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Aventon Soltera Showdown: Single Speed vs 7 Speed – Which Ebike Comes Out On Top?

When it comes to choosing an electric bike for commuting, you‘ll face a lot of decisions – but one of the most critical is whether to opt for a single speed or geared drivetrain. As a long-time cycling enthusiast who has tested dozens of ebikes over the years, I know this choice can make or break your riding experience depending on your typical routes and riding style.

Two popular options from well-known brand Aventon perfectly illustrate this dilemma: the Aventon Soltera single speed and the Soltera 7, which features a 7-speed drivetrain. Both are sleek Class 2 ebikes with pedal assist up to 20 mph, but the gearing is a key differentiator.

So which one is the better choice? As with most things in the ebike world, it depends. But by the end of this article, you‘ll have all the information you need to decide whether the simplicity of the single speed or the versatility of the 7 speed is right for you.

Let‘s start with a quick primer on the general differences between single speed and geared electric bikes.

Single Speed vs Geared Ebikes: The Basics

The drivetrain is what propels the bike forward as you pedal. On a traditional bicycle, the drivetrain includes the front chainring attached to the pedals, the chain itself, the rear cogs (attached to the rear wheel), and the derailleurs which move the chain between cogs to change gears.

A single speed bike, as the name suggests, has a drivetrain with just one gear ratio. There‘s a single front chainring and a single rear cog, so the chain never has to move between cogs. This makes for a simpler system with fewer parts to potentially fail.

Geared drivetrains, on the other hand, have multiple front chainrings and/or rear cogs to provide a range of gear ratios. The most common geared setups are 7 speed (with 7 rear cogs), 8 speed, 9 speed, and so on up to 12 speed drivetrains on high-end bikes.

Having multiple gears allows you to fine-tune your pedaling effort based on your speed and the steepness of the terrain. Lower "easy" gears make it easier to pedal up hills, while higher gears are more efficient when riding fast on flat ground or descending.

Aventon Soltera Single Speed vs 7 – Spec Comparison

Now that we‘ve covered the high-level differences, let‘s see how the single speed and 7 speed versions of the Aventon Soltera stack up. These two ebikes share the same sleek frame style and 350W rear hub motor, but have a few key differences:

Motor and Battery

Both bikes have a 350W brushless rear hub motor that provides pedal assist up to 20 mph. They also have the same 36V, 10Ah battery with an average range of 41 miles per charge (20-63 mile range depending on conditions).

The max motor output is 500W on both models. However, the single speed may put more strain on the motor when climbing hills since it can‘t downshift to an easier gear. This could potentially lead to overheating and reduced longevity compared to the 7 speed.


The single speed Soltera has a slight weight advantage at 41 lbs compared to the 43 lb Soltera 7. While 2 lbs may seem negligible, weight is an important consideration for an ebike that you may need to carry up stairs or lift onto public transit. The 7 speed‘s extra hardware (rear derailleur, shifter, 7 cogs vs 1) accounts for the added weight.


This is one area where the 7 speed has an advantage. It comes equipped with mechanical disc brakes for strong, reliable stopping power in all weather conditions. The single speed uses rim brakes which are prone to weaker performance in wet conditions and as the brake pads wear down over time. Disc brakes provide an added margin of safety, especially for riding in unpredictable urban environments.


As of 2023, the Aventon Soltera single speed retails for $1,199 USD, while the Soltera 7 goes for $1,299. That‘s a $100 premium for the 7 speed drivetrain and disc brakes. Aventon rarely puts these models on sale, so expect to pay full price unless you find a used model.

Pros and Cons: How Do They Perform?

With the key specs out of the way, let‘s discuss some real-world ride impressions. I‘ve personally taken both models for extended test rides to get a feel for their strengths and weaknesses.

Aventon Soltera Single Speed Pros

The single speed Soltera excels in flat to rolling urban environments. It feels lightweight and nimble, yet still stable at top speed thanks to the puncture-resistant 700 x 35C tires and rigid chromoly steel fork. Acceleration is smooth and snappy, making it easy to get up to speed from a stop and weave through traffic.

I appreciated the simplicity and low-maintenance nature of the single speed drivetrain. If you stick to mostly flat terrain, there‘s really no need for gears, and the single speed is less likely to need adjustments or fall out of tune. It‘s a great "set it and forget it" ebike.

