TLDR: I have an ebike. A very good ebike! And you can too: http://gosondors.com
I am extremely happy with it.
A bus full of school kids saw me, it was stopped at a stop sign while I was crossing my yard, I saw like a dozen little faces looking at it hehe. I hope they all now want ebikes for xmas and I hope they get them 🙂
Started assembling it today, and charging the battery took longer than putting it together. All the heavy lifting assembly-wise was done at the factory. I didn’t have to touch any wiring or cabling. Breaks or power.
It does this pedal assist thing, I have no idea how it knows to kick it in (Edit: I do now.) but it’s extremely smart about it. I suspect it’s based on how much torque I’m applying, (Edit: Nope, hehe.) because it kicks in and helps to the perfect degree and just makes it feel like pedaling is easy.
It carried me up ACTC hill (pictured above) with a little pedaling. I’m 6’4 and weigh 255 lbs, and it carried me. It’s completely amazing.The cold brought me in more than any exertions. The pedaling I had to do wasn’t enough to even wind me.
It would probably have made it up the hill without my help probably, it just would have been slower.
It’s a soft bouncy ride because those tires are like motorcycle tires.
The breaks, being two disc breaks, mean total confidence on the down slope despite being as heavy as it is and as heavy as I am. That’s never been true of my other bikes.
I can tell I’m right at the edge of the motor’s capability on this hill because I’m so large and the hill is so steep, but it works and that’s the point. It does indeed carry me and will do so over the bulk of possible terrain this city can offer. It’ll certainly carry itself so I can walk it up anything that can’t be ridden up effortlessly beyond the walking itself.
It feels extremely stable, it’s low to the ground, long, and heavy, but not dangerously heavy. I can pick up the back end with one hand. Yet it honestly reminds me of a motorcycle a little bit, though I’ve only driven those a few times.
Another cool thing is that the battery box is undetectable to the rider. It completely lives within the range of space between your legs that never touch anything. I’ve had water bottles that are more obtrusive. I don’t think I touched it once except I guess occasionally brushing with jeans.
It only spent a small fraction of the ride time at full power/torque. It’s fast enough that I slowed down for want of goggles. And I wear glasses.
All in all I’m very happy. Sondors completely made good on all the promises. Now I begin the process of adapting things around the bike and making upgrades and accessory additions 🙂
Update 2015-11-12 0739 AM
Just went for a longish ride, and the battery still reads green. It’s stable, powerful, quiet and comfortable. I am very Very happy with it still.
Update 2015-12-21 0326 PM:
I think this bike will go down in history as the model T of electric bikes because it’s the only one that actually combines low cost with what I would call baseline quality. It’s not low quality by any means, and that’s the point. It’s the level of quality you expect from a new economy car. It’s not a toy.
This bike will improve and save lives. It will extend living ranges to people (like me) that can’t drive or can’t afford to drive everywhere. This thing is an accessibility tool.
Also it is a low impact workout electric or not. That too will help people that don’t have the frame to ride a fully human powered bike.
I would classify a bike of this quality, at this price point, as a disruptive technology.
Update: Locking and learning: 2015-12-22 0542 PM
Oh look I can’t share images anymore because coder greed.
Update: 2016-02-13 0318 PM
Ok! So spring is approaching and I finally figured out a new way to add images to this post.
So I ordered Nutlock (size option: 3/8″ x 26tpi) for the front wheel of my Sondors. Looks pretty secure to me 🙂
My Ulock is too narrow to fit over the wheel so I have to use it to lock the frame alone.
I could also use the cable to secure the back wheel, and I’m sure I will in most cases.
But I don’t really have to for most purposes given my context and because in order to steal the motor they’d have to cut the power cable and thus provide or fabricate a replacement connector. That’s a fairly decent deterrent on top of the hassle of getting it off there.
Sure there is a market for stolen parts, but it’s a much slower/smaller one. And in my area an acceptable risk.
Also with the nifty Carrier for my Ulock I think things are secure enough for use in the wild 🙂 (I know that picture sucks, I’ll get a better one later maybe hehe.)