2015 OHM Urban XU700 LS 16 Review


Technical Specs & Ratings




Urban XU700 LS


Class 2


Front Suspension



Hydraulic Disc



316.8 Wh

316.8 Wh

50 lbs / 22.70 kgs


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

Zoom TDS, 35-Degree Rise, 31.8 mm Clamp

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

SRAM GS Locking Grips, Ergonomic, Full Length 122 mm Length, Black



OHM Comfort I, Double Density Base, Zone Cut

Wellgo M111, Aluminum forged, Anodized, CR-MO Spindle

Hydraulic Disc

Tektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic Disc, Post Mount, 180 mm Front Rotor, 160 mm Rear Rotor, Tektro Levers with Integrated Regenerative Brake Reed Switch

More Details


2 Year Frame, 1 Year Components and Battery

United States, Canada

15, 17, 19

Small 15" (Recommended Rider Height < 5' 5", Wheel Base 1070 mm, Top Tube Length 560 mm, Reach 360 mm), Medium 17" (Recommended Rider Height 5' 5" to 5' 10", Wheel Base 1080 mm, Top Tube Length 570 mm, Reach 370 mm), Large 19" (Recommended Rider Height 5' 8" to 6' 2", Wheel Base 1100 mm, Top Tube Length 590 mm, Reach 390 mm)

Gray with White Accents

Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Tektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic Disc, Post Mount, 180 mm Front Rotor, 160 mm Rear Rotor, Tektro Levers with Integrated Regenerative Brake Reed Switch

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

The OHM Urban XU700 LS (Low Step) comes in two different flavors for 2015 including a deep cut (shown in the video and images here) as well as a tight diamond. The difference is frame stiffness, weight distribution and ease of mounting and stand over. The deep cut (which is labeled as XU700 LS 16) has a much lower standover height but the saddle doesn’t go quite as far down as the LS 15. Both leverage the powerful BionX P 350 hub motor and offer pedal assist, regeneration and throttle mode! The LS 16 is priced at just under $3k which is very impressive given the solid two year warranty and purpose built frame (cables are integrated, the paint looks beautiful). You get some amazing accessories here including polycarbonate fenders, kevlar lined reflective tires, ergonomic grips and hydraulic disc brakes. For around-town use and commuting this is an excellent choice, it climbs well for a hub driven bike and is extremely quiet. The one downside is a smaller capacity battery pack that might not get you as far as something like the Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 for $700 more. If you take the charger along and don’t mind the rear-heavy design vs. seat tube mid drive combination of Kalkhoff and some others, the XU700 can really be an amazing bike and if you do want to bring the weight down and have it balanced more centrally, the LS 15 can do that.

Powering this electric bike is a time-tested gearless, direct drive hub motor produced by BionX. It’s not the newest design in their lineup and that means it’s a bit heavier and not as aesthetically pleasing but it’s actually more powerful than the latest S or D-Series designs. This standard P 350 contains more copper winding and is a better climber which is why the New Wheel in San Francisco carries it. With a gearless motor like this, operating at 350 watts nominal, you get a sturdy platform that should perform well over many years of use. Inside there are large permanent magnets that repel against an electromagnetic stater. This is why it operates so quietly and also why it doesn’t tend to wear out as quickly, nothing touches besides the bearings at the axle. A huge benefit of gearless hub motors like this is the potential for offering regenerative braking and BionX has done that with the P 350. You get four levels of regen mode (great for capturing energy while coasting down large hills) and regenerative braking activated by the e-bike specific Tektro brake levers. It’s a sweet setup but the motor does weigh a bit more than if it were gearless and it’s also larger visually.

