Bicycles

Limited carbon fiber e-bike built for street and off-road motoring

Limited carbon fiber e-bike bu...
The Optibike R15C in its natural environment
The Optibike R15C in its natural environment
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The first carbon fiber R15C frame was ready for assembly and testing mid June
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The first carbon fiber R15C frame was ready for assembly and testing mid June
The R15C is built for street and off-road motoring
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The R15C is built for street and off-road motoring
The Optibike R15C in its natural environment
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The Optibike R15C in its natural environment
The carbon fiber battery case fits flush with the frame of the R15C, but can be opened to the left for battery removal
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The carbon fiber battery case fits flush with the frame of the R15C, but can be opened to the left for battery removal
The Fox suspension to the front of the R15C offers 160 mm of travel
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The Fox suspension to the front of the R15C offers 160 mm of travel
The Fox suspension to the rear of the R15C offers 165 mm of travel
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The Fox suspension to the rear of the R15C offers 165 mm of travel
Riders can pedal the R15C or choose to throttle the motor for a top speed of 28 mph
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Riders can pedal the R15C or choose to throttle the motor for a top speed of 28 mph
The R15C's Optibike MBB motor produces 190 Nm of torque
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The R15C's Optibike MBB motor produces 190 Nm of torque

Last year, e-bike veteran Optibike introduced what it described as the best bike the company had ever made, and the most fun to ride. Now a special carbon fiber edition R15 has been announced, with a redesigned frame and a top motor-only speed of 28 mph.

Optibike has been in the e-bike building game for a good many years. In fact, it's been 10 years since the trail-blazing OB1 graced our pages and the company reckons that models are still "on the road" today. The firm fully expects the new R15C model to be just as durable, if not more so as the "C" in the moniker stands for carbon fiber.

There's a full carbon fiber frame that doesn't continue over the back wheel like the flowing frame on the R15, but stops at the seat post. The swingarm is carbon fiber too, as is the Renthal handlebar and the battery case that fits smoothly into the frame but opens at the left. This allows riders to remove the 52 V/29 Ah Li-ion battery – which has been confirmed good for 75 miles (121 km) per charge at 15 mph (24 km/h) in real world testing, or 33 miles (53 km) at full tilt.

Riders can pedal the R15C or choose to throttle the motor for a top speed of 28 mph
Riders can pedal the R15C or choose to throttle the motor for a top speed of 28 mph

Riders can of course pedal the R15C, or choose to throttle the Optibike MBB motor for 1,650 W of continuous power and 190 Nm of torque. Trip information and battery levels are displayed on a custom LCD screen that makes five power levels available. The first two drive modes will get riders up to 20 mph (32 km/h) for road legal use, while the remaining three levels will roll right up to a motor-only top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h).

Elsewhere, the 68 lb (30 kg) R15C offers 160 mm of Fox suspension travel to the front and 165 mm at the back, and has a Fox Factory Dropper Seat Post that caters for seat height adjustment without dismounting, 27.5-inch DT Swiss rims wrapped in 2.8-inch thick Schwalbe tires, SRAM Code hydraulic disc brakes and a Rohloff Speedhub 500 internal gear hub.

The R15C will be hand built in limited quantities and, like 2008's OB1, rises to the top end of the e-bike price scale, at US$13,900 each. Reservations are open now.

Source: Optibike

2 comments
Daishi
The top speed is factory limited but not a limit of the bike. My ebike uses a 1000 watt hub motor (1600 peak) and pretty easily hits 30 mph when the factory restriction is unlocked. Their motor is 1,650 watts continuous and 2500 w peak. It's expensive but there is a decent high end market for ebikes. I think Luna sells the Apex about as fast as they can make them. The market for ebikes is pretty good right now.
Cody Blank
Man those guys really like copying other people's frame designs. OB1 is basically a Trek Y series, and this one clearly came from a Santa Cruz V-10