Written by Ron/spinningmagnets, July 2013
Stromer introduced the ST1 recently, and the mainstream bicycle magazines actually wrote favorable articles about it (see our review of the Stromer here). Apparently sales are doing well, and that was all the Chinese generic bicycle manufacturers needed to hear for them to begin producing a similar frame. As we have seen in the past, as soon as an actual factory begins making a frame, any wholesaler who wants to, can order that frame and sell it as their own brand.
The wholesaler can have the frames painted any custom color they want, and they can order upgrades to the actual frame, or…they can even specify a lower quality of material (if the order is large enough). Only time will tell which wholesalers are ordering quality components and providing good customer service.
I have recently seen a noticeable increase in the number of frames that look similar to the Stromer-ST1, with the Volton Bicycle Company being the most recent I have found, and their Alation model is the one that is similar to the Stromer. They both house the main battery pack in the down-tube for a very good weight distribution, which helps the balance of the bike when riding.
This is significant because it is expensive to make the factory tooling on such an ebike for both frame and battery pack. Since a China factory has sprung for this tooling, expect to see more of these “Stromer” clones hitting the market at a cheap price soon.
Here’s a link to the Geoby Easy Bike MTB, so you can judge for yourself if it copies the Stromer.
The Volton Alation uses a Bafang-BPM rear hub, which is a very common kit on most of the generic E-bikes coming out of China. The Alation 350 uses 36V, and the more expensive Alation 500 uses a 48V system.
Both of them use the same motor, but with a different winding so each of them top-out at the US legal speed of 20-MPH. If you can find a retailer who will sell you the 350W bike with the 500W 48V battery and controller, the bike should be able to achieve 26-MPH, but be aware that doing this will void the factory warranty.
The color schemes that they have chosen are all bold choices, and that is risky. However, I actually like their colors, and I think the public will respond well to them.
The stock battery pack is a Samsung 36V 10.4-Ah Lithium
Frame: 6160 Aluminum Alloy, with some custom shapes being hydroformed
Brakes: dual Tektro Novella cable-actuated discs
Pedal-drive: single 44T chainring with a 7-speed Shimano Megarange freewheel
Ebay and Amazon prices vary, and on July 1st 2013, the 36V version was available for $1,400.
Here’s a link to their Ebay store
Here’s a link to their Amazon store
Here’s a link to their Facebook page
Their China supplier is: Yongkang Simino Electric Vehicle Co
Their USA headquarters address is:
400 E Randolph, Ste 3611, Chicago Illinois, 60601