Qualisports Volador Review

Qualisports Volador Electric Bike Review
Qualisports Volador
Qualisports Volador Optional Rack Kend Tire Shimano Tourney Cassette
Qualisports Volador Plastic Chain Guide Plastic Folding Pedal
Qualisports Volador Cockpit View Flick Bell
Qualisports Volador Plastic Display Controls With Trigger
Qualisports Volador Display Backlight
Qualisports Volador Integrated Headlight Steel Fender Front Tire
Qualisports Volador 160mm Mechanical Disc Brakes Rigid Fork
Qualisports Volador Saddle Seat Tube Battery
Qualisports Volador Optional Rear Rack Rear Steel Fender
Qualisports Volador Folded Side View
Qualisports Volador Folded Rear View
Qualisports Volador Folded With Seat Post Stand
Qualisports Volador 2amp Portable Charger
Qualisports Volador Stock Red
Qualisports Volador Electric Bike Review
Qualisports Volador
Qualisports Volador Optional Rack Kend Tire Shimano Tourney Cassette
Qualisports Volador Plastic Chain Guide Plastic Folding Pedal
Qualisports Volador Cockpit View Flick Bell
Qualisports Volador Plastic Display Controls With Trigger
Qualisports Volador Display Backlight
Qualisports Volador Integrated Headlight Steel Fender Front Tire
Qualisports Volador 160mm Mechanical Disc Brakes Rigid Fork
Qualisports Volador Saddle Seat Tube Battery
Qualisports Volador Optional Rear Rack Rear Steel Fender
Qualisports Volador Folded Side View
Qualisports Volador Folded Rear View
Qualisports Volador Folded With Seat Post Stand
Qualisports Volador 2amp Portable Charger
Qualisports Volador Stock Red

Summary

  • A affordable and sleek folding bike that hides its electric system in the frame and seat post, MXUS hub-drive, 36v 7ah battery, 7 speed Shimano cassette, and mechanical brakes with motor inhibitors
  • The bike folds well, you can walk it when folded or even slide the seat post down through the frame to use it similar to a chair, allowing you to sit on the saddle of the bike while it is folded in a stable manner
  • For $1,099, there is a lot to appreciate like the integrated headlight, but you can take it to the next level with optional features such as bags, a rear rack, or a front basket
  • There is no suspension of any kind on the bike, the smaller wheel diameter has a higher attack angle too, so you really feel the bumps of the road, definitely best in short trips rather than long hauls

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Qualisports

Model:

Volador

Price:

$1,099

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Travel

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

Canada, United States, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, South Korea

Model Year:

2019

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

40 lbs (18.14 kg)

Battery Weight:

4.5 lbs (2.04 kg) (5.1lbs with Saddle)

Motor Weight:

6 lbs (2.72 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

10 in (25.4 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Unfolded: 10" Seat Tube, 22" Reach, 21" Standover Height, 24.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 23.5" Width, 61" Length, Folded Dimensions: 32.5" x 14.5" x 26.5"

Frame Types:

Mid-Step, Folding

Frame Colors:

Satin Dark Red, Glossy Metallic Gray, Satin Black

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid 6061 Aluminum Alloy, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9.5mm Threaded Axle with 15mm Nuts

Frame Rear Details:

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with 10mm Flats and 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Tourney Derailleur, MF-TZ500-7 14-28 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano Triggers on Right (One-Way High Lever, 3-Shift Low Lever)

Cranks:

Prowheel Forged Alloy, 170mm Length, 52 Tooth Chainring with Plastic Guard

Pedals:

Generic Plastic Platform, Folding

Headset:

Custom, Internal Cups, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Custom Aluminum Alloy, Folding, Telescoping Height, 280mm Base Height, 170mm Extension, Quick Release Clamp, 25.4mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Promax, Flat, Aluminum Alloy, 590mm Length

Brake Details:

Wuxing Mechanical Disc Brakes with JAK 160mm Rotors and Calipers, Four Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Velo, Rubber, Ergonomic, Non-Locking

Saddle:

KNUS, Active

Seat Post:

Custom, Alloy (Contains the Battery)

Seat Post Length:

570 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

46 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, Machined Sidewalls, 32mm Outer Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Black with Silver Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda, 20" x 1.95" (50-406)

