VoltBike Mariner Review

2019 Voltbike Mariner Electric Bike Review
2019 Voltbike Mariner
2019 Voltbike Mariner 500watt Bafang Hub Drive
2019 Voltbike Mariner Battery Charging Port
2019 Voltbike Mariner Cockpit View
2019 Voltbike Mariner Intellegent Display
2019 Voltbike Mariner Kenda Krusade Fat Tire Steel Front Fender
2019 Voltbike Mariner Optional Front Rack Kenda Fat Tire
2019 Voltbike Mariner Integrated Rear Rack
2019 Voltbike Mariner Seat Post Mounted Battery
2019 Voltbike Mariner Support Arm Wellgo Folding Pedals
2019 Voltbike Mariner Back View Steel Rear Fender
2019 Voltbike Mariner 500watt Hub Drive Rear Rack
2019 Voltbike Mariner Stock Folding White
2019 Voltbike Mariner Stock Folding Black
2019 Voltbike Mariner Electric Bike Review
2019 Voltbike Mariner
2019 Voltbike Mariner 500watt Bafang Hub Drive
2019 Voltbike Mariner Battery Charging Port
2019 Voltbike Mariner Cockpit View
2019 Voltbike Mariner Intellegent Display
2019 Voltbike Mariner Kenda Krusade Fat Tire Steel Front Fender
2019 Voltbike Mariner Optional Front Rack Kenda Fat Tire
2019 Voltbike Mariner Integrated Rear Rack
2019 Voltbike Mariner Seat Post Mounted Battery
2019 Voltbike Mariner Support Arm Wellgo Folding Pedals
2019 Voltbike Mariner Back View Steel Rear Fender
2019 Voltbike Mariner 500watt Hub Drive Rear Rack
2019 Voltbike Mariner Stock Folding White
2019 Voltbike Mariner Stock Folding Black

Summary

  • A lower priced folding fat-tire ebike at that comes in 2 colors (matte black or matte white) and features a new front suspension fork
  • 500watt Bafang fat-tire specific hub-drive, 48v 14.5ah high capacity battery, with throttle and 9 modes of cadence based pedal assist
  • A lot of great features like included steel fenders, battery integrated lights in the front and rear, and the fat-tire specific front fork
  • The drivetrain is a little weak with just a 14-28 tooth cassette, you must keep the keys in the battery to operate it, and you must remove the seat to get the battery out if you want to charge off the bike

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

VoltBike

Model:

Mariner

Price:

$1,599 ($1,699 CAD)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Commuting, Trail, Sand and Snow

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:

69.8 lbs (31.66 kg)

Battery Weight:

9.4 lbs (4.26 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.5 lbs (3.85 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

18.25" Seat Tube, 22.25" Reach, 26.5" Stand Over, 32" Minimum Saddle Height, 24.25" Width, 70.25" Length, Folded Dimensions: 39" Length, 22" Width, 29" Height

Frame Types:

Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

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

Frame Fork Details:

RST Guide Spring Suspension, 60mm Travel, 32mm Stanchions, Preload Adjust, 135mm Hub Spacing, 10mm Threaded Axle with 15mm Nuts

Frame Rear Details:

170mm Hub Spacing, 11mm Threaded Axle with 10mm Flats and 18mm Nuts, Vertical Dropout

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

6 Speed 1x6 Shimano Acera RD-410 Derailleur, Shimano MF-TZ500-6 14-28 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney TX50R6CT Indexed SIS Thumb Shifter on Right

Cranks:

Forged Alloy, 165mm Length, Square Tapered Spindle, 52 Tooth Steel Chainring with Plastic Guide

Pedals:

Wellgo F-265T Aluminum Alloy Wide Folding Platform with Fixed Pins

Headset:

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

Stem:

SVMONO SM-A150-8R, Aluminum Alloy, Folding, 275mm Base Height, 170mm Telescoping Upper, 25.4mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, Flat, 620mm 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 VL-8020E Wide with Rubber Bumpers

Seat Post:

Promax SP-252 Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

Samson Champion, 6061 T6 Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 82mm Outer Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda Krusade Sport, 20" x 4.0" (98-406)

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

5 to 30 PSI, 0.4 to 2.1 BAR, 60 TPI Casing

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rotary Bell on Right, Steel Fenders (100mm Width), Neoprene Slap Guard, Adjustable Kickstand at Rear, Custom Aluminum Alloy Bolt-On Rear Rack (25kg 55lb Max Weight, Yepp! Compatible Window, 14mm Tubing), Steel Derailleur Guard, Blaze-Lite Integrated Headlight, Blaze-Lite Integrated Backlight, Multi-Tool, Optional Waterproof Pannier Bags ($70 Each), Optional Front Rack ($40)

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 INR18650-33G Cells

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

696 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

7 hours

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

65 miles (105 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.

