7 Of the best bikes with Gates Carbon Belt. Belt driven electric bike

Belt Drives vs. Chain Drives for Electric Bikes: Pros Cons

There are two main types of drive systems on an electric bike. You can either use a chain drive or belt drive to relay power to the wheels. But which is the better option?

For the uninformed, this can be a tough choice to make!

In this post, we compare the unique attributes of belt drives vs. chains and try to figure out which one is a better fit for your electric bike based on the pros and cons they offer.

Chains Vs. Belt Drives

Generally, chains are the most used drive system when it comes to powering bike wheels. This technology has been around for as long as we can remember. You’ll find chains on traditional bikes, e-bikes, as well as motorcycles.

They are very common; you probably have one on your bike! However, there are alternative kinds of drive systems available, and the most preferred among them is the belt drive.

Unlike chains, a belt drive employs a nylon-toothed belt that’s reinforced with carbon fiber cords to power the rear wheel. A belt is used in place of the conventional bike chain, and this is paired with strong stainless-steel cogs, as well as alloy chainrings.

This results in a remarkably sturdy, clean, and durable drive system with very little maintenance needed. It is the same belt technology applied to belt drive motorcycles and car racing engines. Commuters are increasingly embracing belt-driven e-bikes for their cleanliness and low maintenance needs.

Belt Drive Pros

Picture credit: https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=GBHfESFba-8

Low Maintenance

The main reason why belt drives are preferred by most e-bike owners is the low maintenance involved. Unlike chain drive systems, they don’t require periodic adjustment and lubrication. An occasional scrub down is all that is needed when the belt gets caked with grime and mud.

Durable

A well-maintained belt drive system can last around 3-5 times longer than a chain drive. You can get as many as 20,000 miles of travel out of your belt compared to the 3000-5000 miles that a chain will usually manage.

Clean

Given that belt drives don’t require any kind of lubrication, you don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty. Furthermore, the belts are usually coated in lube, meaning they don’t pick up sand or mud easily. However, some bike owners choose to add a little bit of silicone lube on the belt, which allows it to last longer and run smoother.

Picture credit: https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=0TIAN0ivyewt=321s

Stealthy

Belt drives are generally quieter in comparison to chains. On the contrary, chains make a notable mechanical noise, especially during the switching of gears.

Lightweight

Drive belts tip the scales at around 87 grams. Meanwhile, a standard bike chain will weigh approximately 300 grams, which is more than three times. Also, there is less gear involved when you are using a belt drive. For instance, you don’t need to carry a chain lube, chain breaker, degreaser, extra links, etc.

This not only reduces the weight but also the bulkiness of your toolkit, making for a more effortless riding experience.

Remains Efficient Over Time

Belt drives don’t wear as much as chains over time. They maintain their initial shape much longer, with the cog and chainring wearing at a similar rate as the belt. While the efficiency of parts decreases as they wear, you can’t compare it to what happens on a chain drive.

Straight Driveline

The driveline on a belt drive system is always straight since the belt doesn’t move between the cogs. All the shifting happens in a gearbox or hub. On the other hand, chains usually run at an angle, and this mostly occurs when you’re running towards the low or high extremes of your gear range.

This inefficient cycle wastes a lot of energy. But you can pair a gearbox with your chain to get it to run straight as well.

No Corrosion

Picture credit: https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=GBHfESFba-8

Belt drives use contemporary synthetic materials such as nylon and carbon fiber in their construction. The advantage is that these materials aren’t affected by rust, making belt drives a great option in rust-prone areas.

Belt Drive Cons

Only Works with Pinion Gearbox/Internal Gear Hub/Single Speed

Belt drives are only compatible with a Pinion gearbox or internal gear hub. They cannot be paired with derailleurs since the belt doesn’t run at an angle. It only functions in a straight line, which is limiting to your drivetrain options.

Expensive

Belts drive systems are more pricey than a chain drive. Typically, a new belt costs anything between 80-100 whereas the front and rear sprockets retail for 60-80 a piece. Additionally, you’ll require an internal gear hub for the belt to run, which will cost you at least 1000 for premium options like Rohloff.

This is way more than you’ll need for a complete chain drive system. Not to mention that the cost of replacing your sprockets and belt is enough to buy your bike’s new derailleur groupset.

