VoltBike Outback Review

Voltbike Outback Electric Bike Review
Voltbike Outback
Voltbike Outback 500w Bafang Hub Drive
Voltbike Outback 48v 14 5ah Battery Rear Suspension
Voltbike Outback Cockpit Display
Voltbike Outback Integrated Headlight Front Suspension Fork Plus Tires
Voltbike Outback Front View
Voltbike Outback Kenda Tires Front Suspension Fork
Voltbike Outback Rear Air Suspension
Voltbike Outback Adjustable Kickstand Hub Drive
Voltbike Outback Slap Guard Hydraulic Rear Brake
Voltbike Outback 5amp Charger Welcome Kit
Voltbike Outback Stock High Step Black
Voltbike Outback Electric Bike Review
Voltbike Outback
Voltbike Outback 500w Bafang Hub Drive
Voltbike Outback 48v 14 5ah Battery Rear Suspension
Voltbike Outback Cockpit Display
Voltbike Outback Integrated Headlight Front Suspension Fork Plus Tires
Voltbike Outback Front View
Voltbike Outback Kenda Tires Front Suspension Fork
Voltbike Outback Rear Air Suspension
Voltbike Outback Adjustable Kickstand Hub Drive
Voltbike Outback Slap Guard Hydraulic Rear Brake
Voltbike Outback 5amp Charger Welcome Kit
Voltbike Outback Stock High Step Black

Summary

  • An ultra-affordable full suspension plus size tire electric bike sold online from Canada, comes with a full range of features including headlight, adjustable angle riser stem, and high capacity battery
  • 500 watt hub-drive, awesome hydraulic disc brakes, and you get 7 gears with a upgraded Shimano Acera derailleur and over sized thumb shifter
  • Larger 27.5” x 3” tires and a suspension fork as well as rear soften the ride, standard saddle and ergonomic grips further improve comfort
  • No puncture protection or reflective sidewalls in the tire setup, the throttle is always live when the bike is on, and there are no provisions for bottle cage bosses or fenders

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

VoltBike

Model:

Outback

Price:

$1,699 ($1,899 CAD)

Body Position:

Forward, Upright

Suggested Use:

Mountain, Urban

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:

61.8 lbs (28.03 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.8 lbs (3.53 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, 31" Stand Over Height, 35.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 27.25" Width, 77.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Satin Black with Blue Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Zoom VAXA 32 Spring Suspension, 100mm Travel, 32mm Stanchions, Preload Adjust, 110mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

EXA Form RE A5 Air Suspension, 100mm Travel, 142mm Hub Spacing, 11mm Threaded Axle with 10mm Flats and 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Kickstand 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, One 10mm Spacers

Handlebar:

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

Brake Details:

Tektro Hydraulic Disc with 180mm Rotors, Dual-Piston Calipers, Three-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitor Switches and Adjustable Reach

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 Havok, 27.5" x 3.0" (75/100-23) 38B

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

20 to 35 PSI, 1.5 to 2.4 BAR

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Adjustable Kickstand at Rear, Multi-Tool, Neoprene Slap Guard, Spanninga Kendo+ Integrated Headlight, Independent Single LED Seat Post Mounted Backlight (Two AAA Batteries)

Other:

Locking Removable Semi-Integrated Downtube Battery Pack with USB Port and 4-LED Indicator, Sans 2.7lb 5 Amp Charger, KMC Rust Buster Chain

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 18650 Cells

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

696 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 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.

