I’ve owned the Aventon Aventure for a year now, but it wasn’t until today that I really put it to the test with some monster hills, tight turns, loose gravel, and even some off-roading. I learned a lot about the bike, and what its best uses are. Is the Aventon Aventure good on hills? Most definitely. Is it good as a mountain bike? Well, read on.
First, I discovered the perfect to place to test out and review ebikes. It’s an old golf course in my city, that is now a park for bike riders, walkers, and those just seeking a quiet place in nature. It’s a scenic oak savanna that is great for bird watching, with winding paved trails that were once used by golf carts. Brand-new mountain bike trails have been created by a small group of volunteers.
With 8% grade hills, good power is required to climb and good brakes to descend.[wptb id=13975]
The old asphalt cart trails are still in decent shape, with some rough spots here and there. Grass and tall weeds have taken over parts of it, but it’s still navigable. I crossed some old wooden bridges that are a little sketchy, but I lived to tell the tale. There’s even a waterfall that I never knew about, and beautiful wildflowers and native plants when I visited in early September.
I didn’t ride all the trails, not because the Aventure wasn’t up to it, but because I wasn’t quite sure where I was on those winding trails half the time, and doubled back a few times. Still, I rode a good chunk of what’s there, as you can see the map below. I used Komoot to record the path.
As a disclaimer, I have never really done any serious mountain biking. Not knowing what was around every corner or how the bike would behave, I took it fairly easy, though by the end I was pushing it a little more. I had to have been going about 30 mph down that last hill, and a guy saw me laughing ear-to-ear. Hey, it was fun!
My average speed was about 10 mph, but I noticed the display on the Aventure didn’t show the correct speed when I was coasting, or more like barreling, downhill. It only showed the correct speed when I was pedaling or using the throttle. I hadn’t noticed that before. Hmm…
The brakes did okay, but not great, and this is a trail that you want excellent braking. My Aventure is equipped with Bengal hydraulic brakes, though I would have preferred Tektro. Due to last years’ severe supply chain issues, a lot of ebikes came with whatever components bike companies could get their hands on. I’m not sure what today’s Aventures are shipping with. The brakes were sufficient, but I would have like a little more grip.
Probably, what I learned the most about the Aventure is that hills are no issue for it, AT ALL. I never had to use a higher pedal assist level than three out of five, even on 8% grades. I rode in gear 6 out of 8 for the entire ride. I certainly didn’t have to do any hard pedaling, but I felt like I was contributing to the effort some. There wasn’t any point where I felt like I was hamster wheeling it. It was a satisfying ride, that gave me a nice workout.
As far as how power is delivered on the Aventure, I’ve always wished that there was a pedal assist level between level one and two on the Aventure. Level one is often too little power, while level two is often too much on flat roads, but on these trails the power was what I needed. I think the Aventure was designed with hills in mind, and not flat city commuting so much.
While the Aventure is plenty powerful enough for any terrain, it isn’t built for technical trails. Those big tires are great for comfort and traction, but not nimble enough to navigate around tree roots and rocks. Plus, it’s such a heavy bike that it’s difficult to manhandle. The front suspension often bottomed out while I rode in the grass. So, I learned the Aventure isn’t a mountain bike.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that the short wheelbase of the small step-thru frame can make tight turns treacherous. Larger frames may not have this issue. Whether you’re trying to make a sharp turn at the bottom of a monster hill on an old golf course, or trying to go up a sidewalk ramp, those big tires and short wheelbase, take some getting used to. In fact, I’ve fallen over twice on the Aventure. Since it’s such a heavy bike, once it begins tipping over, you’re going to be going along for the ride. I’ve never fallen while riding it, but instead in my driveway. Go figure.
Okay, so the Aventure isn’t ideal for every situation, but what it is great at is being a comfortable city commuter, and a terrific gravel bike, even though it looks like a well-fed gravel bike. What a cruiser! It rides like a Cadillac on pavement, even on bumpy roads. The Aventure would do great on gravel rail trails, and that’s what I bought it for. I want to stress that it is a comfortable bike, just not a nimble mountain bike.
I greatly appreciated the integrated lights when I was riding the road to and from the golf course. The brake light is especially useful at getting the attention of drivers behind you. Plus, the bike and tires are big, so the bike gets a little more respect on the road. Cars usually give me more space than when I’m riding a regular bicycle.
If you’re wanting an electric mountain bike, there are great options, such as the Trek Rail, or the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp, which are both quite pricey. It requires high quality components and a terrific frame to handle technical trails, so they don’t come cheap. A bike company that specializes in powerful electric mountain bikes is QuietKat.
But, if your adventures are going to be taking you along bumpy city streets, scenic bike paths, or gravel rail trails, the Aventure is one to consider. It’s comfortable and powerful. Just know that it is a heavy bike, and might be too much for some. A good alternative is the Aventon Level, which is more nimble and easier to handle. If you prefer a fat tire ebike like the Aventure, but in a smaller package, check out the Aventon Sinch. In fact, if I had to do it all over again, I’d choose the step-thru Sinch, for myself, since I’m a petite rider and not getting any younger. Still, I had a blast on the Aventure today, and I lived to tell the tale!
To learn more, check out the Aventon Aventure online.
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