Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I received my THIN on June 7th and have ridden it at least a few miles most days since then. These are my first impressions.

Background/Baseline bikes: I have a friend who got the Sondors Fat tire bike and I tried that out prior to ordering the THIN. He has had an overall very good experience with it, especially after adding the LCD. I own and have ridden for many years a Trek 7.3 FX for commuting, which has many similarities to this THIN bike. I do what I call my "real riding" on a Specialized Roubaix for up to 10 hours/week. I’ve been involved in extensive maintenance and upgrades on both bikes, although I usually let my LBS do the tough stuff.

THIN choice: I got the black bike with a chain. The white one with a belt looks pretty sweet. That extra visibility would be nice. But I wanted to get it quickly, and as cheap as possible to minimize my risk. Also, I have confidence in chains, with belts being an unknown for me.

Unboxing/Assembly:  Bike was well packaged. Took almost as long to unbox as it did to put together afterward. That’s a good thing and it made me feel better about the high shipping charge. The Sondors YouTube video on assembly was excellent and I followed it. Not much to do really. Was disappointed that the front wheel is not quick release. It pops on/off very quickly with a wrench though.

Components: Overall appear to be a huge value. The battery/motor system appear well designed and sleekly integrated. Holding down the throttle with my thumb can get a bit uncomfortable after a while. The frame, wheels, tires are all decent. The brakes work fine so far. I like having a kickstand. Better tape (and tape at all) in the wheels would have been appreciated. The tires are beefy 38mm hybrids and help absorb shock. Slightly thinner tires, maybe with slick treads, could possibly offer less rolling resistance? But maybe reduce support for the heaviness of the bike, and limit off road or gravel capabilities. The tubes are an issue. Valve stems are 55mm so hard to source replacements for. 48mm’s are barely long enough but available at my LBS.

Not including tape on my fully assembled front wheel is poor quality control. The thin rubber strip that was included on my rear wheel was weak. This might seem like a trivial detail to some people, and cheap to fix, but I consider it a huge oversight and even a safety issue. The hole that got created in my front tube by riding without wheel tape was big. I’m guessing this could create a blowout situation. If someone is going down a hill at 20 mph and the front tube blows out, that might not be pretty.

Performance: The bike is fun to ride and can easily get you places with only soft pedaling required. Takes out the worry of hills and headwinds when trying to just do an easy ride. Nice! That’s exactly what I bought it for. I guess faster would be better, but this is not supposed to be a motorcycle. Should be even better with the LCD screen and 5 levels of assist. My buddy has that on his Sondors Fat bike and really likes it. Right now with my THIN it’s only full throttle or nothing and that can make pedal cadence tricky, making your feet bounce all over the pedals when going fast. I tried swapping in my clip-in pedals from my Trek and that definitely helps. I’m guessing the LCD control will improve this further.

Range: IDK yet. I keep recharging mine every day just to be sure I don’t run out of juice. Furthest I go so far is about 14 miles in one day, with lots of assist, and it gets to red only on the small LED by the end of that. Looking forward to the LCD to help manage range anxiety. It’s a little annoying to have to unscrew the controller connection from the battery before charging the battery.

Accessories: I added a seat post only mounted rack and attached two side panniers to that. Works very well to hold all my stuff. I bought the Kryptonite 997986 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock, size 3.25 x 6-Inch. I'd recommend the longer version, this mini is very short. I recently bought a Bontrager Turbo Charger HP pump from a Trek store online for $60 after my Joe Blow Pro started leaking badly. The Bontrager is easily the best pump I've ever had or seen, and the smart head is working well with the 48mm replacement Schrader tubes I had to buy. I added Rhinodillos tire liners for extra flat protection, even though this might be overkill with the thick tires.

Risk vs. Value: I was a bit concerned about the limited warranty and general support. Mostly I think the value is very high and offsets that, or I wouldn’t have bought the bike. Especially if the critical components will be available in the Sondors store and I can get any difficult servicing done by my LBS.

Overall rating: If I had to create a "rating" for this bike and my overall impression, I'd give it at least a 9/10. That's based on currently available technology and the price of the bike and what its designed for. Form, fit, and function are all very impressive so far. It would be crazy to expect more features or performance at this price, and I think most people won't need anything more than this. But of course tweaks and upgrades could lead to even more fun...

Next: I want my LCD!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great write-up. I agree with everything you said regarding the quality and value of the bike. I'm also waiting on my LCD interested to see how that improves my top end performance.

The only areas I see that could use improvement are:

1. The tire tubes seem to be an uncommon, or less easily-sourced size. I don't want to be grounded for very long if I get a flat, so I'll probably buy a few extra tubes as backup.

2. The twisting of my front wheel due to the thin spokes. Going to look into upgrading the spokes (front and rear) if and when the original tubes fail.

