Updated: Agency 2.0 Comments on Lawsuit Filed Against Sondors eBike, 2nd Largest Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign Ever

Chris Olenik, founder of Agency 2.0 a well known marketing firm in the crowdfunding industry, has responded to the revelation that relationships have frayed between Storm Sondors and his firm. Agency 2.0 filed a “contractual fraud” lawsuit on April 9th and now Olenik has clarified what pushed the firm to take legal action against Storm and his company.

Sondor’s eBike remains the 2nd most funded campaign on Indiegogo ever – having raised over $5 million from more than 12,000 backers.  Sondor’s project remains live on the Indiegogo plaform as it has migrated to the InDemand e-commerce option allowing individuals the ability to “purchase” a promised eBike.

Chris Olenik told Crowdfund Insider;Chris Olenick

“First and foremost, Agency 2.0 wants the backers and everyone involved to get what they signed up for.  Agency 2.0 waived any and all upfront service fees and invested an immense amount of resources in the Indiegogo campaign.  This includes, without limitation, paying out of pocket for an extensive advertising campaign, dealing with graphic design, organizing a bike demo day (city permits, staff, all logistics) paid for out of pocket, responding to thousands of emails and comments, running hundreds of advertisements, and in general having all Agency 2.0 staff engaged in the campaign for months.  At this time we have not been paid for our services per contract relating to the Sondors’ eBike campaign and are now forced to spend even more money on legal.  Our fees owed are well past due and should have no bearing on the delivery of the eBikes. The fees were agreed in writing prior to the launch of the campaign.  Sondors refuses to even acknowledge the money is owed to Agency 2.0 for its services in raising $5.28M.  We have tried to work the payment issue out to no avail despite repeated efforts and have been left with no choice than to take legal action.”

Storm SondorsAllegedly Sondors has left Agency 2.0 high and dry by not following through on its financial commitment. Agency 2.0 has managed multiple, high profile, crowdfunding campaigns, delivering an enviable track record  of success. While we are not aware of the amount owed by the Sondor’s eBike campaign, if the agreement was based on a percentage raised – the amount could be significant.

For backers of the project this recent development must cause some concern.  If a campaign is not willing to abide by a contractual commitment for services rendered to the company that managed its success – how willing is it to follow through on its commitment to deliver promised bikes?  The issue of legal costs can be significant.  Will Sondors dip into the Indiegogo funds to defend his position? Sondors has not yet published a backers update explaining the disagreement with Agency 2.0.

Sondors eBike Most Funded IndiegogoAs for Indiegogo this is certainly a disappointing turn of events. Just recently heralded as a memorable crowdfunding success, indicative of the efficacy of its platform, the blemish of a legal confrontation is an embarrassing occurrence.

Crowdfund Insider has contacted both Indiegogo and the Sondors’ campaign. Hopefully they will add further clarification and transparency to the eBike campaign.


 

Update: Agency 2.0 has shared; [We are] still providing fulfillment information – for example, we emailed Sondors information on updated color selection today. We are still working for free at this point.We have made repeated efforts to try to work out our compensation issue with Sondors, to no avail and have been left with no choice but to take legal action. Despite the situation, we at Agency 2.0, like all interested in the Sondors eBike expect and hope for successful delivery of the product.

First Production Bike Sondors eBikeUpdate 2: Sondors has posted an update on Indiegogo showing the “first production bike” completed in China.  We also received an email from Sondors’ new PR firm acknowledging our request for comment on the  lawsuit filed by Agency 2.0 so hopefully we will have some further insight from the other side soon.


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  • Laurent Lathieyre

    Not sure why there is so much FUD against Sondors. Sometimes I am telling to myself that they must be doing something right. I was one of the early backers. I got my Sondors bike and love it. The rest is bullshit.

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  • Lynda

    I just love that guys hair, he has visited my favourite hair depresser “half head de mullet… I recognise the burnt orange & yellow Barnet Crowd fun (not for the wearer)…

    • Ray Novak

      I got my bike. It’s been great. 89 pound delivery 2 Friday’s ago.

  • Ian Grace

    Is there a news blackout on the proceedings on May 6th or did it never happen?

