Boardman ADV8.9E

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Pete D
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Jun 2009, 12:41pm
Location: Liverpool

Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Pete D » 9 May 2020, 9:20pm

I have been a fairly regular cyclist for many years, but have issues with my back. This is mostly caused by a weak core, yet despite doing exercises recommended by my physio it does flare up from time to time. I have particular issues whenever I need to put a bit more ‘oomph’ in, for instance on a hill or in to a headwind (however slight). This can range anything from a dull ache to a twinge that makes it difficult to turn the pedals and goes on to keep me off the bike for a week or two. I am therefore considering an e-bike to provide a bit of assistance and enable me to enjoy my rides without constantly worrying about doing myself an injury. I currently ride a Giant Anyroad and am happy doing 20 miles or so at 15-16mph, but would love to get my mileage and hill climbing up to where it used to be, which I sadly can’t see as a viable option unassisted.

I was looking at an Orbea Gain last year, but another health issue kept me off the bike for around 10 months, and now I think the Boardman ADV 8.9 e is perhaps more suitable. I quite like the 1x set-up and the fact the Fazua system allows easy removal of the battery.

The problem is, I am unsure of spending that much on a bike without being able to have a test ride to see if it’s the right size. But with the current lockdown in place and the fact e-bikes may well soon be flying off the shelves due to Michael Green’s (sorry Grant Shapps’) press conference, buying sight unseen may be the only realistic option. So I was wondering if anyone here has one and
a) would the large size be suitable for someone of 6’1”
b) is the geometry on the relaxed or aggressive side (unsurprisingly my back baulks at anything too racy)
c) does anyone have experience of the new Fazua Black Pepper upgrade, and is it worth updating the firmware to take advantage of this?

Many thanks

stodd
Posts: 282
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby stodd » 10 May 2020, 10:35am

The Fazua system seems to delight people who enjoy it's advantages; especially for lightweight bikes. I can't answer your detailed questions, but a couple of thoughts.

Many of the higher branded systems (Bosch, Yamaha, Shumano) get very expensive if you need repairs or new battery. I don't know if that applies to the Fazua, but may be worth checking before buying.

Torque sensor systems (most more expensive systems including Fazua) give a more natural ride than cadence sensor. They usually only give power out in proportion to what you are putting it in; sometimes quite a big proportion up to 3 or 4 times but you still have to put something significant in. If you have a back issue and it gets worse as you are tired towards the end of a ride you can ghost pedal a cadence sensor bike, turning the pedals but not pushing, and it will keep you going. Not so like the real (assisted) cycling you probably want, but worth thinking about.

I don't think they've got anything to compare exactly to the Boardman, but it might be worth looking at the much cheaper Woosh range (http://wooshbikes.co.uk/) and Whisper.

Gangzoom
Posts: 21
Joined: 11 Feb 2020, 12:05pm

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Gangzoom » 11 May 2020, 5:57am

I see if I can help, am 6ft, 80kg, use to cycle alot (did LEJOG in 2013), but since my daughter was born got lazy and hadn't ridden my bikes for a few years!!

I bought the 8.9e end of Feb this year to motivate me to get back in saddle, with an aim of using it everyday to commute. I've now done well over 300 commuter miles in it, and recently updated it to the latest firmware.

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The good stuff:

    Very comfy bike, I've could easily ride it for a couple of hours despite it been a flat bar bike. The fat tyres and comfy geometry really helps

    The electrical assistance does help, here are two runs up the same sharp climb, you can see which one was with assistance, which one without

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    Decent range, I seem to be getting 70 miles+ easily out of a charge, I ride with pull assistance on all the time.

    Good support from Fazua, the latest software makes a difference, and Fazua even offers retrofitting of newly designed parts - like the locking system

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    Bomb proof build, kerb hopping, pot hole crushing, wet riding, the bike has been faultless so far and feels well built to handle the rigors of commuting.

Overall am really enjoying the bike, it does what I want it to do, get me to work without too much of a sweat. But there are soon bad points to note.

