- A light, efficient, affordable city electric bike. This option includes a basic Shimano Tourney 7-speed drivetrain and Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors. Efficient 350 watt hub motor and 350 watt hour removable battery pack.
- Available in two frame styles: High-Step and Mid-Step, two frame sizes each, and three colors each. Lots of options to get the correct fit and a unique style. Outstanding integrated lights including their position, brightness, and brake activation.
- One of the best display panels and smart phone apps I've seen for any electric bike. The button pad is easy to reach and includes a dedicated lights button, the large color LCD is intuitive to navigate and includes a settings menu, the app allows you to adjust the top speed and engage in a social feed to share rides and pictures.
- Rigid aluminum frame with no suspension and narrow tires means it's efficient but also jarring to ride on bumpy terrain. Opportunities to improve include additional bottle cage mounts, a derailleur guard, tougher display screen, wider gear range, and faster motor activation... or the option to change power delivery since it ramps up very gradually.
This review was provided for free using a demo bike. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Aventon products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Aventon electric bike forums.
- The Soltera is a Class 2 electric bike, meaning that it offers pedal assist and throttle mode. You can adjust the top speed using the optional smartphone app, and remove the throttle to make it Class 1 if you wish.
- Aventon started making fixed-gear bicycles in 2013, and over the years they have steadily grown in size and turned to focus on the ebike space. The Soltera is their most affordable modal, but it is still available in two frame styles, three sizes, and six colors across the line. This particular loadout is the high-step, large, citrine yellow, with the 7-speed setup vs. single speed. It adds gears and mechanical disc brakes for $100 more than the single speed.
- The bike looks beautiful in person. Everything from the paint, decals, integrated wires, battery integration, and branded accents like the Aventon grips, display, and colored stem cap. Maximum attention to detail.
- The display panel and optional smartphone app are above average. They are very intuitive to navigate and use. I love that the display even has a USB charging port built into the bottom! I just feel like they checked every box, but managed to keep it intuitive to use.
- The display shows battery percentage, so it’s more precise than a lot of other affordable bike displays. It also shows trees and CO2 saved by riding. All of the other expected readouts are present, and it’s easy to navigate through with the large button pad.
- The trigger throttle is easy to reach, can be removed without sliding off the left grip (if you wish to convert to Class 1), and I love that it’s setup to override Assist 1-5 with full power. This means you can zoom faster or get started from standstill without pressing any + and – buttons.
- Considering that Aventon is a smaller company than Specialized, Giant, and Trek, their smartphone app is as good and sometimes better. It doesn’t have route planning, but it will record your trips, allow you to adjust backlight brightness, top speed, and perform firmware updates. There’s a social feed to share pictures and comments. I found it to be very responsive, easy to connect to the bike, and easy to navigate and use.
- It’s relatively light weight at ~45lbs for the large, and the weight is positioned low and center. The battery only weighs 4.8lbs and I love that it can be charged on or off the bike.
- The charging port and locking cylinder for the battery are positioned high on either side of the frame. This means you won’t get cables snagged during charging and won’t have to bend over as far to plug in or unlock.
- The battery connects to the frame securely and has an intuitive latch, it is similar to the Bosch PowerPack but lighter and easier to use! I was able to re-insert the battery without fumbling with the keys or taking additional steps. High praise here.
- The battery charger is very compact and light at just 1.2lbs. It feel sturdy and has a removable wall-side plug to make it even smaller if you’re packing into a bag to take along on your ride. The bike also comes with an Aventon branded multi-tool, which made me smile.
- I love the QR code inside the accessories box, which links to an assembly video online! It’s a thoughtful way to save paper and weight, and it’s more interactive and dynamic. There is a QR code on the display to help sync the smartphone app if you decide to download it.
- Great kickstand mount with wide sturdy 40mm bolt spacing. I love that the kickstand is far enough back to not create pedal lock if you back the bike up. The kickstand itself offers adjustable length, which is a nice touch.
