Updated: Aug 18, 2022
If Everest Had a Road!
Make no mistake, the above electric bike called the OPTIBIKE R22 Everest starts at nearly $19,000. This doesn’t consider any additional upgrades, tax, or delivery. You could potentially spend close to $25,000 before everything is said. The R22 Everest is part of OPTIBIKE’s Elite Series, and yes, it is packed with several “bells and whistles.”
So back to the title question, is it worth the price, and who exactly is OPTIBIKE? To be as transparent as possible, I had never heard of OPTIBIKE before this writing. At first, I thought they were another start-up company, so I was surprised to find out they had been in business since 2007. Jim Turner, a former Ford Motor Advanced Control Engineer, found working on bikes less stifling and more innovative. He took his knowledge and engineering capabilities and channeled them into his company OPTIBIKE.
In Jim’s own words:
I love that e-bikes are good for your health and the environment, with OPTIBIKE, I get a chance to directly impact the lives of others
It makes sense that OPTIBIKE’s primary focus is on mountain bikes, provided they are situated in the heart of Paonia, Colorado, and the Rockies. Jim is passionate about designing and manufacturing these bikes and likes to ride and test them.
So what does $19,000 buy when purchasing the R22 Everest? First, it is important to note these bikes are not mass-produced. They are hand built, which is most likely why the New York Times called OPTIBIKE “The Ferrari of Electric Bikes.” A hand-built bike means the consumer will pay a premium immediately!
Now for the details:
Carbon Fiber Frame
Downhill Crown Fork
Carbon Fiber Swing Arm
Four Piston Hydraulic Brakes
14-Speed Rohloff Internally Geared Speedhub
One of the crowning features of the R22 Everest bike is the twin 3300 Wh (3.3kWh) 52V batteries to reach 300 miles of range or the height of Mount Everest (If there was a road). Note the machined case (below) that houses the two batteries. The case was customized from a billet of 6061 aluminum to give structural stability to the twin heavy batteries. They call this “Out and Back” technology, given the independent switch between batteries going out and coming back.
Here is a close-up of the aluminum battery housing placed at a low point on the bike to maintain a solid center of gravity.
With such capable batteries, this bike needs an exceptional motor provided with the MBB (Motorized Bottom Bracket).
It is essential to detail the motor and its components, like the battery case, are also machined from solid billet 6061 aluminum. As self-proclaimed by OPTIBIKE, they are the only bike company making their motors as they needed “performance.”
Breaking it down further to just the motor itself (pictured below)
These were custom built by OPTIBIKE to provide enough torque, to the tune of 190nm, for climbing without overheating. Expect the R22 Everest to climb a 40% grade off-road slope which is pretty extreme. This bike has 1700 W Continuous Power/2500 W PeakTop with a maximum speed of 36mph.
With such extended range and high performance, this ride would not be complete without comfort. OPTIBIKE ensured the rear suspension (200mm of travel), in addition to the long travel of the front suspension fork, will keep the bike planted on the ground and the rider’s fatigue at a minimum.
Judging by a few reviews by experienced riders, which I am not and never have claimed to be, this bike is worth the price if you are a serious rider. As I have mentioned throughout, this is a custom bike experience. If you place an order, they don’t have these on a shelf ready to ship out. The $19,000 purchase buys you a made-to-order bike tuned to your body dimensions. (I imagine you provide these to them for an even more customized experience). Before the unit is complete, everything is tested and tuned for efficiency.
I also mentioned that $19,000 was the starting price. You have several options of add-ons, including:
Various custom colors schemes
Upgraded brakes (More extreme bikers)
Additional Battery Chargers
Added Frame Brace (More aggressive riders)
Added Frame Protection Guards
Lighting (Currently, no front or tail lights included)
Tire Inserts (reduce flats)
Again, if you are a serious and experienced rider, the R22 Everest is most likely the bike for you. This capable mountain climber will leave 99% of other mountain bikes in the dust and a heavy dent in your pocketbook. I would love to take this one for a ride, but I will stick to my considerably less expensive bike and non-Everest size off-road hills!