Monday, June 28, 2010

eBikes Success Stories: John and his Optibike

John has been riding his Optibike for a couple years. John and his ebike lapped me at the OHPV's ePower Challenge race recently; I then briefly got to ride his bike around the parking lot after the race. They're nice ebikes, driven through a motorized bottom bracket. MSRP starts at around $9,000, though they are currently on sale, and occasionally offer factory reconditioned bikes from as low as $2,995.

PDXebiker: Why an ebike; why an Optibike?
John: I bought an ebike to increase my speed and decrease the exercise and time required for an approximate 30 mile commute from Portland to Gresham and back.
I bought the Optibike because it has the range and speed to do the above, and off road, too. It's a tremendous mountain bike.

How do you use your ebike? Does it displace car/bus/other bike use? How many miles/week, or do you even keep track?
I primarily use the bike for commuting but any quick trip with good weather anywhere in town is very easy.

In practice, is range an issue? Ever had a dead battery?
Range is not an issue with the Optibike - 50 miles is doable and more I imagine if you were to hyper mile the ride. The Opti is more efficient than the drum drive type of bikes you see on nearly all other E bike brands.
I did have a dead battery once, on my first ride! The bike was delivered with a faulty battery and was quickly replaced at no cost to me, although I was apparently the first customer to change out a battery "in the field". Usually they last about 30,000 miles.

What do you really like about your ebike/ebiking? What solutions really work for you?
Speed, power, and the appearance of youth. It makes me feel twice as fast, twice as strong, and half as old.

What do you not like about your bike/ebiking, and what do you do to mitigate that?
I love ebiking but many in the cyberworld do not share my feelings. In the real world, I suppose having an Opti is isolating in that I go very fast and who would be able to keep up comfortably? Lance? Nope, he puts out about 500 wattts of power I'm told and I can put out more than that pedaling hard in the lower power setting. So, I always ride alone.
I do have many other bikes, mountain and road bikes - I've cycle toured since 1971, done Cycle Oregon a few times and built some custom machines, too. They are all different bikes and they are all great.

John's also an Ambassador for the Optibike brand; drop him a line, he'd be happy to set up a test ride.


  1. What a wonderful interview, I will share this article with the rest of the Optibike team.

    Craig Taber
    Boulder, CO USA

  2. "It makes me feel twice as fast, twice as strong, and half as old." hee hee! and twice as fun!