- A sleek, utilitarian, and comfortable electric city bike designed in France, custom-made tubular fenders stay quiet and pair nicely with a sturdy plastic chain cover, swivel handle bar saves space
- Available in three frame sizes for optimal fit, stock kickstand and pedals are great, quality 11-speed drivetrain with the Shimano one-way clutch for reduced chain bounce, stable and comfortable Super Moto-X tires with puncture protection
- Premium integrated lights that run off the main battery, the Supernova headlight offers 165 lumens and is mounted on the handlebars for reduced bounce and better visibility, Ortlieb QL3 compatible rear rack, swept-back handlebar and ergo grips
- Beautiful motor integration, Class 1 ebike with 20 mph top speed from the Bosch Performance Line mid-drive, hidden power battery design keeps weigh low and looks great, three bottle cage bosses, thru-axle with quality suspension fork and a seat post suspension
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Moustache is a French electric bike company that was started by two friends in 2011… they only build around the Bosch drive system, and their newer models are some of the most beautiful and thoughtful products that I have seen reach the US. For this review, I looked at the Friday 27.5 but we also had the Samedi 27 XROAD 5 on hand to compare. The names, Friday and Saturday, may speak to the intended use… and with the Friday, you get slick tires vs. knobby and a coil fork vs. air. Usually, I find myself criticizing spring forks for being heavier and cheaper, but that is not always the case. With the SR Suntour MobiE25 you get progressive compression adjust with lockout, preload, and rebound dials. Springs don’t leak air over time and won’t change performance as much if they experience a lot of movement and heat over the course of a ride, but they cannot be sagged the way that air can be (lower air pressure for lighter riders). Regardless, this 63 mm travel fork has beautiful black anodized stanchions and sports a stiff 15 mm thru-axle that you’d expect to see on a mountain bike! Pair that with the tapered head tube, and you’ve got a sturdy overbuild urban front end. The higher volume 2.4″ wide Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires provide comfort and stability, enough float and traction to handle packed trails, and puncture resistant integrated liners (Performance Line GreenGuard). One of the coolest upgrades that this e-bike has received, aside from the tightly integrated motor and battery, are its two-layer tubular aluminum ally fenders, custom made form Moustache. They 65 mm widths that cover more of the big tires, won’t rattle like plastic, won’t rust like steel, and the rear fender was made to support the cargo rack. Notice how this rack is positioned further back, so the saddle can come all the way down. Notice the Ortlieb QL3 mounting points, so you can have panniers with flatter backsides and sturdier, quieter connections. There is so much to love about this electric bicycle, and I feel that it delivers something really special at the $4k USD price point. Yes, it does weigh a bit more than average at ~57.4 lbs, but this is to be expected with a coil fork and complete accessories. The plastic chain cover, integrated premium lights, swept-back handlebar with 45-degree pivot “quick fold” stem, seat post suspension, and classy leather Brooks saddle finish it off. I’ll dig into the major components and describe how they rate against others in the space below.
