The e-JOE ONYX electric bike – CleanTechnica review
The e-JOE ONYX bills itself as a sport class commuter, so we were excited to take it out to see what it has to offer both commuters and mountain bikers. On the surface, its oversized 26 “x 2.125” tires have a serious tread, but with studs arranged to allow for a relatively smooth running surface.
Disclaimer: e-Joe has provided ONYX to the author free of charge for the purposes of this review.
The ONYX arrived in a standard e-bike shipping box and required us to connect the usual handful of components before our first ride. Specifically, the front tire had to be connected, the pedals screwed on, the headlight bolted, the handlebars connected to the stem, and the fenders fixed and adjusted.
It took me a little over 30 minutes to assemble the bike before plugging it into the charger and filling the tires with pressure. It was a simple assembly, but for those who aren’t comfortable with traditional bike maintenance and following directions, I recommend speaking with your local bike shop to see if they can assemble it. for you. Pro tip: arrange with them before the purchase and have the bike delivered to them directly. Carrying an 80 to 100 pound box halfway through town isn’t fun, and with the bike shipped in the first place, it’s easily avoided.
After the first charge I took it around the neighborhood for a quick 2 mile tuning lap, and after a few fiddling with the fenders everything was working perfectly and was ready for a ride on our 20 mile test route. Downhill at the start of the course, the rugged Bengal hydraulic disc brakes proved more than capable of reducing the speed of the bike. This is perhaps the most important test for any electric bike, because it doesn’t matter how fast a bike can go if it isn’t able to slow down when the time comes.
As the incline leveled out I played around with the throttle and found it to be much smoother than most bikes with 750 watt motors. A push from the thumb throttle provided nice extra power from the rear 750 watt MXUS motor, making it easy to move the bike from a dead stop or when powering up a short hill. .
In the plains, I had the first opportunity to play with the different levels of pedaling assistance. The small LCD controller on the handlebars makes it easy to adjust pedal assistance levels with the push of a button. As I walked through the five levels of pedal assistance, I was impressed with how smoothly all the transitions between the levels were. After a few minutes of driving on the ONYX, the switch between one of the five levels of pedaling assistance and the 7 mechanical speeds at the rear was a natural process.
The easy ramp-up from level one to level five makes the ONYX a great choice for commuters, with more gradual power curves lending itself to higher efficiency and longer range. e-Joe expects the ONYX to provide assistance up to 45 miles per charge, and in our testing we completed our 20 mile test route with over 50% charge remaining.
At the bottom of the frame, the ONYX appears to sport a mid-drive motor, but it’s actually the built-in motor controller box. The frame itself is made from 6061 aluminum alloy which helps the ONYX to be a featherweight in its class, at just 60 pounds, and that’s with a front suspension fork up front.
Our review unit was one of the first ONYX bikes built by e-Joe with the new flat front handlebars. They contribute to a more aggressive riding posture which seems to adapt to the bike better compared to the cruise bars that came on older ONYX bikes.
The ONYX comes with pretty much everything a commuter needs to get started, including a full set of mudguards, a rear rack, and a set of lights. The LED headlight is directly connected to the main battery and can be turned on by pressing and holding the + button on the controller for a few seconds. At the rear, the rear light has its own controls and must be turned on and off by itself.
All in all, the ONYX is a complete e-bike that indeed offers plenty of capabilities to have fun while ticking the boxes as a commuter. Prices for e-bikes have increased across the board this year, with most e-bikes valued in the order of $ 1,500 in 2020 reaching around $ 1,800 in 2021.
At $ 1,799, the ONYX falls squarely into the value e-bike lineup and with its efficient motor and 14Ah in-frame battery. Its lightweight frame makes it a solid option for riders looking for a bike that’s easier to move and lift with a sharp look that sets it apart from the masses.
For more information on ONYX or to purchase one, visit E-Joe website.
Credits for all images: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
- Engine: 750 watts continuous, 1000 watts peak power MXUS brushless rear gear hub motor
- Battery: 48V 14Ah using Samsung 18650 lithium-ion cells
- Vary: up to 45 miles per charge
- Top speed: 25 mph
- Classification: Class 1, Class 2
- Recharge time: 4-6 hours
- Throttle: Thumb throttle control
- Pedal assist system: 5 levels of pedaling assistance with cadence sensor
- Frame: 6061 aluminum alloy frame with built-in removable battery
- Fork: Front suspension fork 26 ″
- Tires: 26 x 2.125 Puncture resistant tire
- Seat: Black padded VELO plush with vinyl top
- Brakes: Bengal front and rear hydraulic disc brakes
- Gear: Shimano 7 speed
- Accessories included: Kickstand, bell, headlight, taillight, fenders, rear rack
- Weight: 60 lbs
- Loading capacity: 300 pounds
- Colors: Black / Orange & Blue / White