Urtopia needs you to consider it because the Tesla of e-bikes however, like with any formidable new product, there’s some unhealthy with the nice for the Carbon 1s.
The Urtopia Carbon 1s is a tech-first e-bike that weighs solely 35 kilos. Whereas among the product decisions are odd and even consumer-hostile, we have discovered Urtopia’s imaginative and prescient of the way forward for e-bikes fairly intriguing.
Earlier than we point out anything, let’s speak concerning the weirdest omission — the kickstand. That is proper, if you need a kickstand in your fancy new $2,800 e-bike, you will have to shell out $30 in a separate buy.
This e-bike is well-built and acts as a wonderful possibility for paved journey. The tech-first method might depart some e-bike fans wanting elsewhere, however this can be a good possibility for somebody who needs an out-of-the-box bike with little fuss and gadget-heavy aptitude.
Urtopia Carbon 1s design
We reviewed the Urtopia Carbon 1s, a barely totally different mannequin from the Carbon 1 that is nonetheless on the market. Essentially the most important distinction between the 2 is the Carbon 1s has a 7-gear derailleur and a metallic chain versus a carbon belt drive mechanism.
Essentially the most notable function of Urtopia’s Carbon collection of e-bikes is their weight. It makes use of a full carbon physique body much like those utilized by skilled racing bikes — making your complete bike weigh 35 kilos.
That is an unbelievable distinction in weight in comparison with different e-bikes we have reviewed. That is half or extra the burden with virtually all the performance.
The Carbon 1s design is minimal but placing in its personal approach. There are three totally different colour choices which are very loud or a extra minimalistic monochrome possibility if that is your factor.
The wheels are tremendous skinny — the thinnest we have used on any bike. They’re made with paved roads in thoughts, and an absence of suspension doubles down on that.
The display screen is built-in with the handlebars and exhibits data in a dot-matrix show. Pace is proven in giant numbers above a battery degree indicator and a numeric worth for the present pedal help mode.
The left handlebar has a “gamepad” button, or D-pad, for controlling pedal help ranges or activating flip alerts. The fitting handlebar has a button with an built-in fingerprint reader that summons the voice assistant and a gear shift.
Below the seat are an built-in brake mild and projector flip alerts. These are linked through a wire within the seat stem.
Not like different e-bikes, what you see is what you get. You are shopping for into the Urtopia technological ecosystem and the whole lot it stands for.
Which means you will have a handlebar that may’t be exchanged for one with top or tilt adjustment. You are additionally caught with the seat stem, and third-party equipment seemingly will not work with the Carbon 1s body.
e-bike as a service
Urtopia is not the primary or the worst offender, however we might like to notice the enterprise mannequin does really feel extra pointed towards accent upsell versus different manufacturers. Add racks, fenders, or a water bottle cage for an anticipated premium.
Nonetheless, the best sin Urtopia commits is forcing clients to order the $30 kickstand individually. We’re not solely positive why this half was omitted besides to scale back weight, however so far as we’re involved, it is a vital half.
Contemplating the already excessive value of the e-bike, it looks like a nickel-and-dime transfer to ask clients to purchase such a crucial half individually. Our city does not provide many bike stands or stations to park, so we might must order a kickstand or face laying this costly product within the filth.
Urtopia additionally gives an eSIM. Fortunately you will not have to name Verizon or T-Cell for an costly month-to-month plan — it is only a single $30 per 12 months in-app buy, and the primary 12 months is free.
That eSIM plan supplies most of the smarts to the Urtopia Carbon 1s. Observe the bike wherever with GPS, get instructions that present arrows proper on the bike, and get notifications when the bike is moved in locked mode.
Urtopia Carbon 1s Smartbar and tech
We have examined a couple of e-bikes, they usually’ve all prided themselves on app connectivity and rising e-bike tech. Nonetheless, Urtopia takes it a step additional and strives for a fully-integrated tech expertise.
At a look, you’d by no means guess that the Urtopia Carbon 1s has movement detection, alarms, a voice assistant, fingerprint unlock, a Bluetooth speaker, automated lights, and a horn. All of those options are due to the built-in processor, 4G modem, and different applied sciences constructed into the bike and its Smartbar.
We already talked about the d-pad management and fingerprint studying button. These interface with the e-bike merely, although there’s a studying curve due to the minimalistic method.
The D-pad has a press command and a maintain command for every button:
- Press as much as enhance the pedal help mode, and maintain as much as enter turbo mode.
- Press right down to lower the pedal help mode, and maintain right down to lock the bike.
- Press left to activate the left flip sign, and maintain left to toggle the headlight.
- Press proper to activate the correct flip sign, or maintain proper to activate a “stroll” mode to assist push the bike up slopes.
When the bike is locked, urgent the primary button together with your thumb, which needs to be mapped to the fingerprint reader, will unlock the bike. Urgent the button when the bike is unlocked will activate your chosen bell/horn sound.
