Boardman ADV 8.9 E

Smudge

Über Member
Location
Somerset
Don't forget you should get an extra 10% discount on top of that if you are a British Cycling member paying in-store.
I did think about that, but it would mean joining, plus its some sort of voucher you have to get now. Also there is some disagreement whether they will honour it after stacking two sorts of discount already.
 

Smudge

Über Member
Location
Somerset
Well, i went to pick up this Boardman ebike today. Unfortunately as soon as i saw it i knew it would be too small. Couldn't get the bars anywhere near high enough for me, even with trying different stems, the bars were then too close and still lower than the saddle height. Shame they dont do an XL in it. Although my Raleigh ebike and my Giant road bike are both large and they fit me great. I may look at adding an ekit to the Giant, or i'll just have to look for something else.
 

goo_mason

Champion barbed-wire hurdler
Location
Leith, Edinburgh
An update a number of weeks into riding the bike:

4. That battery is fast and heavy when it drops out of the frame when you're unlocking it to turn it off. On my first commute to work this morning, I dropped it twice from the frame onto concrete because the autumn full-fingered gloves I was wearing were slipperier than I thought. The poor battery now looks like it comes from a bike that's been ridden for years through the wars, and this is only my 2nd real ride on the bike!
I've never dropped it again. Now I only unlock and drop the battery out of the frame when I'm leaving work at night; I just leave the bike turned off as the battery then turns itself off after a few hours anyway.

I've also discovered via an online manual that there's a catch within the frame which you can engage to hold the battery partially dropped-out for charging. (This wasn't mentioned in the printed manual I got with the bike).

6. Smooth pedalling and keeping that cadence going is best - I noticed that if you don't keep the same pressure on the pedals all the way round a pedalling rotation, there's a definite 'clunk' that's louder than I get with lazy pedalling on my road bike. I'm not sure if this is a consequence of the Fazua drive system or if it's just the nature of the bigger resonance chamber of the enlarged downtube amplifying the sound/vibration.
That clunking was actually the first sign of a loosening bottom bracket (or in the case of a Fazua-driven eBike, the entire motorised crank unit). It gradually worsened until one morning it was making an awful clunking with each pedal stroke, and I realised what the issue was. Once I got home that night, I got my allen keys out to tighten the obviously-loose bolts, only to find they were Torx bolts! Thank goodness for Amazon Prime and next-day delivery of a Torx set and eventually some threadlock too.

7. Even on the lowest assistance level (green, 'Breeze'), you get a good boost. It was enough to make the strong headwinds vanish without feeling like you weren't still having to make a bit of an effort.
The only time the boost really shows how weak it is compared to a mid-drive Bosch, Yamaha or Shimano Steps motor's power is going uphill. You do get some assistance, but you still need to be putting in a fair amount of effort. On an eMTB with one of those motors, you can go uphill whilst still pedalling as though you're on the flat. Fazua drives just lack the torque they have. (Mind you, me being 6ft 3 and 17 stone may have something to do with it too :laugh:)

However, forget you're in the highest level of boost and touch the pedal to set off from a standing start on the flat and you're lurching forward unexpectedly fast! Great for getting away quickly from the lights.


It's still a fabulous ride, and I'm still getting a decent workout from it on hills or when I'm already exceeding the assist limit and pedalling under my own power. No regrets (yet)!
 

Winslade

New Member
Location
Wirral
I finally got the bike insured last Thursday, and took it out for a ride along the seafront at Cramond after I'd done a three mile run earlier that morning. I thought it'd be a good test of tired legs plus a stiff headwind!

Thoughts and learning points so far:

1. Ensure that the battery pack is locked properly into the frame. Mine dropped out within 30 secs of setting out on my first proper ride, and I didn't realise because the sound it made hitting the cobbles outside the flat was the same sound a plastic bottle being run over makes. I thought I'd just run over an empty bottle & thought no more of it. It was only a mile later when I thought I'd power the bike up that I realised with slowly dawning horror why nothing would switch on. A quick feel under the downtube confirmed my fear. There's nothing like a panicky ride back, wondering if any of the frequent buses and cars along the road outside my flat had demolished my £400 battery pack before I'd even got a proper ride on my new bike. Fortunately it was still in the road and hadn't been run over. It just had a few superficial scrapes (removing the matt black paint) and tiny dings.

