Vanpowers City Vanture: You Won't Believe This Is an Ebike

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Vanpowers City Vanture: You Won't Believe This Is an Ebike
With its built-in battery, the City Vanture effectively hides the fact that it's an ebike and is easily one of the best looking.

What if you could build your own ebike? For $1300, the Vanpowers City Vanture offers excellent value, though it's best suited for flat roads with minimal inclines and smooth terrain. It's one of the best-looking ebikes you can buy in 2023, mainly due to its hidden battery and mix of retro and modern design. Provided you have a mostly flat commute, its impressive range and quick charging make it a great way to get around town.

  • Completely hidden downtime battery
  • DIY building experience (if you want)
  • Carbon Drive
  • 350W pedal-assist rear hub motor
  • Brand: Vanpowers
  • Battery: 36V 7Ah/252Wh LG Cell Lithium-Ion
  • Weight: 34lbs/15.5kg
  • Maximum Speed: 25 mph (US) 15 mph (EU)
  • Brake Style: Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Motor (W): US 350W; EU 250W
  • Range: 50 - 80 Miles (With extended battery)
  • Electronic Power Assist: 5 levels
  • Charging: 2 Hours
  • Connectivity: IP66 Waterproof TFT Color LCD Display
  • Rider Height: 5'8"-6'3"
  • Tires: 700C × 28C Kenda
  • Impressive range
  • Very lightweight
  • Quick charging time
  • Doesn't look like an ebike
  • Beautiful design
  • Unique building experience
  • Assembly can be difficult
  • Lacks gearing
  • Motor power does not immediately kick in
  • Struggles with inclines and rougher terrain
VanPowers City Vanture

The Vanpowers City Vanture is an electric bike with a very sleek design, impressive specifications, and a relatively competitive price. Starting out as a crowdfunding project, this is the company's first road bike. This is an ebike that stands out, not just because of its styling, but because you choose whether to have it shipped pre-assembled or completely unassembled if you want a DIY experience.

When on sale, the bike is priced at $1299 if you purchase it unassembled or $1390 for it shipped assembled. The City Vanture offers excellent value for its features, though there are a few considerations before buying one.

VanPowers City Vanture - Walking Bike

The Vanpowers City Vanture is ideal for riders between 5'8"–6'3" heights. The bike weighs 34.17 lbs and is powered by a 350W (US)/ 250W (EU) motor, capable of reaching a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) in the US or up to 15 mph (25 km/h) for the EU model. The City Vanture's 36-volt 7-amp-hour battery is discretely built into its Aluminum frame, providing a clean and streamlined appearance, effectively hiding the fact that it's an ebike.

The City Vanture can achieve an estimated range of about 40–50 miles with its built-in battery, which can be nearly doubled to about 70–80 miles with the addition of an optional water-bottle style battery, sold separately for $300.

I found that it's best suited for smooth, flat stretches of road. Ride comfort and power can quickly become a concern when introducing bumps and hills. With the lack of gearing, its carbon drive belt offers lower maintenance in the long run but requires significantly more effort to accelerate from a stop and tackle steeper terrain.

Provided you have a mostly relaxed commute, the City Vanture provides excellent range, styling, and performance, making it an excellent choice for city dwellers.

Customization and Accessories

The Vanpowers City Vanture is available in five colors: Infinite Silver, Shining Black, Chalk Blue, Ruby, and Neon Purple. Aside from Shining Black and the Infinite Silver (as reviewed), the other three colors are dual-tone, making the Vanture look more exciting than most other ebikes. The silver certainly stands out with its complementary light brown seats and wheels.

VanPower City Vanture - Rear

The bike has a mix of modern and retro styling. The reflective aluminum frame makes the bike look futuristic, while the dual-tone brown tires give it a hint of vintage. The City Vanture is a great choice for those looking for an electric bike that stands out from the crowd. The Infinite Silver is a head-turner for sure. On my very first ride alone, I had at least three people come up to me at various red lights, and when I reached my destination, ask me about the bike as they thought it looked unique. They were shocked to learn that this was an ebike, and each of them asked me where the battery was. This goes to show how well the City Vanture conceals its battery.

Vanpowers offers a range of accessories that can be purchased with your City Vanture order.

VanPowers City Vanture - Water Bottle Battery Pack

As mentioned earlier, for an additional $300, you can buy a water bottle-shaped 252WH battery for the bike which extends your range by about 30 miles. We did not have the opportunity to test this, so we can only go by the official estimates.

There are also two options for a rear rack: the Manidae for $55 and the Commuter for $75. The racks are currently only available in black or silver, and they match perfectly with their black or silver frame counterparts, while the water bottle battery is only found in black. A high-density nylon fabric frame bag for $20 provides additional storage space for smaller personal items while cycling. Lastly, Vanpowers offers a 125DB anti-theft horn for $16.

The City Vanture Hardware

VanPower City Vanture - Left View

When fully assembled, the Vanpowers City Vanture features a beautiful aluminum alloy frame measuring 21 inches. It's equipped with 27.5" double-wall aluminum alloy rims and 700C x 28C Kenda tires, providing a smooth and comfortable ride. Tektro HD-M285 levers and hydraulic brakes offer reliable stopping power, ensuring safety and comfort.

VanPower City Vanture - In Front of Library

The bike also features an aluminum alloy front fork, Promax aluminum alloy handlebars, and Promax aluminum alloy seat post, providing durability and stability. Wellgo pedals ensure a secure grip, providing riders greater control and stability.

