Fazua Evation vs X35 ebikemotion

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When buying an electric road bike, the type of motor and battery fitted is going to be relevant depending on your personal needs and cycling ability. The current crop of e-bike motors offer varying degrees of assistance. In this article I will be looking at two of the most popular systems currently installed on factory produced e-road and gravel bikes. Read on for a direct comparison between the Fazua Evation vs x35 ebikemotion systems.

bergamont e-grandurance elite electric gravel bike

A brief history of electric road bikes

Electric road bikes are a relatively new addition to e-bike market. The main reason for this, is recent innovations in ebike motor and battery technology.

When I first became involved in the industry, the factory ebike market was dominated by electric hybrid and mountain bikes that almost exclusively used Bosch and Yamaha mid-drive motors. These earlier e-bikes also had large and often heavy frame-mounted battery packs.  You could tell these were electric bikes. They were usually very heavy and weighed 24kg plus.

Giant was one of the first manufactures to release an e-road bike, and the original Road E+  was very good indeed, but weighed in at a hefty 19kg.

Giant Road-E +1 Pro 2019 electric road bike

For most road bike riders, having an e-bike that is lightweight, but also retains the original aesthetics and functionality of a road bike is important, and it wasn’t until 2018 when Orbea released their very popular Gain e-road bike that things started to change.

That same year, big names like Trek, Cannondale, Cube and Ribble joined the show and released electric road bikes of their own. One of the fastest growing niches in cycling is the gravel bike and the x35 ebikemotion and Fazua Evation can be found on a lot of the best electric gravel bikes currently available.

X35 ebikemotion

The hub motor is dead – long live the hub motor! At a time when mid-drive motors dominated the market and hub motors were increasingly viewed as inefficient and antiquated, a Spanish company came along and designed a system that had a total weight of only 3.5kg including the battery. Furthermore, the battery and motor controller were designed in such a way as to be fully integrated into the bike’s downtube. The x35 ebikemotion system was born!

Mahle x35 ebikemotion electric road bike system

Now, to put this into perspective, a typical Bosch motor at that time weighed nearly the same but without the battery. Also a Bosch motor required a special frame designed specifically for the motor. Whereas the x35 system could easily be integrated into a bike that was indistinguishable from a regular road bike.

Update May 2022 – Mahle have released the lighter X20 system with torque-sensing pedal assist.

It’s a well-known fact that small hub motors will not produce the same amount of torque as a mid-drive motor, but they can still produce the maximum 250w of power allowed in the UK and EU.

Orbea Gain D31 Electric gravel bike

A typical Bosch mid-drive produces between 50-75Nm of torque (depending on the motor), when compared with 35-40Nm for a hub motor. Mid-drives are also more energy efficient by design.

The M1 hub motor which is part of the x35 ebikemotion system uses the same propriety gear reduction system as all other geared hub motors, but the pedal sensor and controller work together to make sure power is delivered in the most efficient way possible.

mahle x35 ebikemotion hub motor diagram

Ebikemotion’s pedal assist sensor takes a measurement at the freehub as opposed to the crank. This is a vastly improved system over the standard bottom bracket-mounted sensors found on older hub motor e-bikes.

There is a magnetic sensor ring mounted in the freehub and the pick-up sensor measures up to 40 pulses per second. These pulses are then analysed by the motor controller and electric assist is delivered.

I have ridden quite a few different bikes powered by this system, and personally I really like it. It provides smooth and subtle assist. Another benefit of having the sensor ring in the freehub is the manufacturer can fit an external or pressfit bottom bracket without any hassles.

There is also a companion app available where you can use GPS to plan your ride, and monitor the motor power output, battery usage and other useful features.

x35 ebikemotion m1 motor

If you need to remove the rear wheel to repair a puncture then all you have to do is unplug the six-pin motor connector and use a regular 6mm Allen Key to remove the wheel.

How much range can I get out of the battery?

Because the x35 uses a small 250Wh internal battery, you’re not going to be getting a massive range out of the e-assist. My friend has owned a Ribble SLe for over a year now and if he uses the assist constantly he only gets about 30-35 miles out of a charge. If, on the other hand he just uses it as a bike for most of the time and only uses the assist to take the sting out of the long climbs up to Dartmoor, then he can see between 70-80 miles out of a single charge.

250Wh internal battery from the x35 ebikemotion system

Ultimately it depends on how you ride, and how much you rely on the assist. You also need to factor in your weight, wind direction, road surface and tyre pressures. There are lots of different factors to consider. Once you have owned the bike for a while and covered some miles you will get a rough idea of an average range.

Thankfully, if you do rely on the electric assist more often, then there are range extender batteries available. These fit in a regular bottle cage and effectively double your potential range.

Buy Now: Range extender battery for x35 ebikemotion

Does the ebikemotion system provide enough power?

