Ribble e-bike review: is the chic Hybrid AL e worth its price tag?

LIKE their car equivalents, e-bikes are here to stay, so we’ve reviewed the Ribble Hybrid AL e to see if it meets the needs of the modern commuter.

With its contemporary design that harks back to classic road bikes, the Hybrid AL e is arguably all the e-bike you need. It boasts a clean, streamlined design, a state-of-the-art electric motor and a top spec to rival the best commuters, and is an impressive all-rounder that appeals to pros and novices alike. 

Its versatility is its best asset – the ideal e-bike for commuting to work, it’s also perfect for scenic weekend rides, hill climbs and, thanks to its refined comfort, longer endurance rides. 

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  • Ribble Hybrid AL e, from £2,199 – buy here


  • Beautifully designed and expertly finished with a high-end feel
  • Incredibly versatile and ideal for short or long rides
  • High spec with quality components
  • Easy to ride and use every day
  • Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre (for an e-bike)


  • Like all e-bikes, its expensive
  • Heavy compared with regular bikes in its price bracket
  • Confusing instruction manual doesn't quickly explain button modes

Ribble e-bike review: quick summary

This is an incredibly good-looking, well-built e-bike equipped to deal with pretty much whatever you throw at it. A versatile performer, the Hybrid AL e suits novice riders and experienced pedallers alike. It makes cycling easy, from effortlessly climbing hills to navigating city streets, and it’s comfortable, too. 

It’s also enjoyable to ride for long distances – and backed up by its 60 mile battery range – this is a bike you’d be happy to take away for weekend trips, especially as it’s surprisingly lightweight.

Few bikes can match its versatility – it’s quick, comfortable and handles well, ensuring it’ll perform admirably regardless of what you throw at it.

  • Ribble Hybrid AL e, from £2,199 – buy here

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    Ribble e-bike review: full review

    Ribble isn’t new to the world of cycling, and it shows with the Hybrid AL e. From its humble beginnings as a bike shop in Preston in 1897, the British brand has grown over the decades to become one of the most respected names in cycling, and it has channeled this expertise into its state-of-the-art range of e-bikes. 

    A number of exciting start ups have entered the e-bike space, which is a rapidly expanding industry in line with electric motorcycles and cars. We’re bound to see more and more e-bikes enter the market, especially for city use, as they’re the quickest, most sustainable way to get around. 

    But while many new brands might struggle with teething issues, and usually outsource manufacturing and assembling, with Ribble you’re buying into its heritage and reputation, as well as the knowledge all its bikes are still hand-assembled in the UK. Ribble has long perfected its craft, and this is evident the moment you take delivery of your bike. 

    The brand is known for its high-spec finishes, and the Hybrid AL e is no different. Its lightweight 6061 T6 aluminium alloy frame looks and feels expensive, with its hidden cabling, distinctive blue paintwork and subtly integrated power button.

    It looks every bit the luxurious road bike, with its classic styling, cream-walled Schwalbe tyres and elegant profile. It’s a bike you want to look at, but one you also want to ride. 

    And when you do you probably won’t be surprised – the Hybrid AL e rides as smoothly as it looks. It inspires confidence the moment you swing a leg over it, making it ideal for those new to the world of e-bikes.

    It’ll also impress seasoned bicycle veterans though, as it feels and rides like any other high-end, hand-finished road bike. Indeed, you can ride it unassisted, and because it’s light you won’t have any issues. But at the push of a button it transforms itself into a highly capable machine that effortlessly breezes over the tarmac. 

    Its electric motor is deployed at the press of the top frame-mounted button, which blinks at you reassuringly. Pedal and you’ll instantly feel a boost, though it’s subtle in the lowest of the power modes.

    The bike has three modes of assistance, and you progress through them by pushing the button twice. It starts green, before progressing to amber and then red, the universal colour for speed. 

    If you’re anything like me, you’ll likely spend the bulk of your time in the red, the highest power mode. Deploying the full force of the Mahle Ebikemotion X35+ motor, it instantly gives you 250 watts to play with from the moment you start to pedal. And it’ll last, too, offering up to 60 miles of range. 

