BESV Panther PS1 Review

Besv Panther Ps1 Electric Bike Review 1
Besv Panther Ps1
Besv Panther Ps1 Shimano Altus
Besv Panther Ps1 Rear Suspension
Besv Panther Ps1 Display Panel Ergo Grips
Besv Panther Ps1 Disc Brake Quick Release
Besv Panther Ps1 Battery And Key
Besv Panther Ps1 Suspension Fender Headlight
Besv Panther Ps1 Electric Bike Review 1
Besv Panther Ps1
Besv Panther Ps1 Shimano Altus
Besv Panther Ps1 Rear Suspension
Besv Panther Ps1 Display Panel Ergo Grips
Besv Panther Ps1 Disc Brake Quick Release
Besv Panther Ps1 Battery And Key
Besv Panther Ps1 Suspension Fender Headlight

Summary

  • Compact form factor is easy to mount and stand over, extremely light weight frame (carbon fiber and aluminum build)
  • Responsive torque sensing pedal assist offers three levels of smooth power, 250 watt motor is quiet and efficient
  • Front and rear LED lights, full length aluminum fenders and hydraulic disc brakes add utility while front and rear suspension, ergonomic grips and easy to read 3.8" display panel add comfort

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

BESV

Model:

Panther PS1

Price:

$3,250 USD

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Commuting, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

5 Year Frame, 2 Year Motor and Battery

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

37.2 lbs (16.87 kg)

Frame Material:

Carbon Fiber, Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18.5 in (46.99 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

(Seat Tube 450 mm, Top Tube 580 mm, Wheelbase 1030 mm, Stand Over Height 675 mm)

Frame Types:

Compact (Y-Foil Design)

Frame Colors:

Polished White, Cyber Yellow, Blazing Red

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCT JR-20 Suspension with 40 mm Travel, Coil Spring with Preload Adjuster

Frame Rear Details:

Kindshock A5-RR1 Air Suspension

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Altus

Shifter Details:

Shimano Triggers on Right Bar

Cranks:

LASCO RGF2148AGA1

Pedals:

MARWI SP-600 Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

BESV

Handlebar:

MJCYCLE MJ-027BT Riser

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga E-Sub Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors and Integrated Motor Cutoff

Grips:

Propalm PRO-1950EP1 Ergonomic

Saddle:

VELO VL-1200U D2

Seat Post:

MJCYCLE MSP-268A

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

35.6 mm

Rims:

A-RIM DM241 with Eyelets, Black

Spokes:

179 mm Black SUS304

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Big Apple Balloon, 20" x 2"

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

Performance Line, RaceGuard, LiteSkin, Reflective Tape

Accessories:

Aluminum Alloy Fenders, Front LED Light with Reflector, Rear LED Light with Reflector, Quick Release on Front Wheel, Side Kickstand

Other:

Maximum Weight 220 lbs (100 kg), Removable Battery with Key to Activate Drive Systems, Integrated Wiring

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

AKM

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

28 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Sony

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

6.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

237.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

3.8" Backlit Grayscale LCD (Adjustable Angle, Not Removable)

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Trip Distance, Trip Time, Battery Life, Assist Mode (0, 1, 2, 3, S)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

17 mph (27 kph)

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Written Review

The BESV Panther PS1 is a compact urban commuter style electric bike. It’s beautiful to look at with tight aluminum fenders, a carbon fiber body and polished white, cyber yellow or blazing red paint… Personally, I think they could have named it the Couger PS1 because young men will certainly be attracted to any ladies seen cruising this thing around ;) Sure, guys can ride it just fine but I think the finer sex will appreciate its mid-step frame design and light weight build the most. And they will likely benefit the most from the smaller, more efficient, motor size since they tend to be lighter than guys. I really appreciated the front and rear suspension when ride testing because smaller wheels (like the 20″ used here) can feel abrasive going over bumps and cracks given their low attack angle. Thankfully, in addition to the suspension the Panther also comes with premium Schwalbe Big Apple balloon tires which are extra wide for even more cushion.

