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OHM Sport XS750 Review

Summary:

Fully featured, high-end electric mountain bike with great power and thoughtful design
Powered by industry leading BionX battery pack, controller and gearless rear hub motor
Offers pedal assist and regen modes plus regenerative braking to extend range up to 15%
Top of the line shock with lock out, oversized hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano drivetrain

Stats:

Price: $4,199 USD MSRP
Range: 25-50 miles depending on rider, conditions and pedal assist mode
Top Speed: 20 miles per hour electronically limited
Gearing: 27 speed Shimano Deore XT
Weight: 52 pounds with battery
Battery: 37 volt 9.6 amp hour Lithium-ion pack, mounted mid-frame
Charge Time: ~3 hours
Ride Time: ~1 hour throttle only
Charge Cycles: ~1,500
Motor: 350 Watt high torque BionX-made gearless rear hub motor
Other: oversized Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, Magura Durin Race air suspension fork with dynamic lockout, integrated LED powered front and rear lights, Wellgo pedals, Mavic wheelset

Video Review:

Written Review:

What do you get when you combine brand name bicycle components with an award winning motor and battery system packaged for off road use? A bike that’s fun, light, durable and ready for just about anything. While it’s true that high end components and high prices do not a good bike guarantee… OHM has done an amazing job putting this package together. The Sport XS750 is well balanced in terms of front to rear weight distribution, it’s rugged and durable, powerful and reliable all at once. It’s easy to handle due to its relatively light weight, is responsive due to its torque-sensing pedal assist integration and is comfortable due to its fork and seat post shock absorption systems.

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The frame, components and electric drive systems on this bike work very well together. The mid-frame battery/controller unit is positioned above the bottom bracket and is protected from rocks and other train hazards by the burly downtube which makes perfect sense. At the same time, it can be easily removed with just one hand using a flip up lever making it easy to charge on or off the bike. The pack includes a keyed lock for securing to the frame but the key does not have to be left in the bike when riding as so many other ebikes require. Even though the battery unit is quick and easy to take off, once it’s secured, it rests against the seat post and downtube with multiple touchpoints so it doesn’t rattle or come lose with heavy riding. OHM has improved upon the standard BionX downtube design greatly with this pack and that really sets it apart from a do-it-yourself BionX kit products.

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Beyond the base design of this bike, the frame, the shock, the motor and battery unit… There are a couple delighters that I want to call out. The integrated high-power front and rear lights make riding at night fully possible and are so often left off electric mountain bikes. One of the big benefits of having an integrated battery pack is leveraging that power to run things like lights so this is great to see with the Sport XS 750. I’m also a huge fan of the integrated seat post shock that will come in handy in bumpy off-road environments. This feature pairs nicely with the traditional shock on the front fork making it one of the few ebikes out there truly capable and comfortable when riding off-road.

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As far as the motor system goes, OHM has partnered with BionX and is running their newest, high-end SL 350 HT. It offers 350 watts of power running in a “high torque” configuration for improved hill climbing ability. One of the major benefits this motor offers is regenerative braking and “regen mode” to capture energy when coasting down large hills. You can choose from four regen mode settings depending on how steep the hill is and how much energy you want to put back into the battery pack – use it like an engine brake. The downside of a gearless hub motor is that it usually offers less torque than a geared equivalent. That’s where the “high torque” upgrade comes in handy with this ebike and in my experience it’s fully capable of climbing mid-sized hills for average sized riders.

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Driving the motor on this bike is a 37 volt Lithium-ion battery pack with 9.6 amp hours of capacity. These specs don’t quite match some other electric mountain bikes like the Volton Alation 500 but they are a bit lighter weight and BionX has designed them to work together very efficiently so the drop off isn’t huge. The true beauty of this battery pack system is where and how it’s mounted. The fact that it uses Lithium-ion cells means it will endure many charge cycles before losing capacity and is much lighter than alternative battery technologies.

There are so many features to call out on this ebike including the built in fenders and rear rack that make it useful for commuting. It’s really a multi-purpose platform that’s rated for trail riding with components built to last. The pedal assist configuration on this bike uses a torque sensor vs. pedalec which means it responds with speed and varied intensity depending on how much force and speed the rider contributes. It extends rider input more fluidly as a result and is the correct choice for the technical challenges presented by off road riding. That said, you actually have to push the pedals to get a response with this ebike verses other bikes that use pedalec sensors which simply sense movement before providing one level of motor input. The other neat thing about the drive system on this bike is that it includes throttle mode which can be used in conjunction with pedal assist to get you going if pedaling becomes too hard up a steep section.

The one drawback of BionX systems however, is that they require two pedal strokes by the rider before activating, even using the throttle. This is sold as a safety feature but I dislike it. You may see me struggle to get the bike going in the video review above during the test ride and this is the reason why. I forgot about the two pedal thing and for a moment thought the bike wasn’t responding. Worth noting here is that the frame includes a two year warranty and the battery and components all come with a one year warranty. Since the components and drive system are all built by well established companies like BionX, Shimano and Magura, you can expect great support.

I loved riding this bike because of the weight distribution, shocks and quality feature set. BionX makes powerful reliable systems and their LCD controller is very intuitive to use. The fenders, lights and seat post shock take it over the top and really help to justify the high-end pricepoint. For someone who wants a quality electric bike that’s easy to use and rated for off road riding, this would be an excellent choice.

Pros:

Well protected battery/controller pack, positioned above the downtube and stabilized by the seatpost
Key is not required to be left in when riding! Also, the battery pack is mounted relatively low so getting on is easy
Low center of gravity with battery pack mounted low and mid-frame
Integrated lights both front and rear use high power LED’s
High-end name brand components and systems from Magura, Shimano and BionX
Hydraulic oversized disc brakes front and rear for excellent stopping power
Light weight, long lasting Lithium-ion battery pack offers 37 volts of power and 9.6 amp hours of capacity
Integrated fenders make rainy days or muddy trails easier to manage
Rear rack provides lots of mounting options for commuting and works with most pre-existing panniers due to standard tube guage size
Gearless rear hub motor is quiet, coasts well, has fewer parts to wear out than geared options and offers regenerative braking and regen mode for charging battery
Battery can be charged on or off bike and is easy to remove but also mounts very solidly
27 speeds offer lots of range for hill climbing in off road environments
Front shock uses air suspension making it easy to adjust and light weight, also provides lock out to reduce bobbing when riding on road
Seat post shock offers extra cushioning when riding off roads or over big cracks in the city
Throttle mode and pedal assist mode can be used together
Four pedal assist and regen mode settings to choose from to match terrain
Torque sensing pedal assist is very smooth and responsive
Available in 18.5″ and 20″ frame sizes to fit different body types, also has adjustable neck to fit handlebars to rider
Great single-sided kickstand stays up and supports the bike well when down
Integrated cable design keeps frame clutter-free
Ergo grips reduce hand fatigue and handlebar palsy when riding

Cons:

This is an expensive package, the price is justified with the components and design but it’s still a lot to spend
Adjustable neck is nice for dialing in the handlebars but can get loose more easily during heavy off road riding
Front fender can get in the way when pedaling during tight turns, was not present on the test bike I rode
Rear rack is bolt-on which means it can get loose and rattle easier over time
More systems to manage than simple twist-throttle, may be distracting for low level riders, more to break in the system

Rating:

OHM Sport XS750, Rated 5 out of 5
Updated May 15, 2013 by Court Rye

Resources:

Official Site
More Pictures
Electric Bike Reviews