2022 Zen Samurai Review


Technical Specs & Ratings






Class 3


Front Suspension


Hydraulic Disc



500 Wh

500 Wh

57 lbs / 25.88 kgs



Frame Details

6061 Aluminium Alloy, Custom Hydroformed


Front Suspension


Manitou Machete Air Suspension, 120 mm Travel, Compression, Rebound Adjust, 34 mm Black Anodized Stanchions, Boost 110 mm Hub Spacing, 15 mm Thru-Axle with Quick Release, Optional Fox AWL Ebike Specific Air Suspension Fork 34 120 mm Travel

Double Wall, Aluminum Alloy, 25 mm or 35 mm Outer Width, 36 Hole

Schwalbe Super Moto-X, 27.5" x 2.4" (62-584), 30 to 55 PSI, 2.0 to 4.0 BAR, Performance, 3 mm Anti-Puncture GreenGuard, Reflective Sidewall Stripe


Cane Creek, Internal, Sealed Bearing, Tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"

Custom Designed Satori, Adjustable Angle, Aluminum Alloy, 65 mm or 90 mm or 110 mm Length, 0° to 60°, Two 10 mm Spacers, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter

ZEN Custom, Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 680 mm Length, 20 mm Rise, 15° Backsweep, 31.8 mm Bore, Optional Female Specific Handlebar

Ergon GP1, Ergonomic, Locking

Custom Designed Suspension Seatpost, Optional Kinekt Suspension Seatpost


Ergon SF3 Gel, Optional Female Specific Ergon Saddle

OneUp Composite Platform with Adjustable Pins, Sealed Rebuildable Ceramic Bearings

Hydraulic Disc

Magura CT4 Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, 6 Bolt Pattern, Dual-Piston Calipers, Three-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach, Optional Magura MT5E Quad Piston Brakes

Ebike Systems

Class 3


Bosch Gen 4 Performance Line Speed or CX


Bosch Intuvia, Removable,2.7" Backlit Grayscale Display, Buttons: Reset, Power, i, Lights, (Hold Reset and i for Settings Menu)

500 Wh

500 Wh

Bosch PowerTube 500 3500mAh 18650 Cells, Optional Bosch PowerPack 500 36 Volt, Lithium-ion, 13.4 Amp Hrs, (Optional 13.4 ah Bosch PowerPack 500), 6.3 lbs

1.7 lb 4 Amp Charger

More Details

Urban, Commuting, Touring

United States, Canada

2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime on Frame

6.3 lbs (2.85 kg)

6.3 lbs (2.85 kg)

17.32 in (43.99 cm)18.89 in (47.98 cm)20.47 in (51.99 cm)22.04 in (55.98 cm)

Medium 48cm: 19" Seat Tube, 22.25" Reach, 28.5" Stand Over Height, 36" Minimum Saddle Height, 27.75" Width, 46" Wheelbase, 75.25" Length

Matte Black, Racing Red, Electric Blue

135mm Hub Spacing, 10mm Threaded Axle with Nuts

Multiple Bottle Cage Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

SKS Blumel 75 U-Long Plastic Fenders (75mm Width, Rear Rack Support), RackTime Rear Rack (25kg 55lb Max Load, Pannier Blocker, Bungee Loops, Rear Light Mount), Integrated LEZYNE Macro Drive 1,000 Headlight (5 Modes: Strobe, Flashing, Low, Med, High), Integrated LEZYNE Super Bright STVZO Rear Light (2 LED), Portland Design Works Rear Kickstand (40mm Bolt Spacing, Adjustable Length), Optional Supernova M99 Mini Pro 45 Headlight (1,300 Lumen, Low and High Beam), Optional Supernova M99 Rear Light (5 LED, Brake Light Integration)

Locking Removable Downtube-Integrated Battery Pack, 1.7lb 4 Amp Charger, Maximum Cadence > 120 RPM Motor Support, ABUS Locking Core (Keyed-Alike Code Card)

Independent Button Pad on Left, Buttons: Walk Mode, +, i, -, 5 Volt 500mA Micro-USB Port on Right Edge of Display

Shift Recommendation (Up, Down), Battery Indicator (5 Bars), Assist Level (Eco, Tour, eMTB, Turbo), Power Indicator, Range, Odometer, Gear, Trip Distance, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Rear Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence, and Pedal Torque over 1,000x Per Second, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 60% 40Nm, Tour 140% 50Nm, Sport 240% 60Nm, Turbo 340% 85Nm)

28 mph (45 kph)

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

This review was provided for free using a demo bike. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of ZEN products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the ZEN electric bike forums.


  • ZEN products are built with an emphasis on reliability and safety. The Samurai can be configured to offer long range by adding a second battery pack. It’s setup for urban riding, commuting, or touring and uses premium hardware including Bosch Gen 4 drive systems, Supernova lights, Magura hydraulic brakes, internal gearing such as Enviolo CVT and Kindernay IGH, Schwalbe tires, and Gates Carbon belt.


