Sondors Electric Fat Bike Honestly Evaluated

April 8, 2015
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I have been building, riding, and writing about electric fat bikes for years now…way before they became the hot new thing. A few years back I reviewed the $500 Currie Trailz  and thought that this was a decent bike for $500.  This bike was powered by lead-acid batteries, it was very heavy, and was as ugly as sin…but performed decently. I said in that article and I say now that there is a place for a $500 decent performing electric bike. The Currie Trailz was probably the  best selling electric bike of all time because of that $500 price point…

 

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Now, in 2015, the Trail-Z has been blasted…and there is a new best selling beast in town…and it doesn’t even exist yet.  Wait…how is that even possible? It seems an eccentric and charismatic man by the name of Storm Sonders (previously a McDonalds happy meal toy tycoon, believe it or not)  has released a $500 electric fat bike toting some spectacular performance numbers, a slick marketing team, snazzy videos, and I have to admit it, the bike  looks good…really good. It seems someone with some aesthetic taste is coming in and teaching the big boys like Currie,  Pedego, and Prodeco-Tech how good a bike can look at only 1/6th of the price of what they offer. Seems too good to true…lets dive deeper.

 

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My first thought when I saw this picture is I want to buy one at $500. But I soon realized that the snazzy looking prototype in the photo with sweet anodized  components is not at all the fat electric bike I will be getting.  And diving deeper, I started wondering if I spend $500, since this is an Indiegogo campaign, there is a chance that I might never get my bike at all.

Indiegogo is a company that offers start ups such as entrepreneur Storm Sondors to offer their products and get investor who are  pre-buyers of the product.  There have been many successful Indiegogo campaigns where the buyers happily got what they paid for, but also many that went bust and backers lost their money or got a product that was much less than they were promised.

There has been a lot of excitement and speculation  lately caused by this campaign, which turned out to be the most successful in Indiegogo’s history, selling thousands of bikes and raising 5 million dollars at a very fast rate. Never has there been  this much attention on an electric bike in the mass press. I would boldly state that this is the best selling electric bike of all time…and not more than 5 of them have been produced yet. Yowsers!… One thing that is undeniable is that the Sonders Electric Bike has made a significant impact on the public, and has been great exposure for ebikes. He has proven that thousands of people want ebikes and are willing to pay for it right now…but they just don’t want to spend much more than $500.  And they don’t want a dorky looking ebike…they want their ebike to look good.

 

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Sonders is offering a deal that seems too good to be true…a $500 electric  bike that performs great and looks great too. Selling an electric fat bike at this price is even harder (read our story on electric fat bikes). Fat bike components are more specialized and more expensive to source than regular-sized bike parts. So how is it possible to offer a $500 fat bike with a complete electric kit to the public and not lose money?  The answer is it probably isn’t. We know that many of the performance numbers are exaggerated (more on that later), and who knows how well Sonders researched this to know what this bike would really cost to produce, and what type of after the sale support he will be able to offer.

So lets start taking this $500 bike apart to see what it really costs. To start with this is no longer a $500 electric bike. So if you’re reading this now…you missed the band wagon. It started as a $500 electric bike and currently it is at  $649 and scheduled to go higher.  At $649 the bike is barely selling…by far the most supporters bought in at $500. Eventually the bike will retail for $1300 if you are going to believe the advertising campaign… but who is going to buy a $1300 ebike that got its reputation by blowing up sales at  $500?

Sonders Ebike:  Sales By the Numbers

The lions share of the Sonders Ebikes (more than 6,000-7,000) were ordered at the $499 price level. Another 1000 or so at $599, and it looks like another 300-500 will sell at the final Indiegogo price  of $649. Sales have grown really stagnant at the $649 price level…and we expect at $1300 the bike will barely sell at all.

Shipping Cost Matters

manufacturing and delivery

Despite the deceptive picture taken from the Sonder’s website, the Sonders bike will NOT ship in an expensive wooden box, and shipping this bike should not cost the $195 that Sonders is adding to the price.

 

Another factor is it will cost you $195 to ship this bike, there is no option to pick up, even if you live in California.  $195 is way too expensive a price to ship a bike like this. I have shipped fat electric bikes larger and heavier than this and it costs me only $80 through UPS and that is without arranging a bulk shipping deal that Sonders is  no doubt in the position to negotiate.  Add $200 to the price of this  bike and suddenly it is not as cheap as it first sounded…

Is it too good to be True?

Many ebike experts are skeptical for good reason. We have been let down a lot in the recent past.  The electric bike industry has been full of what I call “Vapor Ebikes” bikes that look great, tout stupidly exaggerate performance numbers, and then never materialize. The industry is full of ebikes like this. Here is a small sample with links to the articles I wrote: Blacktrail Ebike, Audie Ebike,  Pi Bike, BMW Ebike. These now-defunct vapor ebikes all had huge price tags, and still didn’t make it as viable products in the marketplace. There are many more ebikes that have come to market and have failed. Check out the electric bike graveyard.  The industry is flooded now with a bunch of ebike companies with high hopes that do not make money. New electric bike companies seem to start every day…and fall like flies.

So why didn’t anyone think “let me make a quality lithium powered ebike and sell thousands of them at $500. Because even with China and new technology, it seems impossible to offer a quality ebike at that point and not lose your shirt.

Then how is Sonders able to do it? The first point is he probably can’t. I personally don’t see how he can offer a bike at $500 and not lose money…especially considering product support.

But maybe he can develop such a big name for his ebike company that he can make money on the bike by selling it at a higher price point later….or maybe he can use the big name he has made himself by attracting millions in investor money to kick off a giant ebike company.

 

What are Sonder’s Misleading Ebike Claims?

