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Boardman HYB 8.9E Electric Bike Review

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The Boadman HYB 8.9E Electric Hybrid Bike – The best of both worlds?

I have always had a soft spot for Boardman bikes. I’ve ridden many, and I have also converted quite a few to electric assist.

I was quite excited to have a go on their relatively new Boardman HYB 8.9E electric hybrid bike (courtesy of a friend). It wasn’t just the bike that had interested me but the Fazua Evation drive system. In this review I will let you know what I thought about the whole experience and also shed a bit of light on this ground-breaking ebike motor.

Buy the Boardman HYB 8.9e electric bike from Halfords £1999

Summary

There have been some great advances in ebike motor technology over the last couple of years. We have seen mid-drive motors becoming lighter and more technologically advanced, to the point where you have a fusion of human pedal power, seamlessly augmented with electric assist.

These motors have become smoother, more efficient, whilst at the same time producing a lot more torque than you would normally extract from a 250w motor.

Another great advance in electric bike technology is the advent of the removable ebike system – we are talking about the battery, controller and primary motor drive system.

The most well-known of these systems is the Fazua Evation ebike motor. This motor has adorned such beautiful e-road bikes as the Pinarello Nytro.

pinarello nytro electric road bike

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Boardman had chosen this system for their new range of electric bikes. I had always assumed, they would go for something like the X35 ebikemotion system, as found on the Orbea Gain and Ribble SLe.

So, what is the Fazua Evation ebike system and how does it work?

Electric Components

Fazua Evation

A recent entry to the e-bike world, German company Fazua have revolutionised the electric bike motor. The Fazua Evation was released at the end of 2018 and is a modular e-bike system that is contained within the downtube of the bike.

fazue evation ebike drive system complete

The standard bicycle’s bottom bracket is replaced with Fazua’s motor gearbox, and you insert the motor drive unit into the gearbox.

The compact 250Wh (watt hour) battery fits into the top of the motor drive unit and is easily replaceable – you could even carry a spare for more range if required.

The whole system is controlled by a handlebar-mounted remote control keypad. There are 10 LEDs showing the battery level. These change colour depending on which pedal assist mode you are in. White is zero assist,  green is low, blue medium and purple for maximum power.

fazua evation control keypad

The Fazua is definitely aimed at the rider who only really wants to use the electric assistance from time to time. It has become commonplace on a lot of e-road bikes, and adventure bikes, but not quite so common on mountain bikes.

Weighing in at 4.6kg for the total system including the 250Wh (watt hour) battery pack. If you fancy going for a ride without the extra weight of the motor drive system and battery, you simply remove it, fit the alloy cover (available separately) and away you go!

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

You don’t loose the whole 4.6kg though, as the gearbox system that is integrated into the bottom bracket weighs around 1kg, so you still loose 3.6kg – which makes all the difference.

Performance

The manufacturer quotes 60Nm of torque for the Fazua system, and I would say that’s about right. The performance feels on a par with the Bosch Active plus motor. One thing I did notice though, there is no discernible pedalling resistance with the motor switched off. In fact it felt just like riding a normal bike.

Even the extra weight didn’t seem a problem. Mind you this bike weighs in at around 15.5kg (with the motor fitted), and one of my regular bikes is a vintage Dawes Galaxy touring bike, that has a steel frame and that weighs in at nearly 15kg (and it doesn’t have a motor fitted).

boardman hyb 8.9e electric hybrid bike

I also took it for a spin with the motor removed. That brought the weight down to just under 12kg, and to be honest, it felt just like riding a regular hybrid bike.

The pedal assist on the Boardman is just sublime, it is so smooth and intuitive. I would go as far to say it’s one of the smoothest pedal assist systems I have experienced.

I did try the bike on a 15% climb, and although I still had to put a reasonable amount of effort it, I would liken the experience to cycling up a 4% gradient with the wind behind you. No lactic acid burn and no needing to take deep breaths!

Fazua Rider App

The Fazua rider app is a really useful addition to this great system. It includes the following features:

  • GPS navigation, tracking and trip information
  • Motor power, remaining battery capacity, distance to empty, etc.
  • Speedometer, cadence, rider power, rider torque, etc.
  • Technical overview and battery charge information
  • Support functions, incl. direct access to Fazua Service
  • Ability to share rides with friends
  • Summaries and analysis of the data post-ride

fazua rider app

The app is compatible with Andriod and Apple IOS, and it really does provide some useful information, plus some of the more technical stuff like rider power, cadence and torque. You can also track ride data and share with friends.