    Its NOT a £2000 bike - The cost of the 8.9e may be £2000, but it rides like a £500 bike. This means the frame flexes, the wheels are heavy, the shifting not 100% all the time, and generally 'feels' inferior to ride than my 2011 Trek Madone 3.1 with DuraAce wheels.

    Too comfy for me to ride for 'fun", whilst I enjoy the 8.9e for commuting the laid back riding position is very unaero, anything over 17mph and the wind resistance really kills the speed. For the same amount of effort on the flat am 3-5mph quicker on my Trek!!

    Its not a moped. The Fazua system requires you to put in the work. If you are after an effortless ride you will be disappointed. It essentially allows you to travel at a decent speed but not hit your max heart rates on climbs into wind

    Its heavy, I know 16kg isnt much for an eBike, but I carry it up some stairs everyday at work. The days when I bring the Trek (7.8kg), the weight difference is night and day.

Overall I would say the 8.9e is a well judged commuter bike, am glad I got it, and its really motivated me to get fit again.

Do be mindful the bike wouldnt be as nice to ride as your Giant. What you are getting for your £2000 is a £500 bike with a £1000 electrical motor/battery and some profit for Halfords. But this is true for ALL eBikes, and why most Fazua bikes are at the £3000 mark.

Would I buy again, yes but I would be tempted to spend a bit more on something like an ex demo Pinarello Nyto, I really like the Fazua system, however for me comparing the frame/wheel set of the 8.9e to my Trek really shows up where Halfords have cut corners on the 'bike' bits of the 8.9e.

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This weekend I decided to clean one my bikes, it should have been my nearly new £2000 one, but in stead the bike I spent time on was my nearly decade old machine. The 8.9e is a great commuter tool, but it simply lacks the class of the Trek, and as a result I doubt I ever love it the way I do the Trek. Which is a shame as the Fazua system is fab but no amount of makeup can hide the massive difference in class between essentially a £500 Halfords bike and a carbon framed Trek roadbike from the pre Armstrong doping case era running DuraAce wheels.

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Your needs will be different to mine, and am not saving the 8.9e is a 'bad' bike. Far from it, I can really see the potential of the Fazua system, and the 8.9e is almost like the trailer to the main event. It gives you a glimpse of just how good a riding experience it could be if you had splashed out a bit more on the bike bit. Hope that makes sense??.......This is what am trying very hard to resist ordering at present (am pretending to ignore the price :)).

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Pete D
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Jun 2009, 12:41pm
Location: Liverpool

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Pete D » 11 May 2020, 9:35pm

Thanks for the replies. I am definitely after something where I need to put some effort in. I like the feeling of having tried legs after a ride, it’s just I don’t want my back to pop from having to go too hard. So from that side of things, the Boardman (and the Fazua system) sounds ideal.

It’s a bit disappointing to read about the frame flexing, but I suppose the motor addition does mean the ride quality will suffer at the lower end of the price range.

I think I really need to be able to have a test ride, whenever on earth that will be possible, before I decide to put the money down. In the meantime I will continue to pootle around under my own unassisted steam and resist the urge to try and get up climbs in the times I used to do.

I had seen the Domane+ LT but have found it very easy to resist buying due to the eye watering cost. By the way, Gangzoom, your Trek looks in great nick considering its age.

Gangzoom
Posts: 21
Joined: 11 Feb 2020, 12:05pm

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Gangzoom » 12 May 2020, 6:03am

I did 20 miles commuting in the wind yesterday on the 8.9e, was actually gald it had decent weight given the cross winds. The Fauza system did what it was suppose to, make a horrible headwind feel slightly less horrible.

Prephaps am been too harsh on the 8.9e, it's a bike built for commuting, general riding so comparing it to the Trek is unfair. A bit like comparing a HGV with a massive 7 litre engine to a Lotus Elise with a 1.8 litre 4 cylinder engine.