Some of the Sonders claims are blatant exaggerations. Starting with the 50-mile range claim. The Sonders bike has 36V / 10-Ah battery pack, 350 watt hours.  It is heavy and large friction-creating tires. It has a cheap inexpensive motor. A more realistic estimate on a bike like this is 15 miles with regular riding, which includes some pedaling. Read our article on calculating range. 

Also the Sonders team claimed the bike weighed only 45 pounds, and when electricbikereview.com brought a scale to a test ride event and weighed  the Sonders Ebike,  it actually weighed in at 57 pounds (oops), and that is the prototype bike which is most likely higher quality and lighter than the production ebike.

The other great exaggeration is the speed you can expect. The test bike is obviously burning a lot more than 350 watts, which the production bike will max out at. The 20-MPH top speed is far-fetched, given the 350 watt power system. It is misleading to let the press and potential buyers to ride around on a prototype bike that was pumping out 4X as much power as the production bike will have.

It  is easily proven that the prototype electric bike is “souped up”.  How can I make such an assertion? Pictures have been released of the prototype bike with a Cycle Analyst on board…you can see from one Sonders video if you take a screen shot and zoom in on the Cycle Analyst that the prototype bike is putting out 1,300  watts… So news media etc who have gotten to ride the prototype ride are riding on a thrill ride compared to the sluggish product that Sonders will end up releasing.

 

ca picture storm

 

What to expect from the Sonders Bike given the $500 price point:

Expect the bike to look different than the prototype ebike Sonders is showing around. It will have the same basic structure, wide tires etc…but for sure it will have different bicycle components and ebike components that are more affordable and lower-quality.

Consider the basic bicycle components

Fat bike tires and rims (sweet to get these for an affordable price)

Basic steel frame and fork

Plastic case in the triangle to hide battery box.

Cheap bicycle components through out

At  a test ride someone weighed the complete bike and it weighed 57 pounds, which is heavy for an ebike with such a small battery pack and motor. Obviously, the bike would be a lot lighter if it was made from aluminum (which would be more expensive than steel).

 The 3 key components to this Ebike…where’s the beef?

Every electric bike consists of 3 basic key components…motor, battery, and controller. (read our article on the 3 key components of ebikes)  And you will see when you read that article, that it is very hard to “hot rod” a production bike without changing all 3 components.  This is especially true for the Sonders ebike which is using very weak components for these 3 parts.

  • Puny  low amp output 36 volt battery (36 volts, 8-Ah)
  • Wimpy geared hub motor (350 watts max)
  • Basic 36 volt controller.

For this thrifty combination of ultra affordable components, the bike will be limited to very low wattage. 350 watts is a low number for todays production ebikes, which is the very max you will get out of the Sonders bike. Forget riding in the sand or doing any real off road riding…and forget going as fast as all the prototype videos circulating around the web, forget about climbing massive hills without tons of pedal-assist.  Also remember if you want to go faster, you will have to swap out all 3 of the above components to get any extra speed…so forget about that unless you are ready to spend $1,000 on your hop up kit.

The Gamble

Whenever you buy into a Indiegogo Campaign, there is a chance the project can go belly-up and you lose your buy-in. There has been a lot of skepticism about Sonders and this campaign. You can read this long Endless-sphere  thread with a lot of facts mixed in with a lot of  speculation here.

 Why Insurance?

For this campaign, Indiegogo did the totally unprecedented maneuver of offering insurance:

“Get your money back if you don’t receive your Sondors eBike within 3 months after the estimated delivery date. Insurance provided by Indiegogo”

This makes the bike way less of a gamble.

Getting to the Real Price

So the bike now costs $640…but you add another $120 to the price of the bike to buy the optional insurance if you’re not a gambler.  Add-in the super inflated $195 shipping cost and you are now at $1000.  The $500 fat electric bike just turned into a $1000 electric fat bike which is more realistic, but its debatable that the Sonders ebike is worth this price with its mediocre components.

 Things Are Looking Good

The good news is if you bought into the Sonders ebike, and bought it at the $500 price point and you decided not to opt for the $12o insurance policy…its looking like you made a good gamble.

Sonders made adjustments to his campaign after some initial missteps that made the project seem more viable. Here is an article about those changes. 

Indigogo stepped up with an optional $120  insurance policy that people could purchase if they are worried..

Sonders has really seemed to come through on his end with keeping backers updated with pictures and blog posts from him on the production lines in China, Supposedly right on target to meet his May 1st deadline.

Would I Buy One?

Honestly if I could go pick one of these up tomorrow at  a store somewhere for $500 I would go buy it…and not even expecting any kind of warranty or support. I think the bike looks really good and is a great value for the money. I would test ride it..and if it worked, I would buy it.

But given the waiting time, the gamble, the shipping costs, and the insurance…I would opt to build my own fat electric bike, spend a little extra money and have something I am really happy with, like the one I built pictured below for around $1,500, and puts out 2,000 watts (instead of only 350 watts). Notice the Fat motor in the Fat front wheel to put out Fat power. That is called a Crystalyte hub motor…and it would be a good starting point if you want a bike that is actually powerful enough to ride in the sand.   (read article on electric fat bike creations)

Available now Sondors Upgrade Battery Packs, 50 percent range and more power at Luna Cycle.com (see now)

titanium

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July 2015 Update

Some Sondors fatbikes have started arriving into the hands of customers this week. We want to be completely fair, in spite of what we felt is a reasonable amount of skepticism on our part. You can track how this is evolving by checking posts on a couple of Facebook pages. The “Go Sondors” page is a pro-Sondors FB which was started for Public Relations (PR), and the Sondors Storm Owners Group was started by the customers, so they would likely be the most truthful source of what’s going on.

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If you have read this article and want a more recent update, read our 2016 article here, on a review of the Sondors fatbike.