Hard to Access Spare Parts

If you live in a remote area away from the city, finding a spare part for an e-bike’s belt drive can be a tall order. Most small bike shops you come across don’t stock components for belt-driven bikes. You might have to go online to order a replacement or look for a high-end bicycle store.

In fact, some nations don’t even import belt drive bicycle parts. This means if you experience some malfunction in a remote area, you might have to cut short your journey. On the bright side, belt drives relatively last longer and you can easily get away with only carrying a spare belt.

Inconvenient in Case of Failure

If you experience any sort of damage on your belt drive, you can’t fix it easily and continue with your adventure. In the event your belt breaks, you’ll need a full replacement, which is tricky when you can’t find a shop. This may force you to drag your bike all the way home.

Chain Drive Pros

Compatible with All Bikes

Chains are the standard bike drive system. They are used on normal bikes, e-bikes, and even motorbikes with no difficulty. You don’t require any special features on your bike’s frame like a tensioner system or a split to use it.

Cheap

A new bike chain from Zonkie will only cost around 10-20 while its cassette is 20 and 40. Meanwhile, a chainring retails for about 20-80. In short, replacing the whole chain drive system will cost you less than buying a single carbon belt. If you are short on your budget, a chain drive system will be a more viable option for your e-bike.

Easy to Access Spares

With chain drives, you won’t have to look too far to find spares. Almost every bike store you’ll come across stocks freewheels, chains, cassettes, and chainrings. Whether you break your bike chain or damage a cog, you can find a replacement in almost any part of the world. This can’t be said for belt drive spares.

Easy to Service and Replace

Any bike technician you go to has an idea of how to set up a chain drive and even maintain it as needed. This is more convenient in case you need something fixed. On the contrary, belt drives are a lot more complex and only specialized mechanics will know how to deal with them.

Easy to Repair

You don’t need a technician to repair the damaged chain. If it happens to you in the middle of the wilderness, you can find a solution without much trouble. For instance, you can remove some links and limp to the nearest bike store. Alternatively, if you remembered to carry a chain tool, you can conduct the repairs on your own with little technical knowledge.

Picture credit: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/change-bike-chain.html

Chain Drive Cons

Requires a Lot of Maintenance

For a chain drive to continue running smoothly, it requires constant maintenance. You have to clean it periodically and keep it lubricated, a task that can last about ten minutes.

If you are just a casual rider, then you might have to clean your bike chain approximately once a month. However, for someone touring on the e-bike, this will need to happen after a couple of days on the road. With belt drives, there is no maintenance required.

Not Durable

A standard chain drive will only last a maximum of 5000 miles, and this is only when there is proper maintenance. Note that if you have to replace the chain, you’ll also have to replace the cassettes. However, you can extend the shelf life of your chain drivetrain by swapping the chain every 500 miles.

Dirty

The greasing of chains causes them to pick up a lot of dirt on the trail, especially if you’re riding on the off-road terrain. It can also get pretty messy when you have to replace or adjust the chain, which is not something you’d want on your way to work.

Picture credit: https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=0TIAN0ivyewt=321s

Heavy

Chains are also quite heavy and can weigh almost thrice as much as a belt. In case you’re on a bike tour, you’ll also need to carry a chain tool, spare links, lubrication, etc. which means a heavier load for you to carry.

Noisy

Chains produce a noise when the bike is moving. This happens because of the friction between the metal chain and metal cogs. There is also a noise produced when you shift between gears, and this gets worse when the chain is dirty.

Prone to Corrosion

The metallic construction of the chain makes it susceptible to rust. This will be more evident if you use your bike near the ocean or during the winter season on salt roads. Belts are made out of synthetics and don’t experience any corrosion.

Conclusion

So, which one should you choose; belt drives or chains? Well, there is no absolute answer to this as it depends on your own requirements. Overall, a belt drive system is the better option for contemporary riders who can spend more on new technology without having to worry about maintenance down the line.

Meanwhile, chains offer a cheaper option that is easy to repair in case of damage. They are also compatible with all bike frames on the market and won’t be an issue when searching for spares.

We trust that this post answered some of your questions !

of the best bikes with Gates Carbon Belt Drive

It’s easy to be drawn to a bike with Gates Carbon Belt Drive. Maybe it’s the promise of many maintenance-free miles ahead or even something as simple as the belt’s clean, oil-free drive. It could be the clean lines of the bike or the fact that Gates belts are often quieter to ride than a traditional chain.

