Stuck trying to decide which Volton to get

#1
I've decided to get a Volton bike, but I'm stuck between getting the Alation 500 and the Alation Mid Drive. I'm also trying to decide if I should get the standard or the step through version.

I'll be riding it primarily to work, which has a few decent hills, and riding around the Indiana countryside, which also has some moderate hills (but nothing like Vermont where I grew up :) )

I'm getting older, so I'm considering the step through, but I've always ridden a diamond frame mountain bike, so I'm not sure on that either.

Any thoughts to help me with this decision?
 

Kaldeem

Active Member
#2
I opted for the Alation 500 over the 350 because of sheer power. I'm pretty heavy, but I don't have a huge amount of hills that I'm biking across. Plus the 500 looks way better than 80% of all the other bikes out there.
 
#4
I have an Alation 500, which I like and use for running errands all over Portland, OR. The extra power is greatly appreciated for hill-climbing (I'm 70), but be aware that it acts more like a moped than a bicycle - you will use the twist-grip "throttle" more than you expect.
The issue is that it has a cadence sensor, rather than a torque sensor - you can put zero force into spinning the pedals, and the bike will still try to move at the one-of-five speeds set on the controller (after a pause of half a revolution of the pedals).
With a torque sensor, an e-bike feels much more like a pedal-bike, and is easier to control in many ways, such as matching speeds with another biker.
I also have a Specialized Turbo, which has torque-sensing, and I find it much more enjoyable when just out for a ride, but quite a bit more work on the hills, as it does nothing unless you pedal and put some effort into it.
 
#5
Thanks! That's helpful info. I hadn't researched the sensor differences and now I will. It would be very nice to be able to easily match speeds with other bikers (like if I'm out riding with my family). I'd love to get the Stromer ST2, or the Specialized Turbo, but those are out of my price range. I'm also looking at an Izip Dash, and that does have a torque sensor.
 
#6
Yeah mon, nice battery! Looks balanced, pull one of the brakes just enough to trip the kill switch in tight or loose corners, I do this on my Dash. Breadwig crazy Lenny has a crazy price on a Dash, look in the deals section.
 

Kaldeem

Active Member
#8
If the dash was 2100 $ instead of 2800 I would have gone with that or the optibike pioneer all road. That extra 700$ is a real deal breaker when on a tight budget.
 
#9
Yeah, no doubt. I think I'm still going to try and test ride one though. If I can find anyone with a 2015 model in stock that is. I contacted Crazy Lenny, but they'd sold that used Dash already. :(
 
#10
If the dash was 2100 $ instead of 2800 I would have gone with that or the optibike pioneer all road. That extra 700$ is a real deal breaker when on a tight budget.
Yeah, no doubt. I think I'm still going to try and test ride one though. If I can find anyone with a 2015 model in stock that is. I contacted Crazy Lenny, but they'd sold that used Dash already. :(
Check your local (and not so local) REI, they are clearing out the 2014 Dash for $2k. There was one in San Diego as recent as a few days ago. Good luck, now is the time for 2014 deals, post interbike et all. -S
 
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#13
Crap, I doubt they would do a store to store transfer since the Izip Dash is not on the corporate website, but maybe you can try, work the phone a bit, polite yet assertive. Find the closest location with one, get them to put on a truck? Wishful thinking, perhaps. Never hurts (physically) to try.

Also if you filter Craigslist bike ads to dealer/electric in any major city you will usually find a few Izips, etc. Perhaps you have tried that, bunch out here, almost all with 2014 discounts. Hope you have better luck. -S
 

BenS

New Member
#14
I've decided to get a Volton bike, but I'm stuck between getting the Alation 500 and the Alation Mid Drive. I'm also trying to decide if I should get the standard or the step through version.

I'm getting older, so I'm considering the step through, but I've always ridden a diamond frame mountain bike, so I'm not sure on that either.
Breadwig, one nice thing about mid drive is it makes it easier to fix a flat on the rear. But the Alation may have a quick release on the rear; that would negate my point.

Re: step through vs. top tube, I'm riding my regular bike again to get a feel for what I'll need in an ebike. I'm only 5'3", so I thought a step through would be a fore drawn conclusion. However, my mountain bike isn't a step through, (14.5" frame) and I like the ability to use the top tube to balance the bike between my legs at traffic lights. I can adjust my gloves, get a drink, etc. If I had a step through, I'd have to have one hand on the handlebar to balance the bike when it's stopped.

I emailed Joe (owner) at Volton and he was incredibly helpful. Court gives him high praise as well. I'm sure he'd be willing to answer questions for you as well.

Good luck, and let us know what you buy!
 
#15
Shea, that's a good idea, I'll try and see if another REI might be willing to ship to the one nearest me. Might as well try. I checked Craig's list for my whole state (Indiana) and didn't find any Dash bikes at all. I think Indiana is not a hotbed of ebiking.

BenS, very helpful comments, thanks! I hadn't thought of balancing when stopped. I emailed Joe too, and he replied right away which was very cool. My only concern at this point about the Volton is the cadence sensor that OldGuy mentioned above.
 

BenS

New Member
#16
Breadwig, the only Ebike I've ridden was the Stromer(s)2, both the Elite step through and Platinum. They have torque sensors. I can see positives and negatives for both types of pedal assist.

The pedelec probably is a bit less predictable, due to the very little effort necessary to "run" it, like OldGuy said. Pace matching, and making sure to not pedal when you are planning to slow down. That in itself would probably take getting used to, I imagine, bc it's a fairly intuitive action. But again, I could be wrong. I was stopped behind a school bus on the Stromer, and since I'm not used to an Ebike, the pressure of my foot on the pedal, stopped, inadvertently activated the torque sensor and the bike lurched forward. Not a big deal; it just surprised me, enough to make me aware not to do that.

I loved the torque sensor, bc it feels more "natural" to me, and I like to pedal. But for someone with an injury, less strength, or heavy city riding where you're always starting out from lights, I can see the advantage of pedelec response.
 
#17
Yeah, it really sounds like there's pros and cons to both. It's seems like it's come down to the Alation and the Dash for me. I think I'd do better with the torque sensor, but the price and power of the Alation make it attractive.