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

40 to 65 PSI, 2.8 to 4.6 BAR, 280-460 KPO

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Wuxing Integrated Headlight, Independent Rear Light (2 AA Batteries), Flick Bell, Steel Fenders (57mm Width), Optional Aluminum Alloy Rear Rack ($50), Optional Aluminum Alloy Front Basket ($60), Rear Mount Adjustable Kickstand (38mm Mounting Provisions), Optional Bike Cover Bag ($50)

Other:

Non-Locking Seat-Post Internal Battery Pack, 1.3lb 2 Amp Charger, 15 Amp Sine Wave Controller, 220lb Max Weight

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

MXUS

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650 35E

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

7 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

252 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

10 miles (16 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

Kunteng, Fixed, Backlit Grayscale LCD, Buttons: Up, Power, Down (Hold Up for Backlight and Headlight, Hold Down for Walk Mode, Hold Up and Down for Settings, Hold Down while Riding to Set Cruise Control)

Readouts:

Battery Level (4 Bars and Outside), Trip Timer, Total Time, Assist Level (0-5), Speed, Average Speed, Max Speed, Trip Distance, Odometer, Battery Voltage

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (12 Magnet Sealed Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Qualisports. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Qualisports products.

So today, I am checking out the Qualisports Volador which is new to me, but apparently they have been around for a while. They have been making bikes worldwide under a number of names, but the Qualisports brand is used for the United States. I am told Volador means flight, and in some ways this is their ‘flying fish’ as all the bikes in their line up have an aquatic animal theme like the Beluga and Nemo. So the Volador is an affordable ($1,099) 20” wheel folding electric bike, but aside from the hub motor, it doesn’t look electric, it looks quite normal. That is mostly due to the battery being integrated in a unique place, the seat post. That comes with its own pros and cons that we will jump into later, but for now, I can say it definitely makes for a clean frame and a beautiful look. The bike comes in 3 colors, this satin red, glossy silver, and a satin black as well. The aluminum alloy frame is rigid all around and doesn’t provide for any suspension or absorption of any kind apart from the tires and a slightly comfortable saddle that I would still however classify as an active saddle. The tires are 20” x 1.95”, sort of a higher volume tire from Kenda. They are mounted on a threaded axle with nuts on each wheel, but no quick releases. Over the tires you have these nice black and sturdy steel fenders. Steel fenders are great but they can rust if the paint gets nicked or scratched and left outside over time. I do see some included lights which is very considerate, but I should note the rear light is not integrated, so do make sure to turn it off when you are done using the bike so you don’t wast those AAA batteries. The front is integrated which I love, and it is a Wuxing headlight that points where you steer. Looking around, there are some bottle cage bosses, a quick release on the seat post clamp, and a kickstand positioned out of the way to eliminate pedal lock when reversing (although I should not it is not adjustable length as shown in the video). The Volador has some nice wire wraps, but it should be noted since this is a folding bike, the wires are not internally routed… this is pretty common since folding bikes need that maneuverability when bending so the wires don’t get pinched. Qualisports also has some accessories that go well with the Volador; in the video I review one with an optional $50 rack with nice standard gauge tubing. There is also a $60 basket that can mount to the front and they even offer a bag for the bike itself that it will fit into when folded. This is a nice touch since there are actually places where you may transport this when folded where they require it to be in a bag. When loading this bike with accessories however, I would be careful in placing a trunk bag, since it could block that rear light. Overall the bike we tested weighs 40lbs, folds up quite well with some good locking points, and can even be walked easily if you leave the seat post up. Other features include Velo grips (non-locking), a little flick bell, plastic chain guard, and trigger shifters.

Driving the Volador is a planetary geared hub-motor from MXUS. The motor is 350watt nominally rated with a 12 magnet cadence sensor and throttle. I love that the cadence sensor is sealed, that really helps keep road debris out, and I wish more manufacturers went with this setup. The max speed is 20mph, so with that throttle and pedal assist, that makes this a Class 2 ebike. The power ramps up kind of slow, but the smaller wheels do have a mechanical advantage to it as well. Overall, its a nice linear power delivery. Its quite efficient, really a power sipper so its not so bad that you have a smaller battery. It may not be the best for long rage riding, due to the amp hour rating and that the smaller wheel base feels a little twitchy as well as bumpy because of the lack of suspension. However, the Volador would be a great last mile vehicle for both students and commuters. The electrical system is rounded off with these nice motor inhibitors, another feature I love to see in bikes because it really makes the ride that much safer. On the mechanical side, you get a 7 speed Shimano Tourney derailleur with 14-28 teeth and a 52 tooth chain ring in the front…. that rear setup is a little limited, so you may be spinning a bit more at higher speeds, but otherwise great for a commuting around town. For stopping power, you get some 160mm mechanical brakes. Mechanical brakes are easy to adjust and maintain, however, the stopping can take a bit more accusation in the handle, especially for that rear brake. The brakes are from a generic company, but the levers are Wuxing 4 finger brake levers with no rubberized edge, I have heard people say the non rubberized edges can sometimes make the handle cold to the touch if it has been outside for a long time.

