Sondors Ebike Review Now Live

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hello fellow ebike enthusiasts! I've received the Storm/Sondors ebike, had it professionally assembled and tested it to the best of my ability. In addition to the full writeup I have also created a Google+ album with more up close images.


As with most electric bikes that I review the time spent on this bike was limited and I will be selling it shortly (to a local shop that was curious about and had customers asking). Feel free to share your thoughts on what I missed or got wrong and what your own experience has been (with shipping, assembly and extended use).

[UPDATE!] Visitors here, on the review and at YouTube pointed out that pedal assist is active and that there may be an optional control panel and LCD in the future for enhancing how it works. I was able to relocate the bike and shoot this quick video update which is also linked from the written review and referenced in the original video:


I hope your bikes arrive soon (especially for you international folks) and I hope they work as intended. Even though the bike does not resemble the advertised product in several important ways (weight, range and delivery time) I'm still impressed with what the Sondors team accomplished and had a fun time riding the bike :)
 
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flymeaway

Well-Known Member
I'm still impressed with what the Sondors team accomplished and had a fun time riding the bike

I do like the fact it's a Bafang hub. My only comment; it won't sell for much more then the CF price. It was advertised as a bike that would retail in the $1200 range after the campaign, but it has fairly severe limitations.

Thanks for taking the time to review the bike!

Court J.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
It seems like a fairly impressive motor, with all that torque.

Overall, the bike is a lot better than folks predicted in February.

Overall, I don't like the problems you get with CF, and I think the better way to save money is with a kit from a known source.

Sondors deserves a lot credit. I wonder if he will continue to play a role in ebikes?
 

SamIAmNot

New Member
I'm only about half-way through the video, but I notice that you keep saying that the PAS isn't connected to anything and doesn't work. That's not really accurate. It is wired to the controller. But the extra connector is for a cycle analyst, so that you can control the PAS level.
 

Hurley

Active Member
Again, at $800 delivered it is a very good value and a very nice looking bike. He will get full credit from me (like he needs it more than the money) when he delivers to the vast majority of the donors.
I am only skeptical of all the folks getting their bikes/batteries for their hard earned dollars. Surely you can see that delivering a few bikes for a lot more money is a profit.
Thanks for the objective review Court.
 
I believe the video review was accurate. I'm not sure why his pedal assist wasn't working. I also think his range test was in line with my range test. I think I got better range because I limited my speed better and tested on flat pavement.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Since Court is fairly familiar with ebikes and he had a pro put it together, I suspect he knows if the cadence sensor is functioning or even hooked up or is not.
 
Since Court is fairly familiar with ebikes and he had a pro put it together, I suspect he knows if the cadence sensor is functioning or even hooked up or is not.

I was just asking since he said it didn't have pedal assist, which was odd since there have been no reports by any other owners on the FB group I belong to that their PA wasn't working. My PA works fine too and the connector he held up in the video looks like the extra LCD connector that comes with the bike.
 
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IMG_0733 (1).jpg
I do like the fact it's a Bafang hub. My only comment; it won't sell for much more then the CF price. It was advertised as a bike that would retail in the $1200 range after the campaign, but it has fairly severe limitations.

Thanks for taking the time to review the bike!

Court J.

Here's a pic of the hub.
IMG_0733 (1).jpg
 
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SamIAmNot

New Member
Since Court is fairly familiar with ebikes and he had a pro put it together, I suspect he knows if the cadence sensor is functioning or even hooked up or is not.
One would hope so...

But considering that everyone else has been stating their love of the PAS, well... The owners' group has its doubts.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I was just asking since he said it didn't have pedal assist, which was odd since there have been no reports by any other owners on the FB group I belong to that their PA wasn't working. My PA works fine too and the connector he held up in the video looks like extra LCD connector that comes with the bike.
There's no way for me to know what's going on with that. I do know that many in the beginning of the campaign were stating that the build would have "PAS" and were confusing the application of power via throttle to what the industry calls pedal assist. With that if you are new to ebikes (not saying anyone here is), you may not know what "PAS" is. It's my feeling that it doesn't really matter how power is applied to the wheel, because in reality any application of mechanical power to the wheel is pedal assist, if you pedal. I'm not anti-throttle.

