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A Close Look At The New Jetblack Volt Smart Trainer

Though relatively unknown in the U.S., Jetblack is providing a (quiet) alternative to the usual suspects of indoor cycling trainers. Our reviewer puts The New Jetblack Volt through the paces.

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Review Rating


Pros

Extremely quiet

Comes with a cassette

Easy to set up and calibrate

Entire ecosystem available (turn block and rocker plate are add-ons)

Comes with thru-axle adapter

Cons

Just as expensive as a KICKR ($1,200)

Heavy and not easily storable or transportable

Some flat-mounted disc brake bikes are incompatible

Mediocre proprietary app


Price

$1,200


The Volt is your standard direct-drive smart trainer with everything you need and nothing you don’t. It looks nearly the same as a Wahoo KICKR Core, but the distinctive orange and black markings mean you won’t mistake it for a Wahoo-branded trainer.

Jetblack Volt: The Basics

Setting up the Volt is extremely easy. It comes with an 11-speed cassette pre-installed, so all you have to do in order to start riding is attach the trainer legs with four screws total, put the skewer through, and get your bike situated. All in all, setup took less than 20 minutes total.

It’s becoming trendy for each trainer brand to offer its own workout app and the Volt is no exception. For no added cost, the JetBlack Cycling App features beginner- to advanced-level workouts designed by vetted cycling and triathlon coach Murray Healey. Of course, you can also use the Volt via Zwift or your other favorite third-party cycling app, too.

Max Watts Max Slope Noise* Calibration Actual Trainer Weight Flywheel Weight Power Required
1,800 16% 66.2dB Spindown 34 pounds 10.4 pounds Yes

*Noise is measured with a decibel meter held at rider’s head height.

RELATED: The 9 Top Indoor Cycling Platforms This Season

Jetblack Volt: The Good

The Volt has achieved what other smart trainer brands notoriously struggle with: noise. The Volt is insanely quiet, reverberating merely an ambient hum in its currently-stationed room. For those who live in apartments or other stacked housing, the Volt will likely be a godsend to both you and your neighbors.

As mentioned before, the Volt also nailed its setup configuration. Simply pop on the two legs of the trainer with included bolts and wrench, choose the right skewer for your bike (a thru-axle adapter is included), and you’re ready to roll. The Volt wisely includes an 11-speed cassette with all Volt purchases, which is only a problem if your bike is a 10 or 12- speed.

With so many gadgets, cyclists are starting to run into the issue of not having enough Bluetooth streams to connect all their gizmos to. JetBlack thought through this very carefully and designed a creative solution: direct your heart rate data through the JetBlack trainer app in order to send your HRM data through the Volt itself, thus leaving an open to Bluetooth channel on your computer, TV, or smart device to further connect, say, the JetBlack steering block.

Speaking of, JetBlack is releasing its $70 Turn Riser Block any day now (you can join the waitlist currently) which connects with most third party apps and the trainer itself to provide riders with a steering component. For those who want the most realistic road adventure, JetBlack’s $600 Rocker Plate is also taking names for its waitlist.

Jetblack Volt: The Not-So-Good

Just like pretty much every other smart trainer out there, the Volt is heavy and cumbersome to travel with and store. The machine weighs in at just under 34 pounds and has no way of folding up or compressing for easy storage. Again, this isn’t unique to the Volt as it’s a struggle of most smart trainers, but it is something to note.

Upon doing some investigating, it looks like the JetBlack app could use a little love. Not only does it get numerous one-star reviews on the Apple App Store that cite bugs, frequent app crashes, and limited support, but when we explored the app, the interface seemed confusing, unexciting, and like it was still being built.

For most of us, though, this isn’t a problem as it’s likely you’ve already got your riding app of choice like Zwift, Rouvy, TrainerRoad, etc.

The Volt also calls out that it is incompatible with some flat-mounted disc brake bike brands due to the disc brake and Volt making unwanted and bike-damaging contact. Two of the brands included in their list are Cervelo and Scott, both of which have a nice slice of the bike market, potentially isolating those riders from experiencing the Volt as it stands today.

Conclusions

The Volt does an excellent job of standing on its own when compared to the KICKR and any other luxe smart trainer on the market. It comes with the usual cost, though, taking a big bite out of your budget and storage space.

However, we have to applaud how quiet the Volt is and the fact that it comes with a cassette and thru-axle adapter for no added cost. It also gets creative with its Bluetooth streams, allowing us data geeks to get as many quantifiables as possible from any given training session.

With its forthcoming ecosystem the Volt positions itself well to become a fierce contender as a consumer favorite in the smart trainer industry. Watch out for JetBlack and the Volt to make waves in the months to come.

RELATED: The Smart Trainer Explainer