Powering the Volador is a 36v 7ah battery (252 watt hours), which is on the smaller side, but enough for the quick trips this bike is made for. What is really interesting is that the battery is located inside the seat tube. That aspect brings with it is own pros and cons… on the one hand, it is very discreet, clean, protected, and likely won’t advertise that it is an electric bike to would be thieves. On the other hand, you cannot change the seat post to a suspension seat post to increase comfort, and it limits you to just the one battery type and size. You can actually remove the seat post, the entire thing is removable if you wish to take the battery with you somewhere. The charging port sits protected under the seat front and faces upward from the tip of the tube, like where you would put a straw in for a drink pouch. The charger itself is pretty portable at 1.3lbs and charges at 2amps, which is a little slow, but helps maintain a healthy battery life. To really care for this and other lithium-ion packs, I have heard that storing in a cool dry location vs. extreme heat or cold will extend the life and try to keep it about 50% full when not using for long periods so you won’t stress the cells. Try not to let it run down to zero, because that’s really hard on the cell chemistry.

Controlling the Volador is done though this plastic display mounted on the left. It is backlit, but is not removable as far as I can tell and doesn’t seem to swivel either. The controls feature a Power button as well as an Up and Down button for scrolling. Along with the speed here in MPH, it shows a 4 bar battery info graphic, with the outline of the battery logo itself acting as a 5th bar. So basically, it reads out in 24% increments. It also has readings for a timer, distance, and what level of assist you are in. Assist levels range from 0-5, but I did notice that 0 also locks out the throttle, so if you want to use that throttle, make sure to push the assist into 1-5. If you press Power lightly again, you can cycle through current speed, average speed, max speed, voltage, and odometer. Holding down the Up button will get the display to turn on its backlight. This also activates the integrated headlight too. Hold the Down button will active a walk mode. Finally, if you turn the display off, then back on, begin to hold down Up and Down together and you get a deep menu that lets you configure things like top speed, wheel diameter, and MPH to KMH. Believe it or not, you can go even deeper by holding Up and Down again and again to get into a series of coding menus if you really want to get into the nitty gritty. Qualisports also has a in-depth manual online for those interested.

All in all, the Volador is a great option at that $1,099 price point. It’s not often you see bikes like this with unique features and aesthetics when browsing other affordable options. Another neat feature is that when the bike is folded, you can push the seat tube down through the frame and the lower part is sturdy enough to act as a chair leg so to speak, and it allows you to sit down on the seat comfortably while waiting for a train, bus, or just need a moment to relax. With all these unique features, there are some tradeoffs to consider. The most obvious is that there is no suspension of any kind. This paired with the high seating, high handlebar, and attack angle make for a bumpy and twitchy ride. Definitely not something to look forward to if you have a commute with long distances. Some of the parts are generic like the brakes and pedals, but I suppose that is to be expected given the price point. The bike really shines as a last mile vehicle, great for little hops across the way and getting in and out of transportation like buses, trains, subways, etc. The ability to sit with it, store it, and walk with it are great. And it looks good too! Its got great locking points and there is even some folding instructions in the video review if you get a chance to check it out. I should also mention that the bike comes pretty much assembled from the the get go and you can even get dealer support. I think Qualisports did a good job here and I am excited to check out their Beluga and Nemo as well and thank them for the opportunity to do so.

