The Friday 28.1 from Moustache is sporty, efficient and practical, and well worth your attnetion if you want something nippy to get around the city. There are cheaper options out there with the Active Line Plus system, but the levy is reasonable for the quality of the ride.
Moustache are based in the French Vosges area and have cultivated their own funkily French look, based around distinctive frame shapes and their redesign of the classic moustache shaped handlebars (in case you were wondering where the name came from). They only make e-bikes and they only use Bosch crank drive motors.
Moustache e-bikes are also known as designers and users of technical innovations, which we come to in the review details below, but the headline grabber as far as the Friday 28.1 model is concerned is that Moustache have managed to shave more than 3kg off the weight of a similar model from 2018 whilst retaining the essential riding and performance qualities of this sporty urban e-bike.
Innovations with a Point
The Friday’s angular frame comes in ‘standard’ and ‘low step’ versions and I was riding the standard version – still plenty easy to step over with its sloping top tube and with plenty of style to boot. The medium sized frame (small and large are also available) meant my 5ft 8” frame adopted a reasonably sporty riding position in keeping with the bike’s overall ethos.
It’s not just distinctive frame design that Moustache have become known for and the Friday’s Baramind handlebars (made by another French manufacturer called Baramind) that flex in a downward direction only (yes, really) mean you have some front end comfort over small potholes and the like but without the weight of a front suspension fork. I found these really worked too – not to the same degree as plush front suspension – but their effect was tangible and you could pull pack on the bars whilst riding hard with no apparent flex.
The Quick-Park stem allows you to simply push a button and lift a lever to turn the bars 90 degrees, locking them inline with the bike for easy storage in narrow spaces. Again there is little apparent flex in the stem when riding hard, so both innovations add practicality to the bike but keep its fast riding urban appeal in tact.
Moustache also use their own design of metal mudguard, formed with a hollow in the centre and not just as a single piece of metal or plastic as many other mudguards are. This not only allows the wiring for the rear light to run inside them in total protection but it also gives them great rigidity meaning protection against damage and the ability to provide support to the rear rack (with weight saving in dispensing with additional rack stays in the process).
Smooth Seamless Power from the Active Line Plus
Bosch introduced the Active Line plus motor on 2018 models for exactly this kind of lightweight urban e-bike. Not only does it shed weight compared to more powerful motors in the Bosch line up but it is also designed so that it offers less pedal resistance above the electric assist limit of 15.5mph. This is achieved by reducing the number of gears the power has to pass through before it gets to the cranks.
A very welcome side effect of that is a reduction in motor noise, extremely (not) noticeable compared to the bigger more powerful Bosch motors in the Performance Line. Whilst not totally quiet it would be fair to describe the Active Line Plus as whisper quiet (certainly in the lower power levels I used it in most of the time). Sure, there is less power than with bigger brother Performance motors and the like but this isn’t always necessary; I find unless you are hauling big weight or tackling steep off-road gradients the Active Line Plus should be more than up to the job. The real penalty will likely be a slightly slower speed up very steep hills but the greater efficiency and longer pound for battery range plus the easier pedalling over 15.5mph are big compensations for that.
It’s easy as pie to control the motor assist levels using the Purion display with a simple thumb movement and you also get a battery icon to show you the approximate battery capacity remaining, odometer, tripometer and range estimator functions. The powerful LEDs are also controlled by the same switches – yet more practical minimalism.
Sporty, Lightweight, Efficient and Fully Equipped
Moustache Friday 28 riding -4.jpg, by ebiketips
Moustache say they chose to go down the route of mounting the 400Wh battery on the downtube rather than going for the frame-integrated look as this saved a few grams of weight (and I find this design less fiddly when taking the battery on and off the bike). There is the option of a 500Wh upgrade but I found range really impressive from this modest capacity battery, returning a 50 mile plus range over steeply rolling Pennine hills on tarmac, sometimes with fully -load panniers. That’s testament to the combination of such an efficient motor and a lightweight sporty design of e-bike.
The 700x42 Continental Contact tyres are sporty but wide enough to add comfort and that’s added to by the suspension seatpost.
Additional practical features include Moustache’s own rear rack (with removable Ortleib QL3 ‘quick release’ fittings), solid Pletscher kickstand and chainguard. As you would expect on a bike of this spec and price there are very effective hydraulic disc brakes in the form of Shimano’s M200 system. Last year saw Shimano launch upgraded ‘budget’ components such as these M200 brakes, bringing the welcome benefits of once pricier technology like hydraulic disc brakes, via the well-known ‘trickle down’ effect, to bikes at lower price points.
It’s hard to fault the Friday 28.1 as a sporty, funky urban e-bike. If I was being super-picky I would want the front LED moving to above the mudguard to leave space for handlebar gear such as a front bag but that’s a very minor quibble. The 9-speed Acera derailleur gears are a fairly budget choice and hence possibly a little clunky compared to higher spec options but they still provide pretty smooth reliable changing and will tackle all but the steepest of hills. Similarly you might note there are cheaper e-bikes out there using Bosch’s Active Line Plus motor, but these don’t feature the innovations that the Friday 28.1 does and most won’t be as light.
Moustache Friday 28 riding -3.jpg, by ebiketips
If you want more comfort and power the Friday 27 range use a similar frame design but with an upright riding position and front suspension (and even a full-sus option) and the meatier Bosch Performance Cruise motor. All this of course adds several kilograms of additional weight. The Friday 28.1 tipped my Park Tool digital scales just over the 21kg limit – extremely respectable for a fully accessorised e-bike with a Bosch mid-motor.
Find a Moustache dealer
Buy the Moustache Friday 28.1 online