As a specialist in urban bikes. whether that be electric or non-electric we’ve long been a proponent of Gates so thought it would be worth putting together a list of some of our favourite bikes.

Before tucking into our list, take a deeper dive into Gates Carbon Belt Drive with: An Absolute Belter an explainer on why and how you can break free of the traditional bike chain.

Schindelhauer Heinrich or Hannah Enviolo Electric Bike

First up it’s an electric bike from a brand that’s synonymous with Gates Carbon Drive. German brand Schindelhauer equips every bike they sell with a belt drive, tethering it to a gearing system that fits the purpose of a particular bike. Whether that’s a simple, single-speed sprocket, a classic Shimano hub gear, an innovative Pinion gearbox, or as in this bike, a dreamy Enviolo automatic shifting system.

The Schindelhauer Heinrich Enivolo, and its sister bike, the Hannah. are wonderful examples of today’s urban e-bikes. It uses Gates CDX components (rather than CDN) which are made to take on the rigours of riding day in and day out, perhaps in all weathers – the rest of the bike is certainly set up for it, what with mudguards front and rear, lights and those tasty, chunky tan-wall tyres.

Best for: City schlepping at your own pace

Cube Hyde Pro Urban Bike

Moving onto something simpler, non-electric but equally as suited to urban riding, perhaps just at a faster pace. A bike brand with notoriety in pretty much every discipline, the Cube Hyde selection of bikes are built for bashing around town, taking a shortcut down the canal or up and down curbs.

This Pro version of the Hyde is built with Gates CDX components combined with a Shimano Nexus 8-speed gear. The majority of bikes with Gates pair the system with a hub gear. We explored this subject in more detail: Why you should buy a hub gear bike.

Back to the Cube and with large volume Schwalbe tyres and the points to add mudguards and a pannier rack, the bike will be a solid choice for commuters.

Best for: Commuting short to medium distances

Tern GSD S00 Electric Cargo Bike

Back to electric this time, but not just any e-bike, this is Tern’s electric cargo platform the GSD – the S00 to be precise. Like the Schindelhauer above, the GSD S00 pairs the silent, smooth and virtually maintenance-free Gates CDX belt, accompanying chainring and sprocket, with an Enviolo hub gear system.

Predominantly designed for use in and around town, ferrying toddlers or teabags, the GSD pairs well with Gates. A GSD is likely to be ridden every day in all weathers or relied on by families or businesses as a mode of transport.

We’ve jotted down some more information about the Tern GSD range, read The updated Tern GSD e-cargo bike. What you need to know

Best for: The weekly supermarket trip, the school run – anything you’d usually do with a car or public transport

Marin Presidio Urban Bike

Similar in design and execution to the Cube Hyde Pro, the Marin Presidio 3 has long been a benchmark for a value-for-money urban bike with Gates Belt Drive.

It uses Gates CDN components rather than the more expensive Gates CDX, but still promises 1,000’s of riding miles before anything will need replacing.

Much like the Cube, you’re looking at a bike with an 8-speed hub gear. The Presidio has narrower tyres than the BMC so maybe a tad less versatile, although it has the requisite mounts for mudguards and a pannier rack.

Best for: Enjoying the benefits of Gates at a smaller cost

Gazelle Chamonix C5 HMS Electric Bike

The e-bike’s adjustable handlebar, seatpost suspension, 40mm front suspension and 5-speed gearing point toward its intended use as a relaxed commuter or a bike to enjoy a sedate ride at the weekend.

Although pictured as a step-through frame. the Chamonix is also available as a classic crossbar frame – there’s even a version with a long-lasting battery if that would suit you better.

The Gates system won’t require much maintenance of course, and it’s actually a tad lighter than a traditional chain – another benefit of Gates Carbon Belt drive to be aware of. For more, read our complete guide to Gazelle electric bikes.

Best for: Riding in comfort

ARCC Abington Urban Bike

Available in a whole host of colours and other various builds, the steel-framed Abington from ARCC is hand brazed in Blighty before being built up with Gates parts.

