We’ve been following the extensive development of the JetBlack VOLT and we’re stoked to finally have them on hand for riders in India.
The VOLT is an electromagnetic indoor cycling trainer that offers an exceptional indoor riding experience. It comes pre-assembled with an 11-speed cassette making it super easy to start riding with no added costs. Attach your bike, CONNECT AND GO. Designed with industry-standard protocols and electronics to seamlessly connect with all your favorite training Apps the VOLT is insanely quiet and adds a whole new level of excitement to your indoor training.
JetBlack, the Australian company spinning these out, have been doing indoor training equipment for a while now, but the smart trainer trend and capability is very specialized and highly technical. The Volt represents the culmination of four years’ hard work. With a mission statement of ‘Accessible Performance’, JetBlack creates products that are not only affordably accessible, but that perform as well as anything else on the market and sell worldwide including most of the major cycling markets.
And riders have great things to say
- “Punching well above their weight up against the big four in this space” – Shane Miller, GPLama.
- “4.7 stars” – customers, ZwiftInsider
Lets deep dive into what we think about the trainer
UNBOXING & TRAINER SETUP
The JetBlack Volt comes in a compact box, where the four main components are neatly packaged and these include a front and rear stand, the Volt smart trainer, and 240v / 24v adaptor.
Assembly and getting started is effortless, simply attach the base stands to the unit and secure, place the bike into position, plug in the power supply and pedal.
The inclusion of the cassette removes the additional burden of buying a new cassette. Opening Zwift and finding the Bluetooth signal for the first time is quick and hiccup free.
TOP 3 FEATURES OF THE JETBLACK VOLT
- HASSLE-FREE – The trainer is Ready-to-Use out of the box, and unlike most other trainers in this segment comes with a cassette included! The JetBlack Volt is already proving to be one of the easiest trainers to set up. The 11-speed cassette, which is factory fitted saves the buyer both time and money, which would have gone into purchasing one separately to use the trainer or worse, having to purchase tools and the know-how to install the cassette. The trainer also comes with a spanner to help set up the legs so that you don’t have to go hunting for one during setup. Thru-axle adapters are also included, which is absolutely great for riders who have bikes with thru-axles vs quick releases.
- SILENT – Its Electromagnetic Resistance Units makes for one of the quietest direct-drive smart trainers on the market, quieter than your drivetrain! Absolutely great if you’re riding early morning and don’t want to disturb your family or neighbors.
- DATA POINTS – The JetBlack Volt captures a wide array of metrics from Speed, Power, Cadence, and Distance, and from what we hear is absolutely spot on – which is critical if these numbers are important. (Head over to the brilliant video review by LamaLab if you’re keen to know more) The HRM Bridge, although we did not try it out, seems like a brilliant tough. Basically allows your Heart Rate Monitor to connect to your app and provide the HR data as a part of the single connection from your Trainer to the computer/AppleTV/Tablet. It’s almost like your trainer was measuring heart rate. This frees up Bluetooth connections if you need to connect other devices.
In this review, we will be focusing on 7 factors about the JetBlack Volt
- Resistance Unit
- Direct Drive vs Wheel-on
- Power Accuracy
1. RESISTANCE UNIT
The JetBlack Volt sports an Electromagnetic resistance unit that provides an accurate, real road-like feel. The Volt comes equipped with a range of built-in sensors that will allow you to regulate and calculate almost every aspect of your ride.
The Volt features a flywheel weighing 4.7kg, which isn’t the largest in this segment but is good enough to deliver a good enough realistic ride experience.
The trainer is also rated as one of the quietest trainers in the market, quieter than your own drivetrain! This is thanks to its electromagnetic repulsion resistance unit, which is frictionless and quiet. Perfect if you’re looking to workout without waking up the house or your neighbors!
2. DIRECT DRIVE VS WHEEL-ON
The Volt is a direct drive trainer, which means that you remove your rear wheel and mount your bike directly on the cassette mounted on the trainer. You place the trainer between your bike’s dropouts and clamp it with a quick release or a thru-axle.
