If you’re in the market for an electric bicycle but aren’t sure which one to pick, then the Aventon Soltera is worth your consideration. I say that because I am not a bike enthusiast nor do I have experience with any other electric bikes. However, I have had the pleasure of testing out the Soltera and I can say that if you’re a complete novice like me, then it’s a “one and done” affair. Here is why.
The Aventon Soltera is an affordable and powerful bike for beginners
To be honest, I hadn’t even ridden a bike in years, but when Aventon offered for me to test out a Soltera, I couldn’t pass it up. I read a few reviews and even ogled at the bike’s price. The Soltera carries a retail price of $1,199 for the single-speed version – which is what I received – and $1,299 for the seven-speed model. That may sound like a lot for a bike, but trust me, it’s worth the money.
If you can look past the Soltera’s specs, which are comparable to some e-bikes on the market and bested by others, there’s a lot to like about it. First, the Soltera arrives in a really large box and you have to put it together.
Well, you mainly just have to stick the front wheel, handlebar, and pedals onto the frame, but when you’re inexperienced like me, it looks daunting at first. (Just follow the directions and you’ll be fine).
That all being said, I applaud Aventon on the craftsmanship of this e-bike. The welds are smooth, the Azure Blue paint job is eye-pleasing, and I really like that the brake lines are well-insulated and hidden. Overall, the Soltera provides a clean look and excellent construction. Just cross your fingers that you put it together well upon receiving it – I trusted Aventon’s handiwork, but not my own.
Here are the Aventon Soltera’s specs:
|Motor||350-watt continuous rear hub motor|
|Battery||36-volt 10Ah (360 Wh)|
|Top Speed||20 mph|
|Load capacity||300 pounds|
|Brakes||Mechanical rim brakes (single-speed), Disc brakes (7-speed)|
|Tires||700c x 35|
|Price||$1,199 (single speed), $1,299 (7-speed)|
|Extras||Color LCD screen, integrated taillights, bar-mounted headlight, and left-thumb throttle|
The Soltera is a lightweight e-bike that is easy to ride
After getting the Soltera all put together and charged up, it was time to take it on the road. According to Aventon’s specs, this e-bike weighs 41 pounds, making it one of the lightest e-bikes on the market.
I can attest to that fact because I live on the third floor of my apartment building, which meant having to carry the bike up and down the stairs. Alas, it wasn’t an issue as I was easily able to carry the frame on my shoulder and hold the handlebar as I ascended and descended the stairs.
Out on the road, the Aventon Soltera feels solid and well put together. Again, part of that solidity depends on your own craftsmanship, which I quickly found out that mine was not up to par. After swinging my leg over the bike and sitting on the seat, I rested my hands on the handlebar, which immediately drooped down.
Oops, I guess I didn’t tighten two of the lock nuts on the handlebar bracket. Fortunately, I was able to fix the issue right away with the provided Allen key tool.
Self-inflicted foibles aside, the Soltera provides a nice and smooth ride. Keep in mind that there’s no suspension on this bike, so you will feel some of the dips and bumps, but the seat comfort makes up for it. Also, although the single-speed Soltera doesn’t have disc brakes, it still stops on a dime with ease.
As far as the power goes, I ran through all five levels of assist and was able to get up to around 20 mph on level 5. It was interesting hearing the whir of the electric motor while pedaling and feeling the assist come through the pedals, which got stronger as I worked my way up the assist levels. It reminded me of being a kid and having my dad push me from behind when teaching me how to ride a bike.
Going uphill is a breeze
The most fun part about riding the Soltera is going uphill. With the electric assist, it feels like you can conquer nearly any incline with ease, especially on level 5. But what’s even better is that this is a Class 2 e-bike, which means that it has an electric throttle as well.
That throttle came in handy when I didn’t feel like pedaling anymore. It’s an awesome feature to have when going uphill or just cruising, but it also felt like cheating.
The Soltera’s components are solid as well
The Soltera comes with a small LCD display that shows you pertinent information like your speed, odometer, and assist level. It’s easy to read in all types of lightning and it’s also easy to toggle through using the four rubber buttons below it.
Additionally, the e-bike has a small headlight that can be toggled on and off with the LCD display. I didn’t ride the bike at night, but the headlight is very bright and will definitely do its job when the sun goes down.
Who is this electric bike for?
After building and testing out the Aventon Soltera, I would say that it fits a variety of riders from novice to the more experienced. But if I had to narrow it down, then I would recommend the Solterra to anyone that is just getting into the world of e-bikes and needs a solid commuter to ride around town or get to work and back with.
However, I wouldn’t recommend it for any off-road riding or trails as you would be better off with a mountain bike for that. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a lightweight and affordable electric bike that’s easy to ride, then the Aventon Soltera is worth a look.