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  1. #1
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    Pondering being an e-bike dealer

    I came to this forum for other bike reasons but saw there was an e-bike forum! Cool!

    I saw hub motors pop up about 5 years ago but technology still wasnt good enough for the concept to be accepted for use by the masses.

    I have seen a LOT of newer tech that makes the e-bike concept much more appealing now along with the excessive price of gasoline.

    One problem I do have is the price. Are people more accepting of a hefty price tag to have an e-bike these days?

    I think the idea of electric bikes and scooters can finally do well in an urban environment.

    I'm looking for some feedback from the rest of you that are already users.

    -Pete

  2. #2
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    I have an e-bike here in China and I tried to get some relatives in America to give them a try for 1-2 mile trips, as an alternative to driving.

    My fgeeling is that they have a strong future. I see many of them in use in Ashland, OR. However, I think the first few years are going to see a loss as far as the business goes. People just do not see the value yet.

    It is the old problem of needing to get established and gain experience befor the rush when everyone sees it as "the next big thing." However, those first few years leave you trying to sell to a market that is not really ready for the product.

  3. #3
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    I think we need to see more people on bikes before we will see lots of ebikes. Portland has lots of ebikes because of the huge number of bikes and infrastructure. I used to think that ebikes would get people riding bikes but I think most ebike users are bikers first, then see the need for more consistent speed or the ability to haul more up hills.
    That might make an interesting poll, how many users of ebikes were bicyclists before they got an ebike?

  4. #4
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    If you do, I wish you the best of luck. You can even start small with ebay, ecommerce and the like. A lot of people started antiquiing or taking up various hobbies on the weekend and suddenly quit their real jobs to take up their hobbies.

  5. #5
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    I think a lot depends on Location, Location, Location !
    I'm 18 miles from NYC south shore long Island & very congested kind of suburb , when i ride I take the back roads, cut through parks etc. many careless drivers here, so they may not catch on. The East end Long Island yes better location, north shore too.
    Also make sure you check local laws , if the police crack down on E-bikers in your area they would be a much harder sell.
    I was thinking of building kits for people maybe too, but not where i'm presently living. Hope to get off the Island soon, too expensive & congested.

  6. #6
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    Like with other goods majory of people when given choice would rather choose low price-crap over higher price quality ebike.
    They don't understand or they fool themselves that "you got what you pay for" rule apply universally to all they buy.
    They would pay say $900 at Wallmart for China-brand crappy ebike and think that it is about right price for ebike, they would not do Google search what ebikes are out there for sale.
    If they do Googling and find real quality $3000-4000 ebikes they would scoff at it not undrstanding that made in USA quality must cost money.
    Point in case - made by ELectric Motion System in Virginia E+ bike.
    As a dealer you should sell all range of ebikes and have high end ebike like E+ for people to try.
    Everthing is in comparison if it comes to technical product.
    When people stop me on my E+ they are surprised at quality of bike and surprised that is not China ebike.
    Well that's $3500 for E+ but it lasts, is completely silent and wonderfully controlled.
    How made in USA make a difference?
    MY Tidal Force ebike is approaching 23,000km this summer and everthing works on this ebike to this day.

  7. #7
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    Walmart sells crap and then washes their hands of it. If you are a dealer you are going to get bombarded with returns of all the cheap crap. I started to research and spent a few thousand dollars trying out different systems. I was completely disappointed with the wholesale dealer end of things. Only the high end stuff had people who knew what they were doing, both in ebikes and in business.
    Buy a few and try to sell them as a test, even at break even prices. I quit trying because I live in a small town.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    Check out Lightfoot Cycles. They are currently looking for dealers of their recumbent bikes. They sell a Eco-Speed version that is possibly the best ebike on the market.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for your feedback. I already know that small town USA (where I live) wont support an e-bike culture, so its off to the big city.

    The Chinese have come a long way on quality, but of course I am skeptical. I was smart enough to stay away from them previously because of all the horror stories. I saw a bunch of models at a motorcycle dealer show that looked impressive. Unfortunately many of them arent imported to the USA yet.

    I did read the thread about the guy who was harassed by a nasty cop about his e-bike. I will be checking the rules locally and maybe force the issue to make sure of where you can and cant go.

