- The Sonic Stomper SS is a premium high-performance cruiser electric bike that combines the style and comfort of a cruiser with performance and aesthetic influences from the worlds of Motocross and BMX
- Performance is the name of the game here with massive amounts of power from the Bafang 1000-watt mid-drive motor, smooth shifting and riding experience from the Sturmey Archer powered drivetrain, and stellar stopping power thanks to TRP Zurich hydraulic disc brakes with quad-piston calipers and 203mm rotors
- This Ebike is hand-built in Tempe Arizona and is visually stunning thanks to clean internal routing of all cabling, seamless integration of the battery in the downtube, a plethora of color options that include a color-matched cupholder, and countless other unique design touches
- The performance focus means a lack of convenience and utility features such as racks, fenders, or integrated lights, this is also a large and heavy bike at 72 pounds and the steep price point may be discouraging for some buyers
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.
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 Soul Fast E Bikes. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Soul Fast E Bikes products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the Soul Fast E Bikes electric bike forums.
- The Sonic Stomper SS is designed to be the “Ferrari of Ebikes” and I think it lives up to that title. Jim Decker – the founder of Soul Fast E Bikes – comes from a background of BMX and Motocross and you can see their heavy influence in the performance-focused design of the Stomper. This is not a luxury bike, although the ride itself is very comfortable it is missing some convenience and utility items for the sake of maximizing performance. I think a great example of this is the lack of integrated lights, left out so that all electric power can be available to the motor for maximum performance.
- The standard configuration of this Ebike, which is class 3 plus a throttle with a 1000-watt motor, is very powerful and subject to regulation in some states. For example: in California anything over 750-watts is considered a motor vehicle, and on top of that a class 3 Ebike that can go up to 28mph must be pedal-assist only without having a throttle. Fortunately the SFEB team is aware of this and they are prepared to customize the Stomper into any configuration that you request, so you can have them use a less powerful motor, remove the throttle, change the top speed, and anything else you can think of. I advise that you check laws and regulations where you live first to find out exactly what you need, and if you have questions you can join the Electric Bike Review Forums, we have a lot of active members who ride all over the world and can help you find answers.
- Soul Fast E Bikes is the electric bike division of Soul Beach Cruisers, which is where Jim Decker got his start making performance acoustic (non-electric) cruisers back in 2011. After establishing his brand there Jim moved into working with Ebikes in 2017, a move which eventually resulted in the Sonic Stomper SS that we’re reviewing here!
- Hand-built in the USA with premium components! As with virtually all Ebikes (and acoustic bikes) most of the components are sourced overseas, but unlike most bikes the components are assembled and finished by hand right in the Soul Beach Cruisers shop in Phoenix. They also ship almost fully assembled, something I appreciate since many other Ebikes ship only partially assembled and can take a lot of work to put together after receiving.
- Includes an excellent warranty with lifetime coverage for the frame and fork, and one to two years of comprehensive coverage for the rest of the components. SFEB also offers a maintenance and tune-ups package for locals, worth asking about of if you live near Phoenix!
- Massive power from the Bafang BBSHD03 mid-drive motor with 1000 nominal and 1480 peak watts of output. This is one of the more powerful motors on the market with a whopping 160 newton-meters of torque, and being a mid-drive means it can interact directly with the drivetrain, offering better performance than a hub motor. Powering this motor is a high-capacity 48-volt 14.5 amp-hour battery, this is using high-quality Samsung cells and I’ve been told that there is an optional upgrade for a 17.5 amp-hour battery should you want even more capacity.
- Such a powerful mid-drive motor requires a drivetrain up to the task, and the Sonic Stomper SS delivers with a Sturmey Archer 3-speed internally geared hub in the rear, an Ebike-purposed chain that is more durable to handle the stress of such a powerful motor, and a 42-tooth steel chainring complete with narrow-wide teeth to help it to better grip the chain, this leads to maximum performance without having to worry about the chain jumping free on bumps. This setup should be shifted much like you would when driving a manual transmission car: Shift down to start in the lowest gear, and shift up as you go, make sure that you stop pedaling when shifting! For anyone who hasn’t used an internally geared hub shifting system before this can be a learning curve, I really like this setup because you can quickly shift down when sitting at a stoplight without having to start pedaling first. The 4130 Chromoloy crank arms are also worth mentioning here, they are a little longer than standard at 175mm to clear the large motor, this also means increased torque while pedaling.
- The Vee Speedster tires have a high thread count at 120TPI, aggressive tread, and can easily tackle any terrain. They are tubeless-ready and set up that way by default, and include sealant as well so you won’t have to worry about flats. I love the punchouts on the rims, they help to keep the weight down and in my opinion, they look cool too! An interesting note here is that the tires are 26″ x 3.5″ mounted on rims that usually take 4″ tires, this helps to make the bike feel more nimble and reduces weight as well.
- The hydraulic disc brakes here are TRP Zurich which is the flagship brand of Tektro. Quad-piston calipers with cooling fins for maximum heat dissipation, motor inhibitors, and 203mm rotors add up to tremendous stopping power. My understanding is that they actually plan to increase performance even further by upgrading the rotors to 225mm once they become available from their supplier.
- A surprisingly comfortable ride considering how performance-focused this bike is. The riding position is upright and feels very comfortable, stable, and balanced. This is a large bike, the frame is made well and extremely sturdy with no frame flex, the billet top clamp and BMX-style handlebars mean that the locking foam grips are easy to reach, and the Grand Star oversized saddle is a treat, soft and comfortable with a quilted outer layer and rubber bumpers underneath for some more support. Of course, the fat tires also help to absorb bumps on the road.
