Review: Ohm Cycles XS700

Outfitted like a real mountain bike and headlining a burly 350-watt motor, Ohm’s XS700 is as close to true off-roading as you’ll get in an electric pedal-assist bike these days.

Skidding in at 53 pounds (on the lighter side for this category) Ohm’s mountain bike-inspired geometry and its nine-level power-assist and regeneration system make it a smart, nimble and efficient two-wheeler.

On pavement and trail the BionX power plant, mounted on the rear hub, employs a unique sensor technology that is constantly adjusting the level of assistance it gives you based on the terrain. Encountering some mushy road? More power is delivered to the gears. Gliding down paved asphalt? The juice is dialed back. And if your thighs are flushed with lactic acid on a sheer hill, a flick of the trusty thumb throttle cracks the whip and the motor totally takes over, no pedaling required.

The BionX system, which can be retrofitted to almost any existing bicycle, has nine modes.  It’s got four pedal-assist power settings, a neutral position for the Wheaties box wannabe folks and four regeneration modes that allow you to put some power back into the battery on descents.

The Ohm’s range is surprisingly good — we clocked more than 40 miles of rolling hills, bike path and some off-road double track on one charge (with plenty of pedaling and use of the regen system, mind you).

For all this innovation and comfort, you will, however, have to part with a spouse-enraging $3,450. Is it worth it? Well, it is a ton of fun.

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