A2B Ferber Review

A2b Ferber Electric Bike Review 1
A2b Ferber
A2b Ferber Shimano Alivio
A2b Ferber Rear Rack
A2b Ferber Display Panel Grips Button Pad
A2b Ferber Chain Guard
A2b Ferber Disc Brake Rotors Front
A2b Ferber Kickstand Pedals
A2b Ferber Remote Button Pad
A2b Ferber Removable Battery Pack
A2b Ferber Electric Bike Review 1
A2b Ferber
A2b Ferber Shimano Alivio
A2b Ferber Rear Rack
A2b Ferber Display Panel Grips Button Pad
A2b Ferber Chain Guard
A2b Ferber Disc Brake Rotors Front
A2b Ferber Kickstand Pedals
A2b Ferber Remote Button Pad
A2b Ferber Removable Battery Pack

Summary

  • Relaxed urban cruiser with quiet resposive motor, removable battery pack and excellent warranty
  • Premium upgrades including ergonomic grips, fenders, chain guard, suspension fork with lockout, rack and integrated LED lights
  • Rear heavy design, rear wheel is more permanently fixed (lacks quick release for maintenance), display panel is not removable

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

A2B

Model:

Ferber

Price:

$2,399 USD

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Commuting, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

5 Year Frame, 2 Year Electronics and Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

48.5 lbs (21.99 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.2 lbs (2.35 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)20 in (50.8 cm)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

White, Silver, Black

Frame Fork Details:

HL CH-140 Suspension with 75 mm of Travel and Lockout

Attachment Points:

Fenders, Rear Rack

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Alivio

Shifter Details:

Trigger Shifter on Right Handle Bar

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Grips

Stem:

Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

Upright Townie, North Road Style

Brake Details:

Tektro Aurigia E-Comp Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotor on the Front and 160 mm Rotor on the Rear

Grips:

Ergon GP1 with Lockers

Saddle:

Comfort with Rubber Bumpers

Rims:

Double Walled, Aluminum Alloy

Tire Brand:

Kenda, 26" x 1.95"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewalls

Accessories:

Full Length Fenders with Mud Flaps, Chain Guard, Rear Carry Rack, Front and Rear LED Lights, Bell on Left Handle Bar, Kickstand on Left Side

Other:

Removable Battery Pack Charges on or off Bike and Includes Lock, Brake Levers Cut Power to the Motor, Named after Ferdinand Ferber, a pivotal contributor to aviation development in Europe.

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Ultra Motor

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

35 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Sony

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

316.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours (Reach 80% in Two Hours)

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

55 miles (89 km)

Display Type:

Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, 3 Levels of Assist, Battery Voltage

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad (On Left Handle Bar) (On Left Handle Bar)

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist Three Levels: Economy, Standard, High, Uses a TMM4 Torque Sensor

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Ferber is new A2B electric bike model for 2015 that comes at a more affordable price point but still delivers quality components, efficient motor systems and chic design features that the company is known for. A2B has been a pioneer in the American electric bike space since 2008 when it launched the iconic A2B Metro (Jay Leno and Leonardo DiCaprio even picked them up). By comparison, the Ferber is less powerful but much lighter and easier to mount. It uses standard sized 26″ wheels, a traditional rear rack that accommodate most bags and panniers and is available in two sizes including 17″ and 20″ to suit a wide range of users. To me, the bike looks very ordinary at first glance but upon closer inspection the Ergon ergonomic grips, slim display panel with break-out button console, hydraulic disc brakes, suspension fork with lockout, removable battery, LED lights (which run off the battery), adjustable stem and stylized chain guard leave an satisfying impression.

The motor driving the A2B Ferber is a 350 watt gearless direct drive hub located in the rear wheel. Its aluminum casing is wider than equivalent sized geared hub motors which diminishes the stealthy look that the rest of the bike maintains, but the benefit is very-quiet operation. It’s made by Ultra Motor, produces 35 Newton meters of torque and feels quite good when riding. During the video review shoot I was suprised just how good it does feel despite the average size watt rating of 350. I think the TMM4 torque sensor adds to the powerful, zippy feel it offers because it’s a higher-end responsive sensor. A downside to this whole setup is that if you get a flat tire or need to work on the rear wheel there’s no quick release system in place and the torque sensor makes re-installing the wheel a bit more delicate than a standard hub.

