OHM Urban XU700 16 Review

Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Electric Bike Review 1
Ohm Urban Xu700 16
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Sram Via 10 Speed Cassette
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Lithium Ion 48 Volt Samsung Battery
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Removable Lcd Display And Throttle Ring
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Custom Velo Relaxed Saddle
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Fsa Comet Bottom Bracket Outboard Bearings
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Pletscher Zoom Kickstand Racktime Stand It Rack
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Full Length Polycarbonate Fenders Led Light
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Hydraulic Magura Disc Brakes 180mm
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Locking Grips Grip Shifter
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Mid Rise Satori Deviant Handlebar
Ohm Ebike Battery Charger And Suntour Ncx Seat Post
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Electric Bike Review 1
Ohm Urban Xu700 16
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Sram Via 10 Speed Cassette
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Lithium Ion 48 Volt Samsung Battery
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Removable Lcd Display And Throttle Ring
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Custom Velo Relaxed Saddle
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Fsa Comet Bottom Bracket Outboard Bearings
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Pletscher Zoom Kickstand Racktime Stand It Rack
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Full Length Polycarbonate Fenders Led Light
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Hydraulic Magura Disc Brakes 180mm
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Locking Grips Grip Shifter
Ohm Urban Xu700 16 Mid Rise Satori Deviant Handlebar
Ohm Ebike Battery Charger And Suntour Ncx Seat Post

Summary

  • A high power, high speed, urban style electric bike with nearly every accessory you could, great for commuting or trekking
  • Extremely quiet drivetrain, four levels of assist and regen with variable speed trigger throttle, removable battery, display panel LCD and quick release front wheel
  • Impressive weight ~51 lbs considering the accessories (lights, fenders, rack, suspension fork, kevelar lined Schwalbe tires)
  • Not very stealth due to the larger diameter motor, higher price point ~$4,199, excellent three year electronics warranty

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

OHM

Model:

Urban XU700 16

Price:

$4,199 USD

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting, Touring

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

3 Year Electronics, 5 Year Frame

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

51.5 lbs (23.35 kg)

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

ADVANCE™ Hydroformed Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16.5 in (41.91 cm)18.5 in (46.99 cm)20.5 in (52.07 cm)22.5 in (57.15 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small 16.5” (Recommended Rider Height 6’1”, Wheel Base 1130 mm, Top Tube Length 620 mm, Reach 423 mm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Charcoal with White Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Suntour RAIDON XC-LO-R, Air Spring, Tapered Steerer, Hydraulic Damping, Lockout, 15QLC Thru-Axle, 100 mm Travel

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 SRAM VIA GT, Exact Actuation™, WiFli+, PowerGlide™ 1070 Cassette, 11-36T

Shifter Details:

SRAM Gripshift S on Right Bar

Cranks:

FSA Comet 7154, 48T with Chainguard, S/ M: 170mm L/ XL: 175mm

Pedals:

Wellgo M111 Platform, Aluminum Forged, Anodized, CR-MO Spindle

Headset:

Ritchey Pro Logic Press Fit Taperd 1 1/ 8"- 1 1/ 2"

Stem:

Zoom TDS, 35 Degree Rise, 31.8 mm Clamp

Handlebar:

Satori Deviant, 620 mm Wide, 10 Degree Sweep, 25 mm Rise, 31.8 mm Diameter

Brake Details:

Magura MTE Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Magura MTE CARBOTECTURE® Levers with Integrated Regenerative Brake Switch on Right Lever

Grips:

SRAM GS Locking, Full Length, 122 mm, Black

Saddle:

OHM Comfort II by Velo, Double Density Base, ArcTech Suspension, Zone Cut

Seat Post:

Satori ELEVATION OF

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

ALEX EN24, 36H, Stainless Single Eyelets

Spokes:

Sapim Strong, 2.3 - 2.0 mm

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe BIG BEN, 27.5" x 2.0"

