A couple of years ago we first heard about the Urtopia, a lightweight carbon fiber ebike made by a Hong Kong startup of the same name. Well, the company has just announced its lower-priced Chord ebike, which is less fancy but perhaps better-looking than its predecessor.
Now known as the Carbon One, the original Urtopia model boasts a full carbon frame and fork, a smooth belt-drive drivetrain, and a claimed total weight of just 30 lb (although our review model actually tipped the scales at 33 lb/15 kg). Its frame also lacks a seat tube, making it either cool or weird-looking, depending on the observer. Additionally, it’s only available in a rather blackboard-like matte black base color (with additional colors available for accents).
By contrast, the Chord has a more traditional 6061 aluminum frame – offered in step-through or step-over variants – which is finished in a choice of black or white gloss paint. What isn’t so traditional is the liquid forging process used in the production of that frame, which does away with the unsightly welds present in most aluminum frames.
Additionally, whereas the Carbon One’s battery produces a kind of awkward-looking bulge in the bike’s down tube, the Chord’s 352.8-Wh Samsung lithium-ion battery is more nicely integrated into the underside of the top tube. That battery can be removed, with a 2.5-hour charge reportedly being good for a range of 50 to 120 km (31 to 72 miles).
The rider’s pedaling power is augmented by a custom 250-watt rear hub motor, which takes them up to a top assisted speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) on the US model, or 16 mph (25 km/h) on the European version.
Some of the Chord’s other features include a Shimano Acera 1 x 8 rear-derailleur drivetrain; Tektro hydraulic disc brakes; CST C1720 700 x 42C tires; front and rear fenders; plus integrated head- and tail lights – the latter also laser-project turn indicator signals onto the road beside the bike. The whole thing reportedly tips the scales at 46 lb (21 kg), and can support a maximum rider/cargo weight of 287 lb (130 kg).
Carried over from the Carbon One is the Smartbar, which is a handlebar with an integrated dot-matrix LED interface. Among other things, it can be used to switch between the four assist modes; see, hear and feel (via haptic feedback) GPS navigational cues; listen to music on a Bluetooth speaker; unlock the bike with a fingerprint scan; and view data such as current speed, distance travelled and battery charge level.
The Chord is available now via the Urtopia website, at an early bird price of US$1,399 (if a displayed code is used). Once the launch promotion is over, the retail price will be $1,999 – for comparison, the Carbon One goes for $2,799.
You can see the Urtopia Chord in action, in the video below.
Introducing Urtopia Chord