This is a very subjective question as it really depends on your physical abilities and the landscape you regularly cycle on. I can view this from both sides of the fence.

When I first got back into cycling by using an e-bike (back in 2016) I was incredibly unfit, through years of self-neglect. I was a keen cyclist in my youth, but I really let myself go in my thirties and early forties. So much so, I had started to develop circulatory problems in my right leg and high blood pressure.

I had been trying to get back into cycling for years, but the area in which I live has relentless steep hills in every direction. On an average ride in my area you can guarantee to climb 100ft per mile cycled.

When I first rode a 250w hub powered electric bike, I found it great on the flat and slight hills, but still struggled to get up some of the steeper hills. When I tried out a mid-drive the experience was totally different.

Ribble cgr al e 650b sram apex 1 electric gravel bike

Nowadays, having been riding a regular road bike for nearly 3 years and 10,000+ miles, if I test ride a 250w hub-powered ebike it feels really quick and effortless to me.

What i’m trying to say is, if you’re like I was 4 years ago and you live in a hilly area, you may not find the x35 ebikemotion system gives you enough assist to tackle steeper climbs.

There is, of course one major benefit to this system and that is weight. Those early hub powered electric bikes were still quite heavy by today’s standards. Most of the ebikemotion bikes I have ridden have been very light. The Ribble SLe I tested over a year ago only weighed about 11.5kg and even with the assist switched off it felt like riding a normal bike to me.

ribble sle electric road bike

Who is the ebikemotion system best suited to?

I would say that if you’re already reasonably cycling fit and don’t have any serious health or fitness issues then it’s ideal. It’s especially good if you ride with a group of friends who tend to ride at a faster pace than you are comfortable with. Although it should be noted, that this motor will give you an advantage on climbs, but not provide assist above 15.5mph (25 km/h).

The ebikemotion is also great for reducing fatigue on longer rides. I know how this feels, because if I go out for a 60 or 70 mile ride around Cornwall (with 6500ft of climbing) i’m usually pretty useless for anything when I get home!

Would I buy one? There are definitely times when a little assist would be nice, but for the moment i’m happy to carry on riding my trusty old Dawes Galaxy. When the time comes, though I would definitely consider it.

X35 ebikemotion reliability

Generally speaking the x35 ebikemotion system seems to be reliable, although I’ve read about various issues reported on forums relating to anything from battery issues, sensor problems through to complete system failures. Thankfully these do seem to be quite rare, and as long as you buy your bike from a reputable source then the warranty period is usually at least 2 years. Always exercise caution when buying secondhand as warranties aren’t always transferable.

Check out 11 of the best electric gravel bikes in 2021


The x35 ebikemotion is a great system, it’s lightweight and it integrates perfectly making for a finished product that looks and rides like a regular bike (but with a helping hand when you need it most). Riding with the assist on kind of feels like you’ve got a really strong tailwind. It’s very subtle but very effective.

If you’re looking for a real ‘kick in the pants’ assist system, then the ebikemotion probably won’t be for you. A Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano Steps or Brose motor would be more suitable.

Compare e-bikes with the x35 ebikemotion system

Fazua Evation

German company Fazua released the revolutionary Evation modular ebike system around the same time as the ebikemotion system. It too has been designed specifically with lightweight road bikes in mind.

The Evation and X35 are two very different systems, but do share some similarities. The Evation is effectively a mid-drive system and you need a specially designed frame to house the battery and motor drive system as well as the bottom bracket power transfer gearbox.

fazue evation ebike drive system complete

One of the unique things about the Fazua is you can remove the motor and battery unit, fit in a blanking cover and ride your bike as normal – minus 3.6kg in weight. What this effectively means is you can have a regular bike and e-bike in one!

There is also a companion app that allow a multitude of options including power configuration, battery monitoring and GPS navigation.

fazua rider app

How does the Fazua Evation feel?

With the Fazua you get 3 power modes – Breeze, River and Rocket. In rocket mode, the motor will peak at 400W (for a brief period) before settling back down to 250w. In Breeze mode you will be getting around 110W of extra assistance which is very useful.

The Evation motor is very smooth and quiet, in fact the first time I rode a Fazua-powered bike I didn’t even notice the assist until I realised I was ascending a climb much quicker than usual.

Pedal sensing is done via a torque and cadence sensor. The torque sensor measures the amount of force you are applying to the pedals and delivers power accordingly. This results in a very subtle and sublime assist.

the fazua evation can be removed

Another great feature of the Evation, is once the maximum assisted speed is reached (or motor switched off) the motor disengages from the gearbox, removing any potentially unwanted pedalling resistance.

As far as power is concerned, I tried Rocket mode a few times and I felt it provided more than enough assist, although I did try out a mountain bike fitted with a Bosch Performance Line CX motor and that felt substantially more powerful.