In any event I'm very happy for our new ebikers!
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
@Court still talking about the suspension holes?! They are a minor weight savings and aesthetic finish only! Any fat bike rider will tell you that. Also, if the rim strips are bulging through the holes there is too much air in there! Good review overall, I'm in @Hurley s club on the whole sondors bike thing would like to see everyone get their bikes!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
This is probably the Bafang hub used...(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Available kit on ebay http://www.ebay.com.au
Nice find! That looks like the motor... and thanks for the picture @Craig Crowder. Interesting to see this on Ebay for ~$500 considering the entire Sondors is ~$800 (depending on when you bought it etc.)

Regarding assist, I didn't expect there to be any hardware in place for pedal assist but your comments about being able to connect a Cycle Analyst and use it make sense @SamIAmNot. Would be cool to hook that up and see if it worked?! Thanks for backing me up @J.R. but I was just reporting what I saw, didn't dig in all that deep because it was an unexpected find for me. Basically, there's a plastic cadence sensor with 5 magnets (I think?) and that's wired into the control box where a female plug is actually connected to the correct male wire but that wire is cutoff or purposefully a dead end. If you took the male portion off and plugged it into a controller and display unit then it's possible the bike could achieve pedal assist. Given the single gear, I think throttle is fine... and yes, if you use the throttle while pedaling that could be considered "assisting" but in the ebike world when people refer to "pedal assist systems" I think they usually mean cadence or torque activated, not throttle.
 

SamIAmNot

New Member
Regarding assist, I didn't expect there to be any hardware in place for pedal assist but your comments about being able to connect a Cycle Analyst and use it make sense @SamIAmNot. Would be cool to hook that up and see if it worked?! Thanks for backing me up @J.R. but I was just reporting what I saw, didn't dig in all that deep because it was an unexpected find for me. Basically, there's a plastic cadence sensor with 5 magnets (I think?) and that's wired into the control box where a female plug is actually connected to the correct male wire but that wire is cutoff or purposefully a dead end. If you took the male portion off and plugged it into a controller and display unit then it's possible the bike could achieve pedal assist. Given the single gear, I think throttle is fine... and yes, if you use the throttle while pedaling that could be considered "assisting" but in the ebike world when people refer to "pedal assist systems" I think they usually mean cadence or torque activated, not throttle.
And what I'm saying is that the PAS is actually active already. The user simply has no control over it.

Control over the PAS (setting the level) would come if you connected a computer to the "dead-end" cable. This is what the "dead-end" cable looks like when you take off the cap.




If you paid someone to put your bike together, I suggest you get your money back. Because if you're parroting what he told you, he doesn't have a clue.
 
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I have found, in many cases, these brushless hub motors can handle more wattage then they are rated for from the factory.

My ebike setup has a 1000 watt - 48 volt motor..which basically means it is supposed to be run around 50 volt x 20 amps = 1000 watts

But I regularly pump 50 volts at 50 amps { when going up big hills] which is 2500 watts.

If I owned this sondors ebike and wasn't happy with the motors performance, the first thing I would try is updating to a 48 volt battery and possibly a controller with a higher amperage rating.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
I have found, in many cases, these brushless hub motors can handle more wattage then they are rated for from the factory.

My ebike setup has a 1000 watt - 48 volt motor..which basically means it is supposed to be run around 50 volt x 20 amps = 1000 watts

But I regularly pump 50 volts at 50 amps { when going up big hills] which is 2500 watts.

If I owned this sondors ebike and wasn't happy with the motors performance, the first thing I would try is updating to a 48 volt battery and possibly a controller with a higher amperage rating.
Interesting, the controller I saw in the box said it was rated at 7 amps but I've seen other 350 watt motors running at 15 amps. Where would you recommend getting a replacement controller? And... any tips on being safe so the battery doesn't get damaged or overheat?
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
If you paid someone to put your bike together, I suggest you get your money back. Because if you're parroting what he told you, he doesn't have a clue.
We took the cap off just like the picture you posted (thanks for adding that!) and talked about how it might be used. I'm traveling and have somewhat limited time so I didn't get to test it or read up online before the shoot. I did my best to explain what I saw and appreciate people filling in the details. Bruce posted on the YouTube video about this and explained that he thought Sondors was going to release a display at a later date to add pedal assist, I wonder where he got the info, maybe I've just been out of touch on the bike.