Urtopia: Carbon Fiber Smart E-Bike Review

Urtopia Carbon Fiber Smart E-Bike Review
Urtopia Carbon Fiber Smart E-Bike Review

The Urtopia is lightweight, fast, powerful, and fun, with innovative technology and smart features. During the preorder period, it’s also a bargain.

Urtopia, which combines the words utopia and urban, aims to shake up the e-bike market with novel smart features that are either new to consumer bikes or previously only found on higher-priced models. The main features are a 250W hub motor and a Gates Carbon Drive with four levels of pedal aid and a range of 30-80 kilometres.

When you consider all of the built-in features, such as a smart voice-activated handlebar display that controls your settings and provides GPS navigation, a fingerprint reader and gyroscope-activated alarm to prevent theft, 4G (via eSIM) to remotely monitor the bike, mmWave sensors to detect vehicles, and more, this e-bike is already in a class by itself. The Urtopia has something for everyone, whether you’re searching for a sleek, fast, and reliable bike for easy commuting or your first e-bike. It’s presently available for preorder through its Indiegogo campaign until January 6th, 2022, with a 50% discount at $1999.

Campaign on Indiegogo & Prototype Model

While e-bikes have been around since the 1880s, their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, with a wide range of alternatives to select from based on your riding style and budget. During the pandemic, the e-bike market grew by 145 percent from 2019 to 2020, with projections of about 500,000 sold, more than double the number of electric car sales that year. E-bikes are more practical and cost-effective than ever before as their prices continue to drop and their performance and range increase.

The ultra-lightweight Urtopia boasts an extraordinary range of features and style that will turn heads and leave people speechless. Urtopia is perhaps the best value e-bike on the market, with a claimed total value of $5375 according to their Indiegogo page, outperforming not only everything else in its price range, but also the most luxury carbon fibre choices available.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-14 is a 14-speed electric bicycle designed by Urtopia.

For the past month, I’ve been riding the prototype Urtopia model for a combination of commuting, pleasure riding, and even some trail riding. The Urtopia feels five years ahead of its time, even in its prototype condition, with many of its smart features still in development and unavailable for testing. I’ve been watching their campaign closely, and I’ll highlight some of the important changes that have been made between the prototype and the final model. The prototype has numerous strange oddities in its current condition, such as requiring you to manually remove the battery to turn it off, a slow-responding bell, and an erroneous battery metre even when fully charged.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-12 is a high-performance electric bicycle.

I shared and reviewed a lengthy list of issues with the Urtopia team, and they informed me that they were aware of all of them in the prototype model, and that they had all been addressed in the final version. Following their campaign update email over the past several months, I’ve been able to witness their progress and commitment to keeping their backers and potential buyers informed about their production status.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-3 is a three-wheeled electric bicycle.

Carbon Fiber Construction & Design

Mathis Heller, the award-winning frame designer best known for his work on the BMW I series and Siemens ICE 3 high-speed train, is featured prominently in Urtopia’s marketing. The Urtopia resembles a mix between a luxury automobile and a high-speed train in many aspects. The bike’s sleek appearance, which is almost entirely black, doesn’t necessarily scream “look at me,” but when it catches your sight, you can tell this isn’t your average bike, which I enjoy. With the exception of a little release latch knob, the battery is totally hidden within the frame.

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E-Bike Urtopia Carbon-24

Most people would not recognise this as an E-Bike if they saw it for the first time. The frame resembles a thunderbolt from the side view. Sirus, Lyra, and Midnight in Paris are the three types available right now. They offer a variety of side decals that suit the bike’s overall sleek and minimalist appearance. After riding it around numerous parks and cities, it was undoubtedly a conversation starter, as I had a number of people interested in the bike approach me and inquire about it. When I informed them the features and price, most bike enthusiasts, especially those who owned or were familiar with previous e-bikes, were stunned.