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Written by Eric, April 2015

 

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

118 Comments

  1. To tell the truth, I’d rather start with a Sondors bike, and build it into my own, because although I’m sure your bike is a good one, it looks like home built ass.

    • Really? Honestly when I saw the first picture, I thought it looked like a well-done home-built, but definitely not something put together by pros. When I got to the last picture, I thought THAT is what would be delivered to buyers.

      • Thanks for the compliment. 🙂 The last bike does 35 mph without pedaling…and really does have a chance at 50 mile range with 1kw battery pack (48v 20ah)….the first bike is a toy bike i would think about buying for one of my parents to ride. 🙂

        • Also have to remember to legally sell the bike in the USA for street use it has to meet Federal standards that the green rim prototype never met, it was legally a unregister motorcycle since it didn’t even have pedals.
          Personally I like the look of the Sondors bike and it’s a great starting platform to upgrade from. I just might do something similar for power like my latest build.
          3000w MXUS 4T, 72v16ah top speed 40 mph with a range of 70+ miles. Recent ride I did was 38.5 miles and still had over half my battery left.

  2. Eric, nice article and build! I like your fat bike ride and think it looks pretty slick. How much do you want to bet the plastic battery box on the Sondors bike that many are oohing and aahing over will be the first piece to break when the bike gets dumped? As I’ve posted over at Endless Sphere, I find the specs on the Sondors bike absurd and think it hilarious that Sondors wouldn’t allow anyone to actually ride his demo bike on the sand that day at the beach. So here you have a fat e-bike that has none of the capabilities that a set of 4″ wide knobbies should give you. Beyond stupid.

    • Thanks larry for the feedback. Yes riding on the sand is no easy feat…i plan to do an article soon on the very subject. The sonders bike will not have enough power for serious sand riding.

  3. Just received my final shipping price letter today. the shipping price was not lowered at all. At this point im toiling over the insurance. So if I spend $195 for shipping, then $120 for insurance and they fail to deliver I will get back only $600 of my $915 investment =

    • The shipping is just another b/s installment. The referrals have all but disappeared. Since Greg Dawson’s appearance from that POOR SEC PR company all the referrals have disappeared. No one will receive credit for the promised reduction in shipping More vaporware.

  4. “Your payment could not be completed through PayPal. You can pay with a credit card using the form below.Your payment could not be completed through PayPal at this time as the campaign owner’s account is currently restricted. A PayPal account can be restricted for many reasons including a limitation on their PayPal account, PayPal Terms of Use violations, etc. We recommend attempting your contribution again at a later time, or contacting the campaign owner directly.”

  5. Homer Simpson safe way tells you easy ride way.

  6. Now, why would someone buy one? The bike itself has no new technology and no other kind of innovation. It is on Alibaba since 2014, and it has more features than Sondors.

  7. How can someone can honestly evaluate an eBike that hasn’t been delivered to anyone yet? The bikes were shipped at the end of May, yet this “journalist” wrote this evalation in April.. Amazing!

    Seems like there are a lot of jealous writers out there sponging off the Sondors name for their own gratification and page hits… Hope you enjoy it!

    • They rode a prototype made by JON HOPP, then Ivars ” Storm” Sondors kicked out Jon Hopp from the campaign made the bike to the point of being almost useless…No warranty, no product liability etc etc etc…SPEC PR’S Greg Dawson has to be the worst PR manager ever in the history of CROWD funding.

      • Nobody at the Demo Day rode the prototype that Jon Hopp owns. They rode the version Storm Sondors had built, hence the Demo version. BTW their customer support has been great and have helped the few who have had problems quite fast. Oh but you wouldn’t know since you got kicked from our group for your profanity laden posts there.
        Why don’t you join that FAILED group over at EBR and whine with all the other loosers, that are now bickering between each other since we have BOYCOTTED that forum.

        • Actually you’re statement is totally false. I was there I rode that prototype. It was 4-5 times more powerful than the Sondors bike you have now. Jon Hopp made that prototype and then Ivars Sondors ripped him off and kicked out Jon Hopp when that campaign reached a couple of million dollars. What you guys are getting is a very cheap knock-off of the original. Ivars is a convicted fraud person…And getting a second charge against him soon. The sondors product is weak, poor performance, weak and ever changing specs. Lies all lies right from the very beginning. What happened to the shipping being lowered? Another lie right. Bruce you are so full of B/S and lies it makes everyone laugh, you are fooling no one. Tell the truth for once in your life for a change. You’re little boy fan club has utterly failed to convince anyone at all and the EBR web has laughed at you and you’re closed group…Give it up.

          • prove it show me the pictures, because I was there and here’s the proof. Yup that’s me weighing the bike

          • I CALL BULLSHIT…you are a liar….no proof what so ever…you are a pathetic little man who needs to prove something YET YOU FAIL EVERYTIME…..you’re pathetic bike is a failure…..JUST wait, the fat lady has yet to sing…and trust me she will YODDLE your loser ears off……PATHETIC ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC…..THAT IS HOPPS PROTOTYPE AND YOU DAM WELL KNOW IT….STOP ALL THE LIES AND BULLSHIT…

            NOW SAY SOME MORE CRAP……we are all laughing at you…no wonder EBR kicked you for all your BULLSHIT…LIES AND CRAP

          • Original Jon Hopp Prototype from where the Sondors EBIKE originated had a much much bigger motor.

            Over time the SPECS totally changed from one day to the next.