Also located at the rear of the bike is a removable Lithium-ion battery pack that’s sandwiched between a lower set of rack rails and an upper rack platform. it offers 36 volts of power and 8.8 amp hours of capacity which is about average in the world of ebikes. I love that the battery pack is removable, can be charged on or off the frame for convenience (or to lighten the frame during transport) and includes a keyed locking core for security. The other neat thing about the battery setup is that it powers the front and rear LED lights. That means you won’t need to waste individual AA cells or worry about charging multiple items on the bike.

Operating the Ferber and navigating through its three levels of pedal assist is intuitive and physically easy thanks to an independent button pad located on the right side of the handlebar. This pad has three buttons that let you turn the bike on, change display modes and navigate assist levels all the way down to zero which keeps the display active (like a cycle computer) but turns the motor off. The brake levers also turn the motor off whenever you pull them and this is a nice safety feature even though the system is torque activated and most people cease pedaling when they need to stop. The display panel that shows your speed, distance, battery level and assist settings is located front and center just above the adjustable stem. the size is impressive and I love how thin it and the button pad are. It swivels forward and back to help you reduce glare on sunny days and it’s backlit for evening and nighttime use. The one downside is that it’s not easily removable which means increased wear and tear.

To be completely honest, the first time I saw the Ferber I was unimpressed. It seemed kind of generic… another entry into an already crowded (and price competitive) section of the ebike market. Sure, it’s from a reputable brand but how much would it cost? Urban and city style ebikes are plentiful but the five year warranty (two year on battery and motor systems) and all of the nice features, colors and sizes convinced me that the Ferber really does offer something special. I think it’s worth paying a little bit extra to get these kinds of features and support vs. a budget model and considering that A2B is now a part of HeroEco (a larger ebike conglomerate) it’s a safe bet. There are ebikes out there that offer better climbing and wheel accessibility with mid-drive systems but most are significantly more expensive. The real benefit of this rear-hub design is just how quiet it is and how zippy it feels no matter which gear you’re riding in. I also enjoyed the comfort saddle, hybrid tires and suspension fork with lockout.

Pros:

  • Solid warranty with five years on the frame and two years on everything else including the battery pack
  • Available in three colors including black, white and silver as well as two frame sizes including 17″ and 20″
  • Uses standard sized 26″ tires (replacements and tubes are more plentiful and affordable) and comes with upgraded Kendas that feature reflective sidewalls
  • Front and rear LED lights are positioned well, the headlight is aimable, and are powered off of the main battery pack for convenience
  • Full length plastic fenders include mud flaps, chain guard is of higher quality, rear rack uses standard gauge tubing for widest compatibility and has little metal loops welded to the bottom bars for latching down panniers (great attention to detail)
  • Battery pack is fully removable and includes a keyed lock, the pack can be charged on or off the frame for convenience
  • The display panel is large, backlit, easy to read and convenient to interact with thanks to the button pad
  • Overall satisfying ride, the eight speed Shimano Alivio cassette isn’t the highest end component group but it climbs well enough and provides good cadence at 20 mph
  • Motor feels powerful and responsive thanks to the TMM4 torque sensor, it operates very quietly and is durable due to the gearless direct drive configuration

Cons:

  • The gearless direct drive motor is larger and heavier than an equally rated geared offering and this weight adds to the rear-mounted battery for an overall rear-heavy design
  • The rear wheel requires wrenches and tools to remove for servicing wheels and tires, the TMM4 torque sensor is also located at the rear dropout so re-installing the wheel can be more sensitive and possibly require a shops help
  • The display panel is not removable which means it is may take more damage from natural elements or vandalism depending on where you park

Resources:

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Martin Van Nostran
3 years ago

Great review as always, Court. Thanks! Saw this in the local bike shop and enjoyed the ride but could find very little on it on the web until your fine review. Thanks again!

