Received My ODK - Impressions Thread

Ian

Member
So today I took delivery of my matte grey ODK, after about 6 business days from the order date from California to Minnesota - pretty happy with that. The bike did not come with the basket that I had ordered and will come later - this is a bit of a bummer as I only found out once the bike arrived, but as long as it comes within a week or so I won't be too disappointed.

One thing to note as a buyer is that you can get $90 cheaper shipping by ordering through Amazon compared to directly through the website ($60 vs $150). I did not do this since you could not order the basket along with the bicycle, but now wish I would have since I didn't get the basket right off the bat anyway. Oh well, such is life.

Anyways, onto the actual bike impressions - firstly, it was heavier than I had expected. Even though I was aware of the numbers (I believe it's about 76 pounds for the 32ah version) I underestimated how unwieldy it would be when moving the bike around the garage or trying to fit it into my small hatchback. I did eventually manage to squeeze it into my Chevy Sonic and drive it home from the delivery location with my wife in the front seat, so that was a success. I don't plan on repeating that any time soon as it was not easy!

So my background - my only other bicycle is a Cannondale R800 road bike which I love to ride fast. This bike felt so foreign at first in every way in comparison to the R800 that I didn't like it so much after my first little 6 block test ride around the neighborhood. I started to fret that I wouldn't like the bike after all and that ordering it without test riding really was a big mistake. However, after adjusting the handlebars and seat position a bit, as well as adding in a thudbuster seat post, I decided to go for a slightly longer test ride. I had intended on tracking my GPS route with my phone to get an average speed figure but my phone's battery saver mode must have stopped it from collecting data so I didn't get to time my 4.6 mile test ride. All I know is that it felt great! I tackled loads of hills that are usually pretty exhausting without assist, but the ODK just munched them right up without struggling at all! Here's the route - I'm pretty sure I did this in 12-15 minutes. I will do more timed runs later when my phone works. Also, the battery started at 4/4, went down to 3/4 then went back up to 4/4 by the end of the 5 miles of test riding. I even got my 65 year old dad to give it a ride - I am sure he didn't have enough time to get used to the feel of the ride and the throttle response though, so he said "it wasn't his cup of tea".

I think it took me about 3 miles to get used to being comfortable with the bike and I definitely gained confidence as I went. I'm really looking forward to having the Cycle Analyst installed since I have become very accustomed to seeing my speed at all times on my road bike, so not having that seemed like a glaring omission. To me, the addition of a removal Bosch-style screen would be an awesome out-of-the-box addition to this bike, but I know that would add to the cost and support and R&D significantly so it likely isn't going to ever happen. Alas, the CA should take care of what I need even if it doesn't look too pretty.

One major note about the dynamics that I didn't really expect, was that the bike really doesn't help you out much on the top end - I really disliked at first how it would cut out at 20mph while going down a hill for instance. I eventually became more used to it and would just keep pedaling on without assist, but at first it was quite annoying. Also, the bike really boosts your average speed by bringing up the lowest speeds rather than by increasing your top speed at all. I have mixed feelings about this compared to a speed pedelec, but overall I think it makes for a safer bike riding experience. There were times in the ride where going 18-20 mph on throttle while processing all of the incoming road/pedestrian information was overwhelming, so I think doing that at 28mph could easily get out of hand.

I really appreciated the hydraulic disk brakes - there's no way I'd go with anything less on an ebike. They inspire so much more confidence in stopping power than the rim brakes on my road bike - definitely appreciate them and like that they're relatively quite.

On an aesthetics note - I think without baskets, bags, trunk carriers, etc, the bike looks a bit naked and it adds to the nerdy look of it (in a bad way in my subjective style opinion). I feel that without these cargo related add-ons, the bike just looks a bit out of place only carrying a human being and no cargo. I think that when I have it all loaded up with panniers, trunk and basket it will look more natural and purpose built rather than overbuilt and slightly awkward.

I'm still having trouble with geometry and fit - I may go to a bike shop and see if they can give me some pointers - I'm wondering if at 6'1" I need a stem riser to bring the handlebars up to where I need them. I also feel like I'm sitting too far forward even with the saddle pushed all the way to the back on the rails. Lastly - I'm debating putting on some clip-in pedals to increase the amount of power I can put down to the ground through the pedals. Platforms pedals just feel so foreign to me coming from road bike clip-ins.

Also, for front lights, I'm thinking that anything mounted to the handlebars would just get rattled around with that solid front fork, so I'm leaning more towards a helmet mounted solution at this point.

And, I am thinking that I'd prefer to use a Camelbak style hydration pack rather than a standard water bottle and cage for a couple reasons:
1. I don't want to reach down while riding to grab a water bottle, getting my hands wet if it has condensation, then try to operate the bike one handed on cruise control while I drink, then need to look down again to put it back in the holder. This whole process seems unsafe on an ebike that uses throttle only and can get out of control if you don't have a firm two-handed grip on the handlebars and throttle. Doing this with just a mouth piece from a hydration pack seems a lot safer for long-distance trip hydration.

2. I feel like I would end up hitting my legs or feet on the water bottle cage where it's mounted while getting on and off of the bike. Has anyone had that experience? An aluminum or plastic edge to my shin while getting off of the bike does not sound pleasant to me.

So that's my first impressions! Thought I'd get them all written down before I go to bed - otherwise I'm sure this would be a shorter post as I forgot the little things. Looking forward to giving it a 6.5 mile test tomorrow when I go to donate platelets in the morning. Looks like I'll have a couple hundred feet of hills to conquer with the help of the ODK :)

Cheers!
 

