Magnum Voyager (and Navigator)
Possibly the most comfortable urban ebike I’ve ridden, this is a reboot of the popular Metro Plus. It has a companion step through companion named Navigator, which is identical apart from the frame design. I predict that both will be hugely popular. I’d probably buy the Navigator because I don’t always feel like swinging my leg over and it’ll likely be the top seller – though for me the Voyager is the better looking sibling.
The outgoing 48V Plus and Metro Plus models were hugely popular, and the first ebike for many people. They were well priced and powerful, with a build kit that matched their price point. Many buyers purchased theirs through work purchase schemes or Mercury customer discounts, making them exceptional value. These are no different, although the RRP has gone up $100 to $2999. What you get extra is a nicely integrated battery and great looks.
This newest Magnum is very confident handling, especially compared to the previous model which had skinnier tyres. The wheels are 27.5″ compared to 26″ for the Metro and 28′ (but skinny) for the Plus. You notice this sure-footedness most on surface changes, such as when you need to transition to the footpath over a driveway crossing at an acute angle. This common manoeuvre is always a bit nervy with skinny tyres but no problem with these fatter tyres and good geometry.
The front suspension is a bit plusher than before but still ‘budget ebike’ coil sprung Suntours. The frame is great with comfortable geometry that is good to pedal. When I overestimated the battery capacity I used a lot of my own power and really didn’t mind — it felt good to pedal.
I’ve said it before on previous models and I’ll say it again, I’m disappointed that Magnum don’t have a front light that turns on and off with the bike, and a rear light that also has to be turned on/off manually but also needs it own battery. What the heck Magnum, it’s 2020 and wires exist!
I loved the rack. It is sturdy and can take two panniers and still have space for a child seat or trunk bag.
The controller has three factory modes (Power, Normal, Eco) and 6 levels of Power Assistance within those. I received the bike in Power mode which was a bit ludicrous – altogether too much power even on PAS 1. I popped in to Electrify where they showed me how to change settings to Normal and Eco. I thought Eco was great as there was a decent difference between PAS modes. In PAS 1 it would provide power up to 20kmh, and beyond that it was all me. It also didn’t surge away from a stop when the power kicked in. There was still plenty of top end power and hill climbing on the higher PAS settings in Eco.
The thumb throttle is useful for taking off and all bikes with cadence sensors should have one due to the slight delay between pushing on the pedals and the power coming on. It is an on-off throttle so not much good for controlling speed without the pedals.
On my test ride I rode 65km on a single charge. For the first half I thought I had more battery capacity (614Wh) than I needed, so I was mucking about overtaking roadies with my feet up on the forks using only the throttle, doing about 40kph on the flat. Turns out the battery indicator isn’t an accurate measure but the voltage is the real measure. The display is easy to read and controls were obvious. Brakes and gears worked well. Comfort-wise, I liked the Selle Royal saddle which had a minor amount of suspension and the hand grips felt nice when dry. I reckon they’d be slippery when wet.
Overall weight is around 25kg and rated to carry up to 120kg. The standard warranty is 2 years and well supported through Electrify. Also available from many other outlets.
Who is the Magnum Voyager and Navigator for?
- Urban riders who want a powerful and fast bike
- Voyager for riders who prefer a diamond frame
- Navigator for riders who prefer a low-step
Who isn’t it for?
- Riders looking for a more sophisticated ride that you’ll find at twice the price
I’ll share my experience here of the step through version.
Basically, it’s been amazing.
It eats our hill. Much better than our Smartmotion ecity, which really groans on its way up.
I love the large tyres, which mean you are just that little bit higher and more visible on the road. And I also find myself using the bike with no motor assist on the flat, because it rides so well.
Battery seems to last really well, again better than the Smart motion. I’ve never had it run flat on me but then the longest trip we’ve done is probably only 35kms. We use it mainly as a work commuter, turning a horrendous 30 minute drive into a joyful 20 minute ride.
Yes, I have had 2 broken spokes. These cost something like $10 each to get fixed. Not a big deal. One flat tyre when I rode over a nail. Plus I have worn through the brake pads twice because of our hill. This might sound bad, but, again, it’s vastly better than the Smartmotion which has had all sorts of issues with the electrics and the motor with everything just cutting out on you for no reason. That took months to get fixed. No such issues here with the Magnum.
I have found you need to factor in 6 monthly check ups for ebikes I think of these like a voluntary WOF and have a reminder every 6 months to get both our bikes serviced.
Only annoying thing is the light set-up. But having said that, I know somebody else who purchased a similar style bike for $5k recently that had no lights at all, so it’s at least better than that.
If you’re looking for a robust commuter and railtrail bike at a modest price, give this one a spin for sure.
The only thing I can say about the Magnum, or not the actual bike is the lack of instructions. they just tell you to go online when you purchased. I downloaded all I that was available for the screen of controls. That was good. now the information on the details of the Battery…sadly lacking…
Have you looked carefully into the so called 2 year warranty ? It seems there are a LOT of things not covered – like all the moving parts. I had to replace, chain, cluster and bottom bracket after just 1 year – sorry not covered. about $350 worth of frustration. I sold it immediately.
Hi Simon, that is standard for all bikes. Warranty doesn’t cover normal wear items. It is an aspect I feel that people don’t factor in to the overall costs of ownership and a common thread that I see on ebike forums coming from people who are comparing it to car ownership. Bicycles are like how cars used to be 50 years ago when they needed constant attention and things broke at inopportune moments. And annoyingly for many, the more you spend the less some components last. For example chain and cassette on a $7000 mid drive bike will likely not even last as long as on your Magnum, and a $15,000 bike built with light-weight parts might be more fragile again. However it is worth noting that price-point bikes tend to spec cheaper components (chains, cassettes, chainrings, wheel bearings and bottom brackets) that will need replacing sooner than top-end items due to their materials and water-proofness.
I purchased a Magnum Voyager less than 10 months ago from Electrify NZ (ChCh). Cost $3000 – not the cheapest I could have purchased, but it seemed strong and robust with plenty of range/power. Road use only, approx 660kms travelled; I did not purchase the “extra” various warranties, as, as far as I am concerned a bicycle under standard use should last at least 12 months without breaking down or having breakages.(same principle as a washing machine, fridge, TV etc.) Saying that moving parts are not covered even under the CGA is ridiculous. I write this as I have just discovered 3 broken spokes on the rear wheel which the dealer says is not covered under any warranty – this indicates to me a manufacturing issue in hub/wheel assembly and quality of components and not a “fair wear and tear issue” given the age and mileage of the bike.
If I was told at the time of purchase that in effect basically nothing is covered under the warranty, I would have walked away.
Customer service? I think not.