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For fit mountain bikers looking for a lightweight E-Bike, there’s only one real option available to you: an E-Bike equipped with the Fazua motor system. The motor can both be removed from your bike and is completely resistance free above the 25 km/h assistance limit. Fazua, from the Bavarian slang for “Drive on!”, has existed since 2012 and the Startup now has 60 employees. We went for a visit at Fazua’s home in Ottobrunn near Munich.
Video: Fazua factory visit
At 15-minutes, this is quite a long video, but there was just far too much to see and we wanted to show you it all. Have fun!
(the video is German, we included english captions for you)
We’ve collected the highlights of our visit below. Have fun as you explore Fazua HQ.
# The new headquarters in Ottobrunn - the 60 employees of Fazua work directly next to Airbus
# EADS used to do literal rocket science in the left building - on the right a new building that Fazua will be using soon # New employees are greeted in the stairwell - Fazua is planning to hire a new employee every month until October next year!
# Fazua has grown from a start-up to a mid-sized business - including HR, Buying, Distribution, Service... by October 2019 there will be 100 employees here
# Wood and paint helped sell the idea when it was still a concept - this model helped gather the first round of investment in 2012 # Motor, battery and control unit can be removed from the down tube - the basic idea hasn't changed since the first "prototype"
# Fazua doesn't develop frames - but the sleek integration into the frame means they have to work closely with manufacturers
# Philipp Kalläne - the co-founder leads development for Fazua # Does induction lead to inspiration - just a little showpiece in the electronics lab
# Electronics development
# Two laptops, two mice, smartphone, notebook, control units - now that's some multi-tasking
# Without suppliers it wouldn't be possible to make an E-Bike motor - despite this, it's interesting how much is developed, tested and assembled here in Ottobrunn # This is where software and electronics get developed - even if this baby motor isn't quite suited for an E-Bike
# These employees are assembling the gearbox for the bottom bracket - The crank spindle, sensors and bevel gears all get mounted in the housing
# ESD stands for Electrostatic Discharge - that means you're not getting in here wearing Vans
# Special mounts makes assembly easier # The control unit gets moved from one station to the next on this rail
# The heart of the system - these motors get delivered from Switzerland
# Neat soldering is essential
# Solder, place, screw and glue - Working in sync # QR codes and serial number allow traceability of parts
# Mounts make assembly easier and more precise
# Loctite, but from a big bottle - lots of motor systems go through here # A tube of bolts is essential - to be able to assemble all of these units
# Karla, Production Engineer - the Ecuadorian developed the production lines
# When the system is assembled, it gets tested here - if it passes the test, it gets packed up and stored ready to be sent out
# The laser marking station with mount for the motor - this allows the gearbox to be identified later
# The laser creates a permanent 'engraving' - that means the safety instruction will always be legible # After the laser marking, the unit gets cleaned - then it's all ready to go
# Finished bottom bracket gear boxes - the integrated sensor measured torque and cadence
# Looks pretty neat - and makes us ask why there are so many bikes with boring paint jobs...
# E-Bike and art 2 - various artist create the art that matches the bike. Or bike to art? Who knows..
# Pedaling seated or standing exerts different loads - this test machine can simulate a variety of scenarios
# No rest for the motor - there's just a little bit of "wind" to help keep it cool # Long-distance riders - six bikes ride for glory, 24/7
# How does the gear box and bottom bracket withstand different riding conditions? - This test station loads the bottom bracket with the motor running at full power
# Loud and bumpy - this bike is having a hard time on the rough-roads test. Even here nothing is allowed to fail
# When Johannes Biechele, one of the founders is "On Air" - do not disturb
# Marketing is still a little bare - and is this a new, extra thin version of the Fazua motor for dirt bikes?
# Not everything is automated at Fazua - sadly the fridge has to be restocked by hand
Interested in more? You can find our other factory visits and looks behind the scenes of various parts of the bike industry here.
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