Looking for a new hobby that will keep you healthy and happy this year?
Biking has become one of the most popular leisure activities during the pandemic. Bike-friendly cafes have been popping up left and right while bike touring and camping have exploded in popularity among urban dwellers looking to get away from the city during weekends.
For those who haven’t been bitten by the biking bug yet, investing in a new ride could be just the thing to kick off your adventures this year.
While nothing beats the satisfaction of going places with pure pedal power, those who are just new to biking who want an extra boost to get further away from the city more easily or seasoned riders looking for something new, could also consider e-bikes.
E-bikes or electric bicycles look and perform like traditional bicycles but come powered by a motor for efficiency and speed, making rides more effortless.
While there are numerous e-bikes in the local market, those looking for something that stands out from the crowd when it comes to style, might be interested in the BESV JG1 Gravel E-bike, an electric pedal assisted gravel bike specifically designed for cycling adventures.
The premium e-bike brand from Taiwan is being distributed in the Philippines through Exion Cycles, a local electric vehicle dealership.
At first glance, the BESV JG1 looks and feels like a traditional gravel bike, with a rugged but sleek look, nature-inspired olive green color, drop bars, and slim tires.
Gravel bikes are drop-bar bikes designed to let users ride over many different surfaces from road to offroad for versatility. The drop handlebar and road bike-like design means you can make good progress on pavement, but with wider tires, lower gearing and stable handling means you’ll have no problems tackling off-the-beaten path trails.
The BESV JG1’s power system is integrated cleanly in the bike’s frame, so you can’t really tell that it’s an e-bike.
Drop bars offer an aerodynamic advantage and can make climbing hills more efficient. The drop bars offer 3 distinct hand positions: on the hoods, on the bars, and in the drops, giving riders more variety and grips especially on longer rides.
The 12-degree side flare handlebar and granular gravel tires can increase agility and stability, allowing riders to quickly respond in real time when facing changes in the road surface and slope.
The BESV JG1 comes with exclusive gravel bike components and users can install optional accessories like a JG1 exclusive rear carrier and fenders, to easily carry luggage, camping gear, and other tools for long-distance travel and bikepacking adventures.
Features & specifications
The BESV JG1 is equipped with SHIMANO GRX 11-speed giving riders the ability to cross different terrains and surfaces easily and with confidence. It’s a versatile ride, whether you’re riding paved, dirt, or gravel roads.
The e-bike offers a 15.9 kg lightweight design, a 252Wh (36V,7Ah) in-tube battery and an efficient rear hub motor that provides a powerful takeoff to help achieve ideal cycling momentum even in uphill areas. The carbon fiber components include front fork and seat tube that not only reduce weight, but also absorb high-frequency vibrations and make rides more comfortable.
The dimensions of the JG1 model comes in Small (1680 x 1025 x 445 mm) and Medium (1730 x 1040 x 512 mm) sizes, making it an accessible entry point for cyclists who aren’t tall enough for the typical large frames of gravel bikes.
This e-Bike comes with a Dynamic Switch for users to comfortably adjust motor assistance modes: Eco, Sport and Power.
The BESV Smart App is tailored to work seamlessly with the JG1. The exclusive color LCD display also offers useful performance information such as power assistance level, battery indicator, odometer, speed, distance, calories burned and more.
Driving & handling
Based on my experience using the e-bike review unit over one weekend, the BESV JG1 is very easy to pedal, even without the motor on. It felt like a fully efficient lightweight bike and did not feel heavy or sluggish at all even if the power was off. I found uphills very easy to tackle, and could barely feel the effort pedaling going uphill.
When I turned on the power, it could easily go 20 kph uphill with minimal effort pedaling on the second gear. At higher gears on flat pavement, it could easily cruise at 30 to 40 kph.
The e-bike is pedal assisted. There’s no throttle, so you still have to pedal like you would a normal bike, but the effort still feels very minimal.
I think a bike like this will appeal to people who value efficiency, speed, and regularly need to pass steep uphill areas going home or for work commutes. You can easily overtake other bikers going up areas like Antipolo, Teresa, or Tumana without breaking a sweat.
A word of advice, e-bikes are best used during fair weather. While you can technically use this in light rains, since it has electric parts, in the event of heavy rain, it’s recommended that you turn the motor off and drive to safety. It’s not recommended that you completely immerse this in floodwaters or use it for river crossings, which may limit some cycling adventures in remote areas or during the rainy season.
For first time bikers or those not used to drop bars, it’s really best to test ride it first for yourself to see if you’ll be comfortable with it in the long run.
The BESV JG1 is a gravel e-bike that’s ideal for those who want a combination of the efficiency and easy exploration you get from motorcycling and the exercise and slower travel you get from traditional biking.
The premium look and expensive price tag of the e-bike will probably make it appeal to current car owners and big bike enthusiasts looking for a new pasttime during weekends and don’t mind spending more.
It’s a versatile option for business and urban professionals who want to shift from driving a car and being stuck in traffic to the more efficient, eco-friendly and healthy option of biking to work, while still not having to sweat it out every single day.
Lastly, it could be a good option for older cyclists who don’t really care about Strava stats and just want to enjoy the scenery during long distance cycling or keep up with more active biker buddies.
While the price tag is pretty steep because of the quality parts, the BESV JG1 Gravel E-bike sure is a beautiful-looking bike that offers a lot of eye-candy. For those looking for a new toy to splurge on, this could be just the motivation you need to rediscover the city on two wheels and a means to go on longer cycling adventures this 2022.
The BESV JG1 Gravel e-bike has an SRP of Php 175,000 in the Philippines.