PVY Z20 Pro review: Convincing, extremely affordable and foldable e-bike with potential for improvement
Bicycles with a folding function have a number of advantages over conventional bicycles, and in some cases, compressibility can greatly increase their usability. For example, folding bicycles can also be taken along in smaller cars without a bicycle holder and thus also spontaneously; in addition, they can often be taken along on public transportation free of charge.
Folding bicycles are more suitable for shorter distances due to their usually very upright - and thus relaxed - seating position. An electric motor can certainly increase the range of use.
The Z20 Pro from the manufacturer PVY is an extremely affordable folding bike with an electric motor, which can even come up with strong equipment, at least on paper. The manufacturer wants to convince with the disc brakes, the gears, and the suspension fork.
The Z20 Pro can already collect plus points with the folding mechanism upon delivery. The e-bike is delivered folded, so the wheels are already mounted, and there is no need to adjust the disc brake - more about that later. Otherwise, only the lights have to be mounted, and the handlebars have to be fixed with the help of an Allen wrench. The seat post holds with the help of a quick release, and the handlebar height can also be quickly adjusted with a quick release.
The use of quick-releases is quite obvious for a folding bike since the removal of the seat post can reduce the pack size once again. However, the higher susceptibility to saddle theft should be pointed out at this point.
Uncomplicated folding process
Both folding and unfolding are quick and easy. The dimensions then change from 117 x 156 x 25 centimeters to at least 76 x 90 x 50 centimeters (height x length x depth). The bike can only be pushed reasonably well when folded since the model does not lock when folded. The quite high weight of around 22 kilograms in absolute terms does not necessarily make the e-bike easier to handle. At least there is a handle in the frame, which is also sensibly positioned for connecting the e-bike.
The workmanship of the e-bike is basically good. As usual, the design is debatable, but it is rather decent and somewhat modern. The e-bike's cables are routed outside the frame, which does not help the looks - at least they are bundled. However, you have to pay attention to the cables when folding down the handlebar.
Electric motor with simple sensor
Basically: The rear wheel hub motor of the Z20 Pro performs reliably and is quite powerful. Since PVY - unsurprisingly in view of the low price - relies on a simple pedal sensor and not on a torque sensor, the motor only intervenes with a slight delay. The manufacturer puts the power at 250 watts, and the torque at 50 Nm.
The maximum achievable speed generally depends on the selected support level. In the first level, assistance is provided up to a maximum speed of 15 km/h, in the second level up to 20 km/h, and in the highest level - up to 25 km/h. Acceleration also becomes stronger. A button next to the display is used to select between the levels.
Due to the technology, the support is less dynamic, so in practice, it jumps in quite brutally, which is less annoying in use, though. Not documented, but possible: The motor can be deactivated while driving by turning the throttle grip. The throttle grip is actually used to activate the push-assist and in the unlocked mode - which is only legal on private property in Germany - also to accelerate. A speed of up to 32 km/h is then possible.
The display is clear but is limited to the most necessary information. The current speed and the selected support mode are displayed, and the distance traveled can also be viewed. The battery level is rough and likes to jump back and forth between several bars, the possible range cannot be displayed. An app that could compensate for the rather weak display is not available.
Gearshift, brakes, suspension fork and tires
The unspecified Shimano gears of the PVY Z20 Pro have six speeds. The shifting does not set any records in terms of dynamics, but the gears already shift cleanly in the delivery state. The gears are shifted comfortably with the thumb. The gearshift potentially allows comfortable use of the e-bike without any motor assistance, but the motor does not decouple. The resulting transmission resistance is noticeable, and the seating position is also more comfortable than agile.
Despite the low price, the e-bike comes with front and rear disc brakes. As delivered, the braking power turned out to be below average and only average even after extensive braking.
The presence of a suspension fork is also rather untypical for such an inexpensive e-bike. In practice, riding over cobblestones, for example, is bearable thanks to this but the effectiveness is limited off-road, not least due to the low suspension travel of less than 80 millimeters and also the not optimal tuning. Speaking of off-road: The PVY Z20 Pro can be ridden quite pleasantly and safely over typical trails in the forest. At around 58 millimeters, the tires tend to be wider than in typical trekking bikes.
Battery, range and everyday experience
A battery with a capacity of 374.4 Wh is installed. The manufacturer puts the range at up to 80 kilometers. This seems to be quite realistic. In a test with strong motor support and only little use of muscle power and on steep inclines, just over 50 kilometers were achievable. The battery is lockable and removable and can therefore be charged both inside and outside the e-bike. The USB port on the battery is also accessible while riding - although a cable must then be pulled from the front of the frame to the handlebars. It takes around five hours to fully charge the battery.
The luggage carrier is particularly positive at this point. Although this is relatively short, it could - just so - accommodate Aqua Back Plus panniers from Vaude without the feet getting to the bike bags. That sounds like a trifle at first glance but should greatly increase the usability of the e-bike in everyday life. With the two bags shopping and luggage can be transported without any problems.
Disturbing: The included lighting is extremely basic. The scope of delivery only includes a front lamp and a rear reflector. The front lamp is run on batteries and not the main battery of the e-bike and is also not particularly bright. In addition to the necessary assembly tools, a bike cover and a smartphone holder are also included - the inclusion of a higher-quality light would probably have been a better choice here.
Verdict: Bargain folding bike does a lot, but not everything right
The PVY Z20 Pro is a very affordable folding bike with an electric motor, which was basically convincing in the test. However, the bike's low price is noticeable in many places. The motor is powerful but does not act dynamically due to the pedal sensor. The use of disc brakes is commendable but the braking performance is only average. However, the ride comfort is basically good, and the range is decent.
The PVY Z20 Pro is an electric folding bike suitable for everyday use with some rough edges - but the very low price puts it into perspective.
Overall, the e-bike is worth a recommendation, especially since comparably priced e-bikes usually come with much simpler equipment - sometimes the gears are missing, and sometimes the disc brakes. In the future, we would like to see a somewhat more expensive e-bike from PVY with better disc brakes and lighting.
Price and availability
The PVY Z20 Pro is currently available directly from the manufacturer at a price of 759 Euros. The e-bike is offered in a black and a white color variant.
The present review sample was given to the author by the manufacturer free of charge for the purposes of review. There was no third-party influence on this review, nor did the manufacturer receive a copy of this review before publication. There was no obligation to publish this review.