The addition of GPS navigation is a great feature. But remember, you will need to get a suitable smartphone holder for your device.

My Conclusion of the Fazua Evation system

I personally preferred it to the X35 ebikemotion system found on the Ribble Sle and Orbea Gain. I’m not saying the X35 isn’t any good, far from it. I think it is a great system. But having an ebike motor system that can be removed in seconds is a game changer. You don’t need to have an ebike for commuting and a regular bike for weekend rides.

You really can have the best of both worlds. I also found the pedal assist and torque to be better on the Fazua powered Boardman.

All in all a great ebike system. If I decide to buy an electric bike in future, I will definitely be looking for something with the Fazua system fitted.

For more information check out my comparison of the Fazua Evation vs X35 ebikmotion drive systems.

Battery

The tiny 36v 7ah (250Wh) battery is designed to be lightweight and to easily plug directly into the drive unit. The range of this battery will really depend on the rider, and how often the e-assist is used.

There is not reason, why you couldn’t get a 100 miles out of a single charge, but you would need to be really frugal with your use of the electric assist.

the fazua evation ebike battery

For the average commuter rider, that has a hilly ride to work, and assuming maximum power is used, I would say a realistic range of between 30-40 miles should be achievable. If, like me you are on the heavier side, then this would be reduced even further.

Bike Components

Gearing

The Boardman HYB 8.9e uses the excellent Shimano Deore M6000 1 x 10 drivetrain. There is an FSA-CK746 crankset with an  FSA 44t chainring up front and a wide range 11-42 cassette and the rear.

the shimano m6000 deore groupset fitted to the boardman hyb 8.9e electric bike

This gearing is perfect to bombing around town on and just fine for negotiating steeper climbs. As expected the Shimano M6000 trigger shifter worked well and the gears indexed perfectly. The package is finished off with a high quality KMCE10 ebike specific chain.

Brakes

The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes combined with 160mm rotors provide excellent braking. I’m a large chap, and on the steeper descents, I had every confidence in these brakes, and not once did I experience brake fade. Great brakes-all round!

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are Boardman HYB-E. The front wheel is a 28h Boardman 6 Bolt Disc, 100x12mm Thru Axle, with the rear being a 32h standard 135mm Quick release.

The tyres are the excellent Schwalbe Citizen K-Guard, 700c x 35mm, which will offer a good level of puncture protection. Particularly useful when negotiating debris-strewn city streets.

Finishing Kit

The finishing kit is all, good quality Boardman branded components.  Boardman Lock On Grips, Wellgo Flat Pedals,
Boardman Hybrid Saddle by Velo,  Alloy 27.2mm seat post,  Alloy stem (100mm medium, 110mm large) and Alloy, 600mm wide handlebars.

boardman hyb 8.9e finishing kit

Frame and Forks

Boardman’s trademark smooth weld alloy frame is just beautiful, with internal routing and a relaxed geometry, this really is a nice frame. The Fazua motor system neatly integrates into the oversized down tube, making the bike look like a regular bicycle to the untrained eye.

High quality carbon forks, help dampen road buzz, and thru axle forks keep things stiff up front. The headset is a high quality FSA  No. 42 ACB.

 

boardman hyb 8.9e electric bike

This really is a beautiful looking hybrid bike that just oozes style from every angle!

Who is the Boardman HYB 8.9e aimed at?

I would say the Boardman is aimed at urban commuters and general recreational cyclists. A bike like this is going to have quite a broad appeal. And because the motor system is easily removable, it can be placed on car racks, or on the back of camper vans without too much effort.

The only thing that will put some potential buyers off is the price tag. At just over £2000 it certainly isn’t cheap. But this bike does use cutting-edge ebike technology, and has high quality components and frame.

As with all hybrid bikes, there are provisions for fitting pannier racks and mudguards, and if your daily commute does take in a few steep hills, having the power on tap when you need it will be very helpful indeed!

Another good use for this bike would be as a delivery rider. I often see Deliveroo, and Ubereats riders using electric bikes nowadays. This makes perfect sense as spending all day zipping around city streets delivering stuff on an ebike will make things a lot easier, and increase your earning potential.

Reliability

As the Fazua Evation ebike system is fairly new, I haven’t been able to find too much information** about long-term reliability. I think it’s safe to say for the moment, that this drive system is going to be fairly reliable.