A dependable, well-thought-through bike on its own, ARCC’s pièce de résistance is its retrofit electric bike system. Purchased separately, or as a complete package, the ARCC system weighs under 3kg and uses widely available batteries for easy charging. Take a closer look at the ARCC e2-pod Intelligent Drive System if you wish.

ARCC finish the Abington off with a comfortable Brooks saddle and Schwalbe Marathon tyres.

Best for: Promoting British manufacturing and ingenuity

Carbo Model X Folding Electric Bike

Last but not least, the final bike in our list of the best bikes with Gates Belt Drive is the Carbo Model X folding electric bike.

It’s quite unusual to find a folding bike with Gates, but Carbo has deployed the system alongside a bike that folds small and rides just as well as a bike that doesn’t. Carbo hasn’t forgone any other on-bike features either – the Model X has hydraulic disc brakes, lights, mudguards (although not pictured) and the ability to add a pannier rack.

The Model X uses a carbon fibre frame ensuring the bike only tips the scales at 13.3kg. Do some more research on Carbo electric bikes by reading our guide.

Best for: Super commuters and those who travel

Here endeth the list of our favourite bikes with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive. If you like the sound of a belt-driven bike and have some more questions we’re just an email or phone call away, alternatively, pop it in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. You’ll find a selection of bikes with Gates in every Velorution store.

Belt drive vs chain: Which is best for your ebike?

Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He’s interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in (show all) Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He’s interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on

If you’ve been considering buying your first ebike — or perhaps your second or third — chances are you’ve come across some models equipped with a belt drive instead of a traditional chain. But what difference does a belt drive really make, and is it actually worth the usual premium over a tried and trusted chain?

What is a belt drive?

Until ebikes started to become popular, almost every bicycle on the market used a chain. But the advent of ebikes has increasingly made belt drives a popular alternative. The Gates Carbon Drive is by far the most popular of these, and it’s the one we’ll FOCUS on the most. There are some alternatives too, but Gates’ belts are so ubiquitous that unless otherwise specified, you can assume we’re talking about this one brand. This isn’t a sponsored post or anything, it’s just the nature of the market right now.

Anyway, to answer the question: at its most basic level, a belt drive is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of a chain transmitting power from your legs to the rear wheel, a belt does the job instead.

Duh, but what’s the point of using a belt?

The most often-cited benefit to a belt drive is durability. The Gates Carbon belt drive is reinforced with — you guessed it — carbon fiber. In case you haven’t heard, that stuff is pretty tough.

Gates’ carbon fiber belts were originally designed for high-power applications like motorcycles and industrial machinery. Ebikes are comparatively puny, so they should pretty much last forever. Gates says its CDX CenterTrack belt is rated for 10,000 miles under peak loads, while chains designed for ebikes “failed at only 275 miles.” In real-world usage, its ebike chains should be replaced every 2,000 miles, while a Gates belt is should last you up to 19,000 miles.

Of course, we’re taking Gates’ word for it here, but in my experience, hearing of a belt drive failing is exceedingly rare. It does happen, but only under extreme conditions or use (often situations in which a chain would have given up much earlier). Meanwhile, ebike chains are more prone to failure with mid-drive motors due to the high torque placed on them relative to a regular bike.

Durability aside, belt drives are almost completely silent, feel extra smooth while pedaling, require no lubrication, and won’t get grease on your pants. The only maintenance required is keeping the belt clear of too much debris and the occasional tensioning, which is easy to do at home (and involves strumming the belt like a guitar).

Plus, they just look pretty cool, if you ask me.

What’s the catch?

There are two big caveats to using a belt drive.

The most notable one is that belts are incompatible with traditional derailleurs. That means that virtually every belt-drive bike is either a single-speed (which isn’t the biggest deal when you have a motor to help), or uses internal gears.

Usually, belt-drive ebikes that aren’t single-speed use an internally-geared rear hub. That means it’s rare to find belt-drive ebikes that use rear hub motors and have multiple gears, although occasionally you’ll get bikes with gears closer to the pedals, such as a Pinion Gearbox or Schlumpf Drive. Still, those are the exception to the norm.

In other words, choosing between belt and chain-driven ebikes is often also a choice between internal and external gears. To some up some of the common pros and cons:

  • Internal gear hubs are usually a lot more durable as components are shielded from the elements and physical damage.
  • Derailleurs are usually lighter, although this is a marginal difference on most ebikes.
  • Internal gear hubs allow you to shift gears from a stop, but some don’t allow you to shift while pedaling. Derailleurs can only shift while the wheel is in motion, which can be annoying if you’re stuck in a high gear at a red light.
  • Internal gear hubs are usually less efficient at converting your pedaling into motion than a well-maintained chain and derailleur, and vary more depending on what gear you’re in. Studies show that chains are roughly 97-99.5% efficient and tend to be fairly consistent by brand. Internal gear hubs can vary dramatically depending on the brand, and even what specific gear you’re in; I’ve seen figures ranging from above 99% to as low as 80%.
  • On the other hand, “well-maintained” is an important caveat, as most people don’t go through the trouble of cleaning and lubricating their drivetrain on a regular basis. That should offset some of the difference.
  • Derailleurs often offer more gears overall for better finetuning of your pedaling cadence. But again, that’s often not necessary on an ebike.

Most belt drives also require an ebike with a split frame, meaning the frame has a cutout that allows you to remove the belt. That said, there are some companies that make split belts, such as Veer. but these are still pretty rare.

It’s also worth noting belt drive ebikes are normally more expensive. This is in part because of the belt itself, but also because most belt drive ebikes use mid-drive motors unless they are single-speed designs. Naturally, you can’t use a rear hub motor with an internal gear hub, as they’d have to occupy the same space.

There are some cheaper belt-drive ebikes too, like the Ride1Up roadster V2 (which uses a TopTrans belt). That said, the caveat to keep in mind with these alternative belts is that you might have more trouble finding a replacement should the belt actually fail.

So should I get an ebike with a belt drive instead of a chain?

Yes. If given the choice between an ebike with a belt drive and an ebike with a chain, all else being equal, you should probably choose the ebike with the belt drive. There are very few negatives to the technology, and it’s just all-around a more premium experience.

The problem is that all else isn’t usually equal. As mentioned, belt drive ebikes can be more expensive, they’re usually single speed or use internal gears, and an internal gear hub often adds a little bit to a bike’s weight. So the better question might be “is a belt drive worth it?”

To that, I’d say it ultimately comes down to price. In my experience, belt drives are primarily a really nice quality-of-life feature more than a must-have. In my day-to-day usage, my favorite thing about them is the silent, smooth operation, not getting grease on my pants, and requiring less maintenance overall.

While the durability is really nice for peace of mind, it’s not as if I’m breaking bike chains that often either. It’s only happened to me once, and fixing a chain isn’t that hard to do with the right toolkit. And while I don’t care about every bit of weight savings and pedaling efficiency possible, I can understand that some people prefer these qualities in a more traditional setup.

In other words, getting a bike with a plain old chain and derailleur shouldn’t be a deal-breaker if it otherwise checks all your boxes — unless you have unusual durability needs.

Still, ebikes with belt drives are becoming more common by the week and just make for a nicer ride experience. While a belt drive is not the only thing to consider when buying a new ebike, it sure is nice to have.

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Blade 2.0

Whether you’re touring, commuting, grocery getting or anything in between, this package will allow you to get the most out of your ebike.

Kit includes:

  • SR Suntour NCX suspension seatpost
  • Cargo Rack
  • Front and Rear Fenders
  • Integrated Front/Rear Lights
  • Smartphone Mount

FREE US SHIPPING

Free ground shipping on all ebike orders to lower 48 states

1 YEAR WARRANTY

Option to extend warranty protection with

FINANCING OPTIONS

Pay over time with Klarna (for US customers only)

Pre-Order For Late June 2023 Items purchased on Pre-order cannot be cancelled or refunded.

Our Blade electric mountain bike has been one of the HOTTEST eBikes on the market ever since it was released, and for good reason.

We’ve packed in ALL the latest technology to craft the Blade 2.0. and it performs. A huge 52V battery combines with belt-driven 1000W mid-drive power to take your off-road shred session to the next level!

User Manual

The HYPE is real! If you’re looking to go faster with smooth and controlled power, Blade 2.0 is the ticket.

