to rear end, the size of the tubing must
be designed and optimized for strength.
We had riders on the Ferber up to 225
pounds, and we never noticed a lack of
robustness in the chassis.
SAME BUT DIFFERENT
At first we surmised that these bikes
were low- and high-step models of the
same bike with different names. Nope.
While both bikes share identical drivetrains and various components, the
Ferber rolls on standard 26-inch wheels,
while the Galvani rolls on 28-inch tires
(also known more commonly as a 700c
“road bike” wheel). Both bikes share an
easy-to-read LCD display mounted atop
the height-adjustable stem that provides time, speed, trip/total distance,
ride mode and battery level info.
One feature that took a little bit
of getting used to, especially on the
Galvani, was the swept-back handle-
bars that positioned our wrists at just
a tad of an odd angle. Helping matters
out were the unique Ergon grips that
provided a handy (get it—handy) plat-
form for more of your palm to rest on.
While checking the battery life with
200-pound riders on board, we knocked
out 18 miles with 2000 feet of climbing.
That left us with 30 percent of battery
charge remaining. Level one let us zip
along at close to 20 mph on any road
that was flat or a slight grade. Extended
grades we went up to level two, and we
saved level three for the steep ones. We
averaged just under 17 miles per hour
pushing the assist like that.
The battery gauge has a double
readout with a rudimentary bar graph,
but there is also a numerical readout of
the exact percentage of battery used.
Seeing the percentage fall tempers
the use of assist pretty quickly. We
could have eased up on the assist and
stretched the battery life to 25 miles,
but to get 35 would mean little climbing,
level one only and perhaps killing the
assist when riding is easy.
Oddly, with the two heavy riders,
the battery level varied 1 percent in
18 miles. On a second ride with 100
pounds in weight difference between
the two riders, the battery level varied
about 3 percent in 10 miles. We felt
sure the lighter rider would make a bigger difference.
LIFE IN THE SADDLE
Covering ground quickly and easily
on both of these bikes is very fun. The
narrowish tires and relatively high air
pressures ensure the bikes roll easily.
Both chassis were nimble and reacted
quickly to rider input. At the same time,
average road conditions at a steady 20
mph don’t upset the handling at all. It
is easy to see why the Euros choose
a lot of these city-style bikes. They
are sporty and fun to ride while being
remarkably efficient at covering ground.
Even with the three separate power
modes, both bikes were efficient
enough that for everyday street use we
rarely found the need to shift beyond
the lowest mode. Whether pedaling
away from a standing start or clicking