VoltBike has updated their line for 2019, but in addition to that, they have added a new bike, the Outback, which we are taking a look at today. The Outback is a new full suspension model and it is somewhat similar to their mid-drive full suspension, the Enduro. This version however is hub-drive, so you save a bit of money vs the Enduro ($400-$600 depending if you are in US or Canada) and you get a little bit more throttle performance. Speaking of which, it is rare to see a throttle operated full suspension ebike, so I am glad VoltBike offers it. It comes in one frame size, weighs 61.8lbs, and is $1,699 US or $1,899 CAD. The front suspension is a spring fork with just preload clickers, but it does have 32mm thick stanchions, a little wider for the bigger wheels and should offer some stability. The rear suspension is an air suspension with some air pressure adjustment as well. The bike may bot be as light, premium, or utilitarian as some mid-drive models out there, but it definitely has comfort and that is a really big deal for a lot of riders, including myself. Not only is there comfort through the suspension but through features like these plus size tires… these are 27.5” x 3” Kenda Havok nobby tires, making for a comfortable and capable setup. I should mention, however, there is no puncture protection or reflective sidewalls here. The seat post is 30.4mm so you could even swap that out with a suspension seat post, however, with the rear suspension, you may find everything feels great already. Looking over the bike I see a lot of included extras here, like the adjustable angle riser stem, neoprene slap guard, aluminum alloy chain ring guard with a rust resistant chain, and ergonomic (non-locking) grips. The bike also has a battery integrated headlight which I really appreciate. On the other hand, the supplied rear light is an independent light that is on the cheaper side and powered by 2x AAA batteries. Honestly, the fact that it is not an integrated feature, but they decided to throw one in anyway, shows that they care about safety where as most companies wouldn’t even give you one, so I really appreciate that. This is doubled by the fact that they also throw in a free DOT approved helmet with every purchase! I do have to call out that there are no rack provisions or bottle cage bosses here though. But that might not be so bad considering the other included features, such as this adjustable length kickstand, Wellgo aluminum alloy platform pedals, integrated compass/bell, and tapered head tube for changing the fork out to something more of your liking.

Driving the Outback 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 Outback has a big win here; it features some 180mm rotor Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with motor inhibitors! I really love the immediate stopping power and responsiveness of hydraulic brakes, so I really appreciate the setup here.

Powering the VoltBike Outback 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. Overall it weighs about 7.4lbs. 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 super fast 2.3lbs charger which charges it at 5amps. 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 Outback is straightforward, in fact, it’s using the exact same display system and button pad as some of the other VoltBike models. 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.

When comparing the Outback to other value priced eBikes, it stacks up quite well. As I said before, it is rare to see full suspension plus tire bikes with a throttle. It is very comfortable and a lot of fun to ride as you can see by the video review. However, there are some tradeoffs to consider. For example, there is no derailleur guard, no bottle cage bosses, no rack provisions, and the included rear light is not integrated and seems like a rather nominal offering. That beings said, the cost of the bike is very competitive at $1,699…. VoltBike has been around for years now and has established itself as a company and brand. I also love that a free helmet comes with every bike too! A big thanks to VoltBike for showing me the new warehouse and letting me get to know their current 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 full suspension bike at $1,699 ($1,899 in Canada) and includes a throttle, high capacity battery, hydraulic brakes, and plus size tires
  • Kenda Havok 27.5” x 3”, a great plus size tire with good nobby tread and capable of off roading and trail riding while feeling comfortable on the streets too
  • The front suspension is a spring fork with preload clickers, has 32mm thick stanchions, while the rear suspension is an air suspension with some air pressure adjustment as well
  • They have a lot of included accessories, such as integrated compass/bell, neoprene slap guard, adjustable angle riser stem, and Wellgo aluminum alloy pedals
  • Comes standard with battery integrated headlight, which I love, and they even threw in a independent 2x AAA battery operated rear light for 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 14.5ah 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
  • While it may not have a ton of utility or be as premium as some mid drive offerings, it is very responsive and comfortable, something a lot of riders like myself appreciate
  • 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 tackling both on and off road conditions, however, there is no puncture protection or reflective sidewalls, something that is becoming more a more common feature
  • Kind of a minor gripe here, but if you know me, you know that I am going to mention if a bike has bottle cage or fender bosses, unfortunately, this bike has neither
  • The included independent rear light is definitely on the basic side, it runs off of 2x AAA batteries, so someone could forget to turn it off and the batteries could drain, there is not much visibility but I am glad they included something though
  • 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
  • The charging port for the battery is near the crank arm, so do be mindful of those pedals in the way, they could get knocked around and cause problems with the wire
  • 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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Comments (10) YouTube Comments

