The e-JOE ONYX describes itself as a sports class commuter, so we were excited to see what it has to offer both commuters and mountain bikers. On the surface, the oversized 26 ″ x 2,125 ″ tires offer a serious tread, but with the nubs arranged to allow for a relatively smooth rolling surface.
Disclaimer: e-Joe made the ONYX available to the author free of charge for the purpose of this review.
The ONYX arrived in a standard e-bike shipping box and required that we plug in the usual handful of components before our first ride. Specifically, the front tire had to be attached, the pedals screwed on, the headlights screwed on, the handlebars connected to the stem and the mudguards attached and adjusted.
It took me just over 30 minutes to assemble the bike before plugging it into the charger and inflating the pressure in the tires. It was straightforward to assemble, but for those who are not comfortable with traditional bike maintenance and following the instructions, I recommend speaking to your local bike shop to see if they can assemble it for you. Pro tip: agree this with them before buying and have the bike sent to you directly. Hauling an 80-100 pound box around town is no fun, and since the bike is shipping in the first place, it’s easy to avoid.
After the first charge, I drove it around the neighborhood for a quick 2-mile tuning drive, and after some fiddling with the fenders, I got everything in tip-top shape and was ready for a ride on our 20-mile test track. Downhill at the beginning of the route, the sturdy Bengal hydraulic disc brakes were found to be more than capable of trimming the bike’s speed. It is perhaps the most important test for any e-bike because it doesn’t matter how fast a bike can go if it is unable to brake when the time comes.
As the incline leveled out, I played with the gas and found it a lot softer than most bikes with 750 watt motors. Pressing the thumb throttle provided a nice boost of extra power from the rear 750 watt MXUS motor, which makes it easy to get the bike moving from a standstill or when climbing a short hill.
Down in the plains I had the first opportunity to play with the different levels of pedal assistance. The small LCD controller on the handlebars makes it easy to set the pedal assistance at the push of a button. As I scrolled through the five levels of pedal assistance, I was impressed with how smooth all the transitions between the levels were. After a few minutes of riding the ONYX, switching between one of the five pedal assistance levels and the 7 mechanical gears was a matter of course.
Simply increasing the power from level 1 to level 5 makes the ONYX an ideal companion for commuters, with the more gradual performance curves leading to higher efficiency and greater range. e-Joe expects the ONYX to support up to 45 miles per charge and in our tests we completed our 20 mile test route with more than 50% charge remaining.
At the bottom of the frame, the ONYX looks like it has a mid-engine, but is actually the integrated housing for the engine control. The frame itself is made from a 6061 aluminum alloy, which helps make the ONYX a featherweight in its class at just 60 pounds, and that with a suspension fork up front.
Our test device was one of the first ONYX bikes built by e-Joe with the new flat handlebars at the front. They contribute to a more aggressive riding posture which, compared to the cruiser handlebars of earlier ONYX bikes, adapts better to the bike.
The ONYX comes with almost everything a commuter needs to get started, with a full set of fenders, a luggage rack, and an array of lights. The front LED headlight is wired directly to the primary battery and can be switched on by holding down the + button on the controller for a few seconds. The rear light has its own controls and must be switched on and off by yourself.
Overall, the ONYX is a well-rounded electric bike that is indeed a lot of fun and at the same time checks the boxes as a commuter. Electric bike prices have risen across the board this year, with most e-bikes, which were in the $ 1,500 range in 2020, hovering around the $ 1,800 mark in 2021.
At 1,799 US dollars, the ONYX with its efficient motor and frame-integrated 14Ah battery is right in the inexpensive e-bike sector. Its lightweight frame makes it a solid option for riders looking for a bike that is easier to move and lift, and with a sharp look that makes it stand out from the crowd.
For more information on the ONYX or how to buy it yourself, visit the e-Joe website.
All picture credits: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
- engine: 750 watts continuous output, 1,000 watts peak output MXUS brushless gear hub motor at the rear
- battery: 48V 14Ah with Samsung 18650 lithium-ion cells
- Range: up to 45 miles per charge
- Top speed: 25 miles per hour
- classification: Class 1, Class 2
- Charging time: 4-6 hours
- Chokes: Thumb controller
- Pedal assistance system: 5-step pedal assistance with cadence sensor
- frame: 6061 aluminum alloy frame with integrated exchangeable battery
- fork: 26 ″ front suspension fork
- tires: 26 ″ x 2.125 Puncture Resistant Tire
- Seat: Black VELO plush padded with vinyl top
- Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes front & rear Bengal
- transmission: 7-speed Shimano
- included supply: Side stand, bell, headlights, taillights, mudguards, luggage racks
- Weight: 60 lb
- Load capacity: 300 lb
- Colours: Black / Orange & Blue / White