Powering the motor, display and optional lighting system is a powerful Lithium-ion battery. As mentioned earlier, this pack slides into the rear rack system (which protects it) but adds to the rear-heavy nature of the bike. This can lead to a feeling of “crack the whip” on some similar bikes that don’t have reinforced frames. During my time testing the XU700 LS 16 however, it felt very stiff and sturdy. Just look at that reinforced downtube and double chain stay setup in the rear! It’s a good design and I was surprised at how light it was, ~50 lbs depending on the size you get. One potential negative to this battery pack (especially in combination with a hub motor) is decreased range. There are 6.6 amp hours of capacity in the pack and depending on the terrain, your speed and the weight of your person and cargo you might only get 25 miles per charge. OHM estimates up to 50 and regeneration does help to reach these higher numbers but there is some cogging as you coast (magnets repelling in the motor) and if you use the throttle a lot the bike just won’t go as far. If you want to maximize range, I suggest using one of the two lower levels of assist. This bike has a torque sensor that measures when and how hard you pedal so it’s actually more efficient and is truly capable depending on how you ride.

Operating this and other BionX powered OHM ebikes is very intuitive. You can charge the battery on or off the frame and once it’s locked into the rack (or downtube if you got the LS 15) the display can be activated by pressing the top left button. This display is pretty amazing… it’s symmetrical to be user friendly by left or right handed riders and it’s also removable and mounted to a swivel base (to reduce glare). I love it, you can easily see which mode you’re in and the backlighting makes use in dark conditions very easy. In addition to touching the four display mounted buttons there is also a small ring of +/- and throttle that is setup near the right grip by default. This ring is very easy to reach without compromising your grip and the variable speed throttle (the little red bit) feels smooth and responsive. Do note however, that you cannot use the throttle without pedaling the bike past 2 mph. This is a safety feature built into all BionX systems. The cockpit is very clean overall and you’ve also got traditional bike interfaces such as brake levers (hydraulic in fact, which are very easy and smooth to activate) along with a ten speed trigger shifter on the right.

I tested the XU700 LS for a bit without knowing the price and when I found out how low it was, I was really impressed. This is a quality build and fun extras like the bottle opener on the rack and flick bell made me smile. The color is cool and professional and it rides really well. These days, with so many purpose built ebikes becoming available I usually ding the rear rack battery thing pretty hard but OHM has effectively designed around it with their reinforced stiff frame. It’s still rear heavy but being able to remove the battery easily helps during transport and the rack is super functional. This deep-cut low step design could work well for some shorter riders or those who enjoy wearing dresses and skirts. I love the tires and the suspension fork is nice, you even get the option to upgrade with an SR Suntour NCX seat post suspension (though you could add this to any bike if you wanted). The ergonomic grips feel good and the integrated light on the battery pack keeps you safe even if you don’t pay for the optional headlight (maybe add a simple battery powered one to be safe?) All in all, it’s a very thoughtful design and a great value. This would be a fun urban bike for grocery getting or commuting. The body position I experienced (being 5’9″ and using the Medium frame) was somewhere between upright and forward… it really depends on how you adjust the bars and seat height. This isn’t a cruiser but it’s not so aggressive that you get a sore neck and back from leaning forward.


  • Available in three frame sizes for improved fit from 5’ 3” up to 6’ 2”
  • One of the stiffer step-thru ebikes I’ve tried (especially considering that it’s rear heavy with the motor and battery in the back), the hydroformed frame and double chain stay helps a lot
  • Great utility features including full length fenders, a standard sized rack (works with most clip-on panniers) and upgraded kevlar lined reflective tires
  • Optional integrated headlight (backlight is built in), optional folding lock and suspension seat post are great for commuters
  • Hollow bottom bracket is light and stiff, tough chain guard (bash guard) protects the chainring and keeps your pants clean
  • Nice unisex color choice, integrated cables are beautiful, fun bottle opener at the base of the carry rack
  • Ohm has a solid reputation and offers a great two year warranty, the drive system from BionX is also well supported and offers everything you could want… assist, regen and throttle mode
  • Suspension fork with lockout emphasizes comfort or range, ergonomic grips are nice, removable battery and display for transport or parking outdoors
  • Nice bottle cage (or lock/pump) threaded eyelets on the downtube, just be careful not to get snagged on this area if you add an accessory
  • Considering the great options and high quality systems on this ebike the price is very reasonable


  • Fairly rear heavy given the older style P 350 motor (with extra copper for improved torque) and rear rack with battery
  • Powerful 48 volt battery that is efficient and good for climbing but smaller capacity with 6.6 amp hours for a minimum range in the 20’s, regenerative braking can help as well as pedal assist vs. throttle

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