Review of our Legend Monza, by Enzo Rossi
Recently we received an extensive analysis of a Legend Monza by the Jobike forum team, an important cycling community from Italy where amateurs and professionals share their knowledge. Enzo Rossi, in particular, made an exhaustive study of our flagship model by thoroughly analyzing every detail and subjecting his ebike to different tests.
The result is an exceptionally detailed review where Enzo exposes both strengths and areas for improvement, and despite this, we couldn't resist translating and sharing this great work so that you have a realistic and unbiased view of our beloved 2018 Monza.
Here, you can check the original entry in Italian: http://www.jobike.it/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=75744
And below the literal translation with its original photos.
Review of the electric folding bike Legend Monza
Compared to the previously tested model, the most important difference lies in the power management of the motor and, more generally, in all the electronic parts, so I reran all the dynamic tests. Many things in the mechanics have remained unchanged; so I often did “copy and paste”.
The photos are all new.
I rode about 380 km before returning the bike to try to understand its full potential.
Compact, light and comfortable electric bike
The frame comes with a high straight crossbar, made of 6061 aluminum.
The solidity is excellent, and I found no flex or play in the hinges.
The frame is low, but not too low: 560 mm: more than the height of the pedal in the highest position.
It is very agile and reactive in direction changes and tight maneuvers.
It has no front suspension, but it is very comfortable when riding due to the presence of tires with a large “balloon” section.
The pedaling position is upright or slightly forward leaning.
The gear group is a 6-speed Shimano Tourney TX with derailleur.
The gear changes are sufficiently precise and fast, but in the tests it was not very well regulated, and I had some problems on very steep slopes with the shortest development.
The (rotary) shifter is very smooth for shifting gears.
The gear transmission ratio has improved for the adoption of a multi-tooth sprocket: at 25 km / h the pedaling cadence in sixth gear is 70 rotations per minute.
Stability while riding is optimal, even at high speeds (tested up to 48 km / h without any problem).
Hands-free riding is completely stable, but it is better not to do it due to the high reactivity of the short frame.
The tires are good Schwalbe BigBen 20 “x 2.15” that can be kept at low pressure to increase comfort.
The kickstand is a monopod, stable and robust.
The rear rack can carry up to 27 kg according to the new European certification and easily accepts a child seat. (it is, however, a bit tilted).
The assembly is correct.
The braking system has moved from the V-brakes of the previous version to an excellent Tektro disc system with hydraulic control, powerful and very modular.
The levers are smooth and comfortable to operate, and there are no service cut-off switches.
Braking distance of 25 km / 3.55 m: good value and much better than the previous version.
The rear wheel locks without the bike losing stability; I insist that tipping can be activated, as the hydraulic brakes offer very powerful braking.
Folding is easy, and I did it in 30 seconds both in closing and opening.
The joints are solid and do not show any play; both folding systems are equipped with a second safety step.
Ebike with removable battery integrated into the frame.
The third version of the Monza is supplied with a 36V 8Ah 288Wh lithium battery housed in the frame tube.
Two other higher capacities are also available: 10.4 to 14ah.
Integrated into the battery is a very useful USB output to keep your navigator or phone charged.
Removal requires folding the bike by the frame and unlocking the key lock. Even this maneuver is much improved.
Charging takes 4 hours and 25 minutes from a fully discharged battery.
The control unit is hidden in the frame tube and is connected to the battery with a connector that is automatically disconnected by folding the frame.
Smart ebike connected to your phone
The display integrates the buttons for the various functions, is LED and provides basic information: charge level and assistance level.
But it has a Bluetooth connection through the Mahle iWoc to connect to your smartphone that you can attach, with the right mount, to the handlebars.
With the right application, on the phone you will have a lot of information: both the cyclocomputer, the electrical type (watt hours, power used, charge level ...) and the type of navigator with maps and memory of the routes taken and many other parameters.
By connecting the smartphone with heart rate monitor can automatically adjust the level of assistance so that our heart rate never exceeds the set value.
The buttons control the activation of the control unit, change of assistance level, activation of the front light, assisted assistance and, when the smartphone is connected, there is a button for answering phone calls.
The display is clearly visible both day and night.
Pay attention to the fact that, if it rains, the cell phone must be waterproof.