    It may be an idea that hasnt quite arrived, but I think its darn close. I'll be ready to make it happen when I think the idea will fly.

    -SP

  10. #10
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    "possibly the best ebike on the market" - very general and very bold statement.
    It is USA-made for sure that's already big plus, but the beston the market , in what category, you cannot compare it with hub motors ebike-that's different category. But Litefoot can be directlycompared with Cyclone system for sure both are BB drives.

  11. #11
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    Our local bike shop has had two electric bikes for sale for a couple of years and have reduced the price to half but no sales. I admire the shop that sells only ebikes; I wish them well. I agree with location, etc. My wife and I are seniors and ride our ebikes more than 2000 miles each year BUT there doesn't seem to be enough of us to warrant opening up an ebike shop in this area (suburban Chicago). California seems to be the mecca for such bikes.

  12. #12
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    Hi speedy25, I think you should go for it! Our electric bike shop here in Phoenix, AZ sells quite a few bikes. Of course the coast and big cities are the best place but people just about everywhere are looking to go green and save some money. If you get quality product and work hard you will make it!
    We are always looking for and signing up distributors, as I am saying electric bikes sell anywhere people commute locally.
    -Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race. ~ H.G. Wells
    HyBikes Electric Bikes Bikes for every age.

  13. #13
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    Different locations have different reasons the masses may be interested in ebikes.

    San Francisco people deal with lots of hills. For Phoenix, I'm guessing it's due to the heat (I had an internship there one summer. I biked 7 miles to and from work one day, and that was bad enough for me to never try it again).

    I don't know about everyone else's reasons for using an ebike, but mine are pretty specific to me (not significantly influenced by geographical factors). I know a guy that's doing pretty good business selling ebikes to partially disabled people in the area, though...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy25 View Post
    I came to this forum for other bike reasons but saw there was an e-bike forum! Cool!

    I saw hub motors pop up about 5 years ago but technology still wasnt good enough for the concept to be accepted for use by the masses.

    I have seen a LOT of newer tech that makes the e-bike concept much more appealing now along with the excessive price of gasoline.

    One problem I do have is the price. Are people more accepting of a hefty price tag to have an e-bike these days?

    I think the idea of electric bikes and scooters can finally do well in an urban environment.

    I'm looking for some feedback from the rest of you that are already users.

    -Pete
    Pete, I've had so much fun installing my own e-bike so far I'm really contemplating opening up an e-bike business with several outlets.

    My e-bike will replace my car so I don't mind investing a bit more. If your customers live in a populated city then having an e-bike would pay for itself in a year or less and I'm sure they too would be willing to pay the higher cost up front.

    I wonder if you could setup financing for the e-bike like you would a car? Then the owner wouldn't miss the gas money which now goes to paying off the e-bike and instead of having a car loan for four or five years; they could pay off their e-bike in one to two years.

    If I were you I'd go for it.

  15. #15
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=crackerdog;14030950]I think we need to see more people on bikes before we will see lots of ebikes. Portland has lots of ebikes because of the huge number of bikes and infrastructure. I used to think that ebikes would get people riding bikes but I think most ebike users are bikers first, then see the need for more consistent speed or the ability to haul more up hills.
    That might make an interesting poll, how many users of ebikes were bicyclists before they got an ebike?[/QUOTE

    I think that is pretty much the core issue. I also think most e-bike users are cyclists first.
    2008 Kona Fire Mountain/Xtracycle
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    Cycling well IS Cycling Advocacy
    Originally Posted by Steely Dan: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  16. #16
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    Why people don't have bikes or e-bikes:

    I see "road cyclists" then I see the bums which are digging in the dumpsters looking for cans and bottles to put in their trailer. I was thinking of getting a trailer but then people will think I'm a bum also. So many bums around on bikes. That's the image people think of and why few people ride bikes. Health problems/overweight people won't even consider a bike. Then you got the ones with families who won't ride because they are paranoid of being hit by a car so they drive a huge sport-utility. Usually it's the women or bimbo who's in charge. They got fat after marriage so they know they can't get anyone else. All they do is take the husband's paycheck.
    Did your husband buy you that!

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