- The Voyager is the latest fully-equipped commuting ebike from Magnum, with a high-step frame but otherwise identical to the step-thru Navigator, standard one-year warranty and two eye-catching accent colors
- Excellent rack with plenty of mount points and included bungee, sturdy alloy fenders are expertly mounted with no noticeable rattle, bright lights are great for night riding and safety, 576 watt-hour battery provides enough range to leave the charger at home for most commutes
- Hybrid electronics setup blends the convenience of a Class 2 throttle with the speed of Class 3 pedal assist, impressive 95 newton-meters of torque from the DAS-KIT hub motor, Tektro hydraulic brakes provide great performance with minimal maintenance
- Only available in one size which may not fit smaller riders, lights are powerful but must be activated manually, power assist levels "wrap around" from 6 to 0 which can be frustrating when accidentally triggered
This in-depth review was not sponsored by Magnum or any other company, but I would like to thank eBikes USA for allowing me to use a test bike from their shop. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Magnum products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the Magnum electric bike forums.
- Magnum has a large dealer network in the United States in addition to selling direct to consumer, this hybrid model blends affordable products with peace of mind and better support. Magnum has been selling electric bikes since 2010 with steady improvements to their products and service!
- Magnum sells several commuter-oriented models, the Voyager is their newest one for 2021 and replaces the older Ui6 which EBR reviewed here. The Voyager costs about $800 more and has a lot of nice upgrades to the derailleur, brakes, battery integration, rack, and more!
- The Voyager has a high-step frame, if you prefer step-thru, check out the Navigator which has a step-thru frame but is otherwise identical.
- Covered by a one-year comprehensive warranty, which has become the standard for most ebike manufacturers. You can choose between blue and silver accent colors for the base black frame, only one size but you can take advantage of Magnum’s dealer network for proper fitting and test riding!
- I was impressed with the 95 newton-meters of torque put out by the DAS-KIT hub motor, that’s about double the torque of the average hub motor. Rated at 500 watts nominal, this motor feels nice and zippy and provides plenty of power for comfortable city commuting.
- The Voyager is a hybrid Class 2/3 setup which is becoming increasingly popular on bikes in the US. The throttle cuts off at 20mph (Class 2), but pedal assist will keep going to 25mph (Class 3). Technically, the Class 3 top speed is 28mph… but the Voyager gets close enough, and you can always pedal beyond the motor assistance if you’re feeling energetic. If you’re new to ebike classes you can learn more here.
- Magnum uses the LI-NCM (Nickel Cobalt Manganese) chemistry which is reputed to have better energy density compared to other lithium-ion variants. I’m not a battery chemistry expert, so don’t quote me on that! The battery is positioned in the downtube which increases stability with a low center of gravity, and the charging port is positioned high up and away from the cranks which should reduce the risk of accidental damage while charging.
- Gel saddle from Selle Royale is wide, soft, and quite comfortable! It’s a great pick for commuting, especially with the Promax suspension seatpost; the latter only provides about 40mm of travel, but it’s preload adjustable and makes a surprising difference in ride comfort.
- Great range of 8 to 32 teeth on the eight-speed Shimano cassette, this is a high-quality nickel-plated component that is much more durable than the freewheels found on many cheaper electric bikes. The Acera derailleur is also a bump up in quality with great shifting performance, activated by Altus trigger shifters on the right grip.
- Hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro are ebike-specific and provide great stopping power. Hydraulic brakes are much better than mechanical, requiring less maintenance and being much easier to actuate. These brakes do include motor inhibitors, which means motor power is cut as soon as you squeeze the brake levers.
- The CST tires measure 27.5″ by 2.35″ which is a bit wider than the average commuting bike, a great mid-sized tire that blends rolling efficiency with more air volume for increased comfort. The tread is definitely designed for city streets, it will do great on pavement but won’t have great traction on dirt roads or trails.
- Fully loaded for commuting with a rack, alloy fenders, and lights. The rack is sturdy with plentiful mount points, standard gauge tubing, and even includes a bungee cord! Alloy fenders are sturdy and resilient compared to steel, and also rattle less than plastic fenders would. The lights from Spanninga are bright and decently visible from the side.
- I’m a huge fan of the tool-free adjustable stem, it’s incredibly easy to adjust on the fly and really dial in your riding position. It’s also great if you’ll be sharing this ebike between differently-sized riders, negating the need for tools when switching between people. Keep in mind that these stems do loosen over time, if yours starts feeling loose you just need an allen wrench to tighten it back up.