            To summarize what we have learned about the Sondor’s bike

            13 miles range, maybe 20+ miles with a strong rider pedaling a lot.
            50 minute battery duration (10ah, maybe 45minutes for 8.8ah)
            20mph full throttle cruising speed (flat, possibly downwind)
            58.5lb weight
            350watt Bafang XO2 geared hub motor (This $81 motor looks to match the specs well)
            36v 8.8ah bottle battery
            Gearing – hard to say. They spec a 39T crank, and likely have a
            freewheel between 16t and 22t (22t is hard to pedal at 20mph, 16t would
            be hard to pedal without the battery).
            Charge time – 90 min at 5amp, 4 hours at 2amps (this part is a bit vague on IGG.
            <$200 – additional charge for shipping less than $200.
            $179 ($350 msrp) for additional batteryCorrections from initial information:

            Initial video has a 3000 watt bike (green wheels, no pedals,
            non-street legal) doing things you can’t do on the Storm bike (i.e. 25+
            in on streets, riding on the beach, doing single track).
            Bike weigh increased from 45 to 55lbs (actual bike is 58.5)
            Battery downgraded from 10ah to 8.8ah
            Disclaimer put on range
            Hydraulic brakes changed to cable brakes
            Motor changed from direct drive to geared.Ability to climb hills, sand, mud, go off road: roughly the same
            as a healthy rider could do on a normal 60lb single speed bike (i.e. its
            difficult at best).

          • The “Storm-Sondors crowdfunding” campaign has been centered around the
            sale of an electronic bicycle being sold to consumers for $499 (now
            $599) This campaign has raised near $3,750,000 in several days based on
            false representations made to the public and members of the press.

            The product being sold is a known product with clearly documented
            parameters. Materially false and misleading statements were made as part
            of this campaign to include range, weight, specification, legality of
            operation (federal v state ) and expected performance.

            Illustratively, the most brazenly-false representation made pertains to a
            claimed range of 50 miles versus a reality of approximately 15 miles or
            less. This claim has been widely published through advertisements
            appearing on the internet. This claim, among others that have been made,
            is and are irrefutably false.

          • Ann M. said:

            Ebikes come under the domain of the CPSC
            Click to expand…

            Yes, I spoke to an assistant to the Vice Chairman in person, filed
            a “safer products concern,” and reviewed the regulations. The
            Storm-Sondors bike does not conform to US standards and it certainly
            does not conform to EU standards where the bike is illegal for import!

            Chinese products leak into the US on ebay or alibaba and they can be obtained by you (or Storm) directly and cheaply.

            According to US standards the bike needs reflectors front, back, wheels;
            It also needs the inner triangle free from obstruction; hence the big
            yellow box puts the bike out of compliance; the bikes need to have a
            manufacturers mark, date of manufacture, and serial number but these
            elements are likely to be omitted. The CPSC also lists engineering
            tests which have to be undertaken and these tests are likely to be
            omitted.

            The CPSC has the authority to take safety complaints based on injury and then take action such as demanding recalls.

            This is where pre-sales and post-sales diligence and support comes in.
            When you front-load the majority of your sales why would you want to
            stick around for the fallout?

            Why stick around especially when you are selling a cheap product? Why
            are ebikes expensive and we covered some of the reasons above.

            The bike is a strict liability product, which means that manufacturer
            needs to carry costly insurance works out to about 4.5% of gross. Is
            the company going to carry insurance? What happens when someone gets
            injured and killed? Who is there to sue?

          • FTC, you are forgetting Storms business partner (Jon Hopp), the person who
            designed / built the bike… this seems to be a very common thing,
            nobody is mentioning him as he stays very much in the shadows.

          • Yawn, the past is the past……….. People are getting their bikes daily now and you can’t handle it. Sales are on the rise and you can’t handle it. We won and you really can’t handle it………

          • I am just giving up a hard time for the sure fun of it…This is very humorous,,.,,and quite funny how you obvious losers try and defend the Pathetic Sondors product….SO YOU LOST YET AGAIN…YAWN…LMAO

          • God, if I could get my new Sondors bike to blow as much hot air as you have, the fucker would fly! (My husband gambled and ordered two that arrived as scheduled and very well packed. Granted, we’ve only been around the neighborhood, but are looking forward to a day spent travelling our desert terrain. Love, love, love the tires and the look!) You come off as a bitter competitor or some shit…

          • Another sucker. One is born every day…

          • oh yes you Think you won. This is very important to you it would seem. An insignificant EBIKE, a poor deal, no warranty, No credit for referrals, no Liability insurance. No physical location, almost impossible to contact SONDORS, Foreign buyers will be facing massive fines and expensive upgrades, weak battery–might last a year, Poor non-upgradeable electrics, fenders?, lights?, monitor?…….Whether people get there bikes or not was never any interest to me. Quality YES, Shitty definitely…..Accountability…NONE…..Much better Ebikes and cheaper on ALIBABA and ALIEXPRESS…….And warranty, lights, insurance…better batteries, BETTER EVERYTHING…and a person can contact the factory owner….Look at alibaba JUDGE for yourself. ANYONE can get a few people together and get a much better deal.

            Sondors took a design from JON HOPP.
            Sondors truffed his friend and partner and designer when the campaign reached $2 – 3 million.
            Sondors hired Agency 2.0, it was they who rocketted the bike to so many sales.
            Sondors Defaulted on payment for services rendered.
            Sondors Previous fraud repeated.

          • LMAO you can’t even get anything correct Ann didn’t post that, the PAID TROLL, FTC Compliant made that, however he is completely wrong about everything, that your tiny brain wouldn’t understand. NEXT?

          • yup yup paid troll….just like you for the Sondors campaign. HE MUST be paying you a lot of money. I used mine and bought a Tesla….Great car….

          • I’ve read quite a few of your posts. For the life of me I cannot understand why the hell you care. You insult anyone who disagrees with you and call them names. You suggest people work at burger joints like they would be not as good as you?

            What a DICK you are.