Aside from its smart features, the carbon fibre construction of the frame, fork, seatpost, and handlebar is, of course, a major selling point. The Urtopia is one of the lightest e-bikes in the category, weighing in at about 30-pounds (13 kg). When loading the bike into the back of my SUV or lugging it up the stairs, the weight savings was immediately evident and appreciated. The bike is small enough to sling over one’s shoulder and carry for a short distance. A carbon fibre build is the “weight” to go for individuals searching for a daily commuter.

E-Bike Urtopia Carbon 11

Ride & Power Modes

Pedal, Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Turbo are the five power modes that can be chosen between using the handlebar or voice control. If you don’t need or want battery help, Pedal mode delivers a conventional cycling ride, while Turbo is the fastest and requires the least amount of pedalling. Because there are no gears on the bike, the Urtopia relies on a patented motor and clutch system to “imitate the pedalling efficiency achieved by the change of mechanical gearing.”

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-27 is a 27-inch carbon e-bike.

The included Velo seat is a little firm for my tastes, but it’s still a major improvement over the basic seats that most bikes come with.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-6 is a carbon e-bike from Urtopia.

I rode on various routes, terrains, and elevations, and the bike never faltered. If you want to make it up particularly steep hills, you’ll definitely need to put the bike in turbo and stand on your pedals, but it’s still a huge improvement over not having any assistance. Despite the fact that this is primarily intended for road use, I tried it on a couple easy offroad trails and found that it handled nicely, even with its skinny tyres and lack of shocks.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-8 is a high-performance electric bicycle.

For much of my riding, turbo mode feels a touch too snappy and rapid, so I left the bike in comfort mode, which provided plenty of power and speed. I was able to comfortably attain the bike’s top speed (European version 25 km/h, US version 32 km/h). Riding on busier roads with traffic made me want to go faster because I knew I and the bike could keep up, but the speed governor was slowing us down. Of course, these are government rules, not the bike’s fault, but all of this is to indicate that the bike, even with its smaller 250W motor, will be more than enough for most people.

E-Bike Urtopia Carbon 9

Characteristics

AI Voice Control & Smart Screen

The LED dot-matrix display shows critical information such as speed, power mode, battery life, and turn signal indicators in bold brilliant white dotted characters. I was able to see everything even in full sunshine, albeit it wasn’t as clear as I would have liked, but that appears to have been rectified with their most recent version. The final version of the display will be larger, brighter, and sharper than the one on my prototype model. Urtopia has updated its design to place the display panel closer to the cover material than the prototype form. This restores the faded halo effect and sharpens each dot. Additionally, using the companion app, they’ve offered possible DIY unique patterns for a number of the interfaces on the display.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-20 is a 20-inch electric bicycle made of carbon fibre.

A 3W speaker will be included in the final version, which will be able to share notifications from your associated phone. The turn signal, ringing the bell, and changing power modes were the only audible sounds provided by my prototype model. There will be two noise-canceling microphones inside for recognising voice commands, but I was unable to test any of them. I’m interested to see how well the voice recognition works at faster speeds or on windier days once I receive the final version. Similarly, I’d suppose it’s much more difficult to hear the speakers.

“Smartbar” handlebar

E-Bike Urtopia Carbon 25

A four-way D-pad is located on the left side. Left and right are your turn signals, and up and down modify your power mode. My tests revealed that the turn signal lights displayed on each side of the bike were not bright enough to be seen during the day, making them ineffective.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-21 is a 21-speed electric bicycle designed by Urtopia.

A single fingerprint reader/touch button is located on the right side, which I dislike in its current configuration. It lacks a press or click, as do the buttons on the left, and it is very slow to respond. It also sounds the bell while riding, in addition to unlocking your bike with your registered fingerprint. There is a perceptible lag between pressing the bell and hearing it ring. Even more irritating, you can’t ring the bells as quickly as you can with a mechanical bell. Even if this is fixed in the final version, I would still prefer to use a mechanical bell to be safe in case of any electronic errors, such as the click not being registered or the bell being inaudible due to a muffled speaker.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-13 is a carbon e-bike designed by Urtopia.