Much like the ebikemotion, the Fazua Evation is really for riders who want to enhance their cycling or maybe make their daily commute not such a sweaty affair. Although Fazua claim 60Nm of torque for Evation, I can say that riding an x35 ebikemotion bike with a claimed 40Nm of torque didn’t feel that much different.

What about the Fazua Evation Battery range?

Just like the x35 ebikemotion system, the Fazua uses a 250Wh battery. The reason for this is neat integration into the frame and also to keep the weight down, thus making the cycling experience feel natural. I would say the range on the Fazua is at least comparable if not slightly better than on the x35. This maybe down to the increase in efficiency you get from a mid-drive, because as far as I can ascertain, both batteries use the same Panasonic NCR18650GA lithium cells.

cube nuroad hybrid c62 sl electric gravel bike

I have a friend who owns a Boardman ADV 8.9e and he reckons he can just about squeeze a hundred miles out of a single charge, but he rides it as a normal bike 75% of the time and only reserves the assist for the really steep hills when on a long distance ride.

In my experience, if you blast around everywhere in Rocket mode, you will deplete the battery in about 25-30 miles. If you ride as intended and only use the assist occasionally, then 50-60 mile should be easily achievable.

Fazua Evation reliability

I know several people who own e-road bikes with this motor and they have not reported any issues. The only problems I have found on forums are the motor and drive system has been known to fall out (occasionally) and the torx bolts that secure the bottom bracket gearbox can have a tendency to sometimes work their way loose causing a clunking sound.

the boardman hyb 8.9e with the fazua evation drive system removed

As with anything electrical, whether it’s your car or washing machine, things can and do go wrong from time to time. Always make sure you purchase from a reputable dealer and if you buy second hand, be prepared to fork out money for ongoing maintenance.

Compare e-bikes with the Fazua Evation system

Fazua Evation vs X35 ebikemotion – the verdict

If I had to choose between the X35 ebikemotion and the Fazua Evation, the Fazua would be my personal favourite. What I really like is the flexibility of being able to have an ebike and regular bike all in one. Yes, it’s true that even with the motor and battery removed you still have the extra kilo of the motor gearbox to cart around with, but having ridden a few of these bike I really don’t notice that extra weight. I’m used to riding a steel touring bike though so any bike around the 12-13kg mark feels pretty normal to me.

If I were to get an e-road bike in the future, I would definitely want something with a motor like this. The assist, although not overly powerful is ample enough as to still give you a good boost. The battery can last a surprisingly long time if your careful, and the weight of the system when fitted doesn’t make the bike feel particularly heavy or abnormal. Definitely one of the best electric road bike drive systems currently available.

This conclusion is my personal opinion. I still think the x35 ebikemotion is an excellent system. It is a whole kilo lighter than the Fazua and because of the neatly integrated battery, you will have an e-bike that looks like a regular bike. It’s just a shame you can’t remove the battery to save a bit of weight for those days you want to ‘go it alone’.

Thanks for reading and if you need any help or advice regarding the above motors, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will usually reply within 24hrs. My technical knowledge of these drive systems is somewhat limited, but I have extensive experience with retro-fit mid-drive and hub motors. 


Passionate E-Bike advocate and enthusiast since 2016. Riding an electric bike helped me to lose weight, get fit and reignite my passion for cycling!

27 thoughts on “Fazua Evation vs X35 ebikemotion

  • Good write up, thank you. I believe I was one of the first Ribble SLE customers 3 years ago. and after early teething problems mostly as a result of production not being sorted properly I am delighted with it and have done 6,500 miles. The Mahle X35 system suits me fine as I am a fit 77 year old cyclist with a bad knee. I sail along on the flat using the power for the hilly bits. Drawbacks- only two and one of those doesn’t bother me, I can’t take the battery out to charge it is the first. It doesn’t bother me because my holidays usually involve taking our campervan and as that hooks up to the mains on site I can charge the battery. A preference for me would also be a handlebar controller and power indicator. The crossbar mounted button is inconvenient and not intuitive. I am in the process now of getting one fitted on the top of the handlebars.
    Now to the Fazua system, a friend had a problem with his Focus Paralane and I helped him sort things out. So I have no real riding experience, but in sorting this problem one thing stood out as a big drawback. That is the sheer size and weight of the battery/motor pack. You can’t charge this in-situ so it has to come off frequently and it is quite a job, especially refitting it. I was trying to fit it into some not clear mounts with a lightweight bike flopping about. It ain’t easy! But no doubt it gets better with practice. While I was practicing I dropped the thing on my foot causing severe bruising and if I hadn’t had heavy boots on I reckon it would have meant a trip to A&E. A thorough H&S assessment of this in a work situation would, I am convinced have resulted in a redesign or at least an external charging point to minimise the heavy lifting.
    In conclusion it is the Ribble Mahle X35 system for me every time.
    Martin Weeks, North Yorkshire.

