails and offering a smooth and stable ride on the road. After putting a 100 plus miles of trails and roadways, they have shown very little wear.
Heybike Explore Seat
The Heybike Explore comes with a wide seat that provides a comfortable ride. Attached to the seat is a small shock absorber that smooths out and dampens any bumps in the road and takes the comfort level up a notch. This combination allows you to take long rides with plush, smooth riding enjoyment.
Heybike Explore Rack, Lights and Mounting
Rounding out the components on Heybike Explore is the rear rack, front and rear lights, bottle holder and integrated front mount. The rear rack has a load capacity up to 120 lbs., which would be great for saddlebags and/or a trunk or basket and could easily be stacked with groceries, camping equipment or even hunting gear.
Front and rear lights deliver visibility as well as viewability for low light and dark riding. And best of all they have their own switch that allows you to turn them on and off with ease, as well as a light indicator on the the LCD display to let you know that they are on. The Explore comes with a water bottle cage installed that fits standard bike water bottles. And lastly, the integrated front mount allows you to install an optional front rack or basket.
Heybike Explore Riding Experience
As I mentioned above, right out of the box the Heybike Explore was a bit on the aggressive side and with all the power that a 750 watt motor can provide it needed to be dialed in. After jumping into the settings and bringing down the percentage of power being delivered for each pedal assist level, the Explore was ready to ride.
Heading out into the trails was an absolute joy. Between the front suspension and the shock absorber in the seat, tree roots and bumps in the trails were easily smoothed out, providing a nice rolling ride that didn’t jar my hands or rattle my body. On steep inclines the throttle came in handy to climb hills with no effort on my part. And thanks to the knobby tread on the tires, soft sand and mud didn’t slow the Explore down one bit.
Cruising on the roads delivered a smooth, stable and fast ride. With the throttle alone, I was able to hit speeds of 26 mph on flat straightaways, adding in some pedal power and it could take me to around 28 mph, but it was a lot of work to keep it at that speed for any length of time. One of the best things about the Heybike Explore is the large capacity battery, it easily tackled a 45 mile trip with plenty of battery to spare. This eBike is wonderful to cruise around on and impressive for not having to worry about whether or not you will have enough battery to make it to your destination and back home again.
Specifications of the Heybike Explore
- Battery: 48V 20Ah Lithium battery
- Range: 70 Miles (Pedal assist）
- Hub Motor: 750W Brushless gear motor
- Max Load: 330 lbs. (150kg)
- Display: LCD display
- Bell/Horn: Electric Horn
- Charging Port: Output 54.6V 2.8A
- Charging Time: 5-6 hours
- Rear Rack Dimensions: 50×19.5 (cm)
- Pedal-Assist Range 50-70 miles (80-113 km)
- Pure Electric Range 40-55 miles (64-89 km)
- Package Dimensions :165×30×87 (cm)
- Product Dimensions: 203×64×125 (cm)
- Recommended Rider Height: 5’9″-6’6″
- E-Bike Weight: 77 lbs (35 kg)
- Package Weight: 102.5 lbs (46.5 kg)
- Pedal Assist: Intelligent 5-level PAS
- E-bike Class: Class 3
Final Thoughts on the Heybike Explore
I do think Heybike slightly missed the mark on the brakes, but not enough for me to not recommend the Explore. With the powerful motor, fast speeds, big capacity battery and comfortable ride, the Heybike Explore is an absolute blast to ride and would make a great everyday ride, a fantastic commuter and even a worthy bike packing eBike.
MSRP $1899 For more info on the Explore or other Heybike models visit www.heybike.com