Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Review

Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Electric Bike Review
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter 500 Watt Mbb Motor
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter 37 Volt 11 6 Amp Hour Samsung Bullet Battery
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Metropolis Comfort Bars Mirrycle Side Mirror
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Serface E Lume 600 Rechargeable Headlight
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Sr Suntour Xcr32 Suspension Fork
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Schwalbe Active Tour Plus 26 Tires Reflective Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes 160mm
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Serfas Rx Dual Density Comfort Saddle
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter 11 Speed Sram Nx Gearing
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Topeak Rear Rack With Slide Trunk Bag
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Electric Bike
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter 2 Amp Electric Bicycle Charger
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Electric Bike Review
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter 500 Watt Mbb Motor
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter 37 Volt 11 6 Amp Hour Samsung Bullet Battery
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Metropolis Comfort Bars Mirrycle Side Mirror
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Serface E Lume 600 Rechargeable Headlight
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Sr Suntour Xcr32 Suspension Fork
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Schwalbe Active Tour Plus 26 Tires Reflective Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes 160mm
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Serfas Rx Dual Density Comfort Saddle
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter 11 Speed Sram Nx Gearing
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Topeak Rear Rack With Slide Trunk Bag
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter Electric Bike
Optibike Rocky Mountain Commuter 2 Amp Electric Bicycle Charger

Summary

  • A mid-drive electric city bike specced for safety and commuting utility, the suspension fork, riser stem, swept back handlebar, locking ergonomic grips, and premium comfort saddle reduce fatigue on longer rides over bumpy streets
  • High visibility neon-yellow frame color keeps you safe at a base level but Optibike has gone above and beyond with reflective stickers on the battery casing and fenders, the included Topeak convertible trunk bag uses reflective fabric and the tires have reflective sidewall stripes
  • Included 65lb capacity rear rack with bag, side mirror, flick bell, and Serface rechargeable LED lights with strobe flashing modes, large grippy pedals, powerful hydraulic disc brakes with motor inhibiting brake levers
  • Only available in one frame size and color but Optibike can set it up as Class 1, 2, or 3 to comply with different legal frameworks, battery isn't integrated into the frame and takes up space for a bottle cage, basic two-amp charger isn't as fast but also doesn't weigh as much, throttle power is limited to 300 watts to save power and reduce wear

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Optibike

Model:

Rocky Mountain Commuter

Price:

$3,995

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Commuting, Urban, Touring

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2), Speed Pedalec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Canada, Worldwide

Model Year:

2018

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

54.2 lbs (24.58 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.6 lbs (2.54 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.5 lbs (3.85 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

19.125" Seat Tube, 21.25" Reach, 30" Stand Over Height, 35" Minimum Saddle Height, 26.5" Width, 62.5" Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

High Visibility Neon Yellow

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCR32 Spring Suspension, 120 mm Travel, Compression Adjust with Lockout, Preload Adjust, 32 mm Stanchions, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

11 Speed 1x11 SRAM NX Derailleur, 11-40 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

SRAM NX Half-Grip Shifter on Left

Cranks:

Forged Alloy, 170 mm Length, FSA Alloy Chainring, 104 mm BCD, 42 Tooth

Pedals:

DMR V6, Large Plastic Platform

Headset:

Cane Creek Forty, Threadless Integrated, Sealed Bearings, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Alloy, 100 mm Length, 45° Angle, Five 10 mm Risers, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Metropolis, Alloy, 45° Backsweep, 22° Upsweep, 620 mm Length

Brake Details:

Tektro Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Dual-Piston Calipers, Three-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach and Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Ergon GP1, Ergonomic, Locking

Saddle:

Serfas Rx+, Dual Density, Infinite Comfort System (ICS), Gel with Rubber Bumpers

Seat Post:

Promax, Alloy with Forged Head

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

WTB FX23, Alloy, Double Walled, 559 x 23c, 32 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Active Tour Plus, 26" x 2.0" (50-559)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