            And if you respond to this message you will be confirming my diagnosis.

          • Hi, My name is Dick…You can call me Mr. Head…LMAO……This comment of yours is EXTREMELY humorous…….A cheap piece of junk like the Sondors ebike amuses me to no avail…It amuses Electric Bike Review even more. Move your mouth again John…and the next time you forget the Mustard I will not tip you….LMAO

          • Obviously you get a kick out of rattling people’s cages. Good luck with that on Judgement Day!

          • Great Movie….Army did a magnificent job. One of my favorite movies of all time. Rattling you’re cage, Dude you got me all wrong. If you died seconds after reading this message I would not give a dam in the very slightest. It would be like my concern for a Bug that hits my windshield. Regarding this Judgement day…BULLSHIT……If I am dammed for this, then boy oh boy, I am totally screwed……LMAO

          • Well Dick, or Mr. head or whatever you like to call yourself , I sure hope your mom had some kids that lived to maturity. I’m sure she is proud of you. The Internet Sonders Naysayer without a life.

            I’ll give you that last shot. Let’s see what you come up with this time. You are really funny. But, looks aren’t everything!

          • Thanks….I love the following saying….See if you have any intelligence to guess who the author is…:P

            You can be young but once in your life, but immature all you’re life. I like being immature…..LMAO

            The Sondors does look good, I will grant him that.

            The Sand Viper looks good and has many more things that make it better.

            Many ebikes selling in China. Look for yourself. I bought myself a basic Carbon Fiber FAT bike frame. Ordered a few quality components from china. Dual Motors, Large capacity batteries, Light and fender packages, Large monitor, Quality rims and tires, Hydraulic brakes….Excellent suspension. LEGAL for the road….HELL NO.

        • More LIES from a pathetic LIARS who spews BULLSHIT all day. ANN and COURT just posted a message about you in EBR….very funny really. No wonder they kicked you out. You guys failed in When spewing your Filth in the Sondors camapign 1000’S of times…..5000++++ if my math is correct. WHY…..People ask valid questions and you’re attempts to block them utterly failed, people saw right through your bullshit and your Little boy gang….

          • Really? I see not one post by either of them with my name in it. I see Ann joined our group, then got banned almost right away, but it wasn’t by me since I have no admin rights, I’m just a member there. Then Court trying to put a spin on why and says “unfortunately most of those individuals never decided to return, maybe someday” however he failed to say they were all banned, so how or why would we return.
            EBR lost out with his decision to make it biased against the Sondors eBike.

  8. No warranty, no liability insurance, no product support, no refunds from the shambling SPEC PR or gosondors team. Greg Dawson’s toy boys have constantly spammed and trolled the indiegogo comments page to flood it with B/S to avoid any accountability. These fellows…Philip Hillis and Bruce Choate should be charge for aiding and abetting in a criminal conspiracy. Spec PR shambling handling of this campaign has made it utterly fail in all aspects. How many people have been approved for refunds by Greg Dawson then they sit in a fictional cue awaiting their paypal account to be credited….WHAT A JOKE THIS whole thing is…IF anyone gets their bike it will be an underpowered bike at best, and if the controller/battery or motor last a few months count yourself very lucky. In the end the bike will not be a deal, too many ABSOLUTE LIES in this failed campaign.

    • you sound like a bitter competitor. how can you be so sure that this bike will fail? My bike has plenty of power – hits the 20mph as advertised. Only time will tell if it stands the test of time.

      • dude, I am retired….Just because you paid for a cheap Chinese ebike does not say how long it will last until you are stuck with expensive repair bills, Do you actually think they put Quality components into it…What a bunch of sheep…..Or suckers more like it. Legitament store owners offer things that SONDORS cannot. Warranty, Honesty, a store location, product guarrennttee…just to name a few….But people like you THINK you got a bargain….very funny…..You got a very weak, poor quality bike….FACTS

        • I have a bike. You don’t. Yet you seem to know all about the bike? It’s not under powered. It goes 20 mph easy. Like I said, only time will tell how reliable the bike is. Why all the anger? You didn’t invest in the program, so you really have nothing at stake. You’re either speculating or just plain wrong.

          • SO?????????????????????

            YOU STILL GOT RIPPED OFF, but you can’t admit it….

          • I gambled $700 to get an e-bike and it was delivered and it works great. What’s the problem? Why all the negativity?
            ripped off would of been had the bike not arrived. I got a screaming deal and I’m happy. LOL

          • It was NOT a deal, but people like you cannot see that. But whatever…Not a screaming deal…There will be many people who will not get anything…..

          • HATERS will always HATE, I’m so glad I go through life with a positive attitude, because I wouldn’t know how to keep living if I were in your shoes David.

          • hahahahahahaha…that is so funny…..you are quite the person. Just how shallow is you’re intelligence? You really are quite stupid. And on another topic…..Make the my burger well done please since you must work at a burger joint and cannot afford a real EBIKE. …ROTFFLMFAO

          • Jeez, David, so you paid a couple thousand too much for your ebike and now you’re pissed? Why don’t you whine about it some more? Crybaby!

          • agreed

  9. this is a scam the same as many advertised products on kickstarter on delivered at materially worse than -advertised quality, if they are delivered at all.

    there is most likely going to be lawsuits related to this as even with the extra 200 dollar suckout, they still won’t be able to deliver a bike AT ALL.

    it’s funny how there is a sucker born everyday. people want to believe it is legit so bad they cannot see the writing on the wall.

    the miracle of advertising…

    • care to apologize for being wrong? I got my bike a few days ago along with many others who ordered the colors black/yellow. It works exactly as advertised. It’s not the perfect bike for everyone, may not be perfect for anyone, but it is as advertised. OK they did get me on the shipping.

