F4W (Fast4ward) Ride 350W Electric Bike Review

The F4W Ride (Fast4ward) Ride 350W is a commuter style electric bike that is ready to roll; right out of the box!

It’s step thru frame design, 350 watt geared rear hub motor, Sony 36V 9ah lithium ion battery, name brand components, and healthy mix of commuter style accessories make this a great bike for commuting to work and running errands.

Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with video, large detailed pictures and specifications of the F4W Ride 350W to get familiar with this e-bike.

In this second part of the full review F4W Ride 350W e-bike, you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this e-bike.

What you can expect from the F4W Ride 350W E-Bike:

Here is a video with some riding footage and features of the F4W Ride 350W e-bike:

 

The F4W Ride 350W is very similar to the F4W Peak 350W that I reviewed recently.  It has the same 350 watt geared rear hub 8FUN (Bafang) motor, Sony 36V 9ah lithium ion battery, bicycle drivetrain with Shimano Alivio rear derailleur, Tektro V-brakes, and Kenda Khan tires.

For the US market the F4W Peak and Ride were equipped with the 350 watt motor and Sony 36V 9ah lithium ion battery to meet the demand for higher power and range that the US customers requested.

In addition both bikes have the same crank torque sensor for the pedal assist and a twist grip throttle for the throttle option.

The Sony battery on both bikes is located just behind the seat tube of the frame.  It is a nice location because it keeps the weight of the battery low and centered on the bike.

There is a charging port on the right side of the battery with an on/off switch and battery level indicator on the left side of the battery.

Charging the battery can be done while the battery is on or off the bike.  With the included the charger, the battery can be fully charged in 4-6 hours.

It is very easy to remove the battery: simply unlock the battery with the included key and rotate the battery to the left side of the bike.

With a lot of the same components the Ride does operate similar to the Peak, but the Ride is a bike that is set up to be more of a commuter style e-bike.

First of all there is the step thru aluminum frame that makes getting on the bike very easy.  It is nice not having to throw your leg over the seat or top tube in order to get on the bike.

A Xoom suspension fork on the F4W Ride helps smooth out the rough roads.

The adjustable height stem can be varied to fit your personal riding position preference.  The slightly swept back handlebars also provide a nice position for a town commuter.

The F4W Ride has a nice mix of commuter style accessories that make it worthy of being a daily commuter right out of the box.  The chainguard and fenders keep you clean, the front and rear LED lights help keep you safe at night, the rear rack can hold your commuting gear, and the bell will let others know where you are at.

For an efficient ride on the road, the Kenda Khan 26” x 1.75” were selected because of their smooth center tread.  The Khan tires also have some treads on the side for gripping on corners with debris.

Riding the bike:  The F4W Ride is a comfortable ride!  Getting on and riding the Ride is easy thanks to the step through frame.  In addition, it’s riding position is fairly upright which is comfortable and offers a great way to keep an eye on everything around you.  And the Xoom suspension fork smooths out the rough roads.

The pedal assist system is nice but it is more like a cadence sensor system compared to a true torque sensor system.  It responds more to your pedaling speed than pedaling power.  Bikes that have the TMM4 torque sensor for example measure your pedal power and generally have a more intuitive ride feel when blending the electric assist with pedal power.  Hero Eco offers some of their A2B e-bikes with a TMM4 torque sensor.

There are 3 levels of pedal assist that you can select at the display: 1 = low, 2 = medium, 3 = high.  There is a level 0 and that is no assist.

There is a little flex in the cranks when pedaling hard because it is part of the crank torque sensor design.  That is something I got used to after a few miles.

The throttle is available if you want the “free ride”!  You can twist the throttle and cruise along without pedaling if you want.  The throttle can be used at any time in pedal assist modes 1, 2, or 3, but not in level 0.

When switching between pedal assist and using the throttle there is a slight delay before the other mode kicks in.  It is just something to be aware of when switching between the modes.

The display is where you can change the pedal assist levels, change between mph or km/h, and get information on the battery charge level, current speed, trip distance, and total odometer.  It is easy to operate and see the LCD display; even on a sunny day.

At 350 watts of power, the geared rear hub motor provides a nice medium performance ride.  It’s not crazy powerful (which can be a good thing) but it does get up and go when you need it to.  This motor system seems to be appropriately sized based on its intended use as a commuter bike.

The Kenda Khan 1.75” wide tires offer an efficient ride but they are not as comfortable as wider tires.

