Ten years ago Emmanuel (Manu) Antonot and Greg Sand both started to take note of the unique ebikes popping up in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. The pair, based in France, searched their home country, but couldn’t find any solidly built ebikes that offered what they wanted: A bike adapted to a variety of cycling styles, that was fun to ride and that looked good doing it.
Unsatisfied with the ebikes available to them, Antonot and Sand kicked off their small ebike project: Moustache Bikes. What started off as a company designed to simply get more people on bikes quickly turned into one of the most reputable European ebike companies around.
Many companies have transitioned into the ebike industry in the past few years, but Moustache is distinct in that it started as an ebike company and, to this day, it continues to only make ebikes. The one non-ebike sold by Moustache is its “walkbike”. The company says that the Mercredi 12 push bike is one of the most important bikes in its collection—as a first bike, it helps ignite the passion for cycling in young riders.
A passion for helping new riders is evident in Moustache’s business strategies. Getting more people on bikes—opening up bikes to those who might not necessarily have been cyclists, was a major motivator for Antonot in creating the ebike company.
The founders say that ten years in the ebike business has given them the know-how ability to innovate within the growing industry.
Growing a Moustache
There were only seven models in the first range of Moustache bikes, but even the first iterations of the bikes were made for a diverse range of cyclists, from urban raides to mountain bikes. Over the years, the company has steadily grown its range of ebikes up to 65 models, all designed and built in France.
Moustache puts an emphasis on its French production, specifically keeping its design and building within the Vosges region of France. In Jan. 2019, the company moved to a new bigger site in order to increase production capacity and respond to the growing appetite for e-bikes, but still stayed within the region.
In 2020, the brand created a new production line for its wheels, built in-house and specifically for the Moustache bikes. The JUST_MOUSTACHE MTB rims use ultra strong aluminum 6061-E for durability, while the Moustache c:45 carbon rims are built to be stiff and dynamic.
The 150 person development and production team works on the 13 bike “families” in the Vosges facility. The bike classifications include sub-categories within the urban, all road, road, mountain bike and kids’ bike categories. Though their use and design vary dramatically, all Moustache bikes share one thing in common: A Bosch motor.
From the beginning, Moustache bikes have used Bosch motors to power the pedal-assist designs. The bike’s motors range from 50 Nm of torque for the Active Line Plus motor to 85 Nm of torque for the Performance Line CX, Bosch’s most powerful motor.
“Developing an electric bike is hard if you do it properly,” says Antonot. From the conception of the product to the design and development, Sand says that the Moustache bikes offer a more “premium” touch at every level.
Moustache is named after the iconic “moustache” handlebar design. The bars are a point of pride for the company, which the owners say can be considered a modern take on the famous moustache handlebars of the past. “Every moustache is unique,” they say, “every moustache is recognizable, every moustache has a strong identity, like our bikes.”
Each handlebar style has been highly considered—Moustache has four urban, four MTB (including the new vibration-filtering Flexbar) and two road/gravel bar designs, each with its own background and specific use-case.
The bars are made from the same aluminum 6061 tubes as the Moustache bike frames. Like the frames, the bars are also treated with the same thermic treatments to increase strength.
In the research and design phases of a new Moustache bike, Sand says that the company uses a lot of observation of the needs and evolving rider styles, but also takes in feedback from Moustache users themselves. “Some bikes are simply born from a message from a consumer who tells us: ‘I want to do this with my bike, but I also want to do another thing,’” says Sand.
Moustache in Canada
Canadians looking for an electric ride with those iconic handlebars will be happy to hear that Moustache bikes are currently available in bike shops across the country. As ebikes boom in popularity, and make cycling accessible to more riders than ever, those with keen eyes can spot Moustache bikes on the trails outside of Vancouver, cruising the roads of Toronto or even climbing up some gravel on Montreal’s Mount Royal.