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(Personally I would have chosen as background music, in piano, either "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode or "My baby just..." by Nina Simone....)

One year after releasing its state-of-the-art carbon smart ebike with a captivating design, on March 6th a new model, (which had been presented at the shows in Germany), the CHORD, was launched and it is currently on sale. Here we are in the current trend, minimalist but superbly designed. It is not carbon, but 6061 aluminum with spectacular finishes: the frame is forged with liquid manufacturing technology, avoiding welds. No junction is visible, the fluidity to the touch is perfect! With a design inspired by the piano, more equipped than the Carbon model (mudguard, front and rear luggage rack), it retains all the technology of the first model, i.e. its astonishing smartbar, fingerprint, rear anti-collision radar, the lighthouse projections on the ground, the sim and the integrated gps, bluetooth, voice control! We do not forget the accelerometer, the gyroscope, the torque sensor.
In terms of specs, it's a bare bike weighing 21 kg, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano 8 speeds, 4 assistance modes with a 250W motor, removable 360Wh battery, autonomy in assistance mode of around 70km (that's for the city commuter) and a 45Nm torque sensor with 700C tires..

Regarding the price of the CHORD, you really have to take into account its technological equipment, its refined frame, it is ahead of the most renowned competitors with an affordable price, we note the two years of legal guarantee, a responsive and serious customer support. For the anecdote: the CEO had moved himself, last year, to the customers of the first production of the carbon series to solve the few technical problems encountered. As a reminder, it was the success of the Indiegogo campaign that enabled the production of the Carbone model. Since then, New Urtopia has improved and optimized the finishes of this first model to move on to another type of bike.

If you're like me, I always try to get the user's manual to find more information and details about the true potential of a machine...

So below is the user's manual of the CHORD in my google photo album.


Here, a presentation brochure


And there, the technical sheet



:unsure:To apologize for my low level of English translated by Google, I enclose an excellent article published in FORBES.;)


Article published in FORBES magazine, March 24. written by William Roberson


Arrive In Style On Urtopia’s New Stylish, Curvaceous ‘Chord’ Ebike


Just about a year ago, I reviewed a new, lightweight (30 pounds), all carbon-fiber ebike from New Urtopia (now just “Urtopia”), and was pleasantly surprised at the bike’s performance. I thought the bike might underwhelm in the quest for light weight and the use of an eye-catching curving carbon frame, which did not have a center post like a traditional frame.

That bike, now called the Carbon One (or 1 and 1S), exceeded my expectations, and it’s now been joined by a new model, called the Chord, which again goes in a bit of a different stylistic direction than many ebikes. Urtopia sent me a pre-production EU-spec Chord model to review before the bike officially went live for pre-order in the United States, but unfortunately the Portland area (and much of the U.S.) was smacked by a winter storm which delayed delivery, and with nearly a foot of snow on the ground, I had to wait a while before it was safe to ride again.

Chord Ebike Tech - And Style

The $1,999 Urtopia Chord eschews the hyper-lightweight approach of the $2,800 Carbon 1/1S by going with a 6061 “liquid forged” aluminum frame complete with center post, and weighs in at a more normal 46 pounds. Urtopia told Forbes.com the bike’s design is inspired by the physical form of a piano (and they have teamed with rising talent Maksim), resulting in the bottom frame spar gently arcing from the headstock all the way to the wheel stays out back, where the frame tapers to a subtle almost art-deco point behind the axle mount. Likewise, the top frame spar overshoots the rear triangle to end in a similar flourish.

Both bits do nothing to enhance performance, but the bike looks great and several people did double-takes at its somewhat unusual aesthetic. Those details are complimented by black pin-striping on my review bike’s white paint, with the word “artist” in delicate cursive script atop the upper frame tube, “Chord” just below the seat and “New Urban Utopia” (the source of the company’s original name) on the fork legs.

The “liquid forging” technique Urtopia uses results in a frame with no visible welds and the frame spars gracefully flatten and taper along their lengths. It’s also available in a very beautiful piano-black finish (of course) with white pin-striping. The attention to detail is impressive on the Chord, which can be had in “regular” or the Chord X low top-tube style that’s not quite a step-through.