Features:

  • 1000W Bafang Ultra Mid-drive motor
  • Carbon Gates CDX belt drive
  • 14 Speed Rohloff internal gear hub
  • RockShox Pike 160mm front fork
  • Optional thumb throttle

WATCH THE Blade EXPERIENCe

52V BATTERY

This integrated52V (17.5Ah/910Wh)beast will provide you with ample power to tear across the toughest terrain. We sourced the highest capacity lithium ion cells in the world to give youup-to 40 miles of range.Charging time is about 6 hours for a full charge cycle.

1000W BAFANG ULTRA MOTOR

Packing1500W peak power, this workhorse is a serious performer. Anintelligent torque sensorgauges how much pressure you apply to each pedal and makes sure that you receive exactly the right amount of power, exactly when you need it.

SMOOTH POWER

The internaly gearedRohloff 500/14 SPEEDHUBmakes shifting as simple as a twist of the wrist. Pair that with aGates carbon belt driveand you won’t believe how intuitive and smooth your ride will be.

GATES CARBON BELT DRIVE

  • durable than a chain
  • No rust. No grease. No problem.
  • Smoothest ride of your life

Belts may vary from 125T or 122T

ROCKSHOX PIKE ULTIMATE FORK

The Pike is the new-school all-mountain and enduro riders’ weapon of choice. Engineered to provide160mm of plush travel.It came out of the box and marched its way to anEnduro World Seriesoverall title.

LG Lithium-ion (52 volts) Removable w/key lock. 17.5Ah/910Wh

Up-to 40 Miles per charge (mileage will vary due to rider conditions)

Bafang Ultra (Mid-Mounted Geared Motor)

Pedal assist with optional thumb throttle

160 Newton meters / 1000W Nominal / 1500W Peak

FLX Branded Bafang DP C18, Fixed Backlit LCD, (Double Press I for Settings Menu and Password)

Current Speed, Max Speed, Average Speed, Odometer, Tripometer, Range, Battery in Percentage, Assist Level (0-5)

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist / Optional Throttle

RockShox Pike Ultimate with 160 mm Travel and Two-Position Compression Adjustment, Lockout, Rebound Adjustment

ISIS Spline Drive attachment 170mm length, 55T Front Chainring

Funn. Black Magic. Fiberglass reinforced thermoplastic

Magura MT5 4-Piston Hydraulic Disc Brakes with 203 mm Rotors (6 Bolt Front, 4 Bolt Rear), Magura MT5 Adjustable Reach Levers

Spank Oozy Trail, 780 mm Width

Spank 40mm Stem, Aluminum Alloy, 106 mm Length, 31.6 mm Clamp Diameter, One 10 mm Spacer

Spank Flat Rubber with Lockers

Aluminum Alloy / 300 mm Length / 31.6mm Diameter

Stainless Steel, 13G, Black with Nipples

Maxxis Minion DHR 27.5 x 2.6 EXO Casing, Tubeless Ready

6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum Alloy

Top Mounted Downtube Bottle Cage and Rear Rack Bolt Holes

In Stock bikes ship on our standard ship 5-10 day ship schedule. Exceptions apply.

Your Blade 2.0 will arrive mostly assembled. The pedals, front tire, seat and handlebars need to be installed. Kickstand is pre- installed.

Not so sure? When in doubt we recommended contacting your local bike mechanic for help.

Unfortunately, damages resulting from improper assembly are not covered under warranty.

We offer a standard 1 year warranty on any defective components and electronics. In addition, we have partnered with Mulberry to provide an extended warranty option.

Whether you’re touring, commuting, grocery getting or anything in between, this package will allow you to get the most out of your Blade 2.0.

Kit includes:

In Stock bikes ship on our standard ship 5-10 day ship schedule. Exceptions apply.

Customer Reviews

After riding mountain bikes for 30 years I finally got to a point where I needed a little help. I was not expecting a rocket ship but I’m so glad that I found the blade and I’m able to still ride the way I did in my 20s.

Bike was shipped on time and delivered in good shape. Service after the sale sucks as expected. Two inquiries to service unanswered. I worked though it on my own.

This bike is very capable and had many of the features that I was looking for. The internally geared hub and carbon belt drive at this price point are quite remarkable. The bike only comes in one size, so plan to do a little tweaking with different stems and bars to get your configuration dialed in. Also, a suspension seat post like the Kinekt is a must. Rear brake feels a little mushy, I am hoping a quick bleed will take care of that but not something I expect to have to do on a new bike. Somehow I got lucky and got a UART protocol motor, which will allow me to do some programming and customization of the parameters to suite my riding style.

