- An approachable mid-step electric bike made in three sizes, reinforced frame is responsive and quiet, balanced drive system components keep weight low and center for steady handling
- Efficient 700c sized city tires from Schwalbe lower the attack angle, provide enough air volume for comfort without adding lots of weight, include reflective sidewalls for safety and puncture protective lining for durability
- Proprietary tubular fenders don't rattle, the rear fender is connected to the premium rack with Ortlieb QL3 connector points, they match the frame color of the bike perfectly, Excellent pedals, kickstand, and chain cover choices
- Custom handlebars sweep back for upright seating and natural hand position but require a custom bracket for the display that doesn't swivel, comfortable ergonomic grips, basic suspension fork, and adjustable suspension seat post, upgraded hydraulic disc brakes with larger 180 mm front to handle weight and speed
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The Moustache Samedi 28 Open is a beautiful city electric bike with three trim levels. For this review, I focused on the mid-level Samedi 28.3 but you could compromise on price and specs by going down to the 28.1 or up to the 28.5 level. All models are built around the same frame geometry and utilize 28-inch wheels (700c size) that offer efficiency in coasting, a lower attack angle for smoothing out cracks and potholes, and medium air volume for comfort. The Schwalbe Citizen tires seen here offer reflective sidewall stripes to keep you visible and K-Guard puncture protection to reduce flats from sharp objects and thorns. There’s always this balance between aesthetics and safety, and I feel like Moustache has done an excellent job here with integrated lights that shine forward and out from the sides. They’re more of the “be seen” variety vs. “light my way” but that’s alright in most city environments that have street lamps. The frame color is this metallic matte titanium that looks professional and timeless. The video and photos above were shot in Brooklyn, New York, near Propel Bikes and I was joined with the shop owner, Chris Nolte. If you look at the urban environment with the tan and gray colors, you can see how well this bike blends in. However, I appreciate that Moustache chose a unique color with a bit of shine to it because this increases your visual footprint. Almost all of the supporting hardware is black (spokes, hubs, rims, crank arms, seat post, suspension fork, handlebar, rear rack, cafe lock) and the proprietary “Hidden Power” plastic battery cover is also black (along with the default Bosch motor casing). It looks great in my opinion, the titanium color works well with the blacks and grays, and that elevates the value of the bike… even though much of the hardware is mid-level. I’m talking about the Shimano Deore 10-speed derailleur, SR Suntour NEX spring shock with limited adjustability, and Shimano M395 hydraulic disc brakes. These are all well-suited to urban cycling, offering more than enough performance and durability, but they keep the price lower at $3.4k compared to Deore XT, an air fork, and 180 mm disc brakes front and rear vs. just front. Highlights include the Ortlieb QL3 compatible rear rack that supports the fender, adjustable suspension seat post, sturdy alloy platform pedals and adjustable kickstand, sleek plastic chain cover, and powerful Bosch Performance Line Cruise mid-motor.
