A FAT-TIRE BIKE THAT MOTORS
The Aventon Aventure integrates style with everyday usefulness
By Troy Templin
As we all know, the quickly evolving e-bike market is all over the place with different styles and system integration. The team at Aventon seems to have figured it out, as their catalog of bikes not only includes a growing range of styles, but they also have mastered seamlessly integrating the power system with aesthetically pleasing frame designs. Although we’re well-versed with their city/commuter bikes, when we got a peek at the Aventure fat-tire bike and its Class 3 capabilities, we jumped at the chance to get a test ride.
The alloy Aventure comes in three sizes and three colorways. Although a step-through version is offered, in our opinion, it has a less appealing aesthetic. The small frame is designed for riders between 5-foot-” to 5-foot-7, medium for 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-11, and the large is for 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-4. We got a size large that has been a perfect fit for out test riders between 5-foot-11 to 6 feet tall.
“Let’s get this out of the way at the beginning, but the Aventure might look like an off-road shredder, but the Zoom fork and the components aren’t meant for shredding trails.”
All of the sizes have a very similar geometry, with the differences being standover and the size of the center triangle. All sizes have the same 37.5cm reach, 14cm head tube and 114.1cm wheelbase. The large downtube is well-balanced, thanks to the large 4-inch tires, and all sizes have a very balanced look. A very handy addition is the rear-chainstay-mounted kickstand.
The heart of the Aventure is a 750-watt Bafang hub motor matched with a 720Wh battery that is 48 volts at 15 Ah. This large battery is somehow stuffed into the large downtube for a completely integrated sleek design while still being removable. Along with the motor is a slim, stem-mounted color LCD display.
Not the most common brand, but Bengal hydraulic disc brakes with integrated-motor cutout connections are matched with 180mm rotors. Aventon has chosen the popular 1x Shimano Acera 8-speed drivetrain with a 12-32 cassette matched with a 46-tooth crank. All frame sizes have a 170mm crankarm length, too. There is a wide and comfortable self-branded saddle.
The alloy frame is paired with an 80mm Zoom suspension fork, maintaining the off-road aesthetic. Following the same robust aesthetic are a pair of Kenda 4-inch-wide knobby fat tires mounted on 26-inch rims. Bringing a bit of versatility is a front-mounted light and integrated rear light. The rear light also doubles as a brake light.
While the Aventure might look like an off-road shredder, but the Zoom fork and the components aren’t meant for shredding trails. What it’s great for are dirt paths, fire roads, double-track and pretty much anything paved. We even tried it at the beach in the deep, soft sand and rock-littered points; it was perfect and so much fun.
The bike ships as a Class 2 with around a 20-mph top speed while pedaling or using the throttle. The hub motor is super torquey from a stop. After only about one ride, we quickly downloaded the Aventon app, connected our bike and switch our rig to Class 3. The throttle remains restricted to 20 ,mph but pedaling in mode 5 offers 28 mph, and for some reason a few times up to 32. Setting 1 offered 12 mph, setting 2 at 15 mph, setting 3 at 20 mph, and setting 4 at 25 mph.
While in setting 1 we got a range of about 50 miles, and in setting 5 we got just under 25 miles. The best part of the color display was the fact that it shows the percentage readout for the battery instead of the more common bars. When running low on battery, the bike automatically changes its characteristics. At 20-percent battery, the torque lowers, and below 5 percent it tops out at 20 mph even in mode 5.
We spent most of our time zipping around town, running errands and searching for surf along the coast. The bike is long and stable, which is enhanced with the massive traction and grip you get on the 4-inch tires. We did try it on some singletrack, but the nearly 75-pound bike was less than nimble, and the fork wasn’t up for the effort.
Overall, the Aventure was a lot of fun, and all of the test riders loved it. The throttle is nice when cruising through town or just getting started from a stop. Because the motor is in the hub, there is no added torque, wear and abuse put on the drivetrain. The weight of the motor and battery are low, but the bike is heavy at just under 75 pounds. Not surprisingly, getting it up a flight of stairs or even on a bike rack is not easy.
We really liked the fact that there were lights included, so there’s no worrying if you stay out past dark, and the brake light is nice when on a busy beach bike path or campground trail. Our bike has a front and rear rack, as well as metal fenders. The front rack will set you back $40 and has a rating of 25 pounds, while the rear rack is $50 and holds 55 pounds. We really liked the fact that the front rack is attached to the frame so it doesn’t affect steering when weighed down.
The biggest downside we noticed was the few times we went on an extended uphill. It didn’t seem to matter what mode we were in, because the motor would overheat after 10–15 minutes of consistent steep climbing. Like we said at the beginning, this isn’t meant for mountain biking, and long climbs will leave you pedaling without assistance, which isn’t fun with the massive 4-inch tires. Stick to the level ground and gradual grades, and the bike delivers miles and miles of good times.
Frame: 6061 single-butted aluminum with internal battery
Fork: Zoom suspension fork with 80mm travel
Motor: Bafang 750W geared rear hub drive, 1130W peak output
Battery: Lithium-ion, 720 Wh
Charge time: 4–5 hours
Top speed: 28 mph (Class 3)
Range: 45 miles (claimed)
Rear derailleur: Shimano Acera 8-speed cassette
Brakes: Bengal hydraulic disc, 180mm rotors
Rims: Double-wall aluminum,
Hubs: 36h thru-axle front, nutted rear
Weight: 73 pounds
Color choices: SoCal Sand, Camouflage Green, Fire Black
Sizes: S, M, L