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Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

27.03.24 06:51 135Text: NoPain (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin HaidenPractical review of Ducati's first e-racing bike with the FSA HM 1.0 rear hub motor.27.03.24 06:51 161

Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

27.03.24 06:51 161 NoPain (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden
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Practical review of Ducati's first e-racing bike with the FSA HM 1.0 rear hub motor.27.03.24 06:51 161

Originally, it was planned to kidnap "Number 43" of the 11,999 Euro expensive and limited to 50 pieces Futa LTD Edition just for a few action shots to supplement our showroom afterwards with 2-3 riding photos. However, riding the relatively light e-road bike at 12.5 kg was so much fun that a small review was created at the start of spring. In the process, two points of criticism were identified, one of which is purely subjective and the other does not represent a big problem and can be quickly resolved.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

 It doesn't get much more Italian than this. 

Ducati Futa Limited Edition with Campa, FSA, Vision, Pirelli & Selle Italia
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Ducati Futa LTD

Under the family name "Futa," named after the Futa Pass that connects the route between Bologna and Florence in the Apennine Mountains, Ducati has been gathering its E-road bikes since 2022. The Futa LTD Edition we tested stands out not only for the Campagnolo EPS groupset but also for the Ducati Corse paintwork of the traditional motorcycle racing department and the corresponding lettering on the down tube.

All E-road bikes in the Futa series are based on UD monocoque carbon frames, whose design and tube shapes emphasize aerodynamics, and at first glance, they appear to be quite normal but rather sporty road bikes. Only upon closer inspection does the voluminous rear hub with integrated FSA HM 1.0 become apparent in the rear frame triangle, the LED-rimmed button for turning on/off and changing the support modes on the top tube, and the cover for the charging port at the lower end of the seat tube.

Note: Apart from the now sold-out Futa LTD Edition, the Futa E-racer is currently available in two models. Either equipped with an FSA K-Force WE or a SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset. In all three models, the FSA HM 1.0 rear hub motor provides additional propulsion.

 Futa 

The name is derived from the Futa Pass, a pass in the Apennine Mountains between Bologna and Florence.
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

FSA HM 1.0 Rear Hub Motor

The Futa E-Race bikes are powered by a FSA HM 1.0 rear hub motor with 250 watts and 42 Nm of torque, which is fed by a 250 Wh Li-ion battery inside the down tube. The compact design and low weight of 3.98 kilograms ensure an elegant integration for E-Road, E-Gravel, and E-Commuter bikes.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Like with the drive systems from Mahle, there is no oversized display above the stem to mark the Futa as a Pedelec. Instead, a subtle button that is integrated into the top tube serves as a smart command center for turning on and off, as well as for controlling the five support levels. The only downside is that with the so-called FSA LED HID Button* only a sequential change of the support modes is possible. Those who want to switch in both directions need the Garmin eBike remote control, which is pre-installed on the left handlebar but is purely optional.

The round remote control has 3 buttons for increasing or decreasing the current motor support, for scrolling through the data pages of the Edge cycle computer, and for activating a user-defined third option. The eBike remote control is always ready to use, as it is powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery that lasts up to a year and has an automatic sleep mode.

* An "LED HID Button" is a push-button equipped with an LED for display and HID technology for lighting or for displaying operating states.

The maximum power of the rear hub motor is 250 watts, accompanied by a calculated maximum torque of 42 Nm. The motor is equipped with a torque sensor integrated into the hub for measuring pedal pressure, as well as with two speed sensors, to ensure a natural riding experience. As soon as the legally defined speed limit of 25 km/h is reached, the FSA system automatically deactivates, and the rider can pedal beyond this speed with truly minimal friction loss. In combination with the compact system integration and the low Q-factor - depending on the installed groupset - the Ducati Futa provides a puristic riding feel that comes very close to classic road cycling.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

The FSA main battery of the comparatively lightweight drive system can be fully charged within 4 hours and enables data exchange both with the Garmin Edge and via the associated FSA smartphone app. The latter also provides information on relevant riding data and the remaining battery life, and allows for updating the firmware of the motor, battery, and range extender.

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  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Ducati claims a range of up to 80 km, which can be doubled with a 250 Wh Range Extender. The Futa Limited Edition comes standard with this Range Extender as well as a Garmin Edge Explorer, which has special maps and features pre-installed.

Futa LTD Edition

Frame Ducati E-Road Carbon UD Fork Carbon UD, Fork Offset 45 mm
Sizes M/L/XL Motor FSA HM 1.0, 250 Watt, 42 Nm
Battery FSA 252 Wh + 250 Wh Range Extender Remote Garmin eBike Remote Control
Cockpit Vision Metron Carbon 5D ACR Brakes Campagnolo Super Record 160 mm
Drivetrain Campagnolo Super Record EPS 2x12 Shift Levers Campagnolo Super Record EPS 2x12
Crankset Campagnolo Super Record UT Ti Carbon 52/36 Cassette FSA K-Force WE 11-32
Wheels Vision Metron 40 SL Custom Tires Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR 35C
Seatpost Ducati Carbon UD Saddle Selle Italia SLR Boost Carbon
Weight 12.49 kg (BB measurement)* Price ÔéČ 11,999 (RRP)

* Frame size Medium, including tubes and Garmin eBike Remote Control

To ensure a clean aesthetic and aerodynamic advantages, all cables and lines have been internally routed. The Futa makes a high-quality impression at first glance and continues to convince upon closer inspection: The frame and its paintwork appear neatly finished, the edges are precise and smooth, and it presents almost like a conventional road bike. The Futa LTD is factory-equipped with 35 mm wide TLR tires from Pirelli, while the frame and fork visually offer enough space for significantly wider tires.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Equipment and Accessories

Undoubtedly, the Ducati Futa LTD is not a budget bargain, but it is equipped with the finest components that FSA, Vision, and Campagnolo have to offer.

In addition to the extensive equipment with the FSA Range Extender, the Garmin eBike remote control and a Garmin Edge Explorer bike computer, the noble E-racer features an electronic Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset with 2x12 gears, a Super Record UT Ti 52/36 carbon crankset, a K-Force WE cassette with 11-32 teeth, and an FSA chain. Aerodynamic Vision Metron 40 SL wheels with carbon rims and the Vision Metron Carbon 5D cockpit with integrated stem and Aero-Computer-Mount complete the package.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Geometry

The Futa LTD is available in three sizes, ranging from Medium to X-Large, while Ducati also offers a Small size for the standard variant. With a height of 175 cm, NoPain falls pretty much into the Medium category, which is recommended for riders from 168 to 177 cm. According to Ducati, it features a sporty endurance geometry that provides a balanced mix of endurance, comfort, aerodynamics, and performance. This statement is also reflected in many of the specified values: A reach of 377 mm in size Medium is similarly short as that of the Merida Scultura Endurance in M - however, without motor assistance. The stack of 562 mm is also at the lower end of the spectrum.

Detailansicht

Geometry

S (53) M (55) L (57) XL (59)
Rider height (reference in cm) 154-167 168-177 178-184 from 185
Top tube length (mm) 529 549 569 593
Seat tube length (mm) 465 492 532 572
Seat angle (┬░) 73.7┬░ 73┬░ 72.7┬░ 72.5┬░
Head angle (┬░) 70.7┬░ 71.5┬░ 71.5┬░ 71.5┬░
Chainstay length (mm) 419 419 422 422
Fork offset (mm) 45 45 45 45
Wheelbase (mm) 997 1,002 1,042 1,046
Bottom bracket drop (mm) 69 69 69 69
Head tube length (mm) 133 155 169 192
Stack (mm) 538 562 590 622
Reach (mm) 372 377 386 397
Fork length (mm) 380 380 380 380

Despite the comparatively long 419 mm chainstays, the Futa however has a surprisingly short wheelbase of only 1,002 mm in size Medium, which tends to indicate a lively ride for an endurance bike. In comparison, the Scott Solace eRide has a wheelbase of 1,037 mm in size Medium, which is probably due to an advantage of the hub motor (FSA) over the TQ mid-motor installed in the Scott.

 Sport Endurance Geometry 

Ducati Futa Monocoque Carbon Frame
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

FSA System App

The FSA System App is available for both iOS and Android devices and enables the recording of riding and usage statistics, the display of battery range and charge status, as well as GPS navigation with turn-by-turn function. Additionally, it offers chatbot interaction and the possibility to communicate directly with the FSA Service Center.

We limited ourselves to the firmware update and monitoring of the battery range. Fundamentally, the app serves its purpose, but one should not have too high expectations.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

In practice

Although we were looking forward to many test rides in bright sunshine and warm temperatures to thoroughly test the Ducati Futa LTD E-Road Bike, we ultimately had to limit ourselves to the rides themselves, as the weather was mostly wintry, windy, and cold. Despite the low temperatures, the battery held up bravely on our hilly home circuit over 50 kilometers and 1,000 meters of elevation and even had 16% capacity remaining afterward. The actual possible range, however, is of an individual nature and depends heavily on the conditions, one's own power, and the riding style.

As already mentioned, there are five support levels, including the energy-saving "Eco" mode (green) at the lower end and the "Boost" mode (red) at the upper end of the power scale. These can be changed either with the LED button integrated into the top tube or the Garmin eBike remote control.

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  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

However, the control (as with the Mahle systems) takes some getting used to, as the support levels cannot be reduced step by step via the LED button. Since the system inherently has only one button, you have to press it four times in quick succession each time to reduce the support by one level. This is absolutely tolerable on a road bike with a consistent riding style, but it can quickly become annoying during aggressive group rides or in particularly varied topography.

In addition, the LED ring shines in different colors depending on the level and also wants to indicate the battery charge level by color or by regular blinking - unfortunately, this is not very visible in strong sunlight.

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  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
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  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

The Garmin control unit is intended to provide a solution, which is mounted on the left side of the handlebar. It not only enables the effortless switching of support modes in both directions but also allows for the convenient operation of the included Garmin Edge Explorer bicycle computer with GPS.

However, we did not get along well with it, which may have also been due to Nopain's short fingers. Whether it was about holding onto the lower handlebar during fast descents or braking, the Garmin eBike remote control felt just as inappropriate as the thumb shifter of the Campagnolo Record EPS group.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Natural Riding Sensation

The riding experience itself was beyond any doubt. Thanks to the control via a torque sensor, the system was responsive to the force applied to the pedals, and the motor adjusted quickly to different riding styles and changing conditions. Moreover, the motor's noise level at lower support levels was so quiet that it was barely noticeable amidst the wind, drivetrain, and other ambient noises.

Upon reaching the legally prescribed maximum speed of 25 km/h, the FSA rear hub motor gently disengaged. Now, the only thing standing in the way of a natural, free pedaling motion was the weight of the bike at 12.5 kilograms, without causing any noticeable friction.

When comparing the performance data and the riding feel of the FSA HM 1.0 drive system with the two Mahle systems, it can fundamentally be placed in between them.

Mahle vs. FSA

Mahle X35+ FSA HM 1.0 Mahle X20
Power 250 Watt 250 Watt 250 Watt
Torque 40 Nm (calculated) 42 Nm (calculated) 55 Nm (calculated)
Support levels 3 5 3
Remote control (optional) Remote E-Switch Garmin E-Bike Remote Remote E-Switch
Weight 3.5 kg 3.98 kg 3.6 kg
Battery 250 Wh battery 250 Wh 350 Wh battery
Range Extender 208 Wh 250 Wh 171 Wh
Bottom bracket Standard Standard Pressfit 386 EVO
Torque control No Yes (in the motor) Yes (in the bottom bracket)

On the one hand, the FSA drive has approximately the same power as the older X35+ drive, but feels subjectively stronger, on the other hand, it operates in terms of power delivery and the natural riding feel of a racing bike at a similarly high level as the new X20 drive from Mahle. In certain riding situations such as careless pedal pressure while standing or the hard transition from a seated riding position to out-of-the-saddle efforts, the control of the FSA HM 1.0 may not work quite as perfectly as that of the Mahle drive, but it is absolutely sufficient for the specific application area of racing bikes.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Handling and Comfort

In fast sections and downhill, the E-sports bike showed its best side, providing a lot of stability and confidence with its elevated seating position and long chainstays. Naturally, due to its higher weight, the Futa tended to push in corners and therefore required a bit earlier and stronger braking compared to a conventional road bike. Nonetheless, the bike impressed overall with its surprisingly agile, yet always harmonious handling.

The comfort was acceptable thanks to the robust frame set specially designed for e-road bikes, and was supported by the deeply dropped seat stays and the wide Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLR tires. The 35 mm wide Pirelli tires offered excellent traction and grip, while the Campagnolo brakes decelerated powerfully and silently. Particularly light riders might benefit from testing the lower air pressure range or using a TLR setup to give the bike more compliance. Heavier riders will appreciate the stiffness of the frame set even with fully pumped tires.

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Area of application

Suitability Characteristics
Riding Alone Further, steeper, faster, stress-free - with the Ducati Futa, a quick and brisk local spin is just as enjoyable as an extended tour. Up to the 25 km/h mark, depending on the level of assistance engaged, you either always have "your" day, or you still have to pedal hard. Speeds above that require the natural effort anyway. The successful geometry, equipment, and adequate motor power or range (extendable if necessary with a range extender) can handle longer adventures with sensible use.
In Mixed Road Cycling Groups Whether it's a leisurely group ride or an elimination race: the Ducati Futa is king in every situation. Although one must be careful not to lose the slipstream during flat-out speed attacks, one always has the upper hand in hilly terrain and on steeper climbs (with a similar level of performance).
But even downhill, thanks to its solid road holding, wide tires, and their high grip, it keeps up well.
In E-Road Cycling Groups Although individual performance differences on the flats up to the 25 km/h mark are not really an issue, at higher speeds (without motor assistance) the same performance gap opens up as in traditional road cycling groups. But also on steep climbs (with motor assistance), the sum of one's own power-to-weight ratio and maximum motor torque is paramount, and the strongest package in the group reaches the top first.
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  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the RoadDucati Futa Limited Edition on the Road
  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road

Conclusion

Ducati Futa LTD Edition
Model Year: 2023
Review Duration: 2 Months
Price: Sold Out
+ Design
+ Handling
+ Natural Riding Feel
+ Endurance Geometry
o Motor Power/Range
o Control via LED Button Takes Getting Used To
o Clunky Range Extender
- Garmin Control Unit
- (subjective) Campa Record EPS Aesthetics, Ergonomics, and Performance
BB-Verdict: Sophisticated Italian E-Racer for true Ducatisti.

The Italians present with the Ducati Futa LTD Edition a chic e-road bike that, thanks to its design, consistent integration, and exclusive Italian equipment, has the potential to become a coveted collector's item.

Those who can afford it can of course also use the road bike for riding. With its relaxed endurance geometry, a great handling, and the FSA HM 1.0 drive system with torque control, it offers a particularly natural riding feel as well as adequate support to cover significantly more kilometers and altitude.

However, it should be noted that the range of the integrated 250 watt-hour battery, which the manufacturer specifies as 80 kilometers, is probably only realistic in slightly hilly terrain and in the green ECO mode. Anyone wanting to conquer 300 vertical meters at once in the red Boost mode will realize how quickly the main battery can be drained.

The included range extender, which can be stably mounted on the seat tube and theoretically doubles the range, provides a solution. Unfortunately, its clunky shape complicates the plugging in of the charging cable into the charging port and - depending on the frame size - the mounting of an additional bottle holder on the downtube or the insertion of the water bottle. Depending on the circumference of the calf, it can also be in the way while pedaling.

Another point of criticism remains the somewhat unclear display and operation of the FSA LED button, which could - at least in theory - be remedied by using a smartphone app or Garmin e-bike remote control. Nevertheless, we would completely forgo the installation of the Garmin control unit, as it is ergonomically misplaced and spoils the dropped handlebar hold in the heat of the moment. In everyday training, we changed the support level so seldom that despite the described limitations, we would work exclusively with the FSA LED button.

Subjectively, we could also do without the new Campagnolo Super Record EPS group. Although the exclusive electronic 2x12 group features high-quality materials such as carbon, titanium, or ceramics and offers a significantly higher shifting speed and precision compared to its 11-speed predecessor, we find that the group looks visually bulky and is not necessarily the reference in terms of performance. Despite the manufacturer's promises, the fine adjustment of both derailleurs is difficult, the battery had to be recharged comparatively often, and the shifting operations were relatively hard and loud. The larger thumb shifters made shifting easier in the drops, but were disturbing in the familiar brake grip position.
Those who compare the new Super Record EPS with the old 11-speed group might be thrilled, while others who compare it with a current Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 or Ultegra Di2 might be disappointed. Perhaps the difference between Campa and Shimano is and remains a matter of belief.

  • Ducati Futa Limited Edition on the Road