Woosh Zephyr-B review

Hubear

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 11, 2016
23
2
London
Hey guys,

So a little background. I bought the Woosh Zephyr-B earlier on today, second hand. However it was only used for 34 miles before being sold. I personally much rather buy a slightly used bike, knowing that someone else has gone through the initial trouble of fixing the bike if there were any defects to begin with.

Size:
Its a big bike. I'm 5'5 and can barely touch the floor even at the lowest post setting. I had to buy a narrower saddle just to feel more comfortable. I'm even considering flipping the Neco handle bar adapter the other way around so that the handle bars come closer to me. Woosh's website says its for riders from 5'5 to 6'0... but I think 5'5 is kind of stretching the "minimum"... It looks kind of silly for us short cakes. Or at the very least, you MUST see and try this bike before purchasing.

Build:
I'm actually pretty impressed with the parts used. Feels very solid, but you can definitely feel its weight (22kg spec). I had the guys at Evans Cycle take a look at it and they also agree that everything seems to check out. Not particularly great, but decent enough hardware. They made a point saying replacing a stolen front wheel was going to be expensive given the hydraulic breaks, and if the back wheel gets stolen, buy a new bike basically. So best way is to use two D locks, one for each wheel.

Feel:
This is my first electric bicycle, and wow! - Its changed my life... at least for my first 10 mile ride today. ;) I felt a lot safer on the London roads, especially in traffic since I can just throttle my way from stationary with ease. I actually got stopped twice today by other fellow cyclists to ask about the bike. I don't think its a common sighting.

Electronics:
This is my biggest complaint about the bike. The battery indicator isn't very consistent, it would sometimes move 1 bar lower, but then a minute later show up again 1 bar higher. Unless I'm charging the battery by pedalling, this seems more like a hardware issue. Also the controller that caps the pedal assist and throttle to 15 mph isn't the most responsive in the world. I could hear the motor cut out, and so I slow down to 10 mph, but I don't feel the motor kick back in until a good 5 seconds later. It just feels... very delayed...

Battery:
Can't comment on this yet, but from my 10 mile trip the bar fluctuated between full and using the 1st bar (out of 4 total). So its in line with the stated range which is 25 miles.

Overall first day summary:
At first I was completely taken back by the size. Even the guys at Evan Cycle made a comment about it being slightly too big for me, but reassured me it was ok as long as I could touch the ground tip toeing. The front handle bar was too far forward to be comfortable so they suggested "trying" to reverse the Nico adapter. But other than that I had a real blast on this bike. I can most definitely commute in zone 1 London with this bike.
Unfortunately I do not have any relevant experience with other ebikes to say if this is the best one or not, but it definitely felt damn good. I don't have to worry showing up to work exhausted or sweaty. I look forward to riding the bike more and more! so far so good.

Will update this review more as I gain more real world experience with it.
 
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trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,669
HB
welcome to the forum.

About the battery indicator on the LCD: this shows the current voltage of the battery. When you pull hard on the throttle, the voltage sags. When you ease off, the voltage rises again. This behaviour is totally normal, the same thing happens with car batteries when you start the engine. When you just switch on the LCD, the level corresponds to the state of charge of your battery. The indication is only approximate. If all 4 bars are displayed, you have more than 75% of capacity. When the first bar drops, you have approximately 70% left, when the second bar drops, you have about haft left in the tank.
Despite the low mileage, it's important when you buy second hand to have the bike checked over by someone who is used to look after electric bikes. You seem to be based in London, not far from Woosh in Southend. You should bring your bike to them to have it looked over. You can also ask them for a latest copy of the bike's manuals. The Zephyr-B is one of the best waterproofed bikes but remember, humidity is the worst ennemy of all e-bikes. Make sure to keep your bike in a dry place and dry it completely as soon as you come back from riding in the rain otherwise the LCD will fog up. Grease also the bottom bracket, front wheel hub and ball bearings of your pedals and check the bike spokes. You can download a copy of the maintenance manual here:

http://wooshbikes.co.uk/manuals/Maintenance.pdf
 
Last edited:

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,669
I have seen your other thread, I think the Santana2 and Krieger would suit your height better. How about going to Southend and trade in your Zephyr B for another bike? Just a thought.
 

