Burbank, California-based bike company Pure Cycles is funding its first electric bike, the Volta, on Kickstarter. By the looks of it, the Volta manages to cram in almost every single e-bike gizmo and feature you could think of. (Note: Not to be confused with the Volata 1c, which is a different electric bicycle brand.)
The Volta offers a rear wheel-based motor, which the company claims gets up to 40 miles on a single charge (in “Eco” mode) and can reach a top speed of 20 mph. The integrated lights, which turn on automatically when it’s dark out, also intelligently signal braking. And a small integrated display can show both the current speed and charge level (the company claims that recharging the battery takes two hours).
We got a short test ride of one of the Volta prototypes, and while it was a bit beat up from a year of being a test mule, it was a lot of fun to ride and felt very solid. In its highest speed mode, the Volta is effortless and fast. Just a few easy pedal pushes gets you up to full speed without breaking a sweat.
The Volta also has some smart bike tech integrated, too. It’s got a hidden GPS tracker that the company claims provides 24-hour tracking, with push notifications to your smartphone in case your bike gets stolen (although the Kickstarter page notes that the GPS tracking will only be offered until December 31st, 2017). It’s also got built-in fitness tracking for monitoring things like how many calories you’ve burned and how many miles you’ve traveled through a companion smartphone app.
When it comes down to actual cycling hardware, Pure Cycles has been around for a while and is generally known for making cheap-ish bikes that are good for the price, but frowned upon by the biking elite. You probably won’t be getting a top-tier bike with the Volta, but it should probably be fine for casual biking and commuting. That experience helps us believe Pure Cycles will actually deliver on its promises, too.
The bike itself weights 35 pounds, including an integrated front basket for carrying things, and is available in belt-drive or chain options, depending on your preference. The Volta is available to back now on Kickstarter for an early-bird price of $1,499, although there are more expensive options that include fenders and a rear storage rack. Pure Cycles expects to ship the Volta in August later this year.