boardman adv 8.9e electric bike review

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Boardman has been producing some excellent bikes over the last few years, and I always had a feeling that when they entered the e-bike arena they would carry on that trend. Having already ridden their excellent electric hybrid bike, I was keen to try out the Boardman ADV 8.9e adventure/gravel/road bike. This e-bike uses the same Fazua Evation motor as its flat bar sibling. Read my full review below for more details.

Buy the Boardman ADV 8.9e Electric Road Bike from Halfords


Electric road bikes have seen a massive expansion in popularity over the last couple of years This is thanks in part to the development of lightweight ebike motor drive systems like the Fazua Evation and Mahle X35 ebikemotion.

The early mid-drive and hub motor systems commonly found on electric bikes were quite heavy, as were the lithium batteries that accompanied them. Thanks to recent advances in both e-bike motor and lithium battery technology – motors and batteries are now much lighter and can be better integrated into electric bike design.

boardman adv 8.9e electric road bike being ridden through a ford

To the casual observer, the Boardman ADV 8.9e looks just like a regular road bike. The only giveaway is the slightly larger downtube, which accommodates the 252Wh battery and motor drive system.

As I stated in my review of the Boardman electric hybrid bike, the great thing about the Fazua system is it can be easily removed. Meaning you can have an e-bike for the daily commute and a regular road bike for weekend riding.

Check out the best electric gravel bikes in 2023

Electric Components

Fazua Evation

fazue evation ebike drive system complete

The German-made Fazua Evation has revolutionised the electric bike motor. The Fazua Evation was released at the end of 2018 and was designed specifically with the electric road bike in mind.

The Fazua motor gearbox is neatly integrated into the bike’s bottom bracket, and you insert the motor drive unit into the gearbox.

The small 250-watt-hour battery connects to the top of the drive unit and can be easily replaced – a spare battery is available if more range is required.

The electric assist system is controlled by a remote control handlebar-mounted keypad. There are 10 LEDs showing the battery level. These change colour depending on what pedal assist mode you are in. White is zero,  green is low, blue medium and purple is maximum assist.

boardman adv 8.9e handlebar controls

The Fazua motor is best suited to the rider who only requires e-assist on occasion – for climbing hills and to provide some extra help for longer rides. As the battery is of quite a low energy capacity, it would be ideal for commutes of up to around 30 miles (with the assist on constantly).

The total weight of the Fazua system including the battery pack is just 4.6kg. If you fancy riding without the extra weight of the electric motor and battery, you can easily remove it, fit the (optional) alloy cover and away you go!

the boardman adv 8.9e with the fazua assist system removed

It should be noted that you don’t lose the whole 4.6kg when you remove the motor and battery, as the gearbox that is integrated into the bottom bracket weighs 1kg, but you still lose 3.6kg – which makes a lot of difference.


The quoted maximum torque figure of 60Nm feels about right. The performance feels similar to the Bosch CX motor in tour mode. When the assist is switched off or the maximum assisted speed of 15.5mph is reached, the motor de-couples from the gearbox, and there is no extra pedalling resistance – it feels just like riding a normal bike.

I rode this bike for around 8-9 miles of the hilly Cornish countryside, and when the motor was off, I didn’t really notice the extra weight, in fact, I could quite happily ride the ADV 8.9e with the motor switched off for miles and it wouldn’t bother me.

boardman adv 8.9e electric adventure bike

I also rode the ADV for a couple of miles with the motor removed, and it felt a lot lighter and zippier than my vintage Dawes Galaxy touring bike

The pedal assist on the Boardman ADV 8.9e is so smooth and subtle, it feels like you have strong wind behind you. I had my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt bike computer fitted, and I was going uphill considerably faster than usual, but with half the effort.

Fazua Rider App

The Fazua rider app is an excellent accompaniment –  It has the following features:

  • GPS navigation, tracking and trip information
  • Motor power, remaining battery capacity, distance to empty, etc.
  • Speedometer, cadence, rider power, rider torque, etc.
  • Technical overview and battery charge information
  • Support functions, incl. direct access to Fazua Service
  • Ability to share rides with friends
  • Summaries and analysis of the data post-ride
fazua rider app

The app is compatible with Andriod and Apple IOS, and it does provide some useful information, plus some of the more technical stuff like rider power, cadence and torque. You can also track ride data and share it with friends.

