SONDORS Smart Step Review

Sondors Smart Step Electric Bike Review
Sondors Smart Step
Sondors Smart Step Coil Suspension Fork 80mm Travel Cst Plus Sized Tires
Sondors Smart Step 52 Tooth Steel Chainring With Alloy Bash Guard And 170mm Crank Arms
Sondors Smart Step Shimano Tourney Derailleur Steel Derailleur Guard
Sondors Smart Step Bafang 500watt Geared Rear Hub Motor
Sondors Smart Step Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc Brake 160mm Rotor
Sondors Smart Step Mid Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand
Sondors Smart Step Selle Royale Gel Saddle
Sondors Smart Step Cockpit View Mid Rise Handlebars Center Mounted Display
Sondors Smart Step 3.5in Grayscale Lcd Display
Sondors Smart Step Four Button Control Pad Four Finger Brake Lever
Sondors Smart Step Shimano Revoshift Grip Shifter Rubber Ergonomic Locking Grip
Sondors Smart Step Folded Side View
Sondors Smart Step Folded Top View
Sondors Smart Step Stock Step Thru Pearl
Sondors Smart Step Stock Step Thru Torch
Sondors Smart Step Stock Step Thru Black
Sondors Smart Step Electric Bike Review
Sondors Smart Step
Sondors Smart Step Coil Suspension Fork 80mm Travel Cst Plus Sized Tires
Sondors Smart Step 52 Tooth Steel Chainring With Alloy Bash Guard And 170mm Crank Arms
Sondors Smart Step Shimano Tourney Derailleur Steel Derailleur Guard
Sondors Smart Step Bafang 500watt Geared Rear Hub Motor
Sondors Smart Step Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc Brake 160mm Rotor
Sondors Smart Step Mid Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand
Sondors Smart Step Selle Royale Gel Saddle
Sondors Smart Step Cockpit View Mid Rise Handlebars Center Mounted Display
Sondors Smart Step 3.5in Grayscale Lcd Display
Sondors Smart Step Four Button Control Pad Four Finger Brake Lever
Sondors Smart Step Shimano Revoshift Grip Shifter Rubber Ergonomic Locking Grip
Sondors Smart Step Folded Side View
Sondors Smart Step Folded Top View
Sondors Smart Step Stock Step Thru Pearl
Sondors Smart Step Stock Step Thru Torch
Sondors Smart Step Stock Step Thru Black


  • The Smart Step is the first step-thru Ebike from SONDORS that is both approachable and easier to transport due to the unique foldable frame, covered by a one-year comprehensive warranty, and at a great price point of only $1199
  • Great ride comfort for a value-priced bike thanks to the coil suspension fork, plus-sized tires, and the upright-relaxed riding position, control systems are simple and intuitive, the grayscale LCD screen is highly visible even in direct sunlight
  • A rear-mounted geared hub motor from Bafang provides reliable power at 350 watts and is activated by either a cadence sensor or variable thumb throttle, the Shimano Tourney is a reliable derailleur and shifts smoothly with the RevoShift 7 grip shifter, good stopping power from Tektro Aries mechanical disk brakes
  • No accessories are included which means an extra cost if there are any accessories that you need, CST tires do not include puncture protection or reflective sidewalls, only available in one frame size which means it won't be a good fit for tall riders

Video Review





Smart Step



Body Position:

Upright, Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Cruising, Neighborhood, Urban, Youth

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes


1 Year Comprehensive


United States

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

55.6 lbs (25.21 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.2 lbs (2.35 kg)

Motor Weight:

6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

16" Seat Tube, Reach, 20.25" Standover Height, 32.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 28" Width 73" Length, Folded Dimensions: 37" Length, 39" Height, 28" Width

Frame Types:


Frame Colors:

Torch, Pearl, Black

Frame Fork Details:

Generic Coil Suspension Fork, 80mm Travel, 29.5mm Steel Stanchions, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Nuts

Frame Rear Details:

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Tourney Derailleur, Shimano MF-TZ500-7 14-28 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano RevoShift 7 Grip Shifter on Right


