Changes To The Storm\Ivars Sondors Electric Fatbike Indiegogo Campaign Suddenly Make It Far More Credible

Due to mounting pressure on the internet from articles like this one from Treehugger, The Storm Campaign have made a number of small but very important changes to their website that makes this bike’s specs far more believable.

storm

Is it a Real Bike or just a Dream?

1) They have changed the weight from 45lbs (alluding that it was the weight WITH the battery) to 55 lbs with the battery. This puts the bike firmly in the territory that I would expect it to be in with weight. Expect to be able to shave off a few pounds by swapping out the comfort seat and the tubes which are always much heavier than they need to be.

2) They have posted the technical specs for the battery. It is not 10Ah as originally claimed but a 8.8.Ah battery that can be charged at 4.4 Amps

From the website:

Model: Li18650-10S4P Volt: 36V Capacity: 8.8Ah Standard Charge: 1.76A Continuous Charge: 4.4A Max. Continuous Discharge: 8.8A Size: 91*335mm Operating Temp.: -20~+60deg C Including Battery Cells

This means that they are not charging the battery at 7Amps, but rather 4.4 which is in the realm of reality for these size/capacity cells. This puts the recharging time at around two hours (8.8 x 60 min / 4.4Amps = 120 min) although your batteries will last much longer on a standard charge mode which will take 5 hours for a complete charge.

It would be awesome to know the manufacturer and model of the cells being used in this pack, as that will have a large impact on the performance of the bike over time. ‘Li18650’ tells us nothing about the battery except the size/form factor (It’s like saying AA or AAA size). In this price range I would expect them to be ‘noname’ cells, but if they are panasonic or samsung cells, they should advertise them as such.

3) They changed the ‘Direct Drive’ motor to a 350W ‘Geared Hub’ motor. This is what we are seeing in the pictures of the demo bike and this is the motor that makes the MOST sense for this bike. You will get way more power on the hills with a geared hub and also depending on the winding you can have a higher top speed. Will the top speed be 20mph? With a 170lb rider with no wind on level ground, probably not, but it will be awfully close.

The only new problem that they have is that they are claiming the motor to be a 350W motor, but in reality it will really only be getting about 316 watts since the BMS is going to limit the continuous discharge current to 8.8 Amps. What does that mean? You can get over 316 Watts, but only when the pack is fresh and you won’t be able to get it for long. This motor is going to have serious trouble on long hills if people just keep the throttle cranked all the way down. I would expect the motor to overheat in less than 30 minutes of full throttle going uphill. Geared hubs cannot shed heat the way Direct Drive motors can and Storm would be wise to have the factory install a thermal cutoff inside these motors to protect them from overheating & abuse otherwise I predict a lot of fried motors. If that is too much to ask, a $5 aquarium thermometer with the probe stuck inside the hub casing would work too.

The motor they have settled on looks to be the 350W Bafang/8fun unit which is a very reliable unit with millions of units in operation in China. This motor can be gotten for <$70 in quantity (not including shipping).

4) They added the following statement about Storm/Ivars Sonders

“Storm Sondors is a humble man with much success in his life that not many know about… Storm lives a simple life, enjoys the outdoors, the ocean, traveling but an off the grid in a sense lifestyle. Not much for computers or cell phones…just the great outdoors.”

They also added a link to his Indiegogo account at the end of the campaign along with a button to contact him. This explains his lack of web presence as well as his philosophy on life.

5) They made some changes to the range description. It now reads

Electric/Pedal assist range up to 35-50 miles (rider weight and terrain contingent) | Under Electric Power Range – up to 20 miles (rider weight and terrain contingent)

20 Miles is still high, but within the realm of reason for what they are selling. Most people will get closer to 15 miles or less but I can see how lighter riders might get 20 miles if they pedal hard enough and drive the bike slow enough (<10mph). Most people will just get on the bike and hit the throttle and not pedal at all, getting around 10miles of range depending on the tire pressure.

6) They mention that the bike with green rims is a prototype and is not the actual bike people will be receiving, they also mention that the footpegs were just for the Prototype bike.

These 6 changes are enough to make me go from thinking that there is a very high chance for fraud to thinking that there is a very low chance for fraud on this campaign. If they were trying to rip off $3,000,000 from 4000 good natured people I can’t see why they would go through the bother of actually posting accurate information as a way to respond to the naysayers. The reality is they already have all of your money and they are not under any obligation to give any of it back for any reason at all.

They have also created a demo day for people that are interested in trying the bike. Although they had to cap the attendance because too many people wanted to come to see the bike, they have assured us that there will be several other demo days in the coming weeks in California. The fact that they are allowing the public to demo their bike BEFORE the campaign ends speaks very well for them.

They also raised the price to $599 on the day they said they would do it. They were a little late at updating the website (first thing in the morning it still had the $499 perk) but this shows to me that they are going to do what they say they are going to do pretty much when they say they are going to do it.