Driving the Moustache Samedi 28.3 Open is a Bosch Performance Line Cruise mid-motor rated from 250 to 570 watts with peak torque output of 63 Newton meters. The torque rating is important because it allows you to start quickly and climb effectively with the 10-speed cassette. The bike feels zippy and allows you to shift smoothly with motor controller shift detection, so you won’t mash gears and stress the drivetrain as easily. The chainring is a 17 tooth (42 tooth equivalent) design which spins 2.5 revolutions for every single crank arm revolution. This gear reduction requires an internal gearbox that adds some weight and noise. The motor is roughy 8.8 lbs vs. 6.3 lbs to 7.1 lbs on the weaker Bosch Active Line motors. Moustache has added a tight plastic chain cover to keep your pant legs and dress ends clean and it’s worth noting that I have yet to drop a chain on any Bosch powered ebike, perhaps due to the smaller sprocket design. In my own experience, the chainring starts and stops extremely quickly, making the Bosch Performance Line one of the most responsive motors on the market. I love that it can assist up to 120 RPM because I tend to enjoy spinning and revving to reach high speeds vs. shifting down and lumbering along. Frankly, you can ride however you’d like with this electric bicycle and the motor will be there to support you in a powerful but intuitive way. It may be overkill for some urban environments, with limited hills and fairly smooth terrain, but it’s definitely fun and capable. The Bosch motor controller measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque over 1,000 times per second and that translates to near-instant starts and stops. The bike feels smooth and fast, the components are attached well and don’t make a lot of noise (aside from the kickstand bouncing occasionally) but the motor does produce a noticeable whine at the higher RPMs when riding in the upper levels of assist. I tried to demonstrate this in the video review by mounting the camera to the frame. With all of the traffic in New York City, it wasn’t nearly as pronounced as it has been when reviewing other bikes with the same drive unit in quiet neighborhoods. On some ebikes, mostly mountain models, the whine is masked by knobby tires and the sounds of gravel and organic material along the trail, but you really hear it on smooth pavement and that might annoy some people. It’s one of the trade-offs for effective climbing and hauling ability, this is one of the best Bosch motors for people who weigh more. I definitely appreciate how compact the motor is, how it is tilted up a bit and mounted into the frame, and that Moustache designed a smooth plastic skid plate to protect it from tall curbs and help it blend in with the lighter colored frame and fenders. This motor combined with the Shimano Deore derailleur, which I would consider mid-level, produces a quick shifting experience that’s a bit sporty for an otherwise approachable utilitarian type of bike. Moustache brings their own special flavor with custom parts like the swept-back handlebar and sleek battery integration.
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 with this “hidden power” plastic cover concept in my mind, and it began with electric mountain models like the Samedi 27 Trail 6. In the United States especially, consumers have gravitated towards stealthier electric bikes with concealed batteries so people wouldn’t question or hassle them (especially on mountain bike trails). I’m excited to see this design concept trickled down to urban models like the Samedi 28.3 Open and Friday 27.5 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 (especially with the lower top tube), 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. Of course, you can just take it off each time you park, 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 the battery bay could feel messy and be difficult to clean out. Charging can be done with the battery dismounted or left on the frame and the stock Bosch charger delivers faster 4 amp charging. For those seeking to reduce space and weight, Bosch dealers can order a slightly lighter 2 amp travel charger. Maybe you could have one of each, leaving one at the office and another at home? 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. Even though the plug port on the bike frame is in the path of the left crank arm, the plug design is sturdy enough to not brake if it gets snagged or pushed on. 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 both located on the left side of the frame and have leashes to keep them from getting misplaced during charging or battery removal. I love how they were able to use one key for both the battery and cafe frame lock, so you don’t have to deal with clutter… and you also don’t have to leave the key inserted in the cafe lock when it’s unlocked. This means less potential for snags and less jingling as you ride (if a keychain was attached to the key). The PowerPack 500 battery offers above average capacity and is relatively lightweight itself at roughly 5.8 lbs (2.6 kg), you may ask why Moustache did not go with the latest PowerTube battery, which is fully frame integrated, but for me the Powerpack is actually preferable in many situations. It’s lighter, probably less expensive, and can be purchased, rented, and borrowed all around the world. The same plastic casing and mounting interface was used for the older PowerPack 400, 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 battery is used to power the bike, both the front and rear lights, and the big Intuvia display panel… which also has a Micro-USB port on the side for maintaining electronics on the go. It’s a great design all around.
To activate the Moustache Samedi 28.3 Open, 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. As mentioned earlier, theres also a frame lock (cafe lock, that disables the rear wheel) with an AXA locking core mounted to the seat stays. Both wheels offer quick release, so you’ll definitely want a cable and maybe a u-lock to secure everything for longer stops. 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 will blink on. I love this display because I am near sighted, and it is large. On most other ebikes, you can swivel the display forward and back to reduce glare, but that’s not the case here due to the custom rectangular handle bar tubing. The good news is, you can still remove the display easily and navigate through the different menus by using the remote button pad (located within reach of the left grip). The button pad is consistent, you don’t have to be as careful about which portions of the buttons you press in as you do with the smaller Bosch Purion control pad. They produce a nice tactile click so you can feel your way along without having to look down at the screen all the time, potentially getting distracted. 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. In general it’s a lot simpler to use than the smaller Bosch Purion display in this sense as well. Both of these LCD displays have always-on backlighting so you can read them in dark conditions. The trigger shifters for switching through the ten gears 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 appearing at the top left portion of the screen. This is called shift assistance, and it can help you maximize range by supporting motor RPM performance.
