Apples v Oranges

twoxootrs

New Member
Greetings....I have greatly enjoyed reading everyone's experiences on this forum and am moving toward the purchase of an e-bike. For my own personal reasons I have narrowed the field to two bikes and invite forum user's input because there are clearly many smart and experienced folks around here (and who doesn't love free advice?)

Before reading further...yes, I realize the two bikes I'm considering are like comparing apples to oranges but please chime in anyway...personal preferences, ideas on durability, value, serviceability, power, fun factor, and especially any personal experience., are all warmly welcomed. Comments about my general IQ level and lack of life experience are generally discouraged...although not prohibited if really funny.

Bike 1 – Juiced Riders ODK 500

I admire the concept and the promise of purpose built specifications. The designer seems to have the right credentials and judging from the 2.5 hour test ride in the rain (in China), he also has the requisite heart and belief in his product. I am 6' 2” and 250...athletic build and enjoy equal parts pedaling and cruising. A huge selling point for me is the 32ah battery as I have a tendency to stay out all day when the weather is perfect. I also admire that the company has continued to improve the bike over several years by adding improvements and value (really, who lowers the price of their bike these days?). Lastly, I like the modular design and full disclosure of replacement parts. I'm aware the company is getting ready to release the Cross Current model at half the price but I am not interested to the same extent.

Bike 2 – OHM Urban XU700-16

I like the track record and service reputation of the Bionx system..the proprietary attributes not so much but it's hard to argue with the largely complimentary reviews from Bionx owners I encountered when researching their history. I like the OHM implementation of the Bionx system, the attention to detail, and the choice of top components. Bionx is the only company I found that backs their full system for 3 years. I'm not thrilled about the price premium for this bike. If the Bionx system is $2500 by itself, this means OHM is pricing the bike at $1700 alone....the bike has some extras but maybe not as many as others at this price point. Just the same, the bike screams “class” to me and since I will never own a Bentley, this may have to do!

Test Ride – To my great disappointment, I haven't found a place to test ride either bike. The staff at Juiced Riders has been very responsive to questions...the OHM staff has not yet responded to my single email. I feel somewhat reluctant to buy without a test ride but this would not be my first fly by the seat of your pants purchase. If both bikes live up to their reviews, I believe I will find enough positives to enjoy the experience.

What I Want – I want strong torque and reasonable help on the hills. I would like a riding posture that is not too aggressive...lower back gets tired some days. I want the ability to alternately pedal and cruise by motor without putting much thought into it. 20Mph is plenty fast for me...I mostly enjoy taking in the sights. I greatly prefer low maintenance. For the days I'm on the bike for more than 2 hours, I would like not to be shook, rattled, and rolled to near death. I realize this may mean upgrading the ODK with a seat shock but don't have the experience to know if that will be enough to smooth the ride. My current non e-ride is an Electra Townie 8i balloon which rides like a luxury liner and weighs about the same.

For the Experts – I have to admit I am both intrigued and puzzled by the “cruise control” on the ODK. Is this a gimmick or could it be useful? If the cruise control is set at a power output that moves the bike at 6mph and I add pedaling up to 13mph... am I truly only expending the effort needed to accelerate between 6 and 13, or is that an illusion? (cue comments about my IQ)

For the OHM, the local Bionx dealer advises I should easily get 40 mile range with light to medium pedaling on any terrain...does this sound accurate for their 48v 11.5ah battery?

Thank you in advance for comments...I look forward to your insight.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
No experience with juiced rider. The Ohm bike is a well built bike with a relatively sit up position and solid componentry. The bike is comfortable for errands/commutes. Personally I found the geometry not quite right, but I do love the Bionx D500. Ohm is a very small company and owned by a passionate bike builder. Well designed. I might suggest you try an Easy Motion EVO bike. They use geared rear hubs which give a nice kick off the line. If you want a wonderfully built bike with longer range you might want to consider a Kalkhoff bike. Personally I love the engineering on these bikes and the mid drives have strong torque for hill climbing. Mid drives are slower to speed and require what seems like more effort from a dead stop but typically get very good range. And of course, you can't go wrong with a Stromer ST1. If you want a throttle then that might limit your choices as well. If you want to cruise on a regular basis I recommend a bike where the throttle works to override the pedal assist system. As an example, on the Easy Motion product line, you have to toggle off the pedal power assist before you can use the throttle. Not a big deal but not convenient if you move between the two modes regularly. I would also check out Pedego, the Prodeco Phantom, and a couple of Haibikes.

I would also recommend that you buy a bike with front suspension and then add a suspension seat post for greater comfort.

There are so many choices and the only way to know you made the right purchase is to test ride them. I would also recommend that you purchase locally and develop a solid relationship with your local shop for maintenance and warranty work.

