VoltBike Bravo Review

Voltbike Bravo Electric Bike Review
Voltbike Bravo
Voltbike Bravo Shimano Acera Derailleur
Voltbike Bravo 48v 12 8ah Battery Pack
Voltbike Bravo Cockpit View Large Display Throttle With Lockout
Voltbike Bravo Angled Display Wire Wraps
Voltbike Bravo Voltbike Display
Voltbike Bravo Spanniga Headlight Front Fork
Voltbike Bravo Chain Ring Guide Prowheel Crank Arm
Voltbike Bravo Rear Rack Fenders Bungie Cords
Voltbike Bravo Rear Rack Triple Bungie Cords Velo Saddle
Voltbike Bravo Glossy White Profile
Voltbike Bravo Glossy White
Voltbike Bravo Integrated Rear Light Fenders With Mud Flaps
Voltbike Bravo 2amp Battery Charger
Voltbike Bravo Portable Battery Charger
Voltbike Bravo Stock High Step Black
Voltbike Bravo Stock High Step White
Voltbike Bravo Electric Bike Review
Voltbike Bravo
Voltbike Bravo Shimano Acera Derailleur
Voltbike Bravo 48v 12 8ah Battery Pack
Voltbike Bravo Cockpit View Large Display Throttle With Lockout
Voltbike Bravo Angled Display Wire Wraps
Voltbike Bravo Voltbike Display
Voltbike Bravo Spanniga Headlight Front Fork
Voltbike Bravo Chain Ring Guide Prowheel Crank Arm
Voltbike Bravo Rear Rack Fenders Bungie Cords
Voltbike Bravo Rear Rack Triple Bungie Cords Velo Saddle
Voltbike Bravo Glossy White Profile
Voltbike Bravo Glossy White
Voltbike Bravo Integrated Rear Light Fenders With Mud Flaps
Voltbike Bravo 2amp Battery Charger
Voltbike Bravo Portable Battery Charger
Voltbike Bravo Stock High Step Black
Voltbike Bravo Stock High Step White

Summary

  • A lower priced commuter ebike at that comes in 2 colors (black or glossy white), included fenders, racks, integrated lights, and a suspension fork
  • 500 watt Bafang hub-drive, 48v 12.8ah high capacity battery, with throttle and 9 modes of cadence based pedal assist
  • Low profile studded tires, a great balance for light offloading, but also fairly efficient and quiet on paved roads versus a more knobby tire
  • The drivetrain range is a bit limited with just a 14-28 tooth cassette, the mechanical brakes hinder some stopping immediacy (although there are motor inhibitors), and the rear light only contains one LED so it's more like a big a reflector

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

VoltBike

Model:

Bravo

Price:

$1,599 ($1,699 CAD)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

Canada, United States

Model Year:

2019

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

59.4 lbs (26.94 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

19" Seat Tube, 23" Reach, 29" Stand Over Height, 34" Minimum Saddle Height, 27.25" Width, 73.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Gloss White with Silver and Red Accents, Gloss Black with Silver and Red Accents

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCM ATB Spring Suspension, 80mm Travel, 30mm Stanchions, Hydraulic Lockout, Preload Adjust, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

135mm Hub Spacing, 11mm Threaded Axle with 10mm Flats and 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera RD-410 Derailleur, Shimano MF-TZ500-7 14-28 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney TX50R6CT Indexed SIS Thumb Shifter on Right

Cranks:

Prowheel Pioneer Forged Alloy, 170mm Length, Square Tapered Spindle, 44 Tooth Steel Chainring with Alloy Guard

Pedals:

Wellgo LU-313 Aluminum Alloy Wide Platform with Fixed Pins

Headset:

NECO, Internal Cups, Sealed Cartridge, Tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"

Stem:

Promax MA-596, Adjustable Angle 35° to 145°, 70mm Length, 70mm Base Height, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter, Two 10mm Spacers

Handlebar:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 680mm Length

Brake Details:

Tektro Novela MD-M311 Mechanical Disc with 180mm Rotors, Four-Finger Levers with Rubberized Edge and Integrated Bell on Left, and Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Faux Leather, Stitched, Ergonomic

Saddle:

Velo Plush VL-6142

Seat Post:

Promax SP-252 Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

MingTai, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 40.7mm Outer Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda Small Block Eight, 27.5" x 2.10" (52-584)

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

40 to 65 PSI, 2.8 to 4.5 BAR, 30 TPI Casing

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps (60mm Width), Neoprene Slap Guard, Adjustable Kickstand at Rear, Custom Aluminum Alloy Bolt-On Rear Rack with Triple Bungee Strap (25kg 55lb Max Weight, 16mm Tubing), Steel Derailleur Guard, Spanninga Kendo+ Integrated Headlight, Blaze-Lite RL1900 Integrated Backlight, Multi-Tool, Optional Waterproof Pannier Bags ($70 Each)

Other:

Locking Removable Semi-Integrated Downtube Battery Pack with USB Port and 4-LED Indicator, Sans 1.5lb 2 Amp Charger, KMC Rust Buster Chain, Neco 910, 23.5mm + 120mm + 23.5mm Bottom Bracket

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang G06

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

80 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh Cells

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

12.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

614.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

6.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Voltbike Branded, Intelligent 800S, Fixed, Grayscale, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Avg Speed, Max Speed, Battery (5 Bars), Assist Level (0-9), Trip, Odometer, Timer, Motor Inhibitor Icon

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left: Buttons +, Power, -, (Double Press Power Button for Settings Menu, Hold + for Backlight and Integrated Lights, Hold - for Walk Mode), Full Sized USB Type A Port on Battery (5 Volts, 1,000 Milliamp)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (12 Magnet Disc)

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 VoltBike. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of VoltBike products.

The Bravo has always been a popular bike for VoltBike and it seems they have made some upgrades for 2019, so I was happy when they invited me out to check out the updates. For those that don’t know, the Bravo is kind of an everyman’s bike due to the utility and value many find in the setup. For example, it has these low profile studded tires, a great balance for light offloading, but also fairly efficient and quiet on paved roads versus a more knobby tire. They even have these sturdy 13 gauge spokes with a quick release in the front. It also features this spring suspension fork with about 80mm of travel, a hydraulic lockout, and preload adjust. Not bad for a bike that cost $1,599 ($1,699 in Canada). But since it is a lower priced ebike, you will have some tradeoffs like the tires lacking puncture protection or reflective sidewalls. But there is still a lot here like the included rear rack (even has some triple bungie straps!), ergonomic stitched grips, the adjustable stem with a little bit of a rise to it, the tapered head tube (so you could even swap out to a upgraded suspension fork if you wanted to), and the comfort saddle. I mean, it’s kinda like the Elegant, a step-through model they offer, except this one is a bit more masculine and has kind of this mid step angled top tube. The Bravo only comes in 1 aluminum alloy frame size, but it does come in 2 colors, this glossy white and a black color. I personally like the white because of the safety in both day and night visibility. Just going down the list here, there is a lot more included like the battery integrated lights. I see more and more of these and it is really something I hope everyone gets on board with since it really promotes rider safety as a whole and it is so nice to have them be a part of the integrated system so you don’t have to always have to check up on them or add batteries! Anyway, in the front light is a Spanniga Kendo, while in the rear you have a Blaze-Lite. Also, the Bravo includes plastic fenders with mud flaps. I have been reviewing VoltBike for a few years now, and its great to see them make improvements based off of older version. The mud flaps here are nice since they make the fenders a little more quiet and durable as well as preventing toe strikes when pedaling. I should mention however, that the rear fender doesn’t have an arm connection in the middle, so it does create some wiggling in the back. The cockpit is nice with its big display, integrated bell, cable wraps with press-fit connectors, and this on/off switch for the throttle with is always great for safety. They did go with a thumb shifter which is kind of a bummer since I enjoy trigger shifters so much, but as I understand, most manufacturers go this route so it can stay out of the way of the throttle which makes sense. I should also mention the optional $70 waterproof panniers. These really compliment the bike well and offer a little bit of reflective lettering, but unfortunately, not all throughout. Overall, there is good comfort all around and the entire setup weighs 59.5lbs, mostly due to features like the suspension fork and the rack. Other features include an adjustable length kickstand that is mounted out of the way to eliminate pedal lock when reversing, integrated cables, Wellgo platform pedals, and bottle cage bosses that also include an actual bottle cage, although you could swap that out too if you had another preference.

