OHM Cycles Urban XU700 Review

I had received the OHM Urban XU700 to test a few months ago and this bike has probably seen the most abuse of any other bike I’ve tested. I’ll get into the test procedures later.

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My time spent on this bike is a mixture of bike commuting to and from work, errands as well as taking the occasional Saturday morning rides through town.

The OHM XU700 offers a variety of riding options:
1.There are 3 other levels of assist from this bike. 1 being the lowest amount of assist from the motor and 4, being the greatest amount. I spent most of my time on level 4, no pedaling required.

2. Regenerative braking. You read it right. Basically what this means is you can adjust your motor from the control panel to generate electricity and recharge your batteries while going down the hill. Regeneration also works by adding resistance to your pedal stroke. This allows your to pedal and recharge at the same time.

ohm specs

If you take a gander at the detailed spec sheet found HERE, you’ll see that the OHM XU700 is outfitted with some decent parts such as hydraulic Tektro brakes, Shimano Deore drivetrain components and many more. I do have to note that the Suntour NCX fork was pretty plush and when combined with the Suntour suspension seat post, this bike rode like a dream. Pot holes, bumps and any imperfections of the road or trail were quickly absorbed.

Power for the headlight and tail light was generated by the Shimano dynamo hub. Keep in mind that this is more of a “be seen” light rather than one to see with.
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Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the OHM Urban XU700. There are a few things that most people would want to know about an e-bike. I’ll break it down in various sections below:

Battery life between charges-I was averaging about 20 miles per charge. Keep in mind, that I was at the highest level of assist, meaning I barely pedaled while riding. So I relied heavily on its battery power to move my 206lb body.


How long does it take to recharge?
-Once the battery is fully depleted, I recharge it and that cycle takes about 5 hours. Typically what i do is when I arrive at my office, I remove the battery pack and charge it. By the time I head out to get some lunch, the battery is about 3/4 charged. Once I return, the battery is back on the charger. By the end of my day, it’s fully charged and ready to go.


How does it handle?
-There’s no difference in the way the OHM rides than any other bike out there. The geometry suggests a more relaxed stance and has a comfort bike feel to it.

How fast can it go?– On flats, I was able to take it up to 21mph.


How does it work?
-“In auto assist mode, the system automatically provides boost proportionate to the rider’s pedaling effort. The harder the rider pedals, the more the boost the system will provide. Alternatively, rider can use the throttle to propel the bike without pedaling. Note: throttle can only be engaged after 2 km/h.”

Stopping power?The hydraulic brakes make stopping on a dime easy.

Is it user friendly?-Yes, it’s very easy to use. Turn it on, set your pedal assist level, then ride!

Is the bike reliable? In a short and simple answer, yes. The OHM Urban XU700 has been down trails that it wasn’t meant to go on and I’ve tested its durability in more ways than one.

For starters, the bike did well on the street. Not once did I have any problems with it. The electrical system worked as designed and it made my commute easier because I hardly had to pedal. As far as testing its durability, I took this bike through various mountain bike trails as well as a Super D and Downhill course at the Southridge Challenge back in November. The photo below was taken moments before a downpour. I have purposely left the bike out in rain to see if that would cause any problems. To my surprise, everything worked perfectly. The drivetrain has never needed any sort of tuning or adjustments.

SRC Challenge

In fact, when I rode it down the Super D and DH courses, people would stop and stare because they couldn’t believe that this e-bike was able to handle the abuse I was giving it. I tried to beat up this bike, but the only thing I did to it was a pinch flat and it caused the rear wheel to come out of true. Other than that, the bike is in great shape!

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I’ve gotta admit, the OHM Cycles Urban XU700 has me very excited. It’s an absolutely entertaining bike to ride. Everyone that has tried it simply falls in love with the pedal assist. During one of my Saturday morning, 15 miler rides with the OHM, I had stopped at the local 7/11 and a gentleman came up to me asking about the bike. He said that he was in the market for an e-bike, but had never tried one. So I offered him the OHM to ride in the parking lot. Much like the responses that people have when they ride the OHM, he too fell in love. He made it a point to write down the brand and model name.

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Fortunately, this bike does come with some accessories that a large number of our readers love: fenders, rack, and lights!

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In closing, the OHM Cycles Urban XU700 has been a very fun bike to test. It has taken me on some great adventures and its durability has been pretty stellar. But the question is, would I buy one at the price of $3299? If I had the cash laying around — yes, I would.

Review Disclaimer


16 Comments

  1. Ted December 15, 2010 3:57 pm 

    Your photos look like a Red Bull commercial!

    I’m jealous that you got to torture test that bike. But I don’t think I could fall in love with any e-bike to the tune of $3300.

  2. idahorider December 16, 2010 12:02 am 

    I’m sorry. If it’s got a motor, it ain’t a bicycle.

  3. Ghost Rider December 16, 2010 3:16 am 

    @idahorider…that’s the same myopic view I used to have when e-bikes were coming onto the market. I used to think, “aw, what a bunch of lazy slackers!” until I realized that a) you’ve still got to pedal these things — the motor is purely an assist or “boost” and b) these e-assist bikes are getting more people out of their cars and onto two wheels…I’m talking people who otherwise wouldn’t have or couldn’t have considered a bike for transportation due to physical impairment or fitness issues.

