2017 VoltBike Mariner Review

Voltbike Mariner Electric Bike Review
Voltbike Mariner
Voltbike Mariner 500 Watt Bafang Geared Hub Motor
Voltbike Mariner 48 Volt Sanyo Removable Battery Pack
Voltbike Mariner Apt Led Display Panel Shifter Compass Bell
Voltbike Mariner Led Integrated Headlight And Steel Fender
Voltbike Mariner Folding Wellgo Pedals Bottom Bracket Stand Guard
Voltbike Mariner Kenda Krusade 4 Inch Fat Tires
Voltbike Mariner Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc Brakes 180 And 160
Voltbike Mariner Carry Rack With Light And Pannier Blockers
Voltbike Mariner Electric Bike Review
Voltbike Mariner
Voltbike Mariner 500 Watt Bafang Geared Hub Motor
Voltbike Mariner 48 Volt Sanyo Removable Battery Pack
Voltbike Mariner Apt Led Display Panel Shifter Compass Bell
Voltbike Mariner Led Integrated Headlight And Steel Fender
Voltbike Mariner Folding Wellgo Pedals Bottom Bracket Stand Guard
Voltbike Mariner Kenda Krusade 4 Inch Fat Tires
Voltbike Mariner Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc Brakes 180 And 160
Voltbike Mariner Carry Rack With Light And Pannier Blockers


  • A miniaturized fat tire electric bike that's sand and snow capable, you get fenders, a rack and integrated lights for utility and safety no matter the terrain
  • Mid-mount battery design keeps weight low and centered, it's removable for reduced weight (when folding and transporting the bike) but requires that the seat be removed to get it off
  • Seat post suspension improves ride quality, you get nine levels of assist as well as trigger throttle mode that overrides for help climbing or slogging through soft stuff
  • Key must be left in when riding and can jingle a bit, the display is not removable and it along with the compass, bell and throttle could get bumped when folding, no clasps to keep it folded

Video Review







$1,249 ($70 Flat Rate Shipping)

Body Position:


Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Sand and Snow, Trail, Travel

Electric Bike Class:

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


1 Year Comprehensive


United States, Canada

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

59.5 lbs (26.98 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

12 lbs (5.44 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

23 reach, 24" Stand Over Height, 67" Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, Folding

Frame Colors:


Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, 11 mm Axle

Frame Rear Details:

11 mm Axle

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

6 Speed 1x6 Shimano Acera, MF-TZ20, 11-28

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney TX50R6CT Thumb Shifter Plus


Alloy Bash Guard, 52T Chainring


Wellgo F-265T Aluminum Alloy Folding Platform


Telescoping, SVMONO SM-A150-8R


Promax Flat, 23" Length

Brake Details:

Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Artek Vigorous Levers with Motor Inhibitors


Flat Rubber, Black


Velo VL-8020E, Comfort

Seat Post:

Promax SP-252, Aluminum Alloy with Suspension

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


Double Walled Alloy, Black


13 Gauge, Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Kenda Krusade, 20" x 4"

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

5-30 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve


Integrated LED Lights, Floating Ball Compass, Flick Bell, Steel Fenders, Carry Rack with Spring Latch (25 kg Max Load)


Locking Removable Battery Pack, Rust Resistant Z Chain, Hold the Up Button to Activate Lights

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:


Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

50 Newton meters

Battery Brand:


Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

499.2 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

APT Development, Fixed Backlit LCD


Battery Gauge (5 Bars), Assist Level (1-9), Speed, Avg. Speed, Top Speed, Odometer, Trip Odometer

Display Accessories:

Independent 3 Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (12 Magnet Pedelec Disc)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

Written Review

The Mariner is one of just a handful of mini sized electric fat bikes I’ve seen that are designed to be both easier to mount and ride for short people as well as transportable for people who maybe have a boat, RV or trunk space. It’s a bike that’s fairly adaptable with telescoping stem (to raise the handle bars) and a seat post that can also raise and has a built in suspension element for comfort. The frame on the bike is sturdy but rigid and it comes with a bolt-on rear rack so you can add a trunk bag or panniers. Also, it has a headlight and tail light for improved safety and perhaps a bit of off-road nighttime adventure! Ultimately, it’s a surprisingly affordable little bike with a big personality that younger people, women and even large guys can enjoy on nearly any type of terrain.

