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  1. #1
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    Front wheel Fat Tire Electric Bike that I would like some feedback on!

    We are a start up company and we have done great in business along the east coast in beach bike stores and rental shops. We developed an electric Fat Tire All Terrain Bike that is a front wheel drive electric bike that can do 20-25mph without pedaling to a 25-30 range (kind of like a scooter). We haven't made much success outside of the coastal shops. We would like to know based on the picture are there any changes you would make to the bikes or do we just need a different marketing strategy?

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  2. #2
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    Electric Fat Tire Bike good for mountain biking?

    I own a small start up company and we made an electric all terrain Fat Tire Bike, and we've had a lot of success along the beach bike stores and rental shops, but have't had much success in the mountain bike industry. Take a look at the picture of our bike and please give us some feedback and let us know if you think the bike is the problem or our marketing strategy is the problem.

    instagram.jpgCAM00084.jpg

  3. #3
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The added weight of the electric system is probably the issue... the guys who like to roll those fatties in the woods like them to be as light as possible.

    Looks like it would be great for trails, multi use paths, and winter riding but the hard core riders are now rocking fat bikes that can compare to many nice full suspension mountain bikes in the weight department.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterHodges View Post
    I own a small start up company and we made an electric all terrain Fat Tire Bike, and we've had a lot of success along the beach bike stores and rental shops, but have't had much success in the mountain bike industry. Take a look at the picture of our bike and please give us some feedback and let us know if you think the bike is the problem or our marketing strategy is the problem.

    instagram.jpgCAM00084.jpg
    You need to try it in deep mud and on steep dirt hills. The run time under those conditions will be very short. No comparison to pavement.
    Also something heavy without a lot of power can be a complete disaster. Try one on the soft beach sand and see how far you go, and how much work it is to ride it back in the sand when the battery is depleted. (Hint, you can't with only one gear). Even with a motor unless you have a lot of power having one gear to pedal with, will ruin the ride completely. Anyone who has experience with a gasoline engine dirt bike, will probably laugh at the concept of just a few hundred watts. Not trying to be a wise guy, just trying to be accurate. Do some Google searches for electric mountain bikes. It's been done before with enough power, and the resulting short run time. This was a few years ago at least.
    25 horsepower is more reasonable.

    One does market research first, to find a niche or a potential market. Then make a product that will fill that void afrterwards.
    It may be a great bike for short runs on the pavement in places like Florida. If you have some good results at beach bike shops, do a customer survey, or some kind of market research, to fine tune what market is good for you, and wanted by customers. Try and find something customers are missing and go after that. Maybe a good rental bike? Even while doing this keep testing or trying new markets, you will need both.

    Maybe an electric bike with enough power for the sand would be a potential niche for you at the beach shops?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
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    Thank you so much for that feedback!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    The added weight of the electric system is probably the issue... the guys who like to roll those fatties in the woods like them to be as light as possible.

    Looks like it would be great for trails, multi use paths, and winter riding but the hard core riders are now rocking fat bikes that can compare to many nice full suspension mountain bikes in the weight department.

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    Thank you so much for that feedback! I will continue to do further & additional testing on the bike!!! We have done test and have achieved 25-30 in range and in sand we would get about 15-20 mile range. We have not tested in any other surfaces yet. We make then in 3 speed, 8 speed, & 16speed they all have internal gears.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
    You need to try it in deep mud and on steep dirt hills. The run time under those conditions will be very short. No comparison to pavement.
    Also something heavy without a lot of power can be a complete disaster. Try one on the soft beach sand and see how far you go, and how much work it is to ride it back in the sand when the battery is depleted. (Hint, you can't with only one gear). Even with a motor unless you have a lot