REVIEW – I am guessing that by now, most of the Gadgeteer readers following my e-bike reviews have seen a few recent reviews from me. I am deep into the e-everything phase having reviewed quite a few clean energy products. I am also getting more into bike riding and so looking forward to the Spring through Fall seasons this year in NY. I have tested a couple of e-bikes that I think are a really great fit for me, but I am always ready to test another to see if a better fit is out there. This time, I got my hands on the unique Honbike Uni4 | Long Range Belt Drive Electric Commuter Bike.
What is it?
The Honbike Uni4 is a Long Range Belt Drive Electric Commuter Bike that offers up to 6,214 miles maintenance-free. It features a 432Wh (12Ah, 36V), integrated lithium-ion battery that offers 52 miles max long range on a single charge with a charging time of 4-4.5 hours. The bike is a minimalist maintenance-free wheel design and is made from 7,000 series Aircraft-grade aluminum material. There is a built-in LCD display for you to see everything at a glance.
What’s in the box?
The box says U4 because we received the bike before they changed the model name to UNI4.
- 1 x Honbike Uni4 | Long Range Belt Drive Electric Commuter Bike
- 1 x Toolkit
- 1 x User Manual
Design and features
- 52 miles max long range on a single charge.
- 432Wh (12Ah, 36V), integrated lithium-ion battery.
- 4-4.5 hours charging time.
- 1:13 high reduction ratio rear hub motor, smooth power output.
- 36V 350w, US Road Legal.
- Built-in gear reduction transmission ensures a quick start and consumes less battery power.
- Up to 6,214 miles maintenance-free.
- Smooth and comfortable riding experience.
- Cleaner & Quieter & Long-lasting.
- Maintenance-free wheel (no spoke-tension adjustment needed).
- Good shock-absorbing performance.
- Die-cast Tru magnesium wheel, great reliability (produced by automotive industry supplier).
- Built-in LCD display, everything you need to see at a glance.
- Hidden brake cables design, neat and safer.
The Honbike Uni4 | Long Range Belt Drive Electric Commuter Bike is a unique belt-driven bike. It is lighter than most e-bikes weighing in at only 44.5 pounds. The entire frame is 2 continuous pieces of aircraft-grade aluminum, and the wheels are designed like car mag wheels so no spokes. It has the typical LCD screen that is in the center of the handlebar, and the cables are neatly hidden within the frame.
The Honbike Uni4 | Long Range Belt Drive Electric Commuter Bike is the first bike that arrived with most of the parts assembled. Even the seat and the handlebar were attached. I just had to attach the front fender, front wheel, and pedals and charge it up. The following photos provide some snapshots of my assembly process:
This Honbike Uni4 | Long Range Belt Drive Electric Commuter Bike is really fun to ride and I can see anyone using it as a daily commute bike. While I would have preferred it if the frame was a bit bigger, it rides well and is comfortable to ride. I weigh around 225 lbs and I was able to get it up to 20mph with just a little effort and e-power. I am very sure that I can go faster, but it is still very cold in NY and that was enough for me. The unique design does get attention, and once that belt holds up, it seems like the bike will be close to zero maintenance for a very long time. All of the e-functions work well. Here is a quick video of my friend taking the bike for a spin:
What I like
- The bike is well-built and lighter than others that I have tested
- The simple and clean design
- It arrives mostly assembled
- It is easy to assemble
- The interesting belt drive as opposed to a chain
- It rides nicely and feels good when riding
- The hidden cables
- The Mag wheels
What I’d change
- Not everyone likes the unconventional design and look
- The center bar that is not straight can be a distraction
- Will there be an easy replacement available for the belt
- The frame is somewhat small for an adult bike
The Honbike Uni4 | Long Range Belt Drive Electric Commuter Bike is unique both in design and just how it looks. Its use of a belt instead of a chain is a first for me, but I must say that the ride is very smooth and if the belt holds up I might actually prefer it to a chain. The crossbar is slanted because of the design and if I look down when I am riding it seems to cause me some disorientation. Also, the frame is much smaller than it looks in the photos. Nevertheless, I think it is a very nice bike both for commuting and for the casual road rider and will likely last a long time and provide a continuously good riding experience.
Honbike had some comments about the review that they wanted to share:
1. Will there be an easy replacement available for the belt?
Yes, users can replace the belt by themselves in a few steps. They can also contact Honbike or our authorized dealers.
2. What does the 6214 miles maintenance free mean?
It refers specifically to the belt drive, in addition to 2 years of warranty service, we also cover any belt damage that may occur to the customer within 6214 miles of riding. Therefore, please add the subject “belt” to parts involving 6214 miles of maintenance-free.
3. The center bar that is not straight can be a distraction.
We understand your concern because of the unique frame design of Uni4. The top tube is not in line with the head tube and the saddle, and when you look down during riding, you might feel strange. However, the head tube and the saddle of the Uni4 are in line, and you can ride the Uni4 as comfortably as any bicycle.
Where to buy: Honbike website
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Honbike
6 thoughts on “Honbike Uni4 | Long Range Belt Drive Electric Commuter Bike review”
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Belt drive has been around for decades on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Many, many bicycles have also used belts for many years. They hold up for many thousands of miles with nearly no maintenance. They are a big upgrade from a chain for a commuter bike. Thanks for the reviews.
Thanks for the info. This was my first time encountering a belt-driven bicycle.
Julian- How does it handle hills? That is typically a weakness in single-speed hub-drive motors. I have a carbon fiber, Bosch mid-drive, gravel bike that I love. I do like the simplicity in this design though.
The aren’t any hills that are close to where I live, but I do plan to take the bike with me on trips where there may be hills. I will post an update if I encounter any issues. It is still too cold to get into serious bike riding.
From your video, it works more like an electric motorbike that an e-bike: you didn’t even pedal.
How many assist levels does it provide? Also does it work with torque sensor or a cadence sensor?