Skip to main content

Review: The Optibike ate it, no matter what I threw at the beast

Ricc Storti 3 scaled
I gave the suspension on my Optibike R8 Electric Bike a HAMMERING! An absolute HAMMERING! I used the full length of travel on front & rear and did my best to break it; sorry, can’t help myself, I’m a professional Test Engineer.

I rode on technically tricky terrain, as well as extremely rough terrain to test the suspension. The Optibike ate it, no matter what I threw at the beast, it ate it & begged for more. In fact, I think I heard the e bike talking to me; saying, “is this all you got”!

I also took the bike through trails which were too tight to be taken under power, so I rode it like a regular bike. NO PROBLEM! I did the course in the same time it takes me to do it on one of my regular MTB’s! …. TRUE! …. The weight of the Optibike made NO DIFFERENCE due to the Rohloff Speedhub. The ratio’s on the Speedhub are so wonderful that anything you can do on a $10K Specialised MTB such as the S-Works Epic, can be done on the OptiBike – UNPOWERED!
What the guys at Optibike have done in designing & building their electric bike’s is remarkable, in fact, no word exists in English, to my knowledge, to adequately communicate how great the bike is. Everything about the motorized bike is outstanding, everything, bar none! …. I also tested the battery control system by running it to near depletion. Just as the manual says, the control system kicked in at just over the 60(km) range mark with the red-light flashing slowly. This reduced the power to the e-bike but got me home with quite a bit to spare.
I took the bike for a nice ride today, the experience was perfect! I ran it on “eco” & did 60km / 38mi, it took about 2hrs. The tank took about 6hrs to refill (roughly speaking).
This is my daily commute distance, which I normally do on a regular Mountain Bike (MTB). I measure pretty much everything when I ride & each way takes me 1.5hrs on a regular MTB, but 1hr on the Optibike. My energy expenditure via a Heart Rate Monitor is about 30% less with the Optibike than my normal daily commute of 60km / 38mi; this is also reflected in the 30% reduction in commute time as above.
My regular MTB weighs in at 35kg fully loaded with all the kit I carry to / from work, so I’ve done an almost identical test in terms of transported mass between my regular MTB & the Optibike. Bottom line, the Optibike saves me about 30% of the mechanical effort & 30min of my time each way. The above distance is the long route which I do deliberately for safety reasons. If I wanted to, I could take the road & do half the distance. In which case, I could run the Optibike in “fast” mode & do the ride to work in “about” 35min. Notably, it takes 1hr by car in peak traffic; so, if I really wanted to, I can do a round trip on my Optibike in approximately the same time it takes to do a one way trip in my car during peak traffic.
How will I use my electric bike?
1. Three days per week I will still use my regular MTB
2. Two days per week I will use the Optibike.
1. I maintain my elite athlete level fitness.
2. I save my legs from being wrecked by the end of the week.