There has been a surfeit of electric bikes launched by a wide range of manufacturers, both new and old. I wasn’t particularly excited by the arrival of the Voltrix Tresor, a relative newcomer in the field. But to give its due, when the folks from the Chennai-based company, came to handover the Tresor for review, I could not help but be impressed with its solid build, rugged stance and the matte-black finish. The chunky aluminium frame lines and the broad handlebar catch the eye delivering one good looking package.
The 375Whr battery pack was a surprise – sitting limpet-like on the down-tube, the 2.7 kg power source is detachable at the turn of a key. This means, users have the convenience of taking the battery indoors for charging. But, while the Voltrix Tresor, like most other e-bikes is built targeting the commuter-weekend rider, the gearing is more tilted towards a hardcore mountain bike with 11-42 teeth, nine-speed gear cassette and a 38-teeth chain ring.
Our test mule Tresor was finished in stealth black and is also available in garnet red and a limited edition white. The bicycle was delivered new and the first charge took about 5 hours. Subsequently, full charge was reached in about four and a half hours. An LCD-screen control unit is mounted on the handle near the left grip. The settings are simple with an on/off switch and below it two buttons marked ‘+’ and ‘–’ to increase or decrease the 5-stage intelligent pedal assistance.
This review is based on using the bike for well over 200 km over a couple of weeks including peak-hour office commutes, late night rides tackling urban gradients, and also included a ride in pelting rain and a hill-climb in the suburbs of Chennai. The Tresor performed well in terms of the 250W brushless DC motor’s pulling power, and ride comfort across level and high gradient surfaces. The thumb shift gear levers are neatly positioned, and the gear changes are smooth.
First, in the pedal assist mode, to check out the range on a single full charge, I set it in mid-level and over the course of commuting over four days, the Tresor was good for a solid 56 km in traffic (Voltrix claims 60-80 km under ideal conditions). Using battery power alone, under the same conditions, I found the range was about 40 km.
The intelligent-pedal assist feature ensures optimal torque at any level of pedalling intensity, this also ensures top speed till the last few kilometres of the battery running out. The maximum speed tops off at 25 kmph. The hill climb was a charm with pedal-assist kicking in gamely and making cycling uphill a breeze, even though I usually do not enjoy slogging uphill. I did not even have to shift to a lower gear, to manage the climb.
With Chennai witnessing some uncommon rains in June and July, it was a chance to check out the performance on wet roads. The Tresor bore up well during a 30-minute ride in pouring rain and even ploughed through stretches of ankle-deep water.
But this ride revealed a pain point. The smooth handlebar grips became quite slippery in wet weather and that put a strain on the palms; a chunkier version would be better. Also, the broad handlebars could be a bit of a bother in heavy traffic. I also thought that the makers should have provided an option to bolt on a bottle cage on the frame.
Priced at₹64,999, the Voltrix Tresor is a focused, purpose built e-bike that can be equally appealing to enthusiasts and first-time buyers looking for a good entry into the world of cycling.