Sondors has released the details on three new electric bikes for 2020 – the Sondors Rockstar, Sondors Cruiser, and Sondors LX. All three feature mid-drive motors which usually place a bike well above the $2000 price point so it’s something to take notice of when a bike company offers so much for much less than the competition.
In addition to 750 watt mid-drive motors, they also have pretty powerful batteries. At 48 volts and 21 amp hours these bikes should have plenty of power and range for about anyone.
The Rockstar with its dual suspension, including a front air fork (most bikes in the price range have spring forks), is designed for trail usage but the 27.5″ x 3.0″ Maxxis tires should perform well on pavement too for a more versatile bike.
I haven’t come across any other ebike with the same components for its $2499 price tag. That price is very good for what you’re getting. It remains to be seen how well the bike will perform out in the wild but by specs alone it’s impressive.
The downside of the Rockstar is that it’s only available in one frame size with a 30.9″ standover height and a seat height that can be adjusted from 31″ to 36.8″. It weighs 65 lbs which isn’t bad for a dual suspension ebike. Carrying capacity is 300 lbs.
The Cruiser and LX share many of the same features as each other. Both have step-thru frames (only one frame size like the Rockstar), the same motor and battery, 7-speed grip shifters, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, aluminum construction, torque sensor, pedal assist and thumb throttles. They also have integrated front and rear lights.
Where they differ is tires size with the Cruiser equipped with 27.5″ x 3.0″ tires and the LX with hefty 26″ x 4.9″ tires. The tires on the LX are wide, really, really wide which should make the bike very stable and capable of absorbing bumps but less efficient on pavement and possibly less nimble.
Surprisingly they both come in at 65 lbs even though the LX has wider tires and a front air suspension fork. The Cruiser doesn’t have front or rear suspension.
The standover height for the Cruiser is 19.35″ with an adjustable seat height of 31-36.8″. The standover height for the LX is 18.75″ with the same seat heights as the Cruiser. Carrying capacity for both is the same at 300 lbs.
Range for both bikes is also the same at 40-60 miles. The Rockstar also has the same range.
An advantage of the cruiser look to be a possibly a more nimble ride with its more narrow tires, though still wide compared to standard bike tires. It just won’t look as massive on city bike paths.
Advantages of the LX is that those nearly 5″ wide tires should be capable of going through sand, loose soil, and even snow. If you live or ride in a location with uneven terrain the LX would be a good choice. If you’re mostly riding on pavement the Cruiser looks to be the better choice.
I’m not sure how comfortable the ride of the Cruiser will be, especially on a stiff aluminum frame that transfers the energy of those nasty bumps more so than steel frames.
Something that I like about all three bikes though is their unique frame styles. They don’t look like the cookie cutter frames that come out of China and are used by multiple ebike companies. The placement of the lights in the frames of the Cruiser and LX is also cool and unique.
Sondors website doesn’t list the brand of the motors so it’s hard to say what their performance will be.
All three models are expected to begin shipping in October which is a bummer for those of us that experience all four season in the United States. If you live in a warmer climate then October isn’t a downside.
On the upside for everyone is that Sondors allows you to put a portion of the price down, similar to layaway. So, if you’re not going to be able to ride your bike until Spring of next year, why pay full price for it until then? It’s a lot better than having to pay full price and then wait for months and months for your bike.
I wish more bike companies did it this way, especially this year when manufacturing has been delayed so significantly.
I’m eager to see how these bikes do in the wild. I’m expecting them to be very popular choices in 2021.