Over all I would recommend and am pleased with the bike.

Took the bike into the trails in mission viejo and Ladera ranch and had a blast. Good power and solid overall bike. The rohloff transmission is next level! Coming from the OG F5 trail, the power, MT5 brakes and fox shocks are next level!

First, shout out to Jonathon and Mark at FLX. They’ve been a great help in explaining how the electronics work, how to get the rear tire off of a Blade 2 after a flat, etc. I’m fortunate to live near FLX. And also unfortunate because I can’t seem to resist buying another bike when I go into the shop. I started with an F5 Trail more than a year ago. Great bike. Then saw the Blade 2.0. Gave it a test ride and bought one. Also a great bike. They are both a blast to ride and well put together with good components. The fat tires help with the torn up road conditions of San Diego. I visited the shop again and saw the Babymaker. My white Babymaker arrived a few days later. Very different feel from the two EMTB’s. nimble and responsive. Very fun to ride on smoother pavement, but less forgiving of road bumps and divots. It rides like my regular road bike but with a power boost. The EMTB’s spoil me with their more forgiving ride. All three have plenty of power to make it up Laurel Street (the street featured in Top Gun. think steep). The disc brakes inspire confidence going down Laurel, knowing I’ll be able to stop before crashing into the airport. I’ve recommended FLX to friends and will continue to do so. Thank you FLX. I’m OLDE, (73) but your bikes got me back into riding and I now look forward to my work commute of 34 miles RT a day. so much more fun than hitting the gym!! I highly recommend buying an FLX and seeing how much fun biking is. Just do it.

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Vvolt Sirius Ebike FULL Review: Mid-drive, belt drive with internally geared hub!

After watching the electric bike market in the US expand, new ebike companies enter the crowded market seemingly every other week. They most often are me-too companies, meaning they are looking to capitalize on the general increased interest on ebikes and offer little differentiation from the established brands. Vvolt’s public launch in 2021 was a refreshing change of pace.

Vvolt’s FOCUS is on belt drive ebikes, both at the budget and premium end of the market. This is why we were eager to get out hands on the Vvolt Sirius. Read on for our written Vvolt Sirius review or check out our full video review below.

Vvolt Sirius Review

Vvolt Sirius Color Options

What makes the Vvolt Sirius Unique?

In order to understand what makes the Vvolt Sirius unique, you have to look closer at three specific components: the mid-drive motor, belt drive, and Enviolo internally geared hub. There are not many ebikes on the market with these features and those that have similar features are priced much higher. Let’s break down these three components first (full list on Vvolt’s website).

Motor

The Vvolt Sirius has a 250 watt MPF mid-drive motor with 80Nm of torque (500-watt peak power). While MPF is a lesser-known motor brand, in our testing the motor performed well and seemed just as quiet as other mid-drive ebikes. Since this ebike utilizes a torque sensor, it provides more of a true cycling experience – just with an extra boost. As you apply more pressure to the motor, it kicks in further. The power delivery is smooth so you’ll never feel like you’re being jolted forward.

Internally Geared Hub with a Gates Carbon Belt

The Vvolt is using an Enviolo TR rear hub with stepless shifting and 380% gear range. Now that’s a lot of jargon, but what you need to know is that the gears are enclosed in a hub to which the spokes attach. This is how you are able to get gears on a bike that is belt driven. And Vvolt chose the company that makes the best belts: Gates. The result is a drivetrain that should last thousands of miles with no maintenance.

Despite the gears being internal, there is still a shifter cable that runs to the rear of the Vvolt. The only difference is you have stepless shifting, meaning there aren’t 7 or 9 set gears – you simply use the right-hand twist shifter to change the gearing until you’re pedaling at your preferred resistance and cadence. The shifter displays a bike rider and the hill pictured either increases or decreases in steepness as you change gears. So when you’re climbing a hill, it’s likely a hill will be pictured and you’ll be in a lower gear.

Battery, Display and Lights

The Vvolt Sirius has an integrated 10.4 Ah 36 volt (375 watt-hour) Celxpert battery with LG cells. This is on the lower side as far as capacity, but mid-drives like this are more efficient. The estimated range is between 20-40 miles. One of the benefits of the smaller battery is a lighter-weight ebike. The Vvolt Sirius small/medium weighs just 54 lbs and the large/extra-large weighs 56 lbs. According to Vvolt the battery takes 5.5 hours to fully charge.

