– There are some
practicalities which are true of many e-bikes, and a lot
of the time the focus is more on the motor rather than on the rider, and then such things as heavyweight bikes motors which do not
decouple which means that if you're out on a ride
and you run out of juice the pedal home's like
riding through sludge. Not a pleasant experience. Which is why Lapierre and
Fazua have brought us here to the South of France to
ride the all new eZesty.
Long range, lightweight and
a very different approach to e-mountain biking. It could be said that e-bikers
often worry way too much fretting about watching the tank when really they should be
sweating it out on the trail. In many ways range has become
more important than ride and it's that desire for
bigger, faster longer that's never more than
a button strike away that's led to this underlying anxiety. But hey, whilst e-bikers might
well have their own anxieties non e-bikers have got their own pushing and carrying woes of their own. But what about if you had a e-bike that had close to the same range but far less weight.
– Hey Steve. Why wouldn't you use one of these? (clicking noises) – Wow, now I'm mountain
biking, not mountain hiking. Wow! (upbeat music) Well okay, there's a little less power, but this bike is challenging the idea that a ride can only really be completed with enough juice in the tank, enough watts in the box, but then this bike really is two bikes. The 250 watt hour battery
and drive can be removed, and with the blanking plate fitted the bike transforms to a
standard mountain bike. But with the battery only
weighing in at just over a kilo, the range possibilities
with a couple of spares is mind blowing. (upbeat music) Lapierre have always been at the forefront of e-mountain bike developments. They brought us challenging
new e-bike specific geometry, such as long chain stays
for better climbing, they brought snake tube
technology which had a huge impact on the bike silhouette
and addition of cells, and in Nico Vouilloz' a 10-time
world mountain bike champion an ambassador of e-bikes like no other. Today they have arguably
one of the broadest range of e-mountain bikes on the market.
This then is the modern
day Zesty, the eZesty. Lapierre make elegant bikes right, yeah course they do, they're French. The Zesty is a bike that has huge history. Nico winning Val D'Allos
Enduro World Series on a Zesty, or was that a Spicy, only
have a dozen years ago. An Enduro World Series that was run on a chair lift service by the way. Ha, chair lifts, so 1930's. Now one of the cool features
of the Fazua system is that when you get to 25km/h
it decouples mechanically which means, if you're on a
ride and you run out of battery you can ride home like
a normal mountain bike and it doesn't feel like sludge. I'm now doing about
35/40k's and it feels light feels just easy to ride, see you later. Right let's get into
the heart of this bike and that's the Fazua Evation
motor which is located there in the downtube, it's
compact it's lightweight and it's discreet and I'm
hoping that out in the trail it will translate to a
natural and dynamic ride.
Now in the Evation system
the Bavarian's have created a motor, battery and
electronics in one drive pack, of 3.3 kilos, yeah, thats
3.3 kilos, that's two brains, one small house cat, a
house brick, a chihuahua, or ten times heavier than a hamster. And it's all controlled via
this handlebar mounted display which gives you Breeze, River and Rocket, and the Fazua motor helps you onwards with up to 400 watts of assistance. I'm already thinking this
bike is of massive importance, particularly in an e-mountain bike market which has not been around that long. There are a lot of heavy and very powerful e-bikes on the market, and for those people who are
wanting to make the switch it's a huge, huge step especially from those who've
come from a long history of mountain biking. And this bike, the eZesty,
really has mixed it up in that respect. A light weight, low impact mountain bike that can metamorphose into just that, a mountain bike. Michael Baumgartner,
Head of Testing at Fazua, in Munich, in Germany. Michael, three parts to the system, bottom bracket, battery and drive unit, 1.3 kilos right? – Yes – 63 Nm of torque, what does this part do? – The basic task it has to
do is to transmit the power coming from the drive pack to your chain.