- It appears that the cadence sensor is built into the bottom bracket, very hidden and protected. Most of the time, I see a plastic ring with a wire and sometimes exposed magnets. This setup is very clean.
- The reflective tires and integrated lights are a big draw for me, because they improve safety by keeping you visible to cars. The headlight is high up and points where you steer, I prefer this position on the handlebar vs. the fork arch because it’s less likely to get blocked by a fender. The rear lights use 8 LEDs each and are visible from the back and sides. They go extra bright when braking, even if they are already turned on.
- The handlebar is shorter than average, which makes it easier to fit through doors and between cars if you’re riding through traffic or a parking lot. This is a great bike for the city, and it still felt stable when I rode with no hands, no wobble.
- Comes with a solid one year comprehensive warranty and lifetime for the frame. It’s widely available thanks to Aventon’s hybrid model of selling direct to consumers with free shipping and a large network dealers (we count over 300 in North America).
- Since the bike does not have a suspension fork or seat post included, and the tires are fairly narrow and high pressure, the ride can feel a bit jarring. You do have the option to lower the tire pressure to 50 PSI, but that reduces efficiency and increases the risk of pinch flats. You can add a 27.2mm suspension seat post for improved comfort, but this will raise the minimum saddle height and add weight. The included Selle Royal gel saddle, ergonomic grips, and mid-rise handlebar help a bit.
- If you go for the high-step, as shown in this review, the stand over height is pretty tall. This is due to the larger wheel diameter and classic diamond frame that doesn’t slope down or have a bend. I measured 32″ for the stand-over on the size large frame. Consider the mid-step if you have hip or knee sensitivity.
- Considering how much space is open inside the main triangle, I feel that they could have added an additional bottle cage mount on the seat tube and possible down tube (as long as it wouldn’t interfere with the battery pack). As it is, the open space allows for very easy lifting of the frame, hanging on some car racks, and adding a frame bag like this.
- I love that the bike comes with a clear sticker slap guard, but it does not have a derailleur guard. This would help to protect the motor power cable and derailleur during shipping, or if the bike tips over.
- The 7-speed drivetrain is pretty basic with entry-level derailleur and limited 14-28 tooth freewheel vs. the 14-32 tooth or wider options. This just means it weighs more, might require more maintenance, isn’t as stiff, and the shifter mechanism requires a bit more hand effort to twist and is slower than trigger shifters.
- The display, headlight, and all mounts at the front are plastic. They don’t feel as durable as aluminum alloy. The screen of the display isn’t glass, and I noticed that it already had a couple of little scratches even though I was being very careful (and it’s not removable). Thankfully it’s somewhat protected at the center of the handlebar. I did have to regularly re-position the headlight to aim where I wanted, perhaps the support needed to be tighter, but I just don’t think it’s as sturdy as metal.
- The headlight is bright and has a cut off beam to avoid blinding traffic, but it doesn’t have side cutouts. It isn’t as visible from multiple angles as the rear lights or some alternative headlight designs.
- The motor ramps up slowly and doesn’t feel that powerful at first. Perhaps this is an intentional controller setting to help maximize range. I’d like it to feel faster and stronger, especially if I’m in the highest PAS setting or using the trigger throttle at full. I would feel more secure crossing streets and it would reduce knee pressure if I was in the wrong gear or on the single speed and just starting from standstill.
- The tires do not appear to have puncture protection built in, and both wheels attach with threaded axles and nuts. This is good for security, but more difficult if you have to change a flat. Do check the tire pressure regularly because getting too low makes it easier to get pinch flats with narrow tires like these if you hit a tall obstacle or go off a curb.
- Mechanical disc brakes require more hand effort than hydraulic, the rotors aren’t especially large at 160mm vs. 180mm (especially given the larger wheel size), and the brake line for the rear caliper aims down. This means it would be easier for water and dust to accumulate and “gum up” the brake action, slowing it down and requiring more hand effort.