Vanpowers City Vanture Ebike Review: Great for Commuters on Smooth Roads

Testing ebikes is easily one of the best parts of my job, and just when I think I’ve seen everything, Vanpowers reaches out about trying out the LEGO-like City Vanture ebike. I built this thing from scratch, and it’s a great contender among other commuter ebikes—as long as you’re tall enough.

The ideal rider height Vanpowers recommends for this ebike is between 5’8″ and 6’3″, which doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for smaller riders. I’m hoping there may be a smaller frame option in the future because building this ebike was a fun experience. If anyone complimented me on my City Vanture ebike, I loved being able to say, “Thanks, I built it.”

With thin tires, a slim frame, and a quiet motor and belt drive, Vanpowers’ City Vanture was made to be a stealthy, undercover ebike. The only way people will be able to tell you’re on an ebike is when you zoom past them going almost 25 mph. When you’re going that fast though, you’d hope for a comfier seat, gears to switch between, or a suspension system—all things the City Vanture lacks.

If you’re interested in the City Vanture, here’s everything you need to know about its features, battery life, and how it rides.

Here's What We Like

  • Lightweight and attractive design (it doesn’t look like an ebike)
  • Quiet motor and rust-free Carbon Drive belt
  • High top speeds and pretty good range
  • Assembling from scratch is really cool

And What We Don't

  • No gearing or suspension system
  • Only one frame size available (for riders between 5’8” and 6’3”)
  • Handlebars aren’t adjustable
  • Uncomfortable seat (black saddle)

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Specs

 

  • Assist Speed: Up to 25 mph with 5 levels of assist (US version)
  • Estimated Mileage: 50-80 miles (with extra battery to reach higher range)
  • Charging Time: 2-3 hours
  • Max Load: 265 pounds
  • Motor: 36V 350W (US version)
  • Battery: 36V 7Ah/252Wh LG Cell Lithium-Ion downtube battery
  • Sensor: Cadence sensor
  • Display: IP66 waterproof TFT color LCD display
  • Frame: 21-inch 6061 aluminum alloy
  • Tires: 700C x 28C Kenda tires
  • Front Fork: Rigid front fork aluminum alloy with disc mounting, thru-axle
  • Brakes: Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Tektro Hd-M285 brake lever
  • Available Colors: Shining Black, Infinite Silver, Neon Purple, Chalk Blue, and Ruby
  • Net Weight: 34.17 pounds

 

Assembly: It’s Like Advanced LEGOs!

Typically, the assembly required for an ebike is minimal. You may have to affix and tighten handlebars, put the seat post in place, or even attach the front and/or back tire. With Vanpowers’ City Vanture ebike, all of the assembly is in your hands—if you want it to be.

For a little extra money, you could order the City Vanture pre-assembled and 90% of the work is done for you. But if you’re adventurous or just interested in seeing how an ebike goes together, the LEGO-like, assemble-it-yourself version is pretty cool. There’s an official City Vanture assembly video you can watch before buying to see if building it yourself looks doable.

All of the major parts are numbered, and there are 20 parts in total, not including any screws or other small pieces. The instruction manual is thorough, and you’re constantly reminded through little notes to ensure that all the numbers are facing up and all arrows are pointing in the correct direction. With all the helpful tips and color-coded port connections, it’d be pretty difficult to build this thing incorrectly.

laying out parts of vanpowers city vanture ebike frame

One of the toughest parts of the entire assembly was in the beginning when feeding the cable through different part holes. Luckily, there’s a zip tie around this port that makes it much easier to pop the cable through. Everything past this point was super simple and just like building a regular piece of furniture.

I had to air up both the tires because they were too low when I finished assembling the ebike, but they haven’t deflated since they’ve been aired up. I also had to retighten the bolts in the handlebars at one point, though this could’ve been due to not properly tightening it in the first place.

 

Vanpowers also recommends a certain Nm measure for torque with all screws and bolts, but the company doesn’t include a torque wrench to do so with. All other necessary tools are included, and tightening to the point of resistance is an option in lieu of a torque wrench.scratch on vanpowers city vanture ebike frame during unboxingMy only minor complaint with the assembly process was with how the bottom bracket joint was packaged. This part was packed in a cardboard box and taped up, requiring a knife or some other sharp tool to open it. Because I was unaware that the part was right next to the tape and there was nothing protective between the part and the tape, I scratched it. As you can see in the picture above, it’s a decent scratch, but luckily it’s not too noticeable from afar.

As an ebike, the City Vanture isn’t lightweight at just under 35 pounds, but it’s lighter than many other ebikes on the market. That said, this ebike’s lighter weight isn’t surprising with its thin tires, thin frame, and lack of a suspension or gearing system.

One of the design elements I don’t like in the City Vanture is with how close the front tire can get to the pedal. When you start pedaling, you have to be aware of where your shoes are in relation to the front tire. There were a few times I tried to start pedaling with the front tire tilted in the direction I wanted to go, and I’d feel my shoe preventing the tire from moving.

I’d have to straighten the front tire out and roll the bike to face whichever direction I wanted to take off in. I didn’t experience this much at higher speeds because turns were more gentle, requiring the front wheel to turn only slightly.

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