300-mile adventure ebike gets wired for Everest-level epics
In 2017, Delfast set an official Guinness World Record for the farthest distance traveled via electric bike at an impressive 228 miles. Colorado's Optibike is now offering a beefed-up ebike with enough battery power in its bulging frame to travel about 30 percent farther. The bike is called the R22 Everest because it's the "only ebike able to climb Mt. Everest on a single charge ... if there was a road." Everest or not, 300 miles of on/off-road range per charge equates to some epic bikepacking adventure.
While the idea of ebiking Everest is just a bit of fun, the R22 Everest was indeed made with mountains in mind. Inspired by the Rocky Mountains that surround Optibike's Colorado headquarters, the Everest was designed to go beyond flat roads and basic city hills in a way typical ebikes cannot, supporting ambitious expeditions that include long mileage, serious up-and-down elevation changes or both.
Compare the R22 Everest to the downhill R22 eMTB, and one fact becomes even clearer: the Everest has a whole lot of battery. The standard R22 has a nice, smoothly painted carbon fiber frame with its battery neatly concealed inside the thick down tube section. The R22 Everest's down tube, on the other hand, is interrupted by the swollen vented battery case spilling out of both sides. That oversized case is necessary to house the Everest's 3,260-Wh 52-V lithium-ion battery pack, which is quite literally two of the standard R22's 1,630-Wh packs housed in one case. That case can be quickly removed from the frame via three bolts.
The 300-plus-mile (483-plus-km) range estimate is based on a 160-lb (72.5-kg) rider going 15 mph (24 km/h) using the pedal-assist set on low. Optibike uses that same rider weight to estimate ranges at higher speeds, which break down to 220 miles (354 km) at 20 mph (32 km/h), 100 miles (161 km) at 28 mph (45 km/h) and 55 miles (89 km) at the top speed of 36 mph (58 km/h). All estimates assume that the rider is pedaling and not merely throttling forward solely on motor power.
The R22 Everest develops motive power from Optibike's own 1,700-W PowerStorm mid-motor drive, which works in conjunction with a Rohloff Speedhub 500 14-speed internally geared hub. That e-drive kicks out 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) of torque perfect for tugging a loaded bikepacking trailer into motion or quick-climbing a steep, bump-riddled sections of trail. Optibike claims the R22 Everest can climb grades up to 40 percent, as the older R15C demonstrates using related motor tech:
Optibike equips the R22 Everest with five electric modes and capitalizes on the split-battery nature of the Everest's pack with an "Out and Back" feature. A manual switch lets the rider select one battery or the other so he or she can have a full second battery at the ready, ensuring enough juice to turn around and complete the journey back.
Much burlier than the average gravel-style adventure bike, the R22 Everest smoothens out rough terrain with a dual-crown suspension fork and a Fox DHX coil-spring rear suspension with 200 mm (7.9 in) of available travel. Optibike's spec sheet lists tires as buyer's choice, and photos show the bike running 27.5 x 2.8-in IRC Tanken enduro rubber. Four-piston hydraulic downhill disc brakes bring all that bulged-out mass and momentum to standstill.
The R22 is more ox than gazelle, weighing in at an estimated 93 pounds (42 kg). The dual-battery pack alone weighs more than a number of entire ebikes at 36 lb (16 kg), but the Everest is all about deep, pedal-assisted expeditions with loaded trailers or panniers and not
fast, light riding.
At $17,900 to start, the R22 Everest is definitely not the bike for those looking to dabble with their first ebike for quick commutes or short local trail loops. But that's pretty clear from the feature set and photos like the one below. The Everest is a serious ebike for serious riders looking to take big on- and off-road rides and expeditions.
One of Optibike's newest creations, the R22 Everest launched as part of the 2022 model year. The company builds each Everest bike to order at its Colorado shop, hand-assembling the carbon fiber frame and swing-arm and in-house components like the motor and battery pack. It offers a custom-built 2,700 lumen headlight that runs off the main bike battery as an option.
Mount Everest may not be in the cards, but not long after announcing the R22 Everest, Optibike did take on a near-60-mile (96.5-km) road and trail ride with 8,500 feet (2,590 m) of climbing to elevations over 10,000 feet (3.050 m) to show what the bike can do in the mountains. That trip is further detailed in the short video clip.
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OK IF you have too much money, and your retired, and you will actually consistently use it, then perhaps.