6,124 Sondors Ebike Campaign Sponsors Breathe A Sigh Of Relief After Demo Days

The Demo Days event on Sunday was a big success. Over 100 people showed up to try out the Sondors Electric bike which has now broken the $3.4 million dollar mark. Although the website says the pricing will increase $100 to $699 three days ago under the perk description, elsewhere on the site it says the lower price is extended till 2/20/15. There was not a single person who had much of anything negative to say about the bike who got to take it for a ride.

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A professional interview of Storm/Ivars and agency 2.0 with Court from electricbikereview.com is located here. A much longer video with more shots of people riding the bike and giving their impressions can be found here.

There is a lot of positive things about this bike that people liked. It seems that Storm/Ivars Sondors has found a combination of price and features that appeals to a broad demographic of currently non-ebike owners. He may be on the cresting wave of an ebike revolution in the US.

Here is a summary from the video for those who don’t have time or inclination to watch them. (Thanks to Philip Hillis for this)

  • Sondors Ebike slated for shipment in May 2015
  • 350 watt rear-mounted geared hub motor by 8Fun
  • 30 day comprehensive warranty (Storm says it’s on the website but it cannot be found anywhere)
  • Local pickup MAY be available for those around Malibu
  • 36 volt 8.8 amp hour 316.8 watt hour Lithium-ion battery
  • Battery locks to the frame and can be charged on or off the frame (there’s a neat rubber cover that can be removed on the plastic triangle to reach the battery charging port)
  • Basic LED power level indicator on the throttle with Low and Full indicator (Low flashes when battery nears depletion)
  • Total weight is 58.5 pounds and battery weight is 5.3 pounds
  • All steel frame and fork, frame size is ~17 inches (length of seat post tube)
  • Prowheel cranks, Wellgo aluminum alloy platform pedals, Mixieer stem
  • Zoom mechanical disc brakes with 180 mm rotors, “5” brake levers with motor inhibitor
  • Generic padded saddle with rubber bumpers, quick release seat post
  • Punched aluminum alloy rims
  • Chaoyang 26″ x 4.9″ tires with schrader valves
  • Single side kickstand mounted near dropout
  • Double sided plastic chain guide
  • The fit and finish and wire routing were impressive
  • Motor controller is integrated into the bottom of the bottle battery

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There are four things that still bother me about this campaign

  1. Their original claimed weight was originally 45lbs and the actual weight is 58.5lbs which is a 30% increase (It really is a FAT bike), that falls firmly into the ‘pretty lame marketing’ category
  2. The range is still not advertised accurately. They are selling this bike with 50 miles of range which is simply not true, it is closer to 10-15 miles. People are not going to add that much effort to the pedals when they ride this bike because they just won’t want to.
  3. They haven’t updated the description for the pricing on the website and it’s been at the wrong price under the perk description for the bike description for last 3 days. Maybe they can’t change the perk descriptions once they are set? Seems sloppy to me.
  4. The whole Storm/Ivars Sondors thing. At some point he will have to publicly address it, I think sooner is better than later. There is a whole lot of people out there who would love to see him fail, and this story might be the thing that could bring him down.

Did most of the people who rode it seem to mind the weight? Only one person mentioned that it was a little heavy, everyone else seemed to like it just fine. I didn’t notice a single person getting on the bike and trying to pedal it WITHOUT the electric assist. I think they would have found that it took a lot of effort to get the bike moving and to keep it moving. No one took it in the soft sand either, and I can pretty much guarantee you that this bike would not perform well on soft sand. To ride on soft sand you need something like a Hanebrink electric bike.

hanebrink-all-terrain-bike-xl

Hanebrink is one sexy sand machine

 

The majority of the 6,124 people who signed up for this bike were not interested in an electric bike, they are interested in a cheap electric scooter that LOOKS like a bike so they won’t get harassed by the police for driving an unregistered and uninsured scooter. The Sondors electric bike is completely street legal in most places in the US with a few exceptions like NYC and Moab. The majority of people who signed up for the campaign will not be disappointed in the bike when it arrives. Because the price is so low, so are their expectations. You can see from the video that people were pleasantly surprised at the utility, form and function of the bike.

How Bikes Direct Makes Big Bucks, Free Shipping & No Tax

How Bikes Direct Makes Big Bucks, Free Shipping & No Tax. Dealers just can’t compete.

One thing is for sure, Storm/Ivars Sondors is going to turn the ebike world on its head. If he plays his cards right can be the ‘Bikes Direct‘ of the ebike world. Companies like Bikes Direct still make a 30-40%+ markup on their bikes but sell them below what you can buy at the bike store because there is no dealer markup. Bikes Direct and their sister site Bike Island offer free shipping and no tax and they sell a lot of bikes.

They still have about 1.5 million dollars to collect from people for shipping charges. A lot of whether people will choose to pay the shipping charges or try to pull out based on whether the Sondors ebike team does what they say they are going to do when they say they are going to do it.

I would expect that the campaign will now stall out since most people limit their trust to about $4.75 million (includes the estimated maximum shipping payments) in two people’s hands. I know it’s about the limit of my level of trust. If Storm is an actor, he rivals Brad Pitt with the performance he put on for the public on Sunday. What I saw was a passionate surfer type who really wanted to create something that people would get excited about.

Lets hope Storm/Ivars and Jon come through with their promises. In the end they stand to make a whole lot more money if they can ride this wave.

Thanks to everyone who showed up to shoot video, ask questions and support the new age of electric fatbikes. You rock.

Ride On.

 

9 thoughts on “6,124 Sondors Ebike Campaign Sponsors Breathe A Sigh Of Relief After Demo Days

  1. The Indiegogo sales page does say. “The world’s most affordable eBike. Priced under $600 for a Limited Time. Offer Ends 2/20/15!” at the top, but the 2/13/15 date is still on the side panel.
    They are sloppy and not very professional in their presentation.
    Storm said there was a 30 day warranty for the first time at the demo and said it was on the page, it isn’t and they have been avoiding the question,

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  2. Naysayer “scoot-e” on the endless-sphere forum writes that Storm/2.0 lied because they said the bike weighed 45 pounds, and it actually weighs 65. He’s wrong. He overestimated the weight. Shall we now jump up and down making monkey noises and screaming that scoot-e is a fraudulent liar, and warn everyone away from him?

    Has anyone ever purchased a hard drive before? Ever noticed how the formatted data capacity is less than the advertised size, because formatting it and creating the filesystem takes up (kind of a lot of) space? Shall we now jump up and down making monkey noises and scream that the manufacturers are fraudulent liars, and warn everyone away from them?

    Better idea: how about we act like mature adults, recognize that advertisers will always present their product in the most optimistic view possible, naysayers will lie their asses off to protect their comleting interests, and we must, as responsible risk-taking investors, do our homework and adjust our expectations to what’s economically and physically feasible. Then, we’ll get what we know is fair, and stand to be surprised if our investments turn out on the optimistic side. All it takes for a bit of investor satisfaction is a little maturity and patience.

    Though, okay, frankly, it’s okay if someone sits on scoot-e’s head and farts on him until he cries uncle. He’s an acerbic enough liar himself (outdoing even Agency 2.0 in the brazenness of his misrepresentation) that it’s some justifiable juvenile treatment by now.

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  3. Thanks for another good write up Karl. I’d like to point out that the detailed information about the bike’s specifications originated from Court, on the Electric Bike Review forum. My only contribution was to copy, and paste the information to a wider audience.

    Also as mentioned above, the extended sale price is announced in bold letters at the top of the indiegogo webpage as extended to midnight, Friday the 20th. I know that as soon as the demo day was announced almost a week earlier, people started asking if the sale price could be held until after the demo. Storm Sondors was in no way required to hold the price, but the fact he’s gone beyond what people had any right to expect shows very good business savvy on his part. It’s akin to asking for a expired discount, and it being granted just because you ask. Try it at your bank sometime.

    One last thing I’d like to know, Who said this bike was supposed to ride in deep sand? Does any 350w bike that ride well in deep sand? My Stealth Bomber’s owner manual says the warranty could be voided for even riding in sand, and I think it’s a little more powerful than this bike. In no video at any time has the Strom bike ever been shown or claimed to be good in deep sand, only hard packed wet sand. Where I live we don’t even have any sand, just a bunch of cement.

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    • Thanks Philip, I agree that it made good sense to extend the lower pricing till the 20th, I missed that at the top of the website.

      Everyone wanted to take the demo bike in the deep sand, my point is that it won’t drive properly except on hardpack. Storm alluded that was the case, just reinforcing it.

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    • This campaign and it’s false promises might deliver a few bikes. At best customers will get weakly powered bikes, with zero warranty, no liability insurance, weak product support if any, weak battery weak controller, pathetic under powered motor and lies about charging time. My indiegogo campaign mail told me the delivery was may, the LA times said that delivery was MAY 1. At best this campaign might deliver some bikes then it will ground to a halt claiming problems and some fictional B/S. People like Philip Hillis has been scamming and trolling the Sondors indiegogo comments page many 1000’s of times to make all questions and concerns disappear. It has been through his trolling efforts to make it appear that this campaign will deliver. He has caused massive problems in the campaign by his pathetic loser trolling, They started a war on the comments section and shortly after they started the campaign went from $20k a day to a TENTH of that. That was around the same time as SPEC PR and Greg Dawson taking over that campaign. When Greg’s SPEC PR inept team took over they have utterly failed to provide any answers, their fictional PR statements have made many people laugh.

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  4. Storm has certainly embraced the concept of the low cost ebike, and he’s a great spokesman. He doesn’t really understand how bike sizing works, which is pretty basic. So he’s not a great salesman for cycling. Cyclists talk about fit, inseam measurements, getting some basic things right. So it shifts the product back to a scooter. I’m more of a cycling infrastructure person than a pure ebike fanboy. Give me bike paths and other bike infrastructure. If ebikes can work, great.

    In the end, businesses succeed because they control costs. S-Co is locked into a price. They have to deliver a lot of units of a product that barely exists. Storm said the Demo was a production model, but who sets up any kind of production line for one bike? And if they have more than one bike, why Demo only one? To be contentious, why demo the product after the campaign is essentially complete, anyway? And would you want several video cameras on your test ride for a new, unfamiliar bike? Your 30 second test ride, at that? Would you want to immediately be interviewed? This was sort of a media circus. At this point, with most of the orders booked, I don’t see it helping S-Co all that much. It might simply raise more expectations, especially the warranty.

    Anyway, it would be better to go conservative and under-stated, try to get the product done and ship it out. (Why do you need warehouses for products that are sold?) It’s a developmental product, so you can skip the warranty. Storm is saying he has every cost under control, even though he has no idea what actual manufacturing will be like, what problems might emerge. He is offering a warranty even though he confronts 7000 units of a product with zero statistical data to frame warranty claims and make a reserve for those claims.

    They’ve created a celebrity and a buzz-worthy “product” that could change ebikes profoundly, if it succeeds. That means making hard decisions, usually, to get the design turned into something real, that people will own and actually enjoy. It’s a product and it’s a business.

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  5. Pingback: Does There Need To Be More Federal Regulation Or Private Insurance In The Electric Fatbike/Crowdfunding World? | Electric-FatBike.com

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