Fun yet pratical city slicker equipped with Fazua's refined Evation motor system
- Seriously smooth ride
- Top quality carbon gravel fork
- Lively and responsive handling
- Useful speed and climb assist
- Seamless, almost silent motor
- Removable battery and motor
- Full bikepacking fixtures
- Up to 50mm tyre clearance
- Fit tougher tyres if you're going more off road than on
It seems weird calling a bike with an electric motor a fitness bike, but Kinesis has actually got its marketing spot on. With something as fun to ride in as many places as the Range is, we found ourselves looking for excuses to use it as often as possible and then go as far and fast as possible every time.
Design and geometry
With it’s sparkly, iridescent, metallic purple/blue mix ‘Galactic’ paintwork and Fazua Evation battery and motor system housed in an oversize alloy downtube, the Range has obvious similarities with the Kinesis Rise trail hardtail we have previously reviewed.
The alloy frame is totally bike-specific though with a smaller head tube and much smaller diameter rear stays. Rather than suspension, you get the same carbon fibre adventure bike fork Kinesis fit to their titanium Tripster ATR bike complete with ‘everything’ mount bosses for bottles or bags. The frame is also fully rack and mudguard ready.
Geometry is also more road/gravel biased with a 70.5-degree head angle, 74-degree seat angle and 386mm reach on the medium we tested. The Fazua system also locks into place for better security around town. There’s still room for 50mm 700c tyres if you want to upsize from the 44mm width rubber fitted.
Components and build
The WTB Byway tyres supplied are a great choice for the bike with plenty of buoyant bounce in ride and light enough to capitalise on the extra power assist away from stoplights. They don’t do badly on light/dry off-road either but they do lack reinforced protection when you start thumping through rockier sections regularly. We did some of the test with the denser tread and fatter carcass of the 50mm WTB Venture and that was definitely a step up in capability and comfort when it came to rougher outings. Either way, the Sector GCe wheels are tubeless-ready and use higher torque rated E-bike hubs. Shimano’s dependably durable 10-speed Deore group does a perfectly respectable job of driving and braking with a 42T single ring Praxis chainring attached to the Fazua bottom bracket.
The Evation system is unique in including motor and battery in a single case so you can totally remove the 3.3kg block and use a blanking plate to create a useful cargo ‘hull’ in the belly of the bike. Crank length and Ritchey stem are size-specific with a 720mm Ritchey low rise bar giving acceptable off-road confidence without compromising car wing mirror clearance when filtering through traffic.
Ride, handling and performance
We’ve ridden Fazua before in both road ebikes and eMTB scenarios and always been impressed by its almost silent operation and zero pedal drag once you exceed the 15mph/26kph UK speed limit. The latest ‘Black Pepper’ updates give it an even more seamless and better-synced assistance feel though with plenty of pull away from stoplights or up hills even in the middle ‘River’ mode. Breeze is definitely a light tailwind rather than a gale, but use the top tube controller to select ‘Rocket’ and you can have up to 450W of assistance. While the on/up/down button embedded in the top tube is pretty minimal in terms of management and battery life tracking you can tune the levels for each mode via Fazua’s desktop app. Alternatively, track your riding and a whole load of motor and battery through the Fazua Ride smartphone app. That meant we regularly got to the listed 55KM/1000m climb range of the 250Wh battery with a bar or two to play with if we were prepared to pedal.
Being able to remove the whole system for recharging is really useful and it’s potentially handy if multiple people are using the bike and one of them doesn’t want the motor. At 11.8kg without the motor (15.2kg with), it’s still pretty lively too.
The mix of flat bars and fast-rolling tyres seems particularly well suited to the system though, giving it real pep around town but never putting you deep into an off-road situation where you might want more grunt than the 55Nm max or leaving you feeling short-changed by the restricted assist speed in a pure road format.
What also really stood out with the Range was just how smooth and fun it was. The thinner rear stays and premium carbon fork means it properly floats and flows over modern potholes or medieval cobbled streets and we found ourselves a long way off-road on fairly rough bridleways without regretting it. Sticking the 50mm Ventures on opened up even more possibilities for playing in the woods and wilds too, but it was noticeably slower to accelerate with them on.
In terms of handling, it felt alive and responsive with easy turn-in and fast corner to corner flick if you’re using that Fazua boost to get into the middle of traffic and hold your lane space. The faster acceleration away from junctions and stop signs is a real safety and confidence boost and riding it around town was an absolute riot. There’s no sense of the choke or sudden struggle that you generally get with heavier, slower tyred bikes if you go beyond the motor-assist either so you’re not going to get hung out to dry if you pull out to get into the right position early. That same seamless transition means you’re not shy about pushing beyond the pedal assist on the flat either as you’ll still get a decent speed boost for your effort investment which is where that ‘Fitness’ tag comes in.
While the flat bar bike is actually cheaper (combined ‘roadie’ gear levers are expensive) and has all the same utility and performance, there’s a drop-bar version running SRAM Apex and WTB Riddler 45mm tyres for £3,500.00.
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There are a huge range of e-bikes available that fall somewhere in the adventure/urban/utility bracket but Kinesis have done a great job of making the Range properly stand out. Fazua’s Evation is an excellent, near-silent and seamless system with potentially useful ‘removability’. Full bike packing fixtures and clearance for up to 50mm tyres expands enjoyment right over the rugged horizon too. Fancy paintwork and neat integration make it stand out aesthetically too but the best thing about the Range Fitness is the most important thing of all. It’s an absolute ton of seriously smooth and speedy fun to ride in a whole load of situations and a whole load of surfaces and we’ll really miss not having it around.
- RRP: £3,150.00
- Frame: Kinesis Range alloy
- Groupset: Fazua Evation 55Nm power unit with 250Wh battery. Shimano Deore 11-42T 10-speed gearing and shifter
- Crankset: Praxis E-Crank chainset, 42T
- Wheels: Sector CGe wheels
- Tyres: WTB Byway 700x44mm
- Brakes: Shimano Deore BR300 brakes with 160mm rotors
- Bar/stem: Ritchey 720x31.8mm bar and 4-Axis 80x31.8mm stem
- Seatpost: Ritchey 2 bolt seat post
- Saddle: Selle Italia X3 saddle
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