3. When I became aware of the Sondors IGG promotion, the only THIN models they offered were Black/chain, Black/belt, and White/chain. I wanted a White/belt, so I emailed Sondors about the possibility of converting the White/chain to a belt drive once the upgrade kit became available as a standalone purchase. They never got back to me so I went ahead and made my contribution for a White/chain. When I got the bike, however, I noticed the right seat stay does not have the bolt-on accommodation for belt drive. So now I am stuck with the chain drive unless I'm willing to cut/weld/repaint the frame to accept a belt drive. Had I known this ahead of time I would have ordered the Black/belt in the first place.

4. I've never owned a bicycle with disc brakes before, but I'm going to look into brake pads to see if there is a material that squeals less. I made sure to adjust the brakes properly upon bike assembly but they still squeal. No issue with the stopping power whatsoever just a minor detail that I'd like to improve on if possible.

No other complaints or issues with my bike whatsoever. Waiting on my U-lock to come in. Paranoid about going anywhere and locking it out in public because I don't have any locking hardware installed (front axle, fork stem, handlebars, seat). Probably going to replace all that hardware first before really taking it anywhere. Also going to look into a cargo rack and a lights (front and rear) for nighttime riding. If I can use my Harley for anything outside of 5 miles, and the Sondors for anything under, that would be ideal.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm liking my Thin, even though it's a little heavier than first advertised. However; it is closer to the anticipated weight than the original fatbike. The Sondor Fatbike was advertised to be a forty-five pounder, LOL. I'm weighing my Thin belt drive at around forty-five pounds with my bathroom scale, for all thats worth.

The wheel set is good considering the price range of the bike. There is thirty-six 14 gauge spokes per wheel, with deep disc double-wall rims. The spokes, "for most", are standard gauge. However; the front hub is low quality, and I found myself loosening, the over tightened front hub bearings, on both the Thin and the Fatbike. Besides of the cheap front hub, the wheels seem adequate.

The belt drive is generic, but it does seem adequate. I'm not sure if it is worth the added expense. Time will tell. My complaint here, is there isn't any information and instruction for this generic system. I'm sure the belt had to much tension, causing a lot of drag on the crank, and the loud sound the belt produced was annoying. I smoothen and silenced matters, after fiddling with adjustments at the rear wheel dropouts, and what I presume is the belt tensioner, which is two bearing wheels, mounted near the rear wheet cog. The belt drive is now preforming to my satisfaction.

The bike does pedal well without the assistance of the motor, but it is still a forty-five pound, single speed, which has a high drive ratio. This bike is geared towards speed, so this bike doesn’t come off the line, or climb hills without a lot of leg power, or with the assistance of the motor. So keep that at mind!  I'm anticipating, this will be a fast ebike when the LCD display is added and the limit is increased. Without the display the speed is restricted to twenty miles per hour. When the speed approaches twenty, I can feel and hear the motor cutout. Over twenty miles per hour, is all me. I also realize there is also a limit on the wattage as well, so with the display the motor should deliver more torque, if the Thin is anything like when I added the display to the Sondor Fatbike.

The frame workmanship is excellent. The frame geometry I find comfortable at a height of five foot ten inches and a weight of two hundred fifteen pound.

The battery box and battery design is impressive, being slim and light. I find the charge to be adequate for a bike of this type and weight. I rode over twenty six miles with a lot of throttling while I moderately pedaled against wind and negotiated a few sizable hills. It was apparent there was just a small amount of the charge left, as I was completing my commute, as I noticed a lose of motor torque, and a speed reduction. I was satisfied with the range, but here again, the display should increase the range through efficiency.

 I'm loving my Thin as much as the love the Fatbike, just differences in advantages between the tire types, are what separate my affections.

 My biggest gripe like others, is the purchase of the diplay. Sonders advertising claimed " In stock. Three day delivery." LOL Three Jupiter days? LCD display shipping begins June 15th, from Jupiter? LOL 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Received my THIN last month, rode it about 2 miles before rear tire leak.  Pulled off the wheel and found the tube had punctured on the inside (toward the rim).  Pulled the tube/tire off and found the cheap blue plastic/rubber rim tape they used was not covering the spoke holes in the rim in 14 different places.  Talked to my local bike dealer, bought two rolls of Velox rim tape (16mm) for $5 each and installed myself.  Also bought 3 inner tubes with much thicker walls (SUNLITE thorn resistant 700x35-43, 27x1-3/8, part #63403), two to replace both front and back and one as a spare for $12 each.  The Schrader valve stems are only 48 mm, so I had to get two metal valve extenders as well. These thicker tubes have a higher rolling resistance which will likely affect performance, but hopefully will save me from needing to change a flat at the most inconvenient time.