Over the course of several Moustache electric bike reviews with Chris, I learned that the company was started in 2011 by two friends (Greg Sand and Emmanuel Antonot). Since it’s beginning, the company has innovated custom parts and produced designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They currently only utilize Bosch drive systems, some of the best in the industry, and have grown from just two employees to over 50 with tens of thousands of bikes being sold annually. The Samedi 28.3 Open offers above-average quality at a good price and is mostly sold in Europe, with the exception of a few leading shops in the US like Propel and Electric Cyclery. Samedi means Saturday in French, and Moustache is indeed a French company. Open refers to the more open step-thru / mid-step frame design. Notice how reinforced the frame is with that additional seat stay in the rear and the wider top tube and downtube. This is a sporty city bike that doesn’t sacrifice too much comfort. I actually appreciate that it does not have an adjustable angle stem because those can sometimes rattle loose or slip forward if you drop off of tall curbs and push forward. I noticed that the rear fender does not rely on support struts but instead connects to the rack in two places… it did not rattle during my test ride, even on rough terrain. I appreciate how the cargo rack is positioned far enough back that the seat can be mounted in the lowest position (still a bit high with the seat post suspension). For riders who need the lowest possible seating position, consider purchasing a rigid 27.2 mm post like one of these. A few final thoughts… even though the battery pack is a little recessed and difficult to remove on this particular frame because of the lowered top tube, it’s fairly easy and safe to carry with the loop handle. Do store it in a cool, dry location (removing it from the bike when necessary), and try to keep the charge above 20% to avoid stressing the cells. All in all, the bike was nimble but also stable and tracked well enough to ride with no hands. This is a big deal compared to some competing models with rear rack mounted batteries that tend to flex and sometimes wobble at speed. I’d like to thank Chris and Propel again for hosting me and sharing several demo models of Moustache ebikes so we could compare back to back. Big thanks to Moustache for partnering with me on this review and I welcome your feedback or questions in the comments below and in the Moustache ebike forums.
- The “open” mixte frame is approachable, you can easily mount and stabilize the bike because the top tube is lowered and there are three frame sizes to choose from
- Matte Titanium color scheme carries through to the fenders and motor skid plate beautifully, it’s dark enough to blend in with the black accents of the motor casing, chain cover, battery cover, seat post, rear rack, and suspension fork but definitely unique compared to other ebikes that go with black, white, or silver
- Great utility features here, tubular alloy fenders keep you dry, a tight plastic chain cover keeps your pant legs or dress ends from getting dirty or snagged, the rear rack lets you bring a trunk bag or panniers for commuting situations (the rack is Ortlieb compatible with special QL3 Quick-Lock3 attachment points), AXA cafe lock is keyed-alike so you only need one key for the battery and lock
- Complete set of safety upgrades including reflective tires with puncture protected lining, integrated LED lights that run off the main battery and have side cutouts for maximum exposure, flick bell that lets you signal in a friendly way, grippy aluminum alloy pedals with extra wide surface area and raised but less-sharp traction points
- Locking ergonomic grips and swept-back handlebar with natural hand position (angled back vs. flat), basic but functional suspension fork, and sleek adjustable suspension seat post combine to make this a fun bike to ride even in rough environments or longer commutes
- Great kickstand hardware, it’s mounted clear of the left crank arm and offers length adjustability for different parking situations
- I love that Moustache was able to squeeze in a set of bottle cage bosses along the top of the top tube, you don’t have to use them if they get in the way but it seems like there’s plenty of room to step onto the frame still and they could come in handy for a folding lock
- Great mid-level Shimano components including a 10-speed Deore drivetrain and M395 hydraulic disc brakes, I appreciate the larger 180 mm front rotor for improved stopping and cooling performance
- Moustache really nails the battery integration here, in my opinion, because they opted for the high-capacity Bosch PowerPack 500 but were able to mount it super low and centered on the frame while still hiding it and getting a nearly step-thru geometry
- I love how tightly the motor is integrated here, they didn’t use the standard oval plastic covering that you see on a lot of other Bosch ebikes (especially older ones), they tipped the motor up and matched the casing to the frame style
