Boardman has announced its first range of electric bikes, available from Halfords today. The range includes both mens and womens hybrid as well as an adventure bike.
While there are differences in design and equipment on each of the three bikes, the electric heart and the motor behind them is the same.
It's called the Fazua Evation Drive system, which is a hidden, integrated motor that weighs just 4.6kg, produces 250 watts of power assistance and 60Nm of torque.
Now, for some riders, the presence of an electric motor feels a bit too much like cheating, especially during training sessions, and so Boardman has enabled users to remove the battery and motor and ride them without the extra weight or resistance.
Each bike also has sensors built in to measure torque, speed and cadence, monitoring the pedalling to ensure that when the electric motor powers up to assist the riding, that it feels natural and smooth. It also stops as soon as the rider stops pedalling.
As with most e-bikes, the electric settings can be accessed from the handlebar remote control, and this also shows the battery level.
Being 2019, there's also an app for it. The Fazua app can assist rides, and show feedback on training and the bike. It also allows you to see GPS navigation, tracking, speedo and an overview of the bike's technical data.
The reason Boardman has taken its time to develop an e-bike is primarily down to manufacturing limitations of the older generation motors. It wanted to develop a solution that adds minimal bulk and weight to the bike, to ensure you still get that light, nimble feel.
As for the bikes themselves, there's the HYB 8.9E for men or women with a flat handlebar, and a slightly more upright style than a racing or road bike. There's a 10 speed Shimano Deore drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.
The ADV 8.9E is a little more like a road bike in styling, but still not a hardcore racer. It has 38mm Schwalbe G-One Speed tyres for grip on or off the road, and is compatible with mudguards and pannier racks, and features heavy duty disc brakes.