Finally got the Aventon Soltera 7-speed...

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
I've been looking at this bike for a while as I've been looking for a light, inexpensive model... and this one had most of the things I was looking for:

1. Less than 45 lbs.
2. Multi-speed
3. Throttle

What was it missing?

1. Hydraulic brakes
2. Finger trigger gear shifter (uses the twister type)

Since both my ebike and non-ebike have hydraulic disc brakes, I'm used to how "easy" they are vs mechanical disc brakes.

The one caveat... we got it for my wife... she finally decided to get an ebike and she decided to just go for the one I researched because:

a. It was less than $1500
b. It didn't have to be ordered over the Internet, which meant we could look at it and buy it the same day.

Funny thing is the store that is very close to us was closed all Memorial Day weekend from Friday to Monday so while I really wanted to give them the business... they weren't open and I wanted to get it before she changed her mind. :)

So I found another store that was about 20 minutes away and had Solteras in stock and went there to check it out. I've seen it in person only one other time outside the previously mentioned shop but he was busy with other customers so I really didn't get a chance to ride it or look at it more closely back then.

The bummer is the other store only had regular in stock which is too small for me but good enough for the wife... I was hoping to buy a large so I could ride it when she wasn't riding (she actually prefers larger bikes) but even the boxed ones were all regular size.

After signing some waivers, she took it for a test ride in the parking lot... decided she didn't want to go any further and we bought it. What's weird is they charged us $100 for "assembly" it so instead of $1299 it was $1399 but I was okay with that because although it was fun to build my Espin, I would rather have saved the time for them to build it. And, isn't that supposed to be the benefit of buying it at a local store. so they you don't have to build it?

Took it home and I rode if for a few spins around the block to check out how the PAS works, the display and just overall fit and feel. It is too small for me so I wouldn't be able to take this on any multi-mile ride but it is a different assist/cadence system than my Espin Sport. And yes... the braking difference was quite noticeable.

A few quick first observations:

1. The display, although color, is hard to see in daylight, esp with sunglasses on. This is typical of most LCD displays (I have a hard time seeing my phone) so mono-LCD does have some advantages.
2. The brake lights are cool... and work whether you have lighting turned on or not. I'm assumed as they are LED, the lifetime should be long enough so we won't have to replace them.
3. It's light... with the battery, it's lighter than my Espin Sport *without the battery*. :(
4. Tires are smoother and thinner so faster rolling (hoping *someone* doesn't come in here and bring up that debate again) so along with the lighter weight, is pretty easy to pedal without PAS.
5. Since this is too small for me to take on my rides, I won't be riding this on different hills and paths, so not sure how to compare the PAS to the Espin. I really like the Espin's system and have it dialed in that with PAS levels and gears... can really ride it through all types of scenarios. With the Soltera, I wasn't really sure when PAS kicked in on L1... because it is a 350w smaller motor. I was trying to see if it had the old Aventon system of the quarter turn on the pedals before adding power and if the power was a ramp up. The display didn't have an option to see power output like I have on my Espin so I couldn't really measure it. Maybe my wife will figure it out and let me know (although she cares little about the nuance of the ebike systems).
6. The throttle is different from my Sport. The Sport's throttle is like an accelerator, you push it lightly to start speeding up and then push it harder to go faster. The Soltera throttle is more like an on/off switch... you push it down and then the speed ramps up and continues to go faster as long as you have the throttle all the way down. Not sure which way is more prevalent in other ebikes.
7. We got black and the step over (not step through). It was the only color they had in step over and my wife likes the way it hides the battery. The overall fit and finish is really good... I'll add pics when I take them.
8. The battery is smaller than my Espin's. It's different as it pops out from the bottom and the front wheel makes it tricky to access. It's also lighter than the Espin's which I would expect.
9. I haven't tried it yet, but the display/system can connect to an Aventon app which is nice.
10. The geometry is a bit forward but that could be changed with a different handlebar/stem bracket (something I would do depending on how the large feels).

We didn't want to get a single speed just in case it had to be ridden without power and for $100 more you get that plus disc brakes which seems a no-brainer to me.

The other ebikes I have been looking in this same range were:

1. Wing Freedom 2 (7-speed) $1098-$1348 ($300 off sale right now with $215 in accessories)
2. Rize Fixie (but only had single speed) $1499
3. Propella 7S (no throttle) $1249

The Wing Freedom 2 is probably the best buy at $1098 (on sale)... but then we wanted to get one with a local store presence for her in case something went wrong.