For this review, I was able to get the company that makes them, VoltBike, to send a unit to Cabo San Lucas Mexico for testing at a resort called Cabo Adventures. This company specializes in scuba, zip line and biking adventures and has been considering adding electric bikes but was unsure how they would fare in the soft sand (and with different types of riders). Ultimately, the bike worked VERY well in the sand… even soft sand, which surprised and delighted me. To be fair, all of our fat tire ebikes handled the sand and the larger-wheeled models performed best, but even the 20″ x 4″ tires on this folding model made it through once the tire pressure was lowered sufficiently. Note, lowering the tire pressure makes a HUGE difference on soft terrain like sand or snow. The 500 watt internally geared Bafang hub motor zipped along in pedal assist and throttle mode without a hitch. Being able to add power on demand with the throttle (overriding assist on demand) made a big difference for me and my girlfriend and the fact that VoltBike uses a trigger throttle helped to keep the grips feeling solid vs. the half-twist design that some other bikes employ. It’s personal preference though and I noticed that the throttle on this bike is always active which means it could get bumped if you forget to turn the bike off after riding (if you lift it or decide to fold and pack it up).

Getting in to some of the gripes I have about the bike… activating it is a two step process which takes a bit of extra time and attention and can leave you wondering if it’s charged or has some sort of issue if you haven’t ridden for a while. First, insert the key into the battery and turn to on then hold the little on button at the control pad near the left grip. At this point the display comes to life showing speed, assist level, battery level and sone other stats about ride time and distance. You can activate the LED lights by holding up which is very nice and you can arrow up or down to navigate nine levels of assist but you cannot go to zero. So the throttle and assist are constantly active once the bike is on. Also, those keys mentioned earlier are constantly dangling and at risk of snagging or bending… but at least they’re harder to lose. I appreciate that the battery pack on the Mariner is mounted low and center, just behind the seat tube, and that it has a handle on top for easy removal. But you do have to slide the seat and seat post off in order to actually remove the battery in my experience.

Riding the bike is easy enough because the fat tires are wider and more stable than traditional ones. They cushion the ride a bit and offer plenty of traction. I found that braking with the rear kept me stable on soft sand and became almost fun like sliding out. Both brakes are mechanical disc and the levers have motor inhibitors so any time you activate them the power cuts out instantly for safety. I love that the cadence sensor they chose (for motor activation) features 12 magnets vs. six on some other models because that helps it respond quicker and on soft or unstable terrain it’s nice to feel in control. I also appreciate the black color scheme they chose for the bike because it hides the cables and wires coming from the brakes, display and shifter up front as they snake towards the rear end. You get six gears here which is very minimal and basic but the chainring is extra large to help balance out the extra small wheels. Pedaling feels normal and shifting is tight thanks to a slightly upgraded Shimano Acera derailleur. The shifter levers are extra large and take up some space at the handle bars but may be easier to use with gloves… and that’s nice if you’re getting this bike for use in the snow.

VoltBike is a Canadian company with a whole range of different styles of electric bikes that are all value priced. They only charge $70 to ship to the continental USA and offer a solid year long warranty. Note that anytime you’re buying an e-bike or other heavy, large and somewhat intricate product online there’s room for error. The Mariner we got made it all the way from Canada through the USA and into Mexico with just one busted part. The kickstand got mangled but we were able to take it off and use the bike without issue. I do like that it comes with a kickstand and a fun little bell compass combo. It would be easy to remove if you wanted but otherwise adds to the fun and sense of adventure. My girlfriend loved the narrower tube because she didn’t hit her knee as easily as with some other bikes we tested and I liked that both folding points locked for safety but noticed that there wasn’t a magnetic clasp or bungee system to keep the bike from unfolding. We all had a blast with this bike and the full sized models, VoltBike does sell a larger fat tire electric bicycle called the Yukon that I preferred for its suspension fork and larger tires but given the convenience and impressive performance on the Mariner, I could see myself being swayed by the space savings and flexibility… also being able to share with a wider range of friends. Big thanks to VoltBike for partnering with me for this review.