It is a well designed and well engineered motor system, and I can’t really see any design flaws that could cause potential problems.

Halfords provide their 2 year warranty on all the electric bikes they sell, so customers needn’t worry. Plus, if the motor ever did develop an electrical fault, you can remove it and use it as a normal bike. Something you would not be able to do with a Bosch-powered bike.

**I have read owner reports on a couple of forums regarding the torx bolts (that secure the motor gearbox) occasionally coming loose and needing to be re-tightened.

Conclusion

Boardman have been producing decent bikes for years now, and it was inevitable that when they entered the e-bike market, they would produce something special.

The HYB 8.9e is an absolute joy to ride either with or without the motor fitted. If feels light, responsive and nimble, and I can see it being very popular with urban riders in particular.

The Fazua Evation system is just sublime. It is a perfect example of how an electric bike motor should work.

 

boardman hyb 8.9e electric hybrid bike

This bike won’t be for everyone though. Ultimately it depends on the needs of the individual, and some customers have said that it doesn’t produce enough assistance. Personally, I felt it produced plenty, but I ride between 50-100 miles per week on a regular road bike.

If you are looking for a bike to give you more of a boost, it may be worth looking at an ebike with the Bosch CX, Brose, Shimano Steps or Yamaha Sync drive motors. These all produce substantially more torque, and will definitely perform better on hill climbs and have longer battery ranges.

But if you are looking for an ebike that can be used as a normal bike from time to time, the Boardman HYB 8.9e is just the job!

***I have been so impressed with the Boardman HYB 8.9e that I’ve included it in my list of 6 of the best lightweight electric bikes currently available.

Buy Now from Halfords: Boardman HYB 8.9e reduced to £1999
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Boardman HYB 8.9e Electric Hybrid Bike

£1999
8

Value for Money

8.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Battery Range

7.0/10

Pros

  • Removable motor and battery
  • Seamless power delivery
  • Relatively light (for an ebike)

21 thoughts on “Boardman HYB 8.9E Electric Bike Review

  • October 31, 2020 at 4:05 pm
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    4

    Performance

    8.5

    Battery Range

    7

    Can I give our views after 6 months use.
    In theory this is a great bike, but in reality it has issues. The main one being the under slung battery drive pack which is prone to falling out. Fazua have actually upgraded the latching system – probably due to complaints and it is better but the real issue is the Abus lock which is vague. We also think it can rattle loose and unlock as we found out when we came back from a ride on gravel track with no battery.
    Fazua have also introduced a new battery 250X which does not need to be taken off and switched on after only a few hours downtime. Annoying for those with the old system.
    The front wheel axle is very sofy alloy so taking thge wheel off should be done with great care.
    Personally I would like to see an 11 speed cassette and the jumps in gear changes can be quite a jolt.
    Hopefully the next versions will have improved.

    Reply
    • October 31, 2020 at 9:48 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for sharing, much appreciated. The battery falling out seems to be quite a commonly reported fault with the HYB and ADV. I’m hoping Boardman release an updated version of both e-bikes for next year. Their 2021 regular hybrid bike uses the latest Shimano 1 x 12 gearing, which would be a great improvement if used on their e-bike range. I also agree with your concerns about the thru-axle bolt – it definitely needs to be designed to be tougher, especially when riders often need to remove the front wheel regularly to put the bike in the back of a car. I have a friend who owns an HYB, and they changed the rear cassette to an 11-36 – which reduced the jumps in gear ratios, but they lost the hill climbing advantage of the lower 42t gear ratio.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • September 2, 2020 at 5:33 pm
    Permalink

    Hi
    I bought the Boardman 8.9e hybrid on 24th July, 2020. I picked it up and the bike was just wheeled out to me, no customer care, no set up to fit me etc. However, after riding it home , then trying it on a longer ride that weekend, there was a click every time I pedalled. It drove me a little mad, so I tried for 3 weeks to get Halfords to look at it, they had it for 2 days, said “a few things needed tightening up“, I rode it home , it was a little better but still made the odd click, took out on a 2 mile ride, and the clicks where intermittent, I have no confidence in Halfords ‘techs’, do you think It is ok to ride with the odd noise from below .? As I have hardly used it in case I cause any damage.. or is it ok to ride.
    thanks for your advice.
    Jean

    Reply
    • September 2, 2020 at 7:43 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Jean,

      Having been on a couple of forums, there seems to be a recurring issue related to the motor gearbox and the torx bolts that secure it (coming loose and causing slight movement with every pedal stroke). I would insist with Halfords that the issue is properly resolved or request a refund – these e-bikes cost a lot of money and problems like this should be permanently fixed. I have a friend who owns the one I tested and he’s had no issues or strange noises so far, so it definitely isn’t normal. I hope they can properly resolve the problem for you. Please keep me updated on the outcome.