Bike with 250W motor
The motor is a small, robust, geared, 250W, 36V, brushless, sensorized, rear motor built by the well-known Bafang.
The motor runs well at all levels of assistance and is never jerky.
Noise is heard when walking, but it never becomes annoying, even uphill.
Cables are arranged and bundled into a single cable in the folding area; PAS is integrated into the bottom bracket.
The connector that opens when the frame is folded effectively helps reduce cable breakage problems during folding.
The assistance control system is a sensor that works with pedal rotation and operates “on stream”. This means that with virtually all levels of assistance, the maximum speed is reached, but with increasing effort.
The assistance levels are 3 plus one programmable (easily) by the user through the application.
There is a “zero” level that deactivates the motor but keeps the dashboard and lights active.
It is also possible to ride with “token pedaling”, which is simply by turning the pedals.
The assistance starts after 90° of pedaling, equal to 0.75 m in first gear (a little lazier than the previous one).
After starting, the engine has a lively but progressive acceleration and never embarrasses.
The time to travel 50 m from standstill with fully charged battery is only 9.86″ and the maximum assistance speed is 27.6 km/h: a good speed that confirms the dynamism of this model.
Small and agile electric bike
Monza has a small size and great agility; that, combined with the quality of the motor, make this model very pleasant in urban riding; the speed is not very adjustable, and you can tend to go faster than you would like.
Comfort on the road is good even on cobblestones; the big-ball tires cushion the roughness and the frame has the right elasticity.
During steep climbs, when the level four assist comes into play.
In fact, level 3 has a power delivery curve that is not suitable for steep climbs: at low speed, it does not "push" with the full power of the motor.
For demanding climbs, you should select assistance level 4 to have a strong current delivery even at low speeds. But this possibility (which obviously stresses the battery) is recommended to options using larger batteries.
It does not have the “soft-start“ feature that helps in hill starts, but the short ratios allow it to do so without excessive effort.
At 4% gradient, it climbs quickly to 23.9 km/h with the same effort as when traveling on flat terrain.
The 10% can be climbed well, even with a very limited effort, at 13 km / h. Even this slope is fine.
The 17% climbs at 9.4 km / h with 80W of muscle power, but only with level 4 programmed for climbs. The restart requires an effort of 47 kg on the pedals.
It also rises to 20% with limited effort, but with a very low pedaling cadence; restarting can be done by applying much of the weight to the pedals.
The 27% rises to the limit if you have already started the ride. Restarting from a standstill is no longer possible.
You can activate the “walk assist” function via the button on the dashboard.
On the level, you have to walk quickly to keep back: about 6 km/h.
This function gives the engine a fair power: 12% smooth and climbs (but without additional loads) even at 27%.
In the tests, I used the 8 Ah battery; the autonomy with the higher sizes is proportional to the capacity; therefore, with 14 Ah, you would have 75% more autonomy.
At level 1 (with a typical speed of 24 km/h) you can drive 49 km.
At level 2, the speed increases to 26 km/h, and you can travel 40 km
At level 3, the speed is still 26 km/h and the same route is covered (the difference in level is only felt on the climbs).
Since with the pre-set levels ... you can not go slow, I set the fourth level for equally energetic outputs but then with limited power 20 km / h; with this configuration it is possible to travel 63 km.
Excellent distance considering the 8 Ah battery!
And with 14 Ah you can ride 86 km at 24 km / h (= 1st level).
Pedaling with a partner is not particularly easy due to the tendency of the motor to always reach maximum speed.
The fourth level can be set to the correct value to adapt it to our travel partner (or companion).
On light dirt roads it behaves very well and is comfortable in holes.
Also here the speed is always a little more than desired and it would be necessary to modify the level 4 appropriately; the braking is safe, but with 20 "wheels is better not to ask for more.
The Monza is very well suited for transport by car or caravan, inside the passenger compartment.
For transport in public transport (buses and subways) its folded dimensions are a bit large. However, it has excellent transportability on trains where it does not require a supplement to the ticket or a separate compartment. (now it is not necessary to carry it in a bag).
Lifting and carrying on a ladder is easy: the grip point is now comfortable and wide with the weight well distributed.
The actual weight is 20.5 kg including battery - it is contained and not too tiring.