Hubear

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 11, 2016
23
2
London
Hey Trex,

Many thanks for your reply. Going to Southend and back becomes the issue. I was able to get on the bus and trains because my Zephyr-B is considered a "folding bike", and I can definitely fit it in the trunk of most cars. Heck I could even jump onto a black cab with the Zephyr-B. But once I switch it to the Santana 2 or Krieger, I would lose that ability. I logistically can't figure out how to get home with the new bike, haha.

How does the motor power and feel compare between Zephyr-B and Krieger/Santana2?

And would the latter 2 fit comfortably into a trunk of most cars?

Maybe I could recommend Woosh to produce a folding bike that is designed for 5'5 ppl like myself ;P
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
It sounds like the guys at Evans don't know what they're talking about. The front wheel is the same as any other bicycle wheel. If somebody nicked it, the brake stays on the bike, so that doesn't affect the cost at all. Secondly, the back wheel with the motor isn't particularly expensive either. You can ring Woosh to confirm, but my bet is less than £150, which is less than your average road bike wheel. Even if Woosh didn't have one or it was too expensive, you can get a motor wheel from loads of other places at the price I suggested. It's pretty unlikely that anybody would nick the motor wheel because you need tools to remove it.
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,669
d8veh is right, the front wheel is a standard part, 26" rim, quick release with 180mm rotor, you can buy a replacement on ebay for about £30.
The rear wheel is a motor wheel. It's not easy to nick without tools. It has two small torque arms fitted. A replacement rear BPM wheel with 180mm rotor costs about £150 from Woosh. If you want a lighter bike, Woosh also have rear wheel with SWX02 motor instead of BPM for the same money.
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,669
Hey Trex,

Many thanks for your reply. Going to Southend and back becomes the issue. I was able to get on the bus and trains because my Zephyr-B is considered a "folding bike", and I can definitely fit it in the trunk of most cars. Heck I could even jump onto a black cab with the Zephyr-B. But once I switch it to the Santana 2 or Krieger, I would lose that ability. I logistically can't figure out how to get home with the new bike, haha.

How does the motor power and feel compare between Zephyr-B and Krieger/Santana2?

And would the latter 2 fit comfortably into a trunk of most cars?

Maybe I could recommend Woosh to produce a folding bike that is designed for 5'5 ppl like myself ;P
Powerwise, all three are about the same, the Krieger has a slight edge because it's a chain drive, if you select the right gear for the terrain, you may get perhaps 10% more out of it. The Santana2 has 18A controller instead of 20A, so it has about 90% of the power of the Zephyr-B.

And would the latter 2 fit comfortably into a trunk of most cars?

If you take the front wheel off (both have quick release front wheel) then yes.

Maybe I could recommend Woosh to produce a folding bike that is designed for 5'5 ppl like myself ;P


Woosh have produced the Zephyr-CDN:
http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?zephyr-cdn

It is being revised at the moment to have a bigger battery.
 

Jimod

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 9, 2010
1,046
607
Polmont
Size:
Its a big bike. I'm 5'5 and can barely touch the floor even at the lowest post setting. I had to buy a narrower saddle just to feel more comfortable. I'm even considering flipping the Neco handle bar adapter the other way around so that the handle bars come closer to me. Woosh's website says its for riders from 5'5 to 6'0... but I think 5'5 is kind of stretching the "minimum"... It looks kind of silly for us short cakes. Or at the very least, you MUST see and try this bike before purchasing.

Build:
I'm actually pretty impressed with the parts used. Feels very solid, but you can definitely feel its weight (22kg spec). I had the guys at Evans Cycle take a look at it and they also agree that everything seems to check out. Not particularly great, but decent enough hardware. They made a point saying replacing a stolen front wheel was going to be expensive given the hydraulic breaks, and if the back wheel gets stolen, buy a new bike basically. So best way is to use two D locks, one for each wheel.

Feel:
This is my first electric bicycle, and wow! - Its changed my life... at least for my first 10 mile ride today. ;) I felt a lot safer on the London roads, especially in traffic since I can just throttle my way from stationary with ease. I actually got stopped twice today by other fellow cyclists to ask about the bike. I don't think its a common sighting.