  • Chris Roser

    Is that all you have Ian??? As stated in a previous thread. “I’ve seen 3 bikes Ian. I’m sure we will see more. If you had any type of clue as to how bikes are manufactured in Chine you would know that the assembly time is actually the shortest part of the process. Getting all the components in-house is the real challenge.” You really should just move on. The World has ton’s of problems these days. Focus that passion of yours into something worthwhile.

  • Don’tHateOnIan

    Hi. Unfortunately I don’t have time to read everything in here. I can just tell that on many points I agree with you. Miles, shipping, taxes, … The most active people are some how brain washed. Anyway, I understand that every time someone mention your name you need to come back and “defend” yourself and your point of view.

    • Ian Grace

      Thank you very much, common sense appears to be lost in this campaign

    • Chancito de Argentina

      This…

  • Ian Grace

    As much as I detest Chris Olenik of Agency 2.0 for knowingly and falsely alleging he was aware I was paid by Prodeco to damage the Campaign and he was taking action (ROFL), what needs to be ascertained is who was responsible for the different components of the Campaign. As I am often referred to as a Troll I shall respond by referring to all people who speak out in support of Sondors as Shills, unless we can agree to discuss on a more adult basis. In documents submitted to Court it appears that the fault, as has been alleged on various comments, for failing to answer questions, did not lie with Agency 2.0.

    Exhibit I

    Thu Feb 5 2015 11:05AM

    From Storm Sondors

    Dear Chris,
    We understand the barrage of questions you are facing. We also understand the potential to increase sales by being responsive to each and every consumer.

    ….

    We will do our best to answer questions and contribute in any way we can to eliminate reduce potential friction that might avert greater sales. Accountability to existing and potential clients is critical.

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  • John John

    Consider the following since NOT all information is presently available by all parties (repeat the following is just ONLY speculation – NO facts):
    Sonders contracted with Agency 2.0 to run the campaign and one responsibility of Agency 2.0 was to ensure that all backers who selected one or more eBikes were to be contacted to obtain color selection. Agency 2.0 did not live up to this responsibility since many backers did not receive the color selection email. This caused Sonders and the eBike campaign to lose some potential “funders” as well as trust with current “funders.” Sonders consider this to be a breach of contract and is withholding payments because Agency 2.0 did not “perform” per the contract and it’s action was detrimental to the campaign. Agency 2.0 decides to go on the offensive instead of making any correction to ensure they perform per the contract by filing this lawsuit to pressure Sonders to pay. Also note that Agency 2.0 is a marketing firm and knows how to handle the PR side of these type of disputes. Currently, only information that is being distributed is from Agency 2.0 and not from Sondors or Indiegogo. This dispute will most likely get settled quietly and the “funders’ will never know the settlement amount.
    Since NOT all the facts were provided and will never be provided until a trial IF it gets that far, all comments like this one is just BIG FAT speculation and just meaningless.

    • Chris Roser

      Not only Color selection but payment confirmations for the eBike purchase and shipping. It’s a mess. Storm eBikes are rolling off the line on schedule yet A2.0 is still scrambling to get its act together.

      • Ian Grace

        there is no evidence whatsoever to claim that Storm ebikes are rolling off the line on schedule. You have a picture of one completed bike, which some suspect is the only bike in existence with new parts on it.

        • Chris Roser

          Show the evidence that they are not? Ian you need a life.

          • Ian Grace

            You need a life…….. says he responding! I am not the one who has a lawsuit pending for non-payment of services or a serious amount of suspicion and doubt surrounding the manufacturing/production/assembly or whatever you want to call it. If you are satisfied because Ivars says it is a glorious sight seeing hundreds of frames, batteries and motors – but he cannot take a picture (maybe run out of digital film?) – then so be it. I am not so easily convinced given the shenanigans, the false claims, the exagerrations.

          • Chris Roser

            Yes, My 3 or 4 responses to your 2000+. Maybe self-pleasuring yourself might help. Heck we all know already that you’re a JERK-OFF.

          • Ian Grace

            sticks and stones, grow up – I hope you get a crappy Chinese pos, and if not then think of what you could have done with all that money – taken for a mug big deal you’ll get over it -all you can do is attack people like me who try and make people aware of the false claims, the changes, exaggerations and misleading spec that people are being led to pledge money on – big deal, you are happy. Lets wait for the Court Hearing, you even bothered to read any of the docs?