I may end up with the Freedom 2 myself instead of the larger size Soltera.

Was hoping to go for a longer ride with her today but schedules got busy. Maybe we will see during the week.

So far, highly recommend the Soltera.

Edit: Typos.
 
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Ofarrell

Member
I've been looking at this bike for a while as I've been looking for a light, inexpensive model... and this one had most of the things I was looking for:

1. Less than 45 lbs.
2. Multi-speed
3. Throttle

What was it missing?

1. Hydraulic brakes
2. Finger trigger gear shifter (uses the twister type)

Since both my ebike and non-ebike have hydraulic disc brakes, I'm used to how "easy" they are vs mechanical disc brakes.

The one caveat... we got it for my wife... she finally decided to get an ebike and she decided to just go for the one I researched because:

a. It was less than $1500
b. It didn't have to be ordered over the Internet, which meant we could look at it and buy it the same day.

Funny thing is the store that is very close to us was closed all Memorial Day weekend from Friday to Monday so while I really wanted to give them the business... they weren't open and I wanted to get it before she changed her mind. :)

So I found another store that was about 20 minutes away and had Solteras in stock and went there to check it out. I've seen it in person only one other time outside the previously mentioned shop but he was busy with other customers so I really didn't get a chance to ride it or look at it more closely back then.

The bummer is the other store only had regular in stock which is too small for me but good enough for the wife... I was hoping to buy a large so I could ride it when she wasn't riding (she actually prefers larger bikes) but even the boxed ones were all regular size.

After signing some waivers, she took it for a test ride in the parking lot... decided she didn't want to go any further and we bought it. What's weird is they charged us $100 for "assembly" it so instead of $1299 it was $1399 but I was okay with that because although it was fun to build my Espin, I would rather have saved the time for them to build it. And, isn't that supposed to be the benefit of buying it at a local store. so they you don't have to build it?

Took it home and I rode if for a few spins around the block to check out how the PAS works, the display and just overall fit and feel. It is too small for me so I wouldn't be able to take this on any multi-mile ride but it is a different assist/cadence system than my Espin Sport. And yes... the braking difference was quite noticeable.

A few quick first observations:

1. The display, although color, is hard to see in daylight, esp with sunglasses on. This is typical of most LCD displays (I have a hard time seeing my phone) so mono-LCD does have some advantages.
2. The brake lights are cool... and work whether you have lighting turned on or not. I'm assumed as they are LED, the lifetime should be long enough so we won't have to replace them.
3. It's light... with the battery, it's lighter than my Espin Sport *without the battery*. :(
4. Tires are smoother and thinner so faster rolling (hoping *someone* doesn't come in here and bring up that debate again) so along with the lighter weight, is pretty easy to pedal without PAS.
5. Since this is too small for me to take on my rides, I won't be riding this on different hills and paths, so not sure how to compare the PAS to the Espin. I really like the Espin's system and have it dialed in that with PAS levels and gears... can really ride it through all types of scenarios. With the Soltera, I wasn't really sure when PAS kicked in on L1... because it is a 350w smaller motor. I was trying to see if it had the old Aventon system of the quarter turn on the pedals before adding power and if the power was a ramp up. The display didn't have an option to see power output like I have on my Espin so I couldn't really measure it. Maybe my wife will figure it out and let me know (although she cares little about the nuance of the ebike systems).
6. The throttle is different from my Sport. The Sport's throttle is like an accelerator, you push it lightly to start speeding up and then push it harder to go faster. The Soltera throttle is more like an on/off switch... you push it down and then the speed ramps up and continues to go faster as long as you have the throttle all the way down. Not sure which way is more prevalent in other ebikes.
7. We got black and the step over (not step through). It was the only color they had in step over and my wife likes the way it hides the battery. The overall fit and finish is really good... I'll add pics when I take them.
8. The battery is smaller than my Espin's. It's different as it pops out from the bottom and the front wheel makes it tricky to access. It's also lighter than the Espin's which I would expect.
9. I haven't tried it yet, but the display/system can connect to an Aventon app which is nice.
10. The geometry is a bit forward but that could be changed with a different handlebar/stem bracket (something I would do depending on how the large feels).

We didn't want to get a single speed just in case it had to be ridden without power and for $100 more you get that plus disc brakes which seems a no-brainer to me.

