Sondors Cruiser Reviews

RickyBikes

Member
Staff member
Region
USA
The Sondors Cruiser is a step-through, mid-drive bike from the largest eBike distributor in the United States. The Cruiser is one of three mid-drive bikes by Sondors (along with the Rockstar and the LX) and is rare because it’s one of the few mid-drives that sports a thumb throttle. It has a powerful 750W Bafong Ultra M620 mid-drive motor that peaks at over 1,150W. This Class 3 bike reaches 28+ mph and its beast of a motor generates up to 160Nm of torque. The 48v 21Ah battery is nicely integrated into the downtube; it’s the largest battery pack from Sondors yet, and one of the largest you can get anywhere. This bike is available primarily online for $2,299.00 and will cost at least $97 for shipping depending on where you live. It comes with a standard comprehensive one-year warranty. According to Sondors’ website, if you order now, you won’t get the bike until at least September. This sharp cruiser comes in three colors (Matte Black, Phoenix Red, and Platinum).



This is an approachable urban bike. It has a 20” stand-over height, swept back handlebars for a comfortable upright riding position, and a 34.5” seat height to accommodate most riders. This is a heavy bike; the website says it weighs nearly 80lbs and it provides a decent 300lb payload capacity. Its Maxxis 27.5” x 3” plus-size tires make for an agile city-cruiser, despite its weight. It comes with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with motor inhibitors, a Shimano Altus derailleur, which is a step up from the Shimano Tourney, and a 7-speed Shimano Revoshift shifter. Here's their official website www.sondors.com and I'd love to hear your thoughts below, especially if you own the Sondors Cruiser or plan to buy it!






While I haven't reviewed this electric bike myself, I have covered similar eBikes, (you can also find Tyson’s review of the Sondors LX here, which has the same motor and a lot of shared components), and I wanted to provide some insights and open things up for your feedback. I hope providing several sources, with varying perspectives, allows everyone to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes short reviews and those created by shops only cover the good aspects and can come off like a commercial, so I've tried to be neutral and objective with these insights:



Pros – things that stand out as good:

  • The first pro is the huge mid-drive motor with thumb throttle. The overwhelming majority of mid-drives do not come with a throttle, so that is a sharp feature worth noting. If you’re going to be cruising around a city with lots of hills, like a San Francisco, Seattle or Portland, then the mechanical advantage and climbing capabilities of this mid-drive motor will be a value to you. The bike has tons of power off the throttle. The torque sensors are nice compared to a typical cadence sensor and, especially when cruising, it responds quickly. It’s worth noting that this mid-drive’s response isn’t quite at the level of a Bosch mid-drive or some of the other big names.
  • The cruiser has some nice safety features: for something so powerful, motor inhibitors are a must. In addition to the reflective striping on the side of the tires, an integrated LED headlight and brake activated taillight. The display provides great daylight visibility, but also can dim during the night so as to not distract or hinder the rider’s sight. The displays are vibrant and easy to see in sunlight, the settings menus are easy to navigate, you can make a lot of customizations, and pedal assist + throttle tuning is excellent. This is one area where SONDORS stands out compared to a lot of competitors.
  • The battery on this bike can’t be overstated; it is massive. It weights roughly 12 pounds and comes with a 3-amp charger, which charges slightly faster than average. The battery can be charged attached or detached from the bike and gives riders a 40–60-mile range, which is great for city cruising.
  • I have been on a number of fat-tire cruisers and I find I enjoy the slightly smaller, plus-size 3” tires this bike uses. They provide a little more agility, acceleration, and hill-climbing capabilities than fat-tires and are a sensible compliment for the mid-drive motor. These are slick "city" treads, they provide great rolling efficiency on pavement.


Cons – things that seem like trade-offs or negatives:

  • Sondors Cruisers are mostly available online only so you can’t test ride them, you need to finish assembling them once received, and you’ll have to find a local shop who is willing to work on them if something is wrong with them. As I mentioned, Sondors mid-drives have a throttle; the tradeoff is that the throttle does not come attached, rather it’s sent with the bike and requires assembly. The bike comes programmed as a class 3 pedal assist only with speeds up to 28mph, but that can be adjusted once the throttle is attached. With a motor so powerful, this bike can easily exceed 28mph, so be aware of where you can safely and legally ride this bike.
  • The cruiser is heavy, and Sondors typically undershoots the weight of their bikes. It’s a good bike, it’s powerful and has a massive battery so it makes sense, but one should keep in mind that their website lists this bike at 79lbs. It will probably be closer to 90lbs. If you need to store this bike indoors or take it upstairs, then this may be something to consider.
  • The Cruiser is intended for city riding but it lacks some useful commuting accessories such as a rack and fenders. You might be able to add these after the fact, but the rear rack and fenders could be difficult due to the unique frame design which doesn't appear to have mounting points for either. There's also no bottle cage bosses even though there is plenty of room on the downtube, and you may need to add some sort of puncture protection to the tires depending on where you live
  • The mid-drive motor is a pro, but the trade-off worth considering is that regular maintenance will be required on the drive train. Cassettes and chains will wear over time; again, this bike has a ton of power so depending on how you ride, the level of attention required will vary. Considering Sondors bikes are typically sold online-only, you would need to find a local shop willing to work on the bike and provide said maintenance. It should be noted that this mid-drive isn't as responsive or efficient as options from Bosch, Brose, Yamaha (etc). Of course... those are more pricey.


As always, I welcome feedback and additions to these pros and cons, especially from people who have tried or own the bike. If you see other great video reviews for the Sondors Cruiser, please share them and I may update this post ongoing so we can get the best perspectives and insights.
 
Last edited:

billmeek

Member
Region
USA
City
Summertown, TN
Good basic review. I want to point out one minor correction: MSRP of both the Crusier and LX is $2,299 rather than $2,999 as of 06/14/2021. The Rockstar is $2899.