With some clever design features including a torque sensor, the Volt London e-bike is much more than your average electric commuter…
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BEST E-BIKE 2023
Volt London e-Bike
BUY IT NOW
£2,199 / voltbikes.co.uk
- Sturdy design
- Useful torque sensor
- No colour options
- Only one size available
The Volt London is an award-winning, British-made e-bike that despite its name is proving popular with commuters all over the country.
Weighing 43lb (19.5kg), it’s a sturdily constructed bike that’s designed for the day-to-day rigors of riding to work, but is capable of much further urban exploration.
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It’s sleek, attractive, almost industrial design garnered praise at the Red Dot Design Awards, where it won Best Bicycle Design in 2022. It’s brushed raw aluminium finish belies a ruggedness that will cope with all the city streets can throw at it.
Underneath its utilitarian design, the Volt London has plenty of neat features. We particularly like the NFC immobilising key fob. which you have to tap on the LCD display to get started, and the fixed Dutch-style ABUS lock that slides a bolt through the rear wheel for extra security.
There’s also a small lever under the LCD display which delivers a small amount of power from the motor. It’s ideal if you need to walk with the bike, giving you that extra bit of help.
The rear-wheel-mounted 250W motor offers plenty of immediate traction when accelerating away from traffic lights and a Bafang Torque Sensor detects when you start putting more power through the pedals (such as on hills) and smoothly delivers more power to assist you.
There are three power settings – low, medium and high – which you select from the waterproof LCD screen. The bike’s top assisted speed is 15.5mph (25kmph), below which the pedals barely need turning – just sit back and enjoy the ride.
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A full charge of the lithium ion 36V battery normally takes around three hours, which could last up to 60 miles (96km). However, this depends on variables such as rider weight, terrain and weather. The battery is housed within the frame, which adds to its sleek appearance, but can be detached for home or office charging.
The Shimano single-speed drivetrain is simple but effective, needing barely any maintenance. And with the toque assist, you’ll never really feel under-geared either.
The aluminium fork is fixed so offers no protection from potholes or pavement drop-offs, although Volt has thoughtfully included a suspension seatpost, which takes some of the sting out of uneven road surfaces.
Other component choices are top-notch too, with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Fabric saddle and grips, Alex reinforced rims and Schwalbe puncture-resistant tyres.
The detachable front luggage rack can easily stow a briefcase or rucksack so you won’t have to sling a bag over your back on your journey. (There are rear mounts for adding a pannier rack there too if needed.)
Unfortunately it only comes in the 19in frame size, so will probably be unsuitable for riders below 5ft 6in (1.7m), but Volt maintains it can carry weights of 265lb (120kg) including luggage so it should be able to accommodate larger riders easily.
Overall the Volt London does exactly what it says on the tin. In an environment where you’d otherwise be changing gear frequently, the single-speed drivetrain and torque-sensitive motor combination makes perfect sense. The Volt is a well designed, responsive machine than will have you looking forward to your morning commute.