      Kind regards,
      Tony

      Reply
      • September 10, 2020 at 9:05 am
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        Hi Tony
        I’ve had the bike back to Halfords and the new tech has been looking at it, I rang yesterday and he said they had ordered me a new bike which should come this weekend, this guy has been great and he said he wouldn’t do the repair as it would keep happening, not sure exactly what the problem was, so hopefully this new one will be ok. Thanks for your advice. Let you know how the new one goes. 🙂

        Reply
        • September 10, 2020 at 7:46 pm
          Permalink

          Hi Jean,

          Thank you for the update, glad they’ve managed to sort it for you.

          Al the best,
          Tony

          Reply
          • September 14, 2020 at 1:25 pm
            Permalink

            Value for Money

            8

            Performance

            8.5

            Battery Range

            9

            Hi Tony
            Got my new bike today, all seems good so far. Taking it on longer run tomorrow.
            Thanks for all your advice.
            Jean

          • September 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm
            Permalink

            Hi Jean,

            You’re welcome, let me know how it goes.

            All the best,
            Tony

  • September 2, 2020 at 12:18 pm
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    0.5

    Performance

    0.5

    Battery Range

    0.5

    Hi Tony
    I bought this Boardman E Bike from Halfords a couple of weeks ago

    Sadly it has been a disaster, if you leave the bike overnight there is no power from the motor, you have to detach the battery, then replace. This is totally unacceptable especially for an 83 year old. Getting the battery off is an art form all on its own.

    Bob

    Reply
    • September 2, 2020 at 7:07 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Bob,

      Thank you for sharing your experiences here. My friend owns one of these and has never reported this particular issue, although I agree getting the battery on and off could be made easier. I would contact Halfords, as the battery discharging overnight isn’t normal. If they can’t sort the problem out they are obliged to honour the return agreement.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • August 16, 2020 at 8:59 am
    Permalink

    Hello Tony, thank you very much for your review.

    I am now a bit confused. With the current situation, there are not many bikes available.
    I am deciding between Orbea gain F35 and this Boardman.
    Or another option is to wait until November for Ribble AL e.
    Any suggestion on performance from those bikes and which will be better?

    I like that Boardman can be used as a normal bike without power and also I like the battery charging option as I can’t store bike at home. However, I had read some bad reviews on this bike also. And it is the most expensive option (BTW your link with price saying £1999, but Halford selling it for £2149. Both Orbea and Ribble are fully equipped with pannier r, lights and mudguards and they are each up to £2000. Boardman with equipment will get much more expensive £2400.

    If I choose the Boardman, can you help me where to get the alloy cover? I had a search for it as you say it is available separately and I can’t find it.

    Thanks for your help and suggestions.

    Lubos

    Reply
    • August 17, 2020 at 10:02 am
      Permalink

      Hi Lubos,

      There seems to be a few reported issues with the Boardman, one of which is the torx bolts that secure the motor drive gearbox (in the bottom bracket) seem to come loose (on some bikes), the other problem I’ve heard about is the battery can sometimes fall out – again this doesn’t happen to everyone, but in my opinion it shouldn’t happen at all on any e-bike regardless of price. I’ve found a Fazua Evation motor cover at inspiralcycles.co.uk for £70. Thanks for the heads-up regarding the price, I didn’t realise Halfords had put it up again.

      I’ve ridden both the Boardman electric bikes and I know a couple of owners who are very pleased so far, but the Ribble and Orbea are both a good couple of Kilo’s lighter. In my opinion the Ribble offers the best value for money, and to me it feels like riding a normal bike with the assist switched off, the slightly higher weight only becomes noticeable on steep climbs.

      I hope this helps, if you need any more info please let me know.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
    • September 3, 2020 at 3:27 pm
      Permalink

      Hi I will let you know, I have been in touch with customer services I am waiting for call from the Manager.
      One more thing . Looking underneath the bike for my frame number I noticed there is an uncovered area where I can see what look like electric cables. Should there be some cover on these ? I am now worried about muck and debris causing a problem here.