During the dynamometric test on the road, at 18 km / h without electric assistance indicates a request for muscle power of only 80W: excellent fluidity and gear ratios are adequate.
If you remain without battery, you can return home without effort.
And you can also think about covering flat stretches (if there is no headwind) without assistance.
The lighting system runs on the main battery (even when it is too low to drive the motor).
The headlight illuminates the road well (30 lux) and the rear light is clearly visible from the sides.
"Passive" visibility is ensured by regulation (front and rear reflectors and pedals) and reflective tire strips.
There are no mechanical anti-theft systems, except for the key that locks the battery.
However, being foldable is excellent for getting into elevators and carrying it to your home or office, thus avoiding the root problem of theft.
Monza is certified to current regulations: EN15194 EPAC.
The warranty is 2 years for the whole ebike and even the battery has a good 2 years warranty without restrictions.
The frame, made of 6061 aluminum, is robust and the hinges introduce no flex or play. The steering area also provides a good sense of stability. The pitch is low to allow leg clearance, but not low enough to allow use by those with joint problems.
The frame, short and well balanced, allows very agile maneuvering. It has no front suspension and this contributes to stability; as we shall see, riding comfort is entrusted to the wheels with a generous section. The total weight is 20.5 kg, including battery: "normal" value.
The saddle, marked Legend, is padded and equipped with an indentation: comfortable even on uneven surfaces.The seat post has no shock absorption. The saddle height adjustment is quick and the tilt is finely adjustable.The seating position is upright or slightly tilted forward.
The handlebar is straight shaped, necessary to reduce clutter when folded, sturdy and comfortable and maneuverable. The adjustment is of the quick type and there is an anti-rotation groove. In the picture, the handlebar is in the "all the way down" position and you can also see the solid hinge for folding (with safety lock).
The steering is of the integrated bearing type.
The derailleur is a Shimano Tourney TX 6-speed via derailleur. The gear changes are precise, but I had some problems uphill: I probably had not adjusted the cable tension well enough because the previous model, with the same gearing, worked better.
The activation is fast enough. The shift control is, always Shimano, of the rotary type: very smooth to operate in both directions.
The sprocket has gone from 48 to 42 teeth( transcription error now 52 teeth instead of 48), while the sprocket has remained unchanged; this allows, at 25 km/h, a pedaling cadence of 70 pedal strokes / min, certainly more comfortable than the previous version; obviously, pedaling is a little "harder" on steep climbs, but it is better in all other situations. The ratio range is good and the ratios are spaced correctly.
The braking system is made of Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, powerful and very modular. (Previously there were V-brakes).
The discs are both 160 mm.
The levers are smooth and comfortable to operate, but there are no switches to interrupt service.
Braking distance at 25 km/h was 3.55 m: good and much better than the previous version.
The rear wheel is locked but the bike does not lose stability; braking too hard can cause it to tip over.
On long descents, braking is powerful and smooth; there is no noticeable overheating.
Braking at high speeds is powerful and stable; by insisting on the brakes, the rear wheel locks progressively with a start of the bike going through; very difficult to get to activate the roll-over.
It took me 30 seconds to fold it and 30 seconds to open it again and it was the first time I did it on this model.
The maneuver presents no difficulties.
The bike can ride on its wheels with the bike folded; it can be done, but it seems to me a rather awkward maneuver, it is to be used only for very short distances.
When folded, it is compact and regular in shape; there is only the central joint lever that tends to protrude a little.
The front joint has a mechanical stop and has two opening steps: if the lever is unintentionally activated while driving, the hinge is still closed and an additional lever operation is required to release it.The hinge is robust and free of noticeable play.
The central joint has the quick release lever with safety ratchet and also in two steps.It incorporates the battery contacts, drastically limiting the amount of electrical wires in the folding.
The control unit is housed in the frame tube and is immediately connected to the battery connector.
By folding the frame, the connector is automatically disconnected, preventing the cables from kinking.
The Monza is equipped with a 36V 8Ah 288Wh lithium battery housed in the frame tube * optional 10,4ah and 14ah.
It is therefore invisible and perfectly integrated into the bike line.
Here is the extracted battery: as you can see it is a specific battery, with a solid aluminum housing that makes it safe to handle.
