SSR Motorsports Sand Viper Review

Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Electric Bike Review 1
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper 350 Geared Motor
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Mid Mount Battery
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Ergonomic Grips
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper 12 Magnet Pedelec
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper 160 Disc Brake Rotor
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Battery On Button
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Led Headlight
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Monochrome Display Panel
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Padded Saddle
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Shimano Acera Derailleur
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Tektro Ebike Brake Levers
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Strava Map
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Electric Bike Review 1
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper 350 Geared Motor
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Mid Mount Battery
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Ergonomic Grips
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper 12 Magnet Pedelec
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper 160 Disc Brake Rotor
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Battery On Button
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Led Headlight
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Monochrome Display Panel
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Padded Saddle
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Shimano Acera Derailleur
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Tektro Ebike Brake Levers
Ssr Motorsports Sand Viper Strava Map

Summary

  • Feature rich electric fat bike with good weight distribution, some ergonomic extras and assist plus throttle mode
  • Locking removable mid-mount battery reduces weight for transport, makes charging easier and keeps weight low and center on the frame which improves balance for riding in unstable conditions
  • Average power output for a heavier bike style, front wheel drive provides less traction and impacts steering a bit

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

SSR Motorsports

Model:

Sand Viper

Price:

$1,399 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Trail, Sand and Snow

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

61 lbs (27.66 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Black, White, Red

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera

Shifter Details:

SIS Index Shifter on Right Bar

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Handlebar:

Low Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers with Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Hard Rubber, Ergonomic

Saddle:

Padded Comfort

Seat Post:

Suspension Shock

Tire Brand:

26" x 4"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Single Side Kickstand, Integrated LED Headlight, Plastic Bash Guard Pant Protector

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Quick Disconnect Motor Cable

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Front-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

360 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Monochrome Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Battery Level, Assist Level (1-5), Odometer, Power Output

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (12 Magnet Pedelec)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

At under $1,500 the Sand Viper is the most affordable electric fat bike I’ve ever tested… but that doesn’t mean it skimps on features, or even quality. I found out about this ebike while researching the Indiegogo Storm electric bike which is dubbed as being ultra affordable. I rushed to test the Sand Viper because it has very similar specs and I was curious about the range it would be capable of and how well it would actually perform in sand. In short, this bike offers an excellent selection of drive modes with five levels of assist and twist throttle with seven pedal speeds to choose from (very handy when climbing or hitting that 20 mph max speed) and a few ergonomic and utilitarian extras that left me very satisfied. If there were one thing I’d add, it would be seat stay bosses so a rear rack could be more easily added to move cargo around… and maybe a rear light to match the front. Still, given the price tag on this thing it’s pleasantly surprising to get a headlight and while I’d never seen this LCD display before (and it’s not removable) I quickly figured out how to use it and never felt frustrated.

The motor driving this ~61 lb beast is a modest 350 watt geared hub design that’s mounted in the front wheel. Normally I’d prefer a rear-mounted motor but given the extra weight of the wheels and tires of this bike, I found that the front wheel drive design worked fairly well and maintained traction in all but the softest of sand environments I tested. The motor is fairly quiet but does produce the standard mechanical whirring that other geared hubs do. The cable connecting it to the battery and control box is well secured and blends in nicely. I like that they included a quick disconnect point for the cable as it runs up the right side of the fork, this will make wheel maintenance much easier. While neither wheel offers quick release (and this will slow transport and storage) the nuts looked easy enough to work with. This is a value fat-e bike after all and if you want the most convenience, power and range I recommend something like the Felt LEBOWSKe which uses a mid-drive and does offer quick release wheels.

The battery powering the SSR Sand Viper is a generic, but thoughtfully built Lithium-ion pack. It offers 36 volts of power and 10 amp hours of capacity for an average 360 watt hours total. I believe I’ve seen this same battery pack used by Dillenger electric bikes and fitted to the 8Fun BBS01 and BBS02 setups I tested in 2014. The black casing is sleek, fits to the mount very securely, includes a locking core for security and even has a built in LED power indicator. This is very handy when storing the battery inside because it lets you check charge level without powering the bike up. My favorite part about the battery is how and where it’s mounted. while it does take up the space that might otherwise support a water bottle cage, it does keep the ~6.5 lb battery low, center and out of the way. Just behind the battery, on the seat tube, is a control box which controls how the motor, battery and headlight interact. It’s not the prettiest part of the bike but it probably contributes to the lower price point. Other systems that integrate the controller into the motor or battery casing look nicer but have to deal with heat and wire spacing issues that this bike does not.

