Cost-Benefit Comparison: Sondors Electric Bicycle or Volton mid-drive?

Mike leroy

Active Member
Court (i.e., EBR.com) gave #1 ratings to the Volton mid drive (also 500W, 48V version) and SSR Sand Viper. The bikes cost $2,650 and $1,400, respectively. The Viper is the closest approximation to Sondors. Cost-benefit analysis is powerful tool to compare eBikes that are fundamentally different value propositions.

Bike components are features which are related to six ebike Benefit categories. Benefit categories are rated by averaging the feature scores in a category, on a scale from 1 to 5.

The cost-benefit ratio is a way to compare one bike with different options, or several bikes. Use a single number (I.e., ratio) to compare different features, trade offs, risks and prices.

Calculate the cost-benefit ratio by dividing the bike benefit score by the cost rating. Scores are displayed in parentheses.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Two Volton dealers are located in my area. A solution that delivers real value is combining the Sondors low cost business model with flexible configuration and local shop service. The Results category in the cost-benefit analysis is used to score service, warranty and support.

Can Court's review "Cons" be easily overcome by allowing riders to configure the shortcomings? I prefer to upgrade to most of the components/features in the HPC Trailblazer deluxe. The HPC Trailblazer is the opposite of the Volton Alation. The trailblazer emphasized performance at the expense of elegance and stealth. The Velcro battery cover draws attention to motor power, is aesthetically displeasing and less protective.


DSC_0021-1024x680.jpg
HPC_Trailblazer_X_2__05047.1419368064.1280.1280.jpg
SANDVIPER.jpg

The Volton frame design is elegant. The stealthy battery is hidden in the frame. What set of upgrades from the entry level components optimizes value of the bike? Volton places too much emphasis on low cost.

Selecting the bike with the best frame and electrical system layout is the first step in the purchasing process. The second step is balancing components and costs. In other words, the frame represents the fixed cost, while the components are the variable cost. Accept or reject a bike layout -- Elegance benefit -- before considering components. Components represent Economy, Enjoyment, Ease, Endurance and Excitement benefit categories.

Judging the Elegance benefit means getting in touch with your emotions. Ignore numbers like price, watts, amps and speed when making your first impression. Pay close attention to your emotional reaction -- positive, negative or indifferent. Compare the first three pictures in this post. Which eBike has the greatest emotional attraction or negative reaction?

Score your emotional reaction as an Elegance benefit, on a scale from 1 to 5. The feeling might be lost when individual components are considered.

Unfortunately, human emotions Bias judgment. I am very biased against the SSR Viper because the motor is located in the front wheel. In my opinion, the front wheel is only for steering. The rear wheel is strictly part of the powertrain to smoothly combine pedal and motor power. Rear wheel traction is reduced with a front motor. A big issue for full suspension eBikes.

Write your Bias down while fresh in memory. I am also strongly biased against the HPC, because the velcro battery cover is ugly to my eyes.


Neither bike contains all the desired components, which justifies postponing purchase for another year.

Are you willing to wait a few months for Volton to accumulate enough orders to produce a batch of bikes, like Sondors? I am.

A side-by-side comparison for three bikes follows: Volton mid-drive, Sondors rear hub and SSR Sand Viper front hub.

See this post for more explanation about the cost-benefit analysis.
 
Last edited:

Mike leroy

Active Member
Alation MidDrive 500W, 48V Cost-Benefit Analysis.

DSC_0021-1024x680.jpg
The features were copied and pasted from both the review and the web page. Consulting the web page for most recent updates is critical.

Bike components are features which are related to six ebike Benefit categories. Benefit categories are rated by averaging the feature scores in a category, on a scale from 1 to 5.

The cost-benefit ratio is a way to compare one bike with different options, or several bikes. Use a single number (I.e., ratio) to compare different features, trade offs, risks and prices.

Calculate the cost-benefit ratio by dividing the bike benefit score by the cost rating. Scores are displayed in parentheses.

The following Star Plot indicates the Alation Mid-drive is a good match for my purposes. The average benefits circle exceeds the white lines.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
The Benefit-Cost Ratio is 3.6, which a little above the average score of three.
  1. Economy (4.0)
    • Accessory - Integrated front headlight is modular(4)
  2. Ease (2.0)
    • Brakes -- Avid BB5 Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors (2)
    • Gears -- 8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Alivio HG50 (2)
    • Lockout Fork (3)
    • Suspension -- SR Suntour XCR (1)
  3. Enjoyment (3.7)
    • Tire Brand / Wheel Sizes / Tire Details : Kenda KRAD 26" x 2.3" / 26 in Puncture Resistant (3)
    • Attachment Points : Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses (5)
    • Estimated Charge Time / Estimated Min and Max Range : 3.5 hrs / 35 to 45 miles (3)
  • Endurance (3)
    • Samsung / Lithium Polymer 48 volt / 11ah / 378 wh (3)
  • Excitement (4.5)
    • 500W, 8Fun (4)
    • Throttle (5)
  • Elegance (4.4)
    • Design (5)
    • Wiring (4)
    • Stealth (5)
    • Removable Lithium-ion battery pack (5)
    • Rims / Spokes : Alex Rims DH19 Double Walled / Heavy Gauge (12) Stainless Steel (3)
  1. Results (4.0)
    • Great customer service and support (5)
    • one year warranty. (4)
    • Service shops in my area (3)
  2. Cost (1)
    • Total $2650 (1)
  3. Bias (3)
  4. Risk (2)
 

Attachments

  • Mid-DriveComparison.png
    Mid-DriveComparison.png
    121.4 KB · Views: 543
Last edited:

Mike leroy

Active Member
Sonders Beach Cruiser

Bike components are features which are related to six ebike Benefit categories. Benefit categories are rated by averaging the feature scores in a category, on a scale from 1 to 5.

The cost-benefit ratio is a way to compare one bike with different options, or several bikes. Use a single number (I.e., ratio) to compare different features, trade offs, risks and prices.

Calculate the cost-benefit ratio by dividing the bike benefit score by the cost rating. Scores are displayed in parentheses.

Sondors.png

The Benefit-Cost Ratio is X, which a X average score of three.
  1. Economy (1)
    • Accessory (1)
  2. Ease (1.8)
    • Brakes -- Disc, mechanical (2)
    • Gears -- (2) geared motor
    • Lockout Fork (1) none
    • Suspension -- (2) tires
  3. Enjoyment (3.8)
    • Tire Brand / Wheel Sizes / Tire Details : 26" x 4.8" (5)
    • Attachment Points : Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses (1)
    • Estimated Charge Time / Estimated Min and Max Range : 1.5h, 50mi (5)

  • Endurance (3)
    • ? / Lithium Ion, 36V, 350WH (3)

  • Excitement (4)
    • 350W, 8Fun (3)
    • Throttle -- Thumb, (5)

  • Elegance (3.8)
    • Design (5)
    • Wiring (2)
    • Stealth (4)
    • Removable Lithium-ion battery pack (5)
    • Rims / Spokes : (3)

  1. Results (1)
    • Customer service and support (1)
    • One month warranty. (1)
    • Service shops in my area (1)
  2. Cost (1)
    • Total $699 (1)
  3. Bias (5)
  4. Risk (5)
 
Last edited: