Juiced Bikes ODK U500 Review

Juiced Riders Odk U500 Electric Bike Review
Juiced Riders Electric Cargo Bike
500 Watt Front Geared Hub Motor
Battery Charger Port Lithium Manganese
Twist Shifter Battery Indicator
Rear Chain Protector
Juiced Riders 48v Battery
Juiced Riders Odk
Internally Geared Rear Hub Shimano
Chain Guard
Juiced Cargo Bike Child Seat
Juiced Riders Rear End Battery
Yepp Child Seat Rear Rack
Juiced Riders Odk U500 Electric Bike Review
Juiced Riders Electric Cargo Bike
500 Watt Front Geared Hub Motor
Battery Charger Port Lithium Manganese
Twist Shifter Battery Indicator
Rear Chain Protector
Juiced Riders 48v Battery
Juiced Riders Odk
Internally Geared Rear Hub Shimano
Chain Guard
Juiced Cargo Bike Child Seat
Juiced Riders Rear End Battery
Yepp Child Seat Rear Rack

Summary

  • A sturdy, thoughtfully designed cargo bike with a low center of gravity that's easy to mount and handle
  • Super strong 500 watt front hub motor paired with 48 volt Lithium Manganese battery pack
  • Long lasting 15 amp hour battery gets awesome range and includes one year warranty
  • Very affordable but packed with extras including upgraded pedals, fenders, chain guard and tires

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Juiced Riders

Model:

ODK U500

Price:

$2,199 USD

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Cargo

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Frame, 1 Year Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2013

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

72.5 lbs (32.88 kg)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, Cargo

Geometry Measurements:

70.2” x 29” x 44” (178 cm x 73 cm x 112 cm)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Fork Details:

JMF02 Steel, 6 mm Anti-Torque Dropouts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Basket Bosses

Gearing Details:

3 Speed 1x3 Sram i-3 Internally Geared Rear Hub

Shifter Details:

Twist Grip

Cranks:

170 mm

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Stem:

Promax 180 mm

Handlebar:

Moto Style

Brake Details:

Tektro HD-E710 Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors

Grips:

Velo Lock On

Saddle:

Velo Comfort, Wide

Seat Post:

Quick Release

Rims:

Double Wall, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Front: 12G, Rear: 13G

Tire Brand:

Kenda 924

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Accessories:

Heavy Duty Welded Rear Rack, Optional Front Basket, Front and Rear Fenders with Mud Guards, Rear LED Light, Side Kickstand (Optional Center Kickstand), Bash Guard on Gear Shifter in Rear

Other:

Maximum Weight (Rider + Payload) 330 lbs, Cruise Control

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang BPM

Motor Type:

Front-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

15 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

720 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

LED Console on Left Bar

Readouts:

Battery Level 1-5, Cruise Control

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Juiced Riders ODK U500 has one of the worst names I’ve seen but offers one of the best electric cargo bikes I’ve come across. Please note that this review is for the 2013 model, to learn about the most recent version check out the ODK V3 review. The ODK U500 is available as a standard non-electric cargo bike for just $899 or a very reasonable $2,199 as an ebike. For the money, you’ll get strength, range, durability and a decent one year warranty on the frame, components and battery system! Unlike some other entries in this space such as the the Pedego Tandem that optionally converts to cargo bike by removing the rear seat, the Juiced Riders ODK U500 was purpose built with hauling in mind and it really shows.

The hub motor on this bike offers 500 watts of power (as you might have guessed from the U500 name) and is designed to work with 48 volts of power input which is at the upper end of mainstream ebikes. It’s a geared motor meaning it offers more torque but has internal parts that could wear out a little faster over time. You’ll be able to ride with large loads (up to 330 lbs including rider) and easily manage small and medium sized hills without pedaling. The motor runs smooth and quiet (see the video review above) and is so powerful that the front wheel will actually spin out if the throttle is twisted abruptly from stop.

The battery configuration chosen for the ODK U500 is Lithium Manganese which strikes a balance between the high performance, low weight benefits of Lithium-ion and the lower cost but fewer cycles offered by Lead Acid. All things considered, given the generous one year warranty and low price of this bike, this battery choice makes sense. In terms of positioning on the bike, the battery is protected very well in a long aluminum case that is mounted in the rear rack area and completely surrounded by aluminum tubing. The front of the pack has an on/off switch and the rear has a twist cover for charging. Unfortunately this battery is not so easy to take off so you’ll want to charge it while on the bike. The battery offers 15 amp hours of capacity which is 50% more than most electric bikes and that extends range dramatically, especially when paired with the higher 48 volts of power which creates efficiency in riding. This bike gets over 30 miles on a charge and that’s without pedaling!

