Comfort and ergonomics
Unlike the Pro version, the classic Ebike 28 has a much less polished look. Its open aluminum frame adopts the “gooseneck” style. A bike that is easy to step over and therefore practical when you are not wearing an outfit that lends itself to leg lifting. On the other hand, the Momabikes E28 does not make any particular effort on the integration of its electrical components.
We can however recognize that the choice to position the battery just behind the seat tube is a good thing for the balance of the bike. Since the motor is already in the hub of the rear wheel, placing the battery in the luggage rack would have been complicated. However, this positioning of the battery has drawbacks, starting with its extraction. To slide the battery out of its housing, you have to raise the saddle using a small lever, then unlock the battery mounting using the key. The battery does not slide easily on the rail which holds it in the axis and it is necessary to loosen the saddle post so that the mechanism does not hinder the exit. It’s certainly not the most practical solution we’ve seen, but the battery has the merit of being able to be charged separately.
Overall the finishes are very basic. The assembly of the fenders does not inspire great confidence in their durability. They still properly protect the pants from splashes. The front fender could have been a little longer to also shelter the shoes from dirt. The chain guard is also very basic and not very shiny, but it covers the chain and prevents grease from dirtying the pants.
The Momabikes e-bike offers a relaxed riding position with your back straight and the handlebars higher than the saddle. The stem allows you to adjust its inclination if you want to obtain a more or less dynamic posture. The curved hanger ends in sufficiently comfortable ergonomic handles.
The comfort is correct for the city on the handlebars of this Ebike 28. The saddle is wide and rather welcoming. The suspension fork and its 50 mm travel are enough to erase the small bumps in the road. Its contribution is more limited on the roads. The 28-inch-diameter Kenda tires and their 1.5-inch section are, anyway, more comfortable on the asphalt.
The headlight allows you to be seen by other road users, but still lacks a bit of power. It is not possible to drive with this additional light alone in the absence of public lighting. The rear light attached to the luggage rack is clearly visible.
Momabikes does not communicate the torque of its 250 W motor. Its positioning in the rear wheel and the absence of a torque sensor offer a rather unnatural pedaling. The assistance starts as soon as a turn of the pedals is detected. However, the low power of the motor has the advantage of not creating too violent jolts, even at the maximum level of assistance.
It is possible to choose from five levels of assistance that deliver more or less power. On the flat, you can easily drive at assistance level 2 or 3 and reach 26 or 27 km/h. At its highest level, the assistance propels even beyond 25 km/h. The behavior is surprising, because with a full battery, the Ebike 28 assists us up to 28 or even 29 km/h. Once the battery is below 50%, the assistance cuts out at around 26 km/h.
What’s disturbing is that the Shimano seven-speed transmission lacks the depth to really pedal beyond 25 km/h. It’s a shame, because the bike and its fairly thin tires seem to tend towards good performance. The entry-level transmission does a decent job, as long as it’s not under too much load. The gear change is fluid, even if it is necessary to go through an adjustment of the derailleur when mounting the bike.
The engine isn’t very responsive overall and calls for a rather supple ride. There is however a frustrating side, when you slow down at the start of a hill for example, having to wait for the speed to drop to 22 or 23 km/h for the assistance to return.
The lack of torque is felt in the ribs. The Momabikes Ebike 28 climbs small climbs without too much difficulty, but suffers a lot when faced with steeper slopes. Despite a fairly light pilot (65 kg) on the back, the limits are felt and we even encountered micro-cuts in the assistance which, in a fraction of a second, make us lose the little momentum that we can have . It will therefore be better to reserve this VAE for outings on the flat.
Assistance is adjusted from a pair of arrows next to the screen. The latter displays the bare minimum: instantaneous speed, distance traveled, battery gauge and power assistance. The display is properly readable, even in direct sunlight.
Good news for an entry-level electric bike, hydraulic disc brakes are responsible for stopping the machine. These brakes are supplied by Nutt and do an honest job. They offer a good bite, but lack a bit of precision to be really satisfying.