REVIEW– Heybike, founded in 2021, is a relatively new e-bike manufacturer, that has already hit the e-bike market with many well-received and innovative designs. Their following and customer devotion have garnered quite a community on Facebook, YouTube, and other enthusiast platforms. If Heybike’s latest model, the Horizon – Limited Sunset-Color Edition is as functional as it is good-looking, they’ll have a hit on their hands. I loved reviewing this e-bike. Let’s see how it went.
What is it?
The Heybike Horizon – Limited Sunset-Color Edition is the newest folding, fat-tire e-bike from Heybike. It has a 55-mile range, a killer, limited-edition paint scheme (more on that later), Head and tail lights, a powerful motor, plenty of torque, and great brakes to stop all that power safely. Here is a more comprehensive list of its impressive specifications:
- Frame: Folding made from Aluminum alloy
- Suspension: Front hydraulic with 80mm travel and mid-frame Horst-link
- Tires: 24″ x 4” (61 cm x 10 cm) Fat Tires
- Wheels: Aluminum spokes
- Motor: 750W (nominal) / 1200W (peak) brushless motor
- Torque: 80 Nm
- Pedal sensor: Cadence
- Battery: 48V 14.4Ah Lithium-Ion Battery
- Speed: 0-28 MPH (17.4 kph) – can be increased with app
- Range: 55 Miles (88.5 km) (PAS mode)
- Charger: 4A output
- Charging time: About 3 hours from empty to full
- Brakes: RST Dual Piston Hydraulic front & rear brakes, 180mm rotors
- Gears: Shimano 7 Gears, Shimano Derailleur
- Bike weight: 79.4 lbs (36 kg)
- Maximum Load: 330 lbs (150 kg)
- Rider Height: 5’ 5” (167 cm) to 6’ 3” (190 cm)
- Available colors: Limited Edition “Horizon Sunset”
- Frame styles: Step-Thru
What’s in the box
- Heybike Horizon Frame – partially assembled
- Front wheel
- Front fender
- Seat on the seat post
- Rear rack
- 2 keys for battery removal
Design and features
Installation and setup
The Heybike Horizon electric bike arrived very securely in its packaging. Plenty of foam, protective layers, and plastic safeguards to make sure it arrived in good condition as it was shipped from China to California to Florida. There was no damage to the bike or parts once I unloaded the box, and took inventory of everything.
The assembly was a little tedious as the bike arrived without any instructions or manual. This was a pre-release edition of the Horizon, so I was like a detective watching other Heybike assembly videos, and just figuring it out on my own. The following Monday, after I received the bike on the previous Friday, I received a link to an assembly video from Heybike, and a few days later they posted the owner’s manual on their website. I was relieved to see I had assembled it correctly. The Horizon is a folding e-bike (more on that later) and I had never ridden, let alone assembled a folding bike before.
The included tools from Heybike were everything I needed to assemble the bike. This included 3 different wrenches, 5 different-sized Allen keys, a couple of pieces of hardware, and axle covers.
The first step was to install the front wheel, which is pretty simple. Just line up the front brake rotor with the brake caliper, and get the axle between the front fork arms. Tight down the bolts, and your unicycle is now a two-wheeler. I followed that up with the front fender and headlight. They both attach via the same bracket and bolt.
The Heybike Horizon electric bike’s folding handlebars were a little tricky without instructions, but I managed to get them all attached and lined up. Installing the seat by inserting the post and tightening it down with the seat post clamp was quick and easy. Next came the pedals, then the rear rack. That’s it!
The Heybike Horizon ebike has its battery in the frame like many other e-bikes. Using the included keys, you can remove the battery for security or for charging. Charging the large, heavy, 14.4Ah battery with the 4A charger took a little longer than 3 hours. There is a charging port on the battery and a hole in the frame to charge the battery on or off the Horizon. The battery also has an on/off switch which adds a layer of security to the Horizon. You can lock the battery in the frame with the battery turned off, and no one can walk up and ride off with your e-bike.
Construction and paint
The Heybike Horizon electric bike is very well-built and beautiful. The welding is top-notch and clean. With the frame being foldable, the welded joints need to be extra strong. Heybike has done their engineering homework for the Horizon. Never once while I was riding this bike, and I rode it over 300 miles in the last month, did I feel uneasy about the frame of this bike. I’ve never ridden a foldable frame e-bike before, so I was especially paying attention to the ride comfort and stability of a two-piece frame. It passed with flying colors.
Speaking of colors, the paint scheme on the Heybike Horizon is the best I ever seen on an e-bike. The paint is very well applied, and the gradient from front to back goes from a bright yellow to orange to red. It is stunning, to say the least. Heybike describes it as follows:
“Inspired by the spectacular scene of the foreshore sunset: The sun sinking into the clouds, then off to the horizon, our designer portrays a stunning bike frame with a gradient color, symbolizing every rider’s limitless potential and innovative spirit.”
That’s a pretty good description of the bike’s paint job. I hope my pictures do it justice. I received several comments from people when they saw the bike when I was out riding it. It’s a head-turner.
The Horizon comes with 24” x 4” (61 cm x 10 cm) Fat Tires. I have previously reviewed 20” (51 cm) and 26” (66 cm) fat tire e-bikes for The Gadgeteer and liked both of them. The Horizon comes right in between these and I liked the slightly smaller wheels from the 26” Engwe E26. I still prefer the 26” for the ultimate ride comfort, but the 24” is a little more manageable and can turn in a tighter circle.