2. The bike is so much lighter than the eMTBs I've ridden for the day on holiday over the last few years, so most of the time no assistance is required and I was able to turn the power off and ride as normal. Unlike the big Bosch, Yamaha or Shimano Steps drives, there's no resistance or drag from pedalling against the motor when it's switched off or you've exceeded the assistance speed, as it disengages completely.

3. You need to get used to backpedalling where the chainring and chain don't move. It's like having a freehub in the bottom bracket and the loud ratchet-clicking comes from there. It's annnoying when you're giving the chain a quick wipe - I'm used to turning the pedals anticlockwise on my road bike whilst running the chain through a rag!

4. That battery is fast and heavy when it drops out of the frame when you're unlocking it to turn it off. On my first commute to work this morning, I dropped it twice from the frame onto concrete because the autumn full-fingered gloves I was wearing were slipperier than I thought. The poor battery now looks like it comes from a bike that's been ridden for years through the wars, and this is only my 2nd real ride on the bike!

5. The assist works best at a certain cadence; I've not measured it yet, but you can feel when it starts to come in with the power once you hit that rpm with the legs.

6. Smooth pedalling and keeping that cadence going is best - I noticed that if you don't keep the same pressure on the pedals all the way round a pedalling rotation, there's a definite 'clunk' that's louder than I get with lazy pedalling on my road bike. I'm not sure if this is a consequence of the Fazua drive system or if it's just the nature of the bigger resonance chamber of the enlarged downtube amplifying the sound/vibration.

7. Even on the lowest assistance level (green, 'Breeze'), you get a good boost. It was enough to make the strong headwinds vanish without feeling like you weren't still having to make a bit of an effort.

8. Larger tyres make the rides so much smoother and less teeth-rattling than my 23c road tyres!

All in all, so far it's rewarded me with a lovely ride and seems worthy of the investment. I just need to be a hell of a lot more careful with that battery.....
I was interested to read your comments on the Boardman, particularly as I have also had some issues;

Yes the drive unit is pretty heavy ! I also have managed to drop it when trying to remove it from the bike. Clearly its aimed at the Martian market as they all have three hands.

I also 'lost' the unit from the bike - only noticing it had gone when I discovered the light had disappeared from the controller. Fortunately it was only 100 yards away down the track I had just come down. I am not sure how I can check that the unit is firmly locked in place though. I tend to push / try to dislodge the unit after it is back on, but I always set off with a bit of concern. And yes, I remember it 'clicking' into place on the day I lost it.

I also had a problem with a noisy bike. The rattling / clunking was coming from the pedal area so I took it back to Halfords who diagnosed a loose bracket - which they said should have a factory set torque. So same problem as you.

But, the big problem I currently have is unlocking the drive unit. It has become progressively stiffer and stiffer such that I had to use both thumbs to release the catch ( wife caught the unit when it finally dropped out). I took it back to Halfords when it wouldn't work at all and they packed the internal release with chain lube. It was then ok for a couple of weeks, but now has locked up again. I am now in discussions with Halford regarding a refund or new bike.

I really like the bike, it's light, the power output is great and the battery duration fine for what I normally get up to. So I would be loathe to move to another make, but if the drive unit release mechanism is a common fault, I may have to.
 

goo_mason

Champion barbed-wire hurdler
Location
Leith, Edinburgh
But, the big problem I currently have is unlocking the drive unit. It has become progressively stiffer and stiffer such that I had to use both thumbs to release the catch ( wife caught the unit when it finally dropped out). I took it back to Halfords when it wouldn't work at all and they packed the internal release with chain lube. It was then ok for a couple of weeks, but now has locked up again. I am now in discussions with Halford regarding a refund or new bike.

I really like the bike, it's light, the power output is great and the battery duration fine for what I normally get up to. So I would be loathe to move to another make, but if the drive unit release mechanism is a common fault, I may have to.
Now you come to mention it, there have been a couple of times where I've been trying to release the battery and the button seemed so stiff that I checked whether I'd maybe locked it rather than unlocked it. Otherwise it seems OK so far (fingers crossed).

Hope you get something sorted out with Halfords soon.
 

Winslade

New Member
Location
Wirral
Now you come to mention it, there have been a couple of times where I've been trying to release the battery and the button seemed so stiff that I checked whether I'd maybe locked it rather than unlocked it. Otherwise it seems OK so far (fingers crossed).

Hope you get something sorted out with Halfords soon.
Thanks for that, I will keep you posted. I 'phoned Halfords yesterday and they are awaiting a reply from Boardman.

Out of interest I bought the bike at the start of August and reckon I have done around 300Km on 50/50 dirt track / road.
 