The 36V 9ah Sony lithium ion battery is a fairly typical size battery for an e-bike like this and you can see from the range test info below how it performed.

The ride test results:

Here is the real world information on how the F4W Ride 350W electric bike performed on my typical riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.

The results below are based on a paved circuit that I use for testing other electric bikes.

While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed.

Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the F4W Ride 350W traveled 22.2 miles and did a total elevation gain/loss of around 1,900 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled very lightly this is good range for a 36 Volt 9 ah battery pack (324 Watt Hours) with a 350 watt motor.

Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.

Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weight less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.

Speed: The F4W Ride 350W can get up to around 20 mph on flat ground.  It is a little slower than that on the climbs and may need a little pedaling help on the really steep hills.

Weight: This bike tips the scales at 46 lbs.

The weight distribution of the Ride is a little back heavy due to the rear hub motor and battery pack behind the seat tube.  The battery location is good because it keeps that weight centered and fairly low to the ground, which is good for the overall handling of the bike.

Pros

Components & Accessories:  The F4W Ride has a nice selection of name brand components: 8FUN (Bafang) motor, Sony lithium ion battery, Tektro brakes, Kenda tires, etc.  In addition the Ride has a full accessory package that includes front and rear LED lights, a chainguard, fenders, a rear rack, a bell, and a kickstand.

Battery Location & Removal:  The location of the battery behind the seat tube is a good because it keeps the weight of the battery low and centered in the bike and that is good for overall handling.

Removing the battery from the Ride is very easy and that is nice if you want to store and/or charge the battery in your house or work place or coffee shop.

Cons

Crank Sensor:  The torque sensor in the cranks operates more like a cadence sensor.  It responds more to the speed of pedaling vs. the power of pedaling.  As mentioned before, Hero Eco offers the more sophisticated TMM4 torque sensor on some of their A2B e-bikes.

Motor Noise:  This can be a con for some people but not all.  Almost all geared hub motors make some noise and that is true of the 8FUN (Bafang) motor on the F4W Ride.  If you prefer a quiet ride, a direct drive motor is quieter.  Hero Eco offers direct drive motors on some of their A2B e-bikes.

Conclusion

Overall the F4W Ride is a nice commuter style e-bike with the design and accessories to prove it!  The step thru frame design, 350 watt motor, Sony 36V 9ah lithium ion battery, name brand components (Shimano, Tektro, Kenda,etc.), and healthy mix of commuter style accessories make the Ride a bike that is ready to hit the road.

The Ride is comfortable to ride and it has good overall performance (22+ miles of range, pedal assist and throttle options, etc.).

It would be nice to see an improvement in the crank torque sensor performance but it is not surprising that the more expensive bikes have that (A2B e-bike line from Hero Eco).

Please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test. This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability. My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes. If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.

The F4W Ride 350W retails for $1,799 at the time of this review.

Where to buy the Ride? Check with F4W for a dealer near you.

Do you have any questions about the F4W Ride 350W?  Do you own the Ride?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thanks!

-Pete

Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you or not.

P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!

Comments

  1. Tom Schantz says

    Having spent the last hour swearing up a storm while trying to replace the rear (motor) tire on my PhantomX 2, I have to say that electric bikes will never be truly popular until this major problem can be fixed–it is too difficult to fix a flat, especially while on the road. There has to be an easy on, easy off system but as long as you have gears, etc. on the back wheel, it’s going to be a problem. I love riding my electric bike (I put on 3000 miles in the past year) but changing this tire is making me think twice about the whole idea. The obvious solution is to move the motor to the pedal area as some bikes do. In fact, I would not reccomend buying a rear wheel drive bike to anyone.

    • says

      Hi Tom,

      I just seen your message. The rear motor drive bikes can be difficult to change a tire. One of the easiest bikes to change tires on are the front motor drives.

      Front motor bikes allow the rear axle to remain identical to a traditional bike. The rear axle will usually come with a quick release. There is also now quick release nuts for motor wheels from “Axle Release”. With a motor disconnect and a quick release, there is no difference than changing a traditional bike wheel. Our company was the originator of the motor harness disconnect, prior to that it was even worse to change a flat.

      I do understand about the rear motor being difficult to change though and can sympathize. For that reason, we also changed out the rear dropout mounts and torque plates for 2013 bikes so the wheel slips out unencumbered. We also widen the clearance of the axle by a few mm so it slides in and out better.

      Check “Axle Release”, they make good products that make changing flats easier while on the road.

      Rob
      ProdecoTech

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