Feel free to call New Wheel in San Francisco as they are a premier shop in the country and have a nice website for choosing the right bike. They are happy to offer advice and counsel even if you don't live in the area. Propel bikes in Brooklyn is another good source for information and nice people as well.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Absolutely, you should get the 40 miles + with pedaling on the OHM bike. Been both an OHM dealer and a Bionx dealer for many years and like the quality components that OHM uses along with the newer hydroformed frames which have a nice responsive feel but don't beat you up. Can't say why you haven't gotten an email response from OHM, since that's never been an issue for us; however, Michael deVisser, owner of OHM along with the rest of the staff are pretty accessible by phone 604 639 8863.

As for cruise control, that's handy if you're hauling a ton of stuff mostly on flat ground, so you don't have to do all of the work. Yes the Juiced ODK will assist up to 6mph. You pedal more or add the throttle, the cruise control keeps doing 6mph until you hit the brakes. This feature first appeared in Lee Iaccoa's EV Global Motors Ebikes when he thought an electric bike should have some of the features similar to cars!

These are totally different purpose bikes; however, a close look at all of the components will show that the OHM uses a higher grade of parts overall and has a mid mounted battery for good weight distribution. The Juiced gives good power but is a front wheel drive that is better suited when you have a good load on the back, thus good balance. A bike with a longer frame like the Juiced is not going to feel quite as responsive, more like a tandem; however, good for what it was designed to do, haul stuff! Consider the location of the motor, in the front with the Juiced you will have a less nimble feel to the steering, with the OHM more like a regular bike. I could take that OHM offroad and feel secure doing that but the Juiced isn't designed for that. That's not a flaw, just a different focus for the design. With the OHM, a trailer could be added if the need was there to haul a bunch of stuff yet it's just fine with one rider and nothing else. If you check out OHM's website, they readily list all components on the spec page just like the Juiced folks do. You're going to have to clarify what you're looking for before we can really answer your question! :)
 

twoxootrs

New Member
Thanks for all the useful advice. I had a great time researching the full range of e-bikes over the past 7 months and this site is just plain addicting when it comes to the hands-on reviews and videos.

After considering the advice generously offered in response to my original post and much research as to my own preferences, I purchased an Evo Toba HB1-Disc with the Bionx D500 system factory installed.

Per the sound recommendation to obtain local support, I contacted Bob of Bob's Bikes in Poolesville, MD and he graciously agreed to service my internet purchase. Bob is a retired Electrical Engineer, Bike Shop Owner, and Lead Mechanic who has been selling Bionx for about 10 years. He is very passionate about Bionx and it is the only electric bike he sells/installs.

Although my bike arrived pre-assembled via internet purchase from another shop, Bob gave it a thorough review and completed the following. Trued and dished both wheels. Reversed the rear tire which was installed backwards!...I had no idea the Marathon tires have a directional arrow on the side. Hooked up a disconnected data cable. Torqued the nuts to the Bionx required spec. Repaired a warped rotor. Adjusted front and rear disc pads. Tested the battery and programmed the software. Tuned the gears and tested all. Bob explained that none of these adjustments were cause for concern and all bike shops routinely perform similar service on new bikes...as he noted, it's just the nature of the beast and that's where bike shops earn their value.

The added bonus I enjoyed the most was talking with Bob for about an hour when I picked up the bike today. In addition to explaining the best operating pointers for the Bionx system, the man is a treasure trove of general bike knowledge and especially entertaining when he talks about the history of electric bikes. He has a great anecdote on selling Lee Iacocca's EV Global 36v SLA bike in 1999 along with many other stories. If he writes a book, I'll buy it!

The HB-1 fits nicely in our minivan and is the right weight for comfortable one person loading and unloading...even with the battery it weighs less than my Electra Townie 8i Balloon Cruiser. Well, the bike rides like a dream and I am thankful to our friend in Wisconsin for a nice deal. So far, the features I enjoy most about the HB-1 are the smooth quiet power and the fit for my 6'2" 250lb frame. After completing several long rides, I'll weigh the purchase of a BodyFloat seatpost because I admire the design and am all for a smoother ride.

I'm looking forward to trying out "mountain mode" on a large hill near my home and also giving the battery a thorough range test. Our favorite way to enjoy biking is to explore small towns where traffic is not dangerous. With this new bike, I plan to see every inch of my own town and then spiral out to the hidden areas in surrounding states. Now, if I can just convince the mercury in the thermometer to rise past the 50 degree mark and stay there I'll be set. Happy riding.
 

Hugh

Active Member
I have the same bike and I am enjoying it more and more. At first I found the seat uncomfortable but but now that it has been ridden a bit over 200 km's it seems to be broken in and much more comfortable. The dealer installed full fenders and a rear evo rack to which I added the evo panniers since I take mine to work which is about a 45 minute ride each way. It also has a battery powered head and tail light since I get 1 or 2 weeks of evening work as well. It,s been a good ride so far.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@twoxootrs Congrats on getting the D-500 system. Been riding a bike converted with a BionX system for years and still love it. Can't wait to see pics of your new bike and hear all about that hill!