      Reply
      • September 3, 2020 at 9:34 pm
        Permalink

        Hi Jean,

        I don’t recall seeing any uncovered wires on the underside of the bike. I’ve test ridden a few e-bikes with the Fazua drive system and it’s not something I’ve noticed (including both Boardman e-bikes). I would definitely mention it to Halfords.

        Regards,
        Tony

        Reply
        • September 10, 2020 at 11:46 am
          Permalink

          hi Tony
          Apparently it’s the speed sensor and some other wire, someone told me they had contacted Fazua and they said there was no cover . I will ask Halfords when I go to pick my new bike up. I can’t put a pic on here for you.
          Thanks
          Jean.

          Reply
  • August 1, 2020 at 1:40 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, I have recently bought an 8.9e electric bike. Although it has helped be to ascend hills I was previously unable to, as I near the summit and my cadence increases it seems to resist me. I also encounter resistance from the motor at other times when my cadence reaches a certain level. Is there a maximum cadence (pedal speed) that the drive train will allow?

    Reply
    • August 2, 2020 at 8:25 am
      Permalink

      Hi Rob,
      That sounds unusual, as the Fazua motor produces optimum assistance in the 55-125rpm cadence range. I’ve tested quite a few different Fazua-powered e-bikes and I’ve never encountered any resistance from the motor – It would be worth taking it back to where you purchased it from, as it’s quite possible there’s some kind of fault with one of the sensors. The pedal assist on the Fazua measures pedalling force, cadence and speed to provide assist, if the cadence sensor isn’t set up correctly or is faulty it may be producing the problems you’re experiencing.

      I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any more questions.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • June 29, 2020 at 6:25 pm
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    8.5

    Performance

    8

    Battery Range

    7

    hi just bought the The Boadman HYB 8.9E Electric Hybrid Bike
    everything seems really good except for the battery seems to shut down after a period of inactivity.
    and it seems you have to remove the battery to restart it again.is this the case or is there another way to power the battery up again. cheers paul

    Reply
    • June 30, 2020 at 12:30 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Paul,

      It is normal for the battery to shut down after a period of inactivity, but you should be able to power the system up again using the on/off button on the keypad. You shouldn’t need to remove the battery and re-insert. If you purchased the bike from Cycle Republic, Halfords are now dealing with all their after sales service and warranty issues as they have ceased trading (Cycle Republic were owned by Halfords).

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • March 29, 2020 at 7:32 am
    Permalink

    Hello Tony. What an excellent and informative site! E-Bike Reviews especially comparative ones are hard to find.
    We are considering a women’s hybrid e-bike for a 20 mile round trip commute in hilly Worcestershire. I’ve looked at the Carrera Subway and Crossfuse in Halfords but they are very heavy. I have also heard horror stories about Tektra brakes in the wet.
    The Boardman HYB 8.9e looks much better (and lighter) on paper, but twice the price. (Same brakes?) The smaller battery should be OK.
    There is also a Cyclone Ridgeback with 2018 and 2020 models around 20kg but which I haven’t seen reviewed. Do you know anything about those? Very best wishes.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2020 at 11:41 am
      Permalink

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for your positive comments, much appreciated.

      In answer to your question. I haven’t personally tried the Ridgeback Cyclone yet, although on paper it looks like a decent e-bike. The Shimano Steps E6001 motor it uses is particularly good, and on a par with the Bosch Active Plus drive system. The Shimano BR-M315 hydraulic brakes will perform well (in my experience of these brakes).

      I have ridden quite a few different e-bikes with entry-level Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and my general impression is they are good enough for day to day riding. The only issue I experienced was brake fade on a very steep descent (I’m 6’1 and 110kg).

      If bike weight is an issue, it may be worth looking at the Cannondale Tredwell NEO Womens. This bike uses the lightweight X35 ebikemotion system and the total weight of the bike comes in at around 15kg. Due to the nature of the motor there is virtually zero pedalling resistance once the motor cuts-out about 15mph.

      If you haven’t had a chance to read my article on the X35 system vs Fazua, here is the link.

      Motor choice really depends on how steep the hills are in your area. In South East Cornwall they can be ridiculous (up to 1 in 4) – a mid-drive motor like the Bosch or Shimano will be much better in coping with steep climbs, but if the hills in your area are moderate then the X35 would do the job nicely.

      If you need any more advice, please feel free to email me at: cycletek@outlook.com

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply

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