The Aventon Soltera e-bike is a shining example that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a functional, comfortable e-bike that’s appropriate for commuting or just having fun. It may lack some of the bells and whistles of some of the best electric bikes, but the Soltera delivers a pleasant ride quality, easy controls, and no-frills build that keeps the price low.
It also looks pretty darn good. The battery is hidden in the down tube, which means you might not even realize it’s an e-bike at first glance. That trend continues when you pick it up: at 41 pounds, most users will be able to move it around with general ease. This comes in handy for apartment dwellers who don’t live on the ground floor.
If you’re interested in buying your first e-bike and want something that delivers quality at a low price, the Soltera is worth a look. But make sure to read the rest of our Aventon Soltera review first.
Price and availability
The Soltera costs $1,199 for the single-speed version, which is the model I tested. If you want to bump up to the 7-speed version of the Soltera, that will cost you $1,299.
You can order the Soltera on Aventon’s website. Aventon offers free shipping on some orders, and lots of discount opportunities (military, first responder, gov employee, teacher).
There’s also a dealer locator on the website for dealers in the U.S. and Canada. That way, you can stop into a shop to test ride, find out which bike fits you best, and even buy right through the local store.
The Soltera comes in two sizes: regular and large. Aventon says the regular is the most appropriate size if you’re between 5’1” and 5’7”. The large is best if you’re between 5’7” and 6’4”. There’s a step-through option as well to make it easier to mount and dismount the bike. I am 5’11” with a 30-inch inseam, and the large frame fit me perfectly.
The aluminum frame features lights integrated into the seat stays. There’s a headlight mounted just below the stem at the front of the bike too. That’s a little fancier than the Swft Volt, another budget ebike, which only has a headlight. You can get the Soltera in three different colors. Aventon advertises the Soltera weight as 41 pounds for the singlespeed version.
The wheels are aluminum as well, and they mate to Tektro rim brakes. The wheels do not feature quick release levers; instead, they are bolted on. This is likely to accommodate beginner cyclists who may not be familiar with how quick release levers work.
Phylion’s removable lithium-ion battery is integrated into the downtube of the frame. At first glance, the Soltera barely looks like an e-bike at all, a nice nod to the effectiveness of Aventon’s battery integration. The battery itself is physically smaller than many batteries on similar bikes, which helps it hide more effectively inside the frame.
The rear hub motor is Aventon-branded and features 36V and 350W of power. Aventon says this motor is “white-labeled,” which means Aventon sourced the motor from another company. (They did not say what company made the motor.)
The BC280 LCD Easy Read Color Display has an integrated backlight for easy viewing in dark conditions. It can sync with an app that allows you to configure your lights, track your mileage, view battery life percentage, record rides, and even set goals for yourself.
The Soltera immediately impressed me with its comfortable riding position. A cushy saddle combined with an upright riding position makes the Soltera pleasant to ride, particularly for those with less flexibility to accommodate aggressive riding positions.
The head unit display also impressed. It’s very bright, even in direct sunlight, and it’s easy to read at a quick glance. Navigating the menus is simple using the handlebar control buttons, and adjusting the assist level is just as easy using those same control buttons.
Getting the bike going can be a challenge if you’re counting on the pedal-assist or throttle to do most of the work. It takes about a second or slightly more for the assist power to kick in regardless of whether you’re using the pedal-assist mode or the throttle.
That means you’ll start pedaling under your own power from a dead stop. That’s not a huge problem for most riders, but if the bike is loaded down with weight or you’ll be relying primarily on the motor assist to get you going, that lag can be long enough to become problematic.
Once you’re up and pedaling, the motor kicks in and offers smooth acceleration. But just as it takes a second or more for the assist to kick in, it also takes a second or so for the assist to disengage, regardless of whether you’re using the throttle or the pedal-assist feature.
Read More: https://www.tomsguide.com/reviews/aventon-soltera