Bespoke titanium OL+EM ebike doesn't cut any corners
Thanks to the current ebike gold rush, we're seeing many models coming to market that are basically cheap, low-quality bicycles with motors. Such is not the case with the OL+EM, however, which features a custom-fit titanium frame and some top-end components.
Created by British product designer Kevin Champion, the OL+EM (pronounced "O, L and emm") is named after his children, Oliver and Emily. It's currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign.
As mentioned, its frame is handmade from aerospace-grade titanium tubing, based on the body measurements of each individual buyer. Its fork is made of carbon fiber, to help absorb road vibrations.
The rider's pedalling power is augmented by a mid-mounted 200-watt Bafang M800 motor, which puts out up to 55 Nm (40.5 lb ft) of torque. It allows for an electric-assist top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph) in Europe, or 40 km/h (25 mph) in the US. Riders can choose between three levels of assistance (one of which is 0) via a handlebar-mounted LCD controller – that unit also displays data such as charge level and current speed.
The motor is powered by a custom 3D-printed, down-tube-mounted 36-volt lithium battery, which can be quickly pulled off for charging. It's being offered in two versions – the 7-Ah Sprint, which is claimed to provide a range of about 70 km (43 miles) per 2.5-hour charge, and the larger 10.5-Ah Tour, which offers 100 km (62 mi) per 3-hour charge. Unlike the Sprint, the Tour can be locked to the frame when the bike is left unattended.
Along with choosing between the two batteries, buyers can also opt for either a Shimano Alfine 11-speed rear hub transmission or an Enviolo Autimatiq continuously variable transmission, and either a Brooks or Ergon saddle.
Some of the OL+EM's other features include Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes; a Gates Carbon belt-drive drivetrain; 27.5-inch White Industries wheels; Crankbrothers pedals; internally routed hoses/cables; plus Supernova head- and tail lights, which automatically switch on when the ambient light dims.
The whole thing reportedly tips the scales at 13 kg (28.7 lb).
Champion plans on building just 100 of the ebikes per year, and in fact is limiting the Indiegogo run to only 20 units. Needless to say, they aren't inexpensive – pledges start at €6,350 (about US$6,590), with the planned list price sitting at €7,500 ($7,782). Assuming everything goes according to plan, they should ship to backers in July.
You can see the OL+EM in action, in the video below.