          • Chris Roser

            I did read everyone Ian. Did you see the doc where Storm told Olenik that a final tally would be made after completion of the bikes? Wow!!! You know nothing.

          • Ian Grace

            Why not discuss reasonably? I read the contractual agreement which detailed that 10% of funds raised would be calculated at the end of the Campaign and then paid – did you? I am not suggesting the agreement was fair or correct, but it is binding – Storm has all the funds, the money due to Agency 2.0 is not based on profits arising, it is based on the fudns raised during the Campaign – why not write to Olenik and tell him to call off the lawsuit? He is obviously not convinced is he? Nobody has any right to tell him how to conduct his business or to modify legally binding agreements.

          • Chris Roser

            It quite possible that the original agreement is null and void. Read the part about Hull being out and all parties agreeing? Like I originally posted, There is more to the story. We’re being shown A2.0 slanted side. Storm is being sued and as I would he’s keeping quiet. That’s how its suppose to work.

          • Ian Grace

            You may be correct, it is for the Court to determine in what capacity Hopp signed, and it is quite clear to me that the Agreement is binding, if not why were Agency 2.0 paid anything? In the UK those cheques he wrote which were returned would have to be paid so that is -$160k at least. The whole thing stinks and this should have been kept behind closed doors and resolved, it shows how desperate Agency 2.0 are and how untrustworthy they view Ivars is.

          • Chris Roser

            They were paid because it was owed. Nothing you present leads me to distrust Storm. Nothing. Seriously you need to find another preoccupation. Maybe something that doesn’t make you look like a troll. Just my 2 pence.

          • Ian Grace

            but three cheques bounced? Before they had to bail Ivars out because his car was impounded? I am doing multiple things at the moment in my life as well as running a business thanks, I feel passionately about this Campaign and how I nearly got taken for tens of thousands of Dollars before I researched and worked out it was all BS. People cal call me a troll or whatever, I have big enough shoulders to bounce it right off – and if you are in the UK, you have a bill of £600 import duties and anti-dumpting coming your way – and that is a fact.

          • Chris Roser

            Well that’s what you’re led to believe by A2.0. Did they post anything to prove that other than a statement? No. It is up to each individual to know what their respective import duties and fee’s are. Come on you’re really digging deep here.

          • Ian Grace

            Why am I digging deep when I sought clarification what the respective import duties were for a global campaign? Sondors does not have a clue WTF is going on and nobody could answer, so I researched for myself – I mean why make clear to EU Funders that the cheapy POS they are buying from Ivars is subject to £600 duties, vat and anti-dumping at 48%? So I bought 5 ebikes elsewhere.

          • Chris Roser

            You’re digging deep looking for that ahh-ha moment. It’s not there Ian. Why ask a guy from California what you Government laws are. Ask your Government. That’s what I did. USA has zero import duties on EBikes from China. Lucky me.

          • Ian Grace

            but taxes will apply, you are right that there is more to come and these are the points I sought clairfication on – this is retail, not donating and being rewarded with a perk, it is well documented, you will pay sales tax for sure on your purchase, yet have no rights as a consumer it seems

          • Chris Roser

            Crowdfunding is not retail Ian. Maybe that is the problem, You don’t understand the concept. Whether you pay taxes or not is not relevant. Take that up with your Customs Department.

          • Ian Grace

            LOL Sondors own admission in the latest update that no bikes have been assembled/produced – how is that for starters you muppet?

  • Chris Roser

    I am a 2 eBike backer and have had to deal with Agency 2.0’s so called superior service. The color selection process was a complete nightmare. Hundreds of backers not receiving emails or confirmations. This is only the latest boondoggle from Mr. Olenik. He also led the rollout of a campaign filled with inaccurate specs on the eBike. There is more to this story. I’m still a believer in Storm Sondor.

    • KakistocratRadar

      And yet you still backed the campaign, which only proves, Agency 2.0 is very good at what they do…PR and marketing.

      If you can polish turds like Sondors and his even nuttier sidekick, Jon Hopp- you’ve accomplished something. If you’ve helped Indiegogo tally a record haul, with Sondors and Hopp at the helm of a campaign, well then you’ve really accomplished something.

      Your frustration with the color selection process is a moot point. 99% of unpaid vendors would have left the campaign long before that point. Throwing more resources into a bottomless pit is bad business. They were taking the high road by continuing to even half-heartedly be concerned about your color selection experience.