35 to 70 PSI, 2.5 to 5.0 BAR, Active Line Puncture Guard, Reflective Sidewall Stripes

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps (70 mm Width), Topeak Slide Rack with Pannier Guards (30 kg 66 lb Max Weight), Topeak Quick MTX Track Bag with Zip Panniers, Mirrycle Handlebar Mirror, Reflective Stickers (Downtube, Seat Tube, Battery, Head Tube, Fenders), Serface E-LUME 600 Rechargeable Headlight (Micro-USB, 600 Lumens), Serfas UTL-60 Cosmo Rechargeable Backlight (Micro-USB, 60 Lumens), Metal Flick Bell

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube-Mounted Cylinder Battery Pack, 1.2 lb 2 Amp Charger, 90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee with 6 Month Upgrade Path

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

MBB

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

37 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

429.2 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Bafang Intelligent C965, Fixed, Backlit, Grayscale, LCD

Readouts:

Current Speed, Avg Speed, Max Speed, Battery Level (5 Bars), Light Icon, Assist Level (0-5), Trip Distance, Odometer, Timer

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left, Buttons: Power, +, -, (Press Power to Cycle Readouts, Hold + for Backlight, Hold - for Walk Mode, Hold + and - to Clear Menus, Double Press Power for Settings Menu)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (48 Magnet Internal Sensor)

Top Speed:

25 mph (40 kph)

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Written Review

EBR charges a service fee to manufacturers to produce ebike reviews and videos, this began in 2018. It’s the same flat fee for each bike, and it helps us to keep the site going while limiting ad clutter. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you with our opinions and data but respect your right to know that we receive compensation :)

Optibike designs and custom configures a wide range of high performance electric bikes. Their founder, Jim Turner, is a former motocross champion with a design degree from Stanford University and experience in automotive at Ford Motor Company. His products are known for being powerful, tough, and different than the rest… In 2013, the company introduced a line of downspec’d models called Pioneer seres to meet a lower price point. These ebikes utilized compact circular mid-drive motors that worked with cadence sensing pedal assist as well as throttle on demand. It was one of the first times I had ever seen a purpose built mid-drive that could handle a throttle, and the tubular downtube-mounted battery pack kept weight low and center for improved handling and balance. The Pioneer series has expanded with updates and refinements in recent years, there’s even a lightweight carbon fiber version now. What you get with the Rocky Mountain Commuter is an offshoot of the Pioneer line with special attention paid to safety and comfort. The frame is painted in attention grabbing high-visibility neon yellow, it comes with color-matched reflective stickers on the fenders and battery casing, has reflective fabric sewn into the the included Topeak convertible trunk bag pannier set, reflective and puncture resistant tires from Schwalbe, and two ultra-bright rechargeable LED lights from Serface with flashing strobe modes. Not to mention, the bike ships with a handlebar-mounted side mirror, flick bell, full-coverage fenders with mud flaps, and extra wide platform pedals. Whether you’re cruising to the grocery store on a sunny afternoon or fighting the wind and rain on an evening commute home from work, this bike will keep you safe and comfortable. While the frame is only available in one size at this time, the downtube is sloped to lower standover height and I noticed that the rear rack is mounted far enough back that it won’t block the saddle from being lowered completely. Five 10mm headset spacers and a 45-degree stem bring the handlebar up so you don’t have to lean forward, and the bar itself is swept-back to relax your shoulders and forearms. Premium locking ergonomic grips from Ergon reduce wrist strain (carpal tunnel syndrome and numbness), while the oversized gel saddle, wider 2″ tires, and 120mm suspension fork dampen vibration. The two ares for possible improvement that I see in the way of durability, cleanliness, and comfort are a chain cover, chain guide, and suspension seat post. Oh, and the kickstand feels a little close to the left pedal path which could introduce the potential for heel strikes. Perhaps they will move it back on future models?

