Optibike designed the electric bike for people who commute a lot and for those who want to exercise more often. According to Optibike, their bicycles provide a convenient combination of easy transportation and physical exercise, since one can easily switch from the motorized transport mode to the pedaled transport mode. The Optibike OB1, is implemented with the motorized bottom bracket (MBB), which enables the rider to seamlessly switch between the two transport modes. Currently, the company has only produced a limited edition of the OB1, consisting of 24 units.
The Optibike OB1 can reach speeds up to 3 times faster than traditional bicycles. Moreover, just like other electrical bikes, it is more economic than cars, motorbike or other vehicles, as the maintenance and gas expenses are very low. The OB1 has an internal Li-Ion battery with a 20ah and an 850w continuous brushless DC motor. The bicycle’s frame is made of aluminum monocoque, and the bike is equipped with Avid Juicy Ultimate brakes. The front suspension is Fox 36 Talas RC2 Fork and the rear suspension is Fox Float RP23 Shock, providing the OB1 with standard shock resistance. The Optibike OB1 is also equipped with TAG composite disk wheel-sets, making it more durable, and the UltraBright twin 10w halogen lights allow the rider to be seen easily at night time. Additionally, Optibike provides a Mastiff lock and a 2-years extended warranty on the OB1.
Optibike’s marketing emphasizes both the fitness and ecological aspects of using the electric bike. The company claims that the each Optibike was hand-built, and was assembled during over 40 hours. Although charging the OB1 in a conventional manner is still probably less polluting than using any type of conventional combustion engine, the OB1 battery can theoretically be charged by renewable energy sources (such as solar or wind power).
Jim Turner, the inventor of Optibike, says he designed the Optibike to be “the finest electric bike in the world”. Turner is so sure that the bike’s quality surpasses others in the industry, that he offers the longest warranty available for batteries: 3 year or 30,000 miles. Although many potential buyers will surely be attracted by the innovative features and impressive specifications of the OB1, many might find the $12,995 price tag too high (significantly more than other electric bicycles and almost three times more than a Segway).
TFOT has recently covered other innovative bicycles and pedal powered vehicles. Aquaduct is a pedal-powered water transportation and filtration vehicle, and the Hydrogen Powered Bike is a new, fuel-cell powered bicycle. Other related TFOT stories are the Tong City Bike, which is a new concept bicycle that illuminates itself, and the Easy-Glider X6, which is an electrical scooter.