Operating the SSR Motorsports Sandviper is fairly straightforward but not perfect. Once the battery has been charged (using a fairly small, light weight charger I might ad) you fit it to the frame and lock it securely. After that, you must press a circular power button on the side of the battery pack before the ebike itself can really power up. To do this, you press a second rubberized power button on the top left corner of the display panel. This display was new to me but performed very well. It’s mounted near the left grip and easy enough to reach while riding. In addition to the power button (which also activates the LED headlight and backlighting on the display by pressing power once more) it controls the five levels of pedal assist. At any time, in any level of assist the twist throttle can override the system and is capable of maxing out the power. This means you can be in the first level of assist but harness the fifth level of power! Additionally, if you’re worried about accidentally bumping the throttle while only meaning to use assist, there’s a red toggle button that disables the twist throttle! In my opinion, this whole setup is very well executed, this is exactly how I’d program assist and throttle if it were up to me. One possible missed opportunity however, is that you can disengage all drive modes on the display by arrowing down past the first level of assist… I wish this would have been a throttle-only mode as you can still choose to disengage the throttle with its own red toggle switch. In practice however, the lowest level setting on the display basically disengages everything but the display and headlight. So basically, you get a backlit cycle computer and a safety light, and that’s not to bad :)

To be honest, I really enjoyed this electric bike. I set out trying to comprehend what the low-budget Storm would offer and came away appreciating some of the extras while getting a better idea about range and power in actual sand and off-road environments. I’ve done little tests before but rarely maxed-out batteries (which I did here) and have never been on super-deep sand. The seven pedal levels really came in handy when climbing (the motor became overwhelmed on a medium-sized hill shown in the video review above) and then again when I ran the battery out. Even at the lowest gear level, I was standing up a lot while pedaling since the bike weighs more and the tires aren’t that efficient. I love that the saddle they chose is soft and the seat post suspension saved my back and neck on some of the rough terrain. Fat tire bikes can perform better in soft terrain like sand and snow if air pressure is lowered but that cuts down on range so for my test I kept it fairly high. Ultimately, I got about 13 miles of range at sea level using throttle mode almost exclusively. The SSR website says the Sand Viper has a 25 mile range and I buy that if you use pedal assist. If you’re looking for a solid fat ebike at a very good price and want it now… without some of the potential risks of crowdfunding, this could be a good option. I personally prefer full suspension ebike and like regular mountain bike tires but must admit that the smiles I got during my ride test and the “go anywhere feeling” that I felt was quite enjoyable.

Pros:

  • One year comprehensive warranty serviced through dealers, pretty solid for an ebike under $1,500
  • Offers both pedal assist (five levels) as well as throttle on demand and even includes a throttle off switch (rare for low-price offerings)
  • Backlit LED screen is easy to see and navigate while riding without taking your hand off the grip, controls the headlight which runs off the main battery
  • good weight distribution with a mid-mounted battery pack on the downtube, battery is locking and removable for convenient charging and lighter transport of the frame
  • The large 26″ x 4″ tires add some cushion and the padded saddle and seat post shock add some more, nice extra that make distance riding more comfortable
  • Oversized SIS Index shifter may be entry-level but works well on fat bikes like this which may be used in the snow… easier to shift gears when wearing gloves thanks to the big levers
  • Ergonomic grips are a nice touch, I also liked the oversized Wellgo platform pedals which felt stiff and grippy (important for snow-riding when it’s wet and you’re wearing boots)
  • Available in black, white and red frame colors (the paint looked very nice to me considering the price point), though the frame is only available in one size and only high-step
  • Solid Tektro mechanical disc brakes with average-sized 160 mm rotors, these are controlled by Tektro e-bike brake levers that cut power to the motor when pulled
  • Adjustable side-mounted kickstand keeps the Sandviper from tipping over at bike racks, quick lunch stops or into your car while being stored in the garage

