The City Vanture by Van Powers, a relatively new entrant into the ebike market, presents a distinctive approach to commuter-style electric bicycles. Launched in 2021, Van Powers has already caught our attention, particularly due to their penchant for outfitting their ebikes with high-performance Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. In this Vanpowers review, we’ll delve into the City Vanture’s unique Gates belt drive, its performance on the road, our candid impressions and why you should or shouldn’t rush out to buy this new belt drive ebike.
City Vanture Specs
Shining Black, Infinite Silver, Neon Purple, Chalk Blue, Ruby
Assist Speed (US)
Up to 25 mph (40 km/h) (5 levels of assist)
34.17 lbs./15.5 kg
50-80 miles/80-130 km (with extra battery)
36V 350W (US)
36V 7Ah/252Wh LG Cell Lithium-Ion Downtube Battery
IP66 Waterproof TFT Color LCD Display
100V-240V/2A Smart Charger
21″ 6061 Aluminum Alloy Frame
700C × 28C Kenda® Tires
Tektro® Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Promax® Aluminum Alloy
Gates® CDN™ Belt Drive
3/8 × 13G × 36H Thru-Axle
Brown Justek® Urban Saddle/Black Selle Royal® Saddle
Promax® Aluminum Alloy, 30.4 mm w/ Offset
First Impressions of the Vanpowers City Vanture
Look and Feel
The City Vanture instantly captures the eye with its unconventional design and color options. Its diverse range of colors includes a striking purple-and-teal combo that invokes memories of the 90s Charlotte Hornets uniforms. In our hands, we’re reviewing the chrome version, which has the throwback feel of an 80’s BMX bike. However, the City Vanture’s modular frame design, though unique, raises questions about long-term durability and maintenance. While the modularity provides a tinkering enthusiast’s delight, it also adds an element of potential vulnerability.
Comfort – Seats and Handlebars
The Vanpowers City Vanture aims to strike a balance between comfort and performance. The well-designed handlebars provide an ergonomic grip, aiding in comfortable maneuvering during rides. The saddle offers adequate support for extended journeys, ensuring riders remain at ease throughout their urban adventures.
A modern ebike demands a modern control center, and the City Vanture delivers on this aspect. The LCD display, strategically positioned within the rider’s line of sight, provides essential ride data such as speed, battery level, and distance traveled. With its intuitive interface, riders can easily navigate through various settings and modes, enhancing their riding experience and control over the ebike.
Main Specs (Motor, Battery, and Brakes)
At the core of this belt driven ebikeis an agile 36V 350W motor that’s paired with a single speed Gates drivetrain.We’ve tested a few Gates belt drives in the past, and the City Vanture delivers a spirited ride experience that is hard to match, especially on level ground. The motor’s dynamic performance and the smooth, even motion you get with this drivetrain, translates to snappy acceleration, making city commutes and leisure rides a breeze. The City Vanture’s agility complements the bike’s overall design, contributing to a satisfying and fun-filled ride.
Powering the City Vanture is a 36V 7Ah/252Wh LG Cell Lithium-Ion downtube battery. The concealed placement of the battery within the downtube preserves the ebike’s sleek aesthetics, resembling a fixie rather than a conventional electric bike. The emphasis is on maintaining a lightweight design with a battery that’s easily concealed within the bike’s frame. The range is minimal on a 7Ah battery but the design team at Vanpowers addresses this shortfall by incorporating the option of a dual battery setup. You can purchase an additional battery for $300 that doubles your battery capacity to a more respectable 500 Watt hours. With the combined power of double batteries you can enjoy an extended range of 50-80 miles on the City Vanture.
A standout feature that commands attention is the City Vanture’s braking system. Outfitted with Tektro® Hydraulic Disc Brakes, a hallmark of higherquality ebikes, this model guarantees dependable and responsive stopping power. The inclusion of these hydraulic disc brakes enhances rider safety and control, whether it’s navigating bustling city streets or descending steep inclines. The confidence instilled by the braking system adds to the overall allure of this speedy Vanpowers bike.