There are a couple of choices for bell noise and quantity ranges. Nonetheless, these are some very odd choices, and we might have appreciated a couple of extra natural-sounding ones.
Listed here are the choices as they’re listed in Urtopia’s app: Ringing, Canine’s Bark, Horse’s Bark, Horn, and Sport. No, none of them sound like a motorbike bell.
Ringing seems like a tram bell, Horn is akin to a flat-sounding automobile horn, and Sport is a small 16-bit chirping sound. The horse and canine barks are enjoyable joke noises however ineffective and sure harmful distractions on an precise bike lane.
Press and maintain on the button to make the Carbon 1s pay attention for voice instructions. It is not instantly clear what you may command it to do, and Urtopia does not have an inventory of instructions obtainable.
We have managed to get the voice management to toggle the headlights on and off, lock the bike, activate the flip sign, and set the quantity degree. It is good having some management with out pulling out the app, however it will be good to know precisely what to say.
The Smartbar is minimalistic and reduces distractions provided by full LCD screens. Nonetheless, regardless of being a tech-first product, we’re unsure it gives far more than different e-bikes.
Certain, Carbon 1s can get over-the-air updates so as to add performance. However, that show will seemingly restrict what the e-bike can do long-term. And the whole lot appears depending on Urtopia’s app, so there is no such thing as a third-party benefit.
For instance, I’ve to make use of Urtopia’s navigation system to have flip arrows displayed on the Smartbar. Instructions from Apple Maps do not present something for the bike — which might admittedly be an Apple concern, although we’re unsure.
One replace Urtopia has promised, in line with its web site, is the flexibility to regulate the show brightness. At present, the show is at 100% brightness on a regular basis, which is nice in daylight however a watch pressure at night time.
There’s clearly some demand for e-bike apps with group options, but it surely is not for me. As I’ve stated in different opinions, I am unsure why anybody would need a brand-specific social community for sharing their newest bike experience, map and all.
Ignoring that, the Urtopia app is well-designed and simple to navigate. Customers will seemingly discover themselves visiting this app typically because the bike itself lacks any apparent controls.
The house tab supplies some climate information and former driving stats, the group tab accommodates the inexplicable Urtopia social community, the shield-shaped tab is the place bike pairing and controls are, a navigation arrow represents the in-app map instrument, and the final tab is your person profile with settings and different information.
We spend all of our time within the bike management part. That is the place you may set up a fast Bluetooth connection for setting the alarm, toggling the sunshine, and altering audio settings.
We nonetheless desire Apple Well being and the Health app on Apple Look ahead to monitoring metrics. Nonetheless, the built-in eSIM permits us to ditch the AirTag in favor of built-in monitoring.
The navigation tab exhibits the bike’s present location so long as Carbon 1s nonetheless has battery energy. That does imply standby instances with out linked energy will endure due to fixed location monitoring.
Customers will probably be notified if the bike is locked and moved, even out of Bluetooth vary. This additionally means the bike will notify you even when you’re transferring it when it is nonetheless locked.
We have a couple of “unauthorized movement detected” notifications with the Carbon 1s sitting in our front room. These options could be turned off in settings, however that is a problem, they usually’d must be turned again on.
Urtopia Carbon 1s meeting and upkeep
Urtopia Carbon 1s ships within the anticipated largely assembled flat-lay of many trendy e-bikes. Meeting was useless easy for the reason that handlebar is built-in with the body — all that wanted to be hooked up was the entrance wheel and seat.
The fast-release mechanism for the entrance tire made meeting much more simple. You simply slide the wheel into place, push the quick-release stem by way of, tighten the bolt, and switch the lever over.
The Carbon 1s requires somewhat extra upkeep than its Carbon belted counterpart. Because it has a metallic chain and derailleur, customers might want to make sure the chain is freed from rust and oiled frequently.
Extra intensive upkeep checks needs to be accomplished each few months of driving. We’re pleased to take the Urtopia to an area store for assist with that.
Utilizing the Urtopia Carbon 1s
Every little thing is totally different with Urtopia’s e-bike versus others, together with getting the bike able to experience. There isn’t any have to energy the battery on because it’s at all times offering juice to the Smartbar when linked.
Since a fingerprint reader locks Carbon 1s, you need to relaxation your registered finger on the button and press it to get energy flowing and disable safety features.
Overlook to do that with an alarm set, and prepare to have all eyes on you. This may occur a couple of instances once you’re not used to it, however we want Urtopia had a strategy to delay the alarm or vibrate the handlebars when an unauthorized movement is detected earlier than blaring an alarm.
As soon as the whole lot is unlocked, powered on, and able to go, Urtopia is like most different e-bikes. Get on and get peddling, set your most popular pedal help mode, and toggle on the headlight if crucial.
Stats and battery
There are 5 whole pedaling modes: pedal, eco, consolation sport, and turbo.
The Carbon 1s can obtain 25mph with turbo enabled, however you will kill the battery in round an hour at that setting. Eco mode gives as much as 60 miles of vary, and pedal leaves all of the work to your legs.