On the part near the handlebars, there is the "general" switch (turn off the control unit and lights), the charging connector and a convenient USB connection that turns the battery into a giant power-bank.
When the battery is mounted, the various connectors and switch are easily accessible and protected by a watertight flap.
Charging can therefore be done easily with the battery removed or mounted on the bike.
Removal requires almost complete opening of the central hinge, unlocking the battery with the key.
In the picture you can also see the contacts of the bike that are inserted by closing the frame.
Once the lock is unlocked, the battery is removed using a small retractable handle.
All effortless and very easy (except for the complication of having to open the frame).
This operation has definitely improved compared to the previous version.
The weight is 2.4 kg and it is easily transported.
As the switch cuts the contacts, it can be stored without special precautions together with other objects.
The battery I used in the tests is 8 Ah but there are also sizes available: 10.4 and 14 Ah; in this way, the size can be adapted to your needs.
I advance the fact that the lower size is not suitable for routes with steep slopes, but I will talk more in detail in the paragraph dedicated precisely to the ascents.
The charger is a switching type, without fan.
It weighs 600 g, including cables and recharges the fully discharged battery in 4 hours and 25 minutes.
The size of the charger is quite small and is suitable for carrying with you.
The cables are of normal length and the mains plug is EU type.
It is equipped with a warning light that turns red when charging and turns green when charging is complete.
ATTENDANCE CONTROLS AND SETTINGS
Here we open an interesting paragraph because this is the first time I have encountered a system like this.
On the bike there is an LED panel with buttons; it is placed on the handlebars near the left knob.
The indications provided are the basic ones: battery charge status and selected assistance level; then there is a round light that lights up in various colors ... that becomes suspicious.
In fact, the peculiarity of this bike is that the dashboard works in synergy with your smartphone.
With the buttons it is possible to turn the control unit on and off, change the level of assistance among the four available and manage the lighting of the lights.
It is also possible to activate assisted walking (but there is no soft start to start without pedaling).
There is standard cell phone support that accepts various screen sizes.
And it is understood why the battery is equipped with a USB output: it serves to keep the object powered.
With the installation of an application provided by Legend, the smartphone screen becomes an advanced cycle computer that, in addition, provides many indications of an electrical type.
It connects to the bike via Bluetooth (so it works even if you keep your phone in your pocket).
On the panel there are also dedicated buttons for answering phone calls, just like the steering wheel controls on the latest generation of cars.
I dedicate a special paragraph to this application (which is still under development).
Without a cell phone, the bike functions normally except that it does not have the information from the cycle computer.
The indications provided by the panel are clearly visible even in full sun and the buttons are very easy to use even with gloves.
Obviously, the sunlight visibility of the cell phone display depends on the cell phone itself.
In the dark, the LEDs on the button panel remain clearly visible and the display is undoubtedly the same.
It is a small and robust rear axle, geared, 250W at 36V, brushless, sensorized, built by the well-known and reliable Bafang mxus.
The motor is powerful and pushes well uphill.
Noise is heard when walking but never becomes annoying even under exertion.
The motor is equipped with a connector for easy removal of the wheel.
The maximum absorbed power I detected was more than 450 W (12 amps).
The wiring in the handlebar area is neat and tidy and all wires (electrical and mechanical) are bundled in a sheath; it does not create problems when bending.
The single electrical cable continues externally parallel to the frame to the control unit area.
The rotation control of the pedals is not done as usual with a disc with magnets, but is incorporated into the central movement (and this makes me think of a possible variant with torque meter, but I have no official news about it).
Robust, well protected and without adjustments: ideal in a folding that inevitably ends up falling during transport.
The disadvantage is that in the case of replacement of the lower bracket, a simple commercial cartridge cannot be used, but the specific part is required; I am told, however, that it is very robust and that replacement is a very distant event in time.
It can be seen that it is produced by Bafang.
We come to the most original part of this model: the application that manages the assistance.
This software transforms the phone screen into a very advanced display that shows all the parameters of the bike.
It also has a very interesting function: if connected to a cardio belt, you can set a maximum pulse limit and the system regulates the assistance to keep this value constant.
(I didn't test this feature, so I can't tell you how effective it is, but it's definitely interesting).