Cons:

  • No quick release system on either wheel, this can make transporting less convenient – especially for a larger fat tire style ebike
  • No water bottle cage mounting points (space taken by battery and controller), limited options for adding a rear rack or fenders
  • Front-mounted motor adds weight to steering making the bike less nimble, also reduces traction when on loose surfaces vs. rear wheel drive
  • Limited availability right now, relatively new player in the ebike space but established track record in internal combustion driven transports like mopeds and motorcycles
  • You have to turn the battery pack on before you can turn the LCD display panel on and begin operating the bike, this could cause some confusion

Resources:

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Bradley Greenfield
3 years ago

I was just wondering if you could buy the battery pack separately? I checked the Dillinger Electric Bike website but all they had was an electric motor kit with the battery pack. Should I call SSR Motorsports to ask?

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

Hi Bradley, yeah I recommend reaching out to SSR Motorsports directly through their contact page. I’ve got to believe that they offer replacement packs separately but don’t know the price. If you find out, I’d love to hear back from you here.

Reply
Mike Leroy
3 years ago

What is the trick to synchronize pedaling and front wheel throttle power? Especially when going uphill?

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

For me it happens naturally, I’ll be pedaling at a comfortable cadence (switching gears if necessary to climb or descend) and then apply the variable speed throttle smoothly until the power compliments my own output.

Reply
John
3 years ago

Court, thanks for the excellent review . I’m interested in this bike, but having troubling find a local (Sacramento area) dealer. Any suggestions? I found it online at newegg.com. Would you recommend purchasing that way? Is there a way I can reach out to you in email?

Reply
Court Rye
3 years ago

I really enjoyed the Sand Viper for what it is at that price point. The thing isn’t super off-road capable but the motor and battery do well on relative flat, hard surfaces. The multi-speed cassette is nice, the ability to get it “for real” verses crowd funding and working with a company that has a warranty is ideal. If you’re semi-mechanical then ordering online and assembling is probably fine. You could have a local bike shop look it over to true any wheel issues and get the derailleur functioning properly. The shop that carries the bike down here is actually about an hour South of LA so it’s a big drive. There are lots of great fat-ebikes out there but not many in this price range. I’d say go for it if that’s the one you want, here are others I’ve reviewed.

Reply
BRAD
2 years ago

We are an authorized SSR dealer and we ship the SSR Sand Viper bicycle nation wide. You can order the bike from us highstylemotoring.com/t/electric-bicycle and watch a short demo video we created. We also stock extra batteries for these units at $250.00 each. Great review, Court. Honest and spot on.

Reply
Bradley G.
2 years ago

Hey Court, I bought the Sand Viper and I am having problems but the front brake on, can you email me detailed images of the front brake assembly. Thanks, Bradley G.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Bummer! I don’t own the bike I was reviewing but was able to take more pictures than what are listed above. Feel free to visit the photo album here. I hope this helps… what’s the issue you’re dealing with?

Reply
Jamie Martin
2 years ago

How does ths Sand Viper handle on the road? Would it be a capable city bike?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Jamie! Yes, the Sand Viper does pretty well on road (for a person ~135 lbs like me it was great). On road it felt relatively smooth and the 350 watt motor offered decent acceleration but the climbing was limited due to the overall weight and added friction of the larger tires. I think the best use is actually around the neighborhood or on hard packed dirt trails without a lot of ups and downs. Hope this helps! You can always pedal along to climb or go off road more effectively :)

Reply
Stephen M.
2 years ago

It would seem at comparison that the ssr sand viper & the 2014/2015 big cat fat cat are the same bike. Same manufacturer?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

They do seem to have a lot in common, both front wheel drive and both use the mid-mounted battery pack. I believe many of these bicycle frames and hardware components originate in Asia and may overlap or come from the same manufacturer. That’s not to say that all options or programming is the same. I’ll keep an eye out for the Fat Cat and try to get a review at some point ;)

Reply
Jamie Martin
2 years ago

I noticed the same thing Stephen, and I asked Big Cat and got this response “They are practically identical, the sand viper is sold through a party that has a working relationship with the same manufacture as we do”

Reply
phil cole
2 years ago

What is the name of the dealer that ships nation wide? I want one and located in up state NY (outside Buffalo).

