The Vvolt Slice Lite Is A Right-Sized Lightweight Utility E-Bike – CleanTechnica Tested

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When a cargo e-bike is an excessive amount of to your each day wants, however an ordinary e-bike isn’t sufficient, then a utility e-bike is perhaps simply the appropriate match, and the Vvolt Slice Lite is a stable contender.

Though Portland-based Vvolt is new to the CleanTechnica workforce, the corporate has been designing and producing electrical bikes for the last several years. The Slice Lite is its latest mannequin, and is the corporate’s entry into the utility e-bike phase, that are sort of just like the “lite” variations of cargo bikes — not as massive as a long-tail cargo bike, and never normally constructed to hold children or a great deal of cargo on the rear rack, however nonetheless very helpful for getting round city and hauling groceries or gear with you.

The Slice Lite was one of many less complicated e-bikes to place collectively, because it got here in a considerably smaller delivery field, and as a substitute of getting to elevate the e-bike out of the field (or lower down the edges of the field), Vvolt makes use of a cardboard cradle for the entrance fork which permits the bike to slip proper out of 1 finish of the field. As soon as that’s carried out, it’s a easy matter to connect the handlebars to the stem, set up the entrance fender and the entrance wheel, and put the pedals on the crank. The forked middle kickstand makes it simple to place the entrance wheel on with out a lot problem, because it retains the bike regular and can be utilized to maintain the entrance finish off the bottom throughout set up. After that, setting the rise and attain of the handlebars utilizing the quick-adjust function of the stem is straightforward to do, and though the seatpost is adjusted utilizing a recessed bolt as a substitute of a fast launch, it’s no massive deal. Then, a fast brake verify and a short experience to dial within the last place of the seat and handlebars is all that’s wanted earlier than powering it on and pedaling away.

Vvolt Slice Lite

As an alternative of utilizing a rear rack to hold a load, the Slice Lite makes use of an non-compulsory cargo module mounted to the entrance in a ‘cycle truck’ configuration straight over the 20″ x 3″ entrance tire, which is smaller than the rear tire and permits for a decrease middle of gravity. The cargo module can also be easy to put in, because it simply requires a couple of bolts attaching it to the entrance of the body, after which the headlight might be faraway from the body and relocated to the entrance of the cargo module, which can also be a fast course of. In case you ever had a entrance basket in your bike that was connected to your handlebars, you might keep in mind that the basket and its load moved with the handlebars when turning corners, which isn’t excellent. As a result of the Vvolt cargo module is mounted to the bike under the handlebars, the load is at all times in step with the body, which implies that the Slice Lite handles virtually the identical when it’s loaded as when it’s not, even as much as the 40-pound payload restrict.

The electrical help comes from a 350W (550W peak) rear hub motor, which is powered by a detachable 36V 496Wh battery mounted within the down tube, stated to be able to as much as 55 miles per cost. Pedal energy is transmitted to the rear wheel by way of a Gates carbon belt drive, which makes for a really clean and quiet experience, in addition to being low-maintenance (and cleaner, as no grease or lube is required). The Slice Lite is a singlespeed (50t entrance ring and 22t freewheel), so it’s not potential to shift up or down for hills, and as a substitute, the pedal help degree might be modified on the fly to produce extra energy to the wheel for difficult uphill grades, with the rider offering any further energy wanted.

Vvolt Slice Lite

The Slice Lite is a Class 2 e-bike, with a prime pedal help and throttle pace of 20mph, and it makes use of a mixture of torque, cadence, and pace sensors to tell the bike’s controller as to how a lot energy the motor provides. Having a torque sensor along with a cadence sensor implies that pedaling the Slice Lite has a really pure and responsive really feel to it, and there’s no hesitation when the pedal help is engaged, and no surge in pace or clunky feeling as is frequent in some cadence sensor e-bikes. Altering the pedal help from off to any of the 5 help ranges (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo, Increase) with the controls on the left aspect of the handlebars means that you can maintain your pedaling cadence regular beneath altering circumstances in your route, whereas the motor gives various ranges of help if extra energy is named for. As well as, one other button on the controls permits a low-speed Stroll mode for assist shifting the bike whereas not within the saddle. The thumb throttle on the handlebar is simple to achieve with out having to really feel round for it, and is usually a massive assist when beginning out from a useless cease or when a lift of pace is required.

