Hi everyone, like my bike? Well if do….order today!
You’re still here? OK, I guess you might as well finish skimming this blog post and then go to the Kickstarter page to order one.
If you want a decent, simple, easy to own electric fat bicycle, check out the product on GoSondors (just launched an introductory price of $499 plus $198 shipping for the first 10 days of their new campaign). GoSondors is currently wrapping up wave 2 of the initial Indiegogo crowdfunded project, and has moved to the Kickstarter platform for this latest production run.
As for me, and how in the heck I am riding the future today, it started with some innocent web-browsing on Treehugger back on February 6, 2015. Fifteen minutes after reading the initial story I stepped right up and optimistically plunked down $499 on the Indiegogo website. An electric bike was something I had wanted, and I went all in despite the pessimistic titles given in several articles. Thinking back, I am not so sure why I decided to go all Pollyannaish, but it has paid off big time. The Indiegogo comment section when I bought in was pleasant and informative, but once I pushed “contribute”, the comment section quickly evolved into a rollercoaster ride of trolls, naysayers, and outright defamation from people discovered to be competitors. It was hard to stay optimistic to put it mildly. I wondered if contributing was a bad idea. I wondered if I would ever get a bike. I wondered and wondered. Well, by May 31st (and over 9,000 comments) later bikes started to ship from the factory as promised. Soon after May 31st, backers started getting their bikes, and I can testify that they work, and they are quite awesome!
Besides the comment section, we backers had to contend with headlines such as:
Enough with the drama of the waiting, I just bought into the Indegogo crowd funding campaign in hopes of receiving a “perk” of owning a Storm Sondors chromoly steel framed fat bike, with a 36A battery and a 350 Watt electric rear hub motor. Now I have one, and if you did not catch the jist already, I love it. You can now order the bicycle I have or go for an aluminum framed bike with a suspension fork. My bike arrived in a big heavy duty box, totally intact and ready to assemble and take a charge. The bike was supposed to have a throttle control but it actually was built with throttle AND pedal assist (PAS)! The bike battery was supposed to be quality but came with one of the best brand name in batteries, Samsung! Other add-ons included a plug for external control displays, variable height handlebars, and Ergon style grips. The bike still features single speed gearing, cable disk brakes, 4 inch tires (on 26″ rims), and kind of a mountain bike geometry. This bike is so much fun! At $499 I was an early funder, but I also paid $195 shipping, and $99 for a display/set-up/battery monitor (the display has not come yet). So for around $800 I got a bike that weighs a few more pounds than the initial claim (turns out to be nearly 60lb), but to me appears as promised.
The bike goes anywhere and rides soft and smooth, which to me is pretty amazing considering the bike is a hard tail with a rigid fork. I ride with stock tires, 5lb / 7lb in the front / rear tires. With the Sondors any stretch of road is quite easy to manage. Just a few days ago I pedaled (with the throttle open) up what is known as the “wall of death” by road bikers from the area. Just went to go buy some eggs form a local farm on my fat bike. I had ridden down this beast of a hill on my road bicycle and hit 50mph, but had never attempted it climbing. To be sure with the single speed it will be take a fair bit of effort to pedal up steeper roads and trails. In my experience I have had to step off the bike on hills that I usually can ride up in my lowest gear (mountain bike on trails, road bike on roads) with supreme effort. Anywhere I can tackle a hill in 2nd gear or higher (road or mountain bike), I can climb the same with my single speed fat bike now. Now if you prefer grinding out hills on a geared bicycle, that is perfectly well and good for you. If you rather maybe pedal with a decent effort, and make it right up the hill, get an eBike like mine. I arrived at the top of “the wall” and I was hardly even sweating. This was in August, in the Berkshires, at 80 degrees and 95% humidity. *****I did still have to pedal****
I say it performs off-road, but all my pictures are of me riding around in circles in the driveway! What’s up with that? Well rest assured dear reader, lat week I took the bike out on the “Trail of Tears” in West Barnstable MA last week and it performed superbly! *Bump* this is a segue into a trail report! The trials are fun and flow, some rocks, and some climbs, but the Sondors handled everything but the steepest sections. I did have to step off where things got too steep for the Sondors, with it’s the single speed + 350W of motor, and my legs, and that did happen. The rest of the time, besides those isolated instants of climbing fail, the swooshy back and forth turny descents and climbs, and transitions were sheer bliss and exhilaration at the same time! Mountain biking without serious sweat! Who knew? Now I can slow down for a tight turn, and then zip back up to speed. On a typical mountain bike ride, using the brakes just means you have to get your speed up again (with your legs), so riding the Sondors was a nice change. I also trail ride a 250cc 4-stroke motorcross bike, and the Sondors is not that, this bike is soo quiet and so much like regular bicycling that I am essentially a convert to the electric bike revolution. I look forward to lighter, more powerful batteries when they are affordable, but for today this bike rocks!
and finally some good press!
Finally this bike has a great and big owner’s group on Facebook, where everybody with a Sondors and a question can go and get some group therapy.