Driving this bike is mid-motor that brings industry-leading technology and compromises between power and efficiency. It’s the Bosch Performance Line Cruise… not the high-torque CX or the high-speed “Speed” drive, just the high-performance. It offers up to 63 Newton meters of torque, maximum RPM support of 120 (while many competitors hit ~100 or fade out before 120), shift detection to reduce drivetrain wear, and leading warranty support and service centers worldwide. The Bosch Performance Line motor is relatively compact, and has been tilted back to reduce chain stay length and raise ground clearance… while looking cooler, in this case. It weighs ~8.8 lbs, which is a bit above average, and features minimal plastic casing here. The downside to this motor is increased noise when used in higher power modes and higher speeds, and some friction drag when unpowered or pedaled beyond the supported 20 mph (25 km/h in Europe). This drag is caused by a reduction gearing system that converts each pedal stroke into 2.5 chainring rotations… that’s why the chainring is 17 tooth vs. the equivalent ~42. I found that it worked wonderfully during our test rides through Brooklyn, New York, in combination with the 11-speed Shimano drivetrain. You get an SLX level derailleur here, which is fine for urban riding, and it has been upgraded with Shadow Plus (positioned closer to the wheel and under the right chain stay vs. sticking out). There’s a one-way clutch built in that can be activated by clicking into the up position, to tighten the derailleur spring and reduce chain bounce. This is a feature you’d usually only see on e-mountain bikes and speed pedelecs, it’s an overbuilt part that compliments the beefier fork, and there’s not a lot of downside to having it. SLX is a step below XT, but still great for the type of riding you’d probably do on the Friday 27. I love the sturdy plastic chain cover that comes stock with this bike, the larger stiffer VP alloy pedals, and the rear mounted kickstand. However, I didn’t see a sticker slap guard below the chain (to protect the right stay), so there could be some chips over time if you ride on rough terrain. This is one of my few minor gripes about the bike… So many other details have been dialed in.
Powering the bike is a Bosch Powerpack 500 battery that is uniquely situated inside the lower portion of the downtube. Moustache has been a leader in frame design with their “hidden power” plastic cover concept, and it began with electric mountain models like the Samedi 27 Trail 6. In the States, people have often wanted stealthier ebikes with concealed batteries for riding off-road, so people wouldn’t question or hassle them. I’m excited to see this design concept trickled down to urban models because I think it looks beautiful and improves weight distribution on the bike as well as battery protection and mounting strength. The downsides however, are that the battery takes a bit more balance and dexterity to mount and dismount, and the plastic cover does not lock in place. So, if you’re parked at a public rack, it’s possible that someone could steal the plastic portion… or you could take it off, but then dirt and water could get into the battery compartment. Yes, Bosch batteries and mounts are well sealed against water, but other debris in here would just feel messy and be difficult to clean out. Charging can be done with the battery dismounted or left on the frame and the Bosch charger delivers faster 4 Amp charging (or you can get the slightly lighter 2 Amp travel charger aftermarket). I appreciate how compact and lightweight the stock 1.7 lb charger is, and that Bosch has made a proprietary plug that cannot easily be confused or inserted incorrectly. All of the rubberized plug covers for the battery port and key slot on this frame insert easily and seem to provide good protection, they are all located on the left side of the frame. This battery offers above average capacity and is relatively lightweight at ~5.8 lbs, you may ask why Moustache did not go with the latest Powertube battery, which is fully frame integrated, but I think the Powerpack is preferable in many situations. It’s lighter, probably less expensive, and can be purchased, rented, and borrowed all around the world. The same dimensions and mounting interface was used for the older Powerpack 400 as the 500, so you can even use your old ebike battery to extend range on this bike, carrying it along in a bike bag or pannier. I love that this single batter is used to power the bike, both the front and rear light, and the big display panel… which also has a Micro-USB port on the side for maintaining other electronics on the go. It’s a great design all around.