But it doesn't change the fact for the same price as the 8.9e, you can go and buy a brand new Trek carbon road bike which will be far better to ride and last amazingly well. I do have a thing for Treks though, ever since I did the LEJOG on a 10 year old (at the time), top spec 5500 running the same components as Amstrongs tour winning USPS machine!! That bike is still going strong at over 15 years old on original components, quality bikes may be expensive but they really do last.

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That is my biggest gripe with eBikes in general, my 8.9e simply DOESN'T feel like a quality bike, not in the same way of similar prices Treks. I cannot begin to imagine awful to ride some of the £1k eBikes must be.

Test rides are fine, but you will get carried away with the excitement, it's hard to remain objective.

Personally if you took away the 8.9e today and gave me my money back I wouldn't be sad, instead I would save up for longer and than buy a discounted Pinarello Nyto or wait till next year for a discounted Domane +.

That shows you what I think of the Fauza system, its sublime, but needs to be packaged with a frame/groupest/wheels that can match the riding the experience the Fazua system offers.

Gangzoom
Posts: 21
Joined: 11 Feb 2020, 12:05pm

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Gangzoom » 12 May 2020, 8:55am

Pete D wrote:By the way, Gangzoom, your Trek looks in great nick considering its age.


Wipe away the grease and you be hard to push to tell this drivetrain is nearly 10 years old!!!

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and with a weight of 7.8kg including pedals+cages it's actually lighter than the current Trek entry/mid level carbon road bike.

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Sorry your post on the 8.9e has been derailed by me going on about carbon road bikes. As you can see part of me is trying very hard to justify spending the kind of cash a carbon road bike with the Fazua system commands!!

Just got to work, and the 8.9e really isn't a bad bike. Looks good, as sturdy as you can get, and the electric motor really does take the edge out of hills/wind :).

Oldjohnw
Posts: 4524
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Oldjohnw » 12 May 2020, 10:58am

John

ChrisF
Posts: 442
Joined: 22 Mar 2014, 7:34pm

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby ChrisF » 13 May 2020, 8:54pm

Gangzoom wrote:I bought the 8.9e end of Feb this year to motivate me to get back in saddle, with an aim of using it everyday to commute. I've now done well over 300 commuter miles in it, and recently updated it to the latest firmware.
<big snip>

Thanks for the detailed post but I'm a little confused. Your photo is of a HYB 8.9E, not a ADV 8.9E
https://www.halfords.com/bikes/hybrid-b ... 33934.html
https://www.halfords.com/bikes/electric ... 36102.html
The HYB is a hybrid, not a road bike, so shoudn't really be compared (in riding style) to your Trek road bike. The ADV is also more expensive so may address some of your issues with the build of the ADB.
Anyway, perhaps you could answer a question I have about Fazua bikes in general. I know form the marketing blurb that once over 25 kph the motor disengages so there's no drag affecting the ride. But what happens if the battery runs out and you need to ride home (at less than 25 kph) without power - is there drag under those conditions?

[later edit]
looked at these two bikes again and they appear to have the same frame so perhaps they are very similar to ride. Puzzling though why the ADV is £400 more; surely not that much difference in the groupsets and tyres. Also the ADV apparently weights 500g more!
Last edited by ChrisF on 14 May 2020, 9:53am, edited 1 time in total.
Chris F, Cornwall

stodd
Posts: 282
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby stodd » 13 May 2020, 11:28pm

Very few ebikes have drag when pedalled without assist; usually a freewheel/clutch mechanism in the motor.
I'm almost certain the Fazua won't have any drag.

Some of the very cheap direct drive motors have drag (as well as being very heavy); but they are two or three classes below the Fazua.

Gangzoom
Posts: 21
Joined: 11 Feb 2020, 12:05pm

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Gangzoom » 17 May 2020, 5:13pm

ChrisF wrote:The HYB is a hybrid, not a road bike, so shoudn't really be compared (in riding style) to your Trek road bike. The ADV is also more expensive so may address some of your issues with the build of the ADB.
Anyway, perhaps you could answer a question I have about Fazua bikes in general. I know form the marketing blurb that once over 25 kph the motor disengages so there's no drag affecting the ride. But what happens if the battery runs out and you need to ride home (at less than 25 kph) without power - is there drag under those conditions?