Vanpowers Test Ride
During our test rides, the City Vanture showcased its nimble and agile virtues on paved roads. The small yet sprightly 350W motor delivers impressive acceleration, transforming flat stretches into exhilarating rides. The Gates belt drive system adds to the immediacy of pedal response, resulting in a ride experience that is reminiscent of riding an ebike with a torque sensor..
That being said, the bike’s performance on hills left us wanting more low-end torque, particularly in comparison to several other belt drive ebikes in this class.
The Van Poweres CityVanture shines in several aspects that elevate the riding experience. The seamless integration of the LCD display, combined with its central position on the downtube, adds a modern twistto the bike’s overall aesthetics. Additionally, the inclusion of Tektro hydraulic disc brakes contributes to unparalleled stopping power and rider confidence, an essential feature for city commuting.
The concealed battery design enhances the bike’s sleek look, and the option for a secondary battery extends the range up to 80 miles, allowing longer journeys. As per the bike’s specs, riders can enjoy a travel range of 50 to 80 miles, drawing from the combined energy of the dual batteries.
…And the Not So Great
As much as the City Vanture offers positives, it also faces some drawbacks that are worth considering. While the bike’s agility is commendable, its 28cm tires reveal limitations in terms of grip and traction. In a particularly unfortunate incident during a test ride, I experienced a significant fall on a wet patch of concrete despite dry conditions overall. This incident highlighted the need for improved tire grip, possibly through thicker or more robust tires, like the 40cm ones on the Ride1up Roadster gravel edition. It’s a reminder to exercise caution, especially in unpredictable conditions.
Another concern pertains to the frame design of the City Vanture. While the chrome finish is visually appealing, the modular frame construction introduces potential issues. The presence of exposed screws due to its Lego-like assembly raises worries about maintenance and longevity. Unlike conventional welded frames, the modular design involves more points of failure and demands meticulous care to prevent loosening over time. While the frame’s aesthetics are appealing, the added maintenance complexity might deter some riders who seek simplicity.
Assembling the City Vanture also poses challenges. The process can be time-consuming and less enjoyable for people that are looking for a more turn-key approach to buying a belt drive ebike. On the other hand, if you are really mechanically inclined and love to tinker with toys in your garage than this might be less of a drawback for you.
Another aspect of the Vanture that was a bit of letdown for us was the bike’s performance on uphill climbs. Despite the 350W motor, even moderate hills strain the City Vanture due to a lack of low-end torque. This deficiency in hill-climbing ability, when compared to other single-speed ebikes, like the Velotric Thunder or the KBO Hurricane, is noticeable.
Furthermore, the absence of integrated lights on a bike priced at $1699 is surprising. While the Vanture boasts hydraulic disc brakes and an integrated LCD screen, the omission of front or rear lights is notable. For anyone that purchases a Vanpowers City Vanture we would absolutely recommend investing in front and rear lighting upgrades. There are so many powerful light accessories available nowadays but one of our favorite solutions to this problem involves replacing your stock bike pedals with Arclight pedals from Red Shift. Not only do these LED pedals significantly enhance the visibility of your ebike at night, they also just make your bike look super cool and fun!
This Vanpowers bike is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive models we’ve had the opportunity to review. Its chrome exterior makes it visually striking, and the riding experience is genuinely enjoyable. We commend the inclusion of Tektro hydraulic brakes as a standard feature across Van Power’s range of bikes, emphasizing their safety and reliability.
There are several aspects in which the City Vanture doesn’t quite meet our expectations, preventing us from offering a wholehearted recommendation. The modular design, limited low-end torque from the motor, and a relatively higher price tag compared to other single-speed belt drive ebikes are all factors that you should evaluate before making up your mind. While the City Vanture certainly has its merits, we wouldn’t put it at the top of our list of best belt drive ebikes.