Volton Alation 500 Review

Volton Alation 500 2014 Electric Bike Review
Volton Alation White
Volton Alation Rear Hub Motor
White Volton Alation Lockout Suspension Fork
Volton Alation Lcd Computer And Bell
White Volton Alation Headlight
White Volton Alation Disc Brake
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Geared Hub Motor
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Battery Cover
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Display Panel Throttle
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Led Headlight
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Lithium Battery Pack
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Seven Speed Cassette
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Suspension Fork Lockout
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Wellgo Pedals
Volton Alation 500 2014
Volton Alation 500 2014 500 Watt Hub Motor
Volton Alation 2014 Battery Cover
Volton Alation 500 2014 Suspension Light
Volton Alation 500 2014 Lcd Display
Volton Alation 500 2014 Electric Bike Review
Volton Alation White
Volton Alation Rear Hub Motor
White Volton Alation Lockout Suspension Fork
Volton Alation Lcd Computer And Bell
White Volton Alation Headlight
White Volton Alation Disc Brake
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Geared Hub Motor
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Battery Cover
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Display Panel Throttle
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Led Headlight
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Lithium Battery Pack
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Seven Speed Cassette
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Suspension Fork Lockout
2014 Volton Alation 500 48 Volt Wellgo Pedals
Volton Alation 500 2014
Volton Alation 500 2014 500 Watt Hub Motor
Volton Alation 2014 Battery Cover
Volton Alation 500 2014 Suspension Light
Volton Alation 500 2014 Lcd Display

Summary

  • Affordable, well designed, urban and light-trail capable electric bike offering plenty of power and torque
  • Proven design (sold since 2012) with recent improvements in fenders, mud flaps, battery configuration, and lights
  • Battery pack mounted inside downtube keeps weight low and centered, improved balance and aesthetic, removable

Search EBR

Video Review

Trusted Advertisers

Introduction

Make:

Volton

Model:

Alation 500

Price:

$2,199 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Frame, Motor, Battery and Electronics

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

53 lbs (24.04 kg)

Frame Material:

Hydro-Formed 6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

20 in (50.8 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

White, Black with Red Accents

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCR Suspension with Lockout

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera, 44T

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index on Right Bar

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

Neco

Stem:

Truvativ 80 mm

Handlebar:

Truvativ XR Riser

Brake Details:

Tektro Novella Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors and Integrated Motor Cut-Off

Grips:

Dual Density

Saddle:

Velo Comfort

Seat Post:

Truvativ

Rims:

Mid-V Aluminum Alloy Double Walled

Spokes:

Heavy Gauge

Tire Brand:

Kenda, 26" x 2"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Puncture Resistant

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Bell on Right Bar, Front and rear Plastic Polymer Fenders, Front and Rear LED Lights

Other:

Oversized Headset for Improved Strength, Multi-Tool Included for Assembly, Free Shipping, Novatec Alloy MTB Hubs

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Suzhou

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

528 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

J-LCD King Meter

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Capacity, Assist Level

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

Trusted Advertisers



Written Review

The first Volton Alation I got to ride and review arrived at my house in a large box in 2012. I was impressed with the purpose-built frame designed to keep battery weight low and centered on the bike and the overall power of the 500 watt motor and 48 volt battery. The components all worked well and the price was pretty reasonable. The founder of Volton, Joe Marchfield, was (and still is) very easy to reach for support and questions. I’m a fan of off-road capable ebikes that offer suspension and rugged tires and this one goes a step further with fenders, lights and threaded eyelets (for adding a rear rack). The Alation series only comes in two sizes (medium for high-step and a bit smaller for step-thru) but this is fine for average sized riders (I’m about 5’9″ and it feels perfect. The bike offers great power, doesn’t produce excess noise from the motor or rattling accessories and the different color options add a bit of fun.

Having ridden three different versions of this ebike (most recently in late 2014) I continue to be impressed with the little improvements Joe and his team make. My favorite has been a rubber edge piece that reduces rattling on the battery cover and keeps dust from getting into the downtube. This was introduced in 2013 and the battery setup has been further improved in 2014 with a canvas bag surrounding the actual cells pack inside. The bag system looks nicer, reduces rattling and friction wear inside the frame and makes it easier to take the pack out for charging or storage. Other updates to the newer Volton Alation 500 seriese of electric bikes include a nicer headlight that attaches directly to the top curve of the suspension fork (it’s solid and doesn’t bounce around), an integrated bell that’s built right into the Tektro brake lever and an aluminum bash guard. Also, the front and rear fenders have been extended to reduce water and mud splashing. Due to the length of the rear fender two support arms have been added that connect with the rear dropouts for improved strength.

