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

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 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.


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