Hooked up the THIN LCD display from Sondors and took it for a test ride starting with full charge with pedal assist level 3.  I forgot to bring my phone to cross-check results, so these are all from the display readings only.  I weigh 230lbs and carried no other load.  The terrain was flat (Florida) with many long stretches and few stop/starts.  Ran the battery dead at 17.4 miles after about 70 minutes continuous riding.  I would guess I pedaled (assisted) 35% of the time, most of the rest was full throttle.   LCD reported 15.1MPH avg, 20.4MPH top speed, but that was only achieved at the beginning of the ride: through the remaining first half of the ride I could only get around 18 MPH max.  Ambient temp started at 96 deg (F) and was 100 deg (F) by the end of the ride.   Measured temps with a laser thermometer: battery case 107 deg (F) and motor 104 deg (F) at their hottest points.  Immediately began charging battery, but battery case temp still dropped to ambient after 15 minutes of charging.

The LCD display showed one bar at about 10 miles, so I thought I was in trouble.  Display showed zero battery at 12 miles.  I continued running it out at full throttle with very little peddling to find the true bottom and got an additional 5 miles out of it at 15-16 MPH right up until it cut off and displayed a blinking empty battery symbol.  So, the battery meter was not very accurate in this test: nearly one-third of the range was still available after the battery meter showed the battery as empty.  Maybe that is by design to caution you about low power reserve, but it's kind of a useless mind-trick like purposely setting your clock 5 minutes ahead so you won't be late.

For me the handlebars are not in a terribly comfortable position: I wonder if there is an after-market alternative?  My wrists and hands were sore from being in an unnatural position.  It didn't help that I don't have the front shock absorbing forks.

Next I want to test the THIN out on the beach at low tide to see how the thinner tires will perform on sand, or if it will be a waste of time.  Original fat bike I ordered in March hopefully will be arriving soon, followed by the Wave bike with a bigger motor and possibly better riding comfort.

Edited by robgazy
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi...as per my knowledge the only THIN models they offered were Black/chain, Black/belt, and White/chain. I wanted a White/belt, so I emailed Sondors about the possibility of converting the White/chain to a belt drive once the upgrade kit became available as a standalone purchase. They never got back to me so I went ahead and made my contribution for a White/chain. When I got the bike, however, I noticed the right seat stay does not have the bolt-on accommodation for belt drive.

pcb assembly asia

Edited by CoraDias

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I would add my thoughts here....

Background:  I'm 52 yr young guy who has been riding consistently for over 33 years.  I've own some 20+ bikes in my lifetime from mountain to road.  I've never competed or raced but have attended numerous organized rides and centuries.  I'm 5'7" with a 29 jean inseam.  I live in Seattle and have a mix of flats and hills.

Bike fit:  I was concerned that the 19" frame was going to be too big for me since I tend to ride 16-17ish sized frames.  Happy to report that the Thin framed works for me.  From the seat post clamp to the bottom of the saddle holder, there's maybe a 2 inch clearance.  Enough for a small saddle bag or clamp style rear fender.  So you know, that's me sitting on top of the saddle and enough to up my foot (tip toe to be specific) down.  Stem and handle bars are stock.  Only switched out the saddle and added bar ends.

Single gear or multi?:  I wanted to stay basic so went for the single gear.  I prefer to ride with a cadence of mid 80's to mid 90's.  Happy to report that in about that range, I'm able to travel at at 18-20 mph... flat ground, no wind, and a PAS 1.  Single is all I need.

Stock Battery:  My best guess is that if I stay in PAS 1, I can get about 22-28 miles.   YMMV

Must do:  Remove the stock rim tape and put better ones on like cloth style.  If you go for a tune up, have someone add grease to the bottom bracket.

Personal uses:   Quick run to the store.  Towing my kids on a Trail-a-bike.  Soon to be trailing a single kayak.  Non sweaty 5 mile commute to work.  And the best part... I can train aerobic and anaerobic without going to the point of no return.  Same goes for hills... I can also pay around with lactic acid thresholds and get help with the throttle at any time.  

I purchased the Thin thinking it as a stepping stone into Ebikes.  Maybe adding multi gears, and upgrading the motor, controller and higher voltage for more speed.  But I'm happy to say that it's really perfect as is.  Which is fine by me and my pocket book.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

i have owned the sondors thin now for two years with almost 1200 miles on it.  i use it mainly to commute to work   7 miles in and 7 miles out on very hilly roads in Vermont.  i have found this bike absolutely amazing for a ev bike.  it rides well, dose what it is suppose to do and it is fun to ride.    i must say the hills do drain the battery faster than what is advertised but it has to work hard.  durability of this bike is very good.  i have not replaced any parts on this bike at all except to adjust the disc brakes and lube the chain.   i must say my friend who owns a $9500.00 ev bike dose almost the same as mine ( which cost me $850.00)  with a little added range and lots of extra gag gits which are not needed.  sondors did a great job

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.