- The suspension fork from SR Suntour has a decent 80mm of travel, with adjustment knobs for preload and hydraulic lockout so you can dial it in for your weight and riding terrain. Combined with the suspension seatpost, large tires, and soft saddle, the Voyager is a comfy ride! I also want to call out the grips, stitched faux leather with good padding, they feel great and they lock into position so they don’t rotate around while riding.
- The seating position is upright, although of course that depends on how you adjust the stem. This feels much more comfortable than the forward position of many commuters, although some riders do prefer to sit more forward… thankfully, with the adjustable stem, you can do either one!
- The cadence sensor is sealed to prevent damage or loss of magnets. Cadence sensors only measure whether or not the cranks are turning, this can be great for anyone with weak knees as you don’t need to put much pressure on the pedals (like you would with a torque sensor setup).
- The Voyager is a “stealthy” ebike, which means it looks like a non-electric bike until closer inspection. The battery pack is fully integrated into the downtube (but still fully removeable), plus the partially integrated cabling and hub motor mostly hidden behind the cassette when viewed from the drivetrain side. This provides a nice sleek appearance, but it can also reduce theft risk, as obvious ebikes are more likely to be targeted by thieves due to their higher price point.
- The 18 amp pure sine wave controller provides smooth power delivery, with exposed vents to increase heat disappation
- The C7 display is right in the center, with a grayscale LCD that is incredibly easy to see in any lighting conditions. The button pad is on the left grip and easy to reach, this is a great upgrade from the L7 displays on older Magnum models, which had the button pad integrated right into the display and more difficult to reach while riding.
- Having lights is great, but the configuration of the Voyager’s lights can be a bit frustrating. The front light is wired in to the main battery, but the rear one is independent which means you’ll have to change the AAA batteries every now and then. Both lights must be turned on and off manually, which is easy enough to do, just make sure you remember to turn them off when you’re done riding! This is especially important for the headlight since it draws from the main battery, if you leave it on you could find your bike completely dead when you come back to it.
- The CST tires feel great but they don’t include puncture protection, which I consider a must for any of my ebikes, fortunately you can add some for fairly cheap. The tires also lack sidewall striping which would really help to improve side visibility, especially since the frame is mostly black. There are reflectors on the spokes and you could opt for the silver trim which stands out fairly well at night!
- The center-mounted kickstand is sturdy and adjustable, I just wish it was positioned to the rear instead. Being in the center means that the left crank will lock up with the kickstand when pedaling backwards, making chain maintenance more difficult.
- The one available size seems geared towards medium-to-large sized riders, I am 6ft 3in and 200 pounds and felt great on it. Keep in mind, Magnum does have many smaller models if the Voyager is too big for you! The weight of 66 pounds is pretty average for an ebike, which means it can be difficult to transport up and down stairs, and might require a bike rack rated for higher weight limits if transporting behind your car.
- The pedal assist levels “wrap around” on the high end, meaning if you get to the max level (6) and press the plus button, it will wrap around to level 0 and continue up from there. This could be nice to immediately turn off pedal assist, but in practice I found it annoying, when trying to turn it up to max level I would accidentally hit the button too many times and wrap around to 0, and have to hit it a bunch more to try again.
- The Altus trigger shifters are only one-way, unlike Acera shifters which are two-way for the high lever. The advantage of this is being able to shift both up and down with only your thumbs, while keeping a finger or two on the brake lever. The Altus shifters still work great, it would just be nice to have the Acera ones especially since the derailleur is Acera.
- Being able to order online is great if you don’t live near a Magnum dealer but you’ll need to finish assembling your bike once you receive it, which usually means mounting the front wheel and handlebars, possibly connecting some cables, and tuning the brakes and derailleur. This can be intimidating if you lack experience or tools, so I recommend checking with local bike shops to see if they can help with assembly and maintenance in the future, just in case!
- The C7 display is not removable which leaves it vulnerable to damage from weather or other riders at bike racks. Fortunately, these displays are quite durable and should hold up well to anything short of a heavy direct hit.
- The lack of bottle cage bosses is a bummer for a commuter, especially since there’s a good amount of room on the seatpost tube. You can still mount a bottle cage there, it just might slight around a bit, so a handlebar-mounted water bottle holder might work better.
- The cadence sensor provides great value and will be a good fit for most riders, but it’s much less responsive than multi-sensing setups from other motor manufacturers such as Brose, Bosch, and Yamaha. This really is a matter of personal preference though, and I think cadence sensors are a great fit for city bikes.