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pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
A fellow Minnesotan! I'm out in carver. I've always been intrigued by the odk, my wife had an ejoe epik lite folder bike that was so minimal and kinda fun to ride. I imagine this bike is similar. Enjoy the new bike!
 

Ian

Member
A fellow Minnesotan! I'm out in carver. I've always been intrigued by the odk, my wife had an ejoe epik lite folder bike that was so minimal and kinda fun to ride. I imagine this bike is similar. Enjoy the new bike!
If you're interested in giving this thing a test ride, PM me. That's an open invitation - I'd be more than happy to give anyone in the Twin Cities area a ride since there are none stock in any stores in the state. I had to "buy blind" but others in the area shouldn't have to!
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
We definitely should try to meet up sometime - I'm thinking about discussing a re-vamp of the community forum here to have a section for local rides by region/state (the community section needs an overhaul in general I think).

You can give my haibike a go as well if we meet up!
 

Ian

Member
So the ODK got a good amount of use today, with my wife doing all of the riding! She was hesitant to use it at first but soon (~3 miles in) had the hang of it and gained confidence. One huge advantage I see for this bike as my first e-bike is that my wife can also use it with minimal amounts of adjustments (just adjust the seat height with the quick release). To me, that means that it can be much more valuable to us as a couple and will get even more use and give my wife (who has no driver's license and a mild heart condition) more independence to move longer distances throughout the city!

At about mile 5 while we were passing stopped cars while cruising in the bike lane, my wife said "Why would anyone buy a car when you could buy one of these?" That put a big smile on my face and confirmed that the purchase was worth while. She has a 10 mile round trip bike commute this summer that would be perfect for an ODK but she's more frugal and hesitant to spend money than me so it will be a while I think before she pulls the trigger on an ebike. Maybe we'll switch off using it, hopefully it can get used 4 or 5 times a week on a regular basis.

One other big advantage of the fact that my wife can easily ride the ODK is that now we can go longer distances together on bikes - while I ride my road bike and she zips past me up hills on the ODK. Before, she would go about 9 mph compared to my 15 so we could never be a happy riding couple since I would get too impatient always slowing down to her speed. Now that problem is solved! It will be even better if/when she gets her own ODK or similar down the line but for now I'll just keep burning calories and getting in better shape on my road bike.

So the bike saw about 22 miles today and 5 yesterday on a battery that showed 4/4 initially (although I'm not sure if it was 100% fully charged when delivered, so it could be 85-100% starting charge) and it was just down to 2/4 LED's on the indicator. That alone makes me really happy that I got the 32ah version. I didn't need to worry at all during our adventures that she was going to run out of battery. We went everywhere around the city on bikes today and covered a lot of ground - it felt very nice!

Now I just need to get proper lights (I'm open to suggestions - thinking that mounting a light to the handlebars will be awkward because of the shape and I'm also worried about rattling it off with road vibrations- considering doing a helmet mounted light, maybe a Vis360+ system and not even putting a standard front light on) and panniers (likely Ortlieb classic rollers), as well as potentially the EMGO trunk to round things out. We'll see if the old credit card is up to all this abuse...

Tomorrow I have at least one planned trip of about 15 miles, and may do like a 50 mile round trip afterwards depending on how ambitious I'm feeling and if there is time in the day.

Cheers!
 

Tora Harris

Well-Known Member
So the ODK got a good amount of use today, with my wife doing all of the riding! She was hesitant to use it at first but soon (~3 miles in) had the hang of it and gained confidence. One huge advantage I see for this bike as my first e-bike is that my wife can also use it with minimal amounts of adjustments (just adjust the seat height with the quick release). To me, that means that it can be much more valuable to us as a couple and will get even more use and give my wife (who has no driver's license and a mild heart condition) more independence to move longer distances throughout the city!

At about mile 5 while we were passing stopped cars while cruising in the bike lane, my wife said "Why would anyone buy a car when you could buy one of these?" That put a big smile on my face and confirmed that the purchase was worth while. She has a 10 mile round trip bike commute this summer that would be perfect for an ODK but she's more frugal and hesitant to spend money than me so it will be a while I think before she pulls the trigger on an ebike. Maybe we'll switch off using it, hopefully it can get used 4 or 5 times a week on a regular basis.

One other big advantage of the fact that my wife can easily ride the ODK is that now we can go longer distances together on bikes - while I ride my road bike and she zips past me up hills on the ODK. Before, she would go about 9 mph compared to my 15 so we could never be a happy riding couple since I would get too impatient always slowing down to her speed. Now that problem is solved! It will be even better if/when she gets her own ODK or similar down the line but for now I'll just keep burning calories and getting in better shape on my road bike.

So the bike saw about 22 miles today and 5 yesterday on a battery that showed 4/4 initially (although I'm not sure if it was 100% fully charged when delivered, so it could be 85-100% starting charge) and it was just down to 2/4 LED's on the indicator. That alone makes me really happy that I got the 32ah version. I didn't need to worry at all during our adventures that she was going to run out of battery. We went everywhere around the city on bikes today and covered a lot of ground - it felt very nice!

Now I just need to get proper lights (I'm open to suggestions - thinking that mounting a light to the handlebars will be awkward because of the shape and I'm also worried about rattling it off with road vibrations- considering doing a helmet mounted light, maybe a Vis360+ system and not even putting a standard front light on) and panniers (likely Ortlieb classic rollers), as well as potentially the EMGO trunk to round things out. We'll see if the old credit card is up to all this abuse...

Tomorrow I have at least one planned trip of about 15 miles, and may do like a 50 mile round trip afterwards depending on how ambitious I'm feeling and if there is time in the day.

Cheers!
Good to hear that you are having a good time on the bike. Please keep us posted!