    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks for sharing. I’d have to agree with you about the x35. As much as I like the Fazua system, there’s a bit too much faffing around for my liking. I’ve test ridden three of the Ribble e-bikes (SL e, CGR and AL e) and they’re just great bikes. You don’t really notice the little bit of extra weight with the motor switched off.

      All the best,

      • Bonjour ,
        Je suis assez d’accord avec votre analyse ;
        Comme vous j.ai utilisé les deux systèmes : je regrette que sur le E Motion il faut monter dans les niveaux d’assistance pour revenir à un niveau inférieur .
        Le fait de pouvoir démonter la batterie sur le Fazua permet de la recharger dans son appartement sans avoir à y miner le vélo.

  • Hello and thank you for your very useful article giving real concrete indications. I ask myself a question: for the Fazua system, it is easy to be able to replace the battery in case of failure. But for the X35 system, when the battery built into the frame of the bike reaches the end of its life, how does the replacement go? Thank you for your insight.

    • Hi,
      The X35 battery can be replaced by an authorised technician. There is an access port on the underside of the downtube (near the bottom bracket area) where the battery can be removed. If the batteries are looked after, the service life should be 20-30’000 miles.

    • It’s really easy to remove (and replace) the battery by removing the plastic bash guard from the bottom bracket. Worth noting that the battery is very expensive to replace.

  • I’m in my 70s, have high blood pressure, cancer, and several replaced joints. About 3 years ago I decided to get an ebike and started my research. I definitely wanted something lightweight that I could pedal on my own and work up a sweat. It was a toss up between the ebikemotion and Fazua systems but at that time the Fazua bikes were not available in the US.
    I decided on the ebikemotion system 2.5 years ago and ordered the Ribble road version. It turned out they were not able to ship it to the US and they refunded my money. (Later they sorted the issues out, but I think it was due to the battery.) I then went with my second choice, the Orbea Gain m20i. I’ve been riding it for 2 years 5 months now and am very satisfied. It has 18,000 miles and over 1 million feet of climbing on it, average 55′ per 1 mile.
    There have been no issues with the motor (except when I changed the cassette and forgot to reuse the lock ring). Mostly I don’t use the motor except on climbs so I tend to get over 100 miles per charge. The 20 mph vs 25 mph capability is not an issue because I only want assist to get me through rides that I was able to do 10 years ago. The range tends to be more reliant on the ascent and gradient than on miles ridden.
    The Orbea Gain has some flaws IMO, but is a great bike for me, and would be for anyone wanting assist only to get through the rough times.
    One of the things that has puzzled me with regard to the Fazua drive is how the gearbox/bottom bracket is attached to the crank. Is a special crankset required?

    • Hi Jack,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the Orbea M20i, much appreciated.

      Regarding the Fazua motor, it uses an ISIS interface so any crankset compatible with this should fit. A lot of companies now make e-bike specific (ISIS) cranksets including Shimano, Hope, FSA and Praxis.

      All the best,

  • The reason I’m looking at e-bikes is I’m 75 years old. A regular cyclist for many years, I now find that as well as being slower, recovery takes longer. Because I don’t have to go into ‘overdrive’ climbing a hill on and electric bike, I feel ok the next day.

    Which brings me to why I like the Fazua system. It will give me the opportunity again to do credit-card touring. I can take the battery to my hotel/b&b room and recharge the battery. With X35, it has to be recharged on the bike.

  • “Smooth transition between aid and no aid”
    Bianchi Aria 2021 – engine X35+
    When the electrical system is not switched on, the wheel runs freely and I pedals normally.
    If I drive with assistance up to a speed of 25 km / h. and I exceed (speed up) this speed by stepping on the pedals, I still feel resistance for a while (something slows down – brake pressure) before I reach a speed of 34 km / h. When I exceed 34 km / h with high effort. then the resistance stops and I drive freely. Why does the engine not idle after exceeding 25km / h? Is this normal or is there a problem?
    (Translation with Translator 🙂
    Thank you from the Czech Republic

    • Hi Kristian,

      This sounds unusual to me. I’ve test ridden quite a few different e-road bikes using the x35 and I’ve never encountered any kind of resistance beyond the 25 km/h cut-off point. It could be something to do with the revised firmware of the latest x35+ model, as all the bikes I have ridden so far have the original x35 fitted. I would have a chat with your supplier as the Bianchi is an expensive bike and if there are issues the warranty should cover you. Have you paired up with the smartphone app? there’s quite a bit of info there that might shed some light on the issue.


