Optibike (of boulder Colorado) who is known for their $12,000 high-end electric bikes that are made in the USA, has just released a new model, the M4. The most notable feature of the M4 is its price at $6000. To get to this lower price point, Optibike made a number of concessions, starting with a much smaller 37V battery pack at only 10-Ah’s (370 watt hours). In comparison the 850R comes with a 37V / 26-Ah battery (962 watt hours). This smaller battery will dramatically cut down on the expected range of this bike…we estimate a typical 18 mile range…where as with the 850R (read review) we would expect a 45 mile range.
The motor is still a mid-drive built into the bottom bracket, but now running at 440 watts, because the amps on this model are limited so as to not stress the smaller battery. According to Jim Turner (the Optibike President) this bike was designed with a customer in mind who does not need all the extra power of the 850R Optibike.
The motor still runs through the gear chain, giving optimum efficiency and hill climbing ability, but instead of the fancy Rohloff (read our review) used in the more expensive Optibike models, this bike uses a SRAM 9-speed derailleur system.
Instead of using a top of the line Fox front suspension as its predecessors do, the M4 uses a Rockshox front suspension fork. Instead of fancy hydraulic Avid brakes, the M4 Optibike uses mechanical Avid brakes.
The M4 uses the identical monocoque frame and dashboard as in previous Optibikes.
At $6000, this is a hefty price to pay for a bike with low performance numbers (speed and range). But if you want Optibike quality and support, and do not need a bike with a lot of performance and are willing to spend, the M4 might be the bike for you. Optibike expects this bike to be their top seller because of the more affordable price point.