To activate the Moustache Friday 27.5, you first need to charge and mount the battery. It’s worth highlighting that the battery locks to the frame with a sturdy cylinder and has a metal ledge that clips in, so it shouldn’t rattle loose, break, or be stolen easily. There’s also a frame lock (cafe lock, that disables the rear wheel) with an AXA locking core built onto the seat stays. Both the battery lock and frame lock use the same key, so you don’t need to deal with added clutter, and you could purchase an AXA compatible cable lock to compliment the frame lock without adding a second key or much additional weight. Back to the control systems and activating the bike, just press the little power button near the lower left corner of the Bosch Intuvia display panel, and it blinks to life in seconds. I love this display because I am near sighted, and it is large. You can swivel it forward and back to reduce glare, operate it with a remote button pad (located within reach of the left grip), charge your phone from it using a Micro-USB cable, and even remove the display completely for protection. Other display-mounted buttons include Reset (to clear trip distance), i (to cycle menus), and lights. Having a dedicated light button is useful with an ebike that actually has built-in lights like this, it’s a lot simpler to use than the smaller Bosch Purion display in this sense. Both of these LCD displays have always-on backlighting so you can read them in dark conditions. The headlight produces an impressive 165 lumens, and can be aimed, it’s more than just a “be seen” light that cheaper ebikes tend to use. The really cool thing about all of these control systems is that they are designed with use in mind. You can get to the point where activating the bike, turning on the light, and then riding along and changing power levels is second-nature. I have learned to click up or down to change assist (0-5 levels) without even looking down. The control pad has a nice clicking sound and tactile feel, with a rubberized i button in the middle. It’s clear where your finger is at, and that lets you click and shift gears with the trigger shifters on the right, while you focus on traffic or enjoy the scenery and riding company. The trigger shifters here offer two-way action for high gear changes and multi-shift for lower gear changes. As you shift gears, you empower yourself as well as the motor, and that’s the final special feature that the Bosch Intuvia offers that almost no other display currently does. It gives you hints on when to shift, with little up and down arrows. This is called shift assistance, and it can help you maximize range by supporting motor RPM performance.
In conclusion, this is one of the nicer urban or city oriented electric bikes that I have reviewed in recent years. I feel that you get excellent value for the ~$4k price point, compared to ebikes with similar specs, and the same drive system. I like that Moustache kept the standard Performance Line motor vs. going with the CX, because it’s quieter and more efficient. The difference between the mountain motor’s 75 Nm of torque vs. 63 Nm hasn’t been noticeable to me in urban riding conditions. The bigger question for US customers might be whether they need the Speed motor, which can reach nearly 28 mph assisted. There are some aftermarket solutions to make this motor go faster, but they will void your warranty. For people who commute or want to do long range trekking and touring, the Moustache Friday 27.5 could be an excellent option because of its unique upright geometry and multiple frame size options. Both wheels have quick release for on-the-go fixes and Brooks saddles are known for becoming more comfortable as the miles wear on. For people who want to add non-Ortlieb QL3 bags, it looks like you can remove the circular knobs from the rack and use QL2 (or other systems). Coming back to the drive system for a moment, the Bosch motor controller is measuring rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque, over 1,000 times per second, and is one of the most responsive and sometimes zippy ebike motors I have tested. One of the trade-offs from the standard Performance Line back to the CX is that you do not get eMTB mode, which is more of a torque sensing level (that replaces the third step, Sport mode). I love that Moustache has not disabled walk mode here and that they included comfortable ergonomic grips and a bell! Big thanks to Moustache for partnering with me on this review and to Chris from Propel Bikes in Brooklyn for his support, bringing multiple models to ride on our adventure and providing some input about why he chose to carry the brand… and of course, for wearing a fake mustache with me during the video :D
- Beautiful battery and motor integration here, Moustache designed an inset area on the downtube to lower battery weight and developed a plastic cover to hide it, it uses a simple spring to stay in place and does not rattle
- I love it when ebikes make room for bottle cage bosses and the Friday 27.5 has them on the seat tube in the main triangle and just below the saddle as well as below the top tube! The rear set of bosses on the seat tube could be used for a folding lock like the ABUS Bordo or a mini pump like this
- By using the Powerpack 500 instead of the new Powertube from Bosch, the batteries are lighter weight, less expensive, and easier to find while traveling (so you could ship the bike and rent a battery on site)