The addition of GPS navigation is a great feature. But remember, you will need to get a suitable smartphone holder for your device – the Quad Lock is probably the best phone holder available for bikes.

Conclusion of the Fazua Evation System

I prefer the Fazua Evation to the Mahle X35 ebikemotion system found on the Orbea Gain and other electric road bikes. I do like the X35 system, but having a motor and battery that can be removed in seconds means you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You no longer need an electric bike for commuting and a regular bike for weekend rides – you can have both in one!


The small 36v 7ah (250Wh) battery is lightweight and easy to plug directly into the drive unit. The range of the battery will depend on the rider, and how often the e-assist is used.

As with the Hybrid version, there is no reason, why you couldn’t squeeze 100 miles out of a single charge if you only used the assist for 30% of the ride.

the fazua evation ebike battery

For a daily commute to work, and using varying assist levels, I would say a range of between 30-40 miles should be possible.

Bike Components


The Boardman ADV 8.9e uses the excellent SRAM Apex 1 x 11 drivetrain. Upfront There is an FSA-CK746 crankset with an  FSA 44t chainring and a wide range 11-42 cassette and the rear.

boardman adv 8.9e with 11-42 11-speed cassette

This groupset is designed specifically for gravel/adventure bikes and will ensure a decent range of gears for climbing steeper hills. The package is finished off with a high-quality KMCE11 e-bike specific chain.


The SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes combined with 160mm rotors provide confident braking, no matter what surface you are riding on. I felt these brakes did the job perfectly.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are Boardman branded tough double-walled rims with thru-axles front and rear. There are 28 spokes on the front and 32 on the rear.

The tyres are Schwalbe G-One Speed, 700c x 38mm gravel tyres, which will offer a good level of puncture protection and are excellent on a multitude of surfaces

The finishing kit is all, good quality Boardman branded components, with flared drop bars and a Fizik Tundra saddle.

Fizik tundra saddle fitted to the boardman adv 8.9e

Full Specification:

Approximate Weight (KG):16kg
Brake Type:Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Forks:Boardman ADV-E full Carbon, 1 1/2″ to 1 1/8″ tapered steerer
Frame Material:Alloy
Maximum Rider Weight:120kg
Maximum Speed:Assistance to 15.5mph
Number of Gears:11
Pedals Included:Yes
Recharge Time:3 hours
System voltage:36V
Wheel Size:700c
Battery:Fazua 250Wh
Battery Charger:Fazua Charger Supplied
Battery Features:Fazua removable integrated battery
Battery warranty:2 Years / 500 charges
Bottom Bracket:Fazua Evation
Cassette/Freewheel:SRAM Apex PG1130 – 11-42T
Chain:KMC E11
Chainset:FSA CK-746 Fazua, 170mm
Component warranty:2 Years Electrical components, 1 Year other components (excluding wear and tear)
Crank Arm:Alloy
Display:Speed, Cadence and Torque
Display Features:3 Assistance Modes
Drive Type:Fazua Evation
Electric Bike System:Fazua
Fork travel:N/A
Front Brake:SRAM Apex Hydraulic Disc
Front Hub:Boardman 6 Bolt Disc, 100x12mm Thru Axle front, 142x12mm Thru Axle rear
Gear Shifters:SRAM Apex 1
Grips:Velo Bar Tape – Black
Handlebar Type:Boardman Alloy, 400mm size SM, 420mm size MD, 100mm size LG & XL
Headset:FSA No. 42 ACB
Maximum Range:Up to 60 miles range
Motor Type:Fazua Evation Central Motor
Mudguard Mounts:Yes
Mudguards Included:No
Pannier Mounts:Yes
Pannier Rack:No
Pedals:Wellgo with Toe Clip
Quick Release Front Wheel:Yes
Quick Release Rear Wheel:Yes
Rear Brake:SRAM Apex Hydraulic Disc
Rear Hub:142x12mm Thru Axle rear
Rear Mech:SRAM Apex 1
Removable Battery:Yes
Rims:28h Front, 32h Rear
Saddle:Fizik Tundra
Seatpost:Boardman Alloy 31.6mm
Sensor Type:Speed, Cadance and Torque
Stem:Boardman Alloy, 80mm size SM & MD, 90mm size LG, 100mm size XL
Type:Electric Adventure Bikes
Tyre Size:700 x 38mm
Tyres:Schwalbe G-One Speed Folding, 700 x 38mm

Frame and Forks

The Boardman smooth weld alloy frame is just beautiful, with internal routing and a relaxed geometry, this is a nice frame. The Fazua motor system neatly integrates into the oversized down tube, making the bike look like a regular bicycle.

