On the road with the all-rounder

Detours welcome! The versatile and full-suspension Moustache J in test

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Time is a rare thing – and we usually have far too few of it. So it’s all the nicer when you’re not in a hurry and need to get from A to B as quickly as possible. Cross-country through nature instead of along tarmac road canyons? Absolutely! Of course, this requires the right bike, and this is exactly where the Moustache J comes into play — a particularly versatile and full-suspension e-bike for all types of terrain. In our test, we take the J.all on a panoramic route along forest paths all the way down to the city and take a little espresso stop along the way!

Design

Before we get started, let’s take a closer look at the Moustache J. The straightforward step-through frame, which consists of a single aluminium casting and is manufactured entirely in France — the home of Moustache — catches the eye at first glance. The frame therefore also makes a significant contribution to the manufacturer’s goal of producing as many parts of the bike as possible locally with short production distances.

The lower part of the frame features a suspended swingarm to the rear wheel, in which the bike’s entire drive system is integrated. Thanks to the large chain guard and the black contrasting colour, the rather voluminous Bosch Performance Line mid-drive motor is hardly noticeable. The rest of the drive system is visually very puristic thanks to Enviolo’s continuously variable hub gears and belt drive.

Like the swingarm, all other add-on parts of the bike are in matt black, which further emphasises the frame itself — here in the color Olive Green. The fact that the bike has a rather clean look despite its extensive equipment is achieved by a few tricks: the pannier rack on the rear wheel, for example, is pleasantly slim, the headlight on the front is elegantly integrated into the stem and the custom-made mudguards fit the tyres exactly. The largely concealed cables and lines also give the bike a very tidy appearance.

But enough of the superficialities: the ride starts, the weather is fine and there’s time! We quickly get our panniers packed, which are securely attached to the bike thanks to the Ortlieb QL3 system. Even on a rough ride, we take a diversion through the countryside instead of the tarmac. With the bike’s suspension and off-road tyres, this is no problem.

Equipment

Here in the forest, the support of the motor is of course particularly impressive. We already mentioned at the beginning that this is the Bosch Perfomance Line motor — but there is still a lot to say about this drive. At first glance, it seems a little surprising that Moustache is not using the current top model with the CX suffix, but is instead opting for the proven and somewhat older version. But there are good reasons for this: on the one hand, the power of the regular Performance Line motor has been gradually increased in recent years and with its current torque of 75 Nm, it is hardly inferior to the top model. On the other hand, it offers an extremely quiet background noise level, which puts it ahead of the CX model. For such an e-bike, which is particularly focussed on riding comfort, this is the perfect decision!

Thanks to Bosch’s Smart System, the drive is also state-of-the-art in terms of connectivity and operation: the Bosch ConnectModule is on board as standard, allowing the bike to be optionally located via GPS and integrating an alarm function. The drive is controlled via the new 2.8″ Kiox 500 colour display in combination with the LED remote on the handlebars. The electric drive is completed by the PowerTube battery, which is available with either 500 Wh or 625 Wh for the J. The system is also optionally compatible with Bosch’s PowerMore additional battery, which offers a further 250 Wh.

Moustache J All Test Review Urban SUV E Bike Mood Wald

Moustache offers three options for the J.all in terms of the bike’s gearing: classic derailleur gears, continuously variable, fully automatic Enviolo gearbox and the continuously variable, mechanical Enviolo TR gearbox with a range of 380%. The latter was fitted to the test bike and can be operated via a classic twist grip on the handlebars. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via the largely maintenance-free and clean belt drive from Gates.

The full suspension of the J is certainly one of the main features of the bike — here on the J.all, the SR Suntour Mobie XCR 34 Air suspension fork with a full 120 mm of travel and a Magic Grip Control shock from Moustache with 115 mm of travel are used.

The everyday equipment includes the permanently installed lighting system with the 100 lux Lighthammer headlight from Trelock and a rear light from Spanninga on the mudguard. These sturdy aluminium mudguards are made to fit the 66 mm wide Schwalbe Johnny Watts tyres in 27.5″ format, and the aforementioned pannier rack is also attached to the rear wheel. Thanks to the position of the side stand on the rear triangle, the bike can be manoeuvred easily even with the stand folded out and does not collide with the pedals.

The J masters the trail through the forest in a relaxed manner: the coarse studded tyres offer good grip and the suspension skilfully smoothes out the bumps. And thanks to the 68 cm wide handlebars, you are always in control. The dropper seat post helps, as you sometimes have to get out of the saddle off-road; when lowered briefly, you can move your body far back.