Beyond the motor and battery chosen for the ODK U500, the frame and components are all very solid and well thought out. I have very few complaints other than the relatively stiff ride quality. The wheels are 20″ in diameter which is smaller than the standard 26″ or 29″/700c that most bikes use. This makes the bike easier to mount, load and balance on at stop signs but doesn’t smooth over bumps quite as gently. Also, there are no shock absorbers and while the tires are oversized, they are made with extra thick rubber that takes some of the softness out. The seat is oversized and fairly soft which helps but I recommend considering a seat post shock if you live in an especially bumpy area or will be riding a lot.

A few drawbacks to this bike include the lack of pedal assist, although there is a unique cruise control feature built in. This is an interesting feature, rare in the world of ebikes, that could serve to relax the hand of a rider who might otherwise have to twist the throttle unendingly over the course of long commutes. I also would have liked integrated lights, especially given the extra capacity of the 15 amp hour battery. The control unit on this bike is very simple and won’t display your speed, distance or other fancy statistics. One other drawback is the lack of a rear disc brake, only the front wheel has it. In wet conditions and with heavy loads disc brakes are preferred and it would be nice to have them on both wheels but I think this decision was made to keep the rear wheel simple, inexpensive and to more easily accomodate the hub gearing system in the rear.

My favorite part of this bike is the rear rack itself. I was delighted to find that the cross bar configuration works perfectly with child seats, food boxes and other after market accessories. There are five cross bars to work with along the top and three along each side. The top bars on the rear rack are oversized, providing strength and durability but the extra side bars are narrow gauge and match standard bicycle racks exactly! This is a big deal because it opens up a whole world of pannier accessories. Many electric bikes require double sided panniers that sling over the top because the rear racks are too fat (having to support a battery and extreme forces), but that’s not the case here.

Other pleasing features of this bike include the internally geared rear hub which makes shifting from stand still possible. While it only offers three gears, this bike wasn’t built for speed and three works well enough while keeping the bike light, simple and avoiding derailleurs. The chain itself is relatively tight because there aren’t any rings for shifting gears, this means it won’t slap the chainstay or fall off as easily when riding over bumps. The chain is also protected with an extended chain guard to keep your pants clean and snag free. The metal studded Welgo pedals work well and will hold up in wet conditions or if the bike tips over onto its side. The rear hub has a protective metal cage surrounding the cable inclosure. The spokes on both wheels are wide gauge, offering increased strength for heavy loads.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan of this bike. I was delighted by the features and quality I found when inspecting and riding it. The combination of thoughtful design choices, durability, warranty and low price combined with three fun colors make this bike a strong competitor in the world of electric cargo bikes and even as a stand along electric bike! It’s not as smooth riding as a bike with 700c wheels and oversized balloon tires with a sprung saddle, but it more than delivers in almost every other way. Especially if you’re using it as a delivery bike ;)

Pros:

  • Extra thick tires are durable and thorn resistant
  • Rear rack provides numerous top mounting points that work seamlessly with Yepp child seat, mobile food boxes, seat pads and other accessories
  • Rear rack provides side bars made with narrow gauge tubing that match standard bicycle racks, making it compatible with nearly all pannier bags
  • Smaller 20″ wheels keep the weight of this bike low to the ground
  • Low step design makes mounting, and resting with one foot very easy, this is especially helpful when hauling heavy loads
  • Super strong 500 watt motor and 48 volt battery combination
  • Large sized 15 amp hour battery will go 30+ miles
  • Ultra durable aluminum battery case is protected on all sides by rear rack
  • Internal hub gear can be shifted from standstill, helpful when hauling large loads
  • Solid Welgo pedals, high end Tektro ebike brake levers and quality fenders
  • Built in “cruise control” button allows twist-free riding over long distances
  • Plastic chain guard keeps pants clean and snag free, rear derailleur cage protects shifting mechanics
  • Wide gauge spokes and additional cross bar supports on frame support heavy loads up to 330 lbs (150 kg)

Cons:

  • Lower grade Lithium Manganese battery pack won’t get as many charge cycles as Lithium-ion but keeps the bike affordable
  • Only three gears available, work well enough but more limiting than other comparable bikes
  • Smaller wheels combined with thick tires make this bike more jarring when riding over bumps, no shocks but the soft wide seat helps some, consider a seat post shock absorber
  • Battery is meant to be left on the bike, cannot easily remove for charging
  • No computer console to show speed, distance or precise battery level, instead opts for a cheaper LED indecator
  • No pedal assist mode, must twist throttle or use cruise control
  • No lights included, must buy separately and power from separate sources
  • Wires are not run through the bicycle frame but do stay out of the way and are managed well enough

Resources:

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Angelo
3 years ago

How the heck can the "ride time" be 1.5 hours with a 48 volt 15 amp hour Lithium Manganese battery, yet the "range" is 35 to 40 miles? I know the road, wind and weight of the rider makes a difference but what a difference.

Court Rye
3 years ago

Hi Angelo! That's a great point and I bet the bike would actually go for upwards of two hours but since it's a cargo bike with smaller diameter wheels there are a couple of other factors to consider in there. It's got excellent torque but also weighs 70+ pounds without rider or cargo and honestly the range spec is more of an estimate. I'll try to get a more detailed response from the founder of Juiced. Thanks for chiming in!

Angelo
3 years ago

By the way. Great blog. I'm spend alot of time here tonight.

Steve Loar
3 years ago

On the Juiced site it says it's a 48v 22amp Panasonic Lithium battery that will get over 50 miles of travel. And the price is now $3199, which is not cheap. That's for the Version 3, this one must be the Version 2?

Court Rye
3 years ago

Yeah, they are constantly tweaking the models and V3 has even undergone some improvements and refinements since I reviewed it a while back :)

Dennis Figueroa
1 year ago

PLEASE try your best to review the Juiced Cross Current electric bicycle. New for 2016, Thank you, Dennis

Court Rye
1 year ago

Hi Dennis, it's definitely on the list and I'm speaking with a dealer about doing a review soon. Thanks for making the suggestion!

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Bicyclista
1 week ago

I forgot to say that Court has reviewed both the RadWagon here and the Juiced Bikes U500 here.

Bicyclista
1 week ago

While I have been eyeing both the RadWagon and the U500 as my next ebike purchase, I do not own them. I test rode an earlier version of the U500 and was very favorably impressed. There are many RadWagon and (perhaps fewer) U500 owners on this site. Perhaps they can chime in. (My ebike is a Haibike mountain bike, which would not be suitable to carrying a toddler in back.)

Since you are tall, perhaps the RadWagon would suit you better than the U500, given that the U500 has smaller wheels. The RadWagon can be fitted with running boards, important for your child's feet if he/she is sitting behind you.

I urge you to find a dealer who carries the bike you are interested in and test ride it before you buy.

DMJ
1 week ago

Thank you for the thorough and helpful response! Any thoughts on U500 vs. RadWagon? Looks like both will be in the $1600-1800 range, which I may be willing to go to if it really gets me what I need.

Bicyclista
1 week ago

If you want "super safe and reliable" I would stay away from a crowd-funded projects which are, by definition, untested products by the market, with no consumers having used the product in the real world. I myself had a poor experience with a Kickstarter ebike conversion kit. And remember, you don't get your money back if you are dissatisfied with a crowd-funded product. I didn't.

Perhaps you are aware that Court did review the MOAR bike. While the bike has many positives, the negatives would make me stay away: very heavy (74.5 lbs), frame flexes (there goes your "super safe" requirement!), a lot of weight up high and to the rear (bad for handling and for safety).

For your budget of $1200 I can only think of Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent Air ($1,095), but I doubt you can fit a child's seat big enough for a toddler on that bike. Personally, were I looking for a bike that can easily accommodate a child seat for a 4-year old I would look at cargo bikes, such as the RadWagon, the Juiced Bikes U500 Utility Bike, or some of the other cargo ebikes that Court has reviewed. But all those cargo bikes exceed your budget, which is perhaps a bit unrealistic.

Good luck on your search!

Marc V
2 weeks ago

I've been towing this 300 +- pound homemade trailer for my business with my single speed (geared 46 x 18) for 6 months last year. No hills ha ha! I decided to go with an ebike to extend my range and to tackle some of the hills in my service area.

