Biomega OKO Review

Biomega Oko Electric Bike Review
Biomega Oko
Biomega Oko 350 Watt Planetary Geared Front Hub Motor
Biomega Oko Integrated Top Tube Battery Pack
Biomega Oko Minimalist Cockpit Foam Grips
Biomega Oko Integrated Carbon Fiber Fenders
Biomega Oko Vee Tires Reflective Sidewall Tape
Biomega Oko Gates Cdx Belt Drive
Biomega Oko Custom Platform Pedals
Biomega Oko Shimano Alfine 8 Speed Ig Hub
Biomega Oko Electric Bike Review
Biomega Oko
Biomega Oko 350 Watt Planetary Geared Front Hub Motor
Biomega Oko Integrated Top Tube Battery Pack
Biomega Oko Minimalist Cockpit Foam Grips
Biomega Oko Integrated Carbon Fiber Fenders
Biomega Oko Vee Tires Reflective Sidewall Tape
Biomega Oko Gates Cdx Belt Drive
Biomega Oko Custom Platform Pedals
Biomega Oko Shimano Alfine 8 Speed Ig Hub

Summary

  • One of the most affordable carbon fiber electric bikes I've reviewed, it's available in three frame sizes for improved fit and two colors as well
  • Average motor and battery size balance weight with performance and utility, considering it has a front-mounted motor steering was not compromised much
  • The Gates carbon belt drive system is clean, quiet and durable when combined with an internally geared hub, they offer an automatic two speed or eight speed which is my preference but costs $400 more
  • No bottle cage or rack bosses, very minimal control pad and no display panel or app, no kickstand but there is a mounting point and the brakes don't seem to have a motor inhibitor but they are powerful hydraulic disc which is nice

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Biomega

Model:

OKO

Price:

$2,295 ($2,695 For 8 Speed Version)

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

42.4 lbs (19.23 kg)

Frame Material:

Carbon Fiber

Frame Sizes:

17.7 in (44.95 cm)19.7 in (50.03 cm)21.6 in (54.86 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

White, Silver

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Carbon Fiber

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Alfine Internally Geared Hub (Optional SRAM Automatic 2 Speed)

Shifter Details:

Shimano Alfine Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Shimano 170 FC-2300, Gates 55T Chainring

Pedals:

Biomega Platform (Aluminum and Plastic)

Stem:

Biomega Aluminum Alloy, 133 mm Length

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 23.5" Length

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Shimano Deore Levers

Grips:

Flat Foam, Black

Saddle:

Biomega Branded, Velo Active

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Alexrims

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14G

Tire Brand:

VEE Tire Co, 26" x 1.95"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall Stripes

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Integrated Carbon Fiber Fenders, Optional Seat Post Beam Rack with Bungee ($95)

Other:

Gates Carbon Belt Drive CDX, Layout by Danish Design Group KiBiSi

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Front-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts (250 in Parts of Europe)

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

9.9 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

356.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

LED Console

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

This is the first Biomega electric bike I’ve seen in the US and the first time I’ve had an opportunity to test ride and review it. My initial thought was that it would cost way more than it does… especially given the three frame sizes, two drivetrain options (internally geared auto shifting two speed or eight speed Shimano Alfine) and two color choices. The bike I tested was a medium sized, silver color with the eight speed hub and it would definitely be my preference over the auto shifting though it does add weight, $400 more cost and some clutter to the handle bars. In my experience the two speed system forces a slower pedal cadence and I prefer to spin but for those who don’t mind and just want to relax… or save some money, the two speed is cool and both systems use a Gates carbon belt drive which is much quieter and cleaner than a chain. You don’t need to lubricate it the same way or deal with a derailleur that could get bumped when storing or transporting the bike.

It’s a solid product for cruising around the neighborhood, town or even commuting but lacks bottle cage bosses and rear rack mounting points which limit utility… Biomega does offer their own beam-style rack but these can get bumped side to side in my experience, aren’t able to hold as much weight and their design (while cool looking) lacks pannier blockers which would keep panniers from rubbing on the tires and spokes when turning. For what it is, this thing is pretty cool and the visual footprint can’t be understated… the tall top tube (which houses the battery), flattened seat stays and fork are all great reflective surfaces to help you be seen by automobiles. The tires have reflective sidewall stripes as well but there aren’t any lights built into the frame which would have been nice given it’s so custom already.

The motor switches on and off pretty quickly using a cadence sensor that is super-well hidden but I noticed the brake levers didn’t have motor inhibitor switches. Steering felt good and I was able to ride with no-hands without feeling unstable, there’s a bit of extra weight in the front but the internally geared hub is efficient and light weight, it’s probably the best choice here since the rear hub is taken up by internal gearing for pedaling. The motor makes a bit of whirring noise when pedaling but isn’t bad and overall the bike doesn’t stand out as being “electric” since the hubs are small and the battery is hidden. It appeared that the battery was removable but I’m not sure how easy it would be and you might do well to simply leave it on the bike as I’m not sure if you can charge it independently… Sorry for lacking some details here, this was an early build of the bike and some things may be changing including the control pad and display which were very minimal and did not show your speed, battery level or distance. Again, for the price and considering how nice it felt to ride this was an impressive product.