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

Kevlar Guard, 50 EPI, 35-70 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

FSA Bash Guard, Pletscher Zoom Kickstand, Busch & Müller IQ Cyo T Premium Headlight and TOPLIGHT View Backlight, Racktime Standit Rear Rack (30 kg Max Load), All-Weather Polycarbonate Fenders, Optional Suntour NCX Suspension Seatpost, Optional Aqua Dock (Bottle Cage Adapter)

Other:

Custom Internal Cable Routing, SRAM PowerLock™ PC1071 Chain, FSA BSA Sealed Cartridge Bottom Bracket, SRAM MTH 716 Front Hub with 15 mm Thru-Axle 32H

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

BionX

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

1000 watts

Motor Torque:

50 Newton meters (Nominal 25 Nm)

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

556.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

80 miles (129 km)

Display Type:

Removeable Backlit Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Battery Charge Level, Speed, Assist Level (1-4), Regeneration Level (1-4), Odometer, Trip Distance, Average Speed, Trip Time, Chronometer, Lights Indicator

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)(20 mph Throttle Only)

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Written Review

The XU700 is one of OHM’s most popular electric bikes, it’s an urban model designed for speed, efficiency and utility. Compared to older versions, the 16 model offers a rigid stem and customized saddle… I see a lot of entry-level ebikes that are priced lower than the XU700 but don’t deliver the same ride quality or ergonomic fit. The welding isn’t as clean, the stem might be weaker and the disc brakes are mechanical and more prone to squeaking. Even things like tires and racks just aren’t as solid and durable… and that’s what you get from OHM here, but it does cost more. This is a platform that’s completely built out. You really don’t need anything extra to manage rain or to transport cargo or ride at night. The best part is that all of the accessories on the bike were specifically chosen to match and perform at a high level. The rack offers 30 kg of carrying capacity instead of just 25, the suspension fork offers 100 mm of travel and has rebound, lockout and air pressure adjustments, the lights are integrated (they run off of the main battery) and the fenders are supported with extra struts. If you’re a commuter who wants to ride a bit faster and top hills with relative ease then this is a great platform. Aesthetically, the bike looks great to me but the unique D-Series hub motor from BionX is larger and that’s going to stand out a bit. The XU700 is only available in the high-step frame but if you’re a bit shorter or prefer step-thru they do offer an XU700 LS option that’s very similar (and uses a smaller more discreet motor).

Driving this electric bike is a time-tested gearless, direct drive hub motor produced by BionX. It’s their top of the line D-Series 500 watt design with extra wide but narrow build for improved climbing power. It’s actually lighter than the smaller P-Series and similar to the S-Series. At ~8.8 lbs it’s still not “light” compared to an internally geared hub motor and that’s because it uses large magnets to produce power instead of gears. The end result is a product that’s more durable and capable of regenerative braking but also not as efficient for coasting. This motor (as with most of the gearless hubs I test) doesn’t freewheel and you experience a tiny bit of drag due to cogging (the magnets repel the stater inside the casing). In practice, it’s not something I notice much but I feel compelled to highlight the differences. Ultimately, I appreciate this innovative design and like that they matched the plastic shell to the spokes and rim (all in black). The torque sensor for pedal assist is built right into the hub which keeps it protected and might also make maintenance easier. The rear end of the bike is fairly standard with 135 mm drop out width and a cassette that slides onto a spline. If you need to do maintenance there are two quick connectors for power and they are both well positioned under the left chainstay. I feel like they stay out of the way and overall the rear end of the bike is narrow and sleak.

