Our early impressions are that Ribble’s Endurance AL e is a highly capable all-round road bike, and the addition of a motor gives it an extra dimension without affecting the positive features of the non-electric version that we reviewed last year.
Ribble's Endurance bikes have always done well in road.cc reviews regardless of the frame material. The Endurance AL – AL for aluminium – even won our Sportive and Endurance Bike of the Year 2020/21 award, while also making the second step of the podium in the £1,000 and Under category. Now it comes with a motor, this is the Endurance AL e.
The Endurance AL e uses the MAHLE ebikemotion X35+ hub-based motor which is a model being adopted by many brands for their road ebikes.
It’s really simple to use, featuring a top tube LED button that allows you to turn it on or off and choose one of three power delivery modes of up to 250 watts and 40 N m (newton metres) of torque.
It’s a discreet system that hides the battery inside the down tube with all of the wires running internally until they exit near the rear hub.
So, how does it ride?
When I wrote the review for the Endurance AL Disc, I described it as a bike for the masses saying, “It's ideal for winter training, commuting, club runs, short blasts or long rides – it's even quick enough for entry-level racing. The balanced, neutral handling works for the beginner, without feeling overly relaxed for the seasoned roadie.”
Now, I’ve only had the Ribble for a few days, hence this being a ’first ride’ piece, but my overall impressions so far are that many of the key characteristics haven't changed for this version.
In fact, Ribble has maintained the geometry of the non-electric/acoustic model even with the need to accommodate the battery, charging port and all of the other electrical gubbins.
That means that the front end is fairly relaxed which gives predictable handling, though it is still quick enough to be fun in the bends should you wish to exploit the performance side of the bike’s character.
The motor does result in an extra 3.5kg over the 10kg of the standard AL although the only places I would say it is noticeable is on false flats where your speed is just above the motor's 15.5mph (25km/h) cut-off point, and on some downhill bends.
The extra weight can push you a bit deeper into the bend than you might expect. You soon adapt, though, and this characteristic isn’t limited to the Ribble. The Merida eScultura 400 I recently tested uses the same motor and it felt similar.
A lot of people worry about riding on a heavy bike when you are above the assistance level, but other than on the false flats that I mentioned it’s never noticeable.
On flat roads, a low weight isn’t that high up the priority list and I haven’t found maintaining speed to be an issue.
The motor kicks in smoothly on the climbs and the feeling is like having a great tailwind or having another rider's hand just giving you a bit of a nudge to crest the hilltop.
As far as the comfort goes, the Endurance AL e has felt good so far. The only thing I will say is that the saddle and I haven’t made friends yet, so we might have to go our separate ways if we can’t find a way to get on amicably.
It’s not necessarily the Kappa RS's fault as I generally get on with Prologo’s offerings, it could just be that the motor assistance means that I haven’t been getting out of the saddle at all.
The frame and fork deliver a firm ride, but it doesn’t come across as harsh in any way and with the couple of rides I’ve done so far being a couple of hours each I’ve got off the bike each time feeling fresh.
We’ll be back with a full in-depth review in a few weeks, but for now I’ll leave you with a few stats about the bike we are testing.
The Endurance AL e uses a 6061-T6 aluminium alloy frame which is available in five sizes and comes with a full-carbon fork.
It’s bang up to date using 12mm thru-axles front and rear plus flat-mounts for the disc calipers. It also has mounting points allowing you to run full mudguards.
The range starts at £2,399 with this model coming in at £2,799.
Ours has a full Shimano 105 groupset, Level finishing kit and Mavic Ksyrium S wheels. Although Ribble's spec sheet lists Continental Grand Prix GT 28mm tyres, our bike came with Schwalbe Ones.
Full details can be found over on Ribble’s website, so check it out while you’re waiting for our full review.
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!