      • Did you get monies back of the shipping rebates or was that another lie. Does the battery charge up in 90 minutes TOTAL from a total discharge?…Hydraulic brakes..?….Warranty?…It was advertised to go father last longer and be much more than it is now, the specs kept changing problem due to the weather….LMAO…Yes I believe many people in Europe etc will be shocked at what is going to happen to them when anti-dumping fines are charged….Violations are ordered to be fixed….Shocking how people can be suckered.
        YES the writing is on the wall.

        • Did I get an electric bike that was as advertised? Yes
          was it a good deal in my opinion? Yes
          is it the perfect bike? no
          was it a great value? absolutely

          • And another sheep dreams of electric sheep…Read a book by a famous S/F author…Do android dream…while this guy must be dream fantasies….Oh well. One born every minute or so I am told….

          • Dude, it’s not a dream it’s reality. I have the bike and it works great. Sounds like your nightmare to me.

          • yah ok….in actuality you’re opinion means absolutely nothing to me….It is you’re fantasy not mine….Talk sheep talk all you want…All I hear is BAH BAH BAH…another sheep lead by other sheep like Bruce Chaote and Philip Hillis….SAD really….Delusional at best

          • Oh look it’s the insane person spouting again, at least there are over 1700 members on our Facebook group and growing that think the bike is great! BTW sales are on the rise again……

          • suckers are born everyday. And sheep think alike that is why they are sheep….just a sec I think I hear Bruce the sheep about to say something AGAIN…..Make some more noise please, it is very amsuing…hahahahahhahahahaha

          • there’s an IDIOT born every day, and we all know who I’m talking about….. The bike is real, it is well built and everyone who has taken delivery has been happy campers, then we have the angry few that are like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” Well guess what nobody is listening to you any longer…..

          • You a funny shallow little man….I/we laugh at you’re pathetic attempts…LOSER

        • Got my bike. The 20 mph is valid but the 50 miles per charge is BS. Maybe 20 miles on a flat surface and a tail wind. Takes about 3 hours to do a full charge. Never received my rebate on the shipping referrals. Happy with the bike but real unhappy with Indigogo. No refunds, no response.

          • According to Greg Dawson of SPEC-PR, all people who want their referral credit MUST take a screen shot of the referral page and sent it to him….Greg.dawson@sprecpr.com….or at Gosondors. He will approve the refund then place you in a CUE with many thousands of others he is avoiding ANY CREDIT or refunds…..

            As to getting you’re bike…congrats. Many people in other countries will be suffering big time. I am glad you got you’re bike….have fun…I do like the bike for it’s style…looks great….Style over function unfortunately.

          • People in other countries suffering? Are you referring to sweat shops? People that buy bikes like this don’t know anything about ebikes. They’ll be happy with anything. It’s like a Walmart bike with a motor (not that I don’t like Walmart bikes).

  10. Woo the naysayers! I received my Sondors EBike today July 6th 2015.

    I paid $499 + the $196 freight. I didn’t buy the insurance.

    UPS delivered it at 11:00am this morning. I put it together and charged the battery in 90 minutes.

    My maiden voyage was down the Strand in Hermosa Beach, Ca.

    The bike did everything that Storm said it would in terms of speed. I only road it up and down the Strand a couple of times, about 6 miles total. I only peddled when I saw policemen.

    I’m a happy customer. I got an attractive electric bike delivered to my front door for $695.

    Those that said it would never be delivered as advertised are/were dead wrong.

    Happy biking….

    • I got mine today too, albeit without any assembly instructions. The bike looks great. I just need to figure where the pieces go.

      • Check that your front forks are on properly. Mine was shipped with the forks mounted backwards. The brake assembly should be on your left when sitting on the bike.

        • Thanks. I got an email mentioning this. And I found the instructional videos on the website so I can get this thing assembled.

      • Check the video on Youtube. It is very detailed.

        • Thanks. I stumbled upon it and will put it to good use this weekend.

    • +1. Eric, this article looks like a hit piece. You wrote a review on a bike that you never physically saw or handled. You wrote a review on what you skeptically perceived the bike might be – that has very limited informational value to me.

  11. I see allot of snarky comments here regarding the Sonders e-bike. While it’s easy to point out that the bike isn’t the perfect product, and how they gouge on shipping, you have to look at the big picture. An electric bike with these specs, that cost less than a grand is a great deal. I realize it’s a gamble not knowing how long the product will hold up, but my initial impression is the bike is very simple and somewhat crude, and a blast to ride. Out of the box it performs very well. I can’t say how it will stand up over time and neither can you.

  12. I got my bike last week. I got REI to assemble it for $ 65, and took it for several spins over the weekend. It is quite simply… AWESOME! The naysayers were simply wrong! In city traffic conditions near where I live, it matches the time it takes for my car to travel familiar routes. It feels more than adequately powered, and quite frankly, I have seldom had to press the throttle more than half way. It is built like a tank, or so it seems, and thus far, I am a very happy camper. Yes, the battery cover is plastic, and I’ll probably invest in a spare when their accessory shop opens, just in case. I also need to figure out how to mount a rack to fit panniers so that I an haul stuff. All in all, this is a great bike for a casual city rider who wants to eliminate the car in rides within a 20 mile radius.

  13. Our message board is getting flooded with people posting pictures of their bikes, all are excited Just the latest few…

  14. … Um you have to have a product in order to “evaluate” it.. Article title should have been Sondors ebike business plan evaluated.

    In any case you were DEAD WRONG. Got my Sondors ebike Tuesday. This thing is AWESOME. Even if the shipping was exorbitant, you can’t beat the price on this thing.

    Lame articles like this are the reason that they added the purchase insurance.. So glad I didn’t let idiots like you scare me into purchasing it

    • Nice ride Kevin. I got black on black as well. What kind carrier are you using?