The motor driving the Alation 500 offers, you guessed it, 500 watts of power. It’s a geared design which provides more torque but doesn’t weigh as much as a gearless equivalent. While there are more moving parts inside, gearless hubs have come a long way and are standard fair on ebikes these days. This one runs smooth and stays relatively quiet but is noticeable during full acceleration and climbing. It really shines in off road and hill climbing applications because it’s just so powerful when combined with the higher voltage battery pack. To avoid damage and overheating there’s a built in sensor that automatically shuts the bike down (though I’ve never encountered this on my test rides). If this happens, just give the bike a rest and let it cool for five minutes or so. It should work just fine after that. Note that for smaller riders, those looking to save some money or those who don’t plan on climbing as much Volton does offer a 350 watt Alation as well.

The battery unit powering this bike offers a whopping 48 volts of power and 11 amp hours of capacity. That’s an awesome combination and it really shows when you twist the throttle. This is a strong bike and I’ve read that you can even adjust the computer to make it go a bit faster than the 20mph set limit by exploring the menu. Aside from the power, the big draw of this battery design is how it’s mounted on the frame as mentioned earlier. It’s hard to find an ebike with a downtube-mounted pack for ~$2,000 and while this design isn’t quite as fancy as one of the off-road Neo or Stromer bikes, it’s very capable and accomplishes nearly the same end result.

All things considered, this bike is still one of my favorites because it offers great value. I like the new color choices (black with red highlights or white on white). The battery pack cover works a lot better and the controls are very intuitive. The LCD computer is large making it easy to read but also has a set of rubberized buttons that extend from the main unit over to the left grip making them convenient to reach when riding. You don’t have to compromise your grip too much to change pedal assist levels. There are five modes of assist that run off of a pedelec sensor. It’s not quite as fluid as a torque sensor, and for some off road riding that’s a drawback, but it works as expected switching on and off as you pedal and stop. While the pedal assist settings give you exercise when riding and extend battery range, the bike also offers a twist throttle on the right grip that performs as you might expect.

In terms of gearing, the Alation 500 offers seven speeds which is enough to climb but still reach higher top speeds on flats and downhills. The highest cog is an extra large “granny gear” for ascending steep hills. There’s only one ring on the front and it’s protected by an aluminum bash guard that keeps your pants from snagging and getting greasy (this used to just be plastic). A couple of missed opportunities I see with this bike are that there’s nowhere to mount a water bottle cage and the rear light requires its own batteries, making it easier to forget to turn on or off after a ride. The Volton Alation is a solid bike designed to offer great value. The company is friendly and responsive and the design is quite advanced and aesthetically pleasing considering it’s at least $500 less than similar models from larger brands like IZIP and Easy Motion.

Pros:

  • Strong 500 watt motor 48 volt battery combination for climbing hills and going off road (the Alation 350 uses a 350 watt motor with 36 volt pack), higher voltage offers more power and increased efficiency for longer rides
  • Front shock is smooth with good travel and offers lockout to reduce bob when riding on-road
  • Fenders reduce exposure to water and mud, the newer fenders have been extended to offer better coverage but are also reinforced to limit ratting with off-road use
  • LCD computer is intuitive, shows speed, capacity and range and has a breakout set of buttons that are easy to reach when riding
  • Available in three color schemes and two frame sizes (step-thru and standard diamond high-step)
  • 26″ wheels provide room for fenders, offer leverage for climbing and improve maneuverability for technical riding
  • Uses an oversized headset for increased strength in off-road applications and jumps
  • Solid kickstand that stays up when riding and actually supports the bike well (so many off road bikes skip the kickstand but I love it for commuting)
  • Removable battery can be charged off the bike which is very convenient for commuting or if you don’t have room inside for the entire bike, also reduces weight for transporting the frame on a bike rack
  • Great customer service and support, one year warranty, bike includes a nice multi-tool for assembly
  • Integrated front headlight is modular, plugs into the frame instead of being hard wired so you can completely remove it for off-road use if you want to reduce weight and complexity

Cons:

  • Uses a five-magnet pedelec sensor to activate pedal assist vs. torque sensing which would be more responsive
  • Rear light runs off of its own batteries vs. using the main pack, easier to forget and wear batteries down
  • Primarily available online which makes demoing the bike and getting maintenance help a bit trickier
  • No braze ons for mounting a water bottle cage on the seat post tube or downtube… get a CamelBak?
  • Assembly required if you buy this online, may want to take it to a shop to true wheels but that adds to the cost
  • Uses mechanical disc brakes vs. hydraulic, they work well enough but add to hand fatigue when riding off road and down steep hills for extended periods
  • Only available in one frame size which is about medium for both stepthru and high step

Resources:

Trusted Advertisers

More Volton Reviews

Volton Alation Mid-Drive 48V Review

  • MSRP: $2,649
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016, 2017

A unique combination of 28 mph top speed, off-road capability and stealthy frame design with quiet motor operation that's suited to both urban and trail environments. Available in a four frame and wheel combinations! choose from high-step or step-thru design then…...

Volton Alation Mid-Drive 350 Review

  • MSRP: $2,249
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

Affordable, well balanced and light-trail capable hardtail electric bike with an efficient mid-drive motor. Drive system by 8Fun (Bafang) includes a large backlit LCD display console and easy-reach external…...

Volton El Legs 5 Review

  • MSRP: $1,949
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

Sporty, light weight city bike with strong 500 watt motor and balanced battery design. Lots of extras including lights, fenders, headset shock, disc brakes and Wellgo pedals...

Volton Alation ST 500 Review

  • MSRP: $1,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

Affordable, well designed, trail-ready ebike with smaller step-through design that's easy to mount. Updated fender design, headlight and battery cover with rubberized edge to reduce rattling and keep…...

2012 Volton Alation 500 Review

  • MSRP: $2,199
  • MODEL YEAR: 2013

Thoughtful combination of high performance electronics and purpose built frame. Relatively low price point for a 48v, 11ah 500w drive system at just above $2K...


David
4 years ago

I just ordered an Alation 500 from Volton bicycles. Looking forward to unboxing and tons of riding!

Reply
Rodney
4 years ago

I emailed Volton and exchanged emails with Joe the owner. We set up a date and time and he brought out a couple bikes for me to try out. I chose the Alation 500. I’ve had it a couple days and have already put almost a hundred miles on it. It performs well and looks good. Joe is a nice guy to do business with and would recommend buying a bike from them to my friends.

Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

Cool! Thanks for the testimonial Rodney. I hope the bike works great for you and it’s nice to hear that Joe is offering good customer support :)

Reply
EldRick
4 years ago

It would take about two minutes to drill a couple of holes in the battery cover to mount a water bottle.

Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

Well… you’d void the warranty and risk starting a fire when the cells rub against the top of the screws or bolts. The cover on these is also light-duty and I’m not sure if it would hold a water bottle or just rattle around a lot and potentially get bent. Here are some alternative options that wouldn’t void the warranty.

Reply
CommonSense
3 years ago

That was a good idea Rodney, I guess I will do the same. Have my eyes on the El Legs, but you never know.

Reply
Alex
3 years ago

How would this compare to an E3 dash for commuting approx 40 miles per day on paved roads? I know you classify it as a mountain bike, but I am torn between the low price point of this model vs the sleeker design of the E3 dash.

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Great question, they are both excellent bikes. The IZIP E3 Dash uses a gearless motor that’s quieter, more efficient and also faster (it’s a speed pedelec capable of 28mph top speed) but given your needs for 40 mile range I think either could work (as long as you got the larger battery size on the Alation 500). I recommend topping off after 20 miles (like if you’re commuting to work) vs. draining with the full 40 miles which can be hard on any pack. Both of these ebikes have removable packs so that’s great, they both have suspension but the larger knobby tires on the Alation will feel softer… the downside is that they create more drag. Hope this helps :)

Reply
Alex
3 years ago

of course, draining lithium batteries quickly and completely isn’t very good for them. what i mean is, which or both would be better for a smoother/faster/better road commute? is the 20 for alation (and 28 for the izip) a hard speed limit or can it be overcome with stronger legs?

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Both of these electric bikes care capable of being pedaled beyond their “top speeds” and that is the case for most ebikes but not all. The 2015 Polaris electric bikes for example, have an auto regen feature that shaves off additional speed and converts it into electrical energy to charge the battery.

Reply
Rejean Martel
3 years ago

Great reviews, i learned so much…Thanx. Is Volton ship to Canada ? Is it free shipping ? I guess i would have to pay custom fees , duties, etc…? I would like to email Volton but i don’t know their email address… I really enjoy all your ebikes reviews…Great jobs you’re doing…

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Thanks Rejean! I can’t answer the shipping question for you directly but I did find the Volton phone number and email address listed here: http://www.voltonbicycles.com/contact/ if you reach out I’m sure they will respond and help you :)

Reply
Johannes
3 years ago

Thanks for the fantastic review. I would like to get the step through model for convenience, but am worried about it’s stability. Do you think the stability of the step-through frame is good enough for riding trails occasionally, or is that just impossible with such a design?

