Optibike Allroad long term review

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The weather here in northern California kept me from riding the trails this weekend. Which allowed me to do a winter tune-up on the Allroad and upload this review. I will give a personal perspective of owning the Optibike Allroad over the past 2 yrs and detail upgrades and accessories that I have purchased for particular use cases.

First the summary. I was not impressed initially with Optibike because my delivery date(April 2014) of the Allroad was delayed by about 4 months. However, my experience after receiving the bike has been exceptional.

My commute was 24 miles round trip when I first started and since last July when our company moved further away such that my commute is now a 36 miles round trip. In that time and 2500+ miles, the bike has been solid: zero problems with the motor, battery or drivetrain. I have had 2 flats but that's a problem for any bikes.

The battery capacity has decreased in my "guestimation" to 75% of the original capacity(390Whr). When new I could do the 24 miles commute at level 3 (w/pedaling) without charging at work. Now I'm barely able to get to work on level 3 (18 mile one-way, pedaling, one bar flashing). However, I charge at work and make the return trip home without issues on level 1 or 2 (for more excercise). The side-effect of this is that I'm in better shape and can make up for the loss of battery capacity with my own effort. It's a good trade-off for me and my annual physical results prove it.

The only time that the bike had a problem that I couldn't handle was when the middle chainring got bent. This happened after I started taking the bike to explore mountain trails on the weekends and taking on 20%+ grade climbs. I didn't know how to remove the crankset to replace the middle chainring. As we know, the crankset of the Allroad is not the same as regular bikes; the crank arm is separate from the chainrings and you need special tool to remove the chainrings. One email and a quick reply from Jim with instructions were all I needed.

This is drastically different from my first ebike(rear hub motor) which I ordered online. It arrived within one week and initially was a blast, but within 9 months became a regular bike with a heavy rear wheel. The rear hub motor had snapped spokes on 3 different occasions. Eventually, the ebike just lost power. I had no way to diagnose if it was the battery, controller or motor. And repeated emails and phone calls to the seller went unanswered.

Other than the inital shipping delays, I'm more than satisfied with the Allroad. As a commuter ebike, the "e" portion has been totally reliable. As an eMTB, I haven't found a hill(with trails) that it can't climb yet. One item held back my general endorsement of the Optibike Allroad for all users. That is, having conventional derailleurs, both front and rear, on a mid-drive ebike. This can be problematic. Especially for users who are not familiar with handling derailleurs, let alone when there is also a mid-drive motor involved. Being familiar with derailleurs,i.e. not to shift under power, I still managed to bend a chainring and a rear cog. For those where derailleurs can be a challenge, consider getting upgraded with the internal geared hubs(Nuvi, Rolhoff), if you can afford it.


Usage: commute/errands - 85%, trails - 15%
offroad upgrades: Fox fork($500), mountain tires($40x2), Wellgo pedals($35)
commuting upgrades: rear rack($40), ToPeak trunk bag($60), Thudbuster($150), bike mirror($14), bike bell($8), front & rear lights($35), road wheel-set(front and rear - $300)
cosmetic upgrade: used XTR derailleurs(front and rear - $60), zebra pattern (1 roll - $10)
replacement/repairs: bike chain($17), middle chainring($20), rear cassette($24)
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Please post your own 2K reviews as well. The more data points the better.
 
At 3006 miles, I had to send the motor in for Jim to check. It had started to make intermittent "clicking" sounds under power. Also, the bottom bracket axle seemed loose and had ~1mm play. Received the motor back from Jim within 1 week. Optibike replaced the "output assembly". Now the motor is smooth as butter again.

Cost: $38 UPS shipping+supplies. Parts + labor = $0.

I want to add that this is the 2nd time that I needed service from Optibike and Jim came through again. I made the decision to buy my 2nd and 3rd ebike from Optibike based on their service reputation and the poor(make that " no") service from my 1st ebike seller. So far it's been the right decision.

Moreover, I remembered a member who jumped on one of the Optibike threads saying that all of us who bought an Allroad had been ripped off. He had apparently bought a similar ebike from: HTTP://bofeilinz.com in New Zealand at lower price. Recently, I tried logging in to the site but it no longer exists. It would seem that they're no longer in business! The point being that the best value usually does not equal lowest price. If you subscribe to Optibike's mailing list, they often have deals on used bikes(w/ warranty). Anyways, that's just a rant from a happy Optibike owner.
 

grench

Well-Known Member
At 3006 miles, I had to send the motor in for Jim to check. It had started to make intermittent "clicking" sounds under power. Also, the bottom bracket axle seemed loose and had ~1mm play. Received the motor back from Jim within 1 week. Optibike replaced the "output assembly". Now the motor is smooth as butter again.

Cost: $38 UPS shipping+supplies. Parts + labor = $0.

I want to add that this is the 2nd time that I needed service from Optibike and Jim came through again. I made the decision to buy my 2nd and 3rd ebike from Optibike based on their service reputation and the poor(make that " no") service from my 1st ebike seller. So far it's been the right decision.

Moreover, I remembered a member who jumped on one of the Optibike threads saying that all of us who bought an Allroad had been ripped off. He had apparently bought a similar ebike from: HTTP://bofeilinz.com in New Zealand at lower price. Recently, I tried logging in to the site but it no longer exists. It would seem that they're no longer in business! The point being that the best value usually does not equal lowest price. If you subscribe to Optibike's mailing list, they often have deals on used bikes(w/ warranty). Anyways, that's just a rant from a happy Optibike owner.
+1
 
I want to share a problem I've been having with intermittent power cut-offs and hopefully it might help some people...

Recently my Allroad intermittently loses power while riding. At first I thought the battery might need replacement. But I noticed that the power usually cut out when I went over a bump, and sometimes recovered power after another bump. I decided to take apart the battery cage to investigate and found that a nut clamping the red wire had shaken loose (see attached photos). After cleaning the area and re-tightening the nut with "loctite", problem solved.
 

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Back in June when I was having power cut-out problems, I ordered a new battery from Luna Cycle( http://lunacycle.com/36v/ ). The battery to choose is the Sonders bottle replacement; it has the same contacts on the bottom as the Allroad. I wasn't sure if it would be compatible, since the Allroad battery was rated "37V". When the Luna battery arrived, I was able to confirm that when fully charged both measured ~42V, and when discharged to one bar, both measured ~36V. Confident in the new battery's compatibility, I have been riding with the Luna battery over the last 3 months without problems. It also provided more capacity(36v * 13.6ah = 489.6Wh) than the Optibike replacement(37v * 11.6ah = 429.2Wh). It has been great being able to use level 4 assist to work in the mornings again.