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Phil, there’s a great shop in New York called Propel Bikes (formerly Long Island Electric Bikes) that offers a wide selection and provides great customer service based on what I’ve heard and seen. Another shop worth considering is Green Path Electric Bikes which has a few different models to choose from.

Reply
John Carey
2 years ago

Court, Great reviews , I have seen almost all as trying to narrow down what kind of ebike to get. The SandViper may have run better in the sand if you had used both hands to steady the steering and standing or leani g forward to transfer weight to the front drive wheel. Just a thought… JLC

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Good call, I agree John! I’ve got different cameras for different types of riding and ended up just holding my camera in hand for this test which destabilized things a bit and changed weight distribution. I felt like it performed well enough and the newer models have rear motors that are even more effective :)

Reply
Curt Bradley
2 years ago

Court, Just purchased a 2016 Sand Viper – They have added a couple of cool features to the bike. The bike comes with the standard 5 PAS settings but you can adjust the controller to have 9 PAS settings. Another feature is the walk assist. I you walk the bike you can have the motor assist at a walking pace. In case you have to walk up a steep hill. Thanks for your great reviews it helped me make an educated purchase.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Awesome! Great to hear they’re continuing to refine the bikes. I really like the Sand Viper and the Trail Viper in terms of affordability and options. As you use yours over time feel free to chime in about what works and what issues crop up (hopefully none). Thanks again Curt!

Reply

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Ann M.
1 month ago

Welcome to the EBR Cpommunity @Soarcj, we look forward to more pics and hearing about your travels with the Sand Viper! Also have to say that you're on spot with the mirror and saddlebags, both essential for daily commuting.

scstudios8
1 year ago

Pedaling in soft beach sand on a bike is near impossible.  I thought I could do it on my mountain bike, but no way.  The interesting thing about this bike is, its powered front, and you can pedal the rear, so you get a 2 wheel drive system basically.  I think 350watts isn't enough for that, but you could do deep sand probably better than the motor being on the rear alone.  Its a neat bike.  Looks like they thought of all the key things and its a good price.  I live where this video was shot at Huntington Beach, so that was fun to see too.   Best place in the world!  Love the reviews!

Norman Hirsch
2 years ago

Good review. I'm looking for a bike to do the kind of riding where you had the trouble so I'll likely need even wider than 4" tires. Too bad you didn't have time to deflate the tires so we could see how it did with tires deflated on the soft sand. Anyone know of an electric bike that is good for the soft beach with corrosion and sand resistant components, please let me know!

jonny cola
2 years ago

Can you do a review on the daymak wild goose? Thanks!

jaydangca
3 years ago

does the battery or the motor can tolerate extreme heat? especially during hot weather here in doha.. planning to get one to save transpo cost here. please help. thanks.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+jaydangca Great question... Extreme heat is one of the worst things for batteries and they do heat up as you ride the bike and use them as well as when the sun shines down or when the ambient temperature is high. That said, if you used pedal assist and helped the bike out and depending on your weight and how much you're carrying it should be alright. This system isn't super high powered so the battery should do alright with a bit of careful use. Avoid using throttle mode only to climb steep hills during the hottest part of the day...

Yadratorex
3 years ago

Wow! That wheels :O

Douglas Kmiotek
3 years ago

Court, how would this be using pedal assist? Guesstimating, about how far might I get using this on a slightly hilly city street commute?

cергей кошутин
3 years ago

+Douglas Kmiotek
,вы правы,более высокая ёмкость батареи приведёт к большей дальности поездок и не создаст угрозу пожарной безопасности . учтите только , что более ёмкая батарея более тяжёлая и может не влезть в прежний корпус

Douglas Kmiotek
3 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com Don't worry, I'd just rewire the connection on the newer battery. Plus I'd only up the watt hours, NOT the voltage. I'd only want increased range, not higher power.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+Douglas Kmiotek Nice! Keep in mind you might void the warranty and there have been some ebike fires. I'm sure you're smart and capable, just doing my best to promote safety :)

Douglas Kmiotek
3 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com Well, I'd buy a frame mount battery & rewire it. I have the ability,... And I also have a few friends who are electronics nerds. I could do it,...

