This is overall the nicest ebike I have ridden, and the current leader of my standardised hill climbing tests.
This review was inspired by a reader who asked via Twitter if I do requests. Apparently, I do now! The ride was arranged by the distributor Campbell from eBike Studio in Queenstown and courtesy of the bike owner Matt who graciously allowed me to borrow his precious steed.
One of my early experiences of a Moustache bike was a rental in Hawkes Bay. ElectricMeg and I loved the bikes and it led me to my current obsession. I even have a running joke about a lady with a nice Moustache I sometimes see on my commute. So I was looking forward to riding another with my current knowledge and experience of many ebikes. I was a bit anxious as this bike came with great claims, with a slightly magical sounding carbon front fork and balloon tyres that were going to gobble up the bumps. I’ve also been a bit underwhelmed by Bosch motors that cut out at 25-27kph.
This bike lived up to its promise. It is smooth, handles with great poise, rails corners, and laughs at the hills. It was fastest up my Grafton Gully test (slightly wind assisted) and fastest up the notorious Liverpool St (even beating the Bosch Performance CX bike). It glided up Bullock Track. You’ll see in the photos that it has a lovely component spec. The XT11 speed gears were crisp and offered great range, the Magura brakes had fantastic modulation and power, the handlebar was comfortable with its back sweep, the mudguards are sturdy and generous, the Moto-X tyres are wide… And then the Bosch system – in this incarnation (Performance speed) it is grunty. It will go around 42kph on the flat (not quite the 45 as advertised) and absolutely hauls up hills. It whines a bit on startup but once up to speed you won’t notice it at all. Assist does cut at 45, actually 42 according to the GPS (and Bosch won’t let you adjust the wheel size – all the Bosch bikes I’ve tested over-read a bit).
This has a 500Wh battery. I rode 27km at speed on ‘Turbo’ with the range estimate saying I had 10km left in the tank.
My only minor gripe is the kickstand. Euro regulations require speed-pedelec stands to fold up automatically which is sort of nice but on even the slightest downhill (a driveway or footpath say) the stand folds away. Crash! Luckily I avoided that (no apologies needed to Matt, phew!). But it’s a $50 change if it bugs you. I didn’t particularly like the Brooks leather saddle (it looks gorgeous mind you) but some folks love them (and looking at the pics the nose was a bit high). I imagine they mold to your butt over time. The suspension seatpost wasn’t as noticeably floaty like it is on a Kalkhoff but it absorbed some of the hits which is appreciated. And with that carbon fork and balloon tyres we had a not-quite-plush but very comfortable ride.
Now I wish I had a nice Moustache.
I made a little video to demonstrate the ease by which it climbs hills feared by other cyclists (sadly the rest of my videos didn’t work – something wrong with my camera grrr).
So who should buy this bike?
- Matt from Wellington who asked me to review it
- Anyone who wants a commuter bike that is sporty and can climb hills and is not afraid of paying for quality
Who shouldn’t buy it?
- You really want an eMTB or tourer – this isn’t one
- You have a budget of <$7k
What else could you look at?
- Kalkhoff Integrale
- Specialised Turbo Vado 5.0 (due soon)
- Haibike equivalent
- The cheaper non-speed version ($5995 – but you get the 400Wh powerpack, a lesser component spec and only 25 kph – even if you dongle it this version offers more)
- $7395 – it is worth it, trust me.
- But I could buy a car for that! Then buy a cheapie car and suffer the consequences… This is way better.