  • This is one of the most affordable mini-fat bikes on the market and shipping from Canada is just $70 to the US… overall it’s a fun capable bike and the motor is powerful enough to ride in soft sand as shown in the video review (just lower the air pressure first)
  • Low standover height makes this a great option for kids, petite riders like my girlfriend and some other ladies or people with sensitive knees or back that can’t swing their legs up high
  • Longer telescoping adjustable-length stem allows you to dial in fit, this is great if you’re a taller rider and in my experience the stem didn’t feel loose or wobbly as some designs do
  • The top tube is fairly narrow and the joint where it folds doesn’t stick out as much as some competing bikes meaning you shouldn’t hit your knee as easily when getting on or off (still good to be careful)
  • The fact that it folds means you can bring this bike to more fun spots, just stick it in your trunk or back seat
  • A 12 magnet cadence sensor provides very quick on/off motor performance, it felt responsive and controlled to me which is great for riding off road… some other ebikes only use a six magnet sensor which usually requires more time, this e-bike also has brake levers with motor inhibitors so the motor stops instantly whenever you brake
  • I like that the kickstand is mounted far back and out of the way, this makes it easier to work on the cranks, bottom bracket and chain or back the bike up without colliding and bending the stand, I also felt that the stand worked pretty well on the soft sandy beach
  • Suspension seat post adds to the comfort of those larger 4″ wide tires and comfort saddle… smaller wheels usually aren’t as comfortable (less air to cushion) so having this post shock really helps if you’re on a bumpy beach or trail
  • Front and rear integrated LED lights really take this ebike to the next level! It’s ot something I’d fault the bike for not having because I assume most riding would be during the day out on trails vs. nighttime but then again… if it snows or you’re camping those lights can come in handy and do keep you safe
  • Front and rear fenders help to keep you dry when riding, they add to the utility of the lights and rear rack making this both portable and capable as a hauler perhaps for grocery getting or other errands, I was surprised that they are made of steel however because it can rust if scraped vs. aluminum or plastic which would be more durable in salty environments (sea and salted snowy streets)
  • The rear cargo rack is pretty awesome! It’s constructed of standard gauge tubing so you can mount most panniers and even has pannier blockers along the sides to keep your straps from rubbing on the extra-wide tires, the rack can support up to 25 kg (~55 lbs) and protects the rear light
  • The bike is a bit rear heavy but I love that the battery is not mounted on the rack, instead it is kept low and more central just behind the seat tube so you have more space to haul cargo and get better balance when riding
  • Name brand Kenda tires with improved grip and durability, upgraded mechanical disc brakes with a larger 180 mm rotor up front to improve stopping power
  • Fun little extras like the compass bell make you feel like an adventurer but could be easily removed if you wanted (be careful with it when folding)
  • Oversized Wellgo folding pedals are a huge win for me, they are still small (as with most folding designs) but are larger, sturdier and stiffer than the cheap plastic ones I see a lot… great upgrade there ;)
  • Chain guard and a metal rest below the bottom bracket help to protect your chain and sprocket when folding and transporting the bike
  • Upgraded Shimano Acera derailleur should be tighter and provide more shifts between tuneups, it’s two steps up from the base level Tourney component group… you get six gears on the bike which is enough but not great
  • The bike ships fully assembled including the front wheel so you don’t have to mess around much in order to get up and going


  • Neither wheel offers quick release, perhaps this allows for tighter stronger axle mounting but it does mean you’ll need a tool for repairs or flat fixes
  • At ~60 lbs this is not a light electric bike but given the larger tires, stronger motor and high capacity battery pack I can understand where the weight comes from, at least the ~7.7 lb battery is removable (highly recommended if you’re folding and lifting the bike)
  • I didn’t see any rubber bands or clasps to help keep the bike from coming unfolded… consider purchasing some of your own adjustable bungee cords and maybe using an old towel to keep it from rattling and coming undone
  • Considering the off-road nature of fat bikes, I was surprised to not see a slap guard? the chain is upgraded to be rust resistant and the tubing is aluminum so rust isn’t the issue, just the little chips in the paint, consider an after-market neoprene guard like this
  • During our tests, the bike must have fallen over or bumped into the bars of another bike because the plastic button pad got bent, the cover sort of bent upward and didn’t protect the clicker beneath as well so be careful with yours, these might just be more delicate than the rubberized flat button designs I’ve seen on some other bikes
  • I love that the bike offers assist and throttle mode but would have liked a throttle-only option, minor gripe… I also found that whenever the bike is on, the throttle is always active which can lead to more easy accidental motor bursts (especially if you’re trying to fold it without shutting it off first), that said… it’s a trigger throttle so slightly less likely to bump than a twist throttle and this is my preference for off-roading because it allows for more grip options and just a sturdier feel on the grip
  • The keys have to be inserted and twisted then left in the bike in order to activate and use it, this presents some challenges like jingling keys and potential snags when riding, consider a small carabiner? Once the battery is on you have to press and hold the power button on the control pad to activate the bike fully… you’ll see the display come to life then
  • The black color was a good choice because the wires blend in, they aren’t integrated through the frame and stick out a bit up front and below the frame… but that makes them easier to reach for repairs, mixed…
  • The motor was a bit louder than some other hubs but performed very well, even for larger riders, it’s an fat-tire specific wider motor from a well known company in the space, Bafang
  • The motor power cable protrudes directly from the end of the right side of the axle so be careful not to tip the bike onto it (or bump it when folding and transporting), this is also where the derailleur is so the right side of the bike is just more delicate in general
  • I think they could make the bike tougher by adding a derailleur guard, tucking the motor cable in further (I’ve seen some different designs that do this) and adding a second bash guard plat to the chainring so you’d have a guide which prevents dropping the chain as easily
  • The display can be swiveled forward and back to reduce glare but is not removable, this means it could get bumped easier if the bike tips, when you’re folding it and when it’s being stored and transported
  • As with a lot of the folding electric bicycles I test, this one didn’t include bottle cage bosses so you might want to get a trunk bag with a built in bottle holster like this for bringing along fluids


