Introducing Cycle Volta’s New Editor

Toby Hill brings bicycle industry experience to electric mobility website.

Toby Hill holding on to a suspended bicycle in headshot
Toby Hill, editor-in-chief, Cycle VoltaJeff Allen

Hello, Cycle Volta readers. I'm excited and honored to introduce myself as the website's new editor-in-chief. "But who the heck are you?" you're likely asking. So allow me to share …

Bicycles have been a central part of my life for more than a quarter-century. I got bitten by the mountain bike bug as a college journalism student during the early ’90s and have embraced the ride ever since. Before mountain biking, skateboarding had been my passion, befitting of a kid who grew up in the vibrant surf and skate culture of Southern California.

I see similarities between the two activities: Both are by nature highly individual pursuits — you, and only you, determine your direction and how you put your personal style or flair on the sport. At the same time, opportunities for camaraderie and community are endless, whether it’s an extended ramp session with your skater buds or hustling to keep up with a train of your fellow mountain bikers down a challenging stretch of singletrack.

About eight years ago, an opportunity arose to meld my career in journalism with my passion for bikes: I went to work as an editor for a respected trade magazine covering the international bicycle industry. The experience was a true eye-opener. Little did this mountain biker know how complex the supply chain was for bicycle manufacturers, or how challenging it was for independent bike shops to survive in a fiercely competitive environment both at brick and mortar and, increasingly, online.

But more than that, working in “The Industry” opened my eyes to just how diverse the world of cycling was beyond my narrow focus on mountain biking. I visited one shop that sold nothing but folding bikes to serve subway commuters bridging the last mile to their workplace or home. Another that had a deep stock of insulated bags and cargo carriers to cater to delivery cyclists. High-end triathlon shops stocking wetsuits and running shoes alongside their aerodynamic road bikes and offering recovery services for their sore swim-bike-run customers. Fixie-only shops filled with simple steel bikes, messenger bags and U-locks but nary a derailleur or shifter in sight. Sparkling “boutique” road shops where no bike on the sales floor cost less than $3,000.

Visiting these shops, including a then-emerging niche in selling electric bikes exclusively, revealed to me how bicycles are not just machines for fun, but also utilitarian tools for improving daily life. That's part of what we'll strive to highlight at Cycle Volta: how useful and fun bikes can be with some electric assistance.

In addition to ebikes, we’ll also cover the latest developments in other forms of electric mobility, including escooters and electric motorcycles. If it has two wheels and an electric motor and helps get you safely to your destination, we’ll bring it to you.

I truly hope that you'll come to regard Cycle Volta as an essential resource for reviews, advice, product information and community in the exciting market of electric mobility. And don't hesitate to let us know how we're doing or what you'd like to see on the website or our social channels. Let's have a great ride together.

Best,

Toby Hill

Editor-in-chief

Cycle Volta