Driving this bike is a compact internally geared mid-motor that Optibike calls the MBB (motorized bottom bracket). I didn’t get any details on who actually manufactures the motor, but Optibike refined the controller software in-house. I was told that nominal and peak output hover around 500 watts and peak torque is around 40 newton meters. These specs are on par with urban drive systems from mainstream competitors like Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose, Bafang, and Dapu. Only the two later brands offer throttle mode, and only Bosch offers shift detection. With the Optibike solution, you get a high resolution cadence sensor that listens for crank arm movement, and it felt pretty smooth. During my ride tests with Dusty, one of the shop technicians at Best Electric Bikes in Denver, Colorado, the bike started and stopped very smoothly. I didn’t notice a lot of gear mashing and I attribute that in part to the nicer SRAM NX drivetrain, which is roughly equivalent to Shimano Deore. There’s plenty of power with this motor, but you have to shift gears thoughtfully in order to take advantage of it for starting and climbing. With 11 speeds at hand, I was able to reach and even exceeding the top assisted speed of 25 mph. Most electric bikes top out at ~20 mph in the USA, but there is a special Class 3 designation that allows for up to 28 mph. Optibike can configure the Rocky Mountain Commuter to be Class 1, Class 2, or slightly slower 25 mph Class 3 depending on your needs and the legal framework where you intend to ride. The demo model I tested was unlocked to 25 mph and had the throttle functioning up to 20 mph. Note that the throttle on this product has been limited to 300 watts vs. the full 500 watts in order to conserve power and reduce drivetrain wear. The cockpit of the bike is fairly clean, despite all of the wires, because the RMC uses half-grip twist interfaces for both the gear shifter and throttle. I found this setup to be intuitive but noticed that shifting was not as quick as triggers could be, and that an older version of the RMC had an on/off toggle switch on the twist throttle housing. This was probably in place to de-activate throttle on demand (useful for bumpy sections of trail), but may have been removed to improve reliability. The 11 to 40 tooth cassette is great for urban environments and could probably handle light off road with steeper climbs as well. The motor is certainly capable and the wider tires wouldn’t slip as easily as they might otherwise.

Powering the bike is a 37 volt 11.6 amp hour lithium-ion battery pack. With a full capacity of roughly 429.2 watt hours, it’s a bit lower than average for the current generation of bikes that hover closer to 500 watt hours. That said, it’s also slightly lighter at 5.6lbs vs. 6+lbs. The casing is part aluminum alloy and part plastic. It has a five-LED charge level indicator on top and an on/off toggle switch on the right side. You can charge the battery on or off the frame, and Optibike includes a fairly standard 2 amp charger that would easily fit into the included trunk bag. Two gripes that I have to share about this batter include how close it sits below the top tube. When you mount and dismount the pack, using the included key, the battery comes very close to touching the frame and can be a little tricky to line up. I’m happy that they kept the top tube low and sloped to make the frame easier to mount and stand over (along with the smaller 26-inch wheel size) but noticed that there was no extra space for bottle cage bosses or frame bags in the main triangle. You’d probably have ot remove the battery when mounting this bike on car and bus racks that suspend the bike from the top tube. Furthermore, the brake and shifter cables are both run along the base of the top tube and could get in the way when lifting or mounting the bike. The second consideration I wanted to share is that the battery mount interface here uses two spring loaded pins that make contact with the base of the battery pack. I was told by another supplier, who uses a very similar battery interface, that these pins can get a little stuck over time as water and dust build up. That brand recommended using lithium grease spray and a tooth brush to occasionally clean the two pins… so I’m passing that tip on to you here ;) feel free to share your own experiences and tips below in the comments or in the Optibike forums.