There has been some speculation that that I am somehow affiliated with Storm\Ivars or I know Storm\Ivars or Jon personally. That is simply not true, if it were I would not have pointed out all the inconsistencies with their original campaign here. I am an Electric Fatbike Geek who really wants to see this campaign succeed. I hope to meet both Storm and Jon at some point before I die and shake their hands and congratulate them on a job well done (assuming they don’t take the money and run). I feel that their original representation of the bike was not malicious, just inaccurate. I’m sure that everyone wishes that the information from the very beginning was correct and accurate, but well here we are. It’s time to just move forward.

Keep up the more honest and accurate marketing Storm\Ivars. I look forward to seeing the outcome. What you are doing is extremely important to the world.

29 thoughts on “Changes To The Storm\Ivars Sondors Electric Fatbike Indiegogo Campaign Suddenly Make It Far More Credible

  1. Thank you for writing this awesome post. I’m a 499$ backer and this bike will change my life. But I realize it’s a gamble and the constant comment hate fest being countered by an army of like 2 is hard to take.

    I’m all-in on this. I’m sharing it a lot, posting my referral link a lot and if I’m honest, emotionally investing a A LOT.

    I had the same thought you did when I saw news of the demo days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comments are well thought out and your risk analysis spot on…
      i recieved the bike today it is my third ebike. Storm is to be lauded he did not take the money and run his product has value and willl surely benefit from upgrades and improvements ; he has delivered a significant value to backers.
      the bike is far from perfect but my initial review is it is a significant value for the
      cost…

      Like

      • Thank you. I haven’t received mine yet, nor my referral check, but I’m patient. I was also banned from the facebook group without warning, for whatever that’s worth.

        I guess yuppies don’t like being told they are yuppies. Because let’s be honest, ebikes are still basically a rich kid toy. An ebike still costs as much as a junky car. Someday that’ll change, and storm will be pretty much directly responsible for starting a true price drop trend, I hope.

        But since they didn’t lower shipping like they promised. (Flat 200$ regardless of staggering volume.) And the referral checks and early bird prices aren’t going to be a thing anymore, nor the gamble aspect needing a price incentive. The bike is now well up into the 800$ range and will presumably go higher as credibility expands.

        The thing about this bike is the popularity, the sudden surge of large numbers, and the fatbike profile. Not cost really. Because you could get a decent used lithium aluminum ebike off eBay with a little patience.

        Still, I don’t regret my buy yet, and presumably I won’t even after I get the bike and the check.

        Still, it would be nice if there was an official community somewhere run with some degree of professionalism.

        Like

  2. I am happy to see the updates/corrections to the information published about the bike. It seems like maybe the original info might have just been the result of the fact that the sellers were not really technicall Ebike guys instead of meaning they had some other motive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Lorrin

      That is exactly my impression. That a human being busted ass to assemble all that data and made mistakes based on what they were told by ad-copy.

      The haters will just keep moving the goal posts anyway, even after we have photos and video from demo days flooding the hive mind.

      The real truth is that what we’re dealing with is the democratization of a disruptive technology and a bunch of old guard who don’t want poor people playing with their toys or in their woods.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “The real truth is that what we’re dealing with is the democratization of a disruptive technology”

        Exactly correct…

        ” and a bunch of old guard who don’t want poor people playing with their toys or in their woods.”

        Ah the brainwashed mind…. It’s not about “us” vs. “them” and the “them” is usually not the “they” you think they are.

        Clearer version:

        No one conspires to keep people stupid and lazy. Those that are, will always be, and will always blame those who do for their unhappiness and/or lack of accomplishment.

        Shorter version:

        Stop blaming others for lack of success.

        Not directed at your personally but just generally I’m tired of seeing people pitting one group against another using jealousy and envy.

        Like

      • Trying to reply to the reply here, not sure if I’m doing it right or if it’s even possible. This comment system is alien to me.

        @nomark

        _”I’m tired of seeing people pitting one group against another using jealousy and envy.”_

        Dude. What planet do you live on? The 1% captured ALL of the gains of the economic recovery. It absolutely is an us vs them game at the largest of contexts and virtually all the way down. Wealthy people are a HUGE problem. They distort every market they touch, which is all of them.

        I am not being divisive I’m being realistic. If you agree this is a disruptive technology it follows that something established is being disrupted and that those benefiting from the status quo aren’t going to like it. By definition that creates an us/them situation.

        I’m equally tired of people trying to make it out like anyone who admits there are legitimate irreconcilable differences in any economic context is just a rabble-rouser creating conflict out of thin air.

        The entire American ebike market prior to storm’s first week are people who can afford to buy those 500$ ebikes 50 at a time and then double the price before they ever hit the street.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a backer for 2 bikes but I see this campaign completely different than probably most people. What I see is an excellent business model. The $499 is most likely the base cost of the bike. The $599 is an “oops we under-estimated the base cost” adjustment. The $1299 is a reasonable retail price for the bike. In fact I’ve seen others about that same price. The business model is this: come out with a great idea, get others to fund the initial cost to create the business, give away the first X,XXX number of bikes at our cost, and then at the end you have a business with tremendous street cred and massive online recognition. Then you start to sell the bikes at $1299 and earn a profit. It’s sort of like “shared sweat equity.”

