Fazua v eBikeMotion - quick review

richtea

New Member
[Moved over from my intro post. It didn't make sense over there. Sorry, Mr/Ms Admin!]

My wife has owned a Boardman HYB 8.9E for a few months, and I fettle it occasionally. (I'm not sure if they're sold in the US, but they're a common brand in the UK.)
I've only had my Orbea D50 for a week, but have done several trips already.

Here are my initial impressions.

Fazua (on Boardman HYB 8.9E):
- the Fazua has a slightly more natural feeling than eBikeMotion. Power is relative to how hard you push (it's got a torque sensor in the crank)
- Fazua components are really well engineered and thought out (with a couple of exceptions* - see below)
- Fazua setup is maybe 0.5-1.0Kg heavier. But by the time you've put mudguards, carrier, bell, pump and toolkit it doesn't matter. You've got a motor, right? ;)
- Fazua is more convenient if your garage is not attached to the house or space is at a premium (you take the battery out and charge it)

Minor Fazua irritations:
- the original Fazua battery release button wasn't easy for some people. Quite stiff. They've redesigned it, and the improved one can be retro-fitted.
- there's no cover over the underside of the crank. The wires and joints are waterproof, but a $1 a cover would finish the job.

eBikeMotion (on Orbea D50):
- slightly more of an on/off feeling, but still pleasant and still subtle enough (it's got a cadence sensor on the rear wheel)
- a small delay in the assistance starting and stopping, maybe 0.5 second, but we're nit-picking here. I guess the magnetic cadence sensor needs to have a few magnets pass it by before making a decision on the assistance required, whereas the Fazua torque sensor starts working on the initial press of a pedal.
- I can't tell if eBikeMotion is well designed - it's mostly hidden. It seems slightly less well made, but that's merely gut feeling from the outside view

Minor eBikeMotion irritations:
- the eBikeMotion 1-button control deserves to be a 2-button controller - i.e. up and down
- very occasionally the controller comes on downhill. I've seen this mentioned elsewhere, and may be user error (riding with it off seem to be a no-no - you're supposed to leave it in 'White' /inactive mode - I'm still experimenting)

What I can't compare:
- battery usage. I can't ride my wife's bike for many miles - it's too small for me. But for general use the range on both is fine. 30+ miles with a fair bit of usage on the Fazua, and 60+ miles with light use on the eBikeMotion, which is on par with what others have found on this forum. If you're doing a long all-day ride, take the charger - most cafes will be happy to help.

Other bits:
- both have apps that let you tune the assistance. The eBikeMotion one seems more complete, but I'm not much of a user. It's the bike I focus on.

Overall, both systems are seriously fun to ride, and of a similar nature, i.e. helping your ride in a subtle manner, not taking it over.
Both are very usable, and 90% perfect for what we need (day trips, exercise), with just a few minor irritations.
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your assessment regarding the 2 systems.

I have definitely looked at the Orbea Gains much more seriously than I have at any of the Fazua powered bikes. But in the end I have chosen to buy neither. I have come to the conclusion that at my age and fitness level I appreciate the higher power of more 'standard' mid-drive systems (even though I generally ride in lowest assist levels) and for that I've decided to accept the 'hits' I may take from acoustic bikers by not riding a stealth e-bike. Plus I don't do group road rides any more.

But in the end I still continue to look at the Orbea Gains, even though I have a totally reasonable and highly effective gravel/road bike in my Raleigh Tamland iE (and I absolutely love its 28mph top assist speed). Just fun to keep up with the latest developments I guess. I wonder whether eBikeMotion or Fazua will ever provide a model with maybe a little larger capacity battery and U.S. Class 3 assist speeds?
 

richtea

New Member
Very good points, TMH.

Both systems expect you to input a reasonable amount effort, maybe 1/3rd to 1/2 normal - they're not a free ride.
I think they're both aimed at existing cyclists who are slowing down a bit, but still want to do the same rides that they might have done 10-20 years back.

Right now, I only use it to take the sting out of hills, but in a year or two I may need it more, of course.
Occasionally, I'll switch it on for a flat section, or on a gentle incline, just for laughs - it makes me chuckle to be 'blown along', which is the effect.

Both Fazua and eBikeMotion feel quite natural extensions to your ride if you already use a similar non-electric bike.
The Orbea is probably only 1, maybe 2, bags of sugar heavier than my 20-year old steel tourer. I ate that sugar, by the way... :eek:

I haven't tried a high power system, so I can't compare to those, unfortunately. I suspect power corrupts, right?!

In the UK & Europe, we get a measly 15.5mph top speed, which means you can get away with a smaller battery, hence the minimal-looking designs.
15.5mph is a whisker too slow, but I can understand the safety aspect. 18-20mph would be perfect, but then the trade-off is a heavier battery, or less range.

28mph sounds fast enough to need PPE. If that happens, I may as well buy a Zero or Energica at that point!