Sondors has just revealed three new high-powered electric bicycles known as the Sondors Rockstar, Cruiser and LX. The new models are part of the company’s not-yet-released Elite line. They feature stunning new frame designs, huge 1kWh batteries though the low introductory prices might actually be the biggest shocker of all.
Sondors first burst onto the scene back in 2015 with low power $500+, budget-minded e-bikes.
These new e-bikes are nothing of the sort.
The new Sondors Rockstar, Sondors LX, and Sondors Cruiser appear to feature the famed Bafang M620 mid-drive motor, also known as the Bafang Ultra, which is known to put out more than 1,500W of power and a stump-pulling 160Nm of torque. Sondors indicates that they are running 25A controllers, which would limit the motors to around 1,200W — a figure that is still quite powerful for anything with pedals…
The motor is a favorite of high-performance e-bike enthusiasts, though its sheer power and torque can be tough on bicycle components. The Bafang Ultra is known for sending countless chains and sprockets to an early grave. I should know — I unfortunately destroyed a perfectly good chain with this motor in less than five minutes at Eurobike 2019.
I think maybe the most shocking thing about these bikes is how well they are designed. Look at the cruiser below.
Sondors Rockstar full suspension e-bike
The Sondors Rockstar features full suspension with 150 mm of rear travel, though the company hasn’t indicated any specifics regarding the exact suspension components.
The “bespoke forged and machined aluminum alloy frame” houses a 48V 21Ah battery. With 1 kWh of capacity, Sondors claims it should be sufficient for between 40-60 miles (64-96 km) of range on a single charge.
Sondors claims the bike can hit speeds of “28+ mph,” which sounds right for this motor. On the FREY EX, which sports this same motor but at a higher current limit, I’ve hit speeds of 38 mph (61 km/h) on flat ground. Though with a mid-drive setup, top speed is highly dependent on the gear ratio of the bike, so it may be too soon to tell what the Sondors Rockstar’s true top speed will be.
The Sondors Rockstar features internal cable routing, integrated saddle lighting, a remotely operated dropper seat post and fenders/mudguards.
Priced at $2,499, this is the best price I have ever seen for a full-suspension e-bike with the M620 Bafang Ultra motor. A deposit of $299 holds your spot for an estimated ship date of October.
Sondors LX electric bike
The Sondors LX is something of an enigma, sporting a laid back geometry yet with a high power motor and front suspension. Sondors describes it as “a premium mid-drive sport utility fat electric bike with an all-new low-entry, elevated chainstay frame.”
That’s a bit of a mouthful, but we’ll go with it.
The Sondors LX features the same high power motor and high capacity battery as the Sondors Rockstar, but with a hardtail rear.
The bike includes giant 26″x4.9″ fat tires that should give it excellent performance even on loose terrain like sand and snow.
The Sondors LX is priced at $1,999 and can be reserved with a $299 deposit for October shipping.
Sondors Cruiser electric bike
Sondors rounds out the new Elite lineup with a rigid frame cruiser-style e-bike.
Employing the same high power motor and high-capacity battery as the previous two members of the Sondors Elite family, the Sondors Cruiser opts for a fully rigid frame.
If the total lack of suspension didn’t clue you in, then perhaps the white wall tires will get the message across: This is a street-only e-bike. You don’t want to hit a berm or root at 30 mph on a rigid bike like this.
But for smooth streets and canyon roads, the high power of the Sondors Cruiser should be plenty of fun. And priced at $1,999 with a $299 deposit, it actually makes for relatively cheap thrills — at least when you consider that Bafang Ultra-equipped e-bikes usually start around $1k more, at least.
These prices are pretty nuts, in a good way. For a Bafang Ultra motor and 1 kWh battery, let alone the impressive and novel frame designs, this is a great deal.
But I’m approaching this with cautious optimism. On the one hand, these specs at these prices are essentially unheard of. But on the other hand, I’ve yet to see one single photograph of the bikes. All we’re getting right now are renders of what the Sondors Elite will presumably look like.
That being said, Sondors has a history of making bold claims and then mostly sticking to them. So if they say they can produce these bikes at these prices, I’m inclined to believe them at this point. I was a Sondors skeptic back in 2015, but I’ve seen them put enough bikes on the road now that I’ve become a believer.
That doesn’t yet translate to their mythical $10,000 Sondors electric car, but I’m a believer in the e-bikes at least.
Between these three bikes, the Sondors Rockstar is my favorite, hands down. At $2,499 it is an incredible deal for a bike of this power and design. I’ve put around 70 miles on the FREY EX in the last week or so (seen below), and while I don’t expect the Sondors Rockstar to compete against the FREY EX on build quality, it seems to severely undercut its $4k price.
I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I think I’m getting better. And my FREY EX is definitely helping! 1.5kW! (Though this was on Eco mode with just pedal assist) pic.twitter.com/lvCF6cH5rp
— Micah Toll (@MicahToll) June 23, 2020
There are only two things that give me pause here: 1) we have no idea whether they are putting decent suspension or bargain basement springs on the bike, and 2) they are neutering the 1.5 kW by around 25% of its power.
For the first, we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of shocks Sondors will give us at these prices. For the second, this could be an effort to make the drivetrain components last longer, or it could signify a weaker battery that can’t handle the peak power of the Bafang Ultra motor. Again, we’ll have to wait and see.
For now though, I’m quite impressed with what I’m looking at. Sondors has always made big promises, and this new announcement is no different in that regard. What is different is that Sondors is now stepping out of the value-oriented e-bike space and appears to be edging dangerously close to the premium category of e-bikes.
What do you think of the new Sondors Elite lineup? Let us know in the comments below!
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