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the Other Brands forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • Really just a beautiful bike, I love how the battery is hidden and out of the way, it doesn’t look like a typical electric bike to most people so it could deter would be thieves as well
  • When shopping for affordable bikes, you usually get some bottom of the barrel options, its nice to see the Volador bring a purpose built bike with unique features and aesthetic to the segment for just $1.099
  • A lot of times with bikes like this you have to go online to find them, Qualisports also has a dealer network so you can get established and knowledgeable help and service which is great
  • Has some really good locking points and is a nice folding bicycle, that battery position is really is beautiful and it keeps the battery out of the way
  • If the bike is folded and you prop up the seat post, you can hold the seat and guide it as you walk it and it glides straight with no problems
  • The seat post itself is sturdy, you can push the seat tube down through the frame and the lower part is sturdy enough to act as a chair leg so to speak, and it allows you to sit down on the seat comfortably while waiting for a train, bus, or just need a moment to relax
  • The bike comes pretty much fully assembled so you don’t have to worry about putting pieces together or needing complicated tools
  • The display has a very deep menu section that will let you configure just about everything with the electrical system if you are a real tinkerer and want to get things just right, they will be posting a in-depth manual online with information too
  • Some lights are included for both the front and rear, I particularly like that the front headlight is battery integrated and can be turned on and off via the display
  • Trigger shifters are my favorite and I cannot count how many affordable bikes actually chose a thumb shifter with their throttle, I really appreciate the trigger shifter and throttle setup Qualisports went with on this bike
  • The power delivery is nice and linear when using the electrical system and I am a big fan of motor inhibitors on brakes, so I am grateful they included them here
  • Some great optional accessories are available like a rear rack, front bucket, and even a cover bag that you can put the bike in when its folded
  • A lot of the features on this bike like the optional cover bag, the seat post chair setup, and being able to walk the bike when folded really help this stand out as the perfect last mile vehicle, this would be great for a student that has to take a tram to campus but still has a mile or two to get to class, or the subway commuter that has a long walk to his loft, you can tell they really thought out the design of the target user

Cons:

  • The bike does not have any suspension or much comfort aside from what the tires can handle, it should be noted that you cannot swap out the seat post because of the integrated battery, similarly, you cannot swap out the fork either, I like this bike a lot, but it probably won’t be my top choice for a lengthy ride
  • The tires here are nice but have neither puncture protection or reflective sidewall, also, there is no quick release on either wheel
  • High speeds and bumpy terrain are not handled well due to the high seating position, high handlebars, and higher attack angle, I even felt the paint of the road markings on my ride test
  • There is no slap guard on the frame where the chain rides along, I would recommend protecting it with an aftermarket neoprene slap guard or at least some box tape
  • Some generic parts here and there like the brake system, plastic pedals, and plastic display, but that is to be expected since the price of the bike is so low
  • There is no derailleur guard which would be nice if it was here because it would protect that derailleur when folding or shipping the bike as well as if it took a spill
  • The ride is a little twitchy because of the riding geometry and the bumps you feel, it really is best for short rides or as a last mile vehicle
  • The included rear light takes batteries instead of being integrated into the battery pack itself, so it could be a bit of a hassle to turn it on and off separately, additionally, you could forget to turn it off and drain the batteries leading to having to replace them more frequently
  • The battery amp hour rating (which effects overall range) is pretty small, likely because of the seat tube design, however, the motor is a bit of a power sipper, so that should help
  • The display is easy to read and backlit, but I do wish it was removable since the rest of the bike hides the fact that it is electric really well

Resources:

More Qualisports Reviews

Qualisports Dolphin Review

  • MSRP: $1,299
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

An affordable and sleek folding bike that hides its electric system in the frame and seat post, MXUS hub-drive, 36v 14ah battery, 7 speed Shimano cassette, thicker tires, and mechanical brakes with motor inhibitors. The bike folds well, you can walk it when folded or even slide the seat…...

Qualisports Nemo Review

  • MSRP: $899
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

An affordable and lightweight bike that hides its electric system in the frame and seat post, MXUS hub-drive, 36v 7ah battery, and mechanical brakes with motor inhibitors. The bike folds well, you can walk it when folded or even slide the seat…...

Comments (16) YouTube Comments

chris lawrence
8 months ago

Sounds like a great value. Last mile bikes are sooooo key to getting people out of their cars and onto public transport. If you were going to buy this bike Court, what upgrades would you make? And, if you were the designer, what changes would you make without reference to price?

  Reply
Court
8 months ago

Hmm, I was really impressed with their design choices. The battery is so clean and hidden, the value is there. I do appreciate suspension, so maybe a saddle with suspension built-in so it could mate with the battery/post? Suspension fork could be nice, but something really minimal and lightweight :D

  Reply
chris lawrence
8 months ago

Is removing the seatpost entirely a quick matter of just unclipping a harness, or is it more involved, involving screws and hard to get at harness clips?

