Rather than the quintessential French wine, baguette or cheese, Parisian manufacturer Voltaire present their new city ebike. The Voltaire Legendre pays homage to a bygone cycling era while integrating modern technology. The Legendre has a retro look, but does it ride like a bike from the past?

Voltaire Legendre | MIVICE M070/360 Wh | 21.3 kg one size | € 2,390 | Manufacturer’s website

When people hear the name Voltaire, they tend to associate it with the 18th-century French writer rather than the bike company from the same region founded in 2019. This young manufacturer, based in Paris, may not enjoy the same level of recognition as Voltaire the writer, but they have quickly become a major player in the bike industry. In keeping with the name of their new model, Voltaire’s office is located on Rue Legendre in Paris. With the introduction of the Legendre, the start-up company are expanding their range, which previously consisted of the two step-through models Bellecour and Courcelles. Obviously, the French company have chosen these names with great care, demonstrating Voltaire’s dedication to cultural aesthetics. This ethos is also reflected in the Legendre – an electric city bike that combines a retro look with modern technology. The choice of the MIVICE M070 hub motor, contemporary disc brakes and low-maintenance belt drive are examples of the technological advances integrated into the timeless Legendre. Available for € 2,390 in the version we tested, this stylish city ebike weighs in at 21.3 kg.

The Picasso of city bikes? – What sets the Voltaire Legendre apart?

With the Legendre, the Parisians launch their first city ebike with a diamond frame which, like its rigid fork, is made of welded aluminium.The bike’s proportions have been meticulously designed and the graphite grey paint finish we chose gives the city ebike a timeless and elegant retro look. The shiny chrome details, including the brake levers, seat clamp, mudguards, rims and even the hub motor, combined with the leather detailing create a chic design. These elements all come together to create a style that evokes a bygone time but with a modern twist. However, some aspects could be improved. The somewhat cluttered cable routing detracts from the Legendre’s attractive appearance. The open seat tube at the bottom bracket without a cover seems like a flaw in the design, too. The whole look would benefit from a well-thought-out solution to this detail. Also the sturdy seat tube of the city ebike also immediately catches your eye. It would be better if it were more in keeping with the overall design, but this is difficult to achieve because the Voltaire team, as on all their bikes, hides the battery inside the seat tube.

Bling bling! The chrome parts are an instant eye-catcher and give the Legendre its retro look.
A nice detail on the handlebar is the Crane bell, which resonates for a long time.

Tuning tip: If you can find more powerful brakes that match the look of the bike, go for it.

The motor system of the Voltaire Legendre

For the Legendre, Voltaire opted for Chinese motor manufacturer MIVICE, whose M070 motor is used to power the city bike. The hub motor has a nominal torque of 35 Nm, but according to Voltaire it should feel closer to 65 Nm. A torque sensor in the crankset measures how hard you pedal and tells the motor how much power to deliver. The Belt Toptrans belt drive then transmits the power to the 85-tooth chainring at the front and the single chainring at the rear. Voltaire have therefore dispensed with a classic gear system on the Legendre and have opted for a singlespeed concept instead which, thanks to the belt drive, promises low-maintenance and a very high gear ratio.

Keep it simple! The built-in belt drive is low maintenance and requires little service.

The motor is powered by Voltaire’s own battery, which is discreetly hidden in the Legendre’s seat tube, and has a total capacity of 360 Wh. The Legendre’s capacity is significantly lower compared with other bike batteries in the same category, such as the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion that we tested with a capacity of 720 Wh. Depending on how you ride, especially in hilly terrain at full power, you may need to stop the Voltaire Legendre and recharge before dusk. A range extender would be beneficial to increase the overall range. There are two ways to charge the battery: with the battery installed or by removing it from the seat tube. To do this, simply release the lever under the saddle to open the battery cover and pull on the loop that appears. To monitor the battery status, the manufacturer have integrated the 1.3″ MIVICE OLED display, which also acts as a remote control. Reminiscent of an Apple Watch at first glance, the display is sharp, easy to read and has a high-quality look. We like the Voltaire logo that appears when the display is switched on. Settings can be configured and adjusted using two buttons on the edge of the display. The built-in remote control, whose operation resembles a light switch, sits discreetly just below the display and can be used to select between assist levels – Level 1, Level 2 and Maximum – allowing the rider to determine the power output of the motor.

The Voltaire wears its Apple Watch on the handlebar. The display looks very similar to a smartwatch.
Open sesame! – The battery cover can be opened in a few simple steps and the battery quickly removed for charging.

If you want to see all your ride data, such as total kilometres or calories burned, you can also download the Voltaire app and pair it with the bike. Unfortunately, we experienced connection problems when setting up the app. Locking the motor should also work via the app and according to the manufacturer, you will also receive a notification if the city ebike is moved without your knowledge.

Getting around town in style – The Voltaire Legendre’s equipment

Before you take the Voltaire Legendre out into the busy urban traffic, check out the details of this stylish city ebike. The manufacturer’s website offers a single frame size suitable for riders between 170 cm and 200 cm tall. The basic equipment it comes with as standard is deliberately kept simple and the price starts from € 2,390. But don’t worry, Voltaire offer a configurator that allows you to customise the bike with additional options.