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Comments (28) YouTube Comments

John Carey
7 years ago

If you go into menu you can program ” 0 ” mode which is no pedal assist and power only by thumb throdle or people power. Cool !- JLC

Court Rye
7 years ago

Cool! Thanks for the tip John :D

7 years ago

Thanks for the excellent reviews and videos Court! I’m trying to decide between folding electric, and a folding electric fat bike. We will use them around town on class B RV trips for errands, as well as paved and unpaved trails. The fat version gives us snow and sand possibilities as well as softer base trail riding opportunities. Coming from years of road biking travels and some mountain biking, I am wondering how comfortable and efficient the fat bike version, such as the Voltbike Mariner, will be. For off-road use it seems an easy decision. Next question would be choosing between the Mariner and the RadMini. With some accessories, two of these bikes will max-out our budget so they feel like the best two to compare. Finally, have you or will you be reviewing the Citizen Frisco? Thanks again, we really appreciate your thorough write-ups!

Court Rye
7 years ago

There are minor differences in how the throttle works but it might come down to which design looks better or if you get a deal buying two at the same time. I’ve listed the other minor differences in the reviews and am traveling so don’t have time to clarify at the moment. I have not seen the Citizen Frisco yet but will keep an eye out for it. It looks compact and light weight but wouldn’t handle the trails, sand, or snow as well… but that may not be an issue depending on where you ride :)

Thanh Nguyen
7 years ago

I am 250 lbs, am I ok to ride the Voltbike Mariner 500w? What is the max weight that this bike can carry?

Court Rye
7 years ago

Hi Thanh, my guess would be yes… most electric bikes I review are rated for up to 250 lbs and many will carry more than that but the manufacturers want to play it safe. This being a folding electric bike, might not be quite as strong as a high step non-folder but the smaller wheels tend to be stronger so it’s a mix. You could reach out to VoltBike to confirm but my gut says you’ll be fine, and the rack on the back can probably hold up to 40 lbs.

7 years ago

I’m deciding between a Sondors Fold and a Mariner. With folders I believe wheelbase, (axle to axle) affects stability and ride-ability yet reviews lack this detail, this one included. My inquiry about the Mariner wheelbase got no response so far. Their chat says “ask me anything” (apparently except that). Sondors quickly responded their Fold wheelbase is 42 inches.

Court Rye
6 years ago

Cool, thanks for sharing your experience with customer support and prodding me to include that with more of my reviews. I do try to include overall length of bikes now to help people understand what kind of space would be required to store. I also include stand over height and width. Hoping to review the Sondors Fold someday, whatever you choose, I hope it works out well for you and invite your feedback and comments here and in the Electric Bike Review Forums.

6 years ago

Update, Voltbike responded that their Mariner’s wheelbase is just over 46 inches which is a bit longer than the Sondors.

Folding bikes have their quirks. Apparently it’s tempting to make them shorter and thus more compact. I modified one of mine to get it as small as possible and still ridable. I discovered they get squirrelly when I went off the back of mine. The shorter it is, the closer the seat must be to the center point of the wheels, and balance gets touchy. It gets too easy to unexpectedly raise the rear wheel on a quick stop or do a wheelie taking off. That being said, it fit a suitcase and it was handy in Europe.

6 years ago

Geo, I am torn between the Sonders Fold X and The Voltebike Mariner. What did you decide? I am leaning towards Mariner right now due to Sondors inventory being low and I can’t place an order on the configuration that I want.

6 years ago

Gabriel, my Sondors fold X has been trouble free for 120 miles so far. However, the Voltbike Mariner appears to have approximately the same components plus the Voltbike gives you fenders, a rack, and lights. You NEED that stuff and I spent a bundle on fenders, a rack and lights. I feel like the Mariner is more for your money. To do it over I would go for the Voltbike Mariner. Be advised the ride is harsh with no suspension. If that bothers you, take a look at the ADDMOTOR MOTAN. It has a suspension front fork. The price is about the same I think.

I may buy one more e-bike for friends to ride. If I do I’ll get either the Mariner or the ADDMOTOR, not another Fold.