High-quality carbon forks, help dampen road buzz, and thru-axle, forks keep things stiff upfront. The headset is a high-quality FSA  No. 42 ACB.

boardman adv 8.9e electric road bike

Who is the Boardman ADV 8.9e aimed at?

I would say the Boardman ADV 8.9e is aimed at road cyclists who are after a bit of assistance once in a while. A bike like this is versatile and can be used on road or gravel tracks. It’s even going to be a good e-bike for bikepacking trips.

At just under £2500 it may not suit everyone’s budget. But it is the cheapest Fazua-powered electric road bike currently available. There are also provisions for fitting mudguards and a pannier rack making it an ideal commuter or touring bike.


The Fazua Evation e-bike system is fairly recent, I haven’t been able to find too much information about long-term reliability. I think it’s safe to say for the moment, that this drive system is going to be fairly reliable. I have already ridden quite a few Fazua-powered e-bikes and they all work flawlessly.

As with all their bikes, Halfords provide a 2-year warranty on all the electric bikes they sell, so customers needn’t worry. Plus, if the motor ever did develop an electrical fault, you can remove it and use it as a normal bike. Something you would not be able to do with a Bosch-powered bike.


I prefer riding road bikes, so the Boardman ADV 8.9e was right up my street! Having ridden several different makes models of e-bikes using the Fazua system (including the Carbon fibre Cube C:62) I have to say, the Boardman is the best value by a long stretch.

You will struggle to find any other e-road bikes using this system for much under £3000.

the boardman adv 8.9e electric adventure bike

Just like the hybrid version, this bike won’t be for everyone. Some say the motor doesn’t give enough assistance. I felt it produced ample help, but I am in reasonable shape and ride between 50-100 miles per week on a regular road bike.

If you are looking for an electric bike to give you more of a kick, it may be worth looking at an e-bike with the Bosch CX, Brose, Shimano Steps or Yamaha Sync drive motors. These all produce substantially more torque and will perform better on hill climbs and have longer battery ranges.

If you’re looking for a versatile and practical electric road bike that can be used as a normal bike from time to time, the Boardman ADV 8.9e would be an excellent choice.

Buy Now from Halfords

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  1. Hi thanks for posting this informative review,I noticed the maximum weight for the rider is 120kg but is this the maximum for the bike in total? Because I’d like to go camping and would want,rack,panniers plus camping gear, I currently ride the boardman adv 8.8 and when fully loaded the bike weighs approximately 30kg and I’m around 80kg
    Many thanks for any advice

    1. Hi Paul,

      I’m assuming it’s the total weight including any luggage. My friend regularly takes his ADV bikepacking in the summer months without any issues and he weighs nearly 100kg.

      All the best,

  2. Just got one today 30/8/2021. The power doesn’t kick in until about 3/5 MPH, then comes in gently but you definitely feel it . 77 years old, 6ft 2in and 103 KG, just over 16 stone. Did 30 miles on it today mainly on low, battery had used 2 bars but may have been near 3, i don’t know. The brakes are good, handlebars comfy, changed the saddle for my lardy arse. Hate punctures so may fit Schwalbe Marathon Plus if i get problems with the OEM tyres. So far very impressed with the bike when the power is off too. Happy customer.

  3. I recently purchased this bike from Halfords and noticed that on the underside of the bottom bracket there are two exposed wires. it looks as if there should be a cover over these as there are slots on either side of the area where the wires are. I asked Halfords about this as the wiring is exposed to road water and dirt but they said the wires are sealed. does anyone have any ideas about this.