Court Rye
3 years ago

Thanks Martin! I’ve got some more A2B reviews in the works that should be out soon. Glad the review helped you, ride safe out there!

Coran
2 years ago

A2B are the most dishonest, careless companies I have ever encountered. Those bikes are death traps! Literally. They go out of control when the torque sensor repeatedly fails. Lucky I wasn’t thrown onto a busy road. They don’t care about fixing it. You have to pay to send it back, then comes back just as broke. Give a load of guff about their bikes being sold on websites they don’t approve of, eg Amazon, means they can totally void all warranty. Liars. They’re running a dangerous and illegal scam. Cheap faulty rubbish from the far east. Everything on it failed. Literally, everything. At least once.

Court Rye
2 years ago

Wow! That really sucks Coran, thanks for sharing your experience here. I had a negative experience with A2B recently myself and it’s disappointing to see one of the earliest most iconic electric bike companies (at least in the US) falling short :(

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Josh Levinson
3 months ago

We have a used A2B Ferber and Galvani that is under $2K. I can make you a good deal as these are demo units but with very low mileage and in great condition. Visit our website at www.velocitycommuting.com to see info on the bikes. 1K is a very tough budget for a quality ride.
Would you recommend the a2b bikes (specifically the metro)?

86 and still kicking
3 months ago

We have a used A2B Ferber and Galvani that is under $2K. I can make you a good deal as these are demo units but with very low mileage and in great condition. Visit our website at www.velocitycommuting.com to see info on the bikes. 1K is a very tough budget for a quality ride.

perf b
3 months ago

I have had an A2B 2015 Galvani and 2016 Ferber, and like the design and rideability, however the reliability of the electrical is not great. The control would go into error mode if you were standing with the bike and rolled it backwards slightly, and error mode would popup randomly while riding. Each time you have to stop and reset the battery on the back. Then a battery died and the dealer tells me there is a 6 month wait on getting a replacement! Unbelievable. Am looking at Kalkhoff/Bosch now.

wcp2006
3 years ago

Have you ever considered reviewing some of the direct from China electric bikes on aliexpress? I would think a company there would be open to sending you one for review. There are torque sensing pedal assist bikes for under $1,500 after shipping which is less than anything available in the U.S. as far as I can tell.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Mickey Mouska Great point, ProdecoTech delivers higher quality components at relatively low prices but their frame balance isn't great (that will change soon) and they lack assist right now. I'm excited to see what they've got in store and agree that their warranty is solid. It's also nice that they do a lot of their work here in the US vs. importing which allows them to continually adjust and improve the designs.

George Sears
3 years ago

+griswald You'd have to go with a kit at that price. Falco has a kit. I think Electric Cyclery sells it. There's a cheap XMK kit sold through Aliexpress. People do these kits, but you might find a shop to do some of it. 

Find an ebike dealer, rather than fixing a price or setting down a list of requirements. There are used bikes, Demo bikes, sales, etc. 

Most of the ebikes are ridiculously expensive. A basic bike with a throttle does 95% of what an ebike offers. But you want good tires, brakes and wheels, a good frame. Batteries are expensive and kits don't tend to include the batteries.

Most people who become motivated to try ebikes find a way to do it, if they like riding an ebike. The expensive bikes really blur the appeal. Most people will say "That is just out of reach". But there are good ways to do it on a budget and you learn more by just taking the time and doing it. 

And there are basic ebikes around $1500. There are problems going too low. You want to know what you are buying, whether kit or compete ebike. Home Depot and Sams sell a really cheap ebike, Yukon Trail, but there is no info on it anywhere. Someday there may be a decent bike at Costco or Walmart, but the focus now is expensive bikes. I don't know how they will sell bikes like this for $2500 if Walmart ever carries a decent bike for $1000.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

That's a good idea! Currently I'm overloaded with domestic bikes to review but I would like to get more of the affordable models into the mix including some of these online import ones. It comes down to time and hassle. I spend a lot of energy on reviews and nobody really pays me for that... I have some advertisers (I invite companies I trust) but it only goes so far. If I review a bike and it goes out of business that's no fun or if someone imports it and has issues that's a bummer too so I mostly stick to proven US companies.