Powering the motor, display and headlight/tail-light combo is a powerful Lithium-ion battery with quality Samsung cells. This pack fits neatly and securely onto the downtube which keeps weight low and centered on the frame. Unlike most aftermarket conversions with BionX (or other) e-bike kits, the mounting rail on the OHM Urban XU700 uses three bolts for added durability. It might be overkill on an urban electric bike (just like the oversized tapered head tube and 15 mm thru-axle on the front wheel) but I’ll take it! This thing handles well on packed trails and grass and the kevlar-lined tires should hold up better if you encounter thorns. The pack locks to the mounting bracket securely and has a flip-up lever on top making it easy to carry around. I like the design and matching black color with OHM decals, this is a purpose built electric bike and even though it’s using a third party battery and motor system they look great together. I also appreciate the internally routed power cables because they don’t get snagged as easily. Inside the pack are 18650 Samsung cells offering 48 volts of power and 11.6 amp hours of capacity which is pretty great (especially if you use regen). If you want to maximize range, I suggest using one of the two lower levels of assist and you can extend the life of the pack by storing it in a cool dry location at a 20% to 80% charge level. Check on it every few months and top it off if you haven’t used it.

One of my favorite parts about the BionX electric bike system is the user interface. Once the battery pack is charged and seated properly you can activate the bike by pressing the top left or right button on the display pad. You’ll see a speed and battery level readout but most of the screen is used for assist levels. There are four bars on the left (denoting regeneration level) and four bars on the right (denoting assist level). It’s super intuitive and easy to read… the remote button pad near the right grip makes changing levels easy and safe. You don’t have to take your hand off the grip to interact with the drive system and you can override assist with the variable speed throttle at any time. I tend to ride in lower levels of assist for exercise and efficiency then jump in with the throttle to scale hills or pass people. The only caveat to the throttle system is that the bike must be rolling ~2 mph before it can activate, this is a safety feature designed to reduce accidents. On that note, I recommend always turning the system off (by pressing the power button) before removing the battery or loading the bike onto a car/bus/train. I like the charger that’s included because it’s small and light weight ~1.5 lbs so you can easily bring it along for a quick top-off. There’s a 10 minute timer built into the bicycle controller so you hear a “beep” when you’ve parked and it automatically powers down. I love that the display panel is removable, the mount for it swivels to reduce glare and that there’s an integrated brake lever motor cutoff + regen! Many ebikes with pedelec sensors have two motor inhibitors but that’s partially because they aren’t as responsive as torque sensors (like the system on this bike). At any time, when you tap the right brake lever (even partially) the motor will act as a generator and recapture energy at ~15% efficiency. It’s kind of neat and it will help reduce wear on your brake pads while extending range.

The XU700 is really well designed and outfitted, it’s a solid electric bike that’s clean, quiet and durable. It costs more than some of the other city bikes I’ve seen with similar motor and battery power specs but most of them lack the fenders, racks, lights, upgraded saddles, 10 speed cassette etc. etc. and this stuff is all high-end on the XU700. Not everyone cares about these upgrades but they aren’t trivial. I love that in addition to the frame size options OHM also offers a line of accessories guaranteed to work with their bikes and I’m a big fan of the optional Suntour NCX seat post suspension. This thing costs an additional ~$130 but definitely smooths out the ride and compliments the suspension fork nicely. As someone who prefers a comfortable and safe upright position for city riding but doesn’t enjoy the jarring feel of potholes, cracks and other obstacles the XU700 with the suspension post is perfect. Yes, there are mid-drive ebikes available now that offer similar climbing power but very few have throttles, they tend to be noisier and the don’t have as much top-end power. Hub motors can be great, especially on a hardtail bike like this… If you live somewhere with smooth roads you can always lock out the front fork to reduce bobbing and increase efficiency but I usually leave it open. OHM designs their own frames and works closely with BionX to choose drive systems that will match the type of riding for each bike and I think they did a great job here.