  • Hi Tony,

    Great write up. I relate to some of the challenges that make an e-bike a bit of a no brainer.
    I am a “larger” man (I will qualify this :-)) and have been looking into getting an e-bike for a little while. I just need something “nimble” to take the edge off doing climbs. Here’s the size qualification bit; I am just under 6’2″ and (mis) spent most of my youth doing a lot of weight training for weightlifting and Boxing. I am reasonably fit, but not in a cardio kind of way. Now (approaching 50) trying to lose the some of that weight, I am going through the Muscle -> Fat -> Burn cycle (weightlifters trying to de-bulk know it very well). It is really tough as resistance “training” does not help you lose the weight (quite the opposite), we tend to do it via cardio exercises and adjusting calorie intake.

    Years searching for a decent (stiff and light) bike led me to Cannondale with an advertised maximum rider weight of 130Kg even in their carbon frame. So about 1 year later, I do a couple of rides a week (averaging 25 – 35 miles) and have dropped about 20 Kg. I am surrounded by hills and would love to ride more often, but it tends to take it’s toll and recovery time gets longer (and longer). That’s where I might be able to strike a balance with an e-bike (for lighter workputs).
    I am now nudging 115Kg, but STILL find it very difficult to find a carbon (or any) e-bike for bigger guys like me. I have tried Orbea (I absolutely love the look of the 2021 Gain), but their conflicting information has made me discount them as a candidate. Their technical manual states a 115Kg “cyclist” while their technical team “recommend” 110Kg total (cyclist + rider).

    I am waiting on Ribble to get back to me about the SL e rider weight limit. I favour Carbon (for stiffness) and know that I am well within tolerance of (well made) Carbon frames, so am quite puzzled that there are not many Road bikes out there for me. Could it be the wheelsets?

    Now that I have bared all, is there any advice for folk like me (and there are many) who are venturing into the e-bike arena?

    • Hi John,

      I’m a similar size to you – 6’1 and around 110kg. I had a Ribble SL e on test over Christmas / early January and covered quite a few miles on it. Very hilly Cornish country lanes and pretty awful weather as well. The model I tested was the Ultegra version with the Mavic carbon wheelset and the bike held up very well considering my weight and the poorly surfaced lanes. Here is a link to my video review (including ride footage with HRM and speed overlays).

      To be honest I’ve had the same problem with hills, there’s no getting away from them in Cornwall and they’re usually steep. I have been using an e-bike [Vitus Mach E] for longer rides / recovery rides and it’s payed dividends. I can keep my heart rate in the fat burning and cardio zones easier by using the lowest assist level, but still get a really good workout without being too knackered at the end.

      Most bike weight limits are a bit on the conservative side – I was riding a 10 year old Focus Cayo carbon road bike for around a year and never had any issues and there’s a couple of big lads in my area who ride high-end carbon bikes and they’ve not had any problems either.

      It might be worth paying a visit to one of Ribble cycles showrooms to try an SL e out – they’re great bikes.

      If you have any more questions, let me know.


    • Hi John,

      I am 160kg and have been riding a Ribble SLe for over 1 year. The limit is definitely the wheel set, I have always suffered from broken spokes on all bikes until i got myself a set of wheels built to take what is essentially 2 cyclists sat on the bike. I have used hope plus son rims for years now and never get broken spokes or rim flex. The SLe has given me a new lease of life on group rides and riding with my son. I just wish it could assist up to 20mph on the flat, as I often have to power my bulk along the rode at around 18mph on the flats with pure hard work. But those sweatfests are always good for reminding me to eat less. I am what my fellow cyclists describe as a deceptive physique – I out perform my dynamics…….

  • hi Stuart
    I have had the orbea gain m30 carbon with the x35 bike/system for a full year and done over 3k miles. At first i thought it was excellent but overtime now feel it is lacking. I also like to go off road and decided to get a cube-reaction-hybrid-exc-625-29. I have had this for about the same time for mainly off road and done 2+k.
    Orbea 40nm compared Bosch 75nm.
    I hoped the orbea was going to do it for me but compared to my Bosch system on my Cube there is no competition in terms of support but we are comparing oranges with chalk. I too have had serious health issues (by-pass 10 years ago) and i am now finding that the orbea x35 system lacks the support on steep hills as the above article reports. This is now coming an issue for me as i am avoiding rides with those steep hills on the orbea and using the cube for more challenging rides, but would prefer to be on a road looking bike for mainly road/track and keep the cube for the rougher stuff.
    I am thinking seriously about selling the orbea and buying another cube, a gravel bike (pic of it above) with the fazua system. I am thinking that the fazua 60nm compared to the 40nm of the orbea and coupled with much easier gears on the cube with it rear big granny teeth and small crank chain ring will make those steep hills much more doable.
    I would be interested to know if you think from your experience of the systems if my thinking is right?

  • Thanks for your very informative reviews, Tony.
    I was looking at the Pinarello Dyodo (both the road version and the Gravel) when I saw that Mahle ebikemotion had done some upbrading from the x35 to the x35+ (or V.2). And wondering whether Pinarello would be shipping future bikes to the U.S. with the upgraded powertrain, I managed to contact someone at Pinarello USA who told me that Pinarello would NO LONGER BE USING EITHER x35. So now I understand why they stopped shipping Dyodos to the US (where there’s still a few to be had). When I asked what Pinarello’s plans were for eRoad bikes for the US market, he said he did not know, that a launch announcement would be made sometime, maybe January 2021.
    So, Tony, I’m hoping you know or can ferret out something about what Pinarello has in store for eRoad bikes for the U.S. market, and will stand by to, hopefully, hear back from you on this.

    One thing I’ve picked up from you and those who have commented on it, lack of a a torque sensor on the x35 is a real gap for smooth functionality. On the other hand you mention the heart rate sensor possibly being able to adjust assist level according to heart rate. If you’ve learned anything to corroborate this, I’d very much appreciate knowing.

    I had a heart attack a while back, am a roadie (albeit a “senior” one) who rides 50 miles & more on days out. I need to get an ebike for “them thar hills,” and am holding out to see what Pinarello comes forward with.

    Thanks very much.
    P.S. If I can look forward to your response, I would very much appreciate it if, in addition to posting it, if you could also email it to me at joe@casadarosa.com.

    • Hi Joe,

      From what I know so far about the V2 upgrade, it’s more to do with the firmware, specifically the pedal assist algorithm. I think they want to make it a bit smoother and more intuitive. I’ve just taken delivery of a Ribble SL e Endurance Pro (test bike) that has full carbon frame, finishing kit and wheelset with Ultegra Di2, so I will be putting that through its paces over the Christmas holidays.

      Regarding Pinarello, there’s been some speculation that they’ve been developing their own e-assist system (according to a local dealer) – much like Specialized did with the CREO S-Works SL – the SL motor was actually developed in conjunction with Mahle.

      I have just finished testing the Ribble CGR AL e which is a gravel e-bike and I had my heart rate monitor paired up with the app, and found the displayed data was very erratic – I also had my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt connected and that was displaying normal HRM data.

      Unfortunately I didn’t have the bike long enough to delve into the full functionality of the app, but I’ve got the Endurance Pro until the new year so I will be checking to see if the HRM pedal assist function works.

      Interestingly, I did a short, but hilly route on the Ribble CGR AL e of about 18.5 miles with 2000ft of climbing and my heart rate was very similar to riding the exact same route on a regular bike (I used low assist for the first half of the ride and high assist for the second half) – Here is a link to me analysing the data (compared with a regular bike and a Shimano Steps E6100 ebike).

      I will contact Pinarello to see if they are willing to divulge any info about the new model, but I would imagine they will be very keen to have a big presence in the US as the e-road (and e-gravel) market is one of the fastest growing sectors in the e-bike industry.

      As soon as I get some more info, I’ll let you know.


  • Dear Tony,
    thanks for finding that brillant article. In the last weeks I made my life a bit of trouble to identify pros and cons of all the nice eGravel bikes. Maybe you have some comments or preferences to share with me:

    In my finals are:
    1. Moustache Dimanche 29.5 (Bosch + Kiox display, mid drive, 18 kgs)
    2. Bergamont e Grandurance Elite (Fazua, mid drive, 15 kgs)
    3. Willier Jena Hybrid (x35, back wheel drive, 12 kgs)

    Job list:
    50-100 km tours on sand, heather, gravel, with approx. 400-1.000 hm
    1-2 day tours / bikepacking (1x per year 4-5 days tent tour)
    Competing with family members riding eMTBs (Bosch)

    Personally, I like the Willier design and weight wise. Secondbest is ther Dimanche, but it is so heavy!
    My concerns are from self-servcing a flat tire to have a second wheel set for different tours (i.e. a road set for permuting, a gravel set for nature fun)

    So I am frustrated and irritated 🙂

    Any ideas?

    Many thanks for your thoughts!

    • Hi Sascha,

      If you want to use different wheelsets for different tours it would rule out the Wilier, as the motor is integrated into the rear wheel. Having said that, the wheelset used on the Wilier is very tough and can accommodate both general touring tyres (like Schwalbe Marathons) as well as wider gravel tyres of up to 48mm wide. Another thing to consider is weight – the Wilier weighs in at just 12kg, I usually ride an old Reynolds 531 steel framed touring bike that weighs 14kg. I have ridden the Wilier and I could easily ride it up 10% climbs without using the e-assist, it actually felt easier to ride than my regular touring bike. If you only want to rely on the e-assist for steep climbs, then 100km should be easily achievable on a single charge.

      The X35 ebikemotion motor on the Wilier does not produce the same level of torque as a Bosch motor, but the weight difference will be around 10kg lighter (against a Bosch e-MTB) for the Wilier so it may not be such a problem.

      The Bergamont E Grandurance Elite is also a good bike – the Fazua motor is crank-based and feels a bit livelier than the X35. Looking at the frame clearance, I reckon you could get away with 40mm tyres (over the standard 35mm Schwalbe G-One tyres fitted). The extra 3kg does make it feel a bit more sluggish when e-assist is switched off (when compared to the Wilier Jena), but it still rides well enough.

      I haven’t ridden the Moustache Dimanche, but looking at the specifications it looks like a great e-gravel bike. The latest Bosch 3rd generation performance line motor is lighter, and more efficient than previous motors and it produces a bit more torque. The battery energy capacity is also double that of the Wilier and Bergamont. I have ridden the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE, which uses a similar Bosch motor / battery combo and I reckon you could squeeze about 150km out of a single charge if you were frugal with the e-assist. The main issue would be the weight of 18kg could be a problem if you ran out of battery power – especially if you’re carrying camping gear.

      If it was my choice, I would be inclined to go for the Wilier, as I like the idea of having an e-bike that rides and feels like a regular bike with the power off. There is no noticeable resistance from the motor and you can always buy a range extender bottle battery to have as a back up.

      I hope this helps you make the right choice. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

      All the best,

      • Dear Tony,

        thank you so much! I really appreciate your summary. And … to be honest … it matches with my own approach. Currently I am riding a “bio-racer” 2014 Cube Cross Race Disc, which is about 10 kgs. And I love it. I never had a 2nd wheel set so far. Why should I go for such in the future?

        On Friday I will go to a dealer downtown Hamburg (DE) and have a seat on the Willier. In these days it is quite difficult to find stock. Most bikes are sold out (or haven’t been produced in appropriate quantities) due to Covid-19. If the Wilier suits well …we will see. Bergamont has a flagship store here as well. Hamburg is their HQ. Maybe they have one there, too.
        I’ll report the results.

        Stay well and keep confidence!

      • Dear Tony,

        I had the chance to ride both, the Willier Jena Hybrid and the Bergamont e-Grandurance, both good candidates for the two leading motor systems. Unfortunately not in the target environment, just city cycles.

        The Willier Jena Hybrid is the queen of design. I love the tiny control unit and the perfect integration. Designwise the carbon fiber frame is of excellent work. The motor is extremely silent, and I guess offroad you might not hear a whisper. The alternative in mind is a MyO version of the 2021 ORBEA Gain M20 1X.

        The Bergamont e-Grandurance is not that stylish, and the aluminium frame is just good standard. The Fazua motor us super silent and in the city I can’t notice it. The transition from bio to motor power is somewhat smooth. Designwise the battery-motor-unit is nicely integrated, but the controller integration in the upper frame tube is a style breach. The rubber part looks like a weak point. For all these Euros to spend, I won’t gove them for the controller part.

        Tony, I have some questions for you:

        1) Fazua without the ugly controller
        Are you aware of any Fazua driven gravel bike that comes with an alternative control unit?
        The two/three mentioned on the Fazua website are both somewhat old school.

        2) Temperature
        My bike lives in a shed during winter times. We have about -10° C to + 10° C and the shed is not isolated. Some documentations advise to take Li-Ion-batteries into more suitable conditions.
        For the X35+ system, you can’t separate the battery pack. Do you believe – without any liability – that might be a risk for the lifetime?

        4) Winter performance
        Did you ever ride an e-bike in winter times? I am not talking about taking rides at temperatures below -10 °C and not longer than approx. 1,5 hours. Any comments on that?

        4) Charging
        The Bergamont has no charging connector on the frame. You have to release the battery unit for every charging. Is this normal for the Fazua? Can you confirm that the bikes you know are similar?

        I hope you are doing well and I am looking forward to your oppinions!

        All the best,


        • Hi Sascha,

          I’ve tested quite a few Fazua-powered e-bikes over the last year and most had the same style of controller (Fazua integrated touch control 1.0), apart from the Boardman ADV 8.9e, which has the controller fitted to the handlebar.

          Regarding storage in the winter – Lithium batteries don’t like extremes of temperatures, but storing the battery in moderately cold temperatures shouldn’t be a problem, but charging should always be done at a comfortable room temperature.

          I have ridden e-bikes in the UK over the winter, but the temperature only occasionally dips below freezing, and it’s unusual to get prolonged periods of sub-zero temperatures (in South West England). I have spoken with people in Norway, Finland and Poland who have reported a 20% decrease in battery range in temperatures of around -10.

          The Fazua battery needs to be removed to charge – this has been the same with all the Fazua bikes I have tested.

          I’ve looked at the specification of the Orbea Gain M20 1X and it looks like a great bike. I absolutely love the styling, my local supplier can’t get hold of one at the moment. It uses the very latest version of the X35 ebikemotion system which has an improved pedal assist algorithm, making the assist even smoother and more natural. I’m looking forward to testing one out.

          I hope this helps, if I’ve missed anything out please let me know.

