Actually Riding the Sondors Ebike

George S.

Well-Known Member
The other Sondors threads have become hopelessly bogged down. I would like to start a neutral to positive thread for the bike.

What do we know? In general, the components on this bike are reasonable. Right now, you can argue they are better than what people would ever have expected back in January. Unfortunately, we have to guess on some things, and there is no way to know what the ‘riding experience’ will be.

My guess is that the Sondors is meant to be a very casual bike. This is not a bike to go on a 30 mile ride. The fat tires (very fat) are costing this bike quite a bit of range. But does it really matter? The most interesting question will simply be how well it rides. If the big, fat tires create a really great ride, people won’t care about the battery life so much. If people pedal the bike, and go under 15 mph, the range may be quite reasonable.

This is probably the most interesting ‘starter’ bike ever developed. There are no gears to mess with, and it can basically be ridden with a throttle. Hopefully the single speed will cover a range that allows the rider to move along while getting some exercise. It’s generally easy to make a modification, or add some gears, for better pedaling. If the idea is to get new people into ebiking, this is a great price point. In general, people who ride e bikes get some exercise, so you can’t criticize e bikes that are easy to pedal, as long as people can pedal them.

It’s curious that the three Indiegogo e bikes, the Sondors, the Wave, and the RadRover (gross sales order) have all been basically ‘fun’ bikes. They do different things, and they define ‘fun’ in different ways, but these campaigns are a lot lighter than the campaigns from ‘real’ ebike companies. The big companies have never even tried to make (import) bikes like the Sondors, the Wave, and the RadRover, or they double the price.

I’d like to know what the Sondors bike can do. I’d like to know if it is likely to serve an owner well (reliably) for a year or two, and be something that is fun. If people get hooked on e bikes (I am) the new bikes are likely to be great for the industry.

There are a lot of things to be worked out, but if it is a good bike for enough people, the other things will matter a lot less.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
So, this thread will be about actually riding the real-life (not $4,000 custom) Sondors ebike? What do we talk about while we wait? ;)
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
The other Sondors threads have become hopelessly bogged down. I would like to start a neutral to positive thread for the bike.

What do we know? In general, the components on this bike are reasonable. Right now, you can argue they are better than what people would ever have expected back in January. Unfortunately, we have to guess on some things, and there is no way to know what the ‘riding experience’ will be.

My guess is that the Sondors is meant to be a very casual bike. This is not a bike to go on a 30 mile ride. The fat tires (very fat) are costing this bike quite a bit of range. But does it really matter? The most interesting question will simply be how well it rides. If the big, fat tires create a really great ride, people won’t care about the battery life so much. If people pedal the bike, and go under 15 mph, the range may be quite reasonable.

This is probably the most interesting ‘starter’ bike ever developed. There are no gears to mess with, and it can basically be ridden with a throttle. Hopefully the single speed will cover a range that allows the rider to move along while getting some exercise. It’s generally easy to make a modification, or add some gears, for better pedaling. If the idea is to get new people into ebiking, this is a great price point. In general, people who ride e bikes get some exercise, so you can’t criticize e bikes that are easy to pedal, as long as people can pedal them.

It’s curious that the three Indiegogo e bikes, the Sondors, the Wave, and the RadRover (gross sales order) have all been basically ‘fun’ bikes. They do different things, and they define ‘fun’ in different ways, but these campaigns are a lot lighter than the campaigns from ‘real’ ebike companies. The big companies have never even tried to make (import) bikes like the Sondors, the Wave, and the RadRover, or they double the price.

I’d like to know what the Sondors bike can do. I’d like to know if it is likely to serve an owner well (reliably) for a year or two, and be something that is fun. If people get hooked on e bikes (I am) the new bikes are likely to be great for the industry.

There are a lot of things to be worked out, but if it is a good bike for enough people, the other things will matter a lot less.
Let's try this again...

George!