Powering the BESV PS1 is a modest 250 watt geared hub motor that’s located in the rear wheel. You can hardly see it given the seven speed Shimano Altus cassette and 160 mm disc brake rotor on either side. And that’s not a bad thing… this bike is very stealth looking, and quiet. If you’re actually riding around in the Big Apple then that’s a good thing because ebikes aren’t allowed in certain areas. You could always turn the assist down to zero and pedal to comply with regulations but it’s nice to blend in anyway and avoid being hassled. That’s something this ebike does that very well. And if you are running on human power only, the upgraded six speed cassette offers a nice cadence range for climbing hills or hitting higher speeds.

The Battery pack powering the motor, LCD display and LED lights here offers 36 volts of power and 6.6 amp hours of capacity. That’s below average for most of the ebikes I’ve reviewed but this thing is much lighter so that helps to extend its range. Also, the slick tires and pedal assist only Class 1 setup help to make this more of an energy sipper. You should get 20 to 30 miles depending on which drive mode you use and since the battery is removable you can just bring it up to the office for a quick charge in under 5 hours effectively doubling your daily range. The chemistry used here is Lithium-ion which is known for being light weight, durable and long lasting. Given the two year motor and battery warranty offered by BESV you should be in good shape for hundreds of full charge cycles but the best way to make sure is to top it off whenever it gets below half (and every few months if you haven’t ridden). Also, be sure to store it in a neutral temperature environment because extreme heat and cold can be harmful to Lithium cells.

One of the big highlights on this electric bike is the extra large backlit LCD display panel mounted front and center on the handlebars. It’s extremely easy to read and shows your battery level, distance traveled, speed and assist level. I love that they designed it to swivel easily (without the use of any tools) so you can eliminate any glare as you ride along throughout the day. Part of me wishes the display could be easily removed because sometimes I feel vulnerable leaving nice looking expensive stuff on my bike (what if a thief thinks it’s a tablet and tries to steal it?) but the thing is really bolted down well and if something really does happen, there’s a modular connection point so you could easily swap in a replacement. All of the wires run through the frame which looks great. Operating the bike is super easy, once you’ve activated the electronics by putting the key into the battery pack (like a car) the display turns on and then you use a remote button pad to arrow up or down through assist levels. The pad is attached near the left grip and is easy to reach without taking your left hand off. That’s important if you’re riding through traffic and need to keep an eye on the road but also need to shut off assist. At any time, you can also cut power to the motor by pulling either one of the brake levers.

The BESV Panther PS1 is a unique bike, niche even… but it does a lot of things right. To me it signals mass adoption of electric bikes because more professionals are considering them as an alternative means of transportation. This is an electric bike that will fit into elevators, easily lift onto busses or subways, slip through traffic and blend in on roads, paths or sidewalks. It’s a bike that feels comfortable over bumps, is safe at night or in the rain and its easy to operate. The torque sensing pedal assist mechanism is smooth and predictable but it doesn’t go quite as fast as other full-sized models I’ve tested (the Panther hits 17 mph while the legal top speed for ebikes in the US is 20 mph). For me, that speed felt fine given the smaller wheels. You pay extra for the premium look, hydraulic disc brakes and custom features on this bike but it’s really easy to appreciate.

Pros:

  • Unique, approachable frame that’s relatively low (easy to mount and stand over) and very light weight at ~37 pounds
  • Available in three bright colors, the large display looks amazing, the grips, button pad and fenders are all premium
  • The carbon fiber elements of the frame reduce weight but also absorb vibration better than a pure aluminum frame would
  • While the front suspension fork doesn’t have lockout, it also doesn’t have much travel so you’re not losing much efficiency to “bobbing” and when you pair the front and rear suspensions together they really smooth out the ride which is great considering smaller wheels tend to ride rougher and feel more jarring over bumps and cracks
  • Oversized tires contain more air which adds some cushion but they run with flatter tread that’s also efficient, the reflective sidewalls are great for safety
  • Modular disconnects on the display panel and button pad up front (in case you need to repair or replace) all wires are run through the frame and look great
  • The large display panel is backlit, very easy to read and has a built in swivel so you can avoid glare while commuting at dawn and dusk
  • Battery is removable for convenient charging in the office or at home without taking the entire bike inside, pack locks to frame and key activates the bike
  • Metal pedals are stiff and offer great traction even when wet, front chain ring has an aluminum bash guard to protect the chain ring, front light adjusts up and down for improved usability

