There are ebikes for all sorts of riders on the market, in case that's worth pointing out, but it's quite rare to try one that's ideal for city-dwellers but can also handle some slightly more mixed terrain.
Volt's latest version of its Infinity bike is just that - a joy to ride on smooth streets, but no problem if you have to go off-path a little, thanks to its suspension. Here's how we've found it in more detail.
- Weighs 23.6kg
- Available in silver only
The Infinity bears a clear resemblance to the Volt London that we rode a few months ago - it has the same dusted silver finish and contrasting black battery segment.
The frame, of course, is very different with a more mountain-bike-esque look and feel that makes for a slightly different riding position that is a little more poised.
The bike also adds suspension on its front fork for some really welcome shock absorption, something that is quite a game-changer compared to most modern urban ebikes.
That said, this also makes it look pretty utilitarian, and it's one of the ebikes we've tried that looks most like something a (particularly wealthy) Deliveroo rider might use.
So, your opinion on the Infinity's looks might vary a little, although we think it's ultimately a nice practical design for a bike that is exactly such a sensible option.
It comes with hooked-up lighting, although the front light is pretty conspicuous on the front, so this also isn't one for those who like their ebikes super-slick and hyper-designed.
Mounted between the handlebars is a fairly simple LCD screen that you can use to keep track of your speed, assistance level and your current gear, all of which are handy, with toggle buttons on the electronic shifters to let you change screens.
It works well, although we prefer our ebikes with no display, which isn't really an option here. Still, it's fairly subtle and basic, in a good way.
We think the Volt London is a clearly nicer-looking bike than the Infinity, though, even if its design makes for a slightly less comfortable ride in reality.
Assistance and ride
- Three assistance levels
- Electronic gear shifting
- Central crank motor
Hopping onto the Volt Infinity, you can see how those design choices impact on you in all the right ways.
The riding position is a little more upright and comfortable than it was on the London, but the real hero here is the addition of front-wheel suspension.
This dampens bumps in a way that can't really be replicated artificially, and it means that the Infinity is really nice to ride around if you have to head over speedbumps, curbs or small potholes.
It's very far from a mountain bike, to be clear, and we wouldn't throw it down any sort of trail, but the Infinity is still a little bit more practical than most city bikes.
There are three assistance levels to use while you ride, with all three impressive. Eco mode gets you maximum range but impressively still has a noticeable vim to it, while the medium and high assist modes each give you proper propulsion.
The highest mode, in fact, was actually a little quick for us in many circumstances, and we stuck to medium for most of our riding, which is always a good thing.
It means you have the option of real oomph when you need it (if you're snarled in front of heavy vehicles at a red light, for example), but nice comfortable cruising speeds for the majority of your time.
The motor here is located in the pedal housing, right in the middle of the bike, and this is something that also really helps with ride quality. It makes for more balance and removes any risk of feeling either dragged along or propelled by the front or rear wheels.
With gear shifting provided by Shimano, the Infinity also has an all-electronic gear system that lets you swap up and down using buttons on its handlebars.
This is really impressive and smooth, and there's even an automatic mode for those who want a truly futuristic option. We found it a little unreliable, though, to puncture that idea.
Features and range
- 144km range in Eco mode
- Four-hour charging time
The stated range on the Infinity is very, very decent for a bike of its type, and has held up pretty well in our testing. That said, it's a challenge to assess given that we don't have ranges for the other two modes.
Still, when low on battery we've dropped into Eco mode and eked out a heck of a lot of kilometres, and the addition of a range estimate on the LCD panel is really useful, too.
One minor mark against the Infinity, though, comes in the charging department. We make no secret of the fact that removable batteries are better for the vast majority of bike users in our opinion.
The Infinity does have one, as befits the contrasting appearance of its battery, but it's way less easy to remove than on the Volt London.
You have to use a key to unlock the panel, then again to release the battery, and its positioning makes this pretty fiddly. The fact that Volt doesn't actually say the battery is removable on its website is a marker of the likely intention that you don't bother.
That's a shame, and makes it a much bigger faff to charge what is a pretty heavy bike at 23kg - this is one you won't be happy taking up a flight of stairs. The option is at least there, though.
A four-hour recharge time is pretty normal given you'll generally be plugging it in overnight but does mean that you don't get much of a boost from a short 15-minute charge, for example.