When you’re ready to take a ride on the Rocky Mountain Commuter, just charge and mount the battery pack, click the toggle switch to on (the solid line portion of the button), and press the little rubber power button at the center of the control pad for a couple of seconds. It boots up quickly and provides lots of screen space, making it easy to read if you’re near sighted like me. While the display is not designed to be removable, it does swivel forward and back to help reduce glare. Being mounted front and center, just above the stem, the display leaves room on both sides for the light and button pad. The control pad is fairly simple to reach and use, with just three buttons, but it can do quite a few things. When the bike is switched on, the default level of assist is 1 and that means that throttle is active. For this reason, I recommend keeping the bike off when mounting and dismounting. The + and – keys on the control pad adjust the assist level from zero to five. It appears that the throttle is only active when you’re in 1-5 and not zero, so that level could be used for mounting/dismounting or just reading the display while pedaling manually. Weighing in at roughly 54.2lbs, the RMC was lighter than I expected given all of the accessories, rack, bag etc., and it pedaled efficiently. Tapping the power button one time while the display is active will switch from current speed to average speed and then max speed as well as odometer to trip meter. Tapping it two times in sequence while the display is active will open the settings menu where you can adjust units, top speed, brightness, and other settings. You can clear the trip distance by holding + and – simultaneously and you can activate backlighting by holding +. Finally, you can activate walk mode by holding the – key, or you could twist the throttle gently. All in all, the display and control pad are a good fit for this electric bicycle because they are easy to interact with. The button pad is mounted within reach of the left grip, but I would caution that the plastic flaps with the + and – icons on them are vulnerable to getting bent upwards. This happened to me once while demoing another ebike because I was wearing a loose coat with long sleeves. Just be careful, the buttons aren’t quite as durable as rubberized keys but they are easier and more satisfying to click in some ways.

If you purchase this electric bike with high speed operation but decide later that you’d like to lower the speed, for safety or legal reasons, there is a password screen inside the settings menu. By entering 1919 you’ll be allowed to adjust the maximum assisted speed. For those who might be wondering, this review was filmed near Sloan Lake in Denver, Colorado. It’s a perfect environment for the Rocky Mountain Commuter because the city does experience snow, rain, wind, and there are many hills as you get closer to the actual Rocky Mountains. The founder of Optibike has lived in Redwood City, Santa Cruz, Sebastapol, and Colorado, and I feel like the bikes he and his sons design bring a bit of influence from each of these locales. Yes, it’s priced higher than many other products on the market today, but the team offers great support and really nails the details with their bikes. They started around 1996, which is way longer than most of the other companies in the market today, and I think that says a lot about their business model and customer support. On the hardware side, the hydraulic disc brakes were a great choice and I really appreciate that both levers have motor inhibitors because it seems like some ebikes are missing this (which is important when a cadence sensor is in use). The fenders, rack, grips etc. all fit perfectly… it’s a turnkey solution that really nails the commuting use case. Sometimes it’s fun to seek out and install all of the different accessories yourself, but that means waiting, fumbling through installation and unexpected fit difficulties, and it just costs a lot. Seriously, the accessories alone on this bike could really add up. It was neat to see Dusty test ride the RMC because he’s 6’3″ tall and was able to get full leg extension and sit comfortably later in the video when he raised the saddle up. Big thanks to Best Electric Bikes in Denver and Jim and Optibike for partnering with me on this review. I welcome comments and feedback below, as always :)

Pros:

  • Optibike customizes most of their electric bikes to fit customer requests and needs, for example, they offer a flat handlebar option on the RMC model to accommodate taller riders who need more space and have a longer reach
  • I saw two versions of this bike and both were highly visible, one was satin school-bus yellow and the newer one was high visibility neon with matching reflective stickers… there were stickers on the frame, battery casing, fenders, and even the tires had reflective sidewall stripes! This should keep you safer when riding in traffic and low light conditions… it’s one of the only ebikes I have ever seen with this kind of paint and this much reflectivity plus lights
  • I love that the bike comes with upgraded lights even though they aren’t wired in to run off of the main battery, Optibike chose brighter lights that have blinking strobe modes and are USB rechargeable whereas most integrated lights only have an on/off mode
  • The Schwalbe Active Tour Plus tires have Active Line puncture protection so you won’t get flats as easily, quick release on both wheels makes trail maintenance easier, I appreciate that the tires offer slightly wider 2″ size for comfort and stability, and the 35 to 70 PSI range so you can enhance comfort with less pressure or go for pure efficiency with higher pressure
  • The bike feels very comfortable with upgraded suspension fork, oversized gel saddle, 45-degree riser stem, five 10mm spacers, swept back handlebar, and locking ergonomic grips… this makes cycling more enjoyable when you ride every day or have a longer commute, you could even add a 30.4mm suspension seat post for even more comfort
  • Love the hydraulic disc brakes, these tend to be easier to pull and more consistent than mechanical brakes, and I love that both brake levers have motor inhibitors to override and cut power to the bike because the cadence sensing assist isn’t quite as immediate as torque or multi-sensing on some competing products
  • This bike comes completely setup for commuting with plastic fenders that are durable and wide with rubber mudguard flaps at the end, a Topeak disc rack that sits far back so the saddle can go all the way down and is compatible with the included slide-on Topeak trunk bag with pannier fold outs (the bag and panniers are reflective), and you get a flick bell and left side mirror for signaling and spotting traffic! The only thing that it doesn’t come with is a chain cover to protect your right pant leg or a guide to keep the chain from bouncing off, but you could add one aftermarket pretty easily if you wanted
  • There are quite a few wires up front because of the throttle, display panel, control pad, motor inhibitors, shifter, and brake lines… but the handlbar stays fairly clean because the throttle and shifter are half-grip twist style vs. triggers
  • Optibike is one of the oldest electric bike companies operating in the USA, their founder is a former motocross racer who studied design engineering at Stanford, they offer great customer service, a 90-day refund policy, and an upgrade path if you want to get a nicer bike
  • Most of the battery and motor weight on this electric bicycle is positioned low and center on the frame, this improves handling and stability… even though the battery isn’t integrated or paint matched, I think it looks alright because of the silver fenders
  • I love how compact the motor is and appreciate that it works with pedal assist and throttle mode, very few mid-drives offer throttle but it can be handy getting started from stop signs and traffic signals
  • The smaller 26″ wheel diameter brings the bike down closer to the ground for easier mounting, the wheels use shorter spokes which tend to be sturdier, and the wider tires are more stable and capable if you go into some gravel or a packed dirt trail
  • The button pad for powering the bike up, cycling through readouts, and adjusting assist level is easy to reach and intuitive to use, but the plastic covers on the + and – buttons can be a little vulnerable if pulled up, if they get snagged on your clothing I have seen them get bent up at times so be careful
  • Minor thing here, but I really like the pedals! The DMR V6 pedals offer more space and deeper pins to grip if the soles of your shoes get wet

Cons:

  • Because the lights aren’t permanently mounted to the frame and wired in, they could get stolen more easily at the bike rack… it’s probably worth taking them off and bringing them inside to recharge, along with the ebike battery, but this takes extra time and adds some hassle to each ride
  • The kickstand is mounted near the middle of the left chain stay and can interfere with pedaling if you have a longer foot, I experienced a couple of heel strikes while pedaling for this review
  • I’m not sure if this is a common issue, but the rear light mount was cracked on our demo bike… I was able to fix it up using some electrical tape but would be extra careful with this when lifting the bike and loading the rack with gear because it seems like a point of vulnerability
  • They didn’t combine and wrap all of the cables up front, so it looks a bit busy, and some of the cables are externally routed on the frame vs. internally routed for cleanliness and protection
  • Very few ebike shops carry Optibike, you’ll probably be ordering direct online which means unpacking, dealing with some extra trash, and a bit of assembly
  • The battery takes up a lot of space on the downtube and they didn’t have room for bottle cage bosses there, instead, they included the Topeak trunk bag with a bottle holster at the back
  • I’m guessing that in order to keep the price low and simplify the product, Optibike only makes the Rocky Mountain Commuter in one frame size, the sloped top tube makes it easier to step over by lowering the standover height a bit
  • I was told that the two spring loaded pins at the base of the battery mount could get gunked up with exposure to water and dust, becoming less springy over time, and this could start to damage the receiver ports on the base of the battery. A similar pack is on the Electric Bike Outfitters Phantom Kit and the founder of that company told me that you can use lithium grease spray and a tooth brush to deter the issue
  • Minor consideration here, the throttle outputs 300 watts vs. the motor potential of 500 watts, I think they down-specced it to reduce wear and help extend range, the good news is that it works from standstill
  • I didn’t see a chain stay slap guard protector on the right, so the chain could bounce into the frame and make noise and chip the paint if you’re riding fast on rough terrain, consider using some clear plastic boxing tape or getting a chain protector like one of these