Diving the Bravo is this 500 watt Bafang planetary geared hub-drive motor with 9 modes of pedal assist and a twist throttle with throttle lock out via an on/off switch. It has a 12 magnet high resolution cadence sensor, which used to be kind of a premium setup, but nowadays it is considered somewhat older technology. Compared to todays top of the line systems, it tends to feel sluggish because it has this very pronounced on or off feeling, so I recommend using the throttle to ramp up your speed if you want that smoother feel. It kicks up to 20mph with no problem and stopping is nice since they also equipped it with motor inhibitors. On the mechanical side, they have a 7 speed Shimano Acera derailleur which is 3 whole steps up from the typical entry level derailleurs I usually see on value priced ebikes. I love that it has a derailleur guard too, that really helps protect these systems in the shipping process of if the bike gets knocked over. It has a 14-28 tooth on the cassette… not the best for climbing but is fine for cruising around the city. A thumb shifter is here, and I have never been a big fan of these, but I understand if you have a twist throttle attached, sometimes the thumb style shifter is the only option for the engineers to mount a shifting system. The Bravo features some 180mm rotor mechanical disc brakes with motor inhibitors. The mechanical brakes are easy to adjust and maintain, but I really prefer the immediate stopping power and responsiveness of hydraulic brakes, but I do understand why they chose them. I do like that it has 4 finger Tektro levers with rubberized grips, very nice. Other things I like here are the rust resistant chain and the neoprene slap guard that will protect the frame if the chain gets some bounce in it. Overall, the system works great giving the bike a very capable feel.

Powering the VoltBike Bravo is a 48v 12.8ah lithium ion battery pack with Panasonic cells. I would consider this a high capacity battery and it weighs about 7.5lbs. I love that included on the battery itself is a USB port, so you can literally remove the battery and use it as a power brick for your USB device like a phone or laptop, really a cool option and I love that it’s here. The battery is secured via lock and key and that key comes with the bike along with some tools as well. It also comes with this 1.5lbs charger which charges it at 2amps. The only real negative here is that the charging port on the bike is mounted at the bottom near the crank arm, so do be careful to not let that get in the way if you are charging on the bike itself. 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.

Operating the VoltBike Bravo is straightforward, in fact, it’s using the exact same display system and button pad as before. The LCD is large, backlit (if you hold the up arrow), and adjustable angle to reduce glare. It is not removable, but there does appear to be a disconnect spot for easy replacement if you experience damage at some point down the line. All of the standard readouts about current speed, battery capacity, and assist level are shown, and if you tap the power button (the little rubber button on the remote pad) it will cycle through advanced readouts like average speed and max speed. Holding down on the button pad activates walk mode, and double tapping the power button opens a menu where you can adjust the maximum speed of the bike, though you’ll need a password from VoltBike to do so. This cold be handy for people who want to ride slower for safety reasons… but you can always just arrow down on assist for less power. The real consideration is how fast the throttle will get you going, because it’s always offering up full power when pushed all the way down. I was able to reach just over 20 miles per hour in the highest assist level during my tests. I would have been happy with a 5 level assist vs. 9 because I don’t love clicking through so many levels when trying to focus on riding. At least the display is within reach and easy to learn (there are only three buttons). After a bit of practice, it’s easy to click up or down without even looking at the display for feedback. The one thing I have noticed about this particular button pad is that if you snag the buttons with fabric or somehow bump them when parking, the plastic cover can get bent up and become vulnerable to breaking off. I have only seen this once, but I have never seen the rubberized buttons get broken, so I consider it a point of consideration and extra care.

