Today we’re uncovering eight reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera. Yes, it is a minimalistic, sleek, lightweight electric bike geared towards an audience of commuters and performance enthusiasts on a budget. Still, it isn’t perfect.
At first glance, this bike doesn’t even look like an electric bike, thanks to its minimalistic build that conceals the battery.
The low price tag makes many potential e-bike buyers drool in anticipation. After all, there must be some catch when an electric bike costs so little. While it is a decent bike, we can easily think of eight reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera. Let’s talk about them.
Reason #1: There’s No Suspension
Not every e-bike comes with a suspension. This is true. However, the lack of a suspension on this bike ends up in a rather bumpy ride. Not to mention the wheels are a bit thinner than your typical e-bike at 27.5 x 1.3”, which doesn’t help too much in this department.
Aventon does advertise this bike as a “performance” bike for those interested, and while we respect that the lack of a suspension likely helped keep the prices down, this certainly did not help with the overall performance aspect of the bike. If you’re planning on using this bike on a gravel or dirt road, you might want to reconsider your purchase.
As the owner of this bike myself, I can say that the few times I took it on a little off-roading adventure, I was wishing I had a suspension.
With that said, they did advertise this bike as a commuter bike for city dwellers. So, if your commute is all pavement then this bike will get you where you need to go. No problem! Just be sure to avoid any stray pebbles or potholes if you enjoy staying on the bike for the duration of the ride.
Reason # 2: Uncomfortable for Above Average Heights
One of the biggest reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera is it won’t be comfortable if you’re extremely tall.
The Soltera comes in two sizes and two frame options. For the step-over model, they have the regular and the large. For the step-through model, they have S/M and M/L.
The regular size accommodates riders between heights of 4’11” and 5’7” for the step-through model and 5’3” to 5’10” for the step-over model. So far, there have been no complaints from individuals of shorter to average heights for these bikes.
However, the larger bikes are advertised as accommodating for riders between heights of 5’7” to 6’1” for the step-through model and 5’10” to 6’4” for the step-over model. There have been numerous complaints that these bikes are actually not accommodating to people on the taller side, despite the ability to adjust the saddle height. It just isn’t enough to ride comfortably.
One reviewer even mentioned that is 5’10” felt uncomfortable on the M/L step-over bike despite being on the shorter end of the spectrum. There have been other reviewers who highly recommend sizing up if you’re debating between the two sizes. Unless you’re on the shorter side, this bike is likely going to be uncomfortably small for you.
We do appreciate what Aventon was doing by attempting to accommodate a range of sizes and preferences of design. For the most part, many people are content with the feel and overall comfortability of the ride. If you are on the taller side, just get ready to make some adjustments when your new bike arrives for optimal comfort while riding.
Reason #3: The Battery is Lacking
The Aventon Soltera e-bike comes with a removable but integrated 36V, 9.6Ah lithium-ion battery with LG cells. Despite the design of this bike allowing this battery to be conceal beautifully into the frame, there have been plenty of complaints about the overall battery performance.
The first complaint isn’t a mark against the bike itself but against Aventon’s delivery practices. Many buyers receive a bike with a fully depleted or drained battery.
Aventon does state that the battery needs a chance to “wake up” upon arrival and may require upwards of 48 hours on the charger before it’s functional. That’s unideal for multiple reasons. But if it never even works, then it’s just a massive waste of time.
Many experts have also deemed this battery as “below average” in comparison to other e-bikes and their overall functionality. Given the difficult start for numerous people with their batteries, this, unfortunately, does appear to be the case. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of actual power behind these bikes, you might end up feeling like you’re riding a regular bike for a much higher price.
While it is on the smaller side, even by just a few volts, it is pretty impressive, all things considered, that the battery has an average range of up to 41 miles before needing a recharge. It also only takes an average of 3 to 4 hours for the battery to fully charge, and in most tests, the battery does what Aventon says it will do, so they were true to their word and didn’t necessarily oversell its capabilities.
However, when you realize there are plenty of e-bikes available with a much higher range than 41 miles, you can see why the price tag is so low.
Reason #4: Minimalist to the Extreme
This bike is advertised as having a minimalist design. Aventon took that word to heart. This bike comes with no fenders for added tire protection or racks on the front or rear. The lack of a suspension and torque sensor is also apparent in regard to how little you get with this bike. It’s truly just the basics.
While some aspects of the minimalistic design are desirable, such as the beauty of the frame in concealing the battery, they also went minimalistic with the overall capabilities of this bike. In comparison to most of its competitors on the market right now, the motor and battery are lacking in power and stamina. Many reviewers have reported that this e-bike often feels like riding a regular bike with an occasional push.
With that said, the minimalistic design did likely contribute significantly to Aventon’s ability to sell this bike as an affordable option. Not everyone has several thousand dollars to spend on the best e-bike out there, and Aventon didn’t try to break the bank with this offer so everyone could enjoy an e-bike that wants one.