- Made in three frame sizes for optimal fit and comfort, this is especially important with a high-step frame design
- Comfortable high-volume and high-quality tires smooth out the ride and shouldn’t get flats as easy because they have Performance Line GreenGuard puncture protection
- Custom tubular alloy fenders are stiffer and stronger than single layer fenders, they won’t rattle as much as plastic or rust like steel, I like how the rear rack is connected to the back fender to be minimalist in design, and that it’s positioned out of the way of the saddle if dropped way down
- This is more of a commuter style ebike and the slick tires are efficient but you get comfort from the higher air volume, suspension fork, suspension seat post, and leather saddle from Brooks, the handlebars are also swept back and have ergonomic grips… it feels great
- Unique adjustable stem swivels 45-degrees so you can squeeze the bike into tighter spaces and maybe not bump doorways as much, imagine stacking multiple bikes next to each other and having that extra space at the rack
- I love the Bosch Intuvia display panel because it’s big and easy to read but also removable for safe storage (just like the main battery), there’s even a Micro-USB port on the display for charging or maintaining portable electronics like your phone, the display mount is compatible with the COBI smartphone mount that Bosch now owns
- In addition to fenders, the Friday 27.5 also comes with a tight chain cover to keep your pant legs clean and snag-free, it’s a little touch and it’s done very well here
- Excellent Shimano SLX drivetrain with 11 speeds for navigating a wide range of surfaces and terrain, the bike seems made mostly for pavement and the tires are slicks but the 2.4″ width makes them stable and capable of light off road use, the one-way clutch design on the derailleur will tighten the derailleur spring and reduce chain slap if you do find yourself on bumpy terrain
- I love the integrated lights, the headlight is mounted way up high on the handlebars and is aimable, it won’t bounce around as much as fork-arch mounted lights, the rear light stays clear of the rack and all cargo you might add and both lights run off of the main battery and are controlled through the display so they cannot be left on accidentally
- Good Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, the front rotor is larger at 180 mm to improve stopping speed and disburse heat more quickly
- Decent kickstand (positioned where it should be, towards the back to support the rack and stay clear of the left crank) and nice stock pedals (larger, stiff, good traction)
- The AXA frame lock is good for quick errands and can be paired with an AXA Defender Cable to secure to posts and racks easily
- Both wheels offer quick release and the front uses a sturdy thru-axle which will be more responsive, it helps to support the weight of the bigger tire as well
- Very nice rims, notice the reinforcement eyelets to spread weight and force from the spoke and reduce cracking, nice black paint job with matching black spokes vs. silver
- Since this ebike is running hydraulic brakes, you can adjust the levers for reach (making them easier to use for small and large hands alike, or gloved hands)
- Even though I love air suspension because it tends to weight less and offer sag adjustability, this is a really nice coil shock that should be very durable and perform consistently throughout a ride, I love that it has compression clicker with lockout, preload, and rebound adjust with black anodized stanchions!
- The “hidden power” plastic cover is great, but doesn’t really lock to the bike frame which means it could be tampered with or stolen when you’re parked at the bike rack
- The ~57.4 lbs weight for the medium sized frame is a bit on the high side, but that’s probably due to the fenders, rack, cafe lock on the rear wheel, lights and spring suspension vs. air
- I could see how many commuters would be interested in faster Class 3 Bosch Performance Line Speed motor vs. the standard Performance Line, but this one should get better range and doesn’t require special licensing (in Europe), it’s allowed almost anywhere a normal bicycle would be
- Minor gripe here, I’d love to see reflective sidewalls on the tires since this is more of an urban ebike, they would compliment the integrated lights nicely, consider adding reflective stickers like this or this to the sides of the wheelset and frame to stand out more or wear reflective clothing
- Another minor consideration, I’d love to see Supernova update their E-Bike E3 V6S headlight to have side cutouts so it would shine out a bit and create more of a visual footprint for the bike than just forward
- Because the Bosch Performance Line motors use a proprietary smaller chainring, they spin at 2.5x per pedal crank revolution ad there’s a reduction gear at work, this creates some friction when pedaling unassisted (if the bike is off or you’re pedaling beyond the 20 mph top supported speed)
- Very minor complaint here, but there didn’t appear to be a sticker slap guard on the right chainstay… you probably won’t see the chips because of the plastic chain cover, but the chain could still take wear and the frame might get scratched up a bit because there’s no protection