The configurator offers a choice of four subtle colours at no extra cost. And if you intend to carry a lot of cargo on the city ebike, plenty of storage space is essential. Fortunately, a front carrier with a maximum load of 10 kg and a rear carrier with a load capacity of 27 kg are available for € 95 and € 199 respectively, providing plenty of storage space. Those wanting to take their child with them on the Voltaire Legendre, can opt for a child seat for € 99. Should the Legendre run out of power, an additional battery can be purchased for € 449, also via the configurator. However, this 2.5 kg battery is not a range extender and would need to be carried in your backpack because there is no mount on the frame for an additional battery.
An insurance package can be purchased for 1 year (€ 209), 2 years (€ 409) or 3 years (€ 539). This insurance not only covers the purchase price for the first two years, but also covers 5% of the price of the bike for theft and €0 for frame breakage.

Looking at the Legendre, it’s immediately clear that the French have gone to great lengths to create a harmonious overall impression. The TEKTRO brakes in matching chrome, combined with 160 mm discs, provide not only safety but also a stylish touch. The 28″ Mach1 rims in the same hue harmonise with the 1.75″ Schwalbe Road Cruiser Plus tires as well as the elegant leather grips and leather-coloured saddle. The PARAFANGHI BASTIA chrome mudguards cleverly incorporate the 4-point LED rear light, while the 100 lux LED light on the front provides glare-free illumination. The overall aesthetic is further enhanced by the AtranVelo double kickstand and the Crane bell from Japan, which adds a stylish detail to the handlebar.

Useless? The cap of the brake fluid reservoir incorporates an additional cable duct, although this is not used on the Legendre.
Nicely integrated! The rear light is well integrated into the mudguard, …
… but along with the front light they fail to provide adequate visibility.

Voltaire Legendre

€ 2,390


Motor MIVICE M070 35 Nm
Battery Voltaire Custom 360 Wh
Seatpost Alu
Brakes Tektro 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Singlespeed
Stem Aluminium 80 mm
Handlebar Aluminium 600 mm
Wheelset Mach1 28"
Tires Schwalbe Road Cruiser Plus 1.75"

Technical Data

Size One Size
Weight 21.3 kg
Perm. total weight 120 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 98 kg
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

Atranvelo kickstand

Eye-catcher on the boulevards! But how does the Legendre perform on the tarmac?

The Voltaire Legendre’s sleek looks suggest an equally impressive ride, but does it live up to its image in busy city traffic? With an upright and compact riding position, this city ebike offers stylish mobility and a clear view of the traffic. While the upright position may shift more weight onto the saddle, the wide seating surface ensures a comfortable ride experience. The 1.75″ wide Schwalbe Road Cruiser tires, together with the cockpit and rigid fork, are able to smooth out small bumps. However, the Voltaire Legendre should not be ridden over potholes or high kerbs. Gravel and dirt roads are out of the question. The 600 mm handlebar also compromises comfort, being too narrow for some riders. Despite the handlebar’s short lever and somewhat spongy front end, the handling is reasonably precise. However, the PARAFANGHI BASTIA mudguards offer only limited tire clearance. As a result, when the bike picks up debris from the road, it can make an annoying grinding noise – and there goes the tranquil cruise.

Nevertheless, the Voltaire Legendre is a lot of fun to ride, especially thanks to the performance of its motor. The MIVICE M070 motor makes for a lively and pleasantly light riding experience. Weighing only 21 kg, the Legendre is nimble and often reaches the 25 km/h limit on straights. Although the promised 65 Nm are not really noticeable, the motor pushes powerfully over hills and compensates well for the high gear ratio of the single-speed drivetrain, which would otherwise require a lot of effort. The motor’s coasting doesn’t feel entirely natural, but isn’t really distracting during use. The most enjoyable experience is provided by the motor’s maximum setting, while the other two assistance modes can feel a little weak.

The pleasure of riding the Voltaire Legendre isn’t just about the motor. Riding this ebike is an act of self-expression that draws attention effortlessly. The whole concept of the Legendre is about more than just getting from A to B – it’s about making a statement amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. It is the epitome of stylish urban transport. The Picasso of city bikes.

The integrated front and rear lights are sufficient for city traffic, but lack the brightness required for night-time rides on unpaved roads. The Legendre’s handling is a little spongy and indirect, making it less than ideal for fast stop-and-go traffic and it reaches its limits when cornering fast and riding in a sporty style. Especially when turning, riders with large feet tend to get caught on the front mudguard.

The city bike offers an intuitive and convenient hop-on, hop-off experience. The belt drive ensures minimal maintenance, while the sturdy double kickstand makes it easy to place children in the optional child seat. For larger shopping trips, we recommend adding the luggage rack in the configurator. The limited battery capacity does, however, significantly reduce the range of the city ebike, especially when fully loaded and travelling at top speed. As a result, you’re unlikely to be able to take it all the way to the next town or village, but rather just to the local supermarket.

Who is the city ebike Voltaire Legendre for?

With the Legendre, Voltaire are targeting riders looking for style without breaking the bank, with an emphasis on design and individuality. Art and architecture students in bustling metropolises or urban aesthetes will find the Legendre a chic companion with a carefree concept.

Conclusion on the Voltaire Legendre

The Legendre looks good in an urban environment thanks to its stylish and appealing design. In practice, however, Voltaire’s city ebike fails to live up to the billing, with weak brakes, dragging mudguards and spongy handling all contributing to a limited performance. But if you are looking for a stylish companion on a sunny day, this retro bike can be enjoyed on paved roads, though with certain limitations. The Voltaire Legendre’s fair price keeps it from being a typical status symbol, but its design makes a strong statement and the ebike an artsy eye-catcher on the boulevards.


  • lively MIVICE motor makes the bike fun to ride
  • fair value for money


  • untidy cable routing
  • poor brake performance
  • mudguard grinding
  • short range

For more information visit Voltaire.bike

Words: Benedikt Schmidt Photos: Antonia Feder