Meet the reincarnation of KITT (for those that watched TV in the 80's )
I've had my OHM bike for a few weeks now, and thought it would be good to share some of my thoughts/impressions after logging almost 500km on it so far. Obviously my riding style and preferences won't be the same as everyone's, but I hope my feedback can help those who are on the fence about this bike.
First off, it's been a game-changer for me. I have a 40km (25mile) round trip commute with big hill climbs, and a physical outdoor job during the day. I used to ride my regular bike almost all the time when I lived closer to work, but after moving could only manage 1-2 times a week with help from public transit for part of the trip. I now ride daily, and arrive at work feeling refreshed and ready instead of tired. Furthermore, my trip home at the end of the day is far more enjoyable, and gets me home consistently faster than driving!
I live just up the hill from OHM headquarters, and was able to talk with the awesome crew there in person (I'm stoked to have had the opportunity to support a local company!). These guys design and assemble beautiful, solid bikes, great for a diversity of terrain. My ride is the black XS750 frame with the urban setup (Big Ben's, rear rack, fenders... I also swapped over my clipless pedals).
The frame: As I already mentioned, solid. Built to handle a variety of terrain while still looking good. It's a well-designed bike paired up with an electric motor company that makes excellent products; you get the best of both worlds here without making sacrifices. I was able to get a sneak peak at their 2017 bikes with the integrated down tube battery, and they look pretty sharp (I'm not giving anything away here as they've now advertised it).
Bionx D500: Court has already mentioned this in his reviews, and I totally agree... This motor is QUIET! Much more so than other ebikes I tested, while delivering awesome power. The torque assist is very responsive, and feels quite intuitive as a result. The harder you pedal, the more power you get; I'm used to commuting on a regular bicycle so this feels good to me. I've had a chance to use a variety of levels of assist and regenerative modes during my commutes, and have honed in what works best for me.
My experiences: On my very first ride to work I pushed the bike pretty hard, and zipped along in mostly level 4 for my morning commute (all with a big silly grin on my face... Got to work in record time!). Needless to say I sucked over 50% of the battery's power, but due to the small size of the charger, it was easy to top off at work. I now use a variety of levels on my commute, and shift between them depending on the terrain (I find the thumb buttons on the right very easy to use and can keep my eyes on the road (though I should mention the +/- are quite close together and initially I would press the wrong one; it's less of an issue now that I more used to where to press). I'm able to do my round trip commute on one charge and still have extra power at the end if I need to run an errand or two (I find I'm looking for errands just so I can ride a bit more!).
I tend to pedal a bit harder in the morning as it warms me up for the day and leaves me with more juice for the ride home when I'm more tired. Lately i would say I use mostly level 2 for the long flat stretches (I've found this level most effective at higher speeds when I already have momentum), level 3 for the long gradual inclines or when I need to pick up speed, and occasionally level 4 for a boost up some of the shorter, steeper climbs (I have found that using level 4 for too long does drain the battery noticeably faster, and find level 3 is ample for the majority of the challenges). I haven't been using level 1 much, and really only skip over it when switching down to regen mode; it provides very minimal assistance and would perhaps be most useful if casually pedalling through the neighbourhood instead of commuting. If one were to have a mostly flat commute, you would be able to ride in mostly level 2 and get a lot of range out of the battery.
I also have a few opportunities on my commute to use level 1 or 2 regen mode, and I like how it keeps my speed in check downhill while recapturing some power (I've even seen a bar of power added back on so I know it works!). It's a great feature and I like how I can boost the battery a little with gravity-fed momentum. All this said, I'm usually using ~30% battery in the morning, and ~40% going home (on average), leaving a bit of extra for wiggle room. With this I'm even able to drag my butt up a very long hill climb on the last stretch home, using mostly throttle + pedalling along; that little red button is nice for those tired moments or for a quick boost. I've used as low as ~20% battery power on the morning commute, but I was riding mostly level 2 and using regen whenever possible.
The components are all quality parts, and really add to the riding experience. The ergo grips and upright riding position (upright, but still somewhat forward; it's not near as upright as a comfort cruiser, but more so than an aggressive commuter bike) make the commute more comfortable. The comfort saddle speaks true to its name and I don't think I'm going to swap over my Brooks saddle like I originally planned.
This bike was in lieu of buying a second car and it has exceeded my expectations. Hope this info helps those that are interested in OHM!