I totally agree with your assessment. I think most buyers are looking to hop on a bike that could be fun. Most are likely uninitiated when it comes to E-bikes in general, so I do hope it provides at least some level of excitement for newcomers to electric bikes.

I doubt many if any bought the bike for more than casual riding and small errands. Hopefully it provides enough distance to be an enjoyable around town experience.

I think the tires were chosen poorly, a SS 29er or 650b would have been a better choice - with that said, the fat tires make it interesting and appealing, and on the plus side there is no question that a fat tire provides a more comfortable ride, whether off road or on packed and paved surfaces.

Hopefully the bikes begin shipping for delivery at least mid-summer for buyers! The most recent update for my radrover bike has it coming in about a month - I think we are going to need a dedicated fat electric sub-forum soon, that or a crowd-funded bike sub - there are enough new bikes in both categories to warrant it I think!
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Until the Sondors bikes are delivered and ridden it is all just supposition. Sure there are funders that realize that the claims on the campaign were over exaggerated and they have become the most vocal proponents. But back at the beginning of the campaign while the perks were piling up the comment from some woman that was really looking forward to getting the bike to ride from Seattle to San Diego for a conference sticks in my mind. I realize that is an extreme example but I would expect that there are at least some of the funders that got the bike based on the campaign specifications.

In order for any bike to be "easy" to pedal it is important that the bike properly fits the rider. Of the 7000 or so getting bikes it is only a guess as to how many will fit the bike properly in order to be able to achieve an efficient pedaling motion. The one size fits all aspect of the Sondors and the other CF bikes is certainly outside of the box thinking as compared to the bicycle industry as a whole that pays great attention to providing frame size increments that will fit anyone so that they can have the easiest pedaling experience. Some people pay more than the cost of these CF bikes just to have someone properly size them to a virtual bike in order to achieve their maximum efficiency. In the end if the bike isn't "easy" to pedal the PAS gimme will not be effective and the throttle will see heavy usage and mileage will vary between the 5' tall 100lb. female rider that the frame is too big for and the 6'3" 250lb. male rider that the frame is too small for.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
@JRA from my time in a local e bike shop a one size fits all approach is taken by a lot of e bike companies. Evenn my bh easy motion neo xtrem had a go medium or go home approach. That is a solid mid range just under $3k msrp bike.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
A few companies are starting to offer a couple of frame sizes; its a matter of money & logistics--there has to be enough buyers interested in the multiple sizes to justify the cost of manufacturing and stocking. If you look at some of the higher end ebikes, like the Haibike, there are a bunch of frame sizes, but the co$$t! Case in point for multiple options on bikes was the colored rim rage a couple of years ago. Pedego and their dealers got bit with a lot of unused wheels or unmatched sets and same for Currie Tech Zuma, but to a lesser extent. Politely, I remind folks that even the largest ebike manufacturer is still tiny (maybe 20K bikes sold in the US for the bigger mfg.) compared to companies like Giant, Trek, etc. so there is not the same scale of money available to offer 5 or 6 sizes of each model. Would be nice when we get there; I'm always looking for the smaller frame ebikes so that it will ride and handle properly, thus my choice to use a kit on a custom built frame.
 
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JRA

Well-Known Member
That is why I said "the bicycle industry", not the e bike industry and I guess I should have pointed the finger at them also to be fair.

There is no reason that e bikes can't be sized accordingly other than economics of scale and no doubt some are. The point is that people come in all sizes and for efficient pedaling dynamics and overall comfort on the bike fit is important. I personally would never buy a bike that didn't fit me but I like to pedal, even on an e bike.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
@JRA from my time in a local e bike shop a one size fits all approach is taken by a lot of e bike companies. Evenn my bh easy motion neo xtrem had a go medium or go home approach. That is a solid mid range just under $3k msrp bike.
Yeah, the discussion in the ebike shop does tend to focus on the electrical system. When I was first looking I pretty much overlooked geometry, because I was wowed by the power.