          Kind regards,

  • Hi,
    Great article. Quick question about the X35….the hub sensor works out assistance on the basis of how the cassette moves in relation to the hub. What does this mean in real time? Should I be pedalling slower to get more assistance because I do find that the assistance is sometimes random and I get a lot of assistance when i’m actually trying to slow down and not enough when ascending no matter how I alter my cadence.

    • Hi,

      In my experience with the X35 and other hub motor-powered e-bikes in general tend to produce more assist at lower cadence levels when in reality the assist should be smooth, progressive and build with cadence. I reckon they should fit a torque-sensor in the bottom bracket to measure pedalling force (like the Fazua and other systems). The sensor system on the X35 is one of the more advanced systems of its kind but I still think the firmware needs to be tweaked for a better rider experience.

      I’ve had a detailed look through the ebikemotion user manual, as I thought there may be a feature on the companion app to allow the rider to change the pedal assist settings and all you seem to be able to change is the power available (in different assist modes). There is also an Heart rate monitor feature whereby you pair an HRM up with your phone and through the app the motor gives you assist according to heart rate (I’ve never tried this function though).

      All the best,

  • My wife has a Gazelle ebike at 26kgs. I borrow it sometimes and love it. I wouldn’t get a road bike version unless you need or want some assistance up steeper climbs. For general riding or week end touring with light assist they are perfect.
    Some things to bear in mind is maintenance.
    Ask: If your motor is serviceable and where and how much.
    Drive system: Crank drive puts a greater amount of stress on chains and sprockets and will wear three times faster. Hub motor? Does it drag without power?
    Ask: What is involved in tyre/puncture repair.

  • Hi , Great article, just what I ‘ve been looking for. Currently I am in full geeking-up mode on ebikes as I want one for a rather long commute into London. I live 30 miles from my work in Kings Cross ! But could do this a couple times a week.

    I have been getting very swayed by the lovely and elegant looking Orbeas. A Gain D30 road bike or maybe the Gain F20 with flat bar for added security on London Streets.

    But more recently I am now swayed towards the Canyon roadlite ON with Fazua system – nice single rings set up too. This bike is edging ahead in my mind right now!

    My questiion is this. I am in my 40s but pretty fit, a life long MTBr and in recent years a fair amount of road cycling too ( I can avergae 15-16 mph with over 2000 ft of climbing in 40-50 miles on a saturday morning without a problem) Which means on the flat I can hold around 20mph fairly well for a quite a distance. Will a circa 15kg road ebike feel like a hinderance with it’s increased weight with the only benefit being on the hills and acceleration away from junctions and lights? In other words, is pedalling it above 15mph ok ?…..or will it burn signifcantly more energy than a lighter bike7-8kg carbon whippet, neagting the benefit of help on a few hills – so the net beenfit is zero or minimal. I am hoping not! (ps. I have only ridden a derestricted MTB before, very briefly, so dont have a huge frame of reference and this one is obvioulsy quite irrelevant)

    I really want a ebike to take the sting out of a 30mile commute so I am fresher at work, but I dont want to dawdle along at 15 mph as that would be ultra frustrating. Advice welcome ! Thank you!

    • Hi Stuart,

      Last summer I borrowed an Orbea Gain D50 off a friend for a few hours and went out and rode a 30 mile route I regularly ride in Cornwall (with about 3300ft climbing), my average speed was less than 1mph quicker than if I’d been riding my 8kg carbon road bike (the Gain D50 is about 13.5kg). My times were better on the long climbs, but a bit slower on the flatter segments. I only used the assist on the climbs and didn’t feel quite so knackered when I got home (but I still worked up a sweat).

      I’ve ridden a few Fazua ebikes like the Boardman ADV 8.9e and Cube Agree C:62 and generally find when the assist cuts out you do notice the extra weight if you’re pushing hard. The best way to describe the feeling when the assist is on full power is like you’ve got a really strong tailwind.

      The latest Canyon range of ebikes look great, I’m going to contact them to see if they’ll lend me their latest Endurance:ON for a test. On paper it looks like one of the best value Fazua-based e-road bikes currently available. I’ve ridden bikes with the GRX 1 x 11 groupset and it works a treat – but the gaps between the gears can take a bit of getting used to if you normally use an 11-28.

      I personally wouldn’t think there would be much benefit riding an e-road bike unless there were a few long climbs on your route to work or you regularly had a strong headwind (that’s when they really come into their own). If your ride is fairly flat and you can comfortably average 18-20mph on a regular bike, I reckon the extra weight would negate the benefit. The Ribble SL e is one of the lightest e-road bikes available. That weighs in at 11kg (for the Ultegra Di2 version) but it costs a packet! They do a cheaper Tiagra and 105 version as well. I had a ride on the SL e and that felt really light and responsive even with the assist switched off.

      I would pop into a local dealer to see if they can lend you one for a weekend, and see how you get on.

      All the best,


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