Prowheel Forged Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Crank Arms, 52 Tooth Steel Chainring


Wellgo Folding Platform, Plastic


Integrated, 1-1/8”, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, Three 5mm Spacers


Aluminum Alloy, 80mm Length, 30 Degree Rise, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter


Aluminum Alloy, Mid-Rise, 28” Width

Brake Details:

Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc with 160mm Rotors, Three-Finger Levers, Motor Inhibitors


Ergonomic, Rubber, Locking, Dark Grey


Selle Royal Gel

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, Quick-Release Skewer

Seat Post Length:

270 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 36 Hole, Black


Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge Front, 13 Gauge Rear, White with Silver Spoke Screws

Tire Brand:

CST, 27.5" x 3.0" (76-584)

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

15 to 30 PSI, 1.0 to 2.0 BAR

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve


Center-Mount Adjustable Kickstand


Locking Removable Downtube-Integrated Battery Pack, 1.4lb 3 Amp Charger, Folding Frame, Internal Cable Routing, 36 Volt 15 Amp Controller, Rust Resistant Stainless Steel Chain

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:


Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

450 watts

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

LG 3500

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

374.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

3” GrayScale LCD, Adjustable Angle, Non-Removable


Charge Level (5 Bars), Current Speed, Assist Level (1-5), Odometer, Trip Distance

Display Accessories:

Four-Button Pad on Left, Buttons: +, -, i, W, Power: Hold +, Walk Mode: Hold W, Settings: Hold + and -

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by SONDORS. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of SONDORS products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the SONDORS electric bike forums.


  • SONDORS is a well-known name in the Ebike space, mostly due to the first SONDORS Ebike which was crowdfunded and received an enormous amount of publicity due to the amount raised and the bold claims made of producing an Ebike that would only cost $500. To the surprise of many SONDORS was successful in producing and shipping that first model, and in the years since they have transitioned to a more typical company structure with many different models available and a proper support team.
  • The SONDORS owner community tends to express a lot more excitement and pride of ownership than most, and one of the big interests of this community is modifying and upgrading their bikes. One of the ways SONDORS is able to keep prices so low is that their bikes don’t include any accessories, and while you can add these on for an extra cost when buying from SONDORS, many owners prefer to add on the exact accessories they want from a third party or to make their own DIY solution. If this sounds interesting, you can find lots of online communities to get inspiration and help from other owners!


  • Amazing price point at just $1199 (plus shipping which is cheaper than most at only $97 for many North America locations) and three frame color options, covered by a one-year comprehensive warranty which is a nice upgrade for the SONDORS brand, where in the past they were criticized for only offering 30-day warranties
  • I’m a big fan of this step-thru frame, not only is it approachable with the low standover height… but it folds! There is a sturdy fold junction in the downtube that allows the bike to fold in half. You can’t fold down the handlebars and this is not as compact as a true folding bike… but it still makes a huge difference if you ever need to toss the Smart Step in your trunk or backseat, or to minimize the footprint when storing indoors
  • Elaborating on the approachability, I would say that the Smart Step really shines for average-to-small sized riders, the low standover height makes mounting and dismounting easy, and this is the lightest of the SONDORS models at 55.6 pounds, fairly average for a step-thru electric bike
  • The ride experience is comfortable thanks to the upright relaxed seating position, the suspension fork is a basic coil setup with 80mm of travel but it still makes a noticeable upgrade for ride comfort, you also get the gel saddle adding some more cushion
  • The ergonomic rubber grips also help out in terms of ride comfort, and the mid-rise handlebars elevate them enough that it’s easy to achieve a comfortable upright-relaxed seating position even with the saddle raised to the maximum height
  • The CST tires are plus-sized which means a high volume of air and a low attack angle, both of which help to smooth out bumps in the road and make for a more comfortable ride. These tires have a good traction-oriented tread pattern with thick knobs, they will work well for a variety of terrain and did well for me on hard-packed sand (not recommended for soft sand or snow)
  • The Tourney derailleur with a from Shimano is a reliable basic setup and I appreciate that SONDORS included a steel derailleur guard which also protects the motor cable connection point, the RevoShift grip shifter is intuitive to use for shifting up and down the seven available gears, and there is also an alloy bash guard to protect the chainring from errant pantlegs
  • Good stopping power from the mechanical disc brakes, these are Tektro Aries and include dual-piston calipers and 160mm rotors, along with large four-finger levers which provide a good mechanical advantage for easier actuation. These also feature motor inhibitors which cut power to the motor immediately on actuation, a great safety feature
  • The control system is simple and easy to use with a fairly large grayscale LCD display that is incredibly visible, easy to see even in bright direct sunlight
  • Sleek and stylish appearance thanks to the internal routing of cables through the frame and sturdy cable wraps for the front control cabling
  • Large online communities of SONDORS owners make it easy to connect with other riders to share stories and find advice
  • The included charger is 3amps and will charge the battery faster than the typical 2amp Ebike charger, it still only weighs 1.4 pounds and can be easily transported in a backpack, and it also includes a built-in fan to prevent overheating
  • The charge port is positioned high on the frame and out of reach of the crank arms helping to minimize the risk of damage while charging, and the battery allows for charging while removed from the frame
  • The cadence sensor is high-resolution with 12 magnets and SONDORS really did a great job tuning the response time, it kicks in almost immediately, this is compared against most other cadence sensors that will have a noticeable delay of 1-2 revolutions on the cranks before they kick in
  • The chain is stainless steel making it more durable and rust-resistant – great if you’re riding on the beach!
  • The battery is 36 volt and 10.4 amp-hour which is an average capacity, the big win here is that it’s using high-quality 3500 series cells from LG


