Happy New Year! Looking Ahead

I hope everyone has a good start to the New Year. Every year has its unexpected challenges, surprises, and disappointments, but every year is much how we make it. I’m spending the cold winter months here in Illinois planning some biking vacations. I’m also looking at what bikes I would love to review this year. So here’s a look ahead!

Since I did very little travel or journeying last year, I’m hoping to make up for it this year. There are two bike trails that I’m focused on in Michigan. The first is the Little Traverse Wheelway in northern Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. I visited Traverse City, Michigan a few years ago and enjoyed the area. It’s worth another trip back to do some more serious exploring.

Another trail I’m researching is the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Pennsylvania. With this, I’d be taking a 25-mile train ride with my bike through the Lehigh Gorge and then pedal back down the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail to Jim Thorpe. I’ve never visited Pennsylvania, so it would be all new to me.

Ebikes to Review in 2022

Since I reviewed the Avadar C3 ebike, I’ve fallen in love with lighter weight ebikes that keep things simple but still refined. There are two bikes that I’ll be reviewing this spring that fall into the same category. Both companies are new names to me, but seem to have made good choices in components and frame geometry.

The V Volt Alpha S, priced at $1399 is a very low maintenance ebike with a single gear, Gates belt drive, hydraulic disc brakes, a 350-watt Acer rear hub motor, and 375-watt battery. It features 27.5″ x 2.0″ tires. The single gear drivetrain has a 2.08 gear ratio from the 50t chain ring and 24t rear gear. It might not seem like a powerhouse of an ebike with 350-watts, but its 44 lbs will feel light compared to most ebikes that average around 60+ lbs.

V Volt also offers a 3-year warranty, one of the longest I’ve seen for any ebike. High-step versions are also available. There’s no suspension, but the Alpha is meant for pavement and city riding. The stiff front fork will produce a more efficient ride. Looks like a good ebike for those not wanting to spend a ton or have an ebike that weighs a ton.

Another bike I’ll be reviewing is from Triton. They have some very slick full suspension mountain e-bikes that I would love to try, but I’m focused on their city/gravel bike called the Iris.

The Iris has a carbon fiber frame, Bofeili 250w/350w peak mid-drive motor, 36V/10.5Ah battery, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Shimona Alivio 9-speed transmission, and Suntour XCM front fork. It rides on 27.5″ 2.5″ Schwalbe tires, which is a versatile size for both pavement and gravel trails.





The Iris only weighs 42lbs, which is great for an ebike. Finding any kind of carbon fiber frame bike for around $2200 is very difficult to do.

Conclusion

There’s other ebikes I’ll be reviewing too. I have a couple here in the house that are just waiting for warmer weather. Mostly, I’m just looking forward to sunny days and pleasant rides where I live.

If you have watched any of my bike reviews, you’ve seen parts of the local path that I’m riding nearly every weekend during the summer. I’m so lucky to live next to a beautiful and well-maintained trail here in Decatur, Illinois. I’d invite you to try it out, if you’re in the area.

I’m looking forward to 2022, and I hope it’s a great year for you!