Resources:

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Comments (6) YouTube Comments

Dan
4 months ago

Court,

Thanks for getting out to do an Optibike review. Any chance you got to review the new carbon R15?

Looking at the comments section, I am amazed at how Optibike gets so much push back for their costs. Value matters, no doubt, but has anyone surveyed the number of bikes selling for over 4k these days?

-Dan

  Reply
Court
4 months ago

Hi Dan! Yeah, I just visited Jim in Boulder and filmed the new R15C and it is SWEET! I’ve got some other bikes to post in the next few days but hope to mix it in soon. Thanks for expressing your interest in the bike and yeah, there are LOTS of electric bikes in that higher price point. I like what Optibike brings and am glad that they are still around innovating. I wonder how these less expensive Pioneer models are doing? Their strength and advantage seems to be more in the super high end custom models but I really liked this RMC :)

  Reply
Dan
3 months ago

Thanks Court. I look forward to your observations/comments. I would love to hear a real world review on the R15. The specs are impressive: 1650W, 29AHr/1500Whr, full suspension, carbon frame… and it does have pedals that work! Does it feel familiar to anything else you have ridden? Weight estimated at what? 75lb? If only that proprietary MBB controller had a PAS option! To their credit, the platform does offer 5 levels and a more linear throttle.

Mike H
3 months ago

I have found that walk/push mode is too fast for me. You remarked that walk mode with this bike was a little too fast for you. My experience with only 2 different ebikes is that walk/push mode is too fast for safe walking in a situations when I would hope to use it.

The situation where I would hope to use walk mode is when I need to dismount in an area with pedestrians: walking the bike to a locking area or just encountering a crowd. I found walk mode acceleration too strong and the ultimate sustained speed to be too fast for safe use by me. The manual for one of the ebikes recommended never using walk mode unless the rider was mounted on the bike, because it would be easy to lose control. My feeling about walk mode might be biased because I am relatively short (5’6” and inseam 28”) and older (>70 years).

The walk/push mode I have experienced requires holding down a button for a few seconds while nothing happens and then the motor suddenly kicks in quickly at full force. I have found that if I am already walking when I apply walk mode, I feel the bike’s attempt to escape is less violent. I wish walk would gradually ramp up its force.

The goal speed for walk/push mode seems too fast (~6 km/h). I can walk that fast, although I almost feel I need to start jogging, but mainly I do not feel I have enough control to walk at that speed when other people, pets, or property are at risk. Maintaining a consistent safe speed in walk mode is difficult given its full force or off nature.

You have more experience than I with varying walk mode implementations. I would like it if your reviews would have a sentence or two about how well the walk mode was implemented by ebikes with it.

Additional Thoughts: was there any research done to determine the walk mode target speed? I wonder whether having walk mode speed being determined by assist level might be useful such as lowest level assist – 1 or 2 km/h, highest level – 6 km/h with increments for intermediate levels. One negative is that a rider accustomed to low level walk mode might be surprised by the high level. Riders of ebikes with walk mode should test and practice using it in safe situations instead of assuming it will work the way they would like.

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

Great thoughts there Mike. I have had many different experiences with walk mode depending on the manufacturer of the drive system. Bosch seems a bit slower and more natural but the speed seems to vary based on the gear you’ve selected. I agree that many bikes just go too fast to actually walk, and this might have to do with the weight of the bike and the terrain. Some hub motors will go slower if the bike is going up hill or through grass, for example. I’ll try to demonstrate walk mode more deeply when I perform future reviews :)

  Reply

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