VoltBike has released their new Mariner bike, a hub-drive fat-tire folding bike made to take on just about anything you can throw at it. I was happy to have the chance to review it on a snowy day in Vancouver, B.C., which let me really put it through its paces and see what it was all about. The Mariner is a value priced ebike at $1,599 ($1,699 in Canada) and comes in 2 colors (matte black or gloss white) and 1 frame size. The mid-step frame is very approachable, and these smaller 20” wheels give it a good stand over height. Although there is only 1 frame size, you do get some adjustability with the telescoping stem. Usually when I see these on folding bikes, they can be stretched and strained so that that wires and tight and don’t allow you to make a sharp turn. However, VoltBike supplied the Mariner with plenty of wiring slack in the front to alleviate this problem and I really appreciate it. The Mariner can handle quite a bit, and that is thanks to the Kenda Krusade Sport fat tires with 60 threads per inch casing. As mentioned before, the tires are 20” x 4” and rated for a 5psi-30psi… the lower levels, such as 5psi, really work well on various terrain such as sand or snow, I highly recommend dropping that tire pressure if you want to take it out on adventures because it makes a world of difference. But these tires here keep everything comfortable since each of those little knobs somewhat act as mini absorbers for the bumps on the road. Unfortunately, there is no puncture protection or reflective sidewall here. Assisting the tires with comfort is the front fat-tire specific suspension fork. It looks like it has about 60mm-70mm of travel with some fairly large stanchions. It is kind of a basic fork so there is no lockout, but it does have preload adjust so that helps. I also love these extra thick spokes and 135mm hub spacing, really just making the experience sturdy overall. Looking around the bike I notice that it has this awesome included rear rack. The rack has some really thick tubing, a bungie strap clip point, and even windows for a Yepp! child seat. I do love the internally routed cables, stitched grips, adjustable angle stem, 165mm crank arms, and Wellgo aluminum alloy folding pedals. They also have some optional accessories like a front rack or these waterproof panniers. The front rack is mounted on a mounting point on the steering tube, so it keeps the load straight when you turn the handlebars. However, this does move the headlight forward onto the rack itself so then the headlight will no longer point where you steer. I guess that kind of goes into the next feature, the integrated lights. I love that more and more bikes are becoming standard with these and it really is a nice feature to have it run off the battery power. The Mariner has both an integrated headlight and an integrated rear light as well… the rear light is only 1 LED however, so it kind of can feel like big reflector at times. Other features include an adjustable kickstand mounted in the rear to eliminate pedal lock, integrated bell, neoprene slap guard, and these included steel fenders to keep you dry.

Diving the Mariner is this 500 watt planetary geared Bafang 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 6 speed Shimano Acera derailleur which is a step 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. In the front you have a 52 tooth chain ring which kind of compensates for that low range cassette. 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. Stopping the Mariner are these 160mm rotor mechanical disc brakes with motor inhibitors. 160mm may not sound like the largest setup, but it works well given the smaller 20” diameter wheel size since you don’t need that much stopping power.

Powering the VoltBike Mariner is a 48v 14.5ah lithium ion battery pack. I would consider this a high capacity battery with that 14.5ah rating. The amp hour designation refers to how long the battery can perform at its peak, while the volts act as the peak itself. With a rating such as this, it would be able to go the extra mile and then some. The battery has an LED charging indicator, weighs 9.2lbs, and mounts behind the seat post. The bike is setup very well, but most of my gripes have to do specifically with this battery. Mostly, you must have the keys in at all times to operate it, so it can be annoying to have them jingle and bounce around. In addition to that, you have to take the seat all the way off if you want to remove the battery and charge it off the bike. Charging is done with this 1.5lb 2amp charger. 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 Mariner 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.