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Hi Johannes! Yeah, these are solid bikes at a good price. Great question about frame strength… I’m not sure how big of a difference there will be between the traditional diamond frame vs. the ST. I’m sure the diamond frame is stronger but given the oversized down tube and reinforced mini top tube on the ST it might be just fine. This would be a great question for Joe, the founder of Volton. I’ll ask him to comment here or provide some feedback for you :)

Reply
Joe Marchfield
3 years ago

Hi, this is Joe from Volton. I wanted to chime in and reiterate what Court communicated. There is more torsional strength in the diamond frame but…

The down tubes are robust aluminum. So are the head tubes and chain stays and the rest of the frame. Any light (to light moderate) trail riding would be well handled on the Alation ST. Would I recommend riding it over heavily rutted trail, while descending at a high speed – No. But getting off the beaten path is always recommended by me. On any of our bikes.

I wouldn’t urge customers to value increased rigidity more than getting a bicycle that is easy to mount and dismount, especially if the trail riding is infrequent and on mild terrain. Most people would have a difficult time perceiving any flex while riding our aluminum step through. The exception to this would be if you were a heavier rider (+225) and riding the bike roughly.

Reply
Darko Trifunovic
3 years ago

Hello, I am a 6’7″ 240 lb landscaper in Toronto, Canada. I got hurt in an automobile accident a couple years back and I now mostly supervise job sites. No point of me having a truck really. I am looking at e bike that can handle my size while pedaling in safety boots. Can I get your recommendation? Great website and videos! Thank you.

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Hi Darko, what your talking about makes good sense. Biking is fun and often convenient if you don’t have to carry a lot of stuff around. Given your height and weight, I’d suggest looking at ebikes with a range of sizes. A few brands come to mind including Easy Motion which has the EVO Cross in Large as well as IZIP which has the E3 Dash in Large or going for something with several sizes like the Haibike XDURO RX 29″ which would be perfect for you given the larger diameter wheels (lifts the frame up higher) and the four sizes (go with the largest) and the super powerful and efficient mid-drive motor from Bosch. The Haibike is more expensive but definitely worth it in my opinion, especially given your body type. The neat thing is, if you do need to pull a trailer with it, the hardtail rear portion of the bike could work great for towing something like the Burly Travoy which connects to the seat post. It may be difficult to find some of these bikes in Canada so also consider checking out OHM which I know is carried in Toronto, also BionX is based there and makes some great kits if you want to go that route. I still like the idea of a the Haibike because it has a nice suspension fork, comes in the large sizes and is really capable with the Bosch drive unit :)

Reply
Tom Gates
3 years ago

Hello Court, enjoy all your reviews. How would you compare the new mid-drive to the rear hub motor? Price is pretty close. There are a lot of mid-drives popping up. Thanks Tom

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

For the Volton line I prefer the more powerful 500 watt geared rear hub motor and 48 volt system. I hear they are going to offer a 500 watt mid-drive at some point and then it might get my vote but as for these reviews. I enjoyed the higher power system more and also the cost savings of the hub motor :)

Reply
justin
3 years ago

This review makes me question your ability to review any bike. I had to put one of these together for a Volton customer. It was shipped to my shop and the owner of Volton paid the shop to build it up for the customer. It was the biggest piece of junk I have worked on in a very long time. So many aspects of this rig are just wrong and for you to give it a 9.5 is absurd.

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing your feedback, the review was done in early 2014 and the score is based on the lower price point and customized frame. It’s a value ebike, I tried to cover it as thoroughly as I could listing pros and cons and it’s always nice to get feedback from shops or true owners since my time is so limited with reviews most of the time :)

Reply
Young
2 years ago

Hi Court, You mentioned top speed as 20 mph, but I heard from few other sources that with pedal assist, it can go around 23-25 mph on flat surface. I’m about your height and weight; Can you please let me know based on your experience , what the top speed with pedal-assist will be? thx, Young

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Young! I think the other sources are correct… This (and some of the Easy Motion and Pedego models) can indeed top 20 mph in pedal assist mode. I put 20 because that is the stated top speed and it may take some tinkering with the onboard computer to up the max speed. Ride safe out there :)

Reply
Young
2 years ago

I did see your post on this, where you can re-configure LCD computer to raise the top speed. But why would you have to configure the LCD computer. Is top speed limitation setup on default stock setup and this LCD computer will raise that limit? I’m also assuming that this will also decrease the total range on the bike, right? I currently e-Joe Epik SE, is there away to raise top speed on this as well, since its at 20mph?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Each bike’s a little bit different in terms of speed limit and computer interface but it is generally true that if you raise the top speed and choose to ride faster you will expend more energy at high speed due to increasing drag. Here’s some data on the topic and a quote summarizing it: “With a doubling of speed the drag (force) quadruples”. This means that going twice as fast means you use four times as much energy. Higher speeds on an ebike quadruple the power consumption and thus reduce range at an equivalent rate.

Reply
James
2 years ago

Justin, what were the faults of the bike? Joe, care to comment?

Reply
Morgan
2 years ago

hi and thanks for the review. Your site has been extremely helpful in helping me research ebikes. I’m pretty set on buying a volton. I think the 350 should be ok vs the 500 since my area is totally flat and I only weight 145 lbs. I do really need the bike to go 20 mph but it sounds like the 350 will do that for me. I just have one question, if I order this online direct from Volton, do you think I can assemble the bike myself with very little mechanical skill?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Morgan! It sounds like you’re being very even handed about this purchase and I agree that 350 watts is probably enough for some around town riding given your weight and emphasis on utility vs. speed. I ordered one of these online a while back and it did take some effort to move the large package, open the box and setup the handle bars and wheel but it wasn’t that bad. You could always take it to a local shop for a quick tuneup afterwards. Volton tries to do most of the work for you but without the correct tools and knowledge it can feel a little uncomfortable and it is easier to leave something like the derailleur out of tune. Here’s a review where I actually talk about the unboxing and show some setup process, just watch the video, it should be similar to what you’d encounter with any of their models.

Reply
Kevin
2 years ago

Just past 1150 miles on mine tonight. Other than a couple of flats, no issues at all with this bike. I love it. Beware though, the speed is addicting and if your like me, you’ll want more no matter how much this gives you. I’ve had mine up to 30 coming off the bridges. Too heavy, and I’m not in good enough shape for more than that yet. I’ll stay with this a bit longer, then look for something even faster. For now though, this is great!!

Reply
Rory
2 years ago

One has to doubt if Stromer welcomes Volton with such enthusiasm.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Yeah, it’s more competition… I bet Specialized views Stromer in a similar light ;)

Reply
Robert Perini
2 years ago

I have browsed almost every e bike and have put the Volton at the top of my prospects. I’m a, 68 years old and have a few health issues but love the outdoors. I am Canadian and spend the winters in Arizona. Can it be shipped to Canada or would I be better off to wait and have it shipped to my Arizona address. The dollar differential is significant right now and that is all that is holding me back. Also thinking of a step thru for the wife . We would mostly ride paved trails but venture out as we get more proficient on the bikes. Is there a deal for seniors and two bikes.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Robert! I’ve heard about the exchange rates being rough for Canada right now… That, combined with shipping Internationally could end up being more expensive. I’d try to get it in Arizona if possible. As far as Senior discounts and stuff, I’d reach out directly to Volton through their website here which has a phone number +1 (855) 486-5866 and email form. The founder, Joe, is a really nice guy and you can tell him you were on Electric Bike Review learning about his bikes and that might help.

Reply
Franck
2 years ago

Good evening, I am considering buying an Alation 500. Having a three years old child, I would like to install a child seat on the back. Can you confirm that it is possible? Thank you

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Cool! My guess is that yes it’s possible to install a child seat on the back of this bike because it has threaded mounting points near the drop outs and up on the seat stays. Normally these are used for mounting a cargo rack but some seats like this Yepp GMG Maxi are designed to fit there as well. I cannot say for sure as I haven’t tested it myself but my bet is that it would work and that there are other seats out there as well that you could try. I hope this helps! You could pose this question in the EBR forums as well and see if anyone else has tips on child seats for ebikes and the Alation 500 in particular :)

Reply
Franck
2 years ago

Thank you so much for answering so quickly and for your feedback. I found a dealer who sell this bike in the Bay Area, I will ask him directly about the child seat. I will have to commute with my son. We will commute in San Francisco (and climb two short but very steep hills) and we will weight around 200-220 pounds together. Please, could you answer these questions: 1 – I believe it is not a great idea to buy a bike with a Rear-Mounted Hub + a carry rack that transport the battery (for example like the IZIP E3 Path) ? It would be a lot of weight in the back right ? 2 – Would you recommend that I buy the Voton Alation 500 or the Volton Alation Mid-Drive 350 ? Thank you so much for your help ! Happy thanksgiving

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Franck! Yeah… if you put the motor and battery towards the back of a bike it changes the balance and handling. I prefer mid-mounted batteries and Volton has the Alation 500 with this style while also using a hub. For the money, you get more power with a geared hub motor and if you’re planning to carry children then this could be a great option. Mid-Drive systems are also powerful and efficient but without shift sensing they can wear the chain and gears down more quickly. You might also have to focus more on how you ride with a mid-drive and if you’ve got kids on board that could be distracting. I think I’d get the Alation 500 with a standard hub motor personally. Hope this helps, Thanksgiving was great :D

Reply
Franck
2 years ago

Thank you so much for your feedback, it is so useful. I will definitely buy the Alation 500. I can’t wait, I am so excited! Best regards

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Awesome! The planetary geared motors that Volton uses have been around for many years and are made in large quantity so they don’t usually have any defects and tend to last a long time. I hope you enjoy the bike and get excellent support from Joe at Volton. Chime in again someday once you’ve had a chance to test it out, feel free to post pictures of your project in the Volton forums as well, there might be others considering a similar setup with kids https://electricbikereview.com/community/forums/8fun/ :D

Reply
Alex
1 year ago

I’ve had this bike for two months and absolutely love it. The only thing I would say is that taking the battery out is a bit of a pain. Putting the cover back on is a bit of a struggle. It is not as smooth an operation as the better built bike. I stopped trying to do that and just charge the bike from the port instead of removing he battery.

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Well put Alex, I agree completely… their solution looks decent but isn’t as refined or convenient as some others. I love that it’s possible to take the pack out but would probably leave it in most of the time too just like you’re saying. Glad you’re loving the performance of it and that it’s holding up well :D

Reply
Alex
1 year ago

Thanks Court. I am a huge fan. Can’t wait to see you take your niche to the next level. Th Alation is a beast. That is what I love. I would have gladly paid $100 more for a better battery removal solution. It leaves you feeling less when you watch the better configurations. Hope Joe reads this. It is the only thing on the bike that dips below acceptable. I repeat, this bike is a beast, just needs a tweak.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Start a new alation 500 thread on the Volton Forum page

Akin Jakin
2 months ago

Can it do hills? Like san fran hills?

Tracey McNeel
9 months ago

I wish Volton would have made their diamond shaped bike frame in their color of candy apple red too.

Alex Robinson
1 year ago

Blazing down the trail, as I have so many times. It had rained a few days before, but the trail was dry. Patch of pine needles on the bend of the trail. Almost there. Bike sliding out from underneath me. What's happening? Torso parallel with the handle bars! Let go of the bike, that's over, get ready for the next. Ground coming at me like a freight train. Three weeks later, my fractured shoulder is much better. Three more weeks of healing to go. Then....back on my Alation. Live and learn, but never give up the thrill!!!!!!!!!

Alex Robinson
1 year ago

Your reviews were so helpful in helping me make decisions. I bought the Volton Alation 500 watt, 48v. The only thing I would say as a very light criticism of your review is, I would not describe it as "Not too bad". I think it is "Great", like Tony the Tiger. ūüėĚ

ron maz
2 years ago

How much does it cost ?

Timeless #9
2 years ago

Say Cort, why not include peak watts or amps? Nice to know that its super powerful and 48v, but quantifying how powerful would be helpful for those of us not psychic. Similarly, a dollar figure would be more helpful than calling it low cost. Perhaps you have the figures on your website but I'm mostly not that serious. Really appreciate your efforts in these videos. Nice to have a consistent point of view when comparing different makes.

Sonnet Gomes
2 years ago

How strong are the rear dropouts? Is this frame built stronger than a regular MTB?

Zeev Kirsh
2 years ago

great review.

it seems nuts at this point that throttle mode INTEGRATED WITH ALL assist isn't STANDARD on all ebikes with a throttle. this seems shocking that the two are not yet integrated on many bikes.

you shouldn't have to have assist in a 'throttle' mode. throttle should be activated temporarily shutting down the assist mode you are in , WHILE THROTTLING. i mean, that is simple electronics.

 notes ----------and ---warning---sorry to be a downer on these notes.
1) we know what a bashguard is.
2) we know you like water bottle mounts and not everyone uses water bottle mounts.

looks good though. .....

