REVIEW – When I reviewed my first e-bike, the TurboAnt Thunder T1, in 2021, I instantly became enamored with the world of e-bikes. After riding over 1700 miles on the Thunder T1, I decided it was time to explore other options in the e-bike market. That’s when I got a review offer for the Heybike Brawn e-bike. The Brawn is similar to the T1 but has some key features that set it apart. Let’s check it out.
What is it?
The HeyBike Brawn is a Class 3 electric bike with a motorcycle-inspired design. It features a hydraulic front suspension fork, a hydraulic seat post, hydraulic disc brakes, and more.
What’s in the box?
- Heybike Brawn
- Tool kit
- Front fork covers
- User manual
- Model– Brawn
- Product Dimensions– 75.2×24.6×44.9 (inch)
- Package Dimensions– 60.2×12.2×30.7 (inch)
- Max Load– 400 Ibs (181.4 kg)
- Package Weight– 97 Ibs (44 kg)
- E-Bike Weight– 78.3 lbs (35.5kg)
- Max Speed– 28 mph (45km/h). The default speed limit is 20 mph
- Battery/Charger– Input: 100-240V 50/60 HZ; Output 54.6V4A
- Charging Time– 4-5 hours
- Battery Capacity– 48V/18Ah (864 Wh)
- Range– 45-65 miles (Pedal assist) 35-45 miles (Pure electric)
- Max Grade Ability– 15 degrees
- Tire Size– 26 “x 4″
- Frame Material– Aluminium alloy
- IP Level– IPX 4
- App– Yes
Design and features
For $1549, the Heybike Brawn isn’t going to blow you away, but it has plenty to offer. At the forefront of this e-bike is its motorcycle-inspired design. The bike isn’t overly large but solidly built and has an impressive maximum payload of 400 pounds. It sports 26 x 4-inch fat tires and a dual-crown front fork. The large headlamp on the front of the bike finishes off the motorcycle look nicely.
The handlebars are straight and have silicone rubber grips. The front brake lever, display controls, hydraulic seat adjustment switch, and horn are on the left handlebar. On the right, a 7-speed Shimano derailleur, rear brake lever, and thumb throttle.
The Heybike Brawn ebike’s multi-functional LCD display mounted on the center of the handlebars shows all the vital information such as battery level, speed, PAS level, and odometer.
The display does have a backlight that can be toggled on/off using the display controls. And it is easy to read even in bright sunlight.
The Heybike Brawn is powered by a 48-volt, 18-amp-hour battery. The battery comes with a 4a fast charger that charges the battery in 4 hours, nearly twice as fast as a standard charger. A single charge can last up to 65 miles under ideal conditions.
And the battery can be charged in or out of the bike.
One of the Brawn’s premium features is the hydraulic-seat post which allows you to easily adjust the saddle height with a push of the seat adjustment lever.
The Heybike Brawn ebike also has a hydraulic front suspension, and there are dials for both locking out the suspension and adjusting compression on the front forks.
The Brawn is equipped with front and rear hydraulic brakes for stopping power. With a top speed of 28 mph, these are an excellent addition and should be standard on all e-bikes.
If you ride at night, the Heybike Brawn has you covered. The front headlamp is plenty bright and has a sensor that changes the brightness depending on the lighting conditions. In addition, there are reflective strips and reflectors on the tires and a multi-functional taillight on the back of the seat.
The tail light is removable and has a rechargeable battery. Although it’s nice, I wish it was hardwired to the bike’s battery. I have too many things that need to be charged already.
There’s a companion app for both IOS and Android. With it, you can turn the bike on and off, set a proximity lock, personalize the PAS level speed limiter, user top speed, and more. You can also see the battery life in percentage instead of the bars.
It’ll record data from your rides, too. I found the ride record function to be hit or miss; sometimes, it was recorded, and others didn’t.
Overall, the app is user-friendly and has plenty of customizable settings.
The Heybike Brawn arrives pretty much preassembled. All you have to do is attach the handlebars, pedals, front tire, and headlamp. This assembly video from Heybike makes it super easy.
Unfortunately, my bike had a bent disk brake on the front tire. I contacted Heybike, and they sent me a new one about a week later.
Surprisingly, the Brawn doesn’t come with fenders. Fat tire bikes throw up a lot of stuff from the road, and things can get messy fast without fenders. Heybike was nice enough to send me a Fender kit, and currently, they are giving them as a free gift with purchase (while supplies last).
Putting the fenders on was a little tricky. They didn’t come with assembly instructions, and I couldn’t find any info on Heybike’s website or YouTube channel. I figured it out but had some issues attaching the rear fender. As you can see from the pictures below, the fender doesn’t fit where the hole is, so I just wedged it behind the bar. So far, so good.
Overall, the Heybike Brawn is a joy to ride. It’s quick and responsive, and the hydraulic brakes give it great stopping power. Heybike says the Brawn’s 750-watt motor can reach speeds of 28 mph, and in my testing, it did. However, I rarely find myself needing to go that fast.
Once adjusted, the front suspension does a great job smoothing the bumps, but the bike could use some rear suspension to improve it. The handlebars are shorter than those on my other e-bike and took some getting used to. I also wish I could adjust the height to make them more comfortable.
The battery life is sufficient, as I could get over 40 miles from my initial charge under various conditions. And the bike maintained its performance even when the battery power was under 10%. Heybike claims the battery can get up to 65 miles using pedal assist. I’m sure this might be possible in optimal conditions. But let’s face it, life is hardly ever optimal. My advice, charge the battery after every use, and it’ll be just fine.
I really like the hydraulic seat adjustment. Adjusting the saddle height without dismounting the bike and using tools is excellent. My only complaint is that the thumb adjustment switch is tight, and the seat sometimes sticks.
Despite the few minor gripes I mentioned, I think the Heybike Brawn is a solid electric bike. The 750-watt motor is strong enough whether you’re using it to commute or venture off-road. I don’t have any off-road paths, but I took the Brawn to a local park to see how it handled something other than paved roads. Here’s a short video of that test.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of what I would call quality control issues I had with the Heybike Brawn out of the box. The front and rear brakes made a horrible sound whenever the bike slowed down, even when I wasn’t applying them. I also couldn’t keep the bike in first gear. I could get it there, but it would immediately drop into second gear after a couple of rotations. Luckily I have a bike shop near my home. I took the bike in, and they were kind enough to readjust the front and rear brakes and tighten the chain tensioner. And they did it free of charge, so shout out to my local bike shop. I know these things would need to be adjusted over time. Still, I don’t believe these issues should happen immediately, as it takes away from the initial excitement of owning a new e-bike. After my trip to the bike shop, I noticed an immediate difference and haven’t had any issues since.
What I like
- Motorcycle inspired design
- Fat tires
- Comfortable to ride
- Bright easy to read display
- Hydraulic brakes
- Hydraulic seat post
- Ability to customize settings in the app
- Quick acceleration
What I’d change
- Better quality control
- Inability to adjust the height of the handlebars
- Ride tracking in app is inconsistent
The HeyBike Brawn is an exceptional e-bike that offers excellent value for its price. It provides an enjoyable riding experience and stands out from other bikes in its price range due to its unique features. While there have been some initial issues out of the box, overall, I have been satisfied with my HeyBike Brawn and would recommend it.