Pros:

  • One of the highest torque hub motors I’ve tested, the larger diameter allows it to be thinner and it’s actually lighter than some lower watt motors due to the unique casing and spoke design (spokes connect to the inner hub and not the perimeter of the motor casing)
  • High quality wheels and tires, you get kevlar lined Schwalbe Big Ben’s with reflective sidewalls (extra large for improved comfort and durability) in 27.5″ size which is a nice happy medium that works well with suspension but is also efficient and steady over bumps
  • The battery pack and display panel are both removable which makes the bike lighter during transport and also deters wear and theft when parked outside or in public spaces
  • The display panel is backlit for use in limited light and symmetrical so people who are left or right handed can interact with it more comfortably, it also swivels front to back to reduce glare
  • I really like how intuitive the display panel is on the BionX system, you’ve got four regen modes, four assist modes and a throttle that works at all times and offers variable speed output, it’s clean and intuitive
  • Great accessories here including full length plastic fenders (with mudflaps and extra struts for strength), a rear rack, nice adjustable kickstand, bell, locking grips and integrated lights
  • Available in four frame sizes for improved fit, the sloped top tube is nice when standing over the frame but is still very strong and stiff
  • High-end suspension fork with lockout, great hydraulic disc brakes which are easy to actuate using just two fingers (they include motor inhibitors as well)
  • Quality drivetrain, SRAM Via GT with 10 cogs, shifts quickly and smoothly, offers a good range for climbing or riding at higher speeds
  • The hollow spindle saves weight, outboard bearings create stiffness in power transfer while pedaling and the chainring has a plastic guide to keep the chain on track and an aluminum bash guard to protect teeth from impact and your pants from getting greasy :)
  • Pedal assist is activated through a torque sensor which means it is very smooth and responsive, this also means you need to push a bit more and pedal actively to get it working in lower assist levels

Cons:

  • The bike easily accelerates to 20 mph in throttle mode but then cuts out kind of abruptly, it would be nice if it eased off more smoothly… you can go faster than 20 if you’re pedaling along
  • The gearless motor is heavier than a geared equivalent and makes the bike more back-heavy (especially with the rack), the mid-mount battery helps even it out
  • The motor casing is fairly large and obvious, it doesn’t hide behind the cassette and disc brake rotor as well as some of the smaller geared designs and can catch more crosswind
  • Because the motor is gearless and direct drive there is some cogging drag that reduces coasting efficiency, thankfully regen helps to recapture some of this energy at ~15% efficiency
  • For safety, the BionX kit is designed to limit throttle use until the bike is moving ~2 mph, this isn’t exactly a con but I wanted to mention it
  • The fenders are very useful but if you are pedaling and making a tight turn it’s possible to kick the front fender because of the larger wheel size at 27.5″ also the bolt-on rack might need to be checked and tightened occasionally to make sure it isn’t rattling loose vs. a welded-on rack

Resources:

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Comments (10) YouTube Comments

biker2
4 years ago

Great review — that’s the bike I bought last month and I really really love it. Zero problems, very powerful up the hills, and excellent range. The throttle does cut off suddenly at the limit which is a pain, but not sure what OHM could do about that (or more accurately BionX) as it’s the legal limit — just feels like the engine wants to do so much more!

If we bought another e-bike for the family, it would be next year’s OHM — quality stuff. Also I hear BionX is going to come out with downtube battery so looking forward to how that will be intergrated. Thanks Court the the great review, as always.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Cool, great testimonial! Yeah, I’ve also heard something about downtube batteries in future BionX builds. I saw one in Europe with this design and it looked pretty sweet… even more secure and refined but also a bit pricier.

