- Sturdy, well balanced mid-drive electric bike that's capable on roads or medium grade trails
- Improved motor strength and efficiency, this latest version is also quieter than the original
- New LCD display panel, updated frame design and suspension fork with lockout for better handling
This second iteration of the Optibike Pioneer Allroad improves on the original in several key ways while keeping price constant. You still get the power and efficiency of a mid-drive motor (in fact it’s torquier now) and it’s quieter to operate. The suspension fork has been upgraded for improved strength and performance along with an frame which features a reinforced seat tube, curved top tube and lower seat stays. The original Allroad featured an all-in-one LCD panel with integrated buttons that was mounted to the left. This new version utilizes a larger King Meter LCD mounted in the center with an externalized button pad placed on the left handle bar for easy reach. Ultimately, this is a refined version of Optibike’s most affordable electric bike that’s designed to be capable on roads and light trails alike.
The motor on this bike offers 500 watts of power in a mid-drive configuration that is one of the smallest I’ve seen. There’s not plastic case protruding below the chain rings in the front and the design on the left side really blends in with the cranks. Compared with some other mid-drives on the EVELO and iGo bikes this one has a higher range of speeds and is simply more powerful. It’s also one of the only systems I’ve ever seen that combines a rear cassette with multiple chain rings in the front! Now, it’s not sophisticated enough to sense when you shift gears and that could lead to some mashing if you throttle and shift at the same time but with proper use it works fine. I like that the brake levers have integrated motor cutoffs because that’s a good way to disable the motor just before shifting. As mentioned previously, this updated motor design offers higher torque and efficiency while reducing noise when riding compared to the original Pioneer Allroad.
The battery pack used here hasn’t changed much since the original Allroad, it’s still mounted to the downtube for improved balance and weight distribution. You get 37 volts of power and 10.5 amp hours of capacity which is slightly above average for ebikes. The cells are Lithium-ion which tend to be lighter weight and longer lasting than Lithium polymer or Sealed Lead Acid. The casing is part aluminum which has a nice aesthetic, offers good heat dissipation and solid protection. At either end is a plastic cap that clicks into the mounting point on the bike (this is also where the controller is located). Being able to remove the battery is handy for charging, storage, extended range (with a second pack) and reduced weight for transport if you’re driving to a trailhead. The only downside of the Pioneer Allroad battery design is that it takes up the space where a water bottle might fit and also stand out more than a truly integrated pack. This keeps the bike more affordable and ensures you’ll have an easier time getting a replacement but means you might need a CamelBak or seat post bottle cage adapter.
This ebike has a busier cockpit than some due to the 24 speeds and pedal assist plus throttle mode but they’ve done a great job fitting everything in and the LCD is very easy to read and navigate with the break-out button pad. You’ve got two standard brake levers that have built-in cutoff for the motor and two sets of trigger shifters. On the right side, next to the grip is a trigger throttle that stays out of the way and on the left side, next to the grip is a three-button pad. The middle button turns the bike on and changed display output and the up and down buttons let you navigate five levels of assist. To use the throttle you have to be in one of the pedal assist modes, if you got to zero the display stays on but no drive systems work which is kind of a bummer in my opinion but fairly common. I like that they included ergonomic grips with this bike because that adds comfort when riding long distances. There’s no adjustable stem here but that preserves strength and speaks to the off-road heritage of Optibike.
Whether you plan on adding a rear rack and using this bike around town for errands or taking it off-road for some light trail riding, the system performs well. The weight distribution is excellent, the motor is powerful and now quieter than ever and the components are solid. This is Optibike’s starting model but you still get a suspension fork with lockout, mechanical disc brakes, ergonomic grips and twenty-four speeds! I love the removability of the battery pack, solid pedals and a kickstand because they add utility and convenience. The medium frame size worked well for me (I’m ~5’9″) and the overall aesthetic was nice. I don’t think this frame is any shorter than the 2013 version of the Allroad but the curved top tube might be stronger. I wish there was somewhere to mount a bottle cage but that’s a common grip with mid-drive bikes like this. I would also like a throttle-only drive mode but am happy with the trigger throttle design (twist grip throttles can weaken your grasp on the handle bar when riding rough terrain) and am stoked that the throttle operates all the way up to 20 miles per hour whereas some other mid-drive bikes either lack a throttle altogether or cut power prematurely like the IZIP E3 Peak. The one year warranty, 90 day return policy and 6 month upgrade path are awesome and Optibike has excellent customer service.
- Improved torque and efficiency of mid-drive vs. original Allroad, this one is also quieter
- Upgraded suspension fork and LCD display panel with break out rubberized button pad
- High end cadence sensor is built right into the mid-drive motor casing for protection and seems to be more responsive than other pedelec sensors I’ve ridden
- Trigger throttle can be used simultaneously with pedal assist mode (five levels to choose from)
- Reinforced mounting points on seat stays and suspension fork for adding fenders or a rear rack
- Solid 160mm mechanical disc brakes, metal pedals and functional kickstand work well
- Battery is removable, can be charged on or off the bike and locks to the frame and key can be removed when riding
- Mid-drive motor leverages the same gear settings that the rider pedals with making it very efficient, extending battery reach and aiding in climbing situations
- Higher top speed of ~24 mph in pedal assist mode at setting 5 when pedaling in faster gears
- Lithium Cobalt battery pack chemistry is very energy dense and offers ~1,000 charge cycles, additional batteries available for extended range
- The Pioneer Allroad is the first ebike in the Optibike range to offer both pedal assist and trigger throttle mode
- Cables are built into the downtube, look nice and stay out of the way, this version of the bike has an updated frame with curved top tube
- Very easy to service flat tires, wheels and gears since there are no hub motors getting in the way
- This mid-drive motor is slower and less powerful than the one used on the SIMBB and R-Series electric bikes, delivers a steadier feel that is capable but may require rider input for steep ascents
- Mid-drive motor pulls the same chain as the rider and can make changing gears a bit jarring which may wear chain and sprocket teeth more quickly than a hub motor design, the brake levers cut power to the motor however and can help you shift more smoothly
- No built in lights or fenders here, the LCD computer display panel is backlit but is not removable for safer storage
- Built overseas vs. in the USA like many of the original Optibikes, this keeps price lower