Pros:

  • Incredibly clean and minimal cockpit area, no flashing displays or crowding of the grips, brake levers and shifter mechanism
  • Custom designed by a famous team called KiBiSi from Copenhagen Denmark (this is also where Biomega is based), it looks beautiful but is also very comfortable and utilitarian with the integrated fenders
  • Available in three frame sizes for improved fit, this is amazing to me given the relatively low price point for a carbon fiber frame
  • Offered in two colors (white or silver) which are both highly visible for safer morning or nighttime riding, the visual footprint of this frame is large because of the wider top tube, seat stays and fork design as well as reflective tape on the tires
  • Completely integrated cabling (brakes, shifters and electronics) for a beautiful appearance, reduced snagging and wear and improved aerodynamics
  • The fenders offer great protection from water but are positioned very close to the tires so I didn’t feel like they were in the way or vulnerable to being kicked when pedaling
  • The ride quality was pretty good overall even without suspension, the tires are a bit wider at 1.95″ diameter with some bumps that absorb vibration and if you wanted to improve comfort further you could use a seat post suspension like the BodyFloat with 27.2″ diameter
  • Super clean and quiet drivetrain, the Gates carbon belt drive is upgraded to CDX (center-track so it won’t slip side to side) and doesn’t require lubrication the same way that chains do, there’s also no derailleur sticking out in the rear that could get bumped and would require more maintenance and tuneups compared with the internally geared hub (though that does weigh a bit more than a cassette)
  • Incredibly light weight given the average sized motor and battery, most similarly specced electric bikes I test weigh closer to 50 lbs vs. ~41 here
  • I was really impressed with the front fork design because the motor power cable is run through the top and then hidden on the inside where it attaches to the hub, this looks great but is also more durable if the bike tips and they even have a quick-disconnect point to make maintenance of the front wheel easier
  • This ebike definitely performed like it was using a cadence sensor but I couldn’t see the sensor unit anywhere, normally there’s a disc with magnets at the bottom bracket but it must be integrated here and that’s an improvement as far as aesthetics in my book, it felt responsive as well

Cons:

  • No kickstand offered with this frame… given how beautiful it looks I would like to avoid having it tip and aftermarket stands don’t tend to blend in as well as something custom, this one might work with the bottom plat design and is adjustable height
  • The front and rear wheels are both bolted on and there’s no quick release option so you’ll either have to carry a tool or consider an aftermarket part
  • No integrated bosses for a water bottle or rear rack… You can add an aftermarket seat tube or saddle adapter for bottles and Biomega does offer a beam style rear rack but it’s probably not as sturdy and won’t stay as straight as a more traditional multi-point carry rack
  • Limited display readouts, minimal indication for how low the battery is getting (blue, green and red LED as it discharges) and definitely no speed or range readouts… just a few buttons for on/off and up/down to adjust assist level, maybe they will have an app someday to enhance the experience?
  • Given the cool, custom frame I’m surprised they didn’t add LED lights to run off the main battery pack, you can always get aftermarket USB rechargeable lights like these but I prefer integrated so you don’t have to take them off when parking in public
  • The hydraulic brakes work well and are easy to actuate but don’t seem to have a motor inhibitor switch built in which means you could be braking against the power of the motor if you continued pedaling (given the cadence sensing design), not a huge issue with the medium sized motor and super strong brakes but not ideal either

Resources:

Comments (12) YouTube Comments

Clinton Baltazor
4 years ago

I am learning so much about electric bikes, its a little overwhelming at times. Really appreciate the time you take to explain the minute details. Also like the map of ebike shops in America. I am from the Quad-Cities, Davenport Iowa, and there is little to no options for electric bike, or kits for a couple hundred miles. I may have to open/start my own company to fulfill my needs/wants of an e-bike. I am partial to Mtb as I ride a Specialized Rockhopper 29er, so sorry if I have been harsh to the road/urban bikes you have reviewed lately. Keep doing what your doing, your next review could be the one for me! Agape and phileo Baltazor

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Thanks Clinton! I welcome the feedback, I started doing this site because my first ebike purchase was a big (expensive) letdown but I believed in the technology and wanted to find a better solution. Turns out there are a bunch of choices… probably a bunch of “right” choices for all of us but the price, proximity to shops that carry it and possibly size or even color become factors so that’s why I try to cover everything in depth here on the same playing field so to speak. I have a new comparison tool launching soon that will make it even easier so keep an eye out :)

  Reply
Jens
3 years ago

Great bike, just got mine (large frame, 8 gears) – rides really well. Regarding European geography, Copenhagen is in DENMARK, which is also where Biomega and the designers come from ;o)

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Thanks Jens, sorry for the mixup ;) glad to hear you’re enjoying the OKY! I was impressed with the design when I rode it :)

  Reply
Khanh
3 years ago

Thanks for update on your bike Jens. I per-ordered my OKO, but no word from my dealer (USA, CA) yet on availability. Are you based in Europe? Perhaps they are releasing it there first?

  Reply
Caggy
3 years ago

Hi Jens, I pre-ordered 8 speed 350W as well. Does it handle the hills well (not sure where you are from) but I am kinda curious how a front wheel e-bike which such frame will do at the climbs. Also any insight on your experience so far would mean great deal for me. Thanks in advance!

  Reply
Jens
3 years ago

After around 1 mth with the bike, I am very pleased with its performance so far. I am tall and quite heavy, 220 lbs+, and the bike still pulls pretty well uphill, but not enough to maintain 25 km/hr. Would love to modify it to run faster than the preset (and legal) top speed.

Jens2
3 years ago

Let me know if you figure out how to remove the 25kph limit? :)

  Reply
Johan
2 years ago

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark. It has nothing to do with Germany. In fact, Germany occupied Denmark during WW2 so I guess a lot of danish people would find the assumption that Copenhagen lies in Germany and the “Germany heritage” a bit offensive. :-)

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Ahh, sorry about that Johan, I will make a fix! Thanks for your feedback :)

  Reply
David
2 weeks ago

Dude, the review is awesome, but Copenhagen, Germany? Come on… Denmark is not an irrelevant country

  Reply
Court
1 week ago

Thanks David, my geography knowledge is a bit lacking and I made a mistake.

  Reply

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