  4. idahorider December 16, 2010 10:01 pm 

    @ghost rider: I’m not sure why stating that a power assisted cycle is not a bicycle makes me myopic, except that maybe you mean if my opinion is different from yours, I must somehow not have a “clear” view. My view is that a bicycle is simply a human powered machine. Is a powered cycle appropriate for bike lanes or bike trails? How about bicycles with small gasoline assist engines? We have lots of those in northern Idaho I agree that it is important to get people out of their cars, but, is not at least part of that reason for health and fitness?

  5. Loegan Fagawi December 16, 2010 10:43 pm 

    oh geez, here we go again with elitist douche bags…

  6. BikerSnob December 17, 2010 1:30 pm 

    Bikes and ebikes Don’t belong in the same sentence let alone the same road. I don’t like the look of those damn things. in fact they should be made illegal. a bike should not weigh more than 15 pounds. you should have to haul it around in your Beemer until you get to a manicured park area. I kinda think spandex, Pro team jerseys and Oakley shades should be made mandatory as well. otherwise it looks wrong to have an expensive bike without the pro outfit. come on guys there’s a proper way to conduct yourself and an improper way. and eBikes just don’t fit right with other bikes. Especially when they come out of no where almost silently and leave you in their dust with so little effort. If you are going to beat me at least do it in style. like hammer on your pedals like Lance. don’t creep up on me in your funky looking bike or eBike.

  7. Ghost Rider December 17, 2010 6:48 pm 

    @idahorider — my statement to you came off a bit harsher than I intended; like you, I was a serious skeptic about e-assist bikes until I heard very positive things from a number of owners and also got to try out a few at Interbike.

    The gas-motor bikes are in a different ballpark, though. Those gas motors do all the work of the human motor, whereas e-bikes like the Ohm and the others we’ve reviewed merely supplement the rider’s pedaling efforts — they WILL NOT work unless the rider is putting some of the effort in.

    In any case, for people with physical issues or those who might not be capable of doing every bit of the work themselves, such bikes make sense. Are they for me? No…they’re fun and I can see the benefit, but I prefer to do all the work myself.

  8. idahorider December 17, 2010 10:02 pm 

    aka Elitist douche bag (my wife thinks this is hilarious) @ghost rider- I agree with you much more than I disagree with you, though I somehow feel we read this review very differently. However, I think this discussion would be a lot more fun during a long bike ride, so if you are ever in northern Idaho, western Montana, or eastern Washington, look me up and we can go for a ride and discuss the importance of bicycle infrastructure, bicycle politics and the importance of a good tail wind.

  9. Ghost Rider December 18, 2010 5:34 am 

    @idahorider — sounds good to me!

  10. Chase December 19, 2010 12:54 pm 

    Nice photos! This bike looks good, if your guy wearing a Rolex.

  11. Kim January 7, 2011 12:14 pm 

    My husband is an avid cyclist. I have a chronic illness and have to stay home when he goes biking. I am considering purchasing an ebike so I can go along with him on some of his rides. I would LOVE to be able to keep up with my husband averaging 16+ MPH for several hours. But I can’t. So maybe try not to be so judgmental about these things–you never know the circumstances that are requiring a person to use one.
    Peace! :-)

  12. JCTT March 21, 2011 5:36 pm 

    I am sold! I like the idea that I have the option of a range, speed, and endurance beyond my own capabilities if needed.

  13. John Kersten April 6, 2011 4:33 am 

    Thanks Kim, I am Disabled with a Brain Injury and other physical injuries, (driving my car) I was hit by an uninsured Driver. I like to ride my OHM ebike as far as I can without assist and know I can get back if/when I am too tired to do all of the peddling back home. By doing this I can increase my endurance level and distance.
    I can choose to not use assist when I ride on Bike Trails/Paths if I can just keep up with non-ebike riders.
    Also I don’t have to put my OHM ebike in my car to get it to a Bike Trail, I can ride it TO the Bike Trail in no time at all since it has a range of over 50 miles and can go 20 mph.

  14. Jose Crespo May 6, 2011 8:12 pm 

    I live in a hilly area and had not been able to get past the hill I need to get up to to bike the flatter areas. I have a regular mountain bike and by the time I get up the hill I am almost cramping my legs. I tried a recumbent bike with motor 1 hp on demand but it was too noisy and was difficult to use. I quit biking for a few years. I have just bought an OHM 700 e bike which has 355 watts of power 36 volts and 8.5 amp and had gone 28 miles with my heartrate bet 120-130 bpm With the hills and wind here, I have been able to get back to biking

  15. Bernd M Moeller June 11, 2011 7:24 pm 

    After being run over by a Lincoln Continental in 1972 while I was riding my 10 speed, I lost my cartilage in the left knee. I continued to ride be it Road or Mountian and even competed here and there. Now at 52 years with arthritis and lumbar discs that are bulged and flat, this electric assist helps me when I cummute on my Bicycle and when I like to just ride my Bicycle. The price is relative to your standards and the weight is great for what it is. I liked this review.

  16. Mizar78 May 9, 2013 4:00 am 

    Having read the posted comments I find that there is a great divide between the purists and the rational. I am 63 and love to tour… in 1979 I biked from LA to New Hampshire where I live. 3 years ago I purchased the Trek 520 and plan to get back into riding shape to do a few more tours. This is my first summer in retirement and I plan on getting the OHM to assist me to get out more frequently to get back into shape… I had the option of outfitting my Trek with a conversion kit but decided not to go that rout… I love the Trek 520 and want to keep it pure. However I have no problem with getting an e-bike to get me going and back into shape. I have never walked a hill since I was 12 years old… and I don’t plan to change. I look forward to getting this bike and getting rid of my car. This would be fun to ride up Mt. Washington… and recharge the battery on the way down. :)

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