We traveled at varied pedal help ranges for one take a look at and drained the battery from 70% (shock, it was drained whereas sitting there for a couple of week) to 19% in about 10 miles. The route has some slopes, and we did use turbo a few instances, however approx 50% drain nonetheless seems like quite a bit.
Like several battery estimates, they had been most likely taken with observe information in excellent circumstances. Our hilly experience in 70-degree+ climate seemingly was seemingly sufficient to empty the battery quicker than lab testing discovered.
The battery could be charged 100% from zero in about 2.5 hours. From informal remark, the battery drains 2% to five% day by day when idle.
The bike’s small measurement, mild weight, and skinny tires made this bike really feel quick. It is not uncommon to hit 20mph to 25mph on most trendy e-bikes, however the stature and form of this bike made it really feel quicker, if no more unwieldy.
Urtopia says suspension wasn’t included for the reason that carbon body was a pure shock absorber. Whereas that could be true, some form of suspension would have been good on the native growing older bike trails — paved however not easy.
The headlight is brilliant at 20 Lux, and the taillight is powered on with a brake press. We respect the built-in design of the headlight, although it does imply there is no such thing as a strategy to angle it up or down.
The included flip alerts are attention-grabbing on the Carbon 1s, to say the least. Reasonably than use brilliant blinking lights, Urtopia makes use of projectors to color arrows on the bottom.
These lights are seen in darkish areas however aren’t very seen when avenue lamps or headlights drown them out. The projector lights are cool, and we’re unsure e-bikes at all times want flip alerts, however these do not feel very helpful — particularly since different bikers and automobile drivers will not be on the lookout for that form of sign.
The Urtopia Carbon 1s feels designed for a way more outgoing and loud individual than us. Press a button to ring a bell, maintain it right down to yell a command, and even play music by way of a built-in speaker. All issues which are fortunately not required.
The motor is 350W, a far cry from different e-bikes we have examined with 500W or bigger. This is not horrible information for metropolis riders, however when coping with hills, it presents a problem.
The motor can propel us ahead to the max pace restrict, and the torque sensor makes driving extra pure. As we stated in a earlier e-bike evaluation, torque-sensing pedal help is our most popular strategy to experience.
The difficulty with the lower-wattage motor arises once you want extra assist with hills. We managed to glide up light slopes however started to battle on a few of our neighborhood’s steeper inclines.
One among our default testing areas is a hill close to our house. It has a steep incline however just for a couple of dozen toes, so excellent for testing how properly a motor will carry out.
We are able to make it to the highest of that hill on e-bikes with a 500W motor or better, with some huffing and puffing. The Carbon 1s, nevertheless, left us at a standstill close to the hill’s midpoint.
This is not a criticism of the bike (perhaps of our health), only a actuality of utilizing a smaller motor and reducing again for weight. This bike performs completely on flat pavement, and we would not advocate it to anybody with diverse terrain or steep hills.
One remaining tiny observe: there is not a throttle. It is small, however throttles make ranging from a stopped place a lot simpler and safer that missing one seems like a giant miss.
For the tech fanatic with deep pockets
Urtopia Carbon 1s is a wonderful entry from an formidable firm. Their comparability to Tesla is greater than apt for his or her know-how push and too-necessary post-purchase add-ons.
Expertise lovers with deep pockets will discover quite a bit to like right here, however we won’t assist however marvel if a full LCD would have been higher.
It’s a notable bonus to have a less-distracting show displaying primary information, but it surely additionally limits the potential updates the bike might get later. That stated, our Apple Watch is greater than sufficient interface that maybe Urtopia might discover methods to utilize.
Urtopia Carbon 1s — Execs
- Wonderful construct, minimal meeting
- Light-weight at 35 kilos
- Flip-by-turn instructions are nice on Smartbar
- Built-in 4G for monitoring, gyroscope for anti-theft notifications
- Minimalist show retains distractions down, however…
Urtopia Carbon 1s — Cons
- Dot matrix show limits what the bike can do, or will ever do
- Should use built-in navigation for Smartbar flip arrows
- Low-wattage in motor makes it much less supreme for hills
- No throttle makes ranging from stops tougher
- Voice management possibility appears redundant with bodily controls
- Alarm system simply triggered by the proprietor
- Flip sign projectors are cool however do not appear sensible
- Charging for a kickstand is borderline legal
- Costly given the motor spec, although comprehensible attributable to supplies in use
Score: 3.5 out of 5
It is a tough e-bike to grade. It is bought an amazingly light-weight body and loads of tech, but it surely misses with its restricted matrix-dot show and weaker 350W motor. To not point out some particularly odd product selections — you, kickstand.
Certain, a variety of the choices had been made within the identify of thin-and-light design, however what was sacrificed might have rounded out the Carbon 1s. At least, a stronger motor would have gone a great distance.
The place to purchase the Urtopia Carbon 1s