    • Have you looked into how much a battery for an ebike costs? How about a hub motor? Is the bike free? I don’t see how they made any money off of this thing.

      • Well they did or they wouldn’t be doing a second campaign. I can tell you how they did it. One word. China.

        • Or they need the second campaign to pay for the 1st one. There’s no reason for them to be selling them like this. It will blow up in the faces of some people eventually. Why not just start a normal company and sell an actual product?

        • If that were true, why aren’t these batteries available to us?

  15. I recieved my Sonders E-Bike roughly 12 days ago, and finally put it together this Wednesday….. It was the WRONG COLOR I ordered Black/Black (confirmed) and recieved a Black/Yellow three E-mails to Sanders and Indegogo have not been either aknowledged or answered….that aspect SUCKS!….otherwise am satisfied w/general quality, etc. Any suggestions as to the color mistake (that are not snarky) would be appreciated. Ps. video for assembly was appreciated and helpful

  16. I was riding my Sondors last night. It’s not the most powerful bike out there, but heck it does the job, looks great and is a lot of fun. I would never have been able to afford an eBike – especially a Fat eBike – if it hadn’t been for Mr Sondors. A lot of the world is limited to eBikes having 250 watts or less, so having a little more power than that is just fine with me. Absurd, Hilarious, Stupid are comments that I see below, but heck I have an eBike for $700, that’s fine by me.

  17. Got my bike and it looks great but I’m having 2 major issues: 1. The pedals hit the front tire while turning. Took a bad spill and am assuming I did something wrong during assembly. Can anyone help? 2. I charged the battery overnight with everything off but only got the lowest charge light. Any suggestions?

    • Does the fork curve to the front? If not it’s reversed for shipping.
      Check the forum about the battery

  18. Walt W
    Received 2 months late.
    Assembled in an hour.
    Very satisfied with performance to date.
    Cost about the same as standard Trek pedal bike.
    Hope all owners are as happy with S ebike as I am.

  19. Writing from Toronto, Ontario Canada where I researched a Ford ebike for $4000. I’m pretty impressed with my Sondors and feel the size and weight will contribute to my safety since cars dominate the roads here. Think the article was a little harsh and you may have to eat your words. I actually bought three, one for me, one for my husband and the third for my best friend. Thanks Storm – you did a great fund raiser.

    • Keep in mind this article was written by someone who has worked and built with parts from the actual industry. Remember that dropping 700 bucks on faith doesn’t make your review credible or informative. Time will tell and the reviews of MANY might tell. I’m happy for you that you feel you got a good deal. HOWEVER, what the writer does not say (because you can’t teach the general public about bike componentry in a one pager) is that how bike parts are engineered determines how reliable, how straight and how true they are. It also affects your ongoing maintenance costs and mechanics’ success. No mechanic wants to work on a bicycle shaped object because they know it is HARD TO FIX for your SAFETY. The less expensive a bike, generally speaking, the less quality engineered parts are included. Remember, the world is filled with disposable objects. People who want quick, cheap solutions then pay in the long run by replacements. It sucks – bad. But it’s real. It’s the precious ones that are worth keeping and paying for. However, if I NEED a commute bike for winter for a new job promotion I took, but I’m unable to get there any other way, I might look into taking my chances on this thing. I know I won’t be in debt and it will buy me time. Maybe you can write back after 1000-5 000km and let us know how your experience has actually been. I trust that handlebar has been rotated down so as to allow one to reach the brake levers. Just my 2 cents. I hope you have a lot of fun on your new e-fatties.

  20. This guy David Buchroederis a complete ass. He doesn’t own one of the bikes but is a self proclaimed expert on the product. I have had mine for 3 weeks and its what was promised. Wish I had ordered 2

    • The bike doesn’t deliver on its promises. Whether you’re happy or not is irrelevant. List one thing he said that isn’t true. You can’t because it’s all true.

  21. it sucks when i charge it twice a day,plz make the battery charge it self while riding it.i suggest fixing a mini dynamo will solve it 😀

    • I hope you’re kidding, lol

  22. Got mine first week in Aug. but just assembled it yesterday. This is an awesome bike for the price. Have had people stop me to ask me what it is, where can they get one, etc.

  23. I like the rims on the Storm, does any one know where I can by them…? Orange is my favorite color..! And I wouldn’t mind having a set of them on my ride…

    • Good luck I can’t even find a phone number to call the distributor of these bikes. And what if you needed parts how did you get them I’m hearing so many pros and cons about this bike. I live in Southern California and and I shouldn’t have to send away for this bike. And besides the price of 499 you add up shipping and everything in the end up spending about $700 or more. Then you gotta put it together why can’t they just send it assembled. And yes it would be nice to be able to buy rims tires and so forth if you needed them.

      • OK…! Sounds like you have some deep seated issues with this company which I know nothing about… But I am sure of one thing, no company if they are in business, and have a up and running production line, are going to ignore a potential customer, when they are only a new fledgling company… I wish you the best of luck in your quest for this bike, but I am sure I will be able to find these wheels some where else, and not put myself in a high blood pressure situation, which could potentially put me in high risk of a stroke… Good Luck to you…!

      • Here’s an email address for you if it will help you in anyway, I don’t know any thing more at this time but just this email addy…! info@gosonders.com

  24. How do you get in contact with anybody at Sonder’s. Does anyone have a phone number?
    I have a service problem and I am hitting a wall finding any one at Sonder’s that responds.
    Specifically I seem to have a bad Battery and I want to know what kind of service plan Sonder’s may have. The connection seems to be the problem and I can not get it to charge.

    • What do you need i live in europe and got my bike first sept week ?