6 years ago

Geo, thanks so much for the feedback. Sonders has limited stock right now and I can’t get the right combination of color and gears that I want. Plus, I was told that the fender kit for the 7 gear model wouldn’t be in stock again until fall. The newer Mariner now has front fork suspension. Based on your comments I think I am sold on it now. The new Motan 750w also does but not the 500W. Thanks for the assist.

6 years ago

I couldn’t find anything on Voltbike Mariner with the suspension fork. That would certainly make it my next one. I keep tire pressure on my Fold at 10 # to ease the bumps. It’s a hard ride even compared to my $100 dollar Walmart bike.

6 years ago

My early Dahon made that trip. No such luxury as electric power. Europe swarms with bikes, yet the Dahon attracted way more attention than in the US. I often had an audience when folding or unfolding and questions to answer.

Anthony John Rigogliosi
6 years ago

I just got the Volt Bike Mariner. I’d like to get these Kryptonite Gravity WheelBoltz. Does anybody know if they are compatible?

6 years ago

Hi Anthony! My guess is that these would not work with the Mariner or most other fat tire bikes because they tend to have wider dropout spacings. The front is usually something like 135 mm and the rear is usually 170 mm (not including how far the skewer has to stick out for the nuts). So the Kryptonite Gravity WheelBoltz that you linked to are only 130 mm front and 150 mm rear, so they probably aren’t long enough, and you can’t use a skewer if the motor has fixed axles (which is the case with most hub motor powered ebikes). Basically, you cannot remove the axle that is connected to the hub motor itself, it’s a permanent axle that the motor pushes on when it activates, and that power is transferred into the frame through the axle. These security skewers simply will not work… I’d suggest using two folding locks to secure the wheels instead :)

Anthony John Rigogliosi
6 years ago

Wow, thank you for that quick and solid feedback. Honestly, I just wanted to lock my front wheel up without actually locking it up with a lock and key everytime plus my main lock, ya know?

Anthony John Rigogliosi
6 years ago

How do I know if these security bolts would be compatible?

Anthony John Rigogliosi
6 years ago

Had this bike for about a week now and put like 100 miles on it. All city, bumpy, jumpy, pot holes and construction rides for delivery in NYC, My issue is that the chain pops off too many times. Any fix around on this you think? Maybe removing a link or two?

6 years ago

Hi Anthony! Normally I’d recommend a seat tube mounting chain guide like this but I’m not sure there is room with the Mariner because of the battery pack design and position. An alternative hardware solution might be something like this that mounts on the bottom bracket spindle. It turns out that there are actually a lot of choices for chain guides, just explore this list and see if anything looks like a fit. Pay close attention to the sizing because the chainring on the VoltBike Mariner is a bit larger than most mountain bikes at 52 teeth (because it balances out the smaller 20″ wheels).

6 years ago

The bike functioned for a few months, and then the battery completely died out of the blue. It is still unclear why it failed, but it simply would not charge. Still under warranty, I contacted Voltbike to request a replacement. After dozens of calls, multiple messages, multiple emails, and a few weeks, I still have not received a replacement. This is despite having mailed the defective one. Their support staff is very hard to reach, and takes a long time to respond to emails. Just a warning for those considering owning one long term.

6 years ago

Ouch! That’s a real bummer, I’m surprised to hear that they haven’t been in touch and easier to work with. Perhaps they are very busy right now, but still… I hope they follow through and help you. You can use the contact form on EBR here and maybe I can forward the message on your behalf as I have worked directly with the owner.

5 years ago

My experience has been quite different, Tyler. I called Voltbike several times before I ordered two bikes, and several times after. They do not always pick up right away but they return calls and emails, and if you call back on non-peak times they are available. Once I placed my order I realized I had made a mistake in one choice. I called Voltbike, and they amended the order immediately. The next day I got an email confirming my order, and an immediate email response when I asked if they had indeed shipped with the change I asked for, which they had. I suspect your issues were a result of a new company trying to gain its footing. Incidentally, the new Mariners have a chain guard and a new way of sealing in the control box so water doesn’t damage it. These issues were noted in reviews, and the response tells me this company is responsive to feedback. I will report back again once I have put some miles on the new bikes.

5 years ago

Hi Lari, thanks for chiming in with your positive experience and the updates on how VoltBike is improving their product. I hope yours continues to work well and appreciate any further thoughts or comments you wish to share :)

6 years ago

I just had an online chat with voltbike and they said that the mariner fat tire bike has a rider weight limit of 300lbs.

6 years ago

Awesome! Thanks for sharing this knowledge here with us, Chris :)


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