Nick Czerwinski
3 years ago

I've just started getting into ebikes and watching your videos, so I want to make sure if I get a bike i'm getting one right for me. Is the only difference between the Volton Alations that they offer the power? The 350 is a good bit cheaper and I wanted to know if there was anything different besides power. How much difference is it really going to make, gettig a 350 instead of the 500? Also, and sorry again i'm new on ebikes, what is the mid drive? On a side note, amazing website and reviews, keep at it! :)

Sean √ď Briain
3 years ago

+Nick Czerwinski Difference in the range also.

Ted Farkland
3 years ago

Just wanted to add my two cents. I've watched pretty much every video on the electricbikreview website and plan on soon joining the forums. I am so thankful you have created this resource, especially for those of us who are just starting to get into and understand what ebikes have to offer. I settled on the 500w Volton mid-drive system (they were out of the hub drive 500's until may) which will work better for living here in the Colorado mountains. I look forward to getting my bike in the mail tomorrow, and have you to thank for being able to feel like I made a sound choice for both my budget, and my needs.

Also worth noting, for those of you who are on this video with the idea of maybe purchasing one. Joe is an incredibly responsive person, and made my buying experience much more comfortable by being prompt and straightforward.

Ted Farkland
1 year ago

+Kevin Bacon sorry it took forever to respond, but as you probably know by now. there definitely are a lot of issues that pop up down the line, but jow has always been more than helpful and willing to do anything necessary to get the bike back in working order no matter the problem.

jnormanton
1 year ago

Couldn't agree with you more and I must remember to hit the like button on the ones that I watch.

Kevin Bacon
2 years ago

+Ted Farkland I expect mine (i got the 350) in the mail mid week and can't wait. I also researched a lot and am glad I settled on Volton. I'm getting slight customization and Joe was very helpful in narrowing desired setup. @Ted Farkland Now that you've had yours about 8 months, how's it holding up?

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Ted Farkland Awesome feedback, thanks for sharing Ted. I agree that Joe from Volton is a super friendly and responsive guy :D

Olexandr Ignatov
3 years ago

Good review! Are the mechanical brakes here good and reliable? Or better to choose something with hydraulic brakes?

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Olexandr Ignatov Nice! I didn't realize he did that... I hope it works great for you, feel free to comment here or in the Volton forums I set up, I'm sure there are others (maybe in Europe) who are curious about it: http://electricbikereview.com/community/forums/volton/

Olexandr Ignatov
3 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com Yes, I've seen this video! Nice ride on both! Actually already messaged Joe and am speaking with him.

I'm based in Europe so I can't enjoy the service he provide in the US but probably I will enjoy his bike! Plan to ship it overseas, as an option.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Olexandr Ignatov Thanks Olexandr! I'm doing my best and appreciate your kind words. Volton does a great job, the founder (Joe) is a nice guy and he will provide good service (based on what I've seen and heard from others who bought his stuff). Either bike could be good, we went for a ride and compared models last year, you might enjoy this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBZyrjFSvb0

Olexandr Ignatov
3 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com Thanks! I've decided to stick with mechanical brakes finally, first of all because it's a hell lot easier to service, which is important for me, provide good stopping power and are cheaper. Probably will stick with Alation 500 or Alation Mid Drive (which is an interesting modification too)

You're doing a good job, man! I wish your channel a really bright future and a TONS of subscribers and viewers! You totally deserve it!

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Olexandr Ignatov That's a difficult question... The first model that comes to mind is the IZIP E3 Peak which is a bit more expensive but has a good motor with plenty of power as well as those hydraulic disc brakes you wanted: http://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-peak/

t8music
3 years ago

Can you turn the pedal assist off and just pedal normally?

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Sure, I think just about any electric bike can be pedaled like a normal bike when the system is turned off. You can even take the battery off to reduce weight and then it will be even lighter and easier. The thing is, some ebikes have a "zero" assist level... or sometimes a throttle only mode, and this lets you pedal without any bike response but still leaves the display on so you can see speed and stuff. Some ebikes don't have LCD displays so this is irrelevant, they just have basic LED Lights to estimate battery capacity and modes. Does this answer your question or did I miss the point you were trying to make?