- Don’t let the comfortable ride deceive you, because the Sonic Stomper SS is a purpose-built performance machine. During our test ride I tackled pavement, sand, and gravel and it performed admirably, climbing steep slopes is a breeze thanks to the sheer power of the motor, and the bike is surprisingly easy to maneuver around sharp corners or on winding trails. Standing up on the pedals shifts you from a “comfortable cruiser” feel to “aggressive BMX” in an instant, and the TRP Zurich brakes allow you to stop on a dime. There is even a bump stop, something I’ve never seen on an Ebike before – if you don’t know what a bump stop is, it’s a metal bumper on the frame behind the fork that prevents it from rotating too far in either direction. This shows the Motocross influence as it’s something you find on motorcycles, and it feels right at home on such a heavy performance-oriented Ebike as this.
- This is one of the most beautiful Ebikes I have seen yet. I mentioned earlier that these are hand-assembled by the Soul Fast E Bikes team, and it really shows in all the personal touches and style on display. The quilted saddle cover sports a reflective Soul Beach Cruisers logo on the back, the custom CNC finishing of the triple clamp gives it a beautiful gunmetal grey finish as well as eye-catching SBC branding on the front, and the paint job is immaculate with eye-catching artwork. The frame has a unique design with lots of cutouts, some for style like the support gusset that is CNC-ed to function as a bottle opener, and some for strength such as the oversized rear dropouts. The included cupholder has embossed branding as well and it’s even color-matched to whichever color of bike you choose.
- Speaking of colors, there are a lot of color options to choose from, all of which are visually striking. This Ebike is designed to stand out! If you don’t see a color combination that appeals to you, just ask for something custom and chances are the Soul Fast E Bikes crew can make it happen for you, although it will probably cost a bit extra.
- Completing the beautiful visual appearance is the exceptionally clean electronics integration. All of the cabling is internally routed, and SFEB really goes the extra mile for the battery, working directly with their battery manufacturer and designing their own top covers so that the batteries integrate perfectly into the downtube. The integration is so tastefully done that this Ebike would be stealthy… if it wasn’t for that huge and obvious mid-drive motor, that is!
- The large color LCD screen looks beautiful and has all the necessary readouts, also including a range estimate which I really appreciate since it is a lot more precise than the battery readout. This display is not removable but it swivels easily so you can angle it to reduce glare.
- While there are no integrated accessories there are a some basic aftermarket ones that you get for free: a handlebar-mounted cupholder, a powerful USB-rechargeable headlight that also mounts on the handlebar, an a non-rechargeable taillight that mounts on the seatpost.
- Such a premium hand-built bike doesn’t come cheap and the Sonic Stomper SS will cost you a hefty $4,895. Of course, if you want to further customize this bike, maybe changing the motor and display configuration, or colored parts such as chains or rim inserts, you could be be looking at an even higher price tag… and don’t forget about shipping which may add another $100-$200 depending on where you live. I do think that the price is fair considering how premium and unique this Ebike is, but I do want to call out that the price will be a barrier for many people, especially since you don’t get a lot of the accessories and utility that are common with bikes in this price range.
- This is a heavy Ebike weighing in at 72 pounds. It’s also large and only available in one frame size, and while it is fairly adjustable it strikes me as being designed for people of average to large size. I’m fairly tall at 6’3″ and this bike felt perfect for me, and I do want to point out that it is surprisingly nimble for such a large and heavy bike. With that said the weight, size, and addition of the bump stop limiting how far you can turn the handlebars make maneuvering in a garage or transporting in a vehicle difficult. Take that with a grain of salt as custom design is what the SBC team is all about, so if you want a smaller frame or other modifications they may be able to accommodate you… but it may cost more!
- There are no integrated accessories, no racks or fenders, no bottle cage bosses, and no USB ports on the display or the battery for powering small electronics such as your phone or a speaker. This is the downside of having such a performance-oriented Ebike… with that said, presumably if you’re interested in this bike isn’t so that you can use it to commute to work. As we already mentioned there are some included basics, a cupholder and rechargeable lights that you can mount on the handlebar and seatpost. These accessories aren’t as convenient as having them integrated and controlled from the display, but they certainly get the job done without distracting from the performance focus. If you would like a rear rack you can get an Axiom Fatliner rack for $69, and there is also an option for a rear fender but not a front fender. What I’m getting at here is that if you need an Ebike for regular commuting or utility, the Sonic Stomper SS may not be the best fit.
- While the LCD is big and I like the layout of information on the screen I do have to point out that on the test bike it just wasn’t very bright, it was really tough to see in direct sunlight. Jim Decker reached out to me after the review to let me know that they figured out how to increase the brightness, which is awesome, but since I haven’t seen it in person I do recommend you test it out in direct sunlight yourself to make sure it will be bright enough for you.
- The kickstand is weld-mounted on the center of the frame. Weld-mounting means that it is far stronger than a bolt-on kickstand, and the center placement gives maximum stability which I appreciate on such a large and heavy bike… but the center placement also means that you will get “pedal lock” which is when the left crank arm locks against the kickstand if you roll the bike backwards with the kickstand down. This makes maneuvering at a bike rack or in a garage even more difficult.