This app also works without being connected to any bike and works like others that give itinerary and data on the route taken.
For 4.89 € you can buy maps of all of Europe to use the app as a navigator.
It certainly works with Android, but I think it's also for Apple.
Here's the smartphone attached to your handlebar mount.
On the home page you can see the speed (or - on the same side of the screen - the map).
Then we see the power supplied by the engine, the battery status, the watt hours consumed and the residual autonomy (on which to make a prudent allocation because ... does not read the future).
There is the selected assistance level and the average and elapsed time data.
The pedaling cadence is also indicated and then the altitude and slope (which is based on GPS and I found it to be a bit inaccurate except on steady climbs).
In short, already on the first page there is a lot of information from the evolving cycle computer.
Here you can see the symbol of lights on.
You can see the delivery curves for the different levels of assistance (and then we talk about the fourth programmable level). For each output, you can store a lot of data that can then be retrieved for further analysis.
This is the index page of the stored paths (each can be given a name).
If you have a bluetooth heart rate monitor, you can connect it to your smartphone and this information is also recorded.
Here are the stored pages for each output.
(I did not have the bluetooth cardio band and related data is absent).
I didn't even download the maps, so we just highlighted the shape of the track without showing it on the map.
Here we see the performance of the power delivered by the engine and the relative assistance levels used.
It is possible to associate it with Strava
In short: a very high amount of very interesting data.
But there is one consideration: on a folding bike, such data is really redundant even for monitoring outdoor trips.
Much more interesting if it is connected to a sportier bike model (in the catalog there will also be such models).
I make a note: the current consumption data and battery state of charge are processed and stored by the control unit and not by the app, so they are real even if you do, for example, half of the trip with the phone disconnected.
As I said, I see this way of managing the bike assistance on sport models: in everyday use, I found it quite inconvenient:
if you stop for a management, you must remove the phone from the holder; otherwise, it is too easy to steal it.
the connection to the bike battery to the mobile phone requires a flying cable (which must be separated from the battery to be able to remove it) which is a bit awkward especially if you have to fold the bike.
in case of rain - unless you have a waterproof smartphone model - you can't use it and in any case you can't keep it on charge.
Very useful is the ability to answer hands-free phone calls using the buttons on the panel, without having to perform dangerous and difficult maneuvers with one hand to activate the phone placed in a pocket.
During my testing, I found myself holding the phone in my pocket and simply using the instructions on the panel with the corresponding LEDs; and only occasionally did I consult the app for more accurate data than the LEDs on actual charge consumed.
On trips, however, it is nice, especially when used as a map and the ability to adjust the assistance according to your heart rate is very interesting.
The control unit supplies power to the motor according to the rotation of the pedals and the selected assistance level.
The assistance levels are, optimally, 4 plus "zero" which disables the motor but keeps the dashboard and lights active.
The "walk assist" button is present but is not authorized for use as a "soft start".
The control unit is of the "current controlled" type, i.e. it sends a certain constant power to the motor; this system is typical of central voltage control motors and different from the one normally used for hub motors ("voltage control").
But these are things for engineers and geeks, since for the rider it translates to the fact that the motor always pushes with the same power at all speeds; in contrast, voltage control reduces power as you approach top speed.
The practical effect is that with any assist level selected, the motor always takes us to top speed.
However, the assist levels are not simple "steps," but follow curves that can be highlighted on the connected smartphone.
Here are the graphs of the three factory-set levels.
It is very clear that level 1 gives the motor a maximum of 25% of its power.
Then the engine helps up to 26 km / h ... but you have to "help" with pedaling to reach this speed.
It is a mode that allows us to exercise and extend our autonomy both.
Levels 2 and 3 allow us to reach, with symbolic pedaling, practically until it interrupts the tachometer cut-off.
Level 4 is "customizable" and I will speak well in the paragraph "speed and autonomy".
The wheel reaches its maximum speed regardless of cadence; on the other hand, we see that the junction after a pedal suspension is fast (very useful in the city).
STARTING THE ASSISTANCE AND ACCELERATION
To start the motor, simply turn on the control unit from the dashboard, select the desired assistance level and start pedaling.
The start of assistance occurs after 90° of pedaling, i.e. 0.25 turns equal to 0.75 m in first gear (a little "slacker" than the previous model).
