The Volt Axis is a high-quality and powerful folding cycle, perfect for commuting. Sarah Moore reports.
The results of Volt’s collaborative efforts with components maker Shimano are bearing fruit in the form of this funky-looking foldable electric bike, the Axis, says Richard Peace on Electric Bike Report.
At the heart of it is a Shimano E6000 crank drive motor, a “dependable, high-quality choice for city and leisure riders”. You can shift gears electronically by pressing the up and down arrows on the handlebars, or switch to automatic changing mode, where the system will decide when to change for you.
Unlike the Brompton Electric, which collapses into itself like an aluminium yogi, the Axis folds back on itself like a big spokey book, says Steve Hogarty in City AM. The handlebar snaps and twists around “in a way that’s not possible or even useful to describe in writing, and then everything is held in place by magnets”. The result is still “rather large and heavy for a folding bike… but it’s collapsible enough to endure the scrutiny of any train guard”. The mechanism is “hardly going to have Brompton’s engineers in a cold sweat”, but it does quickly fold just enough to let you take it on a train in the rush hour, and unlike the GoCycle, you don’t need any tools or have to “remove the damn wheels”, say Leon Poultney and Duncan Bell on T3.
But what it lacks in folding sophistication, the Axis makes up for with its 250w Shimano Steps battery and motor, says Rupert Radley in Cycling Weekly. There is no shortage of torque when setting off from lights or at junctions, and the motor and battery were more powerful than the Brompton’s, “pulling me clear of the line faster than most cars”. In “super-eco sweatlord mode” (there is an eco, normal and high-power mode), the battery’s advertised range is 60-plus miles, says Hogarty. This should be “more than enough to get you across London and back several times, such that you need only charge the battery using your employer’s electricity”.
Price: £3,099 from voltbikes.co.uk Weight: 16kg without batteries; 18.65kg with battery Frame: high-grade reinforced aluminium Frame size: 20 inches Max assisted motor speed: 15.5mph Power: 36V standard 418Wh Distance: 60+miles under Eco PAS mode Charge time: 3 to 4 hours