Operation

Thanks to the tried-and-tested Bosch system, the electric drive is easy and intuitive to control, the controls have a good pressure point and the display is easy to read in any situation — also thanks to the large screen diagonal and the central position on the handlebars. Also worth mentioning is the integration of the battery, which can be conveniently removed from the top tube for charging.

The continuously variable Enviolo gear system is similarly easy to control: the desired gear ratio is adjusted using the twist grip on the handlebars, with a small display almost playfully clarifying the function: a small bike symbol indicates whether the set gear ratio is suitable for uphill or downhill riding. The only criticism that can be levelled at the twist grip is its somewhat large play and the long distance between the two end points of the overall gear ratio.

You can also easily control the dropper seatpost from the handlebars and it moves to the desired position under load. To raise it again, you only have to get out of the saddle briefly. Of course, it is also possible to adjust the suspension elements to your own preferences: The air pressure of the suspension fork can be adjusted to suit your own weight, and this is even easier on the shock with an adjustment wheel.

The power of the motor is easy to control and offers enough reserves to conquer steeper climbs even with the Enviolo gears. Although the range of the continuously variable transmission is 380% smaller than that of the model with derailleur gears, the drive system and the quiet motor are particularly quiet even here in the forest. The route then leads downhill along steep hairpin bends. Here too, the braking system from the hitherto rather unknown manufacturer Alhonga works reliably and copes well with the rather high weight of the bike.

Riding impressions

With its step-through frame, the J is clearly aimed at anyone who wants to ride more comfortably. It should be noted, however, that the step-through is slightly higher than on conventional step-through bikes due to the swingarm. The riding position itself is upright and cosy, which is also achieved by the swept-back handlebars. The stem can also be adjusted, allowing further customisation to suit your own riding position.

The ride on the J is then relaxed in many respects: Firstly, of course, due to the quiet motor and belt drive, and secondly due to the continuously variable transmission, which allows the gear ratio to be adjusted without interruption. Compared to derailleur gears, this happens smoothly and silently, but the drive also feels a little less direct and responsive. However, the bike is not designed for particularly high manoeuvrability and agility anyway, which is also reflected in the relatively high weight of around 30 kg.

Rather, the focus is on arriving at your destination as relaxed as possible — and the J does this very well! In addition to the riding position, the suspension naturally contributes to this, smoothing out any surface with ease. The fact that this is not only advantageous when travelling through the countryside can also be seen in the alleyways of the old town: you don’t really have to slow down on cobblestones with the J …

Moustache J All Test Review Urban SUV E Bike Mood Espresso

The coarse tyres of the bike offer a good compromise between good traction on loose ground or forest paths, but also roll well on smooth asphalt. The tyres are noticeable there due to their slightly higher running noise — but only because the rest of the drive is so quiet. The motor only gets a little louder under full load on steep climbs. These can also be conquered with the J without any problems, the only limiting factor here is the range of the Enviolo gearbox. However, the bike conquered every climb on our test ride, albeit sometimes at a somewhat more leisurely pace.

The fact that the dropper seatpost doesn’t just perform well off-road was also demonstrated at the numerous red lights in the city. Here, too, you learn to appreciate being able to simply lower the saddle at the touch of a button and then stand safely with both feet on the ground!

Cobblestones? Which cobblestones? It doesn’t take long for the Moustache J to lose all respect for potholes, kerbs and other adversities. Thanks to the ample suspension, you roll over such obstacles with ease and don’t even have to leave the comfortable, upright riding position.

Moustache J All Test Review Urban SUV E Bike City
Arriving at our destination: the Moustache J proved its versatility on our tour

Conclusion

As a universal all-round bike, the Moustache J.all leaves a convincing impression in the test! The powerful but quiet drive and the continuously variable transmission are a perfect match for the relaxed character of the bike, which prioritises riding comfort. The full-suspension frame and chunky tyres offer the opportunity for off-road rides, but thanks to the complete commuter equipment, the J also cuts an equally fine figure in the city.

However, this versatility also comes at a price, which is reflected in the bike’s rather high weight on the one hand and the price tag on the other: the tested J.all with Eviolo’s gearbox starts at 5,999 euros, whereby the local production of the frame and other components in France naturally also plays a role here. However, this holistic approach to sustainability also makes the J a rather unusual bike that is a welcome and convincing alternative to many conventional e-bikes!

In addition to the olive green of the test bike, the Moustache J is also available in black and silk grey. All configuration options and the two other variants J.on and J.off can be viewed directly on the Moustache website.

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