simply… simple. the most minimal e-bike ever. minimal effort, maintenance, and style!
UPDATE: The Biomega OKO is now available from Sydney Electric Bikes.
Battery is actually a 36V 10.4Ah lithium ion powered.
Without me telling you anything, you’d think this is a new apple product. But it’s not, this here is the Biomega OKO. All the way from Denmark, the OKO comes as a unique carbon fiber eBike with a minimalistic design.
If you haven’t heard about Biomega before, they’re a bicycle brand built around a team of designers, where their bikes and eBikes are often created with design in mind. With collaborative work with designers like Marc Newson who has designed great works seen below;
You can understand where Biomega get’s it’s aesthetics from. Now although it’s not for everyone, it’s definitely unique and very European. Which has me questioning; how does the Biomega OKO stack up in Australia?
Well let’s have a look at the spec sheet first. Like all other street legal eBikes, the OKO is fitted with a 250W motor. This is housed in the front between the carbon one piece forks, and is powered by a 36V 9.9Ah or 356Wh battery. Now this is a little on the small side compared to the average capacity of eBikes nowadays of 12-13Ah or 500Wh. Biomega estimates a range between 45 and 65km which does seem a little generous. The rule of thumb is that a 500Wh battery will get you about 2 hours of well assisted riding which at 25km/h will get you around 50km. So technically the OKO should be able to provide 35-40km of well assisted riding, but like always, take these figures with a grain of salt. It’s almost always impossible to get a range with so many factors playing a role.
In the brakes department, the OKO uses Shimano Deore disc brakes which are hugely popular with any bike, and are a solid choice for any budget conscious rider. The only thing is that these brakes aren’t eBike friendly, which means they don’t have cut out sensors to stop power to the motor when engaged. It’s a safety feature that some eBike companies use, but a lot of eBikes have used these without any dramas. Most modern motor and PAS systems are responsive enough to eliminate any danger with braking anyway.
Now onto one of the highlights of the OKO which is the drivetrain. As you’ll quickly notice, this eBike doesn’t use a cassette and freewheel with derailleurs and shifters. It gets rid of all of that clutter for a simple 2-speed SRAM Automatix. With an options for an 8-speed Shimano Alfine and Shimano Di2 internally geared hub, the OKO simplifies riding a bike so you don’t have to worry about shifting. If you haven’t ridden an automatic gear hub, you should definitely try one out. They’re definitely something to consider if you do a lot of commuting and riding in the city. Smoother rides, no need to shift, and it requires less maintenance. Especially if you pair it up with a carbon drive belt. So in addition to the automatic gears, the OKO also uses a carbon belt drive system which really provide you with that premium ride. This combination is a must for any city commuter. If you’ve got the budget, I definitely recommend an automatic gear hub with carbon drive belt. The ride is smoother, more quiet, and clean. You don’t have the chain skipping and slapping around, and all the lubrication for the drivetrain is in the hub, so it’s definitely a lot easier to keep clean, and to clean.
Now if you do consider getting the OKO, I highly recommend getting the 8-speed option whether it be the Alfine or Di2 because Australia isn’t very flat compared to Europe I think. You need the lower gears to climb the hills we find ourselves facing every 100m. If you live in a very flat region, like Canberra for example or if you’re a confident rider, then the 2-speed will be fine. But if you’ve got some hills on your route, definitely consider upgrading to the 8-speed.
Using the Biomega was easy enough, just like any other eBike really nowadays. Here’s your control panel, with an on slash off button, and a plus and minus button to control your pedal assistance level. With Biomega eBikes, the one light is actually no level of PAS to comply with European law, so two green LED is actually one, three is two and so on so forth, whilst the red LEDs indicate your battery level. That pretty much wraps up using the OKO, no LCD screen, just on and off switch, brakes and pedals. Charging it is simply done via the port under the top tube where the battery sits. Really the most simple and minimal eBike ever I think. And this translates to the riding.
The ride is simply put…. Simple. Just so minimal. The motor comes in smoothly, and the gears compliment it. Because the frame and forks are carbon, it is a stiff ride like a roadie. So be prepared for that, or definitely try fixed bikes out first. But the Biomega saddle is really comfortable. I believe it’s a good balance of comfort and performance. The soft leather and padding is really something else, along with the handle bar grips which are really nice to grab onto.
Now whilst riding there was something I picked up. I say this with a lot of commuter bikes I get, the Biomega is fitted with 26” wheels, which I personally think is too small. I would’ve loved if the OKO was a 29er/700c bike. I definitely prefer the bigger wheels when commuting, especially being a larger rider too. Just having that nice roller and top speed is definitely something I look for in a commuter.
So that wraps up our little test of the Biomega OKO. Really just a premium eBike made for the bustling city roads and streets. It comes in two sizes, medium and large so unfortunately small and extra riders miss out, but to be honest, it should still cover you as I normally ride XL and rode the large fine. It also comes in two other colours, gloss white and black. There isn’t any official word to when and if Biomega OKO is coming to Australia, but if it does, you can expect the retail around $3500 to $4000 for the 2-speed SRAM Automatix variant, where the 8-speed hubs will add a premium.
Go check out the Biomega OKO if you want more of a premium urban commuter ebike that’s unique and simplifies your riding experience, as well as the maintenance.