There is a key to lock the battery so no one else can remove it, and you can only check the battery level by hopping off the bike and press the button on the battery. That’s … not great. It’s too easy to think you’ll have more assistance than the bike can actually give. The only other electronic item on this bike is the power button by the handlebars. There’s no display, no odometer, zilch.
If Lectric’s fat-tire ebike is Batfleck, then the Huffy Oslo is Battinson. It’s leaner, mea-… er. Well, let’s just say it’s leaner. That’s a good thing as the Oslo rides pretty much like a normal bike—great for all the times you’ll be riding it without any electric assist. Which will happen a lot.
This pedal-assist ebike equips a 250-watt rear hub motor, which does a solid job of providing enough power most of the time; I usually found myself cruising around 15 to 20 miles per hour. Like my experience with most rear hub motors, the electric assist can be inconsistent. Sometimes it’s slow to kick in, and other times it goes on a few seconds too long after I stop pedaling. You can’t control the amount of power you get, but there is a 7-speed Shimano shifter that helps avoid the “pedaling air” sensation I often get with more powerful ebikes.
But despite the fact that 250 watts is the European standard, a commuter accustomed to more powerful ebikes will find it hard to make the adjustment. Going up the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City was tough, with the Oslo providing just enough to make it possible, but my thighs were not happy the next day. If you’re looking for an ebike that can make you feel like you’re still getting a bit of a workout, then you might like it.
That brings me to the Oslo’s range. After more than six miles from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, into midtown Manhattan, the 36-volt battery had two bars left. That wasn’t enough to last the whole ride home (crossing the bridge was even more painful on the way back). By the 12th mile, as I neared my apartment, the Oslo was practically dead.
It doesn’t help that the saddle is uncomfortable—I’d swap it out if I were you—and the Oslo could stand to offer better suspension. Your butt will feel many of the potholes you accidentally ride over, and the rear battery simultaneously makes loud banging noises that make me feel like it’s going to fly out. Thankfully, the brakes are responsive and reliable.
If you’re after a lightweight ebike that’s affordable and won’t take up much room, and you’re not a fan of the hulking, heavy, fat-tire models, then the Huffy might work for you—but only if you’re much lighter and shorter than me.