Words by Robert Johnston | Photos by Finlay Anderson

Pole has always done things a little differently, from their pioneering geometry concepts to their machined frame manufacturing method that creates some very striking looks. The Voima is their first foray into the world of electric mountain bikes, and they came to the market with a very unique product featuring their new Sensei suspension system with a whopping 190mm travel, which they claim to be equally well suited to your typical “trail” riding as attacking eMTB enduro racing. We had to put one to the test, so Robert was very excited to get one in for some hammer over the winter in the Tweed Valley, Scotland. The Voima does some stuff better than the rest but isn’t without its drawbacks. Read on to find out if it’s the eBike for you.


• 190mm Sensei Suspension
• 29” Wheels
• Bosch Performance Line CX Motor
• 750Wh Battery
• HTA 63.5
• STA 80
• REACH 480 (K2)

Price: $5,838 /€5,490  – $8,701 / €8,183
Website: Polebicycles.com


The Voima is Pole Bicycles first eMTB, but rather than just plugging in the Bosch CX Gen4 motor and tweaking an existing frame design, Pole decided instead to develop a new suspension system for their machined aluminum frame, named Sensei. This controls a whopping 190mm of travel in the rear, which is paired with a 190mm fork and a pair of 29” wheels to create what on paper may seem like a bike only designed to go downhill, however Pole says their geometry and the suspension characteristics make it pedal efficiently and retain agility for all round riding.

Pole Voima eMTB Review

Frame | The Pole Voima frame is made from machined and bonded 7075-T6 aluminum, with the front triangle produced in two halves and glued together in the middle in their facility in Finland. This manufacturing method allows Pole to manufacture to a very high tolerance, with a claimed 0.1mm maximum deviation from headtube to bottom bracket. Other benefits come in the form of environmental friendliness (when compared to a carbon frame), as the frame can be recycled at the end of its life, is less susceptible to impact damage, and the CNC machines are powered by energy exclusively from renewable sources. By manufacturing in Europe, there’s a reduced carbon footprint instead of shipping the frames from Asian manufacturing facilities. Pole is well versed in this manufacturing method by now, sending their frames for the most severe Cat-5 EFBE Tri-Test which it passed, and offering a 5 year warranty to customers as a result of their confidence in its strength.

Suspension | The Sensei suspension is a dual link, virtual pivot design with the links rotating in the same direction (co-rotating), and the shock driven off a yoke attached to the upper link. The shock is mounted sideways to afford extra clearance inside the front triangle for water bottles and accessories, and is “floating” at both ends to minimize side loading and provide more supple suspension with wider service intervals. Pole used this system to obtain relatively consistent anti squat through the gear range at sag point at around 95-110% – this works well for an eBike where the rider weight transfer is more consistent thanks to the power of the motor. Anti Rise (brake squat) sits at around 90% at sag, finding a good balance between preserving the bike geometry when braking and allowing the rear end to move freely. Progression sits at 26% over the shock stroke, which should give plenty of support through the travel, with the last portion approaching linear to prevent too much support when combined with the ramp-up of an air shock.

Pole Voima eMTB Review

Electronics | The Pole Voima uses the Bosch eBike systems motor and electronics, with a CX Gen 4 motor and LED Remote as standard, and the option to upgrade to the Performance Line CX Race motor. Both of these motors feature the same 85Nm torque, and are powered by a removable 750Wh Powertube battery. This battery is fitted to a metal downtube cover, and has a lock located near the head tube to allow it to be released. Around the battery area in the front triangle is a “torsion box”, which adds rigidity to the frame in this area without significant weight increase. The motor is rotated upwards in the frame, letting the downtube form a straight line from the headtube to the bottom bracket for the most efficient use of material, a clean look and improved ground clearance. Since receiving our test bike, Pole has released an updated “Voima ID” (standing for Integrated Design), which features the new sleeker Wireless mini remote and top tube mounted system controller, plus some refinements to the frame to shave off 300g of weight. With all of the motor options, profiles can be customized in the Bosch Flow App.