The monochrome Xplova by Acer digital display is basic. It provides pedal assist mode (4 plus walk mode), three bars to express the amount of charge left in the battery, and odometer, range, and trip distance. The battery itself contains a button with lights that shows its capacity when pressed. While there is a mobile app to pair your Vvolt with your phone it is very basic. Vvolt is working on its own mobile app which should provide better functionality.

One nice feature is the USB charging port on the display. And while the Vvolt Sirius does not come with an integrated light, it does come with a front and rear rechargeable lights. The front light is plenty bright and feels high quality though the rear could be brighter. An integrated external front light can be purchased directly from Vvolt.

Class 1 with Option for Class 3 (Warp Core Upgrade!)

From Vvolt, the Sirius comes as a Class 1 electric bike which means a top speed of 20 mph (no throttle). But for those looking to be able to reach faster speeds, Vvolt offers the Warp Core Upgrade (100). This allows the Sirius to hit speeds up to 28 mph as a Class 3 electric bike. It also enables one additional level of assistance – up to 5 instead of 4. Included in the Warp Core Upgrade kit is a new display that looks almost identical to the stock display with the exception of the red buttons (below).

It’s important to note that the Warp Core Upgrade does not change the maximum level of assistance, you get up to 350% of your power with either the stock controller or the Warp Core Upgrade. It is simply allowing you to surpass the 20 mph top speed.

Frame, Fork and Other Components

The Sirius comes in two sizes: small/medium and large/extra-large. Riders 5′ 7″ – 6′ 1″ will want to consider the small/medium and riders 5’11”-6’4″ should opt for the large/extra-large. Standover heights are 31″ and 33″ respectively. And taking a nod from their sister company that sells cycling gear, Showers Pass, Vvolt made all of their graphics on their ebikes reflective.

The frame feels more akin to a mountain bike than most ebikes we’ve tested. And this is a good thing because the Kenda 27.5″ x 2.2″ inch tires are plenty capable of doing some trails. Vvolt says there is clearance for up to 2.4″ wide tires on the Sirius. While we couldn’t find a brand on the air fork, it performed well in our testing and adds to the versatility of the Vvolt Sirius.

For stopping power, the Vvolt Sirius comes with Radius hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors. We found that there is a small tolerance for adjustment on these brakes but they feel really nice and more importantly, perform well.

Vvolt Sirius Vs Vvolt Proxima

The Proxima (2,699) and Sirius (2,799) are both mid-drive offerings from Vvolt and share many of the same features. However, there are a few key differences. The Proxima is meant for more urban or city riding as it has a rigid fork. It also has thinner 40mm wide tires and weighs less at either 40 or 42 lbs depending on the size.

So the Proxima will feel more nimble and efficient for city riding but if your rides ever take you off-road or over bumps, the Sirius is the best option.

Warranty, Support and Shipping

Vvolt stands behind its products by offering an almost unheard-of 3-year warranty on all of its bikes. The warranty protects you against the manufacturer’s defects without any mileage limitations. This includes problems related to the battery, motor, transmission, belt, wheels, brakes, etc. Plus, the company is US based so should any issues arise the company will be able to help.

Vvolt also has a “crash replacement” program. If your bike is damaged or destroyed in a crash Vvolt will give you a discount on a replacement. Discounts are based on the date of original purchase:

  • 0-12 Months – 60% off replacement price
  • 13-24 Months – 40% off replacement price
  • 25-48 Months – 20% off replacement price

Vvolt ships their ebikes for free in the contiguous US. Those who live in Hawaii or Alaska should contact Vvolt directly for shipping options.

Final Verdict

There’s a whole lot to like here. While at 2,799 the Vvolt Sirius is undoubtedly a premium ebike, the Sirius feels like it justifies its price. The mid-drive motor paired with a Gates belt and Enviolo internally geared hub is a fantastic combo. It’s low maintenance and it will make you question ever wanting to ride a chain-driven bike again. With a 3-year warranty backing it up, the Vvolt Sirius is well worth your consideration. Learn more about Vvolt’s lineup.

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