When it comes to user interfaces and electronic integration on BESV’s bike line, it is easy to see its parent company’s consumer electronics roots (its parent company, Darfon Electronics, manufacturers over 30% of the world’s computer keyboards, for example). Where BESV’s product really shines is on battery integration and their user interface, as well as the unique overall visual approach to product. Their current product is diverse, is visually distinct from the competition, and is a bunch of fun to ride. BESV also makes a point to completely assemble and ride test every bike they ship to ensure each e-bike functions out of the box. Oh, and they tune their torque curves on test rides up the mountain behind their facility. More on BESV after the jump.
All BESV products shown at Press Camp and discussed here feature an HMI on-board computer with back-lit LCD display. While it is not the case at this time, soon apps and programs will be developed so that BESV owners can link to their HMI’s via Bluetooth in order to track their pursuits, routes, etc. At this point, however, it has all the functions of a typical bike computer but with readouts for range and battery status. The drive system features four levels of assist, 0-3, and an additional Smart assist function (S) which automatically adjusts levels according to how the rider input is affected by riding conditions.
The PS1 is a compact-style, full suspension, rear hub drive e-bike that comes in under 38lb complete. This particular model features a carbon fiber y-beam front triangle, a Suntour 40mm suspension fork, 20in wheels with Schwalbe Big Apple 20inx2.0in tires, a Shimano Altus 7-speed drivetrain actuated by mechanical shifters, and Tektro Hydraulic Disc brakes. The complete bike is powered by a 36V 6.6A battery (packaged by Darfon from Sony Lithium-ion cells) which is integrated into the front triangle of the frame and removable to be charged on or off the bike. The motor is a 250W rear geared hub drive motor that is engaged via torque sensor input.
The PS1 comes in one size, but like many compacts, it fits a massive array of people. The model is designated a Class 1 e-bike as it is pedal assist only, but has a top speed of 20mph. The package comes standard with custom aluminum fenders and rear mounts, but no racks (yet). The HMI on this unit is an adjustable panel, permanently mounted to the handlebars.
The maximum range of the PS1 is said to be between 20-30 miles depending on conditions, a low range considering what is currently on the market. A complete recharge is around 5 hours.
The integration of the electronic system into the bike is impressive, utilizing more premium connectors as touch points. And it comes in sports car colors of Polished White, Blazing Red, and Cyber Yellow as many city e-bikes are in more subdued colors. So it’s not surprising that this model is said to be popular for professionals in dense urban areas and for yacht or RV owners who need auxiliary, compact transportation. It is available for $3,250 MSRP.
PS1 First Ride Impressions:
I figured that considering the size of the rear drive motor, that I would have no issue stalling out the PS1 on the steep ascent of my e-bike test track. I was completely incorrect. The relative lightweight chassis had no problem getting up the course. If anything the assist engaged earlier in efforts than other models tested so I felt like I was getting a little push as I rode around tight corners in the climb.
The handling was a little squirrely compared to the many deliberately more stable e-bikes I tested, but within the context of folding bikes and similar small-wheeled compact bikes, it was a pretty consistent experience. The front and rear suspension allowed me to ride off curbs and hit minor potholes and rough pavement without being concerned, and it was fine to ride across uneven gravel and dirt surfaces (probably not the designed user case). I wish it had a greater gear range because I found myself topping out on flat land without assist, but, again, it would be fine in the city.
I really appreciated the button interface on this guy- it was low profile and easy to actuate with my thumb. I didn’t have to aggressively contort my wrist to use it.
Overall, the bike was really super fun and surprisingly functional (and I love that it comes in Blazing Red). This would be great for a commuter in an urban area for someone who doesn’t have a ton of room in an apartment.
The LX1 is BESV’s Premium Urban Racer. Featuring a substantial 500W rear hub motor and a 36V, 11.2Ah battery, this bike goes for days… or at least 50 miles in good conditions.
The HMI is integrated into the stem, which also happens to house a 40 lumen light. This guy also lacks racks… for now. The sporty frame design comes in one size fits most, 19.5”, though I’m 5’10” and I found it fit me well. It features a Shimano Deore XT 10-speed drivetrain, Tektro hydraulic brakes, an RST 50mm suspension fork, and Schwalbe Energize Plus 700c x 45c tires.
Weighing in at about 63lbs, the LX1 has a full aluminum chassis. It also features a special gas can-style compartment for the battery to drop into, opened using the same key that you’d use to start the bike. Same high class touch points, including custom aluminum fenders and comes in metallic Gunmetal Gray, Bone White, and Blazing Red.
LX1 First Ride Impressions:
This guy was zippy on flat road- definitely a cafe racer with that 500w motor. Also, I like that it was visually reminiscent of a futuristic luxury car.
While it went up the climb similarly to the PS1 with a notable extra assist at low speed, I noticed a low speed wobble on part of the ascent. I was unable to replicate it (I tried). However, there was no wobble on the way back down. The greater overall weight meant that it absolutely flew down descents and felt otherwise completely stable.
It’s clearly not for weighing down with panniers and touring. If you fall outside of the size range, it might not work for you. Overall, while less ultra-functional than the compact PS1, it would be a blast for someone who wants something sportier than your typical e-bike.