The Chord is slightly heavier than the brand’s carbon wheel, but just as clever and about 1000 euros cheaper. We blasted around town with the chord for a couple of weeks.
E-bikes are booming, including models that can only be bought online. They tend to be cheaper – the Chord looks exceptionally good and has a built-in computer with network coverage. Urtopia started last year with a full carbon bike. It’s particularly light and has a curved design – but it’s also not exactly cheap. In 2023, a model with an aluminum frame was added – the Chord. The concept and the extensive possibilities of the app have remained, only that the frame has become a bit heavier and the design has found a different language of form.
While the carbon wheel brings futuristic shapes out of the material, the chord relies on elegantly curved lines. What you like better is a matter of taste. We admit: we like the chord. The chord has its own distinctive look that comes from the intricately shaped frame. A small, curved work of art and not just pipes welded together. Unlike many branded bikes. The music theme is not implemented cheaply with stickers, but rather elaborately with the shape of the frame.
The Chord is about five kilograms heavier, but also about 1000 euros cheaper. Like its predecessor, the bike’s features fall into two worlds, that of actually riding a bike and that of the extensive control app. For riding: The bike comes in two sizes. Two sizes are quite good for a bike that is only sold online. At 21 kilograms, the bike is still light – for an e-bike. In the standard model, you can adjust the posture with a different handlebar and stem. This is not possible with many designer bikes.
It is therefore not possible, or only with difficulty, to compensate for postural problems through modifications. Like almost all design bikes for the urban environment, the Chord looks sporty without having to sit on it too sportily. The handlebars are not straight, the ends are pulled back far. So you sit upright and have a good view of the road. The aluminum Urtopia now also has a Shimano Acera eight-speed gear shift, but instead of a belt like the carbon model, it has a chain. The motor itself sits in the rear wheel hub. When moving, the bike feels light and elegant – like all legal e-bike motors, the hub motor supports you with 250 watts and up to 25 km/h. It lacks the brute torque of mountain bike motors. But this also delivers 45 Newton meters, the battery has a capacity of 360 watt hours. In the city, however, this is more than enough to quickly accelerate the bike and move effortlessly. In the mountains with high gradients, this set-up would not be powerful enough. The tuning in relation to the permitted top speed of 25 km/h is very pleasant. The 25 km/h feels “right” on the Urtopia – it’s not like you feel slowed down or hit a rubber wall when the motor’s support stops.
Bike for urban commuters
The battery can be charged in the bike, but it can also be removed. This is an important feature when the pitch has no electricity connection. Even in a shared bike room, you can hardly lay the charger cables over other bikes to your own. Most designer bikes do not have a removable battery, the Urtopia does not. The 360 watt hours are enough for 50 to 60 kilometers with proper support, the 120 kilometers specified by the manufacturer can only be reached with minimal help. In everyday life, the Urtopia is a nice, comfortable bike for the city. It is not designed to be too sporty and therefore very comfortable to drive. Additional useful accessories are available for the Urtopia. In the “Hamburg” test and rain zone, mud flaps and possibly a luggage rack would be useful. At the moment there are mudguards, a stand and a year of network for the integrated SIM card as a free goodie with the purchase. The lighting system is integrated in the wheel. The hydraulic disc brakes decelerate powerfully and feel better than mechanical ones.
Computers on two wheels
In addition to pure driving, there is also the advanced electronic control of the bike. The Urtopia is a computer that can also drive. It has its own network receiver with a SIM card, the use of which has to be paid for annually once the term paid for with the purchase has expired. Driving fun starts with a push on the fingerprint sensor in the handlebar console. It feels pretty awesome when the wheel comes to life like this. The basic information is shown on the display in the center of the handlebars. The advanced functions can be called up via the app. In terms of functionality, the Urtopia is not inferior to other bike computers such as the Niox from Bosch. Experience has shown that some users use these functions intensively and others only rudimentarily. To put it simply: If you cycle in the neighborhood or to the office, you don’t need a navigation aid. The lighting is also very nice, although perhaps not entirely compliant with the German Road Traffic Act. The rear light projects distance strips onto the ground and has a turn signal function. Both bulbs are not noticeable in the blazing sunshine, but they give a clear signal in the dark and significantly increase the feeling of security and visibility.
More weight, less money
Some functions are rather nice-to-have, but not really necessary. If you use the Chord, you always have your smartphone with you, now you can play music through the speaker via Bluetooth. You can even play small games on the display. With the computer you can save tours, compare data and other things. Of these options, we only present those that everyone uses. The bike has GPS tracking and reacts with an alarm on the bike and on the smartphone if it is moved while it is parked. Such systems do not replace a lock, but make the bike much more secure. And you can track down the wheel if it ever disappears. If you start in the underground car park, the bike computer may not find a network until you get close to the entrance. The software can be updated very easily with your own SIM.
The Urtopia can also be commanded around with voice control. As you can imagine, voice control while driving and without a headset is a challenge in itself. When stationary and when you are not stopping on a main road, you can operate the complex functions without picking up your smartphone.
Conclusion, our impression
The aluminum Urtopia is fun to drive. It looks really great, a real eye-catcher. Even without carbon, the bike is not heavy. It drives very unobtrusively, with the help of the electric drive. The gear shift makes starting easier, so you can drive fast – i.e. 25 km/h – and pedal comfortably. The bike is primarily intended for the city and covered paths, but can also be moved over a dirt road. Without suspension that is of course not very comfortable. However, high gradients in the mountains do not work with the hub motor. The Urtopia convinces as a chic commuter bike in an urban setting. Computer functions are important. You should love the basic functions and the gimmicks and also use them if you buy such a bike. Then the price of regular 2299 euros fits. Discount and coupon campaigns are launched regularly that make the bike cheaper. When we checked, a coupon just made the chord €300 cheaper.
I’m a recent graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. I started working as a news reporter for 24 Hours World about two years ago, and I’ve been writing articles ever since. My main focus is automotive news, but I’ve also written about politics, lifestyle, and entertainment.