Other nice touches include faux tan leather grips on the proprietary handlebar assembly, aero-style forks, a small, simple (maybe even stylish) five-point controller on the left bar, and a removable “Smart Bar” module atop the handlebar that uses an (again, stylish) dot-matrix display for bike stats and also turn-by-turn (TBT) GPS prompts when paired to your phone. It also includes a 20-lumen LED headlight and even a Bluetooth speaker for direction prompts, the bike’s “bell” (there are several sound options) or music playback. The bike will also update its firmware via smartphone wirelessly through the Smart Bar, which I did successfully.

A fingerprint reader on the Smart Bar module powers up and “unlocks” the bike’s electronics, but the system does not physically disable the bike when “locked,” so it is otherwise rideable like a normal bike when powered down. However, the bike can be tracked via GPS with an optional 4G data plan for $29 per year.

Out back, Urtopia sent me a regular post-strap type tail light but also included a motion-activated light module that projects arrows onto the ground. Neat, but aside from the brake light upgrade, a bit superfluous. Reliable Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are standard, as is a Shimano 8-speed Altus rear shifter.

The black 352 Watt-hour battery slots neatly under the top frame spar, giving yet another nod to the piano aesthetic against the white frame. My EU-spec Chord had a 250-Watt rear hub motor; U.S. versions will be Class 1 bikes (no throttle) with a 350-Watt motor and torque sensor. Top assist speed is 20mph. My bike did not come with fenders but Urtopia is including them with pre-orders, and an introductory price discount may also be available on their website. The Chord comes with a two-year warranty and a 14-day free return window.

Chord On The Road

While my instincts with most ebike reviews tend to skew towards more performance-related metrics, I have to admit I was less concerned about how fast the Chord was and so on, since it’s a 250-Watt version and not 350 like U.S. models will be, but also because this ebike is more about having fun and looking good than knocking out 30 mile commutes in the rain. But I still ran it through my usual hill tests and so forth, and it performed well, with decent power on the hills, a stable, predictable ride and some fun touches, including playing a short piano arpeggio when changing power levels, which include eco, comfort, sport and turbo. Range is specified as 31-75 (optimistic) miles but I never completed a ride-to-empty test (too cold!!). However, after spending most of one day riding the Chord, I still had over 20 percent of battery remaining according to the well-designed Urtopia app. A full charge takes abut three hours.

The pedal assist can also be turned off while the bike’s tech package remains active, and despite the weight increase over the single-speed Carbon ebike, the 8-speed derailleur made riding the Chord unassisted in the flat easy and effective. Add in some boost, and the Chord is a true pleasure cruiser, with a comfortable seat and flat bar with just a small bit of bend. At 6 foot 1 I’m at the outside of the sizing envelope and I moved the seat back on its rails for a smidge more room, otherwise the Chord was comfortable to ride and for fairly long distances. I also ran some errands on it using a backpack, and Urtopia does offer racks and such if you want to expand the Chord’s duties.

Once the snow cleared in Portland, we got a few dry and warmer days, and I rode around my neighborhood with music flowing from the Smart Bar’s Bluetooth speaker, just enjoying being outside and riding after what has been a long and cold winter for the Pacific Northwest. Power flows smoothly from the quiet hub motor and I also rode it at night a couple of times (since it gets dark early here in winter) and the front 20-lumen LED headlight provides a decent pool of light in dark areas, but works as more of a safety marker for drivers. The electronic “bike bell” is surprisingly loud for a speaker-based system and the other sounds are fun to experiment with. Music quality form the Bluetooth speaker is average, and loud traffic downs it out, but that’s as it should be. The high-tech projection taillight worked as designed and thankfully has a brake light function. I had no problems with the Chord during my review period.



I was wondering how Urtopia was going to follow up the widely praised Carbon ebike, and it’s good to see them produce a more affordable bike with some serious style and competent performance at a lower price than their halo offering. I don’t have many complaints - a brighter headlight would be good along with a better taillight solution, and the handlebars are not swappable although I found them to work just fine. As noted, I did not receive fenders but those are now being included with preorders.

If anything, Urtopia might want to pursue an even greater “art bike” theme and offer white racks, cranks, fenders and a white seat, and maybe some white wheels to really go the distance. That would be fun (and visible).

Otherwise, the Urtopia Chord is a fun, capable, affordable ebike with undeniable style and some smart tech touches. Highly recommended.

Edited by jojo33
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