  • Only one size is available and not a great fit for especially tall or large riders, for reference I am 6ft 3in and while it was still a fairly comfortable ride, I was not able to get close to full leg extensions and wouldn’t want to pedal the Smart Step for a long period of time
  • While there are a few dealers out there that carry SONDORS they are primarily sold direct to consumer, which means you will need to finish assembly of the bike after it ships to you, this can be difficult to do unless you have the proper tools and are comfortable following instructions to do so… which is why many people will rather take it to their local bike shop and pay to have it assembled. This can also make getting support more difficult as you will have to contact the support staff online and repairs may require you to pack and ship your bike, fortunately SONDORS has greatly expanded their warranty coverage and support staff which should help to mitigate this
  • No accessories are included which means you will need to pay extra for lights, fenders, racks, and anything else that you want to add, but considering the incredibly low price point for this electric bike it makes sense, and you save money in the long run by only adding the accessories you need (and getting the exact ones you want as opposed to whatever generic ones might have been included)
  • The CST tires do not have reflective striping on the sidewalls which means less visibility, they also lack puncture protection, I recommend adding either sealant or protective liners to help prevent flat tires as those are more difficult to change on hub-motor-equipped Ebikes due to the extra weight and wiring for the motor
  • The suspension fork is basic and not adjustable for preload, but it does make a welcome difference and it is adjusted well for average weight riders
  • The cadence sensor is not sealed which leaves it vulnerable to getting bumped which can cause damage or knock magnets out, fortunately, this is a pretty rare occurrence especially with more relaxed riding like the Smart Step is built for
  • Mechanical brakes do have some downsides when compared to hydraulic, they require more frequent maintenance in the form of tightening as they loosen over time, however they are easier to service than hydraulic brakes which can get messy. They also require more grip strength to actuate, this is somewhat mitigated on the Smart Step thanks to the mechanical advantage provided by the large four-finger levers
  • The kickstand is center-mounted which can cause “pedal lock”, which happens when you move the bike backward while the kickstand is down and cause the crank arms to become locked up against the kickstand
  • The Tourney derailleur is reliable but it is also the most basic offering from Shimano, and the cassette gearing range is 14-28 teeth which is pretty limited, I do think is a good fit for the Smart Step that caters to more casual city and neighborhood riding
  • Neither the display nor the battery have any USB ports for charging other devices, which certainly isn’t a requirement, but they can be nice to have especially if you like to mount your phone on the handlebars and use it for music or navigation while riding
  • A minor concern here but the display is non-removable, which means it could get bumped and damaged by other cyclists at a bike rack, or if left outside in harsh weather. Fortunately, these displays tend to be very durable, and you should avoid leaving your Ebike outside in harsh weather as a general rule

Useful Resources:

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Comments (20) YouTube Comments

R. Pullus
4 years ago

Thank you for reviewing Sondors bikes. I am a Sondors Step (1st generation) and a Sondors MXS owner.


