Volata integrates computer, lights and apps into new bike

San Francisco-based company rethinks what should come with a bike

Instead of buying a bike and then buying lights and a GPS computer, the founders of Volata Cycles think the whole thing should come as an integrated package. Volata Cycles is launching this summer with an electronic, internal-hub shifting, hydraulic-braking, slick commuter bike that has an app-based computer and front and rear lights all built right in and powered by the front hub.

“When you buy a car you don’t need to acquire lights as an accessory, or an iPad as a dashboard,’ Volata CEO Marco Salvioli said in a press release. “As cars have evolved, also bikes need to evolve.”

Volata comes with a 2.4-in computer built into the stem. By integrating with a smartphone app, the computer can display directions, performance metrics and phone notifications. The computer can be controlled with a thumb joystick on the hoods of the shifters.

The app-based computer is built right into the stem, and can give directions, performance metrics and call/text notifications when paired with a smartphone
The app-based computer is built right into the stem, and can give directions, performance metrics and call/text notifications when paired with a smartphone

The computer and the lights are charged with a dynamo on the front hub, so riders don’t have to worry about remembering to charge the battery.

The bike also has an integrated horn, and a GPS-based anti-theft system that alerts the owner if the bike moves.

The belt drive with internal gearing Shimano Alfine gearing is driven by Shimano Di2 shifting — a notable pairing, as typically internal gears are used on commuter bikes and Di2 shifting is reserved for high-end performance road and now mountain bikes.

The Shimano Alfine internal hub is control by Shimano Di2 electronic shifting
The Shimano Alfine internal hub is control by Shimano Di2 electronic shifting

 Volata Cycles is selling the bike for $3,499 at www.volatacycles.com, asking for a reservation fee of $299 with the remaining balance due upon delivery beginning in July 2017.

There are four sizes, two colors and three different saddles choices.

The company says it will be doing test rides (locations not yet disclosed), and that it hopes to open showrooms at the end of 2017.

The integrated lights are powered by an internal battery that is charged by the front-hub dynamo
The integrated lights are powered by an internal battery that is charged by the front-hub dynamo

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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