We’ve always wondered why, with big 1kWh batteries with equally big output capabilities, e-bikes can’t double as power stations that could power an off-site or back up a fridge for a few hours. Mokwheel has our answer with its $2300 Obsidian and ups the ante with a big solar panel that makes it great for camping and self-charging, too…
Let’s talk about the bike first.
The Obsidian comes in tan camo, brown/black, and the bright yellow/black colorway I received. I loved that this is super visible and comes with reflective-lined CHAOYANG 26×4.0″ puncture-resistant fat tires.
The Obsidian is a well-put-together, fat tire e-bike with front and rear suspension that is also softened with those big fat tire wheels and a soft cushy seat. It has a massive “UL-tested” Samsung-based cell 48V 19.6Ah battery for a close to 1 kWh total (940.8Wh officially) capacity. That’s good for an optimistic 60-80 miles of pedal assist range or realistically about half that with the left-side mounted throttle only. It also lets you power “other things” for hours, but we’ll get to that later. Mokwheel provides a mediocre 3A charger that takes the bike from empty to full in seven hours, and again, there’s more here on that front.
As for safety, stopping is provided by the very solid TEKTRO HD-E350 Hydraulic brakes on 180mm discs. Its front dual-LED light is bright and will light the way at night but it only comes with a disappointing rechargeable strap-on rear light that doesn’t brighten with brakes.
At 77lbs, this is a beefy bike but these brakes stopped the bike and its 220+lb rider in its tracks. Rated up to 400lbs, there’s room for big folks or lots of accessory-mounted items (and note the amazing Black Friday 6 for $100 deal). Maybe the lowest-spec item is the Shimano Altus derailleur which I’d charitably call mid-range but worked well in my testing. Kudos to Mokwheel for including a high-end KMC stainless chain. Torque sensors round out what I’d call a fairly high-end spec sheet for its $2299 price.
The ride with full suspension, big soft wheels, and even a soft seat is cushy, to say the least. It’s certainly a big heavy bike but the aluminum frame and solid components keep it very pedal-able. The 1000W rear geared hub motor is reasonable but certainly not explosive, and it got me up to around 30mph on Level 5 PAS on flat ground after “unlimit-ing” the level-2 setting it shipped with. Off-road, it excels, smoothing out potholes and bumps while those big wheels power over small tree limbs and other obstacles with ease. It is a little bulky for technical single-track riding.
Besides the motor power-to-weight ratio a little under what I’d prefer, I think the Obsidian is a fantastic e-bike in almost every way and it is worth purchasing on its own, especially at the Black Friday reduced rate of $2299.
As they say on TV, “But wait, there’s more!”
Mokwheel e-bikes have a little 48V DC input/output port at the base of the bike, and on the battery, if you take it out, that can be connected to an external 1kW inverter. That means that close to 1kWh of battery storage is available for backing up home/appliances, powering drones, picnicking, or camping.
The 1000W Inverter accessory is a bit bulky but has 2x110V AC outlets as well as 2 USB-C ports (up to 100W), a USB-A port, and DC input and outputs. It comes with a hard shell case that you can mount to the bike. I wasn’t able to find the perfect spot, so I opted to mount it on the back of the seat.
Speaking of camping, there’s also a 230W portable solar option that will top up your battery when you aren’t riding it. It folds away into a little suitcase-like holder convenient for packing away or putting it in a backpack.
It is late autumn in the Northeast, so I wasn’t really able to see what those 22% efficient solar panels could really do, but they did add meaningful percentage points to my charge after a few hours in the mid-day sun.
Putting it all together
I was able to power my MacBook Pro, a tire inflator, a coffee maker, and a garage freezer with 110V outlets. I even powered my cable modem, wireless router, and laptop at the same time for more than an hour. But that’s weak sauce in the EV world, and I thought maybe I’d get the perfect photo-op by charging my Rivian with the e-bike battery!
Unfortunately even setting the Rivian charging Amps to 8, the Rivian still tried to draw too much power and the inverter timed out. I took photos anyway!
The Mokwheel Obsidian is a great fat tire e-bike and will surely make its owners happy on its own. But it really shines with the energy harvesting and sharing accessories that turn the e-bike into something special.
Folks thinking about having a small solar/backup power bank with them at all times will certainly want to take a look at the options here. Not only is the Mokwheel Obsidian currently $600 off, but they are also offering a really robust accessory pack for an additional $99.
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