- An affordable but surprisingly powerful and quiet electric fat bike, sells online only and ships from Canada with a flat rate $70 fee, comes with a comprehensive 1 year warranty
- Upgraded Kenda Juggernaut tires that feel good on pavement, dirt, sand and snow, removable battery is convenient to charge and has a USB port on the side mostly out of the way for portable electronics
- More active saddle and bar setup, the reach was a bit longer which might suit taller riders, integrated headlight is convenient on cloudy days for winter riding or at night, trigger throttle design doesn't compromise grip
- Only available in one color scheme and one frame size, basic Shimano Tourney 7 speed drivetrain, average mechanical disc brakes, the battery rattled a bit on my unit, suspension is fork is entry level
VoltBike is a leader in low cost electric bikes, I visited their headquarters near Vancouver Canada in 2015 and learned more about their online sales business… shipping to Canada and the US for a flat $70. If you don’t live near a bike shop but want an efficient city ebike or something a little more wild like the Yukon here, they can be a great option. My experience testing their products has been mostly good with only the occasional minor damage in shipping (the kickstand arrived broken on one of their folding mini fat bikes recently). All things considered, with their one year warranty and wide selection of styles I’ve been pretty impressed. Of course, there are always trade-offs when you try to hit lower price points and I encountered a few with the updated Yukon 750. Their prior Yukon model was built around a slightly weaker and louder 500 watt geared hub motor and had an exposed controller box and top mounted battery. It’s easy to appreciate how much nicer the 750 looks as well as how the frame balance has been improved. The top tube here is sloped down to make standing over the frame more comfortable and a suspension fork has been added to improve comfort… all for just $350 more!
But as I said, there are some trade off’s with the value approach and some that I noticed were the more basic seven speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain. It does the job but might go out of tune easier, adds some weight and just has a limited selection. There’s no slap guard on the right chainstay but that’s not a huge deal considering the frame is Aluminum and won’t rust there if it gets knicked. The suspension fork is comfortable but very basic with no adjustments or lockout and it’s probably heavier than something like a RockShox Bluto air fork. By the way, don’t rush out and buy that fork for this ebike because I believe it’s designed for a tapered head tube and I think the Yukon 750 is straight. The battery rattled a bit during my ride and I tried to demonstrate this in the video review but it never cut out and the model I tested was an early build so perhaps that will be resolved? That’s about it… these are all minor gripes and yes, I wish it had a bottle cage mounting point on the seat tube but there are accessories to work around that.
Getting back to what works on this bike… the motor is powerful, it offers enough zip to start and maintain in deep soft sand and this really surprised me! You get a nice large LCD display panel that’s backlit and an integrated headlight that doesn’t require separate batteries! A rechargeable backlight could be added inexpensively later if you do a lot of early morning or evening riding. The battery can be charged on or off the frame and helps to reduce the weight of the bike when lifting for transport or service but I wish the front wheel offered quick release to further reduce weight. It’s not a huge deal to unscrew though and I love the adjustable length kickstand that’s far back and out of the way for pedaling so if you back up and the cranks turn they don’t collide :)
The tires on this bike were a big upgrade from before and since they take a lot of abuse if you ride off-road and could potentially make a lot of noise if you stay on road I feel like the tread pattern they chose was thoughtfully chosen. It offers good durability and is a good all-around design. The only other big consideration with this particular bike is that the stem is kind of long, the bars are low-rise and the saddle is active. That means you tend to lean forward more when riding and can feel the bumps in your arms, shoulders and bottom. The saddle itself is a nice one, just not super soft. Consider adding a 27.2 mm Thudbuster to improve comfort along with lowering tire PSI (especially for riding on soft surfaces like sand… we used ~7 PSI). I guess one final area is worth scrutinizing here and that’s the brakes which are average sized with 160 mm rotors. They’re mechanical which require more wrist strength to actuate and again, smaller rotors means less mechanical advantage and the bike is on the heavier side at ~62 lbs. When you’re slashing prices you have to make trade offs and I feel like VoltBike made them pretty well. This is the kind of bike that could get rusty and beat up if used in salty sand or salty snow environments. When you spend a ton of money on a really nice bike sometimes it’s not as fun to actually take it out, knowing that it is going to be damaged. With a cheaper bike like this you still get good power and can have a lot of fun and again, I feel like it looks really nice and has really been improved since the original 500 watt model.