The other ebikes I have been looking in this same range were:

1. Wing Freedom 2 (7-speed) $1098-$1348 ($300 off sale right now with $215 in accesories))
2. Rize Fixie (but only had single speed) $1499
3. Propella 7S (no throttle) $1249

The Wing Freedom 2 is probably the best buy at $1098 (on sale)... but then we wanted to get one with a local store presence for her in case something went wrong.

I may end up with the Freedom 2 myself instead of the larger size Soltera.

Was hoping to go for a longer ride with her today but schedules got busy. Maybe we will see during the week.

So far, highly recommend the Soltera.
That was a good write up. I grabbed a Soltera 7/citron/large and I love it. Its not perfect... Ive had several issues with the mechanical disk brakes... so much so that Im switching to a cable pull hydraulic. And I did change the stem to Redshit suspension stem.

In terms if sizing Id say the large is faily large. I have to put my seat almost all the way down for a comfortable ride. That said I think I fall between that med/large grey space with a 32 in seems.

And yes one of the best features is the weight. I am using the same rack I used for my old road bike and its more than fine.
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
How tall are you Ofarrell?

The reason I wanted to get a large as so that me and the wife could share it if needed... I'm 6' and she's 5'6" and she's actually more comfortable with bigger bikes than I am on smaller ones.

I also want to change to hydraulic pulls as I think full hydraulic might be cost prohibitive.
 

Ofarrell

Member
How tall are you Ofarrell?

The reason I wanted to get a large as so that me and the wife could share it if needed... I'm 6' and she's 5'6" and she's actually more comfortable with bigger bikes than I am on smaller ones.

I also want to change to hydraulic pulls as I think full hydraulic might be cost prohibitive.
I'm 5 10. I also looked into going full hydraulic and agree it's a bit high for a quality set up.
 

Ofarrell

Member
Yesterday I swapped out the mechanical calipers and installed the hydraulic cable pulls. Very easy and after bedding in the pads its night and day performance. No more disc grinding, squeling and more stopping power. I used the Zoom HB100... I wanted to use the Juin Tech M1s but they are $300 CDN. The Zooms were only $60 CDN. Im sure the Juin Techs are miles better but for now, this was a good first step... for me anyway.
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
Finally got to take it out for some rides, an 18miler and 11miler.

Was going to exchange it for a Large but LBS was out of stock so we will just keep it and get a Large later so I didn't get to ride it but the wife really likes it.

I may end up getting the Wing Freedom 2 just so we have all different types of ebikes in our "stable".

For the look and price, I think the Soltera a a great buy but doesn't seem like too many people on EBR have bought one.
 

Ofarrell

Member
Finally got to take it out for some rides, an 18miler and 11miler.

Was going to exchange it for a Large but LBS was out of stock so we will just keep it and get a Large later so I didn't get to ride it but the wife really likes it.

I may end up getting the Wing Freedom 2 just so we have all different types of ebikes in our "stable".

For the look and price, I think the Soltera a a great buy but doesn't seem like too many people on EBR have bought one.
A lot of the appeal to me is the stealthy factor. Unless you take a good hard look at it, its hard to tell its an ebike. We have a lot of the theft in my city so an ebike of any make is a target. I like how light it is and the fact I can use a cheaper rack for the car if needed. I should say that this is purely a commuter bike for work. On weekends and some evening the wife and I go for extended rides on our Giant mid drives which is an entirely different experience.
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
The weight is awesome... not much heavier than a mountain bike and because I have a cheap Allen Rack, I can put my heavier Sport and the Soltera on it without concern.

I agree... this is not a long ride bike... but is perfect as a daily commuter. It's weird because I think this competes directly with Aventon's NextGen Pace 350 (went to a hidden battery system) so deciding between the two is really a weight decision because they are very similar and cost exactly the same ($1399).
 

Ofarrell

Member
The weight is awesome... not much heavier than a mountain bike and because I have a cheap Allen Rack, I can put my heavier Sport and the Soltera on it without concern.

I agree... this is not a long ride bike... but is perfect as a daily commuter. It's weird because I think this competes directly with Aventon's NextGen Pace 350 (went to a hidden battery system) so deciding between the two is really a weight decision because they are very similar and cost exactly the same ($1399).
they are very close in comparison. The 2.2 tires is nice too. I think the only thing I dont like about the pace is the handlebars... but thats and easy and relatively inexpensive change.
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
For me, the one we have is a Regular and I'm Large sized so I can't really take it on a long ride.