- The Bosch Intuvia is my favorite ebike display because it’s deep but easy to use, the button pad is usually very easy to reach and clicks consistently, the LCD unit is removable, and it has a Micro-USB port that you can plug into for charging portable electronics on the go
- The frame doesn’t flex as much as some other mid-steps and lo-steps that I’ve tested because the top tube and downtube are wider and the rear section of bike has two seat stays (three tubes total on each side)
- Because the handlebar is custom, it doesn’t use a traditional stem… but you still get four spacers to raise and lower the position and change your body position to be more upright, I like how Moustache mounted the display to be set in below the handlebar a bit for protection but also easy viewing
- Higher quality parts all across the frame, the rims utilize reinforcement eyelets, the rack has pannier blockers and mounts to the fender in two places for added strength, the seat tube is extra thick, and the frame has channels for internal cable routing to look nice and reduce snags
- Both wheels are connected with quick release skewers which makes maintenance and flat fixes a bit easier, this bike should be less intimidating to traditional bicycle repair shops because of the standard hardware… but you’ll want to lock both wheels with a cable if you park at public racks since they do utilize QR
- The Bosch motor e-bike controller is excellent, it listens for rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque signals over 1,000 times per second and is able to detect shifting and ease back to help limit strain and wear on your chain, sprockets, and cassette
- With up to 63 Newton meters of torque from the motor and an 11-36 tooth cassette, the motor is capable of climbing very steep hills if you shift gears appropriately, I appreciate how the Bosch Performance Line motors can support up to 120 RPM pedal speeds vs. 100 on some competing products and 105 or 110 on some of the Bosch Active Line motors
- It’s a minor thing here, but the key doesn’t have to be left in the AXA Solid Plus frame lock when it’s unlocked… you can remove the key to reduce jingling and snags on this model whereas many competing products make you keep the key in (I’m assuming so you don’t lose it as easily?), I like the freedom to remove the key here since it’s also used for the battery
- With a higher capacity battery like the PowerPack 500, it’s nice to have a faster charger… the stock Bosch charger that comes with this electric bike puts out 4 amps but is still one of the lightest and most compact that I have seen
- The “hidden power” plastic cover looks 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 ~56 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
- You can remove the plastic covers on the suspension fork crown to adjust preload (twist both dials the same number of clicks) but you don’t have lockout or rebound adjustment here so the bike can feel a little bouncy and there might be some bob when pedaling and dive when stopping vs. if you had a nicer fork, I also noticed that the headlight is mounted to the suspension fork bridge and will bounce up and down vs. if it was mounted to the head tube or handlebar on the suspended portion of the bike
- I could see how many commuters would be interested in faster Class 3 Bosch Performance Line Speed motor vs. the standard Performance Line Cruise here, 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
- 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)
- The Performance Line motors from Bosch tend to produce a whirring electronic noise when operating at full power and higher speeds, it’s a bit louder than the competing products from Shimano, Yamaha, and Brose especially
- In order to charge the battery pack while mounted to the bike, you plug in near the bottom bracket on the left side of the frame, this area can be a little vulnerable with the crank arm so close but at least the Bosch charger plug is very sturdy, I also like the rubber plug that Moustache has designed to keep water and dust out of this port when you’re riding, it’s super thick, sturdy, and has a leash to stay connected to the bike so it won’t get lost as easily
- It seems like Moustache was trying to keep the downtube as narrow as possible, so riders wouldn’t scrape their shoes, and the top tube is super low… so getting the battery pack on and off the bike requires a bit more dexterity and patience than most other PowerPack designs
- You may struggle to mount a phone and other devices on the proprietary rectangular handle bar and the custom Intuvia display mount does not allow the screen to swivel here as it would with the default Bosch mount on round handlebars
- Official Site: http://www.moustachebikes.com/uk/samedi-28-3-open.html
- More Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Gyd6PoNQHUPxKZUm1