Another benefit is the completely enclosed chain, which keeps your pants or skirt clean and snag-free. No need to roll up your right pant leg or use a garment clip.

Aventon Soltera Single Speed Cons

The main downside to the single speed is that it struggles on steeper hills. Even with the pedal assist maxed out, I found myself standing up and mashing the pedals to get up 8-10% grades. The 350W motor simply doesn‘t have enough oomph to propel you uphill in too high of a gear.

This also means the motor works harder and drains the battery faster on hilly terrain. On one ride with 1,000 ft of elevation gain, I only got 28 miles of range, compared to the 41 mile average.

While the rim brakes performed adequately in dry conditions, I missed the power and peace of mind of disc brakes whenever the road was wet or the route had long downhills. An ebike‘s extra weight and speed really demands disc brakes in my opinion.

Aventon Soltera 7 Pros

The Aventon Soltera 7 is a more traditional commuter ebike with a 7 speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain and 11-32T rear cassette. This provides a 290% gear range to tackle a wider variety of terrain.

On my test rides, I was easily able to find a comfortable gear for everything from 15% grade climbs to 28 mph descents. The pedal assist felt very natural and the motor had plenty of power on tap without straining. It was simply a more enjoyable, free-flowing ride experience compared to the single speed.

I was also very impressed with the stopping power and control provided by the Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Even fully loaded with gear and riding in wet conditions, the brakes engaged smoothly and reliably every time. After this, it‘s hard to go back to rim brakes.

The Soltera 7 also has a suspension seat post which takes the edge off bumps and potholes. It‘s not a full suspension ebike by any means, but that little bit of cushion makes a difference on longer commutes.

Aventon Soltera 7 Cons

The main downside to the 7 speed is the added complexity and slightly higher maintenance requirements. There are more moving parts in the drivetrain, so you‘ll need to make sure the derailleur hanger is aligned, cables are correctly tensioned, and the gears are indexed properly. It‘s not overly complicated, but certainly more involved than a single speed.

The 7 speed‘s 2 lb weight penalty is noticeable if you need to carry the bike up stairs or hoist it into a car rack frequently. It‘s still fairly lightweight for an ebike, but any extra weight adds up.

Lastly, the 7 speed costs $100 more than the single speed. That‘s not a huge premium considering the upgrades, but it may be harder to justify if your commute is pancake flat.

Recommendation: Which Soltera Is Right for You?

So, which model reigns supreme? While both are excellent ebikes, I have to give the overall win to the Aventon Soltera 7. The benefits of the 7 speed drivetrain, disc brakes, and suspension seatpost outweigh the minor weight and cost penalties for most riders.

If your commute involves any hills, even occasional overpasses or bridges, you‘ll appreciate having gears to find a comfortable cadence. The 7 speed drivetrain gives you more flexibility to adapt to different terrain, conserve battery, and put less strain on the motor over time. It‘s a more capable ebike that can grow with you as a cyclist.

The disc brakes are also a significant safety upgrade that give you better control in adverse weather and descents. Once you‘ve experienced the power and consistency of disc brakes, it‘s hard to settle for rim brakes unless you only ride in ideal conditions.

That said, the single speed Soltera is still a solid choice if you have a short, flat commute and prioritize simplicity above all else. There‘s something to be said for a low-maintenance drivetrain and not having to think about shifting. If you just want to hop on, pedal, and go without hassle, the single speed may be preferable.

Whichever model you choose, you‘re getting an elegant, well-designed ebike optimized for urban riding. Aventon has a track record of reliability and backs it up with a solid warranty (1 year on electronics, lifetime on frame). Plus, both models can handle racks, fenders, and other accessories to customize your ride.

The Verdict

For the average rider, I recommend spending the extra $100 on the Aventon Soltera 7 to get a more versatile ebike with higher-quality components. The 7 speed drivetrain, disc brakes, and suspension seatpost make it a better long-term investment that can handle any commute with confidence. The minor weight penalty is well worth the performance and safety benefits in my book.

However, if you have a short, flat commute and just want a simple, low-maintenance ebike, the Aventon Soltera single speed is still a top contender. Its sleek design, reliable motor, and quality components make it a solid choice for minimalist commuters sticking to predictable urban terrain.

No matter which model you choose, you‘re in for a fun, freeing ride. The Aventon Soltera is proof you don‘t need to spend a fortune for a stylish, well-equipped commuter ebike that will make you look forward to your daily journeys.