Frame Details | The Voima frame has a number of notable features. The axles that are used to join the two sides of the links in the Sensei rear suspension system are offered in two versions: standard or “race”, with the Race axles adding increased stiffness for harder charging riders at the expense of ease of tight cornering. Within the front triangle there are mounts for two water bottle cages, which can also be used to mount many common accessories, and there’s a neat integrated seat clamp. The cable routing is all internal, with rubber grommets at the ports. Due to the easy access into the downtube for cable management, Pole recommends simple gaffer tape application to secure the cables from rattling in the frame. There’s a PE plastic slider on the underside of the motor to protect against damage, and a bash guard can be spec’d to protect the front chainring separately. Pole applies an industry-first Electrophoretic clearcoat to the frames in-house in Finland, which coats all surfaces in a few-micron thick coating to protect against corrosion and damage without hiding the machined frame finish. This coating is considered much more eco-friendly than painting or anodizing as it does not use toxic substances, and is available in clear (Raw), Storm Grey or True Gold colors. As it is not quite as durable as painting or anodizing, Pole includes their frame protection film kit as standard to add protection to the colored finishes, and recommends customers looking to have the best lasting raw finish to add the protection film also.

Pole Voima eMTB Review

Geometry | Geometry continues to be unique on the Pole bikes, though slightly less outlandish than their bikes looked a few years ago. They use a “K#” sizing system which goes from K1 to K4 to suit riders between 5’3” / 160cm to 6’5” / 195cm and up. With very low seat tubes across this size range, most riders are given the option to choose between two sizes to tweak their preference of fit. Consistent across the sizes are a 63.5° head angle; 80° seat tube angle, and 455mm chainstay length. The bottom bracket has 0mm drop relative to the axles, some 25mm higher than most similar bikes. Reach numbers begin at 450mm and stretch to 535mm, with Stack heights from 635mm to 648mm. The K2 size tested is recommended for riders 5’7”-6’1” (175-185cm) for “fun”, and 5’5”-5’9” (170-180cm) for “race”, yet it was the size that tester Robert selected at 6’2”/189cm after the nod from Pole. This has a 480mm Reach, 648mm Stack height, very low 360mm seat tube length and resulting stretched out 1313mm wheelbase.

Build Specs | The Voima is currently offered in a wide range of build options, with a few standard options from the $5,838 /€5,490 Voima LED Lite to the $8,701 / €8,183 Voima ID Race, which can be modified and spec’d up to suit customer preferences. The build tested is no longer available, but an equivalent build currently retails for around $8,000. This featured the RockShox Zeb Ultimate 190mm in the front with a Super Deluxe Ultimate air shock in the back. The drivetrain, brakes and cockpit are also SRAM, with the mechanical GX Eagle 12spd shifting with a 170mm EX1 alloy crank; CODE RSC brakes with a 220mm front and 200mm rear rotor, and a 35mm clamp Truvativ Descendant Carbon DH bar and alloy stem. The wheels spec’d were the Mavic E-Deemax 30, which were wrapped in a burly MaxxGrip Maxxis Assegai DD up front and DHR2 downhill in the rear. Rounding out the specs is an SDG Tellis dropper and Ergon SME30 saddle. This tipped the scales at 25.5kg / 56.2lbs.

Pole Voima eMTB Review


The Pole Voima is one of the more striking bikes on the market in terms of looks. From the machined frame finish, to the chunky monostay and unique linkage, and even the “sideways” shock, there’s a lot to process when you take a first look. Everything is finished very neatly, with hardware looking very clean and purposeful and no sign of the seam between the two bonded halves.

Setup | Getting the Voima set up proved to be quite easy – as it turns out, it’s not a particularly fussy bike that demands relentless fettling to get the best performance. After speaking with Pole founder and engineer Leo, I settled in a middle-of-the-range 28% sag to enjoy most of the long travel benefits without being too soft and isolating. Even still, this is not a bike that provides a lot of feedback to the rider, for better and for worse. I ran the fork stiffer than RockShox recommends, with 80psi for my 96kg/210 lbs dry weight. He recommended running compression wide open, which did seem to work best with the RockShox units at these pressures, allowing the fork to stay high in its travel for the most part, but allowing some “dive” when the front end was loaded to quicken the steering. For steeper trails some compression damping aided in confidence to prevent this diving sensation, but still I found myself on the open end of the compression range in the ZEB. The fork was set wide open for rebound too, which is presumably a fault somewhere as it shouldn’t have been the case, but was necessary to obtain a comfortable feeling return speed.

Pole Voima eMTB Review

Climbing | The uphill prowess of the Pole Voima is hilariously good, with a balance between the wheels and ground clearance that had me regularly laughing at how much easier it is to climb challenging ascents than anything else I’ve ridden. The rear tire traction will limit your ability to climb long before the front wheel starts to lift or the Bosch drive unit struggles for power. There’s enough support to keep the chassis stable when pedaling but the rear end remains somewhat compliant to aid in generating traction and giving comfort. Even the tight corners are handled relatively amicably, as you’re able to be so dynamic on the bike without looping out or pushing the front end, but the turning circle is sufficiently wide that it does hit a limit. On mellower gradients the Pole has a trophy truck feel, where you can remain seated and pedaling through undulations in the ground with a stable chassis and the wheels moving in and out of the holes.