VanPower City Vanture - Seat

The Vanpowers City Vanture also comes with a Brown Justek Urban saddle or Black Selle Royal saddle, which perfectly matches the brown tires and handlebars. I found the seat to be comfortable for shorter rides. But in prolonged use, especially with the number of potholes I hit on my ride, the seat became somewhat fatiguing. If I was planning on using this for a daily commute, I would likely look into upgrading the seats or adding a cushion cover.

VanPower City Vanture - Pedals

The City Vanture features a Gates CDX chain wheel and a CDN belt drive. As mentioned earlier, one of the main benefits of this type of drive is that it requires less maintenance and is generally quieter than a chain drive. Additionally, the Gates CDN belt drive has a longer lifespan than a chain drive and is resistant to rust and corrosion.

However, one of the biggest disadvantages is that it requires more torque to get moving than a typical non-electric single-speed or any belt drive with gears. This means that it may take a bit more effort to get up to speed, especially if you are starting from a stop. Additionally, the Gates CDN belt drive can be more expensive to replace than a traditional chain drive.

Building Your Bike

While building your own City Vanture is arguably one of its biggest selling features, it might not be for everyone.

I recommend finding a clean, open spot to unbox and lay out all the pieces. Several parts look very similar, and it can be tricky to locate the part number unless you lay them all out in numerical order. Vanpowers includes all the tools you need for installation, including Allen keys, wrenches, and a screwdriver.

VanPowers City Vanture - Installing Cables

The assembly process of the City Vanture can be challenging, especially for those who have never assembled a bike of any kind before. As a first-time builder, the process was time-consuming and somewhat frustrating at specific steps. Parts of the instructions could be confusing and vague, which made the build process more difficult than expected. In total, the assembly process took me about an hour and a half to complete. I was also building the bike in mid-January while it was 35 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Needless to say, this did not help with my patience.

Beyond that, a few steps require tightening the bolts to a specific Newton-Meter, though this would need a torque wrench which, of course, is not included. I did my best to tighten everything to the point of resistance, and so far, the bike's frame has remained intact. Only one part of my frame needed to be re-tightened after my first ride.

VanPowers City Vanture - Display

Overall, assembling the Vanpowers City Vanture requires lots of patience, time, and ideally, some prior experience in bike assembly. The instructions could use some improvement to make the process smoother and easier to understand, especially for first-time builders. Your building experience might vary, but in the end, you'll be able to put together a great electric bike that you'll be proud to ride.

Experience and Performance

VanPowers City Vanture - Carrying up Stairs

One of the City Vanture's best features is its lightweight design. Its aluminum build is deceivingly light, and despite it housing a battery, it manages to weigh just 35 pounds (16kg).

VanPowers City Vanture - Carrying through Subway Station-1

The Vanture is surprisingly easy to carry, which makes it a great choice for city living. Even though it's an ebike with an impressive range, I can still take it up and down stairs or load it onto public transport.

VanPowers City Vanture - Bringing on Subway

As someone who lives in NYC and frequently uses the subway, the Vanture fits right into the rest of my commute.

VanPowers City Vanture - Waiting at Stop Light

As part of my test route, I rode about seven miles from Third Ave Bridge to Bryant Park. I rode almost exclusively in its top power mode, offering reasonable acceleration up to about 10mph. Among the other commuters and delivery guys using ebikes and escooters, off the line, I was usually one of the quickest, though I had to put in a fair amount of effort before the motor kicked in.

The bike uses a cadence sensor, which is responsive, but the choice to not use a superior torque sensor is likely to keep costs down. As such, you won't find immediate motor assistance, making acceleration more difficult initially.

VanPowers City Vanture - Riding through Times Sq

Beyond 10mph, the other riders quickly caught up and could easily pass me. Many of the larger ebikes have greater top-end power, and while I was often topping out at 17-18mph, they could effortlessly maintain 20mph or more. Granted, those are significantly larger bikes for the most part, but I imagine having gears would help out here.

The City Vanture provides pedal assistance to about 20mph, but unless I had stretches of flat road, I was only averaging 12-15mph riding at a comfortable pace. Anything faster than 15mph required more energy than I'd like for a relaxing ride. If needed, I could safely keep speed with vehicle traffic between red lights.

VanPowers City Vanture - Riding Bike at Night-1

The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes offer excellent stopping power. I had a few instances where I needed to come to an emergency stop and the Vanture safely kept me from colliding with several jaywalkers and cars running red lights.

VanPowers City Vanture - Casual Ride

Again, without lower gears to assist, I found it rather challenging to tackle steep hills. NYC isn't a particularly hilly city, but you'll encounter a fair bit of moderate inclines. Even in its highest power mode, the City Vanture doesn't offer enough power to handle steeper slopes without standing on its pedals. Moreover, the bike struggles with rougher terrain, even with minor potholes and uneven surfaces. Without a suspension system and a rather hard seat, the ride can quickly become uncomfortable after just a few miles.

A Stylish City Ebike

The City Vanture is a beautifully designed e-bike that often turns heads and successfully hides the fact that it's electric. Its excellent range, combined with its lightweight frame, makes it ideal for city commuting.

VanPower City Vanture - Left

Whether buying it pre-built or assembling it yourself, it provides excellent value. Assembling it yourself can be an exciting process and give you a greater sense of ownership, but it will require a lot of time, effort, and likely some confusion. While the instructions could be better, nad some prior experience with assembling bikes would help, overall, the City Vanture is one of the best-looking ebikes on the market, and it delivers on performance, range, and style.

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