Bicycles

It's what's on the inside that counts for the Volata bike

It's what's on the inside that...
Volata's battery is integrated, and charges via a dynamo on the front wheel
Volata's battery is integrated, and charges via a dynamo on the front wheel
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There's a light integrated into the back of the bike
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There's a light integrated into the back of the bike
Volata is aimed at bike commuters
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Volata is aimed at bike commuters
The little 2.4-inch display syncs up to your smartphone
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The little 2.4-inch display syncs up to your smartphone
The frame is made of 7005 aluminum
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The frame is made of 7005 aluminum
The design is meant to be clean and clear of any awkwardly stuck-on accessories
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The design is meant to be clean and clear of any awkwardly stuck-on accessories
The lights are sensor operated
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The lights are sensor operated
Volata's design is clean and simple
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Volata's design is clean and simple
Volata's battery is integrated, and charges via a dynamo on the front wheel
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Volata's battery is integrated, and charges via a dynamo on the front wheel

Anyone who commutes on two wheels will know there's a world of gadgets that can be strapped to your bike to make life easier and safer. Problem is, add lights and a speedo, or power sensors and a heavy duty lock, and your slick lightweight bike isn't so slick or light anymore. Volata's new bike is designed to be the antidote, neatly integrating those various bits and pieces into one cohesive package.

At the core of this setup is a 7005 aluminum frame and carbon forks, designed to balance comfort and stiffness across pockmarked city streets. The front fork is wider than a regular road bike fork to house wider wheels, and there's a dual LED light system built in so there's no need to strap one onto the handlebars when riding at night.

To stop riders getting their hands dirty, power is put down through a belt drive and 11-speed Shimano Alfine internal-gear hub. Shifting is handled by the full electric Di2 system, which provides more precise shifts than a traditional mechanical system. It's also a neater solution, fully contained within the rear hub where the elements can't cause as much wear and tear.

The little 2.4-inch display syncs up to your smartphone
The little 2.4-inch display syncs up to your smartphone

Riders interact with the bike through a 2.4-inch LCD TFT display embedded in the aluminum stem. It's controlled by a joystick sitting atop the righthand handlebar grip to allow input while keeping hands on the handlebar and eyes on the road. When paired with a smartphone, the centrally-located screen can display information about weather, navigation, heart rate and music, as well as passing on any incoming notifications.

And riders don't have to worry about using that little screen to turn the lights on. Just like the Cyclotron, there's a sensor to handle that task.

The smartphone app that works in tandem with the little on-bike display is also designed to provide more in-depth information after a ride. It allows access to distance and energy measurements, information on the state of the inbuilt battery, and can flash the lights and honk the horn remotely. There's also GPS tracking built in if thieves manage to make off with your pricey new bike.

Volata is aimed at bike commuters
Volata is aimed at bike commuters

To reduce the chances on this, a motion-detecting alarm system sends a notification to the app when it detects someone trying to steal it. All these systems – the front and rear lights, trip computer, horn and GPS tracker – are powered by an integrated battery pack, charged through a dynamo on the front wheel.

At the moment, the bike can be configured in terms of color, size and saddle choice through the Volata website, where a US$299 deposit is all that's required to reserve a bike – although you'll be up for $3,499 when it's actually built.

That's more than most other smart bikes, but it looks like a far more cohesive package than those other offerings. Deliveries are set to start in July 2017, so those reservations are best left for patient early adopters who simply must be the first to have one.

Volata's introductory video is below.

Source: Volata

Meet Volata, The Evolution Of Your Everyday Ride

5 comments
Timelord
Why do people who come up with fancy designer "commuter" bikes always throw in impracticalities? They add all sorts of fancy technology at the expense of the basics. The stem looks like it's fixed height, unless you're willing to replace it with an adjustable angle stem. The long head tube and sloping top tube reduce standover height. I don't see any mounts for racks or fenders, so you're going to get wet and you're limited to carrying what you can fit in a messenger bag or backpack.
aWintersTale
For the dedicated commuter who needs something faster than a mountain bike but more versatile than their 16 pound carbon road bike, this particular offer might just fit the bill. I'm looking at the integrated nature of the components, and how much R & D and engineering went into making this bike with the commuter in mind. It really has all bases covered, from lighting, safety, security, to uniqueness (Alfine, belt drive, Di2 -whoa). And its pretty to look at, with the sloping top tube, the massive fork (which gives the bike a stout, pot hole-ready stance). I would be interested in this bike, exploring it further not only as a product, but for the saccharin brain trust of those behind this bike.
fearnow
Timelord and I agree on this - making such a specialized (no relation) commuter with so many gadgets locked in makes this an exercise in boutique bicycling, but other than being seen with your fancy new bike doesn't make much sense to those of us who ride 15miles each way on our (frankenbike customized monster).
ljaques
OK, I like the internal gearing (what's the reliability so far?), the built-in GPS and auto lights, but where, oh, where do they get that freaking PRICE?
NRgg
Hello Timelord, this is Nicolò from Volata Cycles. Thanks for your opinion! Just a couple of notes: Volata will come with two different stem lengths (90mm sizes S-M, 105mm sizes L-XL) and angles (-5° standard, and +5°), so you'll be able to adjust the position to suit your specific riding needs. On Volata you will be able to mount most of the universal fenders and racks available on the market, and we're also developing ours, which will seamlessly follow and integrate into the bike aesthetic.