All in all, the Mariner is a great bike if it falls under your consideration, but there are some tradeoffs I should mention. For example, I noticed that when folding and unfolding, you have a set of wires that run through the main tube that could become pinched if not careful. Also, when folded, the bike cannot be walked quite as easy as some of the other competing folding bikes currently out there and there are no straps or magnetic claps to keep it folded. Probably the biggest tradeoff however would be with the battery. You have to keep the keys in at all times to operate it leaving them to bounce around and make noise. And finally, the seat itself must be removed if you wish to take the battery off the bike to charge it. All these may seem like nitpicking, and for a bike priced at $1,599, it is hard to fault. VoltBike offers not only top notch support, but also a free helmet with each bike purchase! Truly a capable bike that is well supported by a caring company as you can see by my factory tour. I would like to thank VoltBike for inviting me out to check out their lineup.

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 electric folding fat-tire bike at $1,599 ($1,699 in Canada) and comes in 2 colors (matte black or matte white) and features a new front suspension fork
  • Kenda Krusade Sport 20” x 4” fat tires with 60 threads per inch casing, rated for a 5psi-30psi, and has some bump absorption with its nobby tread
  • A front suspension fork with 60-70mm of travel and some fairly large stanchions, preload adjust, and is fat-tire specific
  • They have good optional accessories, such as a front rack and waterproof panniers with reflective lettering
  • 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
  • If you do opt for the front rack, it is mounted so it doesn’t turn when you steer so it keeps the load nice and straight while maintaining stability
  • You do get some adjustability with the telescoping stem, usually when I see these on folding bikes, they can be stretched and strained so that that wires and tight and don’t allow you to make a sharp turn, however, VoltBike supplied the Mariner with plenty of wiring slack in the front to alleviate this problem and I really appreciate it
  • The 500watt rear hub motor is powerful 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 14.5ah battery is a high capacity for this setup, it really can go the extra mile since it doesn’t have to work as hard with these smaller diameter wheels with a mechanical advantage
  • A lot of cool little touches like a neoprene slap guard, derailleur guard, Wellgo aluminum alloy folding pedals, included steel fenders
  • You can order the bike online and not only is it easy to assemble but it also comes with a free helmet!

Cons:

  • I noticed when folded, the bike cannot be walked quite as easy as some of the other competing folding bikes currently out there and there are no straps or magnetic claps to keep it folded
  • When you are folding and unfolding, look closely and you will see you have a set of wires that run through the main tube that could become pinched if not careful, do be mindful of those
  • 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
  • To operate the bike, you have to keep the keys in at all times on the side of the battery to operate it, this leaves them hanging around to bounce while riding as well as make noise
  • 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
  • Using this battery setup means the seat itself must be removed if you wish to take the battery off the bike to charge it, kind of an annoyance

Resources:

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Comments (6) YouTube Comments

Tom
7 months ago

Court, Thanks for this review. As long as you are hanging around Volt Bikes, I’d love to see an updated review of the Volt Urban. It’s been a few years since your last one, and the bike has undergone some fairly substantial design changes in that time. Thanks.

  Reply
Court
7 months ago

Hi Tom! You’re completely right… the Urban was due for an update and I’ve got one finished just for you. Thanks for the request, hope this helps ;)

  Reply
Tom
7 months ago

PS – You reference the Yukon instead of the Mariner in the second-to-last paragraph, which I am sure is a typo. So many bikes to keep track of! :-)

  Reply
Court
7 months ago

Oh, thanks Tom! I’ve made a quick correction here. Sometimes I’m working from earlier reviews to guide what I discuss and cover here, there are times when I miss details like the bike name. Thank you for helping to call this out so it could be fixed ;)

  Reply
Clint
4 months ago

Hi. Would this bike fit a smaller women of 5′ 2″ ? Thanks.

  Reply
Court
4 months ago

Hi Clint! My guess is that this would be a good choice for someone with a shorter inseam or smaller overall build because it has a lower stand-over height and an adjustable height stem. The smaller wheels also position the frame lower to the ground… There are some even lower fat tire folding step-thrus, like this one, but the VoltBike Mariner would be a solid choice in my opinion :)

  Reply

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