The first generation of lightweight e-bikes is growing up quickly, and brands like Fazua are innovating in lockstep. Fazua is a German company that makes a lightweight e-bike motor and battery system for a massive number of brands, including Canyon, Lapierre, NOX, Trek, and Wilier. At a reported 4.6kg for the complete package of battery, motor, and bottom-bracket (transfer case), the engineers are clearly interested in cutting the kilos.
One of the main differences between the Fazua system and others, apart from lower weight, is that the motor and battery can both be easily removed. If the motor needs any sort of service, users can remove it without any mechanical know-how, simply by pushing the release button. The 55Nm motor and 250w battery come out of the frame as a unit, and folks who want a longer adventure can easily swap the battery in the middle of a ride.
Another advantage to the quick battery and motor extraction is that Fazua bike owners can ride without the extra weight and assistance if they want to go for a full muscle-powered pedal.
All of the assistance characteristics can be adjusted in the brand’s mobile app, allowing users to choose when and how the bike’s power ramps up in the three different modes. The first mode provides 100w of pedal assistance that’s largely unnoticeable unless you turn it off. The second mode, called River, works with your power input for a relatively natural feeling amount of force that tops out at 210w in the default setting. Finally, when the track gets really steep and technical, you can kick it into Rocket mode, doling out the full 250w to ascend things your legs alone couldn’t.
There are too many factors pulling on the bike’s battery to give an exact battery life measurement, but the folks from Fazua say that they are able to climb for about 800m (2,625ft) in the lowest assistance mode before needing a fresh battery.
I rode the Lapierre eZesty up and down a few hills in Andalo, Italy, and was impressed with the amount of power it offers for such a lightweight package. The power feels smoother than some e-bike motors I have tried, with less jerking and jolting when it kicks in. With less weight and torque than other e-bike motors, the Fazua system offered ample power to claw up rocky trails that looked like they might be too much for it. Granted, those steep climbs will cook the battery faster, but likely you will be at the top by the time that happens.
We hope to receive a Fazua-powered bike for a long-term ride this year, and we’ll add all the juicier details then. For now, head to the Fazua site for additional info.