Increased Connectivity

Bluetooth, WiFi, and 4G connectivity will all be available on the Urtopia. This will connect your bike to your phone and enable OTA software upgrades. The mmWave sensors will notify you when cars are detected, but the prototype model’s present software does not support it. Similarly, the GPS and eSIM functionalities that enable navigation and tracking rely on pairing with your phone and the accompanying software, both of which were unavailable for testing. For $30 a year, Urtopia provides customised 4G data services that will keep you linked to your bike afar. I’m curious about the service providers that will be used and how dependable this service will be.

The Urtopia Methodology

Indiegogo Discount & Innovative Value

Even the most costly and innovative electric bicycles have a similar look and feel. They differ primarily in terms of range, motors, weight, and design. Urtopia, on the other hand, is one of the first to emphasise integrated smart features and safety systems that make the trip not only more fun, but also more accessible and practical.

Urtopia reminds me a lot of when OnePlus originally came out on the scene, when it was one of the first phone manufacturers to provide high-end specs at a fraction of the price of the competitors. It was one of the first occasions that consumers were offered a low-cost high-end phone that didn’t make any compromises. Many of the Urtopia’s elements, like as its 360Wh LG battery, 250W torque-based brushless hub motors, and Gates carbon belt, are off-the-shelf parts that other competitive E-Bikes provide. Urtopia, on the other hand, has found a way to undercut the competitors.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-17 is a 17-speed electric bicycle designed by Urtopia.

Currently, ordering a bike is confined to supporting their Indiegogo campaign, which has raised $2,609,989 with 1,039 backers, surpassing 6522 percent of its $40,016 Flexible Goal. The Urtopia is priced at $1999 with taxes and shipping included in the base tier. The campaign is due to expire in a few days at the time of writing, with deliveries expected to begin in February 2022. This Indiegogo cost is highly enticing, as it is less expensive than many regular non-carbon fibre e-bikes and has considerably more features than other carbon fibre models.

Support & Setup

A system this sophisticated may appear scary at first, especially to those new to the e-bike sector or even to motorcycles in general. I was expecting to spend a lot of time putting everything together because I had no idea what to expect. Setup, on the other hand, was surprisingly basic and straightforward. The number of tutorials and troubleshooting they provide through their official site and YouTube page is something I loved that truly helps set Urtopia apart from other new contenders.

Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-15 is a 15-speed electric bicycle designed by Urtopia.

When you receive your bike and open the box, you’ll discover that everything is preassembled except the front wheel and battery. Despite the fact that getting the bike set up is a rather simple process, Urtopia provides a two-minute video that will show you how to attach the front wheel, enter the battery, and switch the bike on for the first time. In total, including pumping air into the tyres, the bike may be ready for the road in about 15 minutes.

Warranty

Urtopia comes with a two-year transferable all-inclusive warranty against all manufacturing defects, which covers most of the bike’s essential components (excluding the brake pads, spokes, and tyres), a two-year prorated battery warranty, and a ten-year warranty for the carbon fibre frame. However, there are a few crucial cautions to be aware of:

  1. Some of the free extras aren’t covered by the warranty.
  2. Labor costs for transferring parts to new frames are not included.
  3. When all warranty spare parts have been delivered to the customer, the customer is responsible for freight.
  4. Urtopia Carbon E-Bike-18 is a high-performance electric bicycle.

Last Thoughts

I’m instantly hooked on the Urtopia experience, despite the fact that my review unit was a prototype with several functions currently missing. Even without them, this is a significantly more technologically advanced experience than bikes twice its price. The bike is quick, strong, and exciting in addition to its amazing looks. Knowing what’s to come, as well as the ongoing upgrades and modifications made by the development team, makes me want to try the final production model.

$2000 is a significant investment, but the Urtopia outperforms everything else at this 50% discount, and it will be competitive once the pre-order Indiegogo campaign concludes.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.