When Volume first started buzzing about their commuter bike, the Generator, it was a whole different beast. They started out by putting an 8-speed Alfine hub on one of their fixed freestyle frames but knew they had to put more thought into it before pushing it through to production. By replacing the calipers with disk brakes and running internal routing, the Generator quickly became an all-purpose, curb-hopping, around town, bar and cafe bike for people who want a little more fun in their morning commute. I got my hands on one a few weeks back and have been enjoying the ride so far.
Check out more below!
The Generator has a full Resist drive train. The eccentric bottom bracket allows you to achieve consistent chain alignment without the need for a road drop out, all while maintaining the minimalist aesthetic people love about MTB, BMX and fixed gears.
Volume stepped their game up from the earlier prototypes by pumping dual-piston hydraulic disk brakes onto the bike. This was the first time I had to adjust and dial in disk brakes in years but after a few minutes, the bike was ready to roll.
If something’s strong enough for fixed freestyle, it’s going to give you zero issues while commuting. Volume chose 36h H+Son rims for this bike and when you put a 45c Nomad tire on that wheel, it’s going to stay straight as an arrow.
The generator has eyelets for a rear rack and the same seat tube cleave as the Thrasher, giving it all kinds of attitude. This isn’t your mom’s commuter.
The 8-speed hub uses these thumb shifters, allowing you to push through the gears with ease. Again, only a minimal amount of fine-tuning was required to get the Alfine operating smoothly.
For a rider who prefers the handling of a fixed freestyle bike, the Generator will be a familiar ride.
And it looks mean as hell.
So how’s the ride? Stable. The only down-side to the internal hub is weight. But when you factor in that most people who ride track bikes have never had to dial in a rear derailleur, much less worry about knocking it on a door jam or sign post, the hassle-free maintenance is an even trade for the weight. I didn’t have a hanging scale but it was exactly what I expected it to weigh.
I took it off-road a bit and around town, up and down hills just fine. Everyone that saw me on it, complimented the aesthetic and were anxious to try it out. The sizing is a bit large, so like a FGFS frame, you should size down. I ride the 56cm and it fits like a large to XL frame, especially with the long stem.
Other than that, you might want to swap the saddle and pedals, as with any bike. At a retail price of $1,499, it comes in around twice that of the Thrasher Completes, which isn’t bad considering the extra accoutrement. I’m going to hold onto it for a few more weeks and update you as events warrant. So far, so good!