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Hmm, well there are five levels of assist. I'd estimate that in the lowest level you could get upwards of 25 miles (even with minor hilly terrain). Keep in mind that most companies right now don't offer higher capacity battery options, they usually change to a new battery style that happens to be higher capacity but also requires you to re-buy the bike for it to work. I saw this happen with Easy Motion going from the Neo series in 2013/2014 to the Evo series in 2015. They also improved the motor setup, added quick release at the rear and let you charge the battery on-frame now.

brighton dude
3 years ago

That is a great review. I love coast towns and cities so the location was enjoyable for me.

The weight on the rear wheel of a bicycle is of course very much greater than on the front, so I think that usually it is better for the drive to go to the rear wheel. I wonder if that ebike would have been more stable and effective on the sand if the motor was driving the rear wheel? I have no experience with fat bikes at all so I really don't know what is best with them.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

I think you're correct, the ideal position would be the rear wheel and I bet it would go better in the really deep soft sand. It still might struggle (like with the hill) but if you take some speed or even help pedal just a bit it can work :)

nerdexproject
3 years ago

Great review as usual! But honestly, the power of this bike is way below the standards or what's your take?

nerdexproject
3 years ago

Thank you very much! Helped a lot!

nerdexproject
3 years ago

Thank you once again man! Even though the battery needs to be removed for charching it is still really interesting and might be what I'm looking for! I also just ckecked out the Easy Motion Neo Jumper which has full-suspension and which is also fairly interesting for me!
I'm definitely gonna keep those bikes in mind! Thanks dude!

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+nerdexproject Hmm... Taking another look at this (given your height) I might suggest the Neo Xtrem from Easy Motion because the 26" wheels lower the frame but it's still the sturdy diamond shape and capable of off-road. It has throttle and assist... but this model has to have the battery removed for charging, you can't charge on the bike http://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/neo-xtrem/

nerdexproject
3 years ago

Thanks for the effort! But you know what forget about my location. Assume I was your neighbour and had my said wishes and infos, which bikes would you recommend? Price can go up to 6000$.
I will try to see if your recommended ones are available in Europe or I will try to find similar ones! I'd just like to have an idea in general!

Thank you really much man!

Little edit:
The felt NINEe is one of those bikes that I had in mind already as well! Good to know that you would suggest it too! It looks damn solid!

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

+nerdexproject Hmm... I really don't know what's available in Europe but I assume Stromer is http://electricbikereview.com/category/stromer/ although most of their bikes are for road use. Felt has an amazing line of bikes but they are race inspired and cost more than others, the most affordable off-road model would be the NINEe http://electricbikereview.com/felt/ninee/ I believe Easy Motion is available in Europe as well but they may not offer throttle mode and most of these bikes probably only reach 15 mph in Europe vs 20 mph in the US http://electricbikereview.com/category/easy-motion/ I hope this helps you start, maybe there's an online ebike shop you could explore to see what's available in your country?

Tony W.
3 years ago

Haha I did a lot of runs passed that same little hill. I think it's see places on video that you've been to before. But yeah nice bike, I think It would be killer with normal tires though.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Yeah, the fat tires definitely add weight and I'd prefer suspension of the added cushion they offer. I'm just not that into riding on sand or snow :)

John Moura
3 years ago

Great review!  I'm waiting eagerly for e-bikes to become street legal in New Jersey.  And, it seems that the price point is falling with time which helps.

John Moura
3 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com Thank you for your efforts.

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

Thanks! Yeah, I hope New York and NJ loosen up and match federal law. I met with some senators in Albany last year with Chris Nolte from Long Island Electric Bikes to do some demos and answer questions. It was a fun experience, hopefully it made a positive impression. Here's some stuff Chris posted about NY: http://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/nyc-electric-bike-law.940/