Direct drive trainers have more to offer than “normal” wheel-on trainers. The advanced technique brings more accuracy, makes the trainer generally more powerful and simulates a more realistic bike feeling. A rear tire will deform and slowly deflate while you train, influencing your performance during training.
An additional advantage of a trainer set-up without a rear tire is that this will make your training much more silent. And because most direct drive trainers are equipped with a built-in power meter, your workout will even get more professional.
Direct drive trainers are the most convenient as they are easier and quicker to set up (if you already have a cassette installed on the trainer).
Self-adjust resistance via apps
Higher resistance capabilities
Built-in power meter
Easy to mount your bike
3. POWER ACCURACY AND WATTAGE
The resistance on climbs and when accelerating is great with the Volt, as it performs without any sharp spikes. The Volt has a maximum gradient of 16%, and accuracy of ± 2.5%, which is top-tier performance, enough to cater for most mountain goats out there.
As for the maximum power, the Volt offers up to 1,800 Watts, which should also be more than enough for most riders.
Unlike many smart trainers out there, including more expensive models, the JetBlack Volt records a wide array of metrics ranging from Speed, Power, Cadence and Distance. Most trainers record Speed and Power, but very few provide information pertaining to Cadence. So a big plus in our books!
A key feature of JetBlack’s Volt and upcoming new smart trainer models is their state of the art seamless connectivity with the major software providers such as Zwift.
Two or three years ago as Zwift was coming into prominence the interface protocol was Ant+ but there was no Bluetooth standard, which was less than ideal.
JetBlack has overcome this challenge by becoming one of the world leaders in adopting the newer and superior Bluetooth FTMS protocol.
The Volt is rated very highly by Zwift users, who claim its realist ride-feel, accurate resistance and easy to use set ups make it the best Zwift compatible trainer on the trainer market!
Its plug-and-play setup is also one of the quickest set-ups we’ve seen on Smart Trainers in this category!
In terms of bike compatibility, again, there’s nothing to worry about. Since the JetBlack Volt comes assembled with an 11-speed Shimano/SRAM cassette and compatible body. The Volt is SRAM XD-R 12-speed compatible, but need to buy the freehub body separately.
The Volt is compatible with 130/135mm Quick Release and (Q/R) 140/148 Thru-Axles. The unit includes a thru-axle adapter set for 142mm and 148mm.
The Volt fits Rear Wheel sizes for Road Bikes sporting 650c or 700c tires. With Mountain Bike support of sizes 24”, 26″, 27.5″ and 29″
At just 15.4kgs, the Volt is very light compared to other slightly more expensive Direct-Drive trainers on the market. This is great if you’re short on space at home and constantly need to move your trainer between sessions!
Priced extremely competitively, the Volt offers a respectable direct-drive interactive indoor trainer experience. Maybe not as large a flywheel as some of the other direct-drive trainers albeit at a higher price point, but the benefit of included components (cassette, and thru-axle adapters) and its already cheaper price point, make it a very compelling option for riders looking to purchase their a good smart trainer.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFICATIONS
Accuracy: +/- 2.5%
Connectivity: ANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth FTMS
Max Resistance: 1800 Watts
Max gradient simulation: 16%
Thru-axle compatible: Yes
The Jetblack Volt offers smooth and quiet direct-drive capabilities at a compelling price-point. Its included 11-Speed cassette and thru-axle adapters are uncommon in this segment with only a few others like Elite offering so much straight out of the box!
While the more expensive trainers might offer higher accuracy levels, more power, and better ride-feel we feel this trainer be a fantastic value for money offering with most bells and whistles enabled and enabling some serious training rides right out of the box.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING:
I love the freedom which comes with riding a bike. On my Hardtail MTB , nothing is an obstacle, I seamlessly flow down trails and through traffic like water in a river. And that flow gives me immense satisfaction and the continued drive to get back on my bike the next day.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain Biking & Commuting
CURRENT BIKE: Marin Bolinas Ridge Disc
DREAM BIKE: Cannondale TOPSTONE Carbon Lefty 3