  Reply
Court
8 months ago

Hi Chris, I believe it’s fairly easy because I don’t remember extra wires when disconnecting it from the bike when we weighed it. Perhaps you could contact the company or Sam at the Electric Bicycle Center in Fullerton. I wish I had taken a picture or shown that on video! Sorry ;)

Allan
8 months ago

It is easy to remove the seat post from the bike, the battery is connected to the controller box at the bottom of the bike with a strong wire, which can be stretched. You just need to disconnect that, unlock the clamp and then pull out the seat post.

Roger Blake
8 months ago

I am unable to see the video. Is it just me?

  Reply
Court
8 months ago

Hi Roger! I’m sorry about that, the status of this video was changed from unlisted to scheduled, and that made it private. I changed it back to unlisted (because I haven’t made it fully public on YouTube yet, so it should be watchable now for you :)

  Reply
Roger Blake
8 months ago

Thanks, I am enthralled with folders.

Susan
8 months ago

Hi Court. What do you think the support would be for battery replacement? My greatest concern is having the battery die or run its course and then there is not way to get another battery. How difficult would it be to build a kit on this model? I’m in the market for a new bike and this has been my concern for a lot of models.

  Reply
Court
8 months ago

Great question, Susan. I get the impression that Qualisports is investing a lot into their line of ebikes, many of which use this same custom seat tube design. Worst case, you could try working with a company like FTH Power in Southern California to have the battery rebuilt. Given the fairly low price and potential for a well-cared-for battery to last several years, I feel like there might be even better cheaper options down the road and even more battery repair/replacement options if Qualisports is still around or even larger. Even mainstream ebike companies change their battery configurations over time, Bosch is one of the best with back-year support, but the price is much higher for something like the Tern Vektron. I hope this helps, it’s difficult to say with certainty what will happen but I got a good feeling from Qualisports as being like an up and coming value brand, and they sell internationally :)

  Reply
Terry
7 months ago

I really like a lot of the Qualisports Volador’s pros you mentioned here, and for the price, I’d be happy to consider fixing all the cons you have listed. If money is not an issue, do you think it is possible to fix ALL of the cons you talked about? Estimated costs?

  Reply
Rejean
5 months ago

HI Court, very, very similar to the Canadian version: Alter Ego Sidekick Trail 500. But do you think one can install the trigger thumb throttle on the Right side? I really don’t like the trigger thumb throttle on the Left side… I’m not a lefty… lol More natural for me to use my Right thumb… lol. Really enjoy reading your amazing reviews, learning a lot… Thanks Court, you’re doing amazing, wonderful reviews, the Best!!!

  Reply
Court
5 months ago

Hi Rejean! Based on my memories of testing this ebike, and the pictures, I’m going to guess that yes, you probably can re-locate the trigger throttle to the right side of the handlebar. The only thing is, the trigger shifters might need to be pushed in pretty far because they could collide with the trigger throttle housing. This would make shifting gears difficult and is the reason many throttle powered electric bicycles use the big thumb shifters vs. the triggers used here. This is why I think that Qualisports originally opted for a left-mounting throttle setup. Re-locating it is just a matter of loosening the clamp and putting it over on the other side… it’s not too difficult, but will change the layout of shifters and brake levers :)

  Reply
Rejean
5 months ago

Hi Court, thank you for your reply. And all your amazing reviews… Looking forward for the Beluga fat tire version review!

  Reply
Jeremy Kashif
4 months ago

Hi Court, I am in the market for a bike that folds and this is about my price point. However, I am concerned that the 350w motor is not strong enough to pull my weight uphill. I am 5’10” and 260lbs. I want the bike to get from my office to campus quickly without being a sweaty mess in all my classes. Work is only 2.5 miles away but its mostly uphill on a busy street.

Thanks,
Jeremy

  Reply
Court
4 months ago

Hi Jeremy! I actually don’t know of many folding ebikes that offer more than 350 watts power. I think they stick with smaller motors because they want to be light and affordable. The thing is, even with a 350 watt hub motor, you get the mechanical advantage of using a smaller wheel. Perhaps you will have to pedal a bit to support the motor on medium and steep grades, but this is a lightweight ebike and if you do have to walk or fold/lift it, you’ll benefit from how sleek and compact it is. Unfortunately, the advanced search tool is not setup to allow for sorting by motor watt power or drive type (mid-drive or hub motor), but you can scan through my full list of reviewed folding ebikes and check in on ones that look like they might be a fit. Mid-drive folding electric bikes will empower you to climb more effectively by switching gears to make it easier for the motor, but most require that you do pedal vs. using a throttle like many of the hub motor models :)

  Reply

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