The motor starts delivering power to the wheel according to the typical curve of each assistance level, therefore more or less lively.
Despite the progressive start, which does not embarrass me even those who are not "sporty", the acceleration is very lively.
In fact, the time to travel 50 meters from a standstill, with a full battery and at level 3, is only 9.86 "and the exit speed is 27.6km / h: excellent!
And in 30 meters it is already at 25 km / h!
Monza has a small size and great agility; combined with the brightness of the engine, they make this model very pleasant in urban driving.
Maneuverability is excellent and it can be driven with precision: it glides easily in traffic.
Braking is powerful and very well modulated.
The progressive engine start avoids pregnancies with abrupt starts and allows safe maneuvering in tight spaces.
The speed regulation ... which in practice is not because, as he said, Monza always wants to go to the maximum ... is scarce in urban use.
We must get used to that.
And another thing to get used to is the absence of brake cuts.
This lack is felt if the traffic is chaotic because in the "attack-release" maneuvers of the pedals sometimes you find yourself with the engine pushing while you're braking.
Comfort on the road is good even on cobblestones; the balloon tires cushion the roughness and the frame has the right elasticity.
BEHAVIOR ON CLIMBS AND STEEP SLOPES
This is where the programming of the fourth assistance level comes into play.
In fact, level 3 has a power delivery curve that is not suitable for steep ascents: at low speed it does not "pump out" the full power of the motor.
This configuration, however, is valuable in the case of using the smaller battery, as it avoids fatigue with currents that are too high and shorten the service life.
For this reason, the 8 Ah battery is not suitable for use in mountain villages, even if the autonomy would be sufficient.
For those who have the need, or the pleasure, to travel on demanding ascents, the ability to customize the fourth level of assistance is a valid aid.
From the factory, this level has a very similar tendency to the third, low power at low speed (which is exactly the opposite of what you need to climb).
To test the full potential of the engine, I programmed level 4 with a much steeper curve: already from 5 km / h I make it deliver all available power and then maintain this maximum delivery for all higher speeds.
Therefore, I performed the tests on both level 3 and level 4 "turbo".
The Monza changes its personality and allows us to tackle even challenging climbs faster and with less effort.
I still remember that this configuration can only be used with the most capable battery, while the 8Ah I used in the tests I stressed it a lot (I hope the Smartgo friends won't get too angry).
On 4% climbs, it climbs quickly and it is not necessary to use a level 4 "turbo: 23.9 km / h by applying only the weight of the leg to the pedals.
Restarting requires, in third gear, simple leg weight on the pedal (so remember to shift up before stopping uphill).
The 10% we climb to 13 km / h at level 3 (with 75 W of muscle) and 13.5 km / h at level 4 (with the same power): so far the 8 Ah battery is also fine;
I remember that the 10% rise in muscle power leaves you breathless. With Monza ... no!
You can feel how the acceleration becomes more lively with level 4.
The restart requires 30 kilos of thrust but for a short time, until the engine ... wakes up.
With slope of 13.5% climbs to 8.7 km / h with the third level; here you begin to perceive well the gap with the fourth level that allows you to climb to 11.4 km / h with a more energetic ride and with less thrust on the pedals.
The restart requires a great effort - 38 kg - but always for a short time.
Now we face 17%.
At level 3 you start to struggle, with level 4 you reach 9.4km / h with muscle strength of 80W: effort still low even for those who have no training.
Start to be quite challenging the restart: 48 kg, but always for a short time.
As always, when the bike under test climbs well, I took it to a difficult 20%.
Here the third level is no longer sufficient, while with the fourth level "turbo" (in the sense that it has all the parameters as maximum), it climbs to 6.3 km / hy 95 W muscle; pedaling cadence, however, is reduced to only 35 ft / min, which does not guarantee adequate muscle performance.
So we are at the limit ... but we are talking about 20% which is a slope of mountain roads!
Even the restart requires applying to the pedals, for the first lap, almost all your weight.
Finally I brought the Monza on the death ramp at 27%.
You can climb but at the limit and only if you start from the ground.
In short, if you live in a city with even steep climbs, Monza takes us to the top with a smile on our lips, but you need to ... enlarge the wallet a little to buy and opt for the higher capacity battery.