    The only thing that could go wrong is if the quality of the X,XXX bikes is bad or has problems, which will likely destroy the reputation of the company and thus the whole thing will crash. I suppose it could be a total scam, but I don’t see any evidence of that.

    Remember what they said about Tesla Motors. Remember what they said about PayPal. Remember PayPal “gave” every new member $10 (later changed to $5) and their tag line was “always free.” In fact PayPal didn’t give anyone $10. What they did was a database entry that credited 10 somethings to each account holder. But almost no one withdrew that credit. They “spent” it with another PayPal account holder. Who spent it with another.. and so on. By the time that 10 something credit was turned into 10 actual US dollars (Federal Reserve Notes) PayPal had millions of users and the “always free” part was gone. Does that make PayPal a “scam?” Maybe, but they are still in business and a multibillion dollar company. So it worked out for them.

    Furthermore with their Indiegogo success (which I’m sure out did their wildest expectations) why scam anyone? They have $3million donated to them to create a business that will eventually pay them very well. Sure they could be totally lazy, but they’d be stealing the golden egg and killing the goose that laid it. I suppose there are some people that dumb, but it’s pretty rare to actually find one.

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. I know what you can build for $500 from China, all I can say is customers will be disappointed with both the quality and the performance.

    I only hope that this doesn’t put them off ebikes in general.

    Like

    • It’s not possible to be disappointed in your only step up. The current crop of yuppies that can afford ebikes in the west are so monumentally spoiled. They can’t even fathom the concept from a poor person’s perspective of going from a normal bike, to a bike that for much of the time pedals itself.

      Storm is the first real ebike that doesn’t cost as much as a used car. (or at least didn’t for a short time)

      Virtually no one of the lower worker class has ever even been on a lithium powered ebike at all. The entire market has been basically the adult toy crowd.

      Yeah technically 500$ ebikes existed but they were all marked up 100%+ or SLA powered crap.

      Simply allowing a 500$ lithium ebike OF ANY KIND to enter the American market for even a week is a game changing disruption.

      I agree with what one guy said in the facebook community, history will look back on Storm as a watershed moment in personal transit.

      Price point changes Everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hear! Hear!
        Get your hands on it and experience it for decent period, like 6 months. Not just once in six months, but as your ONLY non-self-powered transportation then come back here and whine.

        Like

    • I received my Sondors eBike today. I backed the campaign knowing, with 30+ year’s experience, what $500 can get you from China. Sondors delivered! While none of the components are “big-name brand,” they are all very competent and the bike was assembled with excellent attention to detail.

      Like

  6. To whomever it is complaining about “the 1%”…. It is true about 1% of the people control about 90% of the wealth of the world. That’s 70 million people. Now go back just 100 years and you will find about 7 million people controlled about 90% of the wealth of the world. And go back 500 years and you will find just about 1000 people controlled about 90% of the world. Go read the book “Who really owns the world.” All you have to do is read his preface.

    It’s true there are some very wealthy people today. However if you look historically at the wealth per person on this planet you find for thousands of years it was a flat line. The reason was a very, very, very small number of people did really control all of the wealth. That would be during the times of kings and dynasties. Once the US was founded and the system of freedom was put into place for the average person they started creating their own wealth. The problem with the “1% controls all the wealth” is the erroneous supposition that wealth is a fixed number and divided into pie slices. That is simply untrue. WEALTH is what we create. What we imagine, what we dream, what we aspire to. Look at this eBike. $3million in wealth was donated to create a company which has the potential to grow into a great business employing many people and fostering daughter businesses and competition.

    That is how wealth is created. It’s limited only by our imagination. In the past, before the USA, before freedom for the average person was available, they could not create any wealth because they were not free. But once freedom is recognized for the average person, now their imagination, their efforts and their perseverance can pay off in wealth to them.

    So FORGET about the 1%. Concentrate on your own wealth creation. Like the founders of the Store eBike.

    Like

  7. I had politely asked some pre-purchase questions on that Facebook page — that apparently annoyed the group owner — because now I’m banned from it. What’s up with that? Now I’m a backer and soon-to-be-owner of a Sondors eBike, and I’d like to chat with other owners. Can I be reinstated?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah they probably banned you for joining before you were an owner. Makes sense. Though personally I’d relax the actual owner rule on a case by case basis as a public service till the campaign is over.

      He’ll probably get an email because of your comment. If you don’t get reinstated soon comment here again and I’ll relay for you. If you’re an owner now you should have access.

      Like

  8. Thanks Brandon (and hi Chris.) I still haven’t gotten any reply and would like to participate on the Owners Group on Facebook, now that I’m a backer (and excited about it!) Can you put me in touch?

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. I’ve used the Charger from Aerovironment for over 10 years. They are powered by two 12V-12 AH SLA batteries. It was awesome when it worked and I had one that worked non-stop for over 10 years. I moved to the beach and all hell broke loose with bizarre problems. I am sold on power assisted biking. The Chargers had pedal assist and used lead-acid wheelchair type batteries but are now obsolete and have no parts for repairs. I am definitely interested in this bike.

    Like

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