And we have all the sensors inside, there's the two sided torque measurement and cadence sensor, so the bottom bracket knows
what the rider is doing. – It is so simple. – Yes. – Now we've been riding the eZesty, surely that is the ultimate
application for this system? – Yes, that's exactly what we had in mind when we developed this drive system. We wanted light, full suspension bikes to go everywhere you want. – Yeah, pass me that
battery there for a minute. Now this battery weighs in at? – [Michael] 1.4 kilogrammes. – [Interviewer] I mean it's not really much more than a water bottle right? – That's basically the idea,
having a second one in your backpack, it's super handy.
– So remember, that this battery
takes you for a range in, in the most powerful mode,
between 800-1000 metres? – [Michael] Yeah, to 1000. – So can you imagine
you've got two of those, got one in your backpack. – I guess you're going to be
the limit and not the system. – Yeah exactly, so there you go, there's the three units
that are part of the system. Now my question now, is actually, how much faster is the
bike with the motor in verses the motor out? Right, first run I'm going to be running the Fazua Evation motor in the bike, riding in rocket mode. Okay Simon, you ready? Three, two, one, go. So I'm running a 30-tooth
chain ring up front, and I'm in the easiest gear
on the e-gear at the back. It is actually steeper than it looks. Stop. – [Simon] 14.86. – 14.86, okay, that's pretty good that was. Right, let's take the Fazua motor out, stick the blanking plate in
and go back to the old days.
Okay run two, time to
go back to the old days, I've put the blanking plate
into the downtube which replaces the Fazua motor. It's a bit weird I've got nothing to refer to on the handlebar. So yeah, bit of a blast
from the past this so again, same gearing, Simon, you ready? Three, two, one, go.
Oh boy, it's not too bad actually. In fact, I can stand up, obviously a different
technique when climbing without a motor. She's going pretty well actually. Ooh, it does kick in. Stop. – [Simon] 17.81. – Okay, so, there's three seconds over a 15-20 second climb so you can imagine if
you're going from here up to there, there'll be a big difference. Now it's not only about the climbing after all, why have 150 mil
travel just to go uphill. The bike then, comes in two models, you've got the AM LTD Ultimate and also the AM 9.0 Ultimate.
Comes in three sizes, medium,
large and extra large. And lets have a look at the
geometry because as you'll find this bike really is all action. And the angles really are important because such has been the obsession with motors and batteries that very often the
fine detail of handling has been forgotten. With a 65.5 head angle and
75 degree seat tube angle, 435 mm chain stays, 15 mm
drop in the bottom bracket, this bike is built for riding. And reach, a good indicator of sizing is absolutely bang on the money. Large has a 470 mm reach, which for me at six foot
is the exact size I need and plenty of room here for riders taller or smaller either side. And do you know, riding out here in the rocks of the South of France really has got me
thinking about this bike, it really is quite pioneering, it fits in that gap between e-bikes
and mountain bikes, that gap between bikes that
are dominated by the motor to a sport which is
dominated by the rider.
And I think this is the main thing you can still have the same kind of range on this bike as you
can on a heavier e-bike with lots of power and big battery. So, it's a juggle between
a lightweight bike which you've got less power, or a heavyweight bike
which has got more power, and arguably I've got
the same amount of range. Some of course would
argue that mountain bikers should not really have the
shackles of relying on batteries not all of the time anyway.
After all, this is about fun, about getting away from
the stresses of life, we don't want an underlying apprehension of whether you'll make it to
the finish, we want to escape. I mean, look a this bike. It's lighter, neater and
smaller than ever before. The thing we e-mountain
bikes for many people they simply are a step too far. A lot of the time it's
more about the motor, for others it's simple a case of, they don't live in vertically
challenging terrain. Whatever way you look at it, the eZesty, it's
innovative, it's pioneering, it's part of rather
than apart from nature.
And that's it from the hills
in the South of France. If you want to see some more tech, e-bike content, check out the video I did from the EUROBIKE show last year, give us a thumbs up if
you like this video, and click on the globe so
we can bring you some more e-bike specific content. Cheers..