      Based on Indiegogo’s silence, it would be wise for Agency 2.0 to take their next big campaigns to other platforms as a show of loyalty.

      • Chris Roser

        High road? More like desperate road. Agency 2.0’s attempt at completing their commitments is an attempt at showing that they did their job. It’s a bit too late for that. Backers have already been notified that a second request for color selection is in the works.

        Indiegogo has no dog in this fight, Why would they respond to allegations? I wouldn’t and I imagine neither would you.

        The campaign is on track and backers have been notified that shipping is on schedule as originally planned.

        • Ian Grace

          Listen to this BS – Estimated delivery May 2015. No bikes will be delivered this month, period. If, and that is a bit IF, any bikes are ever delivered I think August 2015 earliest.

  • Ian

    Follow the money. Link to Sondors 3 offshore companies…

    http://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/95079

    • Chris Roser

      That’s an old link Ian. Back to your troll hole.

      • Ian Grace

        lol Mr Roser, if you thought that was me you were insulting and abusing then you were mistaken #fail

        • Chris Roser

          Funny if it’s not you your certainly are a bit defensive. You need a life.

        • Chris Roser

          Funny, If its not you, You’re certainly awkwardly defensive.

          • Ian Grace

            Well you can see for yourself it isn’t me!!! I stand behind my words – such as there would be no refunds and the shipping gaurantee of less than $194 for US backers was BS and that would be the charge – not so mental now am I lol. Anyway if you cannot resort to posting without being abusive or insulting then you are the one with problems – you have seen one bike, period. You don’t want to feel that you have been had, like all of us wouldn’t – we’ll know more on May 6th won’t we?

          • Chris Roser

            I’ve seen 3 bikes Ian. I’m sure we will see more. If you had any type of clue as to how bikes are manufactured in Chine you would know that the assembly time is actually the shortest part of the process. Getting all the components in-house is the real challenge.

          • Ian Grace

            I suspect that the bikes are not production bikes at all – where are the images of the hundreds of frames, motors and batteries?!? Pretty obvious way to silencing doubters, instead we have a range test, using pedal assist, which gets to 23 miles and 700 yeards ont he flat with a lightweight rider – whatever happened to 50 miles range? Later amended to *with pedal assist?

          • Chris Roser

            A2.0 lead the original Marketing and did scew up the specs. We all know that Ian. You’re certainly getting mileage out of the dollar investment you made. Why?

          • Ian Grace

            SO Agency 2.0 are the fall guys are they? And Sondors is completely blameless, given the lies he told Chris Davies (who I contacted) who confirmed he had not been misquoted and he has not been able to get in touch with Ivars sicne the original article in slashgear – you read it – I got banned from a FB page for asking questions, as other funders did I paid a dollar because the camapaign owner is obliged to answer pre-pledge questions under the t’s and c’s of IGG – something is wildly up with this camapign and the specs from the beginning -as much as I detest Olenik who lied saying I was paid by Prodeco to damage the campaign and he was taking action against me for aking questions (yes, just try it and you won’t know what has hit you), he is owed money by Sondors – the PR Agency who gave Ivars his funding success are suing him, not me!!

          • Ian Grace

            I apologise for the typos

          • wa5

            “Hundreds of owners think you’re a nutjob”?. there a lot less than twenty regular posters on the owners page, I think most others that show up there are quickly intimidated by the lunatics in charge of the asylum. whilst there might be 5/600 memebers hadly any of them post regularly. who would really want to ?

          • Ian Grace

            I have no idea, I don’t really want to know what goes on in that incestuous closed pit of unofficial gossip and reassurance that Ivars Sondors himself wants nothing to do with whatsoever.

          • Lon McClure

            Hi, Ian.
            Full-Disclosure – I’ve been a backer since day 1.
            I am not here to throw stones but to ask a question; Will you retract all of your comments to the contrary if the Sondors eBikes are manufactured and delivered in a reasonable time-frame? Say, by the end of June or mid-July? That would be a good gesture on your part. If that doesn’t come to pass, “told you so” would certainly be appropriate as well but might come across as gloating.