Cons:

  • Only available in one frame size at 18.5 inches but the seat post, seat and bars are adjustable to fit a range of riders
  • Relatively expensive considering the use of a smaller 250 watt motor but they don’t skimp on the custom carbon fiber frame, hydraulic brakes and large display panel
  • No water bottle cage or rear rack mounting points, if you use this for commuting you might have to wear a backpack or carry a purse (there are some beam-racks you could add on the seat post like this)
  • The beautiful, large display panel is not removable so it might take more damage at bike racks or in the weather

Resources:

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Comments (10) YouTube Comments

Derek
4 years ago

Hello Court

Just thought I’d post my experience since I’ve owned a PS1 since January 2016 and there are very few user reviews out there, if any.

Firstly, a bit of backstory: my first e-bike was a Gocycle (do they sell these in America?). It’s very similar to the BESV in that it’s primarily intended for city use and looks very attractive. However, the similarity ends there as it wasn’t pedal assist (you used a small and slippery Boost button near the grip) and it had no suspension to speak of whatsoever which manifested itself as probably the worst-riding bike I’ve ever ridden. It was light, though!

I then bought a BH E-Motion Neo Extrem, a hard tail MTB with front suspension and rear motored hub. This was pedal assist and worked brilliantly in that you had INSTANT power on tap at all times – fantastic for hill climbing and standing starts. The front suspension was also a blessing after the bone-shaking Gocycle too, but the downsides were the bike was so much heavier and a lot of the weight was at the back – absolute murder for carrying up three flights of stairs to my flat!

The BESV seemed to tick all the boxes I wanted: light weight, pedal assist, full suspension, small frame (I’m only 5’3″). And it’s mostly been an absolute joy to use. For a start, the suspension really does work for 95% of road conditions and only bottoms out on deeper potholes. The light weight means you can ride it without any assist at all and it feels just like a regular bike. The small frame makes it easier to carry up stairs and around corners. And the pedal assist is very quiet and efficient – as you said in your review, this thing really does just sip battery power and the range is far greater then both the Gocycle and the BH E-Motion.

I made a few changes: I swopped out the stock saddle as I didn’t find it comfortable at all. Unfortunately, this meant losing the equipped rear light as I like to have my saddle as far forward as possible but the bracket for the rear light, which attaches to the seat rails, prohibits this. I’ve now got a Cateye attached to the seat post instead. Also, I found the standard pedals absolutely useless in the wet, if not positively dangerous, so I attached some half clips and this makes pedal grip much more secure in all conditions. And talking of grip, I do find the Schwalbe Big Apple tyres a bit strange. My other bikes have Marathon Plus/Plus Tour tyres equipped and they feel very reassuring, the Big Apple seem very skittish in comparison, very sensitive to differing terrain and not confidence-inducing at all. I also can’t see what the point of the Smart mode is: it comes on briefly and then turns itself back off again spontaneously! So I’ve hardly used it.

No bike is absolutely perfect but I can honestly say the PS1 is the best e-bike I’ve owned so far. I do miss the instant power delivery of the Neo Extrem and the BESV does make you work harder as a cyclist as the power doesn’t kick in until a few crank revolutions, but maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. There were some stormy conditions in the UK recently and the PS1 was a real life saver getting me to work and back safely in 70 MPH gales.

It rides well, it brakes well, it handles well (despite the odd Big Apple tyres), it looks lovely, it’s light, it has all the gears you need for town riding, the display is fantastic and it’s hugely energy efficient. It deserves to be a big success and I’m only surprised that there aren’t more reviews about it.