In a way, the assist can overcome slightly imperfect geometry, as full pedaling efficiency isn't totally necessary. But, riding comfort will be compromised for many, I guess.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
@JRA from my time in a local e bike shop a one size fits all approach is taken by a lot of e bike companies. Evenn my bh easy motion neo xtrem had a go medium or go home approach. That is a solid mid range just under $3k msrp bike.
That's what Prodeco does. I had a folding bike where you basically raised the seat as the adjustment. It was OK until I needed to climb a hill. With a motor, it would have been fine. I put a motor on a bike I already liked, for fit, and now I really like the balance of power and pedal.

With people who want to get in shape, from a low fitness level, an electric assist is a great motivator. I thought riding a regular bike was a chore until I got reasonably fit. So I hope people set it up so pedaling is natural. I think during the demo they had people sitting so low you couldn't possibly pedal. That's easy to fix, obviously.

I don't know where they set up the single speed. I'd set it up so I could pedal comfortably at 12 - 15 mph, and use the throttle to start and climb hills.
 

Ronny Cox

New Member
Nice George, loved reading this thread. I read all you're previous posts with interest. I know very little about e-bikes and many others have opened my eyes to the great adventure possibilities of fat tired ebikes.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
Good time to revive this thread, I acb anxious to read actual ride reports and ongoing evaluations.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
From the first reports on the Facebook group, the bike is exactly what you would expect.. A good looking cruiser bike that does 20 mph, no more. Has some trouble with hills, which is to be expected for a geared 350w hub motor.

Assembly and charging the Sondors is around 90 minutes.. seems about right.

Range will be interesting...With the tires properly inflated and an average weight person, it should reach into the mid 20s with PAS. Don't think 30 miles is likely except in the lowest PAS setting.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
If the motor has a 20mph cut off it is not going to keep providing power power after 20mph even if you are pedaling. It isn't a sophisticated bike, not sure why you would think it would give more power past 20 if pedaling?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
With the single speed it would be hard to set it up to climb hills and have speed. I think that's something people might want to adjust. The overall quality looks somewhere between "A good basic ebike choice" and "a nightmare for the industry".

People need a month or so to get used to an ebike, just for comfort and to know what it can do for them. I don't know what the reviewers do.

I like @pxpaulx and his approach to a new bike (debadging?). You almost have to shift things around because little things mean a lot. It's too bad that bike has had shipping problems, but the RR looks pretty nice.

I got a kick out of the graphic for the handlebars. I think that once happened to me. I took it to a bike shop before riding it. You open a box and then what?
 

Hurley

Active Member
From the first reports on the Facebook group, the bike is exactly what you would expect.. A good looking cruiser bike that does 20 mph, no more. Has some trouble with hills, which is to be expected for a geared 350w hub motor.

Assembly and charging the Sondors is around 90 minutes.. seems about right.

Range will be interesting...With the tires properly inflated and an average weight person, it should reach into the mid 20s with PAS. Don't think 30 miles is likely except in the lowest PAS setting.
If the bike truly does 20 mph that is impressive considering the tires and weight. Definitely a looker. I have to take issue with the 90 minutes reported charge time. Sounds ridiculously exaggerated considering the charger has a 1.8 amp max output combined with a battery of 10 amp hours. Makes me wonder about other claims. Simple math shows at least 5 hours of charging. The battery is 350 watts.

The bike does not have PAS so I don't know why you even mention that. My educated guess estimates 15 miles at a moderate pace unassisted on flat ground.
 

wa5

Well-Known Member
Hurley I thought PAS was mentioned just before manufacturing began? (I've tried to keep out of this thread, sorry).
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Storm added pedal assist a couple of months ago:

Pedal Assist: All Sondors eBikes will have a pedal assist feature included. Pedal Assist ensures easy start if you choose pedals instead of electric power. Also adds another pleasant way to ride the bike with extra help from battery and motor. In Storm’s words:

“I enjoyed this new feature very much and hope everyone else will appreciate it also.”