Electronics:
This is my biggest complaint about the bike. The battery indicator isn't very consistent, it would sometimes move 1 bar lower, but then a minute later show up again 1 bar higher. Unless I'm charging the battery by pedalling, this seems more like a hardware issue. Also the controller that caps the pedal assist and throttle to 15 mph isn't the most responsive in the world. I could hear the motor cut out, and so I slow down to 10 mph, but I don't feel the motor kick back in until a good 5 seconds later. It just feels... very delayed...

Battery:
Can't comment on this yet, but from my 10 mile trip the bar fluctuated between full and using the 1st bar (out of 4 total). So its in line with the stated range which is 25 miles.

Overall first day summary:
At first I was completely taken back by the size. Even the guys at Evan Cycle made a comment about it being slightly too big for me, but reassured me it was ok as long as I could touch the ground tip toeing. The front handle bar was too far forward to be comfortable so they suggested "trying" to reverse the Nico adapter. But other than that I had a real blast on this bike. I can most definitely commute in zone 1 London with this bike.
Unfortunately I do not have any relevant experience with other ebikes to say if this is the best one or not, but it definitely felt damn good. I don't have to worry showing up to work exhausted or sweaty. I look forward to riding the bike more and more! so far so good.

Will update this review more as I gain more real world experience with it.

My wife has a Woosh Santana and felt the seat was a little bit high for her. I took out the seat post and replaced it with an old fashioned straight seat post and clamp. This lowered the seat slightly which made her feel more comfortable.
 
Last edited:

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
7,845
5,778
The European Union
Its a big bike. I'm 5'5 and can barely touch the floor even at the lowest post setting. I had to buy a narrower saddle just to feel more comfortable. I'm even considering flipping the Neco handle bar adapter the other way around so that the handle bars come closer to me. Woosh's website says its for riders from 5'5 to 6'0... but I think 5'5 is kind of stretching the "minimum"... It looks kind of silly for us short cakes. Or at the very least, you MUST see and try this bike before purchasing.
You can buy a swept back handlebar for 9.95€ it looks like the cables are long enough to just swap everything over.
 

Hubear

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 11, 2016
23
2
London
Powerwise, all three are about the same, the Krieger has a slight edge because it's a chain drive, if you select the right gear for the terrain, you may get perhaps 10% more out of it. The Santana2 has 18A controller instead of 20A, so it has about 90% of the power of the Zephyr-B.

And would the latter 2 fit comfortably into a trunk of most cars?

If you take the front wheel off (both have quick release front wheel) then yes.

Maybe I could recommend Woosh to produce a folding bike that is designed for 5'5 ppl like myself ;P


Woosh have produced the Zephyr-CDN:
http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?zephyr-cdn

It is being revised at the moment to have a bigger battery.
Hey Trex, I am looking to replace the wheel of my Zephyr-B. I think I already punctured it this morning... =( I saw from the forum that someone recommended the Schwalbe Marathon Plus Commuter Type. Do you agree? Also what size should I get? There isn't an exact fit of 26 x 1.95" which is specified on the woosh website. There's only the Scwalbe 26 x 2.0", or the 26 x 1.75". Also should I be buying 2 of the exact same tyre?

Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

Hutch

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 15, 2016
18
1
Brussels
Hi Hubear, I'm also very intersted in the Zephyr-B as it seems comfortable with the full suspension system.

But I'm 5'7 and my concern was to be able to touch the ground with my feet. Not just with the toe tips. Seems like a bit too high...

What do you think about the folding mechanism? Does it feel sturdy enough? I wonder how does such a system behave after a few months/years... Especially with bad roads, holes, and paths in public parks. Don't you feel too many vibrations?
 

Hubear

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 11, 2016
23
2
London
Hi Hubear, I'm also very intersted in the Zephyr-B as it seems comfortable with the full suspension system.

But I'm 5'7 and my concern was to be able to touch the ground with my feet. Not just with the toe tips. Seems like a bit too high...

What do you think about the folding mechanism? Does it feel sturdy enough? I wonder how does such a system behave after a few months/years... Especially with bad roads, holes, and paths in public parks. Don't you feel too many vibrations?
Hey Hutch,

Even at 5'7, I'd say this bike is big. This is what I had to do to make sure I could semi-comfortably half tip toe on the floor (I'm 5'5):

1. Buy the lowest seat post I could find
2. Buy a thinner seat
3. Custom create a back light mount so that it mounts onto the frame of the bike, instead of the seat post, since the adapter would otherwise add to the height of the seat.