wcp2006
3 years ago

Where are there US dealers that sell pedal-assist (torque sensing) bikes for $1,200, with lipo battery included? I don't want to become an importer, but when the price from China appears to be 50% cheaper, it becomes pretty hard to justify buying in the U.S. Lots of people have been happy with the throttle wheel-conversion kits that are around $200 to $500 (mostly depending on battery type)... but I'd really prefer pedal assist with a quieter and more efficient rear hub motor. Right now the only U.S. domestic options appear to start at $2,500, but mostly average in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. The ~$1,200 versions direct from China seem pretty appealing in comparison.

George Sears
3 years ago

You can get US dealer or online bikes for about that price. If you want to go really low consider a kit and conversion. Not really worth it to be your own importer. What if some little part is Chinese proprietary and you have to track it down?

This is a nice bike but the US market has so many bikes like this, at this price, something has to give. I guess we are all waiting for millions of units a year in the US. It's not like the web reviewers are  Consumer Reports, where they buy the products and have no ties to the companies. It would be nice If Consumer Reports did review electric bikes, and compile reliability ratings for them, but this is a tiny little industry with way too many companies involved given the units sold. Most buyers should look for a company with half a chance to be around in 18 months. 

I like my electric bike, but it's basic, throttle only, and low end. I'll wait and see what has worked out in two years, or go back to a non-powered bike. 

Zed Bowman
3 years ago

This bike looks a lot like my kit bike.  I have a black women's Manhattan Smoothie with a Golden Motors 1000 watt gear less motor,  I powered the motor with the 48 volt battery.  I have neurological problems and my balance is poor.  This low step style of bike is very, very easy to mount and has kept me riding on two wheels. My bike is not pedal assist but has a throttle with a cruise control.

Zed Bowman
3 years ago

+Electric Bike Review I agree the frames are very large and with the wide beach cruiser type handlebars I think they are just too big and heavy for me.  Ditto on the battery...it would be better if it were lower.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Zed Bowman Wow, that's awesome! I've rented the Cruisers and owned a Step-Thru City Commuter. The frames are just so large... but also beautiful. If they could bring the batteries down and into the frame like the Faraday Porteur I'd be very impressed :)

Zed Bowman
3 years ago

+Electric Bike Review
Yes, I have and it looks pretty nice.  In the past I have owned two Pedego's and the best thing about them is their frame designs.  I had a men's Comfort Cruiser and then I bought a women's Comfort Cruiser frame and switched the components.  I personally think the Pedego are the best looking.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Sounds like a cool setup Zed! I agree that the low-step design improves accessibility... Have you seen this new one from Pedego? http://electricbikereview.com/pedego/boomerang/

Max Pizarro
3 years ago

Great review!  What are your top 5 commuter electric bikes? 

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Hi Max, I was impressed with the Ferber but also like the Easy Motion EVO Eco and their Neo City and Street from last year. There's a bike called the E-Joe Anggun that's pretty nice and more affordable. One of the most beautiful is the Faraday Porteur and one of the meanest looking is the new Grace MX II Urban. Here's the full list that I've reviewed: http://electricbikereview.com/tag/city/

MAG315
3 years ago

This bike is very nicely done. Its interesting to see all the different battery/motor/frame configurations. Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages and since this is still a young industry, you have to wonder if some of them will fall by the wayside over time. 

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Bryan Siegfried Wow... it very well could be. Hero is an Indian company, I wonder if they partner with hardware manufacturers and provide capital and distribution. I did a bit of searching but could not confirm. Alternatively, maybe hero is just a popular Indian word that happens to be used in both of these cases?

Bryan Siegfried
3 years ago

+Electric Bike Review Is this the same company as Hero Honda in India, that makes motorcyles over in India?

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Yeah, A2B merged with HeroEco in 2012 and I've seen other brands to the same (Currie joined Accell Group). I like the quality of A2B stuff and their warranty is excellent. I was impressed with the performance and ride quality of the Ferber, it's a swing at affordability from them and the frame is more traditional. Overall I like it and hope they are one of the companies that can hang on in the space :)