New Electric Bicycle Drops Chain And Shift Controls

At this year’s Taipei International Cycle Show, Canadian electric bike manufacturer OHM Cycles debuted its latest e-bicycle, the Urban XU450 E2.

The new e-bike features several innovations to separate itself from competitors like Polaris, Flight USA, and PiCycle. First, don’t expect to shift your own gears on the Urban XU450 E2. OHM has teamed up with bicycle component manufacturer SRAM to deal with such antiquated technology. The XU450 E2 comes equipped with the SRAM E-Matic which does the shifting automatically. As OHM says, riders just jump onto the bike and go. Because there are no shift points to watch, the company dropped the LCD from the e-bike.

OHM Urban XU450 E2

Image courtesy of OHM

SRAM also provides the Urban XU450 E2 its Elixir 3 hydraulic disc brakes and E-Matic battery.

Mechanical features like a bicycle chain have also been broken and tossed into the history file. The XU450 E2 now utilizes a high-strength belt mixed with carbon fiber cords courtesy of Gates Carbon Drive. Says CEO Michael DeVisser of OHM Cycles, “We designed this new model to make riding an e-bike even easier and more convenient. Just get on the bike and start pedaling. The SRAM E-Matic does the rest. The Gates belt drive is another huge convenience because it never needs to be lubricated and won’t get grease on your hands or clothes.”

Other features included in the OHM Urban XU450 E2 are a bit more prosaic. They include light-weight, aluminum frame; electric motor; and three different available 36V lithium-ion batteries. They’re recharged through both regenerative brakes and via a standard electrical outlet. Finally, the company offers different bicycle frames to accommodate varying rider sizes (i.e., ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph, and American “Super-size Me”! And yes: we’re kidding.)

OHM says interested buyers can start ordering the e-bike this spring. Pricing details have not been released at the time of this post. The company plans to introduce new models equipped with the Gates Carbon Drive later this year during the Eurobike and Interbike shows.

Joel Arellano is a writing professional for over two decades, working in such diverse industries as finance, aerospace, telecomm, and medical devices. He has covered the automotive industry for more than six years, and his articles and blog posts can found on at Autoblog, Autoblog Green, Automotive.com, motortrend.com, trucktrend.com, and automobilemag.com.