So if you are willing to do all that, I'd say you'd have a good chance of touching the floor. You also have to consider your reach forward to the handle bars, which is kind of far for me.

The folding system is actually pretty sturdy. The connecting joints are held together well, I don't foresee this mechanism breaking down anytime soon. But due to the sheer size of the bike and wheels, its actually very cumbersome to fold and open everyday. At 22-24kgs, you can imagine the hassle and oil marks your trousers will get. This is no Brompton... you can't fold it, and then wheel it.

I chose a foldable bike instead because it gives me the option to bring it onto black cabs, buses, tubes, cars... but its definitely a struggle every time. I can't imagine carrying this monster more than a few meters at a time without panting.

So bottom line, you have to accept that this is a gigantic and decently heavy bike. The riding experience is excellent though. You're high up, and can handle most bumpy terrains. Its also very well built. The suspensions work very well, especially with the adjustable front suspension dial. Overall I do recommend this bike, but it is essential that you test ride it.

Hope this helps!
 

Hutch

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 15, 2016
18
1
Brussels
Thanks Hubear for that detailed answer, it's exactly the info I needed.

It seems indeed too big for daily use is buses or trains, but I rather plan to use it on week-ends. Putting it in my car trunk and going to the country side around the city.

At first I wanted a 20'' folding ebike, but I've tested two of them, and there are way too much vibrations for riding in the woods.

Could you please give me your opinion on the following questions?

* You said the handler bars are too far, and indeed as I see on the pics, they seem wide. But isn't the lever enough to adjust them and get the bars closer to you? Moreover, isn't it possible to change the bars height thanks to the same lever? In fact that's one of the reason I like that bike, I like wide handle bars and a higher position. So that you don't have to lean to much forward like on a mountain bike. But the frame is maybe too long for us so leaning cant' be avoided.

* Is it possible to set the rear suspension from soft to hard? For instance with a ring or something like that. When you sit on the saddle, don't you gain 1 or 2 inches closer to the ground just because of your weight? I cannot change the saddle into a thinner one because I really want more comfort.

* Would be so kind to measure the height perpendicular from the gound up to the top of the frame where the saddle bar gets out the frame? I think that's a good point of reference to compare with other bikes.
 

Hutch

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 15, 2016
18
1
Brussels
This is the ebike I already own. The height from the ground to the top of the frame (saddle bar). In centimeters and inches.

ebike-height-point-of-reference.jpg
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,669
where you have 70cm, it's 73cm on the Zephyr-B (from ground to top of seat tube).
 

Hubear

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 11, 2016
23
2
London
Hey Hutch,

So the handle bars are attached on using an adjustable handlebar clamp adapter. Kind of imagine a crane... If you want lower handle bars, it will be more forward (away from you), and if you want higher handle bars, it will closer to you. I have it obviously set on the highest setting just so that it's physically the closest to me. However, when I sit on the lowest profile on the seat, and have the highest profile for handle bar, it makes me kind of look like superman. Not really complaining too much about this, as I actually prefer this for control. I could always bend the handle bars back a bit, or as someone else suggested buy a swept back handle bar. The leaning actually isn't too bad because of the high handle bars. I'm maybe.. 10-15 degrees leaned over. (wild wild guess)

For the suspension question, I think trex would have a better answer. I don't dare touch anything back there as its too complicated for my simple brain. I would like to know an answer to this too!

I mean with my current configuration I can comfortably tip toe to the ground, so I would like to think at 5'7 you'd have no problem as well. This is only an issue if you really really want both feet to touch the floor completely... although I've heard the optimal height is where you half tip toe...
 

Hutch

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 15, 2016
18
1
Brussels
Thanks trex for the 73 cm metering. As the bike will probably get 1 or 2 cm lower with my weight, it seems to be OK, not too high.

And thanks Hubear for the detailed explanation about the handle bars.

The "superman position" may be indeed awkard... or not. I'll have to test it for real to know whether it fits my arms or not.

But does somebody else know about the rear suspension? Can it be set from soft to hard? I haven't seen any info about that on Woosh specs.
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,669
that's easy. There is a nut at the base of the spring that controls the preload amount.
You can replace the coil spring with a high performance airspring if you wish.

 

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