The colour show gives quick access to the pace, journey distance, odometer studying, and estimated remaining vary, in addition to displaying the present pedal help degree, and it’s simple to learn even in direct daylight. The one difficulty that got here up for me in regards to the show was that it doesn’t have a clock function, which is a small factor however which is perhaps helpful whereas driving. The opposite factor that stood out for me was truly the absence of a function — there is no such thing as a app to connect with, which, though it’s actually frequent for e-bikes to have their very own app, shouldn’t be an enormous deal for many informal riders. Many e-bike apps enable for customers to alter some or the entire help parameters on the bike, or to offer mapping and different experience information, after which to share that information if desired, however for my part, not having an app is certainly not a deal-breaker.

Vvolt Slice Lite

The Slice Lite has so much going for it and has some options that I actually appreciated, in addition to another options that weren’t precisely ‘cons’ for me, however have been extra like simply kinda meh. In fact, every rider could have their very own needs and desires in an e-bike, in order at all times, your mileage might range.

For the professionals, I actually appreciated how maneuverable and nimble the Slice Lite was, because the smaller entrance wheel and the best way that it impacts the geometry of the bike makes the steering very responsive. It’s additionally not any longer than a standard bike or e-bike as some cargo bikes are, which is a plus when maneuvering in tight areas, and the forked kickstand is a good function for parking and loading the bike. The body is exclusive, with the chainstays (belt-stays?) attaching to the seat tube above the crankset, and the low prime tube means its simple to step by means of to mount it. The body feels stable and steady, however not clunky or heavy, and at a complete of simply 52 kilos, the Slice Lite just isn’t too heavy for most individuals to maneuver round when not pedaling. The belt drive is an enormous plus, because it makes pedaling clean and silent, and the entrance and rear fenders are a should for any self-respecting metropolis bike.

So far as the cons meh options go, the headlight, being mounted to the body (or the cargo module), doesn’t monitor with the handlebars, which implies that taking sharp turns after darkish is perhaps somewhat trickier (a detachable headlight added to the handlebars would remedy that, although). The rear gentle, whereas offering a shiny crimson gentle to each the edges and the rear for visibility, doesn’t have a brake gentle operate, which isn’t an enormous deal however which many different e-bikes have. The Slice Lite has no suspension, so if native highway circumstances are tough and pothole-y, it might be a little bit of a bumpy experience (and any fragile cargo put within the entrance rack may require some padding), however for many well-paved routes shall be no massive deal. The singlespeed gearing on the Slice Lite is perhaps a difficulty in the event you recurrently encounter steep grades in your experience, as even with the motor in Increase mode, pedaling up an extended hill might take a whole lot of muscle energy. I dwell on the backside of a steep hill that requires a good bit of muscle on the pedals even on some higher-powered multi-speed e-bikes, and the Slice Lite was no exception, so if it is advisable to experience a whole lot of hills and lean towards ‘sweat-free’ biking, it’s one thing to contemplate. The ultimate difficulty, which is probably not an issue for individuals who don’t ever repair their very own flats, is that each the entrance and rear wheels use bolted through-axles, so that you’d want to hold a few totally different wrenches to have the ability to restore a flat on the aspect of the highway. That stated, I perceive why these kinds of axles are used on the entrance and rear of many e-bikes, however I typically want there was a ‘fast launch’ model of these made for e-bikes.

I’ve to confess that once I first put the Slice Lite collectively, I used to be ready to not prefer it in any respect, however that was simply my bias for greater quicker fats tire e-bikes displaying its head. Nevertheless, after driving it round a bunch and placing myself in another person’s sneakers who has fully totally different wants in an e-bike, I used to be capable of actually admire the Slice Lite. For my part, it will be a sensible choice — or not less than on the quick checklist — for a big phase of riders who desire a grocery-getter and errand-runner and respectable commuter e-bike. The Vvolt Slice Lite presently retails for $2049 with free delivery within the continental US, and it comes with a 3-year guarantee.

Disclaimer: Vvolt offered this e-bike to the writer for the needs of this evaluate.


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