  Reply
Jack Tyler
3 years ago

Court, I’m down to my ‘final four’, one of which is either OHM’s Sport or Urban model. But perhaps you can help me understand how they differ beyond the fact the Urban’s controller is set up to be a Speed Pedelec. Comparing the specs, there are no significant differences. You describe riding positions differently – for the Sport, you list it as ‘forward’ – but the pics and specs both suggest they are the same. OHM’s website makes quite a big deal about their different purposes, claiming the Sport is a true mountain bike, but their limited specs don’t support a difference other than price. The Sport’s lighter weight is, I’m assuming, simply the difference of the accessories, which are standard on the Urban. Tires and rims differ (and that’s about it, say the specs) but those don’t really define the bike itself. (Maybe it just got too late in the evening for me!) You might remember I recently moved to Bozeman MT with both its mountain trails and town bike paths. That might suggest preferring the Sport model. But with the identical specs, I’m not sure I wouldn’t prefer the Urban’s higher top speed for those longer rides. Sorry to take you back almost a year, but perhaps you can clear up my clouded head for me! Many thanks, Court.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Jack! It’s a bit clouded for me as well, many companies will recycle frames and even share components across a line. I think the tires, top speed and possibly the bar or other minor accessories is all that would be different here. You might be best off calling OHM directly, I try to be as thorough as possible with reviews but one thing I’ve noticed is that models will change throughout the year. Customers can sometimes feel frustrated that the details I reported are different than what they got and this is best resolved by reaching out to the company first or simply adjusting the bike to suit your needs on arrival. High speed performance is something you won’t be able to add later… and note that it will drain your battery more quickly. So in a way it’s great for long distances (to speed up the commute) but it actually limits the distance you can travel ;)

  Reply
Justin
3 years ago

Hi Jack. I recently tried out both models at OHM’s headquarters, and was able to speak to co-creator Michael DeVisser about some of the differences between them. The frames themselves are identical in their geometry, though the black Sport model has slightly wider chainstays to accommodate a wider rear tire (2.4″ vs 2″ in the Urban model- could be important if you wanted more stability, cushion and puncture resistance for your off-road riding; also has wider rims for extra strength). The stem and handlebar on the Sport model have a lower degree of rise, so will feel a bit more “forward” (though are still quite upright compared to most MTB models out there). It also has an upgraded drivetrain (SLX vs Deore), and a more sporty (but less comfortable) saddle than the Urban model. Both models feel extremely solid and capable, so best to try out both if you get the chance! If having a wider tire for trail riding is important, then the Sport model may be a better choice. Hope this helps- good luck!

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Awesome feedback Justin, thank you so much for chiming in to help. Michael is a nice guy, I bet it was fun hanging out with him learning about the bikes :D

  Reply
Martine Dubuc
2 years ago

I just tried out the 2017 OHM Urban for a week. All I can think is absolute pure joy. Rode it on Denman Island and Hornby Island in British Columbia – some pretty decent hills and I flew up the hills at almost 48 km/hr. I will confess that this is the 1st e-bike I have ever tried but once being a mtn bike rider (Squamish, BC) and casual bike tourer, the OHM Urban feels super solid and well made. FUN FUN FUN :) I have a crap neck to deal with now, and the Urban eased my neck pain by being a bit more upright (I was on a smaller frame size than usual to help achieve a better position for me). You guys may need to do a review on their 2017 models.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hey Martine! Guess where I’m driving right now! Heading up from San Francisco to Seattle and then Vancouver to review all of the latest OHM ebikes :D thanks for sharing your experience with the new model and your enthusiasm. Looking forward to a review, are there any specific questions or areas you want me to dig into for you?

  Reply
Philip
2 years ago

Hi Martine, What model did you end up purchasing? I’m looking at either the Sport or Urban, any thoughts to share?

  Reply
Martine
2 years ago

Hi Philip, I ended up with the mountain bike. It was a tough decision between the Urban and Mountain models. I personally was not a fan of the Sport – the Urban felt way more nimble and light compared to the Sport – the fenders made no sense to me for a ‘sport’ model.

I live in Squamish, lots of trails. The Urban could handle the trails easily with a tires that have more tread. The only thing was that I find the fenders too delicate for throwing in the back of a truck – they are very good fenders but maybe not for trail use. So I ended up with the Mountain model.

I LOVED the Urban though – the sheer speed one could get with the crank on that model. It is a glorious and fun bike :) The Mountain can a smaller crank which I appreciate for the granny gearing on technical trails (although, I could use 2 more granny gears). There are days I regret not having the Urban LOL

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