Oxygen E Mate City Bike
The courier knocked and pushed a large cardboard box into the hallway ! It had arrived, my Oxygen test bike.
Having a rebadged version of the original Oxygen bike I was very interested in the newer upgraded version that, although maintaining the original look in general, had been tweaked by the new owner of the Oxygen name who is out of interest a cycle designer who has changed the frame with regards frame sections and angles. So we struck up a conversation one day on the telephone and after I admitted that I was very fussy and difficult to please he offered to send me a bike just to get my views on how the new bike shaped up against my wifes and my other seven E bikes. I have also ridden a number of other e bikes and was, when younger, an avid road time trial cyclist so have a bit of knowledge on performance and handling as far as cycles go.
Ok ! First impressions straight out of the box. Quality is the word that springs to mind which, to be quite honest, is what I would have expected from a range of bikes that start at around £1200 and go up to £1450, and I wasn`t disappointed on that score. What was very apparent lifting the bike from the box was the weight (or lack of it). On my electronic scales the bike weighs in at 20.5Kgs without the battery and 24Kgs with the battery in place, but for some reason it feels a lot lighter once assembled. The battery is the latest Li- Polymer of 36V 13Amp and is very light as you can see by the weight figures. Whilst the battery was charging I assembled the front wheel and handlebars and ran a spanner around the various nuts and bolts just to check for safety.
I always run a bike when new or after service suspended from my bike workshop roof to test the running gear and found the free running of the wheels to be very good indeed considering the rear wheel has a Bafang hub built in. Gear changing was positive, quiet and smooth and the motor fired up first time with a quiet hum.
So now, after adjusting the saddle height, I set off on my first ride with the new bike. Just now and then something a little bit special pops up into your life and this bike is it. Hard to determine just what separates this bike from my others ( that I love btw), but I think it`s the sheer positive steering and build quality that sets it apart from the run of the mill. Push bikes are like motorcycles and cars in as much as when the manufacturers get it right then it all falls in line, and so it is with the Oxygen E bike.
The power delivery from the pedal assist is just about right in my opinion, (not too powerful that it forces you along faster than you want to go, but powerful enough that your legs don`t ache). Need a bit more power to climb a hill or pull away from a junction ? then just switch over to twist throttle and that bit of extra power fills the gap. For sure none of my other bikes free wheel as nice as this bike does, there just seems to be zero drag from the rear hub and pushing the bike along by hand without looking down you would be hard pressed to tell it from a good quality non electric bike.
The nearest bike I own to the Oxygen is my Evans MTB that I converted to an E bike six months ago and I just love it but for sure it does not have the finesse of the Oxygen.
As far as range goes, well I hesitate to run any E bike down to nothing for fear of being stranded out in the sticks where I live but judging by the mileage I was getting without recharging I would say that 50-60 miles should well be within the bikes capability when used on pedelec, and remember the battery has not had the suggested three low discharges yet.. What amazed me about this bike in particular was the ability to be able to ride it as an out and out sports type bike and really push it along at a decent pace or poodle around the country lanes taking in the scenery during this fine spell of late June weather.
A note on the brakes: Rear V brake and Front Disk. I`m a bit touchy on brakes, they either throw you over the handle bars or you need to put a foot out to stop yourself but what I like about the choice on the E mate is just how progressive they are with plenty of stopping power should you need it but silky smooth gradual normal braking, I like them.
I fitted my now standard bar ends and Ahead riser to get the riding position to where I like it, and Andrew of Oxygen kindly posted me an adjustable stem that I fitted before riding the bike once again this morning, and things really fell into line. I would say for younger fitter riders the standard set up will be fine, it`s just that I`m getting on a touch now and like the armchair feeling in what ever I`m doing, and surprisingly the bike seems to be adjustable for most tastes.
The bike will be going onto pastures green soon and I can only hope that the new user gets as much enjoyment out of her as I have done.
Thank you Andrew for allowing me the opportunity to try out your new machine and also well done for introducing another quality make of E bike into the market to give us all a bigger choice.
I have no connection what so ever to Oxygen bikes and gain nothing financially from this article, just wanting to spread the word to fellow users of a decent product.