I just purchased the Voltbike Mariner and will be doing towing tests starting tomorrow. It is nominal 500 watts and peaks out at 850 watts.
I was looking at the Mariner as well but decided to go with the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 V3 instead. Let me know how it goes! Take care, ride safe! Marc V

Marc V
2 weeks ago

Among the bikes that fit most of your criteria, including size, range, and the ability to carry stuff, is the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 utility bike. Juiced offers 3 different batteries for their bikes, and the mid-level option (48V, 23Ah) will give you the 60-mile range you want while staying within your budget. Few other ebikes offer a battery with that range. I test rode an earlier version of that bike and was favorably impressed. It will probably be my next ebike purchase, in a year or so, as soon as I pay off my current ebike.

Here is Court's review of the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 and here is a link to the manufacturer's website.
I just got the juiced odk u500 v3 ebike over the weekend.

This is my 2nd ebike and so far i am very happy with my purchase!

I got the 32ah battery which is estimated 80+ mile range, have not done a range test though.

Be aware though the battery is heavy and isn't designed to be removed.

With the heavy duty frame and heavy duty battery the ebike is on the heavier side so lifting it going up and down stairs with it is challenging.

Tora of juiced bikes does mention he designed this bike to be a car replacement (or as we are recently saying in other post "car alternative" :) ).

I do use it to commute around my city as well as commute to work. I try to ride as much as possible weather and time permitting.

I average close to 20 miles a day and recommend this bike if it meets your needs.

I would recommend you test ride it and others if possible to get a good feel for what works for you.

Happy hunting!

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V

Ravi Kempaiah
2 weeks ago

Any word on the development of this new bike? Does it look like the initial 100 unit batch will still ship in April? Will the 21ah battery and HD Cadence Sensor/Torque Sensor combo be available on the initial batch? Is the Tektro HD-E715 Hydraulic brakes not available in the initial 100 unit batch?

@MarkP ,

@Tora Harris is working on this non-stop. This is an exciting product for sure.
He might be able to get you the 21Ah battery with the torque sensor and HD-E715 brakes. These are spec'ed on Cross Current and ODK U500 platform. So, it will be easy swap.
If I were you, I would reach out to him. His email is tora@juicedbikes.com

Lucky Vaga
2 weeks ago

Among the bikes that fit most of your criteria, including size, range, and the ability to carry stuff, is the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 utility bike. Juiced offers 3 different batteries for their bikes, and the mid-level option (48V, 23Ah) will give you the 60-mile range you want while staying within your budget. Few other ebikes offer a battery with that range. I test rode an earlier version of that bike and was favorably impressed. It will probably be my next ebike purchase, in a year or so, as soon as I pay off my current ebike.

Here is Court's review of the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 and here is a link to the manufacturer's website.
Thank you! I did not even see this bike so I will be looking to test ride it soon.

Marc V
2 weeks ago

Hey Pete12:

I am curious to see what you end up getting as well as if it hits all your needs! I switched from an EZ pedaler X350 to a Juiced ODK U500 V3 for different reasons, but from my initial research the ODK is pretty durable and versatile. I just got it over the weekend so I don't have much personal experience with it in different situations but I did read this couple's experiences with the ODK U500 and they look to be hauling passengers as well as cargo!

Pretty interesting read if you want to read the whole thing as they go into their experiences trying to get by without a car and using a few different vehicles to try and replace their car :)

http://www.frugalhappy.org/blog/2016/6/20/carfree-experiment-our-new-fleet

Here are pics from their webpage to give you an example of what they're hauling (Not my personal pics)

Not sure if they are part of this forum community otherwise I would tag them and thank them as their info helped me get mine and so far am happy with my purchase!

1/3
bob armani
2 weeks ago

Hey Bob:

I forgot to mention I asked a few orgs on FaceBook about eBikes and I didn't get official answers but both pages I contacted did get back to me with a response so interpret them as you see fit :)

Also FYI, I got a new eBike, Juiced ODK U500 V3, I am really enjoying it so far. Hopefully you find an eBike you will enjoy as well as I hope you find out for sure what we can and can't do with eBikes on the trails you want to ride on, and please share with us. I don't ride on trails often but it would be good to know what their local law is. Thanks!

