Overview of Optibike E-Bikes
Launched in 2007 by former Ford engineer Jim Turner, Optibike set out to introduce the best e-bikes to the U.S. market. As with many e-bike company founders, Jim Turner had an electric bike imported from Asia. He soon found its limitations, with the one he owned being incapable of climbing hills and having a terribly short range.
Putting his engineering head on, he set out to see how he could improve upon it. He started tinkering in 1998, and after nine years of trial and error, the first Optibike finally hit the market.
Amongst other innovations, Optibike has developed its very own mid-drive motor. The 1.75kW Optibike MBB motor sits in the bottom bracket with its axle at exactly the level of the pedal crank. Internal sensors allow it to give precisely the output required for the rider. Optibike has also developed batteries that offer an obscene range compared to other e-bike companies, including the 3,260 Wh battery on its top-of-the-range R22 Everest.
Though Optibike offers five Urban and Pro series bikes that are one-size-fits-all, the company comes into its own with its Elite range of adventure e-bikes. All are custom-made to suit the dimensions of the rider ordering them, so when you shell out upwards of $14,000, you’ll get the perfect off-road adventure electric bike.
Our Review of Optibike E-Bikes
Though Optibike sells its bikes in over 33 countries, it’s an American brand through and through. For its Elite series e-bikes, most of the components are put together in Boulder, Colorado. Many other U.S. brands of e-bikes use almost 100% imported components, but even the MBB motor is designed and built here in the U.S.
We also like the boldness of the company in making total off-road e-bikes that don’t try playing with traffic laws. These are pure off-road e-bikes — and some of the best ever made at the same time.
Finally, where other homegrown electric bike makers have gone for the lower end of the mass market, Optibike remains true to its heritage of making lower-volume yet higher-quality machines.