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E-MTB

Pole Introduces the Voima 190-Millimeter-Travel E-bike – Video

We would expect no less than too much from Pole

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Finland’s Pole Cycles has a reputation for making bikes that are kinda… extra. Extra long, extra slack, and a little extra-terrestrial compared to how other bikes in their category look. So, it’s no surprise that their first e-bike is like nothing else we’ve ever seen. The Voima is named for the Finnish word for power or strength. It’s also the name of a particular Finnish icebreaking ship. It seems a fitting name for a 190-millimeter-travel, 750-Wh, fully machined aluminum e-bike.

It’s hard to know where to start with this thing. The frame is constructed using Pole’s signature machined approach, which CNC’s each frame component out of billet, and bonds each half together. That concept even extends to how Pole handled the motor. Most brands treat the motor as an external member of the frame’s overall structure. But Pole wanted to do more to protect the motor, both from impacts and from the elements. So, it is encased in the same CNC’d 7075 T-6 aluminum as the rest of the frame. The motor system is a Brose, the same manufacturer that the Specialized Levo e-mountain bikes are based on, so you know they have a history of working closely with bike manufacturers instead of simply offering an off-the-shelf product.

The battery loads into the downtube from the top, not up from the bottom. This helps protect it in the same way as the full enclosure protects the motor. It also means that the mechanism that holds the battery in place is not carrying the burden of suspending the battery’s full weight. Pole’s approach to integrating the motor and battery show a focus on longevity and protection, all the way to their choice to locate the charging port up near the head tube, further from harm.

And then there’s the suspension platform, which Pole is calling Sensei. This is one element of the Voima that was designed specifically around the unique needs of an e-bike. It is built to remain active while pedaling, since momentum is key on an e-bike, while the leverage rate is progressive to support the bike’s added weight and the aggressive riding you’d expect to do on a 190mm bike. But most interesting is its elevated chainstay design. It’s very similar to the platform we recently saw on the Polygon Mt. Bromo. Eliminating a traditional lower pivot removes hardware from the already tight space around the motor, allowing Pole to reinforce that area as much as they wanted without sacrificing clearance or chainstay length. Though, at 455mm, they weren’t concerned with keeping the rear-center all that snug. Finally, Sensei allowed Pole to put the virtual pivot point wherever they wanted, meaning they weren’t forced to run an especially large chainring to line the chain up with the main pivot. The Voima is built around a small-for-an-ebike 32-tooth front ring, requiring less torque from the motor and offering more ground clearance.

The rest of the Voima is unmistakably Pole, starting with a 510mm reach on a K3, 535mm on a K4, (Pole has abandoned traditional sizing nomenclature to reflect the growing approach that size should be based on preference, not just body height). And there’s also the progressive 63.5-degree head angle and an 80-degree seat angle, but when you put all those numbers together on a 750Wh e-bike with elevated chainstays, and then make it out of machined aluminum and anodize the whole thing bright gold, suddenly a slack head angle and steep seat angle just don’t look all that weird.

The Voima will go into production this fall, starting only with the K2 and K3 frame sizes. Pre-order prices will reflect a 500 € ($596) discount, putting the framesets at 54,90 € ($6,551) and complete builds at 8,490 € ($10,141).