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SONDORS Rockstar Review

Last updated 
robb dorr
By
Robb Dorr,
Co-founder
Images from manufacturer's website

60 mi

RANGE

28 mph

TOP SPEED

8 hrs

CHARGE TIME

83 lbs

WEIGHT

Mid-drive

MOTOR TYPE

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SONDORS Rockstar Review: Takeaway

The SONDORS Rockstar truly lives up to its name. It’ll have you zipping up steep ascents and tackling mountainous terrain without even breaking a sweat. It features a sleek yet durable design, making it perfect for those who want the benefits of a rugged mountain e-bike minus the clunky appearance.

If you’re after a powerful, reliable, and limited edition mountain e-bike from a trusted brand, then $3,499 may seem like a small price to pay. If you’re looking for an affordable, entry-level e-bike that’s perfect for urban riding or commuting to work, however, then the SONDORS Smart Step may be more up your alley, costing just $1,699.

Ideal for...

Off-road biking
Mountain biking
Steep ascents and descents

E-Bike Overview

The Rockstar’s Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor is one of the most formidable electric bicycle motors available outside of custom DIY motors and features 750 watts of hill-crushing power.

]The motor also has pedal assist sensors (PAS), which let you select the level of assistance you want when pedaling. Additionally, a thumb throttle is available for those moments when you don’t feel like pedaling at all, allowing the e-bike to do all of the hard work for you.

Another notable feature of the SONDORS Rockstar is the 48V lithium-ion battery with genuine LG 3500 cells. It’s the largest battery to ever grace one of the brand’s products and provides between 40-60 miles on a single charge, helping you ride further than many other e-bikes allow.

Reasons to Buy

The SONDORS Rockstar is the brand’s first-ever dual-suspension electric mountain bike, so you know it’s going to be special. Not only does it feature SONDOR’s biggest battery to date — complete with 21 amp hours of ride-extending energy — but the model is only available in limited production runs, meaning buyers need to pre-order the product in advance if they wish to get their hands on one.

This rejection of the typical mass-produced e-bike makes the SONDORS rockstar a highly sought-after model among e-bike enthusiasts, thus increasing its value for money.

The Rockstar also comes with a number of beneficial features that help it stand out from the pack. These include a USB port on the display — great for charging your phone, listening to music, or using your GPS — as well as a superior ergonomic gel seat and premium disc brakes.

Things to Consider

With a premium product comes a higher price tag. This could be a deterrent for some buyers, especially if they’re new to the e-bike game.

While the Rockstar contains some superior features, it’s lacking in some extra additions that its competitors contain. This includes things such as a kickstand, rear or front racks, and LED headlights and tail lights. If you want these, you’ll have to buy them as aftermarket accessories.

Specs & Components

Colors
Supernova (yellow), matte black, or slate
Motor
750 watt mid-drive motor
Battery
New, 48 Volt, 21 Amp hour, Lithium-ion battery with genuine LG 3500 cells
Frame
Custom forged and machined aluminum
Load capacity
300 lbs
Charging
3A smart charger included
Tires
Maxxis 27.5 x 3.0"
Brakes
Tektro hydraulic Disc Brakes
Display
Rugged compact display with great daylight visibility and included USB port
Accessories/Extras
optional integrated headlights and tail lights

The specs above come from the manufacturer and may vary from what you’ve experienced. Notice something that needs correcting? Let us know.

Ratings

Power
4/5
4

A 750W mid-drive motor spits out a lot of power for climbs. However, the bike is a heavyweight at 85 lbs. Don’t expect miracles on climbs if you’re nearing the 300-lb max payload, as the motor will be pushing almost 400 lbs.

The SONDORS Rockstar has a lever throttle to deliver power, which lets you sit back and let the bike handle flat sections or climbs. On pedal assist mode, there are nine levels to choose from, ranging from a fairly gentle Eco Mode to a battery-hungry Turbo. There are also 11 gears, effectively creating 99 combinations of motor power and gears.

Flat-out speed on the road will be limited thanks to the knobbly tires.

 

Range
3.5/5
3.5

The sheer weight of the Rockstar will hamper range, and if you’re maxing out on the payload (with a trailer to do trail maintenance, for example), the 48 Volt, 21 Amp Hour, Lithium-ion battery will be challenged even further. Throw in hills and trail riding, and you’ll never see the manufacturer-estimated 60 miles from this machine.

In all reality, you can expect up to 40 miles of off-road fun with sore legs at the end.
And if you’re using the throttle, expect 30 miles on flat and hard surfaces.

Comfort
4.5/5
4.5

The SONDORS Rockstar uses a trekking position, meaning you’ll use your upper body and the ergonomic handlebars to shift your weight around as you handle various terrains. With the 83-lb weight of the bike, you might wear down after a few hours even if you’re in good physical shape.

A big and wide premium ergonomic gel saddle and a variable height dropper post help you adjust your position for uphill and downhill stretches. The SONDORS AirShocks front fork can also be adjusted to your weight and offers 150mm of travel, while the 27.5”x3.0” Maxxis tires can take on even the toughest trails.

As a final thought, the Rockstar has a 31” standover height, so you’ll likely need to be in the 5’9” range to safely get your legs over the crossbar.

 

Durability
2/5
2

Mid-drive electric bikes stretch relatively heavy-duty chains and cassettes due to the motor driving the bike through the pedal drivetrain. Add in the throttle and the torque, and you might face chain breakage in the first 300 miles of riding the Rockstar. That’s why chain and cassette maintenance is necessary to avoid a problem when you’re out in the hills.

The Tektro hydraulic Disc Brakes will suffer from a lot of trail riding as well, especially if you load the bike up. Be ready to replace them every 700 miles or so, but they could be bare metal by this

Style
3/5
3

The SONDORS Rockstar favors the American side of the Atlantic, looking more like a souped-up F-150 truck than a lightweight WRC Rally car. This beefy appearance gives off a feeling of solidity and the idea that you could throw it off a mountainside and it will still get you home. Having read our opinion on its durability, this is not a strong conclusion to have!

It’s just as loud in its Supernova color scheme. If you like being loud and proud, then the Rockstar might just be your thing.
Sizes

Our Research Methodology

We personally research and test every e-bike featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn how we review.

About Our Editorial Team

robb dorr
Written by Robb Dorr
Co-founder
Robb is a massive cycling enthusiast who has more than 20 years of non-motorized cycling experience. He started eBikes.org to lower the barrier of entry to cycling and reduce the intimidation people can experience when getting into the cycling world.

E-Bikes From the Same Brand

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These ads keep the power on

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