The e-JOE ONYX bills itself as a sports class commuter, so we were excited to take it out to see what it has to offer both commuters and mountain bikers alike. On the surface, its oversized 26″ x 2.125″ tires are packing some serious tread, but with the knobs arranged to allow for a relatively smooth rolling surface.
Disclaimer: e-Joe provided the ONYX to the author free of charge for the purposes of this review.
The ONYX arrived in a standard electric bike shipping box and required us to connect up the usual handful of components before our first ride. Specifically, the front tire had to be connected, pedals screwed on, headlight bolted on, handlebar connected to the stem, and the fenders attached and adjusted.
It took me just over 30 minutes to get the bike put together before hooking it up to the charger and topping up the pressure in the tires. It was a straightforward assembly, but for those uncomfortable with traditional bicycle maintenance and following the instructions, I recommend talking with your local bike shop to see if they can assemble it for you. Pro tip: arrange this with them before purchase and have the bike shipped directly to them. Hauling an 80-100 pound box halfway across town isn’t fun, and with the bike being 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 ride, and after some fiddling with the fenders, I had everything working in tip-top shape and ready for a ride on our 20-mile test route. Heading downhill at the start of the route, the robust Bengal hydraulic disc brakes proved themselves more than capable of trimming the speed of the bike. It is perhaps the most important test for any e-bike, as it really doesn’t matter how fast a bike can go if it isn’t capable of slowing down when the time comes.
As the incline leveled out, I played with the throttle and found it to be much more mellow than most bikes with 750-watt motors. A push of 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 dead stop or when powering up a short hill.
Down in the flatlands, I had the first opportunity to play with the different pedal-assist levels. The small LCD controller on the handlebars makes it easy to adjust the pedal-assist levels with the tap of a button. Scrolling through the five levels of pedal-assist, I was impressed at how smooth all the transitions were between the levels. After a few minutes of riding the ONYX, switching between one of the five pedal-assist levels and the 7 mechanical gears out back came naturally.
The easy ramp-up in power from level one to five make the ONYX a great fit for commuters, with the more gradual power curves lending themselves to higher efficiency and longer range. e-Joe expects the ONYX to provide assistance for up to 45 miles per charge, and in our testing, we completed our 20-mile test route with more than a 50% charge left.
Down at the bottom of the frame, the ONYX looks like it’s sporting a mid-drive motor, but it’s actually the integrated housing for the motor controller. The frame itself is made with 6061 aluminum alloy that contributes to the ONYX being 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 handlebars up front. They contribute to a more aggressive riding posture that feels like a better fit with the bike compared to the cruiser bars shipped on earlier ONYX bikes.
The ONYX comes with just about everything a commuter needs to get started, with a full set of fenders, a rear rack, and a set of lights. The front LED headlight is directly wired into the primary battery and can be turned on by holding the + button on the controller down for a few seconds. Out back, the rear light has its own controls and must be powered on and off by itself.
Overall, the ONYX is a well-rounded electric bike that does indeed deliver plenty of capability for fun while also checking the boxes as a commuter. Prices of electric bikes have gone up across the board this year, with most value e-bikes that were in the $1,500 range in 2020 coming in around the $1,800 mark in 2021.
At $1,799, the ONYX sits squarely in the value e-bike range and with its efficient motor and 14Ah frame-integrated battery. Its lightweight frame makes it a solid option for riders looking for a bike that’s easier to move around and lift with a sharp look that sets it apart from the masses.
For more information about the ONYX or to purchase one for yourself, head over to the e-Joe website.
All images credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica
- Motor: 750 watt continuous, 1,000 watt peak output MXUS rear brushless geared hub motor
- Battery: 48V 14Ah using Samsung 18650 lithium-ion cells
- Range: 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 Level pedal assist with cadence sensor
- Frame: 6061 Aluminum Alloy Frame with integrated removable battery
- Fork: 26″ Front Suspension Fork
- Tires: 26″ x 2.125 Puncture-Resistant Tire
- Seat: Black VELO plush padded with vinyl top
- Brakes: Front & Rear Bengal hydraulic disc brakes
- Gearing: 7-speed Shimano
- Included Accessories: Kickstand, bell, headlight, taillight, fenders, rear rack
- Weight: 60 lb
- Load Capacity: 300 lb
- Colors: Black/Orange & Blue/White
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