Introducing the Fazua Ride 60 eBike Motor System
Over the past few years, eBike motors have undergone a remarkable transformation. They have become lighter, more compact, and significantly more powerful. Gone are the days when every eBike had wildly oversized down tubes, subpar cable and wire management and weighed so much that even attempting to lift the bike could throw out your back. With the introduction of new motor systems from Shimano, TQ and our newest yet, Fazua, these issues might just be a thing of the past. eBikes have started to look indistinguishable from analog bikes and the Fazua Ride 60 may be the sleekest system yet. The Santa Cruz Heckler SL features this exciting new system from Fazua and we’ve been able to log some miles and get some real world experience with this motor. We’ll start with the “what”, and talk about the new motor’s features and exactly how it differs from its counterparts. The Fazua motor will assist up to 60Nm in its regular settings (more on these later), which puts it right between the TQ HPR-50 motor (50Nm) featured in the SCOTT Lumen and the Shimano EP801 (65Nm) motor in the Orbea rise. Fazua uses a 430Wh battery, which is actually the biggest standard battery for bikes in its weight class. This gives the bike a slight boost in range, which we haven’t fully tested yet but we expect it to provide 3-5 hours of normal riding. Fazua set out to make this motor help you pedal as smoothly as possible, in the sense that it has a very natural ride feel. This does mean that at low cadences in the bottom two assist modes you won’t get much assist. The intent is to have you pedal at a higher cadence similar to how you would on an analog bike.
Fazua gave this motor three pre-set assist modes, and one “Turbo Boost” setting. The lowest assist mode is called “Breeze”, intended to just give a little bit of assistance but leave the effort feeling much like a standard bike. The Breeze setting could also be considered the battery saver mode. The middle assist mode is called “River”, which will provide output based on your input. So, if you’re pedaling easy it won’t assist much, but as soon as you start putting in power it will match your effort. The last assist mode is called “Rocket”, and as the name suggests, it rockets you regardless of the effort you are putting in. Fazua has also included a secret “Turbo” setting: if you are in the rocket mode and hold up on the mode controller, you’ll be provided with about 15 seconds of 80Nm assist to help get you over whatever obstacles are in your way. The Turbo mode does have a built-in cool down period however, so you won’t be able to keep activating it over and over to keep a high assist. The controller for the Fazua drive system is one of the best we’ve seen. It is a relatively simple ring that mounts next to your left grip and allows you to switch up or down without having to move your thumb from the controller. This controller is also how you power up the system, as you simply hold it up to turn it on. For the assist mode indicator, Fazua uses a five-light display, called the Fazua LED hub. Located in the top tube of the bike, the LED hub will actually pop out to let you charge your phone or other electronic device via USB-C. The system has both Bluetooth and ANT+ support so you can wirelessly connect your phone to customize and change your assist modes. Even with all these features, the Fazua system doesn’t boast a high weight figure. Battery, motor, and controls come out to 4.3kg, which is just 400g (rough weight difference of swapping from a rigid post to a dropper post), more than the TQ system, while featuring a bigger battery and more powerful motor. Fazua does not currently offer a range extender for the Ride 60 system, but we expect to see them develop that sometime in the near future. We took the Fazua equipped Santa Cruz Heckler SL to the trails to see just how well the Ride 60 system performed. Initially, we were impressed with how quiet the motor was. This is the first eMtb we've ridden without a distinctive hum of a motor. So if a quiet ride is at the top of your list, Fazua might be the motor for you. After gradually working through the assist modes, it was clear that River mode is the sweet spot. River allows you to not really have to touch the controller, because it caters to the power level where you are currently pedaling. When you want to go slow it's slow, but as you try to go faster the bike surges with you.
Breeze mode was definitely just background assist, which would be perfect for long days making the eMtb feel more like a standard bike. Rocket mode allows you to climb with ease, without breaking a sweat, and is powerful enough for shorter days where you just want to go uphill fast and descend. The Turbo Boost mode was a welcome addition especially when riding and clearing steep sections of trail while keeping your effort low.
Overall the Fazua system can either be just a background low assist, or a powerful “eBike” feeling motor. It is extremely versatile, as Breeze mode allows you to ride with people on standard (or “acoustic”) bikes, and the Rocket and River modes allow you to keep up with people on a full power, 85Nm eBike. The lack of motor noise and sleek design also make it difficult to peg a Fazua-equipped bike as an eBike until you’re right up close.The Fazua Ride 60 system is a great option for people who want a sleek, light eBike. While being a little heavier than TQ and Shimano systems, it packs a few more features into a small package. Turbo mode, phone charger, and larger battery size being the key differences.
As always, we recommend trying out each bike and choosing the one that suits your riding style the best, rather than basing your decision solely on the drive system. We are happy to answer any questions, so check out our website, give us a call, or visit us in store.