Descending | The stable chassis and active suspension carries onto the descents, where the Voima irons out some insanely chunky terrain with all of the conviction and confidence of a good downhill bike. There’s some flex present in the chassis that aids in grip, but once the stock wheelset was replaced for something a little stiffer, it didn’t prove to be overly soft and vague, instead finding a good balance. For trails that demand more dynamic moves, you quickly find the drawbacks of the longer travel, with considerably more effort required to unweight the bike and extra time taken to make these moves. If you’re prepared to be aggressive and are strong enough, it’s not an issue that is unable to be overcome, but it’s certainly more fatiguing to ride the Voima down particularly tight and technical descents than others.

The Pole Voima’s unique geometry delivers balanced handling, but cornering does feel different. For fast, wide open corners – both berms and flat turns – you feel very centered between the wheels and can attack with impressive confidence, but when it tightens up you have to ride the bike very aggressively to initiate the turns, and give a lot of body english to go from turn to turn in quick succession. Once you get used to tipping the bike in further than your brain would normally allow, it’s impressive how fast you can get around tight corners given its long wheelbase, but if you fail to lean ‘er in then it’s easy to get stood up and run wide.

Spec Notes | As alluded to previously, the Mavic E-Deemax 30 wheelset initially fitted to my test bike proved to be unfit for pushing as hard as the rest of the Voima allowed, losing their structure when pushed hard and resulting in a very vague bike through the compressions. Replacing these with a burlier Hope Fortus 30 wheelset instantly improved the handling with no perceivable drawbacks. Leo at Pole admitted that these wheels were not ideal for aggressive riders on the Voima, but was keen to point out their quality other than their lack of stiffness, and that lighter or less aggressive riders may benefit from the extra comfort their flex generates. More aggressive riders should go for the wheel upgrade to unlock the best out of their Voima.

Otherwise, the spec on the Voima build tested performed well. The Bosch drive system is excellent, and although the older smart system tested with the chunky LED remote is not the best, the newer ID model will resolve this in addition to shaving off some welcome weight. The Voima is not going to be for everyone, but riders looking for a bike that can get up the hill better than the rest, charge wide open descents like a downhill bike or give a balanced and confident ride for less active and gnarly riding will be very well served.

Pole Voima eMTB Review

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Pole Voima performs every bit as unique as it looks, with phenomenal climbing prowess and impressive descending stability and confidence. More playful riders or those riding trails that demand the most dynamic movements to be executed regularly may not benefit from the Voima’s strengths, but riders looking for a hill climb champ and a comfortable and capable bike for aggressive and faster trails are in for a treat. Though Pole opted out of our 2023 eMTB Shootout, it’s safe to say that it would have received an honorable mention for its strengths, as it’s a truly special eMTB.

Price: Approx $8,500 / €8,000
Weight: 25.5kg / 56.2lbs
Website: Polebicycles.com

Pole Voima eMTB Review


Frame: 7075-T6 Aluminum | CNC’d & Bonded | 190mm
Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate | Charger 3 | 190mm
Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate | 250x75mm

Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX Gen4 | 85 Nm
Battery: Bosch PowerTube | Removable | 750Wh
Remote: Bosch Smart System LED Remote

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 220F/200R Centreline rotors
Handlebar: Truvativ Descendant Carbon DH | 800mm| 25mm Rise
Stem: Truvativ Descendant Alloy 35mm | 40mm Length
Headset: Cane Creek 40-Series
Seatpost: SDG Tellis 150mm
Saddle: Ergon SME30

Wheelset: Mavic E-Deemax 30
Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai | 3C MaxxGrip DD | 29×2.5” | MegaNorris Toast
Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHRII | 3C MaxxGrip DD | 29×2.4” | MegaNorris Hamburger

Cassette: SRAM XG 1275 | 10-52T
Cranks: SRAM EX1 | 170mm
Shifter: SRAM XO1 Eagle eMTB | 12spd
Derailleur: SRAM XO1 Eagle | 12spd

Pole Voima eMTB Review

We Dig

The Hill Climb Champion
Descending stability
Supreme comfort
Construction quality
Unique looks

We Don’t

Fatiguing to ride dynamically
Not a playful bike
Unique looks won’t be for everyone


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