This review was shot with the help and financial support of Cabo Adventures in Cabo San Lucas Mexico! If you’d like to go for an electric fat bike ride on the beach like we did for these photos and video you can visit their website at www.cabo-adventures.com to learn more. I found their commitment to environmental sustainability to be inspiring, they offer lots of activities outside of ebikes, the food was good and their employees were wonderful. Cabo itself is one of the safest parts of Mexico, the airport is nice, roads are good and lots of celebrities visit because it’s only a 2.5 hour flight from Los Angeles. I shot a fun vlog about the visit where you can see some of the behind the scenes action here. My thanks again to the organization for being open to a creative review like this where we could truly test the bikes in a rigorous and majestic environment :D Big thanks to VoltBike for partnering with me for this review.
- The motor is fairly quiet but feels zippy and had no problem with the soft sand or hills we tested it on, when the air pressure was lowered in the tires to ~7 PSI the bike worked great, the 8Fun motor seemed to be fat-bike specific and extra wide to support the spoke pattern of the wheels, it looked nice
- The battery can be charged on or off the bike, has an integrated USB charging port (though it’s a bit exposed on the right side) and you only need to push one button to get the bike powered on, not two! Also, keys don’t have to be left in when riding
- Pedal assist relies on a 12 magnet sensor, that’s the highest number I see on other bikes and it leads to faster on/off activation, I also love that the brake levers override all power modes and cut the motor when pulled
- It’s neat that you can override assist at any time with the trigger throttle with full power output! Note however that assist is always active, there is not throttle-only mode on the bike
- I love that this bike offers nine levels of pedal assist because the increments are finder and differences are more subtle… you can find the perfect level for your terrain, range and ride style
- I love that VoltBike sells a matching fender and rack set for just $100, it can be difficult to find the correct size of accessories when dealing with unique frames like those of fat tire bicycles
- Thumb throttles work great for off-road riding because they don’t compromise your grip on the handle bar, I hear some people say that they are also easier to actuate and can be adjusted up or down to sit wherever your thumb feels most comfortable
- The punched out rims are cool looking, reduce weight and might offer a little bit more comfort and cushion than solid ones, the red liners show through and match the paint accents on the frame
- I like that the battery is seated into the downtube and doesn’t stick up very far, it leaves a bit more room for hanging the bike on some racks, lifting it and possibly adding a tight fitting bottle cage adapter to the seat tube like this
- I appreciate having a kickstand and love that this one is adjustable and mounted far enough back on the left chainstay that it doesn’t collide with the crank and pedal if you are backing up (the crank automatically turns)
- The Kenda Juggernaut pro tires are high quality… light but durable and with a good off-road tread pattern that’s still fairly dense for use on hard surfaces
- Quality battery cells from Sanyo, a generous one year comprehensive warranty and flat rate shipping to the US and Canada for just $70 (cheaper than almost all other bikes I see being sold online)
- I like that the top tube slopes down, lowering stand over height to accommodate people with shorter inseams, I feel like it could slant more but VoltBike also has the Mariner folding fat bike for people who really need a lower stand over or just don’t like the big frames
- The display panel is compact, swivels to reduce glare and offers a lot of information but isn’t removable… this means it could take more damage if left outside, I do like that it’s backlit and that the headlight is powered off the main battery pack however
- The button pad is easy to reach and fairly intuitive so you can arrow up or down when riding for more or less pedal assist power but the plastic cover is more delicate than inset buttons, ours got bent during tests when the bike crashed
- This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the saddle felt firm and the stem and bars were positioned further forward and lower down to accommodate active riding or larger longer-armed riders, you could always swap the stem out, replace the seat and get different bars like cruiser style if you prefer, I like that the bike has suspension but it’s not adjustable or lockable… just basic
- Maybe it was just the unit I was testing but the battery rattled a little bit, I was surprised because it seems very securely mounted, maybe the fit is just a little loose?
- The pedals are decent but I prefer wider, grippier ones like these Wellgo’s especially if you’re riding in snow… I do like the oversized thumb shifter however which works great with gloves on
- The brakes are kind of average being mechanical vs. hydraulic and since the rotors are smaller at 160 mm vs. 180 mm they heat up a bit more and require more hand strength to stop
- I wish the chainring had a plate on both sides, not just the outside, because sometimes when riding at higher speeds using the throttle bounding around off-road the chain can come off, I’d also appreciate a slap guard on the right chain stay
- The floating compass is unique but a little gimmicky, I definitely appreciate the bell, would be nice if the grips were locking but considering their basic flat design it’s not a huge deal if they spin
- Considering how large and heavy the bike is I love that you can take the battery pack off to reduce weight but I wish the front wheel had quick release, just to make it easier to fit into cars and other tight spaces vs. loosening and twisting the handlebars
- Official Site: http://www.voltbike.ca/voltbike-yukon/voltbike-yukon-750.html
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/8ZsdrAfgo6A65LEP8