Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two Sondors Electric Bikes Unboxed and Rolling in Lubbock

Over the holidays, Grizz and I had an opportunity to unpack the two Sondors Originals and get them all put together. Keep in mind, we are not professionals and most people think we should not be allowed near sharp objects or allowed to try this sort of thing at home. Luckily, we are not smart enough to know our own limitations.

Grizz on the gray Sondors

Just before the holidays, Grizz ordered a pair of specially priced Sondors bikes. The bikes were $499 each and came without the LCD screen (which gives you access to five levels of pedal assist and gives you a lot of info on speed and power level.) Sondors shipping is pretty stout at $200 each, but that still keeps the price at $699 shipped - not bad at all!

Straight out of the box

Assembly was pretty straightforward for a couple of rusty monkeys like us. We had to install the handlebars, the pedals, the seats, the controls, and the front wheels. One chain was a little tight, We adjusted it and we spent a little time adjusting the disc brakes. We charged batteries while we assembled the bikes. The bikes came with a few allen wrenches and a multitool. A set of metric wrenches, a pair of pliers, and some sidecutters made the assembly go much smoother.

Those 4" tires are huge!

The Sondors is pretty simple by e-bike standards. It is a single-speed (no shifting) and has the geared motor in the rear hub. The battery and controller are in the well-made plastic triangle box. There is a throttle on the handlebar. There is no suspension, but those big honkin' tires soak up a lot of bumps. On the downside, the seat is pretty hard and uncomfortable and some of the hardware is very low quality.  Overall, however, the big components are pretty impressive considering the price and the lesser components would be cheap enough and simple enough to replace.

The stock 350 watt controller and 36 volt battery pack

We test rode the gray bike with the stock controller and found it to be surprisingly zippy. It hit 16 mph pretty easily and would reach 20 mph with some hard pedaling. At 20.00 mph the controller cut power to keep it from traveling faster.

(Controller and LCD screen)
With the hop-up kit installed, the bike will easily hit 20 and will reach 24 with some hard pedaling - at least that's true for us big guys. Your skinnier results may vary. The hop-up parts also allow room for growth - a higher voltage battery pack will definitely increase the speed.

Higher amperage controller
(As advertised, it was a direct plug-in! Easy breezy install)
The coolest thing about the hop-up kit is the addition of the five levels of pedal assist - but the display is cool too. Level 3 is really nice. Level 5 is downright disturbing if you start pedaling out of a turn. I can see Level 5 being a little perilous. As a commuter, I think I'd be very happy with Levels 2 and 3. The LCD display is great as a gas battery gauge, odometer, and speedometer. It conveys a lot of information for those of you who like to analyze everything.

90 minutes after unboxing, the bikes were good to go.
All smiles
So far, they are very happy with the bikes. Now it's time to accessorize with racks, fenders, and lights. I will keep you posted as the weather gets warmer and they start putting some miles on them.
May you find the one you want and may it get you out and moving greenly (and possibly hot pinkly.) The hot pink and black bike is really striking!
PS. Look what I picked up on New Years Day:
A Prodeco Phantom X with a weak battery pack!
More details soon.