I enjoyed reading your review and watching the video. Well done. That said, I have my own two cents to add. I’m not sure that the bike pictured (or reviewed) is a “Smart” Step. The bike pictured seems to be a first generation ($975 delivered) Step that originally shipped in August 2019. Though, first generation Steps did arrive with only a 2 amp fanless charger. Since then, the second and third generation (Smart) Steps have arrived. As you commented, the center mounted kickstand is (was) an annoyance, however the second and third generations of the Step do have rear mounted kickstands. Good call on your part. The third generation of Smart Step also has an upgraded frame from the seat post back. The rear stays are now triangulated and are similar, if not identical to the rear stays on the Sondors MXS. It seems improvements are made to the Step with every shipment. It is low powered, but will cruise along at 15 mph (on the flat) for 20+ miles, if you don’t forget to pedal. It is the perfect bike for leisurely rides on a bike path or paved street. If you are looking for something to ride using throttle only or you have hills to climb, this is probably not the bike for you. With the internal 36 volt battery and 15 amp controller it is not a bike than can be easily or cheaply upgraded. For more spirited riding buy a Sondors MXS. No upgrades needed.

Tyson Roehrkasse
4 years ago

Hey R. Pullus, thanks for commenting!

Very interesting what you have to say about my review bike possibly being an older version of the Step. I got this bike directly from SONDORS reps when I was in Malibu in early March, so I assumed they gave me the latest and greatest… but they did mention that they’ve been making a lot of updates to it! I heard from another rider that he just purchased one in Torch and that it had a rear-mounted kickstand. I get the sense that SONDORS is constantly improving their products and their may be a lot of minor updates that happen without any fanfare or changing of model names.

In any event, I’ll reach out to them and see what I can find :)

I also noticed that photos on the current SONDORS site show it with some different CST BFT tires

R. Pullus
4 years ago

Yes, one would think Sondors would send you their latest and greatest Step for your review. So far there are at least three different versions of the Step out there. Four if you count the version pictured on their website. Your review was fair and very well done. Thank you again. Please review the MXS.
IMHO: No Sondors Step (or MXS) has ever been delivered to a retail customer that matches their advertised photos. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just how it is. I own both bikes and I love them.
The photos on the Sondors site are PROTOTYPES ONLY. No one has received a Step with those CST BFT tires (Labeled 29 X 3.0) which have been pictured on the Sondors Step since April 2019, four months before the first Step was ever delivered to any customer in the US in August 2019. If you look closely at the Step photos on the Sondors site you should notice the flat handlebars. No Step, that I know of, has those handlebars. Not deal breaking differences, just not photos of the bike(s) you will receive. Sondors does not update their advertising photos to reflect any changes or improvements. I will continue to recommend Sondors bikes to my friends and I would have no problem buying another for myself.

4 years ago

I have a newer model bike as well (delivered Dec 2019). I bought this as I want one that stores inside my van RV (randomly, I wish they made 1 side of the handle bars – literally 1 bar – to fold down, then the compact design would be A+ for my size needs). There are some but few full size folders. Per the previous poster, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many issues have been corrected with the latest shipment. The only real complaint I have with this bike is the complete lack of power (I prefer to choose my own lights, phone charger, kickstand, etc.). This bike won’t even make it up my driveway, it’s a reall pain after a long ride. I plan to retrofit the motor with a 750 (although battery capacity will then be a MAJOR issue) or buy a new one when they release an upgraded model. FYI, I have 2 of these – white and fire red whiich is really just an attractive orange, a Sonders MXS, a Qualisport Dolphin, and a Vintage Electric Cafe (the price is stupid vs. the level of tech but I have yet to find a bike with better fiit, form, and function… if they made a folder, I’d buy it immediately!). I have acreage that friends and family come play on, that’s why I have so many bikes. I’m looking at a trike as my last one, to pull double duty as a way for my older/impaired/less confident riders to get in on the fun and to be able to add an attachment to drag downed tree limbs to my wood burning pile (wanted the BMP Imports but they don’t stock the yellow). Thanks for all the information you share on this platform Court and Co.!

