The Sondors eBike by Storm Sondors starts delivering to customers

So in February I mentioned the The Sondors eBike by Storm Sondors and how I had contributed. In fact I was one of the very first contributors. Well they began being delivered today... you see they manufactured them in the order of most popular color combinations... so people that paid for theirs LONG after I did, are receiving their bikes today yet I was one of the first TEN BACKERS and my bike is listed as number 1520 for production. My bike has yet to even leave China, if it's even been made yet. Gee thanks Sondors! What a slap in the face.

Here is one that was delivered to another contributor

Photo of J.R.'s bike assembled and ready to go!

Photo of J.R.'s bike assembled and ready to go!

I must admit, it looks awesome. Mine will be black frame with black rims and supposedly is being manufactured now (however once it actually goes into a cargo container it'll be a month or more than I see it)... sooo my bike won't make it here to Indiana till August at the earliest, so much for the July I had been expecting all along, having been one of the first contributors. Really really disappointed. I was also told during the campaign Mr. Sondors wanted to have a conference call with me as soon as the campaign ended to personally thank me for being such a big supporter, well that never happened either. "Storm" feel free to reach out and set that up if you want and explain to me why you shafted us first contributors... I mean hell if you would have said "yeah we are going to ship black/yellow first, would you like to choose that instead since you were one of the first backers" I would have gone "sure!".

Why I'm arguably overly passionate about the Sonders Electric Bike

So a lot of people, in regards to the Sondors Electric Bike campaign, have accused me of being an insider/working for Storm/working for Agency 2.0 etc. Those of you that know me know this isn't the case at all, you know I've never been to California you know that I don't even own a bicycle and haven't for a decade. To those of you that don't... let me give some context as to why I've been so passionate about this campaign and so active in the comment section for it.

My former mentor (was worth millions and millions, 13 businesses in 6 states one that had between 1000-1500 employees) was an absolute ass to me. Everytime I had an idea he'd tell me I was stupid, it was stupid, it won't work etc. Anytime I would bring him something "Hey R, would you give me a couple thousand secured loan so I can try this" and he'd just shit all over me and my idea until I finally told him sorry, I couldn't have him in my life any more. Less than 2 years later I had a small business making me as much as my 'real' job. So I HATE people that are always trying to find the negative in someone else's ideas, dreams, or success. Don't get me wrong, those that know me will tell you I can be pretty negative, I've even been called Eeyore, but not when it is about someone's desires/dreams/goals. 

A birthday card I had made for my former mentor, he liked to call me Eeyore.

A birthday card I had made for my former mentor, he liked to call me Eeyore.

Also for the record, Agency 2.0 helped Kreyos and I contributed to Kreyos (however, since that disaster Agency 2.0 is on the record as saying they will only take on clients that have a functional prototype, something Kreyos didn't have even months after the campaign ended which was a GIANT red flag that I ignored, lesson learned). I got royally screwed on Kreyos. So yeah, there are shady people out there that will rip you off but Storm is not giving me the slightest hint he has those intentions. The dude had a bike made for himself because he had issues that required the power assist, he then probably got compliments about it and questions asked and thought "hey I can probably sell this" and he went online trying to raise a meager $75,000. He's raised 3.2 million and is showing every sign he's doing his best to get the best bike specs he can for the price point he wants. Stop looking for reasons to sabotage him. I have my money tied up in ths campaign too, but after being taken on several crowdfunding projects I've realized it's going to happen and you have to go into each one expecting to never see anything. You should give to projects because you want to help others pursue their dreams, like my mentor wouldn't do for me (the man could ahve given me a million cash and never missed it, he wouldn't loan me 3k secured against my car). Support people's dreams or don't get involved with them at all.

So yeah, maybe I'm a bit over the top defending this project. My whole life I've been told I wasn't good enough and that whatever I try to do will fail. This is hands down the most success I've seen a campaign I've given to (out of about 30 between the various sites) have and it's exciting and even intoxicating seeing someone else get to see if their dream will work.

The Sondors eBike by Storm Sondors


Earlier this week an Indiegogo campaign came to my attention via one of their emails, Storm Electric Bike.


This thing looks awesome, it promises to be an affordable (but simple) electric bike. I snagged one via the campaign for 499$ plus shipping, other electric bike options from current manufacturers and distributors start north of 1000$. What makes this one different you ask?

Storm doesn't have a bunch of bells and whistles. It does NOT have regenerative braking which requires less parts so less to build, it is fixed gear (while some current electric bikes are 10-speeds) so again less parts-less to build, all of the parts used to make this bike are off the shelf parts meaning no need to pay for custom tooling and molds, again significant cost savings. 

Sure at 499$ via the campaign Storm Sondors is unlikely to make much per bike, however this is just the crowd-funding price. Obviously when these sell retail they'll cost more, and that is where the profit comes in. Via the campaign comments a competitor is constantly fear mongering claiming this bike can not be made that his costs such and such and it's impossible to make a 499$ electric bike... yet that competitor's bike is 10-speed, has regenerative braking AND FOLDS IN HALF all of which cost more, he's also already at the retail point and is likely making a considerable profit per unit.

Look folks, I've looked at what it would cost ME to build a similar bike from off the shelf parts in small quantities with no contacts and no ability to order in considerable quantity. I estimate I could personally import all the parts for 30 bikes (including duties and brokerage fees) for less than 499$ each. It's doable. Also keep in mind, crowd-funding isn't the same as going to the store and buying something. Usually at best a prototype exists and the campaign creator(s) have little to no experience in manufacturing anything outside of their workshop so contributing is a risky gamble. One should NEVER expect to receive a single thing they contribute for, you are contributing to someone's dream. In this case however, Storm Sondors has decades of experience in prototyping and mass manufacturing (McDonald's happy meal toys) and likely has dozens or hundreds of contacts in various manufacturing, distribution, logistics, warehousing etc areas as well as an intimate understanding of reasonable timelines and challenges that will likely be faced to manufacture his bikes. I gave 499$ to this campaign and I do not regret it, I feel confident in my decision to contribute based on my above comments and the fact that several tech journalists have been allowed to use the prototype unit and their reputations give them ZERO reason to lie about their experiences using this bike from a currently unknown manufacturer. 


Their are individuals crawling out of the woodwork to constantly slam this campaign, claiming it's a scam, claiming I'm an insider/work for Storm or Agency 2.0, claiming it's a giant scam and I'm part of the conspiracy to defraud people out of 3.1 million dollars and counting, etc. It's getting quite ridiculous. The individuals claiming such I deeply suspect of being direct competitors with a currently manufactured bike with similar specifications that starts around $1200. Why do I suspect this? In the early comments of the campaign a direct competitor was posting the link to his product and making the exact same claims. Now it's 'anonymous contributor' making these allegations (and claiming such to news outlets which, without verifying his complains, are reporting everything he tells them as 100% true, and that's just sloppy journalism).

This bike is more than able to be made (at a profit) for the $499 price, it is now $599 and is scheduled to increase yet again. Keep in mind this price is for BACKERS of the campaign and is NOT the final retail price. Also keep in mind Storm and company will make the bulk of their profits selling accessories and upgrades after retail launch of the bike. 

It amazes me how many people don't understand crowdfunding and think they are BUYING a bike like they would on