  • Delivers a combination of performance and hardware features that are unique including a belt drive, internally geared hub or CVT, speed pedelec, and dual battery option!
  • Impressive range of sizes and color options to choose from. I appreciate the range of body types this ebike can accommodate, and how adjustable the stem and handlebar are. It can be upright comfortable or forward aerodynamic.
  • Great touch points. The pedals are large, stiff, and even have adjustable height pins. Both the saddle and grips are Ergon, which fit my body very well in terms of comfort.
  • Emphasis on safety with bright integrated lights and reflective tires. I love that the headlight is up high at the handlebar, because it will be easier for cars to see and won’t bounce around or get blocked by the front fender. If you upgrade the brakes to MT5, the rear light will go bright when stopping! You can go from a dual LED rear light to a 5-LED Supernova.
  • The tires offer a layer of puncture resistance for improved durability. The hybrid tread is smooth and efficient, but capable enough for gravel… in part because they are wider 2.4″ width.
  • Good protection from water and mud thanks to wide SKS brand plastic fenders. The front fender connects to the fork lowers with bolts vs. plastic cuffs, making it more durable. The rear fender has five supports (bottom bracket, seat stays, front of rack, and two arms)! It also has a metal piece below to help support the rear rack for increased weight while still looking beautiful.
  • High carrying capacity from the rear rack, up to 25kg (55lbs) and it’s positioned far enough back that it won’t interfere with trunk bags, baskets, and child seats. It has pannier blockers, supports the rear light, and has bungee loops.
  • Perfect kickstand positioning to avoid pedal lock. Tool-free adjustability makes parking easy and stable.
  • High quality Ethirteen cranks and Gates chainring with alloy guard. The carbon belt is said to be more reliable than a chain, and tends to be quieter and cleaner. Gates belt drive systems stay on track with a center wedge and are considered the leader in the space.
  • It’s neat to see an ebike that comes stock with a highly adjustable air suspension fork and suspension seat post! The ride is comfortable, especially with the high volume tires and swept-back handlebar. Note the tapered steer tube that allows for fancier upgrades including the ebike specific Fox AWL with thicker stanchions and heavy duty damper that ZEN sells as an upgrade.
  • Internally routed cables look great, especiall if you get the second battery pack and electronically shifted Rohloff E14 IGN. The sloped top tube blends directly into the seat stays for a beautiful look while keeping standover height fairly low. Notice the gusset plate where the top tube meets the seat tube for improved strength.
  • They planned the design to allow space for a seat tube mounted bottle cage and have two more pairs of bosses near the head tube which could be used for additional fluids, accessories like mini pumps and folding locks, or the optional front tray basket.
  • Name brand Magura hydraulic disc brakes with decent 180mm rotors come stock. If you pay a bit more, you can get Magura MT5s with a quad piston front caliper and brake light activating levers.
  • ZEN used an ABUS Plus Code keyset that works with two batteries, if you opt for the long range setup, as well as folding locks and other ABUS accessories. I appreciate that the main battery locking core is high up on the right side of the frame.
  • The included charger is fairly compact and light weight for offering such high amp output. It is also UL certified (along with the motor, display, and battery pack).
  • Bosch ebike hardware is some of the best, their electronics are IP65 rated against water, mud, and dust. Their controller measures rear wheel speed, pedal torque, and pedal cadence over 1,000 times per second and can even detect shifting to reduce drivetrain wear.
  • It’s nice that both batteries can be charged and discharged at the same time and show the individual readout percentage if you upgrade to the Bosch Kiox display panel.
  • The default Bosch Intuvia display is excellent. It’s large, removable, and easy to interact with thanks to a reachable button pad and dedicated buttons. It even has an integrated Micro-USB charging port on the right side. It does not have Bluetooth or support the Bosch Ebike Flow smartphone app, show battery percentage, individual battery capacity, or heart rate etc. as Kiox does.


  • Minor complaint here. The rear wheel speed sensor is a spoke magnet that passes a reader, and it’s easier to get bumped out of position and throw an error. Some of the newest designs mount this magnet to the rear hub, which is less exposed and allows the wheel to be slightly more symmetrical and balanced.
  • The charge port is low on the left side of the frame, directly in the path of the left crank arm. It’s difficult to reach, more exposed to water, mud, and dust, and the rubber cover design can be difficult to align and seat properly.
  • The black cover below the downtube isn’t super easy to get off. It requires a coin or flat key to insert and twist. I like how securely it seats, and appreciate that it’s generic and cross-compatible across colors and frame sizes. Anyone could untwist and remove it, so it’s less secure than the battery itself.
  • ZEN is a relatively new company, which brings up some questions, but the fact that they are using Bosch hardware is very reassuring. Bosch offers a two year comprehensive warranty and has a vast network of dealers who can diagnose, repair, and replace parts.
  • This is a direct to consumer product, unless you live near Halifax Nova Scotia Canada. Most buyers will not be able to get fitted or test ride, and will have to do some unboxing… but this helps to keep the price down.
  • This is a very minor consideration, but the stock Lezyne and upgrade Supernova headlights do not have side windows. Their positioning and brightness are great, but they aren’t visible from as many angles as some alternatives I’ve seen in recent years.
  • The bike is fairly expensive, starting at $4.6k USD. It makes sense to me when you consider the custom frame with cutout for the belt drive, the premium Bosch motor, and all of the other great hardware. It’s less than most of the equivalent alternatives I’ve seen, like the Riese & Müller Charger.
  • The Bosch Performance Line motors, even the 4th Generation, tend to be louder as they produce more power. I was pleased with the fenders, rack, and other hardware being so quiet, but I did notice the motor… especially at higher RPM as shown in the video review above.
  • The Bosch PowerTube battery can be tricky to re-mount to the frame because it comes from below, the front fender is kind of in the way, and you have to unlock the spring interface with the key while inserting the pack which can be a little tricky.
  • As with many companies who are sourcing hardware globally, some parts may be subject to changes. I noticed the wheelset shown was DT SWISS but I was told the actual could be generic.

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