  4. I am looking for an ebike for touring. My touring bike for some years has been a Thorn Nomad, but heart disease has put paid to that. I was very tempted by the Boardman HYB 8.9, with added mudguards and pannier rack. Gravel bikes are a new concept for me. I gather they are more rugged, which might suit me – would you say the ADV 8.9 would be suitable for touring?
    My Thorn was fitted from new with butterfly bars, which I have grown to love. I am not comfortable with drops – could the ADV be fitted with straight bars as is the HYB?

    1. Hi John,

      There’s not a lot of difference between the two bikes apart from the drop handlebars and SRAM Apex 1 x 11 on the ADV. I reckon you’d be better buying the HYB, fitting butterfly bars and maybe going for a wider range rear cassette. The Shimano M6000 should work with an 11-46 cassette as long as you dial in the ‘b’ screw a couple of turns. Alternatively you could get the 11-speed Shimano SLX rear derailleur and shifter which you can also use an 11-46 – I would recommend a Sunrace 11-46 cassette as the ratios are spread more evenly (seems to be out of stock everywhere at present). The Shimano XT 11-46 is available but there’s a big jump between the two lowest ratios.

  5. Following on from my previous post in November I would like to add the performance of the bike has been really good and I have enjoyed every minute. Climbing hills is now done with ease and I am enjoying my cycling a lot more. I would like to add a warning and that is about the battery pack. My bike didn’t come with any instructions about care and maintenance of the battery so when I took the battery out of the pack it sits in I was surprised how much dirt/mud/grime gets in.
    Last week my battery failed and I returned it to Halfords who after speaking to Fazua agreed to replace the battery under warranty. I believe it was because of the water etc sitting in the casing.
    My point is that nowhere in my Boardman Bike Manual does it even mention the battery. It was only after the battery failed that I went on the Fazua Youtube and learnt about the care of it but by then it was too late. Therefore please get that battery off and thoroughly clean and dry it to avoid my mistake. Perhaps Boardman bikes could offer a leaflet (preferably with pictures) to new owners.

  6. I have recently purchased the bike from Halfords with a couple of discount cards etc reducing it by 15% which was great. I was slightly disappointed having to buy the cover for £75 if you remove the battery. You wouldn’t want to ride the bike without the cover or battery. I believe this should come as part of the bike when you buy it. However I was very delighted with the performance of the bike. I really wanted to have a bit of a helping hand up the steep hills as I do struggle with my breathing now and then. I still have a road bike which I also use. On forty mile routes I think I used probably two bars so I am looking forward to doing some longer rides within the next couple of days. Unless I am not using the assistance with the gears correctly I found going up steep hills still requires some effort but that’s fine for me. So far so good.

    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks for sharing. I agree that the cover is overpriced, especially when you consider the initial cost of the bike. I personally think it should be included in the price. If you wanted a lower gear for hill climbing the Sunrace MS8 11-46 11-speed cassette will work fine with the SRAM APEX rear derailleur, you will just need a longer chain (118 links) and dial in the ‘b’ screw a couple of turns.

      All the best,

  7. Hi Tony
    Like your other respondent Graham , I too have just ordered a one from Halfords, I initially looked at standard gravel bikes because I liked the idea to have the ability to ride on and off road. I haven’t ridden for a few years and wondered about electric, after reading your review i was sold, very enjoyable and informative. I’ve read it comes with clipped pedals which I used in the past, but I was thinking of changing these to clipless but as it’s a Gravel bike would you recommend mtb or road ? Tia.

    Regards Martin.

    1. Hi Martin,

      I would use the MTB SPD pedals. I use these on my touring bike and find it much easier to clip/unclip plus it’s easy to adjust the clip tension on the pedals.

      All the best,

  8. Hi,

    I enjoyed your review, very comprehensive and useful. I have now just ordered one from Halfords. However I did notice, by it’s absence, I didn’t seem to be able to buy a battery charger for the Fazua battery, unless the bike comes with a charger? Similarly, and this does say optional I could not find the alloy cover for sale on the site. Would you be able to point in the direction of where I might be able to buy these items please.



    1. Hi Graham,

      Glad you found the review useful, thank you for your feedback.

      In answer to your question, the bike should come supplied with its own charger. I have found one retailer in the UK selling the alloy cover – Here is a link to the product page.

      All the best,

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