Tyson Roehrkasse
4 years ago

You’ve got quite the collection there, right on! Thanks for sharing your experience with the Smart Step :)

If you like the Vintage Electric bikes, you might also like the bikes from Michael Blast – We haven’t reviewed them yet but I did get to ride a Greaser and it was a blast. I’m hoping to check out their 2020 version before too long!

4 years ago

Just wanted to follow, having had this bike for some time. We really enjoy this bike! It definitely could use more power (I’m thinking about upgrading the motor but there are tradeoffs) but it’s faults are not nearly as bad as I originally thought (the power drop off is significant with a low battery but with a fresh charge it’s fine). I hope Sondors offers an upgraded 750 watt version, same as other bikes have evolved.

Avi Black
2 years ago

Well, I guess a couple of years makes a difference. This bike is certainly pretty — but it’s now $1699 (!) and just not competitive in the current market. Any idea why it would go up this much in price? OUCH!!

2 years ago

Hi Avi! The US released CPI numbers today (consumer price index) which is a measure of inflation that many people believe is understated. That being said, it was the highest number since 2009. That means, there is more money that has been injected into the economy competing for the same or less goods (due to shipping delays and chip shortages). Prices rise naturally as people are willing to compete and pay more for the products they need or enjoy. Have you noticed that the stock market S&P500 has risen by 30%+ since the COVID decline? Housing and Bitcoin are also at an all time high right now. In my opinion, these “increases” actually reflect a currency that is being debased more than value appreciation. Check this out if you haven’t already seen it. In the ebike space, some foreign manufacturers are selling direct to maintain the $1k price point, but there quality, branding, and service are all reduced… so even in that case, I would argue that the real cost of an ebike has increased across the board.

Avi Black
2 years ago

Hi Court, thanks for the economics lesson. Sorry, but doesn’t explain a 70% or even a 40% increase over such a short period. No other company has come close. I hope they can use their “cachet” to survive, but as far as being competitive? Just doesn’t look that way to me.

2 years ago

I am going to purchase this bike from a friend for $1,000. She is afraid to ride it, there is only 12 miles on it. I rode it and it is so comfortable. I want to take to Idaho and want to ride flat roads with some hills involved. I was wondering if you think this bike would meet my needs. I want to ride bikes with ladies in my neighborhood. I am 70 and weigh 135lb. I am 5’4”.

2 years ago

Hi Jeannie! I do think that this ebike would be a good choice given your height and weight. It’s a versatile ebike with the suspension, mid-rise handlebar, and wide knobby tires… but still very approachable with the step-thru frame. I think $1,000 is a good price because ebikes have been in short supply recently and it sounds like the one you’re looking at is nearly brand new! I would recommend keeping the battery charged at least 50% when not using it, to keep the cells from getting fully depleted and stressed. Avoid extreme heat and cold with the battery, and maybe have a local shop give the bike a tune-up if you hear any clicking or if it has any rust or gunk on the chain starting to build up. Have fun out there :D

2 years ago

The price today is ~$1,500 at Costco and ~$1,700 online. At these prices, the main thrust of the review is dashed, and I can’t really say that it compares to other foldable e-bikes in terms of value. For the same price, you can get bikes with integrated lights, rack, puncture-resistant tires, fold locks, full suspension, and/or well-placed handholds. Of course, the main distinguishing feature is the full-sized wheels which most foldable bikes don’t have for practical reasons, and you won’t find many foldable bikes with that at any price point.

We haven’t had foldable bikes before so our expectations might be a bit odd. However, we weren’t impressed with the design. The individual parts are generally decent, as has been pointed out in this review, but they weren’t put together quite well. The crankset was a bit crooked, the magnets were as well, so they were scraping against the body. The chain was also catching as it was spun causing some issues. The disk brakes were misaligned. Some fairly typical out-of-the-box issues but not something you want to handle at home after spending $1,500 plus tax and dragging it home from Costco. What’s not quite excusable is the state of the instructions which were, to put it lightly, terrible. They didn’t include all instructions needed to assemble the bike. They didn’t include instructions on the proper way to fold the bike and to handle the bike when folded (see below for ways to destroy your bike accidentally when it is folded). You can figure these things out through trial and error, but doing that with a $1,500 bike that you need to trust with your life at 20mph+ among car traffic seems unwise. I’m planning to take the bike to a professional bike mechanic for a re-build but that’ll add $200+ to the price, meaning that this is actually a $1,700/$1,900 bike depending on if you bought it from Costco or Sondors. At this price point, the bike is completely uncompetitive and is going up against actually well designed and built e-bikes built by reliable manufacturers with lots of experience with regular and folding bikes. A bare-bones DIY bike is only a good value when it is cheaper than the all-included luxury competition.

The folding aspect of it has been distinctly below expectations. It doesn’t come with a lock when you’ve folded it so you need to figure something out to keep it useful. The hinge lock gets in the way of the pedal if the connected wheel is spun backwards which you will most likely do to wheel the folded bike into its proper spot. The steering wheel also gets in the way of a pedal and the pedal may get stuck in the spokes potentially leading to damage if you press too hard. The wheels do not line up horizontally when folded so it has a heavy lean to the point where it cannot stand vertically — even on the center stand which is quite useless as a stand or a handhold — and constantly wants to fall horizontal. The pedals also can be positioned below all of the other contact points which may cause the bike to rest on the pedal and the crankset which risks damaging the bike in another way in addition to the potential damage to spokes.

When folded, you can’t wheel it on the rear wheel because when you spin it backwards the pedals will eventually catch on something and prevent further movement. You also can’t use the front wheel unless you pre-position the pedal outside of the wheel area. It is very awkward to wheel it around on the front wheel since the handlebars will want to turn making it much more difficult to balance and control.

The lack of a foldable handlebar makes it extremely difficult to maneuver into your car or around the apartment since it can’t lay flat horizontally despite constantly wanting to and the handlebar will catch on everything. I found it easier to push in my old, non-foldable bike simply because it was much lighter, and I only needed to worry about the handlebar catching on everything. With this Sondors bike the extra weight was too much to handle easily what with a lack of good hand holds, even when folded, and the added difficulty to dislodge the pedals and wheel spokes from anything they caught on since they constantly caught on other parts of the bike.

I want to return the bike because of the unusable folding making it a disaster at home, but the wife wants to give it more chances for reasons unknown despite being unable to use it as a commuter since she can’t fold/unfold it herself or park/retrieve it from its spot in the living room.

In terms of riding the bike did well on the smooth, flat gravel trails we went on and the urban city roads of our commutes. It’s unwieldy on public transit due to the weight and the above-mentioned folding design flaws, but if you can avoid those the rides are quite enjoyable. The minor squawks in assembly can be overcome through sheer brute electronic motor force and the weight of the bike lets it cut through wind quite well. The low center of gravity from the step-through design lets it corner quite well and lets my wife handle it despite being too short to touch the ground while seated. She simply hops off the seat and stands, then re-mounts when it’s time to go. There’s a fairly convenient handhold at the center of the bike above the crankset although it has some sharpish corners on the bottom which make it difficult and eventually painful to hold which is just poor design. But it’s still a decent handhold that’s essential for picking the thing up. Just use some gloves.

The brakes need a bit of force to use so my wife has some problems with it. I notice the difference in strength needed, but I can still two-finger them with a bit of effort. The included ergonomic hand grips were a good inclusion and, IMO, should be added to every bike until something better comes out. The high handlebars and upright position are great for the back and make things much more comfortable, although it does amplify just how uncomfortable the seat is. Both my wife and I had noticeably sore bums from this seat on a typical ~30m ride when we normally don’t really feel anything on our previous bikes.

