The motor and lithium-ion battery are subtly incorporated into the A-frame design
Electric bikes have exploded in popularity within the last year, with thousands of people choosing to ditch cramped train carriages and sluggish bus routes for a pedal-assisted ride to work. While some naysayers mistakenly believe the presence of a motor defeats the point of a bike, research has shown that electric bike owners tend to go for rides more often and attempt longer journeys.
And also, it means you can arrive at the office without dripping with sweat, which is a nice bonus for you… but a miracle for your co-workers.
Keen to capitalise on the newfound popularity, London-based company Furosystems has launched its latest model, the Aventa. While Furosystems has sold a lightweight, electric folding bike for some time, dubbed Furo X, this is its first foray into the traditional form-factor.
So, is it time to leave your car keys at home and switch to an electric bike? And if so, is this the one to buy? Express.co.uk has been testing the Furosystems Aventa for a few weeks now, and here’s what you should know…
Furosystems Aventa electric bike review: Price and Release Date
The Aventa was revealed back in January 2021, with the electric bike now available from Furosystems’ website. There is only one frame size available right now, however, there are three different models.
Starting from £1,399, the entry-level bike has mechanical disk brakes, a 40-km (25 miles) range, and a small display on the handlebars for the latest statistics from your ride.
Paying £1,599 will get you hydraulic disk brakes, a 60-km (37 mile) range, and a slightly bigger read-out on the handlebars. Finally, the top-end model sets you back £1,799, and brings a wide display, hydraulic brakes, and a 80-km (50 mile) range on a single charge.
Aventa has a classic design, which isn’t obviously pedal-assist …great at this price point
Furosystems Aventa electric bike review: Design, and Ride
Looking at the design of the Aventa for the first time, the word that springs to mind is “competent”. The battery is safely tucked away in the down tube, so you won’t have to deal with the eyesore of a hefty lithium-ion pack resting precariously on the pannier rack as is common with electric bikes with a price of £1,000 or under.
That said, the Furosystems Aventa can’t quite match the polish we’ve seen from some of its slightly pricier competitors, like the Cowboy 3, VanMoof, and Ampler Curt. These electric bikes only cost a little more than the top-end Aventa model from Furosystems, but include a number of extra touches that really elevate the overall design.
For example, while the Aventa does thread its electronic cables through the frame, it’s only half-baked — with the cables still spiralling out from the handlebars before they’re diverted out of sight — compared with the Cowboy 4, which keeps everything out of sight. Likewise, the Aventa has a front-facing LED built into the frame, but no rear-facing light.
For that, you’ll have to revert to the tried-and-tested method of changing the batteries in case you’re still out after the sun sets — something that can be difficult to judge in the winter months. Other bikes, like the Ampler Curt, include both rear- and front-facing lights charged from the built-in battery, so as long as your bike is charged and ready to ride, you’ll be safe late at night.
Frustratingly, there is no rear-facing LED powered by the in-built, for that you’ll need some AAs
The front-facing LED is powered by the lithium-ion cell
Granted, these are all very small nitpicks. And if you’re only looking to buy the entry-level £1,399 model, the Furosystems Aventa is as well-equipped as anything else in its price range. However, if you’re looking to plump for the £1,799 model… the Aventa starts to look a little more rudimentary than its competition.
One area where the Aventa does have some of its pricier rivals beat is the removable battery. Yes, the lithium-ion pack can be charged inside the frame or independently. For those living in high-rise apartment blocks or houses with no plugs in the garage… that means you won’t have to lug the bike, which tips the scales at a respectable 16.5kg, up the stairs or through your home to find a wall outlet.
Charging a dead battery to 100 percent will take about four-and-a-half hours with the 40-km model, rising to seven hours for the top-end model. In other words, you’ll have to plan ahead if you have a habit of running the battery completely flat.
OK, that’s enough about the bike… what’s it like to ride?
On the road, the Aventa is a complete joy to ride. Electric bikes are guaranteed to put a smile on your face — and keep it there throughout the ride. Better yet, you’ll never have to worry about pulling away slowly from a junction as the motor means you’ll always get a great standing start. For those commuting in busy towns and cities, that can really help you to feel safer on the roads.
