CGR stands for 'Cross, Gravel, Road'... meaning that it qualifies for this guide based on the third initial, and not only that, but it's our top-recommended e-road bike all things considered.
The CGR AL e Sport model with SRAM Apex 1x gearing is a cracking machine for the money. Comfortable and stable over very rough ground, it’s also highly capable at eating up the road miles. The electric assist is delightfully discreet and intuitive, too.
If you’re after a steed that pretty much completely hides its electronic nature, then the CGR is the one for you. The downtube housing the 250Wh Panasonic battery is similar size to non-electronic bikes and the motor is hidden smartly away in the rear hub.
Said motor system is Mahle’s lightweight SmartBike Systems X35+, which comes in at 3.5kg. This particular build (SRAM Apex 1x) is more roadie than gravel, with narrow bars and slick Schwalbe 700x40c tyres. Ribble offers three other build options in the form of the Pro, Enthusiast and Sport (Shimano Tiagra), or you can build the CGR online into a configuration that suits you.
A feature of the X35 system is that the power assistance is sparked by the cassette lockring as it turns, which is handy for getting a boost over tricky sections where you can’t pedal a full revolution. You can also turn on ‘heart rate assist’ via an app, which programmes power to kick in once a certain heart rate is reached.
The CGR is most suited to those already reasonably fit as assist is tied to revs – when it slows, the amount of power also drops – which makes for a completely different, yet still highly enjoyable ride experience.
First Published Mar 3, 2023