The pedal assist is quite useful but the disabling of the electric throttle when the pedal assist is set to level 0 is extremely annoying. We almost never use a pedal assist above level 1 which lets us fairly effortlessly maintain a 10-13mph speed which is around our usual city biking speed anyways. Levels 2-5 offer too much power for our tastes and the higher ones take some getting used to because the gearing makes it difficult to naturally get that sort of acceleration. You aren’t in danger of doing a wheelie and getting thrown, but an unprepared person might fall off or lose control of the steering. When we need more power we typically use the thumb throttle for the difficult uphill climb and then go back to regular level 1 pedal assisted pedaling. This is very useful if, for instance, you accidentally get on the wrong train home and need to bike an extra couple of miles home at the end of the day.

In conclusion, this is an overpriced e-bike, and a pretty bad folding bike. While my opinion would’ve been better if this were still priced similarly to the Lectric XP 2.0 (~$1,000), at its current $1,500 there are much better folding bikes out there. Unless, of course, you absolutely must have full size wheels.

2 years ago

Thanks for the thorough analysis and comparison Justin! I’ve noticed prices rising, some availability limitation, and more competition with feature complete models coming to market. I enjoyed the Lectric XP when I covered the first generation and got to meet the team! They are focused, and it shows :)

Ed Rabun
1 year ago

Just to put this out there. A couple months ago, I lucked up and caught a RadRover 6 plus on sale for $1,299 with free shipping. I am new to ebikes, so my knowledge is limited. This bike is awesome, 700 watt motor, Shimano components, hydraulic brakes, front and rear lights, and very well built. Just wish I had bought two while they were on sale.

1 year ago

Nice! That’s a great deal… I saw some good sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday recently too. Hope the RadRover 6 Plus holds up well for you, appreciate the comment :)

10 months ago

I bought a Sondors Smart-Step in February from a guy who won the bike at a TV show. Never heard of the brand before, but thought that a brand new ebike for a good price could be a deal. It has been a nightmare. Ever Since the beginning, the battery had issues charging. It blacked out completely on a morning ride on my way to work, which turned my day into an ordeal.

After a back and forth with the Company to try in vain to fix the issue over the phone, they sent me a new battery. Funny thing is it started also having issues after a while. Moreover there were mechanical issues, the front fork of the bike was wiggly and unstable, the whole bike is too heavy. In time I realized that, despite it theoretically being a “mountain ebike” a few weeks riding in the roughy NYC roads had already partially displaced the rear wheel. Then finally at the end of April, the bike blacked out again. Again, long afternoon on the phone trying to fix it. Result: bike unfixable, I had to send it back to them. They initially said that they would send me a brand new ebike. Now it has been more than a month that I am without bike, they’re not communicating with me. Some guy named Grant has been sending me voice recordings that I cannot access because I am supposed to have an account which I don’t have.

In the end, I am quite shocked that this Company even exist. The quality of their bike is so poor. Their attempts to fix things over the phone an utter failure. The bike seems poorly structured, full of all kinds of flaws: hard to ride, uncomfortable, unreliable. Beware of this Company and of their e-bikes.

10 months ago

Hi Antonio! That sounds really frustrating… but I can actually relate to much of what you’ve shared. I haven’t personally owned a Sondors ebike, but I have purchased similar affordable models. I’m actually surprised that the company replaced the battery and has tried to help at all, because many other companies would not do that. I realize that other brands like Trek, Specialized, BULLS etc. cost a lot more, but they do tend to hold up much better. This is another reason why buying from a local shop can be worth it, because they will have parts and do service if needed. I’ve ridden around Brooklyn, and yeah, the conditions and terrain can take a toll on any bicycle. Most ebikes are heavy, especially the cheaper ones. A good mid-range brand to consider is Magnum, and they do sell at some dealers. I hope this helps, and I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all this.

10 months ago

I have finally received the bicycle. Even two of them! Thank you Sondors. I took a quick ride, it seems that everything is working properly now. Even got a light to put on the bike. I appreciate that and I see that you take your customers seriously.

Well done.

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