Overall, I like the Bravo a lot and I was really impressed. VoltBike has been around for 5 years now so it’s always great to see someone stick around the industry and continue to improve their offerings while keeping customer cost low and the Bravo is a great example of that. There are a few tradeoffs to consider though. As I mentioned before, the tires are capable, but it would be nice if they had some puncture protection as well as some reflective sidewalls. You could always swap them out yourself, but having features like that for both safety and convince are really nice. I also noticed there was no torque arm and there is a bit of a delay when you stop the bike, due to the setup and the mechanical disc brakes. I tried to show it in the video so hopefully you get a chance to check it out. Luckily though it does have those motor inhibitors to cut power to the motor itself and it really comes in handy with this bike. There really is a lot to love here though and VoltBike backs up the Bravo with a 1 year warranty. The mostly sell online and installation is easy since all you really need to attach is the handlebar and the pedals and there are instructions to teach you how. The bike even comes with a helmet when you purchase it! How neat is that? I love that they are prioritizing safety, even when helmets are not required in all states. A big thank you to VoltBike, I really enjoyed coming out and see what was new as well as checking out your new factory.

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own 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 VoltBike Ebike forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • A value priced commuter bike at $1,599 ($1,699 in Canada) and comes in 2 colors (black or glossy white), and includes a suspension fork, rack, lights, and fenders
  • Low profile studded tires, a great balance for light offloading, but also fairly efficient and quiet on paved roads versus a more knobby tire, making this kind of an everyman’s bike
  • The front suspension fork has 80mm of travel, a hydraulic lockout and preload adjust to really give you a some configuration in the setup
  • They have a lot of included accessories, such as a rear rack, bottle cage bosses with an actual bottle holder, as well as some plastic fenders with mud flaps to keep you dry and reduce toe clipping
  • Comes standard with battery integrated headlight and rear light, something that more bikes are doing these days and I love since it adds visibility and safety
  • The adjustable kickstand included is mounted away from the pedals in the rear, so that eliminates pedal lock, an annoying occurrence when reversing a bike with the kickstand down that this bike doesn’t have to worry about
  • 7 speed Shimano Acera derailleur which is 3 steps up from entry level, something you don’t often see on lower priced ebikes
  • The 500 watt rear hub motor is responsive and I love that the throttle has a lockout if you want to turn it off and on, overall a really capable electric setup
  • The 48v 12.8ah battery is a solid choice here, it really can get up and go, having it be removable with a USB attachment to charge other devices just really opens up the capabilities a whole lot more
  • A lot of cool little touches like a neoprene slap guard, derailleur guard, Wellgo platform pedals, and cable wraps
  • You can order the bike online and not only is it easy to assemble but it also comes with a free helmet!

Cons:

  • The tires here do a wonderful job of multitasking both on and off road conditions, however, there is no puncture protection for the rough riding, and no reflective sidewall for the city riding
  • Mechanical brakes are common on lower priced ebikes, they are easier to maintain and adjust but lack immediate stopping power, something I noticed on my test ride
  • It is great that there are both an integrated headlight and rear light, however, the rear light is 1 LED and can feel a bit like just a really large reflector rather than a rear light
  • The drivetrain is a bit basic with just a 14-28 tooth cassette so it would be nice to see a larger sprocket to help the more active pedaler have that range
  • I love the fenders, rear rack, and especially the waterproof pannier that were on the bike I tested, but it should be noted that the pannier is optional and will cost extra money
  • 9 modes of pedal assist may be a real treat for some, but for me personally, I did not enjoy scrolling through all the many levels to get to the one I wanted
  • The controls for the display have a groove in them that can catch cloth and other material, so if you are wearing gloves for example, be aware of that
  • The front suspension is a spring suspension, rather than air, but I suppose you could switch that out with a fork of your choice since the head tube is tapered

Resources:

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