Most top-tier bike manufacturers pour millions of dollars into intensive research and development to ensure that their loyal patrons get only the best the cycling world has to offer. In today’s hyper fast-paced world with a seemingly endless supply of disposable goods, this is where meticulously and painstakingly developed products shine the brightest. This is equally true in the world of electric bicycles, more particularly, with for-sport e-MTBs.
Now, Ibis is a brand that most mountain bikers will be familiar with. Although it never achieved mainstream status like other cycling powerhouses, it indeed made a name for itself in the all-mountain and enduro sector. With that being said, it may come as a surprise to you that the brand is only now releasing its first ever e-MTB. This isn’t to say, however, that the brand didn't attempt to go to market with an e-bike in the past. Indeed, the company tried its hand in the e-bike game with two prototypes which ultimately ended up being shelved for whatever reason. This time around, though, Ibis is well and truly in the game with a new electric enduro bike in the form of the Oso.
Perhaps the Oso’s most striking feature is its frame design. The tubes look extremely thick, with the downtube being particularly voluptuous. Furthermore, the rear section of the frame has the seatstay and chainstay integrated into a single unit, giving the bike a moto-esque appearance. Overall, the frame is impressively compact, with Ibis managing to pack quite a lot of features in a bike of such proportions. Surely, the Oso will be a capable trail machine thanks to its long travel suspension, short chainstays, large tire clearance, and trail-focused geometry.
Going into just a tiny bit more detail about that frame, take a look at the placement of the rear shock. Ibis has built a shock-tunnel into the frame, allowing the seat tube to appear as though it's floating above the rear shock when looked at from the drive side. Eye candy, certainly—but what if a twig or rock gets lodged in between the shock and frame while out on a ride? Regardless, Ibis assures of the Oso’s rigidity and reliability. It is, after all, a carbon-fiber frame.
As for the performance of the Oso, it’s rated as a Class 1 electric bike, meaning it has to have a pedal-assist limit of 20 miles per hour. As such, the bike’s 250W motor is tuned to deliver precisely that. More specifically, it’s rocking a full kit from Bosch, with the Performance Line CX motor taking center stage. This power unit dishes out 85 Nm of torque, and when paired with the large Bosch Powertube 750, can provide hours of continuous fun on the trails, and still have enough juice left to pedal back home.
Here’s where things get interesting, though. Due to the Oso’s complex design, Ibis had to opt for a different power unit for the small-sized frame. As such, the Bosch Smart System will only be offered in the medium-upwards Oso, while the small-sized Oso will receive a Bosch Gen 4 motor and a 625Wh battery. Don’t worry, however, Bosch is supposedly working on smaller PowerTube batteries, so we can expect to see the Smart System fitted on the smaller Oso in future iterations.
Given all the technology I’ve listed above, and not to mention the fancy Fox suspension and SRAM GX groupset, it isn’t all that surprising that the Ibis Oso costs a pretty penny. The bike is already available for purchase, and is offered in either Forest Service Green or Storm Blue. The price? $10,999 USD, complete with a seven-year warranty on the frame, and a two-year warranty on the Bosch Smart System.