Terance Fernander
3 years ago

Thank you for the awesome review, i have been shopping around for a new E-Bike for a while now and from what i see this is going to be my new bike.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+saul herrera That's a cool way to explain it Saul! Never heard an analogy quite like yours but it's very true :D

saul herrera
3 years ago

Terrance, Electric bikes are so much fun to ride. You will definitely enjoy it. 
¬†When people ask me what it's like to ride one, I tell them it's alot like the walk assist escalators you find at most major airports or amusement parks. You walk at a normal pace yet your moving twice as fast as the person next to you not using the conveyor belt ūüėÄ

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Nice Terance! Glad the video helped you... The Volton Alation bikes are great, good price and lots of power in a fun and sturdy package. Ride safe out there :D

t8music
3 years ago

Can you ride it in rain or snow?

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Yeah, definitely. While electric bikes aren't exactly water "proof" they are designed to stand up to the elements. These Volton bikes were developed in Chicago and I know they've been tested in wet conditions. If it does get wet and dirty just remember to use a damp rag to clean it down. If you use a spray hose then water can get into the cracks and that can actually cause damage and rust. Also worth taking it to the shop every once in a while for a full tuneup just like a normal bicycle :)

dj red hare aus
3 years ago

why is there duct tape on it

dj red hare aus
3 years ago

ok

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

A lot of times I'm riding prototypes or pre-production models so there are visual imperfections. In this case it looks like the duct tape is on the top of the battery cover which may be there to keep it from getting scratched when transporting on a bike rack? I'm really not sure, maybe it already was scratched or a different color from another bike. I was meeting with the company founder and this was one of his new models :)

SuperPapadzul
3 years ago

3:42  "no water bottle!"   That's why Target sells these fancy 5 dollar beverage holders that attach to the handlebars. 

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Ha! You're completely right... There are also seat post cages and some other seat tube adapters. I just call this out in reviews because there are some ebikes that actually have water bottle eyelets even though they have downtube packs like the Alation 500 here. One great example is the Specialized Turbo S http://electricbikereview.com/specialized/turbo-s/

Marc Cardwell
3 years ago

what a cool bike. but $2200 is steep to me. i get the tech is still new, and its way less than a car it can replace, however. i look all the time on craigslist for e-bikes, never see stuff like this (i did see a stromer that was about 2 hours away). is there a better place to search for used e bikes? i live in south carolina, and stuff like this is scarce. is there a way to sort your affordable bikes list, by price? 

Marc Cardwell
3 years ago

+Electric Bike Review good info, thanks.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Marc Cardwell If it's BionX then they have a Lithium-ion pack that should get ~800 cycels. That said, all batteries eventually expire, the electrons get depleted over time and I think after 5 years (possibly less for Lithium-ion) they are done. A replacement pack is $500+ so factor that into your negotiating price. Also, batteries wear out faster if they aren't stored at about half charge and are kept in hot locations... I doubt this battery has been meticulously monitored and kept charged and out of the heat and extreme cold. I bet it only gets half of its full capacity now.

Marc Cardwell
3 years ago

it's the trek ride +, he's had it for 2 years. i too wonder about the battery, i need to find the number of cycles its supposed to do.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Marc Cardwell Sounds like it could be a good find! Normally I'm cautious about buying used ebikes because the battery could be worn out or damaged but with BionX you can always order a replacement. Their motors are very reliable and the system is excellent overall.

Marc Cardwell
3 years ago

+Electric Bike Review no ideas just yet, i'll email you if i think of some. i decided to do a manual search on CL, in several cities and found a trek w/ a bionX 350 kit on it, it's about a 2 hour drive away, but i may do it. i've watched your review of that kit and read a review of the trek, and feel good about the bike.

Onoh Udensi
3 years ago

Loved the review.

I've been contacting Volton recently trying to get a hold of the Alation ST 250, but it seems it's "Out Of Stock". Do you know any dealers that may still have it for the proclaimed $1,075.00 price point? I just want an throttle bike, if not I think it would be best to just save up and buy the Smart when it's released this fall.  

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Onoh Udensi Sure Onoh, I really enjoyed the silent operation of the Smart with the belt drive and gearless BionX motor. Here's the review and video I did: http://electricbikereview.com/smart/ebike/

Onoh Udensi
3 years ago

+Electric Bike Review Price is not a problem for me, I'm only looking for something that would go nice with the Smart Fotwo. Thanks anyways. 

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

It seems like Joe is running low on several models right now. He's been working on the mid-drive (which is also sold out) and maybe a couple of other projects. I'm not aware of any dealers with the bike at this time, wish I could help you out more. The Smart bike is awesome but quite a bit more expensive, here are some more affordable ebikes I've reviewed: http://electricbikereview.com/tag/affordable/