          • Ian Grace

            Hi Lon, thanks for the comment, bluntly no I will not retract any or all of my comments – the bike was launched on the back of articles in Slashgear/YahooTech and two weeks into the campaign the spec was wildly changed. 50 Miles range and 90 minutes battery charge was stated, shipping gauranteed to be less than $194 for US Backers – MUCH LESS was stated on the IGG page. Then the range was modified to *with pedal assist. Shipping charge was confirmed as $194 ‘the lowest we could go.’ May (2015) Delivery is still stated on the IGG page, August 2015 for wave 2 – I disputed all of these claims and dates and now you ask that I retract the comments if the bikes are delivered sometime in June or July? Why? let me take you back to the Chris Davies article, where Ivars claimed manufacturing was all in-house and in place with a capacity of 12-14000 bikes per month. Bruce Choate conveniently claimed that Ivars had been misquoted (Bruce calls Ivars by the name Storm). So I contacted Chris Davies who confirmed proper representation of the comments made by Ivars – he could not get back in touch with Ivars to confront or question him. Now the claim is that all parts are manufactured in-house, that is quite a difference. The Campaign stinks and I cannot understand why people have gambled as they have, although I understand there are significant amounts of chargebacks given the concern at the manner in which this Campaign has been run – does anyone honestly believe that by posting a picture of 2/3 bikes that large-scale assembly/production/manufacturing has begun?

          • Ian Grace

            I am not against crowdfunding in principle, but there needs to be more safeguards put in place IMHO.

            My claim all along has been that the performance specs are wildly exaggerated and not achievable on a bike of that value, and that the shipping guarantee of less – MUCH LESS – was misleading and there would be no refunds. Some people aren’t bothered it appears at the above, so long as they get a bike in some form or another on the stated delivery date (May 1st for Wave 1) or even a few months after that. My claim is that this Campaign would be fraught with technical and logistical complexities (taxes, duties) but I did not envisage legal action putting a stick in the wheels (pun intended).

            The legal action by Agency 2.0 is very surprising and I believe may be purposeful, it will have a direct impact on the manufacture and distribution of the bikes I am sorry to say. The last thing I want for backers is for them to lose money or to not receive goods they are satisfied with, and it remains to be seen whether Agency 2.0 will be successful in Court, however it is a desperate action to make such claims public, in any other line of business matters would have been heated and argued behind closed doors. This situation is disastrous for any business, even more so for a highly dubious Campaign such as this.

            Now we learn – or have it confirmed – that Storm Sondors is in fact Ivars Sondors who still owes a Company $40k (+interest?) having been convicted of Contractual Fraud (no big deal) but Agency 2.0 have also claimed that he may be insolvent and that he has bounced cheques on them to the value of $160k, moved all the funds raised in this campaign offshore and is reneging on promises and a Contract (the validity of it will shortly be determined).

            My advice, before I take a short break from this topic, is not necessarily to reach for the Chargeback claim immediately anymore, but to make yourself aware of the window with your cc Company for lodging a Chargeback claim or for retrieving funds howsoever you paid. Developments over the next week will be interesting for sure.

          • Josh

            You? “Take a short break from this topic?” Yes, please. My goodness, man, take a long break from it. This relentless, repetitive barrage can’t be good for your health.

          • Ian Grace

            and Lon I will still applaud Sondors if he pulls this off with even a modicum of success, but fear he has not get the infrastructure to run such a massive campaign, to support customers in the field or deal with the massive technical and logistical challenges ahead, never mind the court hearings and the tax implications (he still has an outstanding Court Bill to pay as he has a Conviction for fraud)

          • Chris Roser

            You were banned for several reasons. Your attitude and constant barrage of unfounded conspiracy theories. You are not a bike backer and the group is for “Owners” which you are not. Then you took to the web with a constant stream of nonsense which olny lead to you being totally discredited. Hundreds of folks think your a nut job, I’m one of them..

          • Ian Grace

            Banned from the storm ebike page for asking questions? WTF do you know about that? Nothing at all. When I pleged a Dollar I was entitled to comment on the Owners page where I asked questions again, look has it not got through that I really don’t care what hundreds or thousands of people think? I called the shipping scam correctly – advertised on IGG as MUCH LESS than $194 but I knew it was all BS pity a lot of funders didn’t and are upset. I knew there would be a sting in the tail, but granted I didn’t think that Olenik would turn on Ivars and he had been screwed over too. It will get worse, and i won’t be on forums saying “I told you so” so at least you don’t have to worry about that.

