Volt London ebike review: Reaching cruising speed - MrLiambi's blog


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Friday, 26 August 2022

Volt London ebike review: Reaching cruising speed

It's nice riding an ebike around the city that lent the bike its name - a novelty we hadn't encountered until we used the Volt London for a couple of weeks.

As it turns out, the pairing is pretty sublime, with the London making mincemeat of a city that can be a little painful to cycle around at times if you don't have a little electric assistance. Here's what we thought of this British-made ebike.


  • Weighs 22.1kg with battery
  • 19-inch frame, 27.5-inch wheels
  • Detachable front cargo frame

The Volt London manages something sought-after in the world of ebikes - a unique set of looks that isn't off-putting. It does this by going down a slightly less common route and dressing itself up a lot like a cargo bike.

With a rack on the front that you can strap bags and other items to easily, and thick tyres that are nice and imposing, it's got the look of a bike that's built for a purpose, not just for taking ambling rides around the place.

This is matched by its silver frame, without too much ornamentation, and we think it all works very nicely. The large black portion of its frame is in fact the battery, which can be removed as we'll get to later, and that colour contrast is probably the main hint that this is an electric bike in the first place.

The motor is on the rear wheel hub, while there's a good amount of wiring up on the handlebars that further indicates electrification, confirmed by a little LCD display on the left-hand side of your hands.

It lets you know your speed and your assist mode as you ride, with a plus and minus button letting you shift up and down these modes, while a small lever underneath the display toggles the highest mode when you need a quick boost.

The layout is sensible, and the overall aesthetic is really quite practical, and almost professional - it's the sort of bike we imagine someone using to courier around legal documents, although it worked just as well as a transport method while we had it.

That look might not be to everyone's tastes, but the only clear issue we found was that the bike is really quite heavy - not the heaviest on the market, by any means, but when you try a bike that's a few kilograms lighter like the Cowboy 4, you can start to feel the difference.

Assistance and ride

  • Top assist speed of 25km/h
  • Four assist levels: Low, Normal, High, Power
  • Power button toggles Power mode

Volt meets the same bar that most quality ebikes are now hitting - and it's a regulatory one. That means that you'll get electrical assistance up to a top speed of 25km/h, after which you'll be on your own.

This is a great cruising speed, keeping you moving at a pace that'll have your mapping service of choice baffled by how efficiently you're biking, but you get to choose from a few strengths of assist when it comes to getting to it.

Low and Normal modes feel like nice boosts that you could almost forget are there, with little kick as they click into action, which some people will find is just right for their comfort levels.

Turn it up into High or Power, though, and you'll feel the difference as you speed away from standing starts and green lights, making for a good spread of options in case you don't want maximum throttle at all times.

That little lever for Power mode is also handy if you're seeking a relaxed ride but still want the quick recourse of a proper boost if you hit a hill or just want to get some speed going.

The assist is generally nice and smooth, although when you're going at top speed you'll occasionally notice that the bike is having to cut out when it hits 25km/h before coming back into play as you slow down to something like 23km/h, and alternating from there.

This will depend on your own efforts and the road conditions, so isn't a nuisance, but rather a reality of the safety measures that stop the assistance going any further, and is something that other bikes suffer from, too.

More widely, those thick tyres and the chunky frame make the London a nice bike to cruise around with, and while that means it doesn't always seem extremely zippy, that's actually quite untrue - you'll be super manoeuvrable and nimble.


  • No connected app
  • Lights included and battery-powered
  • Key-removable battery, keyring-unlocked assists

There are two big ways to handle ebike connectivity - brace yourselves: either include it or don't. Volt has gone with the latter, dispensing with the need for a connected app or geolocation by simply trusting in good old-fashioned keys.

You get an Abus key to lock the rear wheel with, along with a detachable chain lock to attach the bike to something while you do so, an essential for urban parking.

The bike's actual electric features are locked until you touch a SpinTech keycard to the speedometer, meanwhile, something that works really quickly and easily.

A final key unlocks the battery compartment to let you remove the large rechargeable battery in order to hook it up to power, with a full recharge taking between three and four hours.

This makes the London's security system pretty old-school, but it works really smoothly and you can obviously augment it easily with an extra lock or, ideally, some secure parking like a bike locker or private space.

The lack of connectivity means you don't get some fancy features but these are generally nice-to-haves not need-to-haves, so we don't miss them.

The built-in lights aren't in the frame itself, so they're slightly clunky and have wiring, but they do at least mean you don't have to worry about charging lights up. We do think that at this price point it would be nice to see Volt integrating the lights more cleanly, though, like many of its competitors.

Speaking of pricing, though, overall the London feels like a fair bargain - it's nice to look at and works impeccably, in a market where neither of those can be taken for granted.

Source : https://www.pocket-lint.com/gadgets/reviews/162338-volt-london-ebike-review

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