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V

Hey Marc-Thanks for the heads up. The local Chicago muni-code below seems to be clear that you can be fined if you ride our trails with power assist on over 15mph. Does this mean we actually can ride in like say ECO mode if we do not exceed 15mph? What do you think? Read it and weep LOL!

Did you purchase your new bike locally? Congrats. I'll check it out online.

Take Care Marc!

Motorized Bicycles: Persons may not use or ride within the District any electric or electric assisted bicycle capable of exceeding a speed of fifteen (15) miles per hour. Any violation of this Section 4-3-1.B. shall be fined not less than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) or more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense. This section is not intended to prohibit any person with mobility impairment(s) from using an electronic personal assistive mobility device.

from: https://www.municode.com/library/il/cook_county/codes/forest_preserve?nodeId=TIT4MOVETR

Marc V
2 weeks ago

Hey e-boy!

Hope you find an eBike that works for you. I live in Chicago and my daily commute to work is around 20 miles round trip. My 1st eBike was an EZ Pedaler X350 and I put over 600 miles on that sucker since oct 2016 when I bought it. I really enjoyed that eBike and would have been fine just sticking with that, but I needed more weight capacity when hauling cargo (or a passenger :) ) so I now have the Juiced ODK U500 V3 and so far am really liking it!

If you watch some of Juiced Bikes videos on youtube Tora specifically says they designed this eBike to be a car replacement eBike. I ended getting the 48v 32Ah battery which is estimated 80-100mile range but I have not tested that for my average use. Of course those are probably estimated in optimal conditions, so weight, terrain, weather can all play a factor and you do say you will be dealing with hills.

I was also looking at the pedego stretch and yuba spicy curry cargo bikes, but I ended up choosing the Juiced ODK U500 because of the battery and I don't know if I was ready for a full cargo bike :) and the ODK although some consider it a cargo bike is in my opinion an in-between with its mid tail.

Hope that helps, but I agree with everyone else statements on what to consider.

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V

Marc V
2 weeks ago

I'll keep you all posted on what the advocacy group says. Sounds like you have it all covered from a safety standpoint while riding. Good for you! I was at the Village Cycle web site on Wells and FAQs say it is 'legal' to ride on the bike trails per the People for Bikes advocacy group. Try telling a cop that LOL!

I have also inquired about exchanges at Kozy Cycles and they indicated that if you do the return/exchange, there are restocking fees attached to it especially if you special ordered the bike. It adds up quick to $$$. That is why my research is key! :)

Thanks for your time and comments Marc!
Hey Bob:

I forgot to mention I asked a few orgs on FaceBook about eBikes and I didn't get official answers but both pages I contacted did get back to me with a response so interpret them as you see fit :)

Also FYI, I got a new eBike, Juiced ODK U500 V3, I am really enjoying it so far. Hopefully you find an eBike you will enjoy as well as I hope you find out for sure what we can and can't do with eBikes on the trails you want to ride on, and please share with us. I don't ride on trails often but it would be good to know what their local law is. Thanks!

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V

1/2
Bicyclista
3 weeks ago

Among the bikes that fit most of your criteria, including size, range, and the ability to carry stuff, is the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 utility bike. Juiced offers 3 different batteries for their bikes, and the mid-level option (48V, 23Ah) will give you the 60-mile range you want while staying within your budget. Few other ebikes offer a battery with that range. I test rode an earlier version of that bike and was favorably impressed. It will probably be my next ebike purchase, in a year or so, as soon as I pay off my current ebike.

Here is Court's review of the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 and here is a link to the manufacturer's website.

kitsunegari
11 hours ago

HEY NICE RACK

Peter Q
7 months ago

Whats better this or the Rad Wagon?

Chris Hvid
3 years ago

Pedal you fool! Is the gearing high enough at top speed?

Chris Hvid
3 years ago

Thanks...ebikes are HYBRID vehicles! Human power will help you live with a smile!  :-)

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Are you referencing Gandalf from Lord of the Rings... because if so, that's awesome. To answer your question, the three speed internally geared hub works alright at low and high speeds (top speed on this ebike with the motor is 20mph). I didn't ride it at full speed a whole lot but your cadence would probably be higher than if this were a seven speed ebike. The gears are sort of middle-range. Sorry for the very qualitative answer here... it has been a while since I rode this particular bike :)

LiveCheapAndProsper
4 years ago

Excellent review. Looks great bike.