The Consumer Electronics Show – or CES to its friends – started out as what it sounds like: a show about consumer electronics. Nowadays, however, it's also one of the world's biggest car shows, with all manner of glorious EVs to lust after, whilst secretly worrying about their range. What we haven't seen much of at the show this year – or indeed any other year – are many bicycles. However, OKAI has this highly impressive carbon fibre ebike to show off: the OKAI EB20.
As bitchin' as it is, in all-black carbon, with a solid set of components bolted to it, I'd say this is a bike aimed at techies, as opposed to 'cycling people'. After all, it's being demo'd at CES, which is for techies.
It's also demoing at CES alongside the OKAI SP10, which is this 'smart backpack' that has integrated lighting that powers up and flashes in sync with the lighting on your fancy new EB20 ebike.
Oh, and it's also got an 'ultraviolet light disinfection chamber', and a fingerprint sensor to unlock it. But of course it does!
OKAI EB20 Carbon Fiber e-Bike: black power
Carbon fibre ebikes are still pretty unusual, and with good reason – you can use all the carbon you like, and they're still going to be pretty heavy compared to a bike that doesn't have a massive battery and motor strapped to it. However, carbon fibre is very cool looking, and immediately makes any bike seem more racey and high-end.
The OKAI EB20 is more of a mountain bike – in fact OKAI describes it specifically as a 'four-link, soft tailed e-Bike'. It's got 12-speed Shimano XT gearing and a 750W motor that arguably makes said gearing a bit irrelevant, since you'll be able to shift down the road and over any obstacle or hill almost regardless of what gear you're in. That's if you are a terrible and lazy cyclist like me, anyway, who can seldom be bothered messing about with such fripperies as a gear shifter.
OKAI in fact describes it as 'fully compatible with a broad range of professional MTB components from leading manufacturers', which presumably means the spec will vary. However the 'official' spec includes a Samsung 14.7Ah ultra long-life battery, SunTour front fork and rear suspension, TEKTRO hydraulic disk brakes, Shimano XT rear transmission, thumb shifter, hubs, chain and flywheel and a Banfang 750W motor.
Rounding out the line-up are a 2.8-inch touchscreen to control the motor and view your speed and distance, etc, front and rear lights, and an NFC key for 'smart unlocking options'. Actually, it's not just a key, it's a folding key, which is a new one on me. You can also lock and unlock from your phone, of course.
The 750W Bafang motor should absolutely shred any trails you come across, although I suspect this will end up seeing more use in the urban jungle. Enthusiasts of ebike law will be aware that a 750W motor is well and truly not street legal in many US states, and most of the world outside America. However, OKAI is at pains to state that 250W and 500W motor options are also possible.
OKAI SP10 Smart Backpack: papa's got a bad new bag
Also on show at CES is this bad-ass looking backpack, which matches the EB20's colour scheme – ie: it's black – and has even more technological innovations inside it.
Described by OKAI as 'without doubt the smartest backpack', it has a customisable RGB light strip that can sync with the bike's lights. Its feature set also boasts all of the following.
• Ultraviolet light disinfection chamber!
• Fingerprint sensor for secure access!
• Integrated power bank with internal and external access for device charging!
• Subtle interior lighting 'to assist users on the road at night'!
• Bluetooth connectivity!
• Key wake up feature!
• All features can be controlled via OKAI's app!
OKAI says that 'today’s riders and commuters care more than ever about sanitization,' which is news to me. However, if you are a germophobe, the integrated UV sterilisation chamber could be just the place to keep your phone, door pass or packed lunch. 'Disinfection is automatically suspended if the backpack is opened and automatically continued once closed,' you'll be gladdened to hear.
I don't have any details on pricing or availability on the OKAI ebike and backpack as yet – they are very much at the 'demo' stage at CES. However you can…