The breakdown of all the different models – some are exceedingly good value, while others aren’t
For those who haven’t tried a pedal-assist motor before, it’s important to stress that this isn’t a motorbike. You’ll need to be putting in some effort through the pedals before the motor kicks in. Aventa has six different power assist levels, which determine how much extra oomph you’ll get from the battery. UK law means you won’t get any help once you hit 15.5mph. Above that, and you’d need to register the vehicle with the DVLA.
In other words, if you’re flying down a hill, tucked behind your handlebars to reduce wind resistance, and start pedalling… you’re not going to be able to hit a new land speed record with the help of the onboard 250W motor.
However, what the motor will do is iron out any hills on your next journey. Pedalling up a steep incline with the Aventa set to the highest power-assist level means you’ll still have to put in some grunt, but it won’t be anywhere near as draining. It’s like having a strong wind behind you at all times. So, those who aren’t the most confident cyclists might attempt more ambitious routes, while more experienced riders will be able to go much further.
Upgrading to the pricier model will increase the screen size on the handlebar
Personally, we prefer electric bikes that automatically manage the amount of power coming from the motor based on the stress placed on the pedals. A number of rivals, including Cowboy and Ampler, deliver power based on whether the pedals are spinning freely (a sign things are pretty easy-going and you likely don’t need any help) or under a huge amount of stress and still barely turning (usually a signal you’ve either forgotten to drop down the gears before stopping at a junction …or encountered a Everest-like incline).
It means you won’t have to take your eyes off the road to toggle between power levels. In fact, you won’t even need to think about power levels — it’s all handled by the bike. That said, we’ve spoken to a number of people who prefer manually setting the amount of assistance from the bike, so if you’re in that category, you’ll likely prefer the Aventa over other options on the market.
Furosystems Aventa electric bike review: Software and Smarts
Unlike some of its rivals, Furosystems doesn’t provide a companion app for its electric bike. If you’re not bothered about tracking your top speeds, total distance and calories burned in a health app on your iPhone or Android, this is unlikely to be much of an issue.
However, it’s worth noting that rival manufacturers offer apps to allow you to visualise your last journey on a satellite map, find the last-known location of your bike using built-in GPS, or even activate an anti-theft mode that includes an ear-busting alarm. If that sounds like something you’d like from your next bike, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
The screen fitted to the handlebars of the Aventa is pretty rudimentary. It includes all of the statistics you’ll want to know — speed, trip distance, battery charge remaining, and more. And the black-and-white display is visible when riding in bright sunlight outdoors.
However, it does feel like a missed opportunity given what some other firms are doing with their electric bikes.
The mudguards are integrated into the design of the frame
Furosystems Aventa electric bike review: Final Verdict
- Pros: Great design with integrated lithium-ion battery, Hydraulic disk brakes are brilliant to have at this price point, fast charging
- Cons: No built-in rear light, power levels aren’t as intuitive as torque-controlled motor, battery is not removable
Furosystems Aventa is a solid electric bike. It has a good design and a competent 250W motor with six power-level settings to ensure you always feel like you’re in the saddle — and not being taken for a ride by the electronics inside the frame.
At £1,399, the entry-model is a great deal that we’d heartily recommend for anyone who is looking for their first electric bike to help with their commute, or just get them out of the house at the weekends. However, it’s a little tougher to recommend the pricier versions.
At £1,799, the Furosystems is rubbing shoulders with rival bikes from Cowboy and VanMoof, which both offer better experiences. While the Aventa is a solid bike with a good motor, that’s it. In comparison, Cowboy has a comprehensive smartphone app, a motor that judges the amount of oomph based on the strain on the pedals, and built-in GPS so you can track your new bike like a lost smartphone. VanMoof includes an anti-theft alarm that kicks-in when someone tries to wheel away your bike and an automatic gearbox. Both have front- and rear-facing lights powered by the battery, something you won’t get on the Aventa.
There’s nothing wrong with the Aventa, but it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to revolutionise cycling like some of its similarly-priced rivals. If you’re not bothered by these features — or gimmicks — then the Furosystems Aventa is a solid choice.