Polaris Meridian vs Optibike Allroad

oilerlord

Member
Hi Court,

I've enjoyed all of your reviews, thank you so much for doing this for us.

My wife & I are looking at good entry-level e-bikes that have decent acceleration & range, and are considering both the Meridian & Pioneer Allroad - both of which you've reviewed. Assuming the bikes are the same price, which one do you believe is superior? From what I've read, I'm leaning towards Opti's offering since it's a little lighter, better balanced, and more powerful.

It's so easy to get carried away with power but aren't looking for electric motorcycles; we still want to get excercise. As someone that's had the chance to ride both bikes, which one would you choose, and why?

Thanks again for all of your reviews and helping the cycle community.

Dave

Edit: If anyone on this forum has owned or has experience with either of these bikes, I'd love to read your input as well.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey @oilerlord, great question here... There are many factors that go into buying an ebike and the first ones that seem to come up are price, power and fit but having a local dealer nearby is also worth considering. I've only demoed the Polaris ebikes two times and they worked alright but the 2013 models felt kind of weak (though I heard they put out a software update to provide more power). This company does have dealers across the country but I don't have nearby so I can't say how responsive they'd be if you needed service.

As far as Optibike, I think they are also sparse in the dealer department but they are much smaller than Polaris and I know the founder and I've heard they offer great support. Their new Pioneer Allroad ebike is pretty cool and as you say, well balanced and more bicycle than scooter. I think it only comes in 19" medium frame size (similar to the Meridian) so I hope this works for you and your wife, would she prefer a stepthrough?

Are you considering the 2014 Polaris bikes (which are more powerful and which I have not ridden yet) or last year's? Do you own other Polaris stuff or have a reason besides the specs to prefer them? I think I'd go for the Optibike and then spend a few extra bucks on lights and a rack to make it more functional for commuting. To me the balance thing is a big deal and I also like the way it looks better. I'd be happy to dig in a bit more and share further details if you have specific questions. The Meridian has a few nice features like the chain guard, lights and fenders so it's really a tough call :)

I realize you didn't ask for other suggestions but considering that this is for you and your wife, have you considered the Volton ebikes like the Alation? They have high step, low step and 350 or 500 watt models to choose from. They also offer pedal assist and throttle mode but they use rear hub motors vs. mid-drive which the Polaris and Optibikes use.
 

oilerlord

Member
Thanks for your quick reply.

We live in Edmonton, Canada; and though we do have a couple of cycle shops - dealer experience with e-bikes in our city is sorely lacking. In fact, we visited a dealer last week and they wouldn't let us test out one of their e-bikes due to a "liability concern". By contrast, I've been in contact with a Polaris dealer in Seattle - and they are exceptionally professional and invited us to test ride all of their bikes (which is how it should be). They are offering last year's Polaris models for $2000. I understand the benefit of buying local, and building a relationship with a service dealer but local e-bike prices are much higher as well. So, in essence, we are paying more for less service. With Optibike, we would be paying a premium for higher quality & better service. I'm ok with that.

I'm not stuck on any one brand however the pre-sales communication I've had with Optibike has been outstanding. My wife and I are going to visit their factory in Boulder and check out their bikes in person.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
First of all, I'm so happy to hear that the Seattle Polaris dealer was good to you guys! The Meridian is a solid ebike and that $2K quote for last year's model is pretty sweet. They put a ton of effort into those first models and I was thrilled to hear about the computer updates to make them stronger.

There are benefits to having a dealer nearby but if the drive and cost are holding you back and Optibike is being good to you (and you like the bike) then I'd go for it. Jim is a great guy, they are very hands-on with their technology to make sure it's solid and they're just a good company all around... he even drops by the forums here from time to time to help people!

I really think you have a win-win situation on your hands and I'm excited to hear how it all turns out. I hope you and your wife love the bikes and I'm a little jealous that you get to live in Canada; it's one of my favorite nations in the world :)
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your quick reply.

We live in Edmonton, Canada; and though we do have a couple of cycle shops - dealer experience with e-bikes in our city is sorely lacking. In fact, we visited a dealer last week and they wouldn't let us test out one of their e-bikes due to a "liability concern". By contrast, I've been in contact with a Polaris dealer in Seattle - and they are exceptionally professional and invited us to test ride all of their bikes (which is how it should be). They are offering last year's Polaris models for $2000. I understand the benefit of buying local, and building a relationship with a service dealer but local e-bike prices are much higher as well. So, in essence, we are paying more for less service. With Optibike, we would be paying a premium for higher quality & better service. I'm ok with that.

I'm not stuck on any one brand however the pre-sales communication I've had with Optibike has been outstanding. My wife and I are going to visit their factory in Boulder and check out their bikes in person.

Hey OL,

I was in touch with Evobikes in Vancouver and one of the Easy Motion reps Joe Marcoux.
The website is
They are electric bike dealers in B.C and have some very nice collection of bikes, videos online (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCobFS2P6dWiKJug1VaBnHdg)

If you are close by, it is worth a visit.
 

oilerlord

Member
Hey OL,

I was in touch with Evobikes in Vancouver and one of the Easy Motion reps Joe Marcoux.
The website is
They are electric bike dealers in B.C and have some very nice collection of bikes, videos online (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCobFS2P6dWiKJug1VaBnHdg)

If you are close by, it is worth a visit.

I read in another post that you ride a Neo Jumper. Looks like a great bike, is quiet, and only 48Lbs! Please post your experience with it. Where did you buy yours?
 

Kaldeem

Active Member
I'm curious as to which ebike you ended up getting and why? I too am considering the Optibike Pioneer Allroad and the the Volton Alation 500. If you wouldn't mind posting your results, I'd appreciate it. @oilerlord
 

Reddy Kilowatt

Well-Known Member
Hi Oilerlord:
I too am curious what you got or are getting.
I voted with my wallet and am waiting for Optibike to build my Pioneer Allroad and ship it to me.
Did you know that they've announced a Pioneer City bike too? It's a step-through design (what we used to call a girl's bike). I don't know when it's coming or what the price will be, but it might be a nice choice for your wife (and the color would match your Pioneer Allroad).
The Meridian has less battery than the Optibike (30 volts vs. 37; 6 amperes vs. 10.5). It's a hub drive, whereas the Optibike is a mid drive with a higher-wattage motor (500 vs. 450).
So I suspect the Optibike would be a better climber. This is key for me, as I have a pretty stiff hill on my commute and the mid drive configuration uses the bike's gears making it a more capable climber.
Just some thoughts.
I've heard a lot of good things about Optibike, and Jim Turner—the company's founder—is a good explainer and seems like a good guy.
Allen