          • Chris Roser

            Well I’m the one who banned you Ian. Suprise suprise 🙂

          • Ian Grace

            Well done Chris, makes that makes you feel super-powerful. On here in open discussion you are made to look exactly what you are, surround yourself with sycophants all desperately trying to reassure each other they haven’t been duped to buy an absolute pos with no certification whatsoever, I really don’t care. Ivars doesn’t even approve of your FB page or take any part in it AND THAT IS HOW RESPECTED IT IS.

          • Chris Roser

            Wrong again Ian. But nothing new there.

  • don riggers

    If he screws the people that helped him with the campaign, why would he still deliver the bikes? Whole thing is sketch. None of us should expect our bikes and we should demand refunds and call our card/bank asap. This whole thing was probably the plan all along.

    • Chris Roser

      First production bike off the line. I’m No. 32 & 34. Trolls go home. Nothing to see here.

      • Ian Grace

        lol and you believe that? Where are the pictures of the hundreds of motors frames and batteries “that started being produced” 8 days ago? Two bikes? Oh take my money Ivars, don’t worry about the pending lawsuit, I am totally convinced now lol

        • Chris Roser

          Yes I do believe that. Have zero reasons not to. You have real mental issues. Please seek some professional help.

          • Ian Grace

            Chris don’t try and deman my posts by resorting to insults and I need a life – you are the one posting initially, I am perfectly happy in my own life, just don’t like enarly being ripped off or others being ripped off – if you are comfortable with your donation on a non-refundable basis for a person who has moved all of the funds offshore then fine, jog on.

          • Chris Roser

            Ian, I don’t have to demean your posts. You’ve already done a great job of that. Hundreds of backers can’t be wrong, You’re a nut job.

          • Ian Grace

            LOL Hundreds of backers can’t be wrong? What a foolish thing to say, and if anything says more about your blinkered state-of-mind than mine. So because hundreds of backers have blindly thrown money at this it must mean it is above board……. yeah right, wonderful logic. You ever heard of the Kreyos Smartwatch?

          • Chris Roser

            Hundreds of backer think your a troll. Sorry for you inability to comprehend my statement. I’ll try to break it down a bit. You know, Your level.

          • Chris Roser

            Hundreds of backer think you’re a troll. Sorry for your inability to comprehend my statement. I’ll try to break it down a bit. You know, Your level.

          • Ian Grace

            Being patronising doesn’t reflect well on you Chris – when you get a £600 bill (assuming you are in the UK) for duties, vat and anti-dumping then maybe you will think you should have researched more like I did. I am fairly well-educated thanks. So what people who have blindly thrown money at a cheap pos from China with unachievable specs thinks determine what I am? Shit, I am not gonig to sleep well tonight, lol

          • Chris Roser

            Patronizing? No I’m calling it like it is. You are trolling. Plain and simple. I’m in at 499 for 2 bikes. Pocket change Ian.

          • Ian Grace

            In the time I have been corresponding with you I just made enought to cover 7 Sondors ebikes, so we are agreed at last, pocket-change it is – well that is before you have paid duties, it has sweet fa to do with a concept or idea it is retail and the US authorities will be aware of this – add your $194 shipping and your sales tax (taxes based on claimed value of bike at $1299) and you could hav bought something half-decent, not some cheap Alibaba POS. Entry-Level bike. So save up your pocket-change in future.

          • Chris Roser

            Wow, Male prostitution pay’s well over their

          • Ian Grace

            there Chris, there.

      • Ian Grace

        Yep nothing to see, there are no bikes rolling off the production line and this is just another PR ploy, nothing is or was in place with regards manufacturing 12-14000 bikes a month as claimed by Ivars Sondors – who has a conviction for Contractual Fraud and another one pending – on February 2nd. It is worth reading this article, it is laughable how this Campaign has been managed. The blatant changes to spec serve as a solid basis for seeking a chargeback should you have concerns about this Campaign – http://www.slashgear.com/storm-ebike-electrifies-the-fat-wheel-hands-on-02367030/

    • Ian Grace

      don, my feeling was that it may be purposeful as well.

    • Chancito de Argentina

      Yep, he planned to build these… and he’s doing it.

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