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What's the right Mid-Drive Vvolt for you? Episode 1 – Centauri: The Easy Rider

Alright - you’ve found Vvolt! Now this whole low-maintenance, belt-drive, internal gearhub electric bike thing has you ready to join the ebike revolution…but you can’t figure out which is the right Vvolt mid-drive model for you.

That’s OK, because at the end of the day our Centauri and Sirius models are fairly similar. We’ve built them for riders who are looking for a versatile commute/fitness style ebike. They share the same responsive power, low-maintenance drivetrain and a similar comfy but still performance-inspired ride and fit.

Herein we’ll take a closer look at some of the best parts of the Centauri. The second chapter of this 2-parter will examine the Sirius

When we first launched Vvolt we came out with a road bike-inspired hybrid called the Proxima. We loved the racy handling and reviewers lauded it but we heard from lots of riders that they were really after something a little more relaxed for their daily driver...enter the Centauri and Centauri S.

In order to achieve that “relaxed” vibe we started with some small changes to the frame dimensions that make big changes in the handling. Centauris sit lower to the ground. Without having to account for suspension fork compression (like on the Sirius) we can place the motor and cranks lower in the frame. This lowers the stand-over height along with the center of gravity. So all four sizes of Centauri and Centauri S are easier to stand over, particularly useful for those on the lower end of the height range for any particular size. That lower center of gravity works alongside the slightly relaxed fork angle to inspire really confident handling in corners. 

What else makes the Centauri great? In a word, wheels. 650b wheels (aka 27.5”) are our all-around favorite size- they’re larger than 26” old-fashioned mountain bike wheels, but smaller than the oversized 29”/700c wheels popular on modern mountain and racing bikes. The diameter makes for a smooth ride, but they’re not quite so big as 29” wheels which can create fit issues on smaller frame sizes. There are a ton of tire options available in this wheel size as it’s popular for commuter, gravel and mountain type bikes, so you have plenty of options to customize your ride whether you stick to the streets or play in the dirt.

While the Centauri is fun to ride in the dirt, it really shines as a commuter. As such we made it easy to fit fenders and racks on both ends of Centauri. With 3 sets of front mounts on the fork you can install fenders, water bottles, front racks and more. Out back you’ll find mounting points for racks and fenders. Don’t need all that extra gear? Keep your Centauri sleek in the stock configuration.

Vvolt Centauri ebike with fenders

Last but not least, there are two frame styles for Centauri: Step-over and Stepthrough. Our stepthough frames have a slightly different fit than the step-over counterparts. Both sizes lower that aforementioned center of gravity by 5mm as compared to stepover Centauri. The S/M stepthough fits riders looking for lower standover and a more relaxed position, with a taller handlebar height offering a more upright seating position. The L/XL Stepthrough has a similarly low step-over height, good for riders with reduced hip mobility, while the seat tube height is extended by 4cm to offer a great fit for riders with long legs. All in all, the four sizes of Centauri and Centauri S can fit riders from 4’9” to 6’4”, which is a much wider fit range than the Sirius which works best for riders from 5’7” up to 6’3” or so.

Ready to learn more about Sirius? Read all about it here!