You can activate the "walk assist" function via the button on the dashboard.
The previous version had a special activation system; here it is again "usual": press the button and, with a little delay, the engine starts.
At the level you have to walk quickly to stay behind: about 6 km / h (just the "law").
This function gives the engine a fair power: 12% "pulls" a little and climbs (but without additional loads) even at 27%.
Even the overcoming of curbs is not particularly vigorous, both for the small diameter wheels and for the moderate torque expressed by the engine in this mode.
SPEED AND AUTONOMY
I tested with the 8Ah 288Wh battery.
As mentioned, 10.4 and 14Ah batteries are also available.
The autonomy, as abundantly experienced, is in exact proportion to the available amperage, therefore, with 10.4 Ah it will cover 30% more and with 14 75% more.
The tests were carried out on an urban-extra-urban route with some climbs but no significant ascents.
During the tests I always kept the smartphone powered by the bike battery (therefore consuming some charge).
I performed a test with level 1 assistance with 70 W of muscle in sixth gear.
The speed was 24 km / h during the entire test, without the annoying near-depleted battery drops.
With this level, you must push the pedals a little during acceleration to bring the beep to 24 km / hy then marches with the usual light effort.
The ambient temperature was 20 ° C, so exactly the "normalized" temperature.
I obtained a useful and total distance of 49 km until the intervention of the BMS that disconnected the ECU: excellent result corresponding to a limited energy consumption: 5.5Wh / km.
In the test in level 2 assistance I still used sixth gear and the usual 70W muscles.
The speed was 26 km / h and even in this mode has remained virtually unchanged throughout the test.
I obtained a useful and total distance of 38.2 km until the intervention of BMS.
The ambient temperature was 16 ° C; returning to 20 ° C, the results are expected to be 40.5 km useful and total.
In the test at level 3 (the maximum) I still used the sixth gear and again 70W on the pedals.
Also the speed remained at the same value of level two: 26 km / h.
And the autonomy was 40.6 km at 11 ° C.
By returning the value to 20 ° C, the autonomy is expected to be 40.5Km: exactly the same as that obtained at level 2 and is a consequence of the current control of the controller unit.
I then changed the level 4 curve to be able to travel at a lower speed.
To obtain this result, I left the initial part of the curve quite high, to maintain a good starting point.
This delivery curve could be useful to significantly increase the autonomy and also to be able to move slower on shared routes with pedestrians.
I did a test with this level but only for about fifteen kilometers and detected the consumption of the application.
I then extrapolated the results to the full capacity of the battery.
I calculated that it can travel 63 km at 20 ° C with a speed of 20 km / hy the usual 70 W on pedals.
So, even though the battery is not too big, with Monza you can travel long routes without the worry of running out of electrons.
And, at level 1 and with the 14 Ah battery, you can travel 86 km with very limited effort and at good speed.
I have to make an important note:
when the voltage-controlled cut-off of the control unit intervenes, you can no longer restart unless the battery is charged.
Therefore, if a slope towards the end of discharge is approaching, there is a risk of locking the control unit before full discharge.
It is important to note that even if the control unit is blocked, the lights and USB port still work regularly; on the other hand, the distance data on the smartphone is no longer updated (because the connection is interrupted).
RIDING IN PAIRS
Pedaling in pairs is not particularly easy due to the tendency of the motor to always reach maximum speed.
You must set the fourth level to the correct value to adapt it to your riding partner.
RIDING ON DIRT
On light dirt roads it behaves very well: it is maneuverable and agile; the brakes do not come on too early to lock.
It is more difficult to find the right speed because of the aforementioned tendency to go at maximum speed.
The ride comfort is quite good (the frame is a bit stiff).
The tires absorb well and, in case of prolonged use on dirt roads, you can reduce the inflation pressure to improve comfort.
Also the adoption of a suspension seatpost would be an excellent upgrade.
Obviously, the small diameter wheels avoid dealing with very uneven bottoms.
TRANSPORT BY CAR AND TRAIN
For a foldable, this is a strong point!
Monza is very suitable for transport by car or camper, inside the car.
For transport in public transport (buses and subways) its folded dimensions are a bit abundant.
