Dutch brand Frappé builds all of its bikes in Europe, and the whole line has more than a flavour of the classic Dutch roadster about it.
Take this FSD M200 electric bike: the slender aluminium frame evokes those classic steel roadsters that have remained unchanged for decades.
Even its understated matt-black livery gives the FSD a retro air.
Frappé FSD M200 ebike specifications and details
Aside from the retro styling its classic cruising position, the M200 has plenty of solid, up-to-date qualities. First and foremost is the mid-mounted Sport Drive motor.
It’s not a system I’ve come across before, but it compares well to similar types from Bosch and Shimano.
The motor has four modes that make the most of its generous 80Nm of torque, and it’s well integrated into a neatly shaped down-tube-cum-bottom-bracket shell.
The down tube also hosts a removable 418Wh battery.
The four progressive modes start, logically, at level 1, which offers low-power assistance ideal for flat roads, downhill gradients and gentle cruising.
Level 2 gives a bit more oomph and is what I used the most throughout testing. In both 3 and 4, it delivers plenty of punch; level 3 offers up as much boost as I needed even on steep climbs with panniers full of shopping.
As for level 4, the full power on tap was more than enough to help me ascend the steepest of my local roads.
The bar-mounted controller has a clear LCD screen displaying an icon to show battery level and percentage, which level you’re in, and all the metrics you’d expect, such as current speed, light status and distance travelled.
The +/- buttons control the modes and a button on the top turns the system on and off. On the underside, there’s another button to switch on the lights.
Hold it down a little longer and you’ll activate the walk mode, which powers up the motor to help you push the Frappé up steep slopes. It’s very useful considering the bike weighs nearly 25kg.
The bike’s level of equipment is impressive: the full-length mudguards work very well, stayed rattle-free and have red stays to help integrate the bike’s subtle livery with the funky compact rear rack.
This rack comes with a bungee to help secure items, but as its metalwork is oversized, try out panniers before buying.
The chainstay-mounted kickstand is neat, and the key is secured in the classic AXA frame-mounted lock until you activate (lock) it, old-school style, so you’ll never leave home without it.
The integrated lights are great for urban roads, with the front light powerful enough to see on unlit urban roads, although I did need to add a secondary, brighter light for pitch-black rural roads and towpaths.
Frappé FSD M200 ebike performance
I rather enjoyed it, though: the comfortable, cushioned Selle Royal saddle and wide bar with its well-shaped ergonomic grips encourage a more sedate pace.
You can, of course, adjust the angle of the stem to lengthen the ride position and lower the bar, but I think that rather defeats the object of the bike.
Working in unison with the mid-motor is Shimano’s Inter 7 rear-hub gear and 42-tooth, single-ring chainset. The gearing range is ideal for urban and suburban riding, but the shifting leaves a little to be desired.
Upshifts are quick, slick and without hitch, but when you’re heading down into lighter gears on climbs, the rear hub often stutters and needs a half-backpedal to properly engage.
If you have a long, steady climb while commuting to work, this is a bit irritating: just when you’re getting into a rhythmic cadence, you have to slow, change gear, backpedal and try to maintain momentum.
Halting your momentum isn’t a problem with the M200 hydraulic brakes, however. The smooth action and long brake levers mean plenty of feel and great all-weather, safe control.
The range you get from the 418Wh battery is, of course, subject to how and where you ride. I averaged 38 miles/61.5km (with around 410m/1,345ft of climbing).
On a particularly cold day (1-2°C), however, the range dropped down to 24.5 miles/ 39.4km when I did a nearly identical amount of ascending, but this isn’t uncommon for an electric bike with an external battery.
In fact, my own Shimano Steps-equipped ebike suffers the same range drop-off in truly cold weather.
Frappé FSD M200 ebike bottom line
In all, the Frappé is a practical about-town ebike with a good level of equipment and decent motor performance.
Despite the slightly irritating gear changing, I’d be happy cruising to work and the shops or heading out for steady Sunday family treks on it.
|Features||Gears: Shimano Nexus Inter 7
Front light: AXA Blueline 30 lux
Rear light: Spanninga Pimento
Rear carrier: Alloy with binder and AVS
Lock; AXA Solid with cable plug in option
Kickstand: Atran rear kickstand
|Available sizes||53, 57, 61cm|
|Brakes||Shimano hydraulic disc MT200|
|Chain||KMC Z1eHX ept|
|Cranks||Alloy 170, 42T|
|Grips/Tape||Herrmans ergonomic and adjustable|
|Handlebar||Alloy, 620 mm|
|Motor||Sport Drive gen IV, 418Wh battery|
|Saddle||Selle Royal Nuvola|
|Tyres||CST Otis 37c tyres|
|Wheels||Alloy rims, Nexus 7 rear hub|