Also, they do have fenders, racks, and other accessories for additional purchase for those that want them. Still, it won’t match the mule-like carrying capacity of something like a Specialized Globe Haul.
Reason #5: No Torque Sensor
Between that lack of a suspension, the less-than-ideal pedal assistance we’ll be covering a bit later, and the nonexistent torque sensor, this bike is going to give you a bumpy and heavy ride.
This isn’t the only e-bike on the market that doesn’t have a torque sensor. But on this one in particular, there have been many complaints that the pedal assistance doesn’t kick in properly, if at all, when you need it.
Theoretically, the lack of a torque system should actually make it easier to pedal with. A torque sensor is essentially there to measure the amount of force you’re pedaling with and kick in the pedal assistance accordingly. Unfortunately, that is not the case with this bike. Not only is the sensor nonexistent, but the bike remains difficult to pedal with on several accounts anyway.
Despite the lack of several bells and whistles on the Soltera, including the torque sensor, it’s worth noting that Aventon left this out in order to keep the price within an affordable range. While this is often a desirable quality on an e-bike, if someone is just looking for a truly minimalistic e-bike, just a bike with a little extra push, then this is likely the bike they want.
Reason #6: Issues Upon Arrival
This might just be one of the biggest reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera e-bike. There are countless complaints about the arrival state of this bike from consumers, and from their description, Aventon’s customer service takes their sweet time trying to fix it.
Firstly, there’s the battery issue already discussed where the batteries just straight up don’t work upon arrival. There have been reports of the charger itself not working right out of the box as well.
While Aventon’s customer service seemed attentive enough regarding these issues, many customers were displeased with their lack of urgency and several shipping issues for the replacement parts of bikes they had just received. Several buyers said that customer service outright didn’t even respond to them.
Others reported they were sent used or defective bikes, such as with a bent wheel, despite paying for a new one. If you have any issues with your Aventon Soltera upon arrival, you might have to put up with them for a while.
It is worth noting that several people complained about their bikes arriving with a dead battery. But once charged, it worked. We know it’s frustrating when this happens. But in Aventon’s defense, it’s pretty common to receive pieces of technology with a dead battery that needs charging. It’s highly dependent on how long it was stored before it shipped. As long as the battery does turn on within a reasonable amount of time, you can expect this behavior.
Additionally, if you buy your bike from a specialty bike shop, as I did, you’ll skip all of the delivery problems. Buying your e-bike in person means you can inspect it and make sure everything works perfectly before taking it home.
Reason #7: The Pedal Assistance is Subpar
We’ve touched on this briefly above, but let’s delve into it. Despite the lack of a torque sensor, the pedal assistance should still kick in automatically when you need the extra push. The most common complaint about this bike is that this is not the case.
I can say from experience that this definitely is not the most powerful e-bike. In other words, the acceleration won’t knock your socks off. It’s a little slow to get up and go.
One reviewer even described this bike as “…an economy car with a bad automatic transmission” due to the severe lack of actual assistance the bike provides and its inopportune timing of assistance.
There have also been complaints that pedal assistance levels 1 and 2 don’t really provide any noticeable assistance. It still feels like riding a regular bike until at least level 3. After all, levels 1 and 2 only help you up to 5 to 8 miles per hour.
Given that the Aventon Soltera is advertised as having five levels of pedal assistance, this is not ideal.
We will say that while this bike is lacking some of the advanced equipment, at least it comes with options like a single-speed and 7-speed variant. Plus, the range and capabilities of the motor are actually quite impressive compared with what’s on the market.
Even if you do have to go up to a level 3 or higher, it still travels further than many other electric bikes with more power and accessories in nearly every test conducted across the board. That’s no small feat.
Reason #8: Ergonomics Were Not the Goal
This is one of the less significant reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera. But it is still worth mentioning.
Maybe the goal wasn’t to do away with ergonomics completely, but it doesn’t appear to have been the priority in the design of this bike. This bike was designed for “performance” meaning that you aren’t really able to sit up straight on this bike, it forces you to lean forward quite a bit.
For some, this might be ideal. For most, you’re going to be pretty uncomfortable on long rides if you aren’t used to this type of positioning.
Secondly, the saddle, Selle Royal, was reviewed as pretty uncomfortable by several users, especially women. Some found it so uncomfortable they went as far as replacing the saddle, which could wind up yet another additional cost to you given everything else this bike doesn’t come with.
Many people reported that they couldn’t find a comfortable position despite the adjustment capabilities of the saddle due to the general discomfort of the cushion combined with the forward leaning position required to ride.
We will say that the choice between a step-through and step-over style frame is much appreciated. It can be difficult for riders to mount and dismount comfortably due to the height of the top tube, so this added consideration is worth shouting out on Aventon’s behalf. They also did provide ergonomic grips on the handles that did not garner any complaints, so at least one aspect of this design is comfortable for bikers.