    If you haven’t experienced an e-bike before, it might surprise you at first. While it only offers power when pedalling, do so and you’ll feel a strange sensation that takes a moment to get used to. 

    Cycle away and it feels as though someone is constantly pushing you along, albeit with a gentle hand. It doesn’t feel like a motor as such, but rather like you’re cycling with a strong wind behind you, guiding you on your way as you make light work of previously challenging rides. 

    The power has a limit, of course. Government restrictions mean you’ll only hit a maximum of 15mph with electric assistance as with any e-bike, but the sensation is addictive and makes cycling far easier than you ever thought possible.

    • Ribble Hybrid AL e, from £2,199 – buy here

    It’s worth noting though that as you do have to pedal you still burn calories, so it’s not entirely a lazy experience. In full power mode you’ll burn a similar amount of calories as you would walking, so make of that what you will.  

    Hills are a worry of the past with this bike. Steep inclines can be comfortably tackled sat down with the help of the motor. It might look strange to passersby as you casually pedal uphill, not even breaking a sweat, but you’ll feel powerful and nimble, like you suddenly stole Bradley Wiggins’ thighs overnight.

    Just don’t go pressing the power button mid-hill like I did, and suddenly lose your new-found superpower. 

    Stopping is equally effortless. The hydraulic disk brakes are powerful when depressed sharply, quickly bringing you to a halt should you require. This isn’t something to be found with every e-bike, as thanks to cumbersome motors and batteries, they’re usually quite a bit heavier than regular bikes. 

    But the brakes don’t have to work too hard, as the Hybrid is surprisingly lightweight. The Mahle motor weighs just 3.5kg, while the rest of the bike combines for a total weight of 14.5kg, which isn’t much heavier than an equivalent fully mechanical road bike. The Hybrid is easy to lift and will comfortably mount to the back of your car, like any bicycle. 

    You feel this lack of weight through the ride too. Nimble and easy to manoeuvre at speed, the Hybrid is well equipped to tackle swooping bends as well as tighter, narrow paths.

    Its full carbon front fork handles vibration well, helping make the overall handling precise and intuitive, while its capable Mavic Allroad S UST wheels absorb bumps with relative ease. That said, the ride is on the firmer side, so prolonged cycles across bumpy tarmac may prove tiresome for some. 

    Ribble e-bike review: the verdict

    The Ribble Hybrid AL e is arguably the perfect all-round e-bike. Good looking, well-built and easy to ride, its strong battery life and effortless performance makes it a bike you’ll want to ride. 

    It inspires confidence from the moment you first ride it, making the world of e-bikes accessible and fun. Like with all e-bikes, its price is less accessible, but for the money you get a seriously high spec with components that out-perform rivals in this bracket. 

    The Hybrid AL e is an impressive performer that combines beautiful design, smooth power deployment and all-round versatility in one lightweight package. 

  • Ribble Hybrid AL e, from £2,199 – buy here
  • Is the Ribble e-bike good value for money?

    There’s no denying the Ribble Hybrid AL e is expensive, with prices starting at £2,199, but so is every other e-bike. There’s currently no such thing as a bargain e-bike, so unfortunately you will have to fork out. 

    That said, for the money, the Hybrid offers a lot. The Mahle Ebikemotion X35 electric motor is not the most powerful on the market, but its 250 watt output is impressive especially when you consider its size and light weight. 

    It makes this e-bike one of the lightest on the market, which at least partly justifies the price tag. Then there’s the other componentry, which includes (as tested) a full carbon fork, LEVEL grips and carbon seat post, a Brooks saddle, SRAM NX drivetrain, Schwalbe G-One Allround, tubeless tyres, Mavic Allroad S UST wheels and more. It’s an impressive spec that other brands would charge you more money for. 

    Ribble can price its bikes slightly lower than competitor brands because it sells direct-to-consumer, cutting out the middleman. So in short, we believe its e-bikes do offer relatively good value.

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