Our Rating - 4.3/5
Vvolt Alpha In-Depth Review
One of the biggest drawbacks of electric bikes is that they can look silly! You usually have either a very big external battery or a huge downtube.
With the VVolt Alpha e-bike, neither of those is true. While the downtube of this e-bike is wider than a traditional frame, at first glance, you wouldn’t say it’s an electric bike.
The e-bike also lacks some of the silly “features” of other entry-level electric bikes such as fat tires, extended quill stems, and cheap suspension forks. Trust me, that’s a good thing for your daily commuting e-bike.
The VVolt Alpha is the perfect electric bike for someone who wants a simple commuter bike with the extra assistance a motor can provide. Want to get to work or home a little faster, or just cruise around the town, but still in style? This is a great electric bike for you.
Before we start, let’s look at the specs of the Vvolt Alpha and then review each aspect of this commuter electric bike.
44-46 pounds (based on the frame sizes)
Aluminum Alloy Frame
27.5 x 2.0-inch
350W Xplova/ACER Rear Hub Motor
375Wh Battery with LG cells
20 to 40 miles
Hydraulic disc brakes 160mm rotors
The idea of purchasing an e-bike online can be intimidating. Luckily, the VVolt Alpha is incredibly easy to assemble out of the box - even the most mechanically unprepared will be able to handle it.
This electric bike’s frame is constructed out of Aluminum Alloy - a standard material used for electric bikes.
VVolt Alpha comes in two variants - one with a traditional frame and one that has a step-through frame. The step-through frame definitely makes getting on and off the e-bike easier when riding around town.
If you are not a fan of or just don’t want a step-through frame, the VVolt Alpha also comes in a bit more traditional frame design that features a higher top tube.
The drivetrain of the Vvolt Alpha is low maintenance. Rather than a chain, the Vvolt Alpha has a high-quality Gates belt drive. What this means is there’s nothing to rust and lube.
Although Vvolt Alpha doesn’t come with a rack, it has bosses so you could easily add one if you’d like. Also, Vvolt Alpha features bosses on the front fork - this is where you could add water bottle cages or a bag.
What about lights? This e-bike comes with rechargeable rear and front lights, although they aren’t integrated, which is a bummer - don’t forget to take them off to recharge!
Unlike many electric bikes that are one-size-fits-all, this one comes in two sizes: S/M and L/XL.
While the S/M has a standover height of 27 inches and a height range of 4’9″ to 5’8″ I think it would feel rather big for some tinier women.
If you intend on sharing this e-bike with somebody else, it’s worth noting that there isn’t a quick-release collar on the seat post. This means you’ll need a hex key (included with the e-bike) to lower or raise the seat when you swap the bike.
Volt Alpha comes with a sturdy one-sided kickstand. Many electric bikes usually come with a dual-sided kickstand which is sturdier, but perhaps unnecessary on the Vvolt Alpha since it is so light.
The off-brand ergo-style grips on this e-bike are more comfortable than some smaller diameter grips for commuting. Also, the display on this e-bike is rather small. It shows your speed, assist level, distance, and battery life. It also comes with a USB port for charging, so you could plug in and charge your phone on the go.
The VVolt Alpha is a Class 1 electric bike. This means that it doesn’t come with a throttle, and is limited to a max speed of 20mph.
While not having a throttle on heavier e-cargo bikes can be a negative thing, the VVolt Alpha is light enough that you won't miss the throttle at all. It gets up to speed pretty quickly and feels quite zippy.
The e-bike features a 350W Acer Xplova hub motor. Although this is notably less compared to some motors, you will never feel underpowered. Again, this is likely due to the light weight.
Speaking of lightweight, at only 44 pounds, this is an electric bike that you can easily bike home if you run out of battery life. There are plenty of e-bikes that are almost impossible to ride without the motor turned on, but you will have no problem cruising with the motor turned off on the Vvolt Alpha.
While the single-speed design is great for keeping things simple and low maintenance, Alpha can feel under-geared when riding in fast traffic or climbing steep hills.
On the other hand, with the help of the electric assist, you will never feel over-geared even when riding up steep hills. As with all single-speed bikes, there is always a tradeoff between being under or over-geared.
The battery on the Vvolt Alpha is off-brand called Celxpert. However, the cells inside are actually LG – a well-known, and respected brand.
This battery offers 375Wh and is advertised to reach 20 to 40 miles of range per charge. With the assist turned up all the way, the 20-mile range is about accurate.
Charging the Alpha simply requires plugging in the battery. The battery can be attached to the e-bike or removed and brought inside.
There is an indicator light on the downtube that shows charge status. When the bike’s battery is charged, the light is green, and when it’s not, it’s red.
Hydraulic disc brakes provide superior stopping power when compared to mechanical disc brakes or v-brakes. The VVolt Alpha features Radius hydraulic disc brakes.
The Radius brakes aren’t a brand name, and probably don’t offer the same quality or durability as brakes from big names like Shimano, but during the testing, they seem to offer plenty of stopping power.
Like other components on this electric bike, you’ll notice the price has been kept low by providing these off-brand brakes. If you want a higher-end build, you need to be prepared to pay a higher-end price.
This e-bike features 27.5-inch rims which is a standard size for commuter electric bikes and, all in all, decent quality rims.
Like other components on the Vvolt Alpha, the Chaoyang 27.5 x 2.0-inch tires are off-brand but seemed good enough.
Post Test Summary: Vvolt Alpha Pros And Cons
While some of its parts meet the standard of the electric bikes, some components come from off-brands. For $1400, this is a more-than-decent e-bike that's made to be ridden on asphalt around the town.
What I Like About The Vvolt Alpha
The first thing I love about the Vvolt Alpha is the weight. This e-bike weighs 44 pounds which is pretty light for an electric bike. Also, the design of the Vvolt Alpha is really sleek, and offers two different possibilities for the top tube.
This electric bike comes in two variants - one with a step-through frame and the other with a traditional frame. So if you aren’t a fan of one of these, you can choose the other!
Another thing I like about this electric bike is that it features a high-quality Gates belt drive which is extremely low maintenance.
What I Don’t Like About Vvolt Alpha
One major con of the Vvolt Alpha is that it doesn’t feature a throttle so it can feel less zippy for some riders. Another thing is the range of this electric bike - around 20 miles, which is on the lower end. The lights aren’t integrated, which can be a drag sometimes.
Also, certain features of this e-bike come from off-brands which aren’t of the highest quality so if you want something better, you would have to upgrade it yourself.
At the price point, you really can’t beat the VVolt Alpha. It’s a simple e-bike and doesn’t offer all the extras such as racks, integrated lights, or a wheel lock for instance, but that’s what has kept the price on the lower end. And you might not even need those extras anyway.
In addition to the attractive price, the aesthetic of the Alpha is enticing as well. The frame is sleek, and doesn’t scream “electric bike.”
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, simple commuter electric bike, the VVolt Alpha is most likely exactly what you’ve been searching for.