[later edit]
looked at these two bikes again and they appear to have the same frame so perhaps they are very similar to ride. Puzzling though why the ADV is £400 more; surely not that much difference in the groupsets and tyres. Also the ADV apparently weights 500g more!


There is no drag on the Fazua system but thats not the weakness of the bike.

Was out for around 2hrs not the Trek today, really enjoyed it, its simply a lovely bike to climb up hills, cruise along on the flat, and guide down descents. The Boardman sadly is just no where near as nice to ride, I certainly cannot see my self ever doing that long in the saddle of the Boardman regardless of the e-assitance.

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The Boardman simply isn't as nicer bike to ride, despite costing close to £2K which isn't a small amount to spend on a pedal bike. As a commuter tool its absolutely fine, but on reflection I think a sub £1k Crossfire would have done the same job for me, I feel the premium commanded by the Fazua system is wasted on Boardman as its a bike which is not greater than the sum of its parts.

ChrisF
Posts: 442
Joined: 22 Mar 2014, 7:34pm

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby ChrisF » 18 May 2020, 4:17pm

Gangzoom wrote:There is no drag on the Fazua system but thats not the weakness of the bike.

Thanks for that. I also emailed Fazua to ask the same question, but have had no reply 5 days later.
.... The Boardman sadly is just no where near as nice to ride, I certainly cannot see my self ever doing that long in the saddle of the Boardman regardless of the e-assitance....

I'm sure you're correct. Your findings, plus other problems I've read about the Boardman, and the non-reply from Fazua, have put me right off the idea!
Chris F, Cornwall

Gangzoom
Posts: 21
Joined: 11 Feb 2020, 12:05pm

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Gangzoom » 20 May 2020, 3:33pm

So slightly different view of the Boardman today. Had a few visits to do in the city, 10 mile round trip from work, carrying about 5kg of stuff in my back pack. Could have taken the car but used my the bike instead.

Took things easy as its boiling in the sun, and I didn't want to arrive at the destination covered in sweat, nor get back to work needing a shower.

When not smashing it up climbs, but gentling spinning away with e assistance it's quite a nice experience. Managed to do the trip without getting any hotter than anyone who's just walking around in the sun.

Not bad experience at all, I still want to try the Fazua motor in a good road frame though.

Pete D
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Jun 2009, 12:41pm
Location: Liverpool

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Pete D » 28 May 2020, 3:04pm

Thanks for the ongoing updates re. the Boardman. Whilst not ruling it out, I am, at the moment, trying my best to see if I can carry on using an unassisted bike without having to fork out on an e-bike. So far, 300 miles done this month (after about 10 months off) with no serious back twinges as yet. Hope to increase the miles (and speed eventually) without further ill effect. If not, I'll be back to pondering over the Boardman and also the Cairn gravel bike.

Mhoward001
Posts: 1
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 9:00pm

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby Mhoward001 » 13 Jun 2020, 9:09pm

Just took the plunge and bought the hybrid Boardman 8.9, what mudguards have you got fitted to yours as I am struggling to find ones that fit? Cheers

stodd
Posts: 282
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Boardman ADV8.9E

Postby stodd » 13 Jun 2020, 9:42pm

One reason to stick to a regular bike is depreciation. Sadly ebikes can be very awkward to fix, and replacement batteries very expensive. Often after not that many years fixing and replacement becomes almost impossible (see problems with Gtech 1 batteries for example). This is particularly true of the higher end systems (such as Fazua and Bosch). This makes for extreme caution buying second hand ebikes and so lowers their price. Lower end bikes with fairly generic Chinese parts are easier to deal with.

Only a few decades ago typical cars were lucky to make it much beyond 10 years, and bicycles could easily last 20 (or many more) years. The difference has really closed, and with ebikes is reversed.