Pole Sonni Downduro eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout




Photos by Max Rhulen & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic

Pole Bicycles is a company who does things differently. From their crazy CNC-Machined aluminum frames manufactured in their eco-friendly Finnish facility, to their unique suspension design delivering 200mm of travel to this “Downduro” eBike, no other eMTB is quite as unique, for better and worse. We were excited to include this different take on the ultimate Electric Mountain Bike in our 2024 eMTB Shootout, and it certainly provided a unique offering that had us thinking. At the time of publishing, it seems like Pole’s future is not looking bright, but we had to include it as it was so damn interesting.

2024 EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – The Pole Sonni Downduro was one of 14 eBikes that our staff thoroughly tested with absolute objectivity in mind. From different types of riders to terrain, our goal is to present the best and most honest information possible to help you make your best decision. Of course, we’d love to thank Fox Racing and Schwalbe Tires for being invaluable partners to this series and making it happen and to Howler Bike Park for hosting us for our testing.


• 200mm Dual Link Suspension
• MX (29”F/27.5”R) Wheels
• Bosch CX Gen 4 Motor
• 750Wh Bosch Battery

Price: From $6,875

Frame: CNC-Machined 7075-T6 | 200mm
Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate | 190mm
Shock: RockShox Vivid DH Ultimate

Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX Gen 4 | 85Nm | 600W Peak
Battery: Bosch PowerTube | 750Wh
Display: Bosch LED Hub

Brakes: SRAM Code R | 220mm F / 200mm R Rotors
Handlebar: Race Face Chester 35 | 20mm Rise
Stem: Race Face Chester 35
Seatpost: SDG Tellis
Saddle: SDG Bel Air V3

Wheelset: DT Swiss FR 1500
Front Tire: Schwalbe Magic Mary 29×2.4” | Super Gravity | Addix Soft
Rear Tire: Schwalbe Magic Mary 27.5×2.4” | Super Gravity | Addix Soft

Cassette: SRAM GX | 10-50t | 12spd
Cranks: Race Face Aeffect eBike | 165mm
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle Mechanical | 12spd
Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle Mechanical | 12spd


  • Long Travel Monster

  • Head Turner

  • Comfortable Climber


  • Looks Are Divisive

  • Needs Proper Terrain

  • Battery Fit Issues


FRAME AND FEATURES | Pole manufactured the Sonni out of 7075 aluminum using CNC-Machines powered by renewable energy in their Finnish facility. The front triangles are machined in two halves and joined in the middle, allowing them to machine out any excess material from the center to minimize weight and maximize strength. Their choice to manufacture this way was centered around environmentally friendliness, due to the zero waste produced by the manufacturing. They also claimed benefits to the tolerances achieved on the frame. Tighter tolerances should theoretically boost elements such as suspension performance due to improved bearing alignment.

The Sonni frames were offered in a number of configurations, with a choice of MX (29”F/27.5”R) or dual-29” wheel setups. They offered three different versions: Enduro (160mm Rear, 170mm Front); Downhill (200mm/200mm) or the “Downduro” we tested with 200mm rear travel and a 190mm single crown fork. A different link and shock offered the change in rear travel, and wheel sizes are simply swapped without any corrective geometry flip chips. This leads to a wide spectrum of different geometry setups depending on the configuration selected.

Pole Sonni Downduro eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

The suspension is a dual link design with a constantly varying pivot point. One ultra-long link and one shorter link connect the monostay rear end to the main frame. The result is a kinematic that is not as extreme as the design may look. That said, there’s around 32% progression and Anti Rise that sits at just over 50%, so there’s still a unique feeling.

Due to the frame design there’s no room for a water bottle inside the front triangle, though a bottle cage can be mounted to the top of the top tube if desired. There’s a generous two-component motor cover, with a plastic skid plate with a machined alloy protector closely following the drive unit. Cables are routed internally through conventional ports in the headtube. A two-bolt integrated seatpost clamp helps to distribute clamping forces and ensure optimal dropper post function.

DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS | Pole is another of the seven Bosch-equipped bikes in our 2024 eMTB Shootout, though the least clean in terms of the drive unit integration in the frame. The Bosch Performance Line CX Gen 4 unit looks to be stuck onto the Pole Sonni frame as somewhat of an afterthought. While this doesn’t make for the most aesthetically pleasing setup, nor the quietest, it’s likely to lead to the best heat dispersion. This may lead to improved drive unit performance when being pushed to the limit.

The 600W Peak Power and 85Nm Torque Bosch motor is powered by a 750Wh removable Bosch PowerTube battery. This is removed out of the downtube with an allen key latch, though we had issues with the battery becoming stuck inside the frame. The battery is covered by a machined alloy protector, which isn’t given any plastic or rubber protection and so was fairly loud when rocks were kicking up off the tires. There was no charge port on the frame, and so the battery needed to be removed from the frame every time the system was charged.

Aside from the drive unit integration, the rest of the Bosch system integrates excellently into the Pole Sonni frame. The LED hub display on the top tube offers battery life in 10% increments and highlights the mode selected. We didn’t receive the Mini Remote to change the mode from the bars, so relied on the buttons on the LED hub to control the system. While it’s less convenient and you cannot use Walk mode, it proved to work out okay.

The Bosch eBike Flow App is a solid performer, and lets you tailor the power of each mode independently with ease. Built into the app is an anti-theft feature, as well as the ability to update the software and troubleshoot any errors.

GEOMETRY | The Pole Sonni uses fixed geometry, aside from a Reach-adjustable headset offering ±5mm of Reach. We tested the K2 – effectively Pole’s medium size – with the headset in the stock setting and the MX wheel setup. Pole has been known for some extreme geometry over the years, but in this configuration the numbers were not too extreme. The Seat Tube Angle was steep at 79 degrees, and the static BB drop was little on paper at just 9mm. However, with a MX wheel setup and 200mm of rear travel, the resulting position on the trail felt quite normal.

2024 eMTB Shootout Bike Geometry

BUILD SPECS | Pole specifies every Sonni to order, with a standard build starting from roughly $6,875 but a number of part spec changes and add-ons available to tailor the bike to the rider preferences. We tested a build that Pole custom-spec’d, retailing for approximately $8,488. This Downduro build was spec’d with a high-end suspension package, but some more affordable components in most other areas to keep the price down without sacrificing too much performance.

The suspension was handled by Ultimate level RockShox components, with the 190mm travel ZEB fork and a Vivid DH shock. Also provided by the SRAM family were some Code R brakes and a GX Eagle mechanical 12-speed drivetrain.

Raceface provided an alloy Chester 35 cockpit and Aeffect eBike crankset. SDG supplied their Tellis dropper post, which was topped in a Bel Air V3 saddle.

Rounding out the build spec was a DT Swiss FR 1500 wheelset. As with all of the bikes in our 2024 eMTB Shootout, we fitted these with a pair of Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity Soft tires in 2.4” width. As an official partner of our Shootout, we equipped every test bike with these control tires to provide a level playing field and make for easier bike-to-bike comparison with a tire setup we trusted.

The Pole Sonni tipped the scales at 55.8lbs (25.3kg) with these Schwalbe control tires mounted.

Pole Sonni Downduro eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout


SETUP | The markings on RockShox suspension made for easy setup, especially on the rear shock. The RockShox Vivid shocks required a notably high air pressure to deliver the correct sag, but once inflated adequately we were left in a fairly comfortable spot. With so much travel, it could feel as if the initial setup on the Pole Sonni was too soft, however it began to make more sense once we hit the trail.

ELECTRONICS AND INTEGRATION | The Bosch Performance Line CX system is one of our favorites, and the Pole Sonni did nothing to change that. As mentioned, from an aesthetic standpoint the drive unit is not integrated very neatly. However, with only the LED Hub on the top tube, the remainder of the bike is very clean. The battery system provided some issues, with the Bosch battery not releasing cleanly from the Pole downtube. We were unable to remedy this issue, making for some extra leverage required with a tire lever every time we dropped the battery for charging.

