The FAZUA Evation motor is the founding father of the eMTB Light concept. A new software update fundamentally changes the characteristics and handling of the Evation motor. Can the veteran of this still young segment continue to prove itself?

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The FAZUA Evation is the multi-talent of our motor test. The slim drive unit, which packages the motor and battery on one unit, can be easily removed from the frame. That just leaves the minimal remote and 1.3 kg bottom bracket including the gearbox and sensors on your bike. In turn, any FAZUA equipped ebike can also be ridden without a motor, with no pedalling resistance and with minimal extra weight. If you’ve purchased the optional down tube cover, then you can use the space in the frame as a huge storage compartment. Just click the cover where the drive unit would usually be and you’ll have a place to stow all your trail essentials.

Zwei in eins
Das 3,3 kg schwere Drivepack lässt sich mit einem Handgriff aus dem Rahmen entnehmen. Dann kann das Bike ganz ohne Akku, Motor und Unterstützung genutzt werden.

Is this motor even on? Were it not for the high-pitched hum of the FAZUA Evation in its highest setting, you could easily think, in the best way possible, that you’re riding without any support at all. That’s mainly thanks to the incredibly natural feeling ride that the FAZUA delivers in all of its support modes. Despite delivering 55 Nm torque, there’s always been a noticeable difference in power compared to the other motors in our test. The strongest assistance level, Rocket mode, is roughly equal to Tour on a Bosch motor. Up until now that is! FAZUA now offer a free and backwards compatible update to the 2.0 firmware, which fundamentally changes the motor’s characteristics. As well as running more quietly and efficiently, its power has also been increased, meaning that Rocket mode can now keep up with the all-rounders like Shimano and Yamaha on the flats and moderate climbs. It’s only when you hit steeper ramps that it starts falling behind, though it’s still significantly quicker than before the update and is faster than the Specialized SL 1.1 motor. The three assistance modes also offer more distinctly differentiated levels of support. The progressive River mode offers a very natural ride while the weaker Breeze mode is a lot more reserved and intended to be as frugal with the battery as possible. That means that the latter is still too weak for extended trail use. The drop off in power of the motor at higher pedalling cadences has also been resolved with the update. The FAZUA can be pedalled above the 25 km/h assistance limit without any resistance – absolutely essential for a light eMTB. While the motor engaging and disengaging in Rocket mode is noticeable, it is implemented smoothly enough. However, the large steps in the motor’s freewheel aren’t quite as refined and are audible when coasting, clacking loudly when they engage.

Oldschool
Beim Geschwindigkeitssensor kommt noch immer ein pannenanfälliger Sensor mit Speichenmagnet zum Einsatz.
Klare Empfehlung
Das Softwareupdate auf die Firmware 2.0 ist rückwärtskompatibel und absolut lohnenswert. Der Evation liefert mit dem Update mehr Leistung bei ebenso natürlichem Fahrgefühl.

FAZUA use the smallest battery in our test. The FAZUA Battery 250 has “just” a 252 Wh capacity but is also very compact and correspondingly light at 1.4 kg. The extended tours with lots of ascending that the all-rounder motors are capable of, aren’t possible without a spare battery. This will cost you € 418, though the battery itself can be stowed away in pretty much any rucksack. The closing mechanism of the drive unit has also been updated. That makes the battery a lot more secure but it can now only be charged off the bike. Similar to Bosch, manufacturers are tied to FAZUA’s speed sensor, battery and remotes. However, there is more room to play with the individual setup of the support modes for both customers and dealers. FAZUA have made a conscious decision not to offer a display, instead providing a compact remote that uses LEDs to report on battery level and the support mode. The FAZUA Rider app offers tracking and navigation, as well as providing all ride and sensor data. The new bX remote will be of particular interest to eMTBers as it’s significantly slimmer and more elegant. While the b remote may have been functional, it didn’t look particularly good and couldn’t match the otherwise well-finished and high-quality FAZUA components. Unfortunately, the speed sensor still relies on an exposed sensor on the chainstays paired with a failure prone spoke magnet.

Our conclusion

The 2.0 firmware update is absolutely worth it and gives the FAZUA Evation support levels that almost match those of the all-rounder motors, all while maintaining its low weight and natural ride feel. That’s great! For quick rides, the closed system with its small battery is perfect. Not only that, but you can also easily convert your eMTB into an analog bike or take an extra battery with you for extended tours.

Tops

  • backwards compatible software update
  • wide range of application
  • no pedalling resistance

Flops

  • loud freewheel
  • external speed sensor

For more information head to fazua.com

All motors in this comparison: Brose Drive S Mag | Bosch Performance Line CX | FAZUA Evation Firmware 2.0 | Yamaha PW-X2 | Shimano STEPS E8000 | TQ HPR 120S | Specialized SL 1.1


It's finally here: The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Words: Felix Stix Photos: E-MOUNTAINBIKE team

About the author

Felix Stix

Felix is chief of testing and undoubtedly one of the best test riders in the world. With a degree in sports engineering, excellent mountain bike skills, his love of technology and as a certified bike guide, Felix has everything it takes to make comprehensive and fair assessments of bikes. His legendary group tests are internationally known and feared, though they tend to be a bit longer due to his love of detail and technical deep dives. Every year, he reviews around 100 bikes, specialising in the subject of tires, motors and suspension, before putting on his skis come winter! His know-how is incorporated into each of our reviews, ensuring the quality of our work stays high!