Thanks for your review.
Best Wishes
Derek

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Wonderful overview of your experience and the bike Derek! Thank you for taking the time to share, I’m sure your words here will aid others and I agree that the PS1 is a unique, comfortable and beautiful electric bike. When you mentioned suspension it made me wonder how heavy you are? Would you mind sharing so other potential buyers could anticipate bottoming out vs. having it be stiffer (did you see any adjustability on the suspension?) I have indeed tried the GoCycle and the G2 model has short-travel bumpers that take off the edge so it might have been a newer version than the one you owned. I enjoyed it thoroughly but as someone with neck and back pains the longer travel on the BESV PS1 with full suspension is hard to beat ;)

  Reply
Derek
4 years ago

Hi Court

Thanks for your kind comments, it’s nice to be appreciated!

I weigh 9 stone 2 pounds or around 58 kilos, I don’t know what that is in pounds overall. I am small and light for a man and the bike was set up specifically for my weight. But looking at it, it does have Preload adjustment for the front suspension (which isn’t so critical in my opinion, as it has an upright riding position and most of your weight is at the back) and the rear shock has a valve for a shock pump, so both front and back suspension could be adjusted to account for different rider weights.

I suspect that there probably is a maximum weight limit, but only BESV would be able to provide that information.

My Gocycle was the G1 (the mistakes of early adoption!) and seemed to offer all I was looking for on paper, but it just didn’t work for me at all in practice. It’s now up to a G3 version and, to be fair, the company do seem to have taken on board some of the user criticisms and made improvements, most noticeably the fact that it’s now pedal assist instead of solely that stupid Boost button. It was all or nothing with that system and if your finger slipped off as you went over a bump (and it frequently did) you would lose all power. A nightmare if you were hill climbing!

But I notice that it is still only three speeds, that it still doesn’t have front suspension and that the rear “shock” has only 1″ of travel! The tyres weren’t puncture proof and the pedals were terrible, and it’s more expensive than the PS1 too.

If there’s one thing I would change about the BESV it would have hub gears not a derailleur, otherwise it is superior to the Gocycle in just about every other way and it’s no contest between them. If anyone is reading this and considering the two bikes, then go BESV!

  Reply
Sonny T Nguyen
3 years ago

Can you guys advise me on a good hitch rack for the BESV PS 1?

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Sonny! I’ve owned Kuat bike racks before and they’re really well made, you pay a bit extra but this one isn’t bad and would probably fit the Panther (just be careful with that front fender). If you’re looking for something less expensive, I think this one could work. Curt is a trusted brand but this style of rack is rated for less weight and just not as secure or well made. I have owned something very similar to this before and it held up alright for a 60 lb ebike (but I only used it for one bike at a time).

  Reply
Sonny T Nguyen
3 years ago

Hi Court, Thanks again.

Derek
2 years ago

Just a quick update:

Have used the BESV consistently now for over a year and it just gets better and better. My initial criticisms of the Schwalbe Big Apple tyres were unfounded – they now grip much better and are far less “nervous” in the wet.

The Shimano 7 speed gears work well and the shifter is easy to use, but I’d still prefer the bike to have a rear hub gear for convenience.

Apart from this, there’s not much else to say. It is pretty much the perfect urban or commuting machine. It has a balance of strengths and very few weaknesses. It’s not really built for speed but is nippy enough, and it’s such a pleasure not to arrive at your destination soaked in sweat!

And it’s perfect for stormy conditions. Cycling headfirst into a gale is never fun, but the BESV has enough power assist to make it far less painful an experience than it would be without it.

Highly recommended if your country sells them!

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Sweet! Thanks for the long term update here Derek, glad the tires have impressed you with use and that you haven’t had any major issues :)

  Reply
Jack
2 years ago

I just bought this bike PS1, I install the BESV Smart App, upon turn on the app, I can see my bike instantly, and there is bluetooth connection, when I tap on it, it ask me to Select My Bike, but I can’t find it? Anyone know how can I connect with my bike with this App?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hmm, I wish I could offer some help with this Jack. Where did you get the bike? Perhaps the shop had paired it with their phone already when trying to demo for a customer. They may have to unlock or unpair the bike or you could contact BESV directly for help. Here’s their customer support page.

  Reply

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