The Bosch system performed amicably, offering solid power and great range with the 750Wh battery. The drive unit’s prominence outside the frame led to a little increase in the noise transmission, but with improved cooling it didn’t lead to excessive noise when being pushed hard.

Pole Sonni Downduro eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

CLIMBING | Though the Pole was relatively heavy and had the longest travel on test, it didn’t feel to be considerably slower uphill than on considerably lighter bikes with firmer pedaling platforms. The long travel offers up plenty of cushion for seated pedaling through rough terrain, keeping things comfortable. The seated position is nicely upright, and though the resulting cockpit was cramped, it wasn’t unmanageable for any trail situations we encountered.

The travel and relatively high overall weight of the Pole Sonni can make it more difficult to handle for the most technical of uphill maneuvers. Add to that its slack front end, and it wouldn’t be our choice for the most tech climbs. That said, if you’re able to keep it rolling, it generates traction well.

Pole Sonni Downduro eMountain Bike Review | 2024 eMTB Shootout

DESCENDING | It may not be a surprise that 200mm of rear travel and a 190mm fork mean that the Sonni is an animal on the way down the hill. That said, it won’t be for everyone. It demands some gnarly, gravity-fed descents before it really comes alive. Potentially the ultimate “huckers eBike” due to the huge travel with plentiful progression, the Pole inspired the biggest hucks to flat and gave confidence to attack features where speed wasn’t a concern.

For instances where the rider was required to “pop” to clear a gap or make a particularly technical movement, the Pole did begin to hinder ability slightly. Because of this, the Sonni couldn’t be considered a playful bike, demanding a strong rider to jump and play on the trail. If you’re a rider who favors wheels-on-ground riding on steep descents, this won’t be a drawback.

The Sonni approached traction and plow-ability in a slightly different way to most. The frame is one of the stiffest on test, and the compliance through rough terrain is instead achieved with the suspension travel. This leads to a unique feeling, where the wheels could occasionally deflect off slippery rocks and roots. However if you could keep them tracking straight, the suspension would do its thing and keep the rider comfortable and in control. This stiffness led to a very pleasant experience when squaring off corners or landing a little off-axis, avoiding any concerning flex or vagueness.

Aside from the battery issues, the Pole Sonni ran trouble free throughout testing. Though we tried to abuse it as much as possible to expose any flaws, it kept on trucking without batting an eyelid. The build spec was lacking in the brakes and drivetrain department, at least on paper. But much to our relief, it performed amicably throughout testing, causing no concerns.

FINISH AND VALUE | The unique finish of this Finnish eMTB divided the crew. Not debatable though was the feeling of quality and how well the details were covered. Aside from the battery fitment, everything went together with reassuring precision and tolerances felt tight. The result out on the trail was a machine that ran quietly and smoothly.

At roughly $8.5k for the build tested, the part spec for the money wasn’t exceptional. However, given the unique frame and Ultimate-level RockShox suspension, it wasn’t terrible either.

More concerning at the time of writing is the news of Pole’s bankruptcy. We’d hold off purchasing one of their bikes until they’re rescued, so that you can ensure you’ll receive support and spares should you have an issue. We’re hoping that they can find investment and get back to making unique and exciting bikes like the Sonni, as it was certainly a bike we enjoyed putting to the test.

The Wolf’s Last Word

An eBike that inspired hard charging and big hucking, the Pole Sonni was a unique bike to test that shone in the gnarliest sections of trail. We’re crossing our fingers that Pole will find investment to come back to the market with their progressive machines.


Provided Pole finds investment and returns to their operations to offer customers with a solid backing, the Sonni is a machine for riders looking to attack the roughest terrain with the biggest hits.

Price: $8,488 (Estimated)
Weight: 55.8lbs (25.3kg)
Website: Polebicycles.com


Without their support, we would not be able to make this series possible.


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