Robert Anderson
2 months ago

Hello again. I just commented on your Voltbike Enduro review and now you have answered my wish with the Outback review. These are the 2 bikes I have on my short list. The Voltbike site information leaves a lot to be desired for the Outback for some reason, so I have been scrambling to do research. Again you have done an excellent job, thorough and precise. I do have a question though, can you confirm whether the Outback comes with a derailleur guard? In your review in the written review portion, 3rd paragraph you say there is a guard, but in the 6th paragraph you say there isn’t. Can you also confirm it has a tapered headset? I looked up the fork listed, Zoom Vaxa, and it is not tapered, or am I missing something? Thanks again for another great and timely review. I hope Voltbike gets that you are an asset to their business.

Bob

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Hi Bob! Awesome, I’m so glad this review helped out and I appreciate the kind words! To answer your questions, my understanding is that due to the full suspension frame design, this ebike does not have a derailleur guard. It also does not have a chain guide, just a chainring guard (the metal plate that helps your pants not touch the chain but is only on the outside vs. both sides). As far as the headset, it appears to be tapered. This is my best guess remembering back and looking at the pictures and specs I recorded. Those specs are all done by me, but I have gotten some help with editing and writing recently to speed things up, so it’s possible there were little mistakes made in the full written review. I hope this helps you out Bob, let me know which one you go for :D

  Reply
VoltBike
2 months ago

Hi Bob, I am glad you are considering Voltbike Outback. The existing version of VoltBike Outback does not have derailleur guard. However this is something you can install after. The frame does allow mounting regular derailleur guard. For the next production cycle derailleur guard would come standard on VoltBike Outback.

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Awesome! Thanks for this feedback guys, it’s nice to know that a rear derailleur guard CAN be added after market :)

  Reply
Robert
2 months ago

One more question Court. Both of these bikes list a cassette in the “bike details” section. Are they actually cassette or are they freewheel? Your help is much appreciated as I am new to researching the Voltbike brand. The people at Voltbike have been helpful too and I think they have great value and selection. I had decided on the Enduro but it is not in stock so I was taking a close look at Outback. I am going to apply to be an Ambassador once I have delivery, hence the need to get my facts straight. Thanks to Voltbike for the info on the guard too.

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Good question, Robert. I’m not actually sure. This would be good to ask VoltBike and I’d welcome your feedback once you find out. I need to get that info more in the future… sorry.

  Reply
Gary
2 months ago

I am undecided between the volt enduro and outback, my usage will be road and trail nothing competitive and some hard sand, looking for comfort and reliability, I am 6 ft 2 and weigh 150 pounds.

thank you
gary

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Hi Gary! I enjoyed both bikes, but the full suspension is very nice if you have any knee or back sensitivity. Hardtail electric bikes can feel fairly comfortable if you add a seat post suspension or ride mostly on paved smooth sections, but your ankles and knees still take a hit when you stand up to protect your back when going off of a curb or over rough terrain. With both front and rear suspension, your entire body is protected and I love that the Outback also has a mid-drive with throttle. To me, this ebike does it all for ergonomics but you miss out on having a good rear rack or rack attachment point/fenders/bottle cage). I would probably swap the stem out and maybe get some riser or backswept handlebars for this ebike, just to make the body position more upright/relaxed :)

  Reply
Gary Goldberg
2 months ago

Appreciate your feedback, the outback and enduro are both full suspension. Which one do you recommend for comfort trail performance and reliability? The other bike i was considering was the addmotor hithot.

thanks
gary

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