The Lille residents of O2feel fully intend to take advantage of the current craze for electrically-assisted bicycles (VAE). To achieve this they decided to take the path of upmarket and their new model, the Vern, is the perfect example.
With a very neat design with, among other things, polished welds and almost total integration of cables, this electric bike with an imposing frame is aimed at backpackers and other “bike riders”.
Above all, it is one of the first models to sport Shimano’s new top-of-the-range powertrain, the EP8. It is a direct response to the Performance Line CX engine from Bosch and is based on an ambitious torque of 85Nm and a promise of more “natural” pedaling.
In other words, where Bosch favors power and performance, Shimano opts for a discourse based on sensations with the displayed will that pedaling on a electric bike is close to that of a conventional bicycle.
240 km of autonomy, yes but …
On the battery side, the particularity of O2feel is to embed its own solution on its bikes. Whatever its finish, the Vern will offer two levels of autonomy with a choice of a 432W or 720W battery. The Lille manufacturer communicates on a dantesque autonomy of 240 km but this is calculated in eco mode and should return to more reasonable values in a test in mixed use.
On the equipment side, the Vern does not go half way by opting for Shimano hydraulic disc brakes (180mm), a Gates belt, a fork and a suspension saddle as well as large tires. It will be offered in two trim levels, “Urban Power” or “Adventure Power” which will vary part of its equipment (mainly transmission and tires) and its price (from 3499 to 4099 euros).
First sensations on the Vern
We were able to drive a few kilometers on the Urban Power version of this Vern and the least we can say is that he puts ride comfort at the top of his priorities.
The shock absorption provided by the large wheels, saddle and suspension fork has a lot to do with it, but the handling of the Shimano EP8 is no stranger to these sensations either.
Despite its imposing weight, the O2feel eBike felt very easy to maneuver and just as pleasant to use. Consequently, given these promising first turns of the wheel, we will be offering you a full test of the Vern in the coming weeks.