Winslade

New Member
Location
Wirral
Well, I will collect my Boardman bike (HYB 8.9e) tomorrow from Halfords. They have removed the drive unit (battery + motor) and replaced the internal lock mechanism, which apparently was missing one plastic component. So I will pick it up tomorrow and hope I have an easy to operate switch mechanism. They initially said that they might have to replace the entire frame, but then found a Fazua instruction manual on-line.

If anybody else has a Boardman e bike it would be great to hear your thoughts and experiences. I am now hoping for a smooth ride (pun intended) from my bike !
 

goo_mason

Champion barbed-wire hurdler
Location
Leith, Edinburgh
Well, I will collect my Boardman bike (HYB 8.9e) tomorrow from Halfords. They have removed the drive unit (battery + motor) and replaced the internal lock mechanism, which apparently was missing one plastic component. So I will pick it up tomorrow and hope I have an easy to operate switch mechanism. They initially said that they might have to replace the entire frame, but then found a Fazua instruction manual on-line.

If anybody else has a Boardman e bike it would be great to hear your thoughts and experiences. I am now hoping for a smooth ride (pun intended) from my bike !
I can't believe they were thinking they'd have to replace the entire frame to sort the lock-catch, which is a small unit at one end which you can clearly see and examine when you drop the battery/motor unit out for charging! But then again Halfords are notorious for their ineptitude in some cases. (They lost a rear wheel I was told to return for a rebuild on my weeks-old road bike 9 years ago after it started breaking spokes every ride, but rather than admit it they just stopped responding to my emails and calls when I asked when it would be ready. I was told it would take a week, and two months later I still hadn't had it back! As it was through my employer's Bike2Work scheme, it took the coordinator's intervention before they admitted what they'd done and apologised).

My ADV8.9e is still going well. I swapped over to studded winter tyres at the weekend and had my first ride on them to work this morning, where it got down to -6.2C on my route to work and there was a fair bit of ice on the paths. I certainly noticed the drop in comfort (they're thinner tyres) and a drop in speed, as the studded surface adds significant drag.

If I had the money, I'd source another wheelset, cassette & speed sensor magnet so I could just swap the wheels over when the appropriate tyres were required. Maybe I'll take a look at prices and see what Santa can do :laugh:
 

Winslade

New Member
Location
Wirral
-6C ! We don't have those sorts of temperatures down here. With the Winter barely here you will be putting snow chains on next. Down on the Wirral we have only just picked the last of our bananas and turned the air conditioning down.

My new locking mechanism has been working fine, although I am overly cautious putting the drive unit back in and removing it. I now leave it on the bike and don't bother about turning the battery off when the bike is not in use. The auto turn off after 8 hrs is quite useful in that respect.

I have been recharging the battery after some short runs but I have now reverted to running it down to 20%, then removing and recharging it. After reading several recommendations on 'battery care' I find there seems to be some disagreement on best practice. My gut instinct though is that constantly recharging the battery can't be good for it. Similarly running it down to less than 10-20% is probably bad news as well. I suppose I should log how many times I have recharged it but I have been a bit lazy.
 

Tenkaykev

Senior Member
Location
Poole
My gut instinct though is that constantly recharging the battery can't be good for it. Similarly running it down to less than 10-20% is probably bad news as well. I suppose I should log how many times I have recharged it but I have been a bit lazy.
I'm not sure if electric bikes are the same but electric vehicles have a reserve capacity which is there to protect the battery from damage through over discharge ( the display might read empty and the vehicle not move but the battery will have shut everything down to protect itself)
 

Smudge

Über Member
Location
Somerset
I'm not sure if electric bikes are the same but electric vehicles have a reserve capacity which is there to protect the battery from damage through over discharge ( the display might read empty and the vehicle not move but the battery will have shut everything down to protect itself)
My last and current ebike have both done this.
 
The Bosch system cuts the motor before the motor is dead flat for two reasons.

One is battery protection, the other is to leave the user with bike lights for the slow pedal/push home.
 

Winslade

New Member
Location
Wirral

Scaleyback

Well-Known Member
Location
North Yorkshire
Hi guys, I ride the Orbea Gain but am a big fan of Boardman bikes so have been following these posts.
Some discussion recently about battery care so I thought I would share This link I think this will also apply to your Boardman batteries. I’m betting they all come from the same supplier ?
Incidentally I have previously owned a e-mtb with the Bosch 500w battery and the battery care advice I received was very similar to that contained in the included link.
 
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