VoltBike Elegant Review

2019 Voltbike Elegant Electric Bike Review
2019 Voltbike Elegant
2019 Voltbike Elegant Bafang 500 Watt Planetary Geared Hub Motor
2019 Voltbike Elegant 48 Volt Downtube Battery Pack
2019 Voltbike Elegant Intelligent Lcd Display Bell Shifter Twist Throttle
2019 Voltbike Elegant Selle Royal Semi Ergonomic Grips
2019 Voltbike Elegant Integrated Headlight Sr Suntour Xct Spring Suspension Fork
2019 Voltbike Elegant 7 Speed Shimano Tourney Drivetrain With Plastic Chain Cover
2019 Voltbike Elegant Custom Alloy Rack With Integrated Back Light
2019 Voltbike Elegant Velo Plush Comfort Saddle
2019 Voltbike Elegant Black Left Side Kickstand Charger
2019 Voltbike Elegant Portable Ebike Battery Charger
2019 Voltbike Elegant 2 Amp Charger
2019 Voltbike Elegant Stock Step Thru White
2019 Voltbike Elegant Stock Step Thru Black
2019 Voltbike Elegant Electric Bike Review
2019 Voltbike Elegant
2019 Voltbike Elegant Bafang 500 Watt Planetary Geared Hub Motor
2019 Voltbike Elegant 48 Volt Downtube Battery Pack
2019 Voltbike Elegant Intelligent Lcd Display Bell Shifter Twist Throttle
2019 Voltbike Elegant Selle Royal Semi Ergonomic Grips
2019 Voltbike Elegant Integrated Headlight Sr Suntour Xct Spring Suspension Fork
2019 Voltbike Elegant 7 Speed Shimano Tourney Drivetrain With Plastic Chain Cover
2019 Voltbike Elegant Custom Alloy Rack With Integrated Back Light
2019 Voltbike Elegant Velo Plush Comfort Saddle
2019 Voltbike Elegant Black Left Side Kickstand Charger
2019 Voltbike Elegant Portable Ebike Battery Charger
2019 Voltbike Elegant 2 Amp Charger
2019 Voltbike Elegant Stock Step Thru White
2019 Voltbike Elegant Stock Step Thru Black

Summary

  • A lower priced step-through commuter ebike at that comes in 2 colors (black or glossy white), included fenders, racks, integrated lights, and a suspension fork
  • Features a 500 watt Bafang hub-drive, 48v 12.8ah high capacity battery, a throttle, and 9 modes of cadence based pedal assist
  • A commuter ready setup from the fenders with mud-flaps, tool-free adjustable stem, full plastic chain guide, lights, helmet, and rack
  • 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:

Elegant

Price:

$1,599 ($1,699 CAD)

Body Position:

Upright, Upright Relaxed

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:

56 lbs (25.4 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, 24" Reach, 22" Stand Over, 32.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 26.25" Width, 73" Length

Frame Types:

Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

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

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCT Spring Suspension, 80mm Travel, 28mm 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

Gearing Details:

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

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney TX50R6CT Indexed SIS Thumb Shifter on Right

Cranks:

Forged Alloy, 170mm Length, Square Tapered Spindle, 38 Tooth Steel Chainring with Plastic Cover

Pedals:

Wellgo M-248DU Aluminum Alloy Cage Style Platform

Headset:

NECO, Internal Cups, Sealed Cartridge, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Promax MA-579, Tool-Free Adjustable Angle 90° to 160°, 90mm Length, 70mm Base Height, 25.4mm Clamp Diameter, One 10mm Spacers

Handlebar:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 650mm Length

Brake Details:

Wuxing 5-Star Mechanical Disc with 160mm Rotors, Four-Finger Levers with Rubberized Edge and Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Selle Royal, Rubber, Semi-Ergonomic

Saddle:

Velo Plush VL-6142

Seat Post:

Promax SP-252 Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Samson Champion, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 31.7mm Outer Width, Machined Sidewalls, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda, 26" x 2.10" (52-559)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

40 to 65 PSI, 2.8 to 4.5 BAR

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rotary Bell on Left, Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps (60mm Width), Plastic Chain Cover, Sticker Slap Guard, Adjustable Kickstand at Rear, Custom Alloy Rear Rack (25kg 55lb Max Weight, 14mm Tubing), Steel Derailleur Guard, Blaze-Lite Integrated Headlight, 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 Sealed 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:

Samsung 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 Elegant has been updated for 2019 and I am excited to take a closer look at it. Although the Elegant is a lower step through bike frame, it shares many features with the VoltBike Bravo, so if you read that review, you will notice not only a lot of similar information (such as the display, battery, electrical system, etc) but you will see that this review is a bit more of a comparison between the two. My hope in doing this is to provide information that serves you if you are trying to decide between each model. Starting off, it should be noted that the bike cost the same at $1,599 ($1,699 in Canada). But as for differences, the Elegant has these smaller tires, but is more efficient and smoother on paved roads. These tires are 26” x 2.1” versus the Bravo’s 27.5” more knobby tire, but still lack puncture protection or reflective sidewalls. You lose a bit of the light off road capabilities, but you get a cleaner ride on pavement as well as bringing the frame down a bit making for better approachability. It also features a spring suspension fork, but this one is an SR SunTour XCT. I appreciate this as it helps absorb the bumps in city and neighborhood riding very well. The Elegant features an included rear rack like the Bravo, but this one is welded on the frame as opposed to being bolted on. It has sturdy and more narrow tubing, rated to hold 55lbs. They also share a tapered head tube (so you could even swap out to an upgraded suspension fork if you wanted to), ergonomic grips, and the comfort saddle. A major win and Elegant exclusive is this on-the-fly adjustable stem. With this, no tools are needed and you can accommodate a comfortable riding geometry about as quickly and easily as adjusting a seat in a car. Another exclusive for the bike is this full plastic chain cover that goes from the crank arm to the back, really great for protecting pants or dresses. The Elegant 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 nice to have them be a part of the integrated system so you don’t have to always have to check on them or add batteries! Anyway, the front light is actually a Blaze-Lite instead of a Spanniga Kendo, while in the rear you have another Blaze-Lite. Also, the Elegant 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, big rotary 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 (plus it is great for shifting with gloves on). 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 56lbs which is 3.5lbs lighter than the Bravo. Some other differences from the Bravo include more narrow pedals, a narrower handle bar, and a 27.2mm seat post vs a 30.4mm. Other features include are an adjustable length kickstand that is mounted out of the way to eliminate pedal lock when reversing and integrated cables.

Diving the Elegant 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 Tourney derailleur (versus an Acera on the Bravo), a fairly common setup 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 Elegant features some 160mm 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. The 160mm brake discs are smaller than the Bravo’s 180mm, but I found with the smaller wheel diameter it almost evens out a bit. Overall, the system works great giving the bike a very capable feel.

Powering the VoltBike Elegant is a 48v 12.8ah lithium ion battery pack with Samsung 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 Elegant 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.

In the end, the Elegant is a great bike and I can see why people have a hard choice choosing between it and the Bravo. It really comes down to which setup meets your needs more. As a company, 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 Elegant 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. Although the bike is very commuter friendly with its approachability, fenders, lights, and rack…. It is missing bottle cage bosses, something to be aware of. There really is a lot to love here though and VoltBike backs up the Elegant with a 1 year warranty. They 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 step-through 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
  • Efficient and quiet tires for paved roads versus a more knobby tire, making this more of a commuter
  • The front suspension fork is an SR SunTour XCT, a nice fork I really appreciate for soaking up the bumps on a commute
  • They have a lot of included accessories, such as a rear rack, tool-free adjustable stem, 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
  • A full plastic chain guide that keeps the chain free of debris and your clothing free from snags
  • 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
  • Really a commuter ready setup, you don’t have to worry about the rain with the fenders and chain guard, you also don’t have to worry about the dark with the integrated lights, and you get a rear rack too
  • You can order the bike online and not only is it easy to assemble but it also comes with a free helmet!

Cons:

  • I love the smooth and efficient tires here, 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 front light is fork mounted so it could bounce a bit when riding and 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
  • Unlike the Bravo, it is missing bottle cage bosses, has a more basic fork, and is using a basic Tourney derailleur instead of an Acera Derailleur

Resources:

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Comment (1) YouTube Comments

Stan Hanoski
8 months ago

I’ve been reading the reviews which provide very good information, but I have been looking for a recommendation in rider height for the various bikes. My wife is 5′ – 0″ and is concerned about reaching the pedals when on the seat. The step thru is the obvious selection, can you respond to this. Thanks, Stan

  Reply

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