Bicycles

Karmic's Oslo looks like an e-bike from the future

Karmic's Oslo looks like an e-...
We're told that the target weight of the Oslo is 20 kg (44 lb)
We're told that the target weight of the Oslo is 20 kg (44 lb)
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Karmic CEO Hong Quan, with the Oslo
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Karmic CEO Hong Quan, with the Oslo
We're told that the target weight of the Oslo is 20 kg (44 lb)
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We're told that the target weight of the Oslo is 20 kg (44 lb)
The Oslo is presently on Kickstarter
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The Oslo is presently on Kickstarter
The Oslo has a top electric-assist speed of 20 mph
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The Oslo has a top electric-assist speed of 20 mph

Usually, e-bike manufacturers try to make their vehicles as similar to regular bicycles as possible. Palo Alto, California-based Karmic, however, has gone the opposite route with its Oslo – the thing looks high-tech and electric.

For starters, the Oslo's chain, cables and battery are all enclosed within its body. That body in turn consists of a hydroformed aluminum frame and thermoplastic panels. The wheels additionally forgo the traditional thin steel spokes for five larger alloy ones, which can be sheathed in optional aerodynamic wheel covers.

Some of the singlespeed e-bike's other features include always-on integrated head- and tail/brake lights, a long padded non-wedgie seat, an LCD display, front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, and plastic fenders.

Karmic CEO Hong Quan, with the Oslo
Karmic CEO Hong Quan, with the Oslo

Riders can choose between three levels of electric pedaling assistance, as supplied by a 250-watt motor that's powered by a 480-Wh lithium battery. The latter is of the Panasonic 21700 cell-size variety (first used in the Tesla Model 3), and it can reportedly be swapped for a freshly-charged one within 30 seconds.

A top electric-assist speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) is possible, plus riders who are feeling lazy can also opt for a no-pedal throttle mode. Based on a model of that throttle being used "more often than not," the bike's battery range sits at a claimed 20 miles (32 km) of real-world use per charge.

Should you be interested, the Oslo is presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$1,499 will get you one, when and if it reaches production – the retail price should range from $1,800 to $2,200. Planned future upgrades include a 500-watt motor, a Gates Carbon belt drive, metal fenders, and the earlier-mentioned wheel covers.

Sources: Kickstarter, Karmic

4 comments
Worzel
It looks really great, and well designed, however, the price is more than I paid for my present well used car.....!
BJB
I see why there are no comments, there are far to many better ebikes out there at better prices!
Trylon
They had the perfect opportunity with that unconventional frame to move the cranks about 12" forward to the bend in the frame, making it a crank-forward/flat foot design like the Electra Townie or Day 6 that's more comfortable and easy to ride for casual riders. Wasted opportunity.
Mzungu_Mkubwa
@Trylon: I think there'd be room for a semi-recumbent version that puts the crank where you say, but also lowers the seat about 6 inches. This alone will decrease wind resistance and thus range quite a bit. Should make it more comfy, too if a small backrest is added. Toss in a lightweight & stylish faring for even better performance improvements (+ a bit of weather protection too!)