While the transportability is excellent on the train, where it does not require a supplement to the ticket or the presence of special compartments: it is considered as a normal luggage.
With the latest regulations, it is no longer necessary to place it in a bag, which further facilitates loading and unloading maneuvers in the carriage.
In the trunk of my Clio III, it is transported vertically (eliminating the "hatbox" platform).
There is comfortable space and room for some additional luggage.
The usual test in the railroad elevator is practically superfluous: one enters also at the same time to other "fellow travelers".
Sometimes there are no elevators in the stations, so it is important, the use of the pendulum, to consider an eventual transport by stairs.
Lifting and transportation on the ladder is easy: the brace on the frame is a convenient handle for lifting (this brace has become longer than the previous version and is also suitable for large hands).
Being short, handling and loading operations are facilitated.
The weight - 20.5 kg including battery - is contained ... and it doesn't bleed???
If you have to carry it by hand or carry it up the stairs, it is very convenient to fold the pedal so as not to hit it with your leg.
As always, I advise you to keep it unfolded as much as possible and fold it only when you really need it, so that you can move it very easily on its wheels.
If there are not many people, I almost advise you to get on the train with the bike unfolded and then fold it on the platform (but be careful with the conductor).
PEDALING WITH ASSISTANCE SWITCHED OFF - FRICTION
The smoothness of the motorized wheel is good:
the motor is equipped with a freewheel and does not oppose significant resistance (even in reverse).
The dynamometric test on the road at 18 km / h without electric assistance indicates a muscular power request of just 80W: it is a very good value worthy of a sports bike.
The gear ratios are just right for the muscular ride and the desired cadence can be easily found even when climbing.
All in all, if you run out of battery, you can ride home effortlessly.
And you can also think about covering the flat parts (if there is no wind) unaided to extend the range.
I usually put a picture of how it comes without battery, but, being here the internal battery, there is no difference.
The lights are powered by the main battery, with control on the control panel, even with assistance disconnected or with a very low battery.
The front light is a powerful Spanninga Kendo + LED and is equipped with a reflector.
Its light beam has a beautiful elongated shape and illuminates the road well; it does not flicker.
The rear light (red LED with fixed light) is clearly visible from far away and also to the sides.
It is equipped with a homologated catadroptic.
Here we see .... The glare of lights.
Even from the side it is clearly visible and, if illuminated, the reflective stripes on the tires highlight it well.
The Monza is not equipped with an anti-theft device as standard.
It only has a key to lock the battery.
The VIN is engraved on the frame, for identification in case of theft.
Smartgo has a number of specific bags and accessories listed.
Normal bicycle accessories are applicable.
CERTIFICATIONS, WARRANTY AND PRICES
Monza is certified for the current regulations: EN15194 EPAC
The warranty is 2 years for the whole bike.
Even the battery has a good warranty of 2 years without restrictions.
The list price is interesting considering the good equipment including hydraulic disc brakes: € 1130 at the time of testing and with 8 Ah battery.
It becomes € 1330 with a battery of 14 h (Prices from Italy)
CONSIDERATIONS ON THE USE
Excellent in "multimodal" use, i.e. car or camper or train + bike.
Slightly less suitable, due to its size and weight, for bus and subway transportation.
Excellent for urban travel (even with small luggage) for agility, speed and power assistance.
Less suitable for driving in pairs due to the tendency to always run at top speed.
Not particularly suitable for transporting children in the appropriate seat as it would be placed at the bottom, in the most polluted air area.
Only a small drawback for those who do not have the socket in the garage because of the more cumbersome than usual battery removal maneuver.
It copes well with urban road bottoms, unfortunately often disconnected, keeping tire pressure low.
un in outdoor travel, even in the presence of challenging climbs.
Its autonomy allows you to make long distances with excellent cruising speed.
And if you run out of battery, the muscular ride is not tiring.
Interesting possibilities given by the smartphone connection, but mainly for those who use the city, it adds a recreational use.
It does not suffer on light dirt roads.
For those who like to go off-road it is advisable to switch to other models with larger wheels.
Excellent for getting into elevators and taking it to your home or office, thus avoiding the root problem of theft.
All data are obtained with my weight on board: 75 kg dressed and with accessories such as GPS and camera.
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