There's always an e-bike looking for a crowdfunding push these days, it seems. Some are a bit niche, like the MOAR folding fat bike. Others look like they might have more of a universal appeal, and the Pure Cycles Volta is one of them.
What do we have here? Well, it's a 20"-wheeled, rigid city bike with a hidden 208Wh battery and a 250W rear hub motor. It uses a bottom bracket torque sensor to manage the motor power.
So far, so standard: it's designed as a short-hop for city use and it looks pretty neat. It's definitely a 'look twice' e-bike, with very little to give away the fact you're getting some help. Pure Cycles suggest a range of up to 40 miles; realistically from a battery that size you'll more likely get half that through average use. But that's plenty for most people's commute or daily riding needs. You can have the bike in low- or high-power mode, or you can turn the motor of completely; given that the bike's claimed weight is just 15.8kg that's something that might actually be a useful mode in this case.
There's two drivetrain options. The Gates CDX belt drive is well proven, looks great and runs clean; the downside is that the bike's a singlespeed in this configuration so if you live somewhere lumpy it won't be the best option. Pure Cycles have sensibly offered an 8-speed derailleur transmission as an option.
There's some interesting tech crammed in to the bike too. The lights are integrated and they're also automatic, so they come on when you need them. The Volta also has a GPS tracker built in, and a dedicated app. You can track your bike and get theft alerts, and the app also gives you access to bike setup, as well as tracking your rides and your fitness.
The Volta isn't designed to lug huge loads – although there is a rear rack option – but it does have a nice little porteur rack on the front that'll take the day's shopping or a six-pack of beer. It's attached to the frame, not the fork, so a load won't affect the bike's handling too much.
If you're interested then head over to the Volta's kickstarter page: the bike is $1,399 if you snap up an earlt bird deal, although you'll end up paying VAT on that too if you're in the UK.