      It works fine as described we rode 27 km up / down the hill (my weight is 100kg ) till the battery was finished. So i would invest in a 2nd battery and stronger charger. in the flat i guess 30-40 km should be possible so if you have special question pm me thomas

    • I know what you mean I want to buy one of those bikes. But the problem is I cannot find a phone number anywhere to be able to talk to anybody that sells that bike. And what if something is wrong when you get the bike and you don’t have any instructions to put it together. I live in Southern California and it would be nice to be able to go to a dealer somewhere and buy the bike so I know its all together correctly and ready to go. Also if there’s any problems they could correct it.

  25. The WHOLE world has received their Sondors E-bikes and shockingly I’m hearing ZERO complaints. Quite the opposite in fact.

    Time for another update to this article.

  26. Does Matt Damon Martian have one of these? Picked up a new OHM Urban eBike (discontinued model) for $700 (total cost) with BionX, otherwise this strange looking thing might have been a consideration. The OHM has similar power ratings and I get 20 miles per charge with pedal assistance, if I keep the tires at 65PSI. Find myself wondering how much drag these balloon tires introduce, especially when trekking off road.

    Doesn’t look like those handlebars can be raised much, if at all, and I would prefer fenders or splash guards.

  27. I got to take a spin on one of these exact same bikes last night, at the Hershey Antique Auto Museum, where I work, the guy was in town for the Hershey Fall Auto meet. I ride my hybrid bike almost every other day, mostly on the road. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was pretty cool. Handled better than I thought it would with those fat tires, very quick acceleration. You regulate how much battery power you want , with a simple to use, right hand thumb control. He claimed it can go 16-18 MPH, with a range of 20 miles, if you don`t peddle at all, says you can get this bike for $800. My concern would be who fixes it, or even who would know how to fix it, when something goes wrong ?

  28. I’ve had my bike since July and the thing rides and performs exactly as the site said it would. I get about 52-54 miles per charge, and now with the advance LCD that you can get, there is no doubt about how much battery is left. The price is fine and more than adequate if you are willing to buy. The point of the bike was an intro level, do what you want after. I did nothing and love every part of it. So much so, I just ordered another one for my wife at the same price. Facts are facts.

  29. I’d like an eBike that I could get replacement parts and service on at a bike shop. I’ll pass on this one. It appears the company doesn’t even have a phone.

  30. I ordered the bike and paid for it. Sent in my color choices and everything. After they took the money, nothing! Almost a year now. Really perturbed. Where is the better business bureau when you need them?

  31. This is such a bullshit piece… buy the bike and try it first. It’s a shame this even comes up in Google.

  32. written like a true E B Snob

  33. I have had my Sondors bikes for a year now. The company delivered on its promises. It produced an awesome bike for the money. They are still in business and it just goes to show that you shouldn’t listen to the naysayers (i.e. Eric).

    • Why are they still funding through indiegogo? A proper company would not operate like this. I don’t trust him. So many people are complaining in the comments. Some are still waiting years for their bikes. This smells of a scam. Eventually, there will be thousands that have lost a lot of money.

      • You can go to their web site and order a bike today for delivery immediately. They have an online store front. There is no scam that I can see.

        • No, you cannot. Buying a bike today is putting in line for delivery months and months from now, September at the earliest.

          • They sold out of all their in-stock models about a week ago. Next big order will arrive in September – why do you say ‘at the earliest’? Sondors doesn’t have a history of being late on deliveries. You have to remember that these bikes are sold in their tens of thousands. Not many other manufacturers can say the same. I now have 4 Sondors bikes and I don’t work for them or have any other connection with them. Their bikes are awesome! The new X model looks to be another HUGE hit. Massive power for the money! I bet you won’t find another established manufacturer that comes close to that deal.

          • Because I’ve been burned by other ebike manufacturers who assured me of an existing stock, then to be told “no, we were wrong, sorry!” When you say massive power, you mean a 1000 watt motor and a super awesome battery that can take a 270 lb dude and help move him 15 miles at 20 MPH and still have juice left?

          • Right now it says delivery in 4 wks (August 2017). $500. Buy one, put it on your credit card. if it doesn’t come, file a complaint with your credit card for non-delivery.

      • boy were you wrong NOSTRADAMUS

  34. I now own 3 Sondors bikes. They should take this article down because it has been proven to be incorrect in many ways. I think building an electric bike is far more expensive and would be much harder to re-sell. Yes there is no service network but many bike shops can do repairs if needed. The parts backup is poor but lots of people buy parts elsewhere. The $200 shipping is from China then to UPS so it is not as unrealistic. Many other sellers jack up the price of an item to cover free or low cost shipping. I am very happy with my bikes and highly recommend them.

  35. Yes….was afraid of..China made…going to buy AMERICAN MADE….rebuild America and it’s jobs !!!

    • Nah, – that one guy in DC is supposed to do that for us… 😉

  36. It’s laughable when you realize the author of this article – Mr. Eric Hicks is in direct competition with Sondors which is why the article is so biased and subjective. Mr. Eric Hicks will gladly sell you an e-bike with the same performance as the SONDORS for 3 to 9 times the price !!! What a shyster. This article should be removed and/or Sondors has a legal case for slander, libel, and defamation.

    I’ve had my S.O.F.T.Y. (Sondors Original Fat Tire Yellow) for 3 years now and I ride it 9 months out of the year rain or shine to work and back. It’s performed flawlessly and I get so many thumbs up and positive comments. Recommended to friends, family, co-workers that have bought them too and again no problems & lots of satisfaction.

    • when i wrote this article a few years back i was not at all in the ebike bizness.

  37. Nice that Eric is bragging on his $1500 bike that he built and calling Sondors liars. His home brew actually cost him $5000+. Hmmm.

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