Car video reviews:
Orbea's Keram 30 Is Bent on Replacing Your Car As the Ultimate Mobility Machine for $3K
E-bikes aren't hunks of metal with motors. These days, the e-bike is designed for a different purpose, to practically replace your car. With the way things are heating up, it won't be long until most people are seen rocking some mobility alternative instead of a car, and the e-bike is one reliable way to move.

Orbea's Keram 30 Is Bent on Replacing Your Car As the Ultimate Mobility Machine for $3K

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This brings me to Orbea's Keram 30 e-MTB, an e-bike that, yes, is designed for off-road use, but judging by the way Orbea displays the Keram in many settings, it appears to be so much more than your average e-MTB. Time to explore what this bugger is all about and why you should consider dropping $3,000 (€2,850 at current exchange rates) on this machine.

Before we go on with the bike, let me point out a few things about Orbea, that way, you'll have a clear idea of what we're working with here. First of all, Orbea is a name that's been around since 1840, when three brothers decided they would produce rifles and other firearms. Years down the line, it was time to approach another industry, cycling, and since 1930 this name can be seen riding down the street, on TV, and in all major cycling events on the planet. That's the sort of history that's being poured into the Keram.

As for the machine itself, I mentioned that it appears as though Orbea aimed to build a do-it-all machine. According to their Facebook page, the Keram is seen sporting nearly every type of fork possible and even decked out with cargo racks, insinuating that this bugger is good for bike-packing adventures. Time to find out.

Now, we're looking at a hydroformed aluminum frame with a rather neat way of integrating the battery pack into it, allowing for a second to be added. This little gimmick alone doubles the range you receive as stock. You'll need an extra battery pack, but it should be worth it in the long run. As standard, this puppy is rocking a 400 Wh of juice box.

Analyzing the frame further, we can tell that the geometry is one set to resemble just about every solid hardtail on the market. A dropped top tube offers great clearance on drops or when you need to mount and dismount. The seat stays continue with the angle that the top tube sets and the down tube is shaped to offer adequate clearance to the fork in case of a wipeout.

Speaking of the down tube, one feature that stands out on the bike is battery integration and how the exterior protective sleeve blends into the motor housing. It comes across looking rather bulky if you ask me, but it's essential that you protect the battery and the Bosch Active Line motor. It may not be the largest motor available, with only 40 Nm (29.5 lb-ft) of torque, but it's enough to handle an assist up to 20 mph (32 kph). It also looks like future versions of this trinket will be sporting Bosch's Performance Line CX. At least, that's what I understood from the images on the manufacturer's website.

Since it won't be burning through your battery like a Performance line motor, according to the Bosch website, you can attain around 71 kilometers (44 miles) with one 400 Wh battery pack. With another pack, 142 kilometers (88 miles) is your max range in optimum settings. Yup, bike-packing trips are indeed possible.

Now, I mentioned that I've seen the Keram with an array of fork styles, but the standard version features an SR Suntour X1 with 100 millimeters (3.9 inches) of travel, enough to smoothen out any bumps you take up with the front, and even suitable for some single-tracks and off-road use. The rest of the bugger is completed with a Shimano Deore setup with 11-46T and tuned to the sounds of just 10 speeds.

As I dove deeper into the Keram, I noticed that this bike's "blue papers," I understood that the front of 2021 models can also be equipped with a cargo rack, truly pushing your and this bike's abilities to the limit. Carry everything from tents, gear, bags, whatever you wish; maybe a child seat. But I couldn't spot any info about the bike's weight or load limit.

Ultimately, it's not the most affordable e-bike on the market, but honestly, you can clearly see where your extra bucks are going. It's a mobility machine that can be there for you no matter the terrain you encounter on your way to work, school, or grandma's house in the woods.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party. Images in the gallery include an array of Keram 30 model years.


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