If I get a Large one, I'll try it on 20-30milers.
 

Gee_Whiz

Active Member
Just picked one up.. its a really solid bike. Very ride-able in PAS 1 with some effort. Not super ridable in PAS0 imo.. at least on the size L. I also added a redshift stem and kinect seatpost as the roads arent great in my area. Really high-quality bike for the price though, but a few issues:

The cranks are super long. Does anyone know if these can be replaced? The brakes on the disc model are also kind of soft. Can these be made to be more firm?
 

Ofarrell

Member
Just picked one up.. its a really solid bike. Very ride-able in PAS 1 with some effort. Not super ridable in PAS0 imo.. at least on the size L. I also added a redshift stem and kinect seatpost as the roads arent great in my area. Really high-quality bike for the price though, but a few issues:

The cranks are super long. Does anyone know if these can be replaced? The brakes on the disc model are also kind of soft. Can these be made to be more firm?
I could never get the brakes right and even tried two local shops. Ended up changing them to cable actuated hydraulic.

The redshift is awesome. I added one to mine as well as an esilk suspension post from cane creek.
 

Gee_Whiz

Active Member
I could never get the brakes right and even tried two local shops. Ended up changing them to cable actuated hydraulic.

The redshift is awesome. I added one to mine as well as an esilk suspension post from cane creek.
Thank you for this info.. I was about to go down the same rabbit hole RE shops.. its kinda unnerving because they really don't feel substantial at all. Would you mind giving insight into whats needed for a hydraulic conversion? And yeah I tried both the redshift and the Kinect over a few days.. and the redshift just feels more natural with the bike.. hard to quantify.
 

Ofarrell

Member
Thank you for this info.. I was about to go down the same rabbit hole RE shops.. its kinda unnerving because they really don't feel substantial at all. Would you mind giving insight into whats needed for a hydraulic conversion? And yeah I tried both the redshift and the Kinect over a few days.. and the redshift just feels more natural with the bike.. hard to quantify.
you arent really converting so to speak. All you are changing is the actual brake calipers. You can use the existing levers (love the integrated bell), rotors and cable. The caliper is a sealed hydraulic unit that is activated by the brake cable. Its actually a pretty easy task. Here is a link the to the amazon listing for canada. Im sure there is a better price and same model on the U.S. site


Here is a good youtube vid for reference. Keep in mind you can get more expensive ones from Juin tech and those are excellent but cost a bit more than these.

 

Gee_Whiz

Active Member
you arent really converting so to speak. All you are changing is the actual brake calipers. You can use the existing levers (love the integrated bell), rotors and cable. The caliper is a sealed hydraulic unit that is activated by the brake cable. Its actually a pretty easy task. Here is a link the to the amazon listing for canada. Im sure there is a better price and same model on the U.S. site


Here is a good youtube vid for reference. Keep in mind you can get more expensive ones from Juin tech and those are excellent but cost a bit more than these.

Appreciate the detailed info!
 

nwwoods

New Member
Region
USA
I posted the following Soltera 7 review on Aventon's site, thought I would share here also.

Pros:
Very well packed, no shipping issues
Seems to be a quality build, decent fit/finish
Customer service seems empowered to solve problems
There are some local dealers that stock / sell parts
App is a nice extra
Solid, smooth ride, gives confidence
Low rolling resistance tires improve efficiency
Seat seems comfortable even on a long ride
700x35 tires absorb bumps better than expected (compared to road bikes)
7-speed provides great flexibility, particularly on hills and start/stop, and helps reduce battery demand
Display is large and easy to read (I can read it fine in the sun with sunglasses on)
Motor gives 100% right down to single digits of battery left (doesn't go into power-save/reduced mode like some other brands). When you have some big hills in your last miles of ride, this is important!

Cons:
No provision for a water bottle holder on the down tube or on the seat tube.
No ability for lights to blink/pulse for increased safety.
No ability to set a PIN for theft deterrence.
Cable management could be better, there is a huge morass of cables in front of the handlebars. Eventually figured out to put the cables behind the headlight, but it's still pretty ugly.
Handgrips do not provide enough cushion, hands fall asleep on longer rides.
Headlight would not stay in place, had to add washers to make it tight.

Other:
Hypermiling approaches seem to work well on this model, range can be significantly increased by going to PAS 0 where possible.
 
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BigNerd

Well-Known Member
Water bottle pegs are on the top tube:

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