The Heybike Horizon electric bike has a Shimano 7-gear transmission and derailleur. This setup provides a very familiar gear charging mechanism. Simply a button push to move up through the gears, and a lever to move back down. This same gear-shifting mechanism is common on many e-bikes. Shifting through the gears was smooth and error-free during my review time.
As with all e-bikes, the Heybike Horizon electric bike includes a throttle to move the e-bike without human-powered pedaling. Some e-bikes come with a twist-throttle which is more akin to a motorcycle. The Horizon has a throttle lever. It achieves the same result but just doesn’t give you the “Hey, I’m riding a slower and safer motorcycle” feeling. After a while, I did get used to it, and actually, I now prefer it over the twist throttle. It was less strain on my wrist during those times I wanted to go at top speed for a while.
I did notice the battery was depleted very quickly going for top-speed runs using the throttle only. Pedaling extended the ride times and distance, as you would expect. The 1200-watt motor is very power-hungry.
The Horizon, out of the box, has 5 levels of pedal assist (PAS). Each level gives you a little more speed than the last. Pedaling on PAS level 1 gets you to a respectable 10 mph (16 kph), while level 5 gets you up to the top speed of 28 mph (45 kph). The connected Heybike app gives you customization of the PAS levels. More on that below.
Slowing down and stopping the Horizon is accomplished with the RST Hydraulic front & rear brakes and 180mm rotors. The RST brake levers were comfortable, quiet, and very smooth. The brake rotors were perfectly flat and did not scrape the brake pads at all during testing. I always felt safe and secure using the brakes to stop quickly.
Heybike has equipped the Horizon with a standard screen that has been used on all of their latest models. Although it is not a color screen, as some manufacturers have been putting on their e-bikes lately, it is a clear, well-organized display. What I liked about the display is that it shows the battery level as both a 5-level bar, but also the remaining voltage. The voltage readout is a more accurate way to gauge the remaining power left. While riding, the display can also show the current load the motor is under in watts. It displays all the other standard data like distance traveled, current, average, and maximum speed in either miles-per-hour, or kilometers-per-hour.
Along with the display, the control panel has several buttons to change the display’s readouts, and changing the pedal assist (PAS) level. There are also buttons for turning the headlight on and off, activating the turn indicators and blowing the horn. The horn is very loud and quite effective. Please don’t ask me how I know. I think I may be banned from using it in my neighborhood.
Riding at night is always tricky, especially in crowded areas. Heybike has put a very bright headlight on the Horizon that illuminates the road in front of you quite well. There is also a taillight that is a running light, brake light, and turn signals.
The ride of the Heybike Horizon electric bike is quite comfortable and bumps are smoothed out with the front fork suspension and the mid-frame shock absorber. The front left fork has a preload knob for increasing and decreasing the shock absorption travel of the telescoping forks. There is also the usual locking knob to turn on and off the front fork suspension.
The Horizon is a full-suspension e-bike, which means it has an additional shock absorber integrated into the frame that allows the back wheel to rise and fall independently of the rest of the frame. This gives the Horizon its butter-smooth ride across rough terrain. The suspension sets the Horizon apart from other mid-sized e-bikes.
I took my Horizon for a ride in another city with my small pickup. It was a breeze getting it up into the bed of the truck with the front wheel, and then just lifting the back of the bike in, and then strapping it down. I’ve done that will all my e-bikes.
However, Heybike made the Horizon a folding-style e-bike. Like its sibling e-bike, the Ranger S, Horizon can be made “smaller” by folding the handlebars down toward the front wheel and folding the frame in half to make the bike occupy a smaller footprint. This makes it able to fit in the trunk of a car or the back of a minivan or SUV.
Obviously, the folding of the Horizon does not decrease its heft. This bike is a heavy machine. Tipping the scales at 79.4 lbs (36 kg), I found lifting almost 80 lbs in a smaller, non-rolling package to be virtually impossible. Most people, me included will need a buddy to help pick it up and put it into their vehicle, as well as take it out. I don’t imagine using the folding aspect of the Horizon in the future.
Heybike has included Bluetooth in many of their e-bikes so that the Heybike mobile app can be used. The app is a huge benefit to Heybike’s line of e-bikes. It allows you to modify all the customizable settings for the Horizon. Settings like top speed, number of PAS levels, maximum speed per PAS level, and auto-unlock and lock of the Horizon. This was very nice in customizing the Horizon to my liking. One thing I did make sure to do was set the top speed to the maximum of 28 mph (45 kph), and the increasing the cutoff speeds for each PAS level. I like my e-bikes to have a higher PAS level 1 speed. Heybike sets the Horizon to 10 mph (16 kph). I set mine to 18 mph (28 kph). And then each level after that to a higher speed up to the maximum for PAS level 5. I can’t help it. I’m a speed demon.
What I like
- Very good-looking, well-built e-bike
- App support is a game-changer
- Excellent brakes
- Full frame suspension
What I’d change
- Color screen
- Charging port off the display for phones
- A higher capacity battery
- 5A charger to decrease charging time
The Heybike Horizon – Limited Sunset-Color Edition is an excellent e-bike and well worth considering. The 24-inch tires and powerful 750/1200 watt motor gives a thrilling, exhilarating ride. The full-suspension frame makes the ride butter smooth. I think Heybike has another excellent offering to go alongside their other e-bikes.