The continuing search for a great boat ebike, Sondors Fold edition

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

22 Responses

  1. Jim Nichols says:

    Glad to hear your success with ebikes. I too love them. I have 2 folding bikes from FiField(in MA) that I got from a Kickstarter campaign. As well as 2full size road bikes from Sondors and FLX again Kickstarter deals. The folding bikes fit well in the cockpit of our Nordic Tug.

  2. Patrick Harman says:

    I too have an ebike which i take with me on my boat. It certainly has extended my range in the various destinations i travel to. I have the room so I don’t need a folding bike. I also have a crane to load and off load the bike. I have modified the skiff to fit a bike rack.

    it has a 750 watt motor and weighs 65lbs. At my age I do not attempt beach landings. A nylon bike cove protects it from the salt air. I occasionally use some anti-corrosion spray. It has cable brakes, i would have preferred hydraulic brakes.

    With a basket and a book bag, I can carry well over 100 lbs. of groceries. My electric bike is wonderful for reprovisioning and a joy to go exploring on. I consider it one of the best purchases i have ever made.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Good to hear from you, Pat. Any chance you have a photo with the ebike racked in your tender? Would make a neat PS to the entry. Email ben.ellison at

  3. I also supported a very successful ebike indiegogo campaign in the “Mate” foldable ebike. Very well made, and works a dream where we’ve been testing them and enjoying them immensely here in Donegal Ireland. My partner Janey and I made a fully uphill trip for 8km to dinner the other night without breaking a sweat (not nice to arrive a nice restaurant sweaty!). Loving the fun and ease, but also the option to ride “e free”. Thanks for the great posting!

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The Mate X 750S looks like a whole lot of boat ebike for $899 (plus shipping) on Indiegogo. It’s a lot like the Sondors Fold X but with bigger motor plus full suspension. But it’s also heavy like the Fold X, and you won’t get it until October (if they make their schedule).

  5. Ken N says:

    Great write-up. Nice to see that e-bikes are evolving as truly useful machines (as opposed to the e-scooter lookalikes that proliferate.

    I briefly owned a cheap Schwinn-branded full-size e-bike as an experiment, but it wasn’t that fun to ride. My joints are holding up, so I’m commuting to work now on a conventional bike, and I just bought an inexpensive aluminum-framed folding bike… but it’s nice to know that there are decent e-bike options should I eventually need one.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    How about a folding carbon ebike that weighs about 29 pounds and may be a heck of deal at $999 via Indiegogo campaign?

    • Milton says:

      I decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and get in line for the top model with the belt drive. Seems like a good fit for my Camano Troll and the mid-Atlantic terrain. besides, I can always blame you…. 🙂

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Or a little EV Corsa with a whole lot of boat-friendly features like an included weatherproof bag:

    I’m leery about 16-inch wheels and think that the 350w models are plenty powerful enough. Also, this Indiegogo campaign has just started and the ebike market is frothy; looks like excellent deals, but take care.

  8. Tim says:

    Personally I love the concept of the EV Corsa, super light magnesium frame, 350 or 500w motor, I ordered two for my boat. Excellent blog!

  9. Alberto Mazzucchelli says:

    Being at the end of my summer cruise in Croatia I would like to express my considerations on the ideal e-bike on-board a yacht.

    I have four Explorer, folding e-bikes (large family…) stored along the handrails of my Nauticat 43 and sealed into purpose made heavy pvc bags. My assumption is that on board an average cruiser long narrow spaces came easier than bulky cubicles.

    Therefore my dream e-bike will NOT be foldable (frame & rear wheel in one piece) and will have:

    20” wheels,
    Handlebar, tube, fork and front wheel with motor (1000W ?) in one piece, but fast removable by clamp/s on main frame,
    NuVinci automatic gearbox ,
    Removable battery in seat post,
    Removable pedals ,
    Detachable front & back lights & paniers,
    Possibly a connectable luggage trolley (Water & beer…)

    In this way I will end-up with:
    1) Three separate objects: smaller and thinner to store (worst case: two connected by brake wires),
    2) Divided loads to embark-disembark,
    3) Ease of recharging batteries since detachable and probably stored under deck.
    4) No exposed derailleurs,
    5) Theft deterrents by removing pedals and seat.

    Fair winds
    Alberto Mazzucchelli

  10. steve says:

    I think you have narrowed your criteria too much. The Nuvinci is nice but any belt driven bike will be almost as good.

    Personally I would go straight to the RAD bikes website and get the RAD wagon, you will have enough change left over to buy 2 extra bikes. It does not have belt drive and has the cheaper hub drive. However, the utility of bikes like this and the Tern outweigh exposed parts.

    Money no object. I dont see why your disqualifying foldable bikes like the Go.

    However the Riese and Muller bike would hit most your marks. I dont see what difference wheel size makes. It does come with your variable drive as an option. and your pocketbook>)

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Juiced ebikes probably don’t make sense for a boat, but if you’re looking for a go-anywhere, carry-whatever, fat tire powerhouse, check out this sale:

    I’ve been riding a RipCurrent (accessorized like the S model) for over a year around home turf — the Sondors Fold Sport still best for the boat — and it’s the bomb

  12. Brian says:

    I am also advised I have too many bikes but I just cannot help it. My current favorite folder/boat bike is the Lectric XP and at around $900. It is a great high quality choice. For flat out torque/speed/fun my favorite is the Canadian sourced mid drive Biktrix Juggernaut Ulta 1000 and with that name and at $3K it better be good!

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