I had been riding an e-MTB for the past year, because of advanced years and indifferent health. It did job but was far from ideal. I am a club cyclist and although no-one minded that I was out with them, I stuck out like a sore thumb.
Several mates tried to steer me towards e-road bikes last year, but to be honest, they looked ridiculous, with a great slab of battery bolted on top of the downtube.
Then along came ebikemotion x35! I explored several brands, only to discover that no-one could supply one in a reasonable time, except Ribble. And Ribble were less expensive.
What can I say about the Endurance SLe? It looks fabulous! everyone who sees it remarks that it looks great, beautiful, lovely etc, and that you can't tell at first glance that it's an e-bike!
How does it perform? It is astonishingly light and easy to handle. Rides just like a normal carbon road bike. The big advantage of the hub drive is the total lack of "drag" when it's not assisting. On bottom bracket drives, like on my Hai-bikes MTB, you are still turning the mechanism even when it's not assisting, which feels rather like you're dragging an anvil behind you! None of that with this bike.
There IS a downside though. Even though the motor has the same power rating as the Hai-bikes MTB (250 watts), the power delivered is less. Presumably this is because the smaller battery would soon be discharged if more power was delivered. I recently took my new SLe to Cornwall for a couple of weeks, where I had previously ridden my e-MTB. On a particularly steep hill that my e-MTB had stormed up at 9-10mph, the SLe struggled to keep me moving at all, even on the maximum assist level (12-15 percent hill). Of course, there bikes are electric ASSIST, and it still needs work from the rider.
As to the bike itself, it is a very attractive design with good components (mine is the Shimano 105 version, with a Mavic Aksium wheel upgrade).
I have two negative issues with my particular bike though. The first is that the bike rattles like hell! This seems to be the internal routed cables rattling inside the downtube. The second is a clicking noise that has developed over the 300 miles that I have ridden on the bike so far. It seems to be coming from the bottom bracket, and is a noise I have had before on a Shimano press fit set up. I can't remember how it was resolved on that bike.
This is the first bike I've bought on-line and I now have the dilemma of how to get these issues resolved. If I had bought from a local bike shop, I could simply take it back to them. No doubt Ribble would attend to these matters if I could return it to them, but I'm 300 miles away and not inclined to return it for these relatively small issues.
The much vaunted, and very discreet control system takes a while to get used to. It is just a small button on the top tube that displays various coloured lights. You just need to remember your red from your orange, green and white lights! Simple but not particularly informative. There is a phone app which in theory provides more information, and I am currently trying this out with the aid of a bar mount for my android phone. Early days yet!
A big disappointment is the lack of availability of the promised auxiliary battery. I should make it clear that this is not Ribble's fault. Despite earlier claims from ebikemotion that these batteries would be available, no-one can get them, and there is no indication of when they will become a reality. A great idea, these batteries will fit into a bottle cage (and look at first glance like a bidon) and will double the range of the bike. Which brings me to my last point. The first question everyone asks is how long does the battery charge last?
I am a particularly heavy rider (105 kilos) but I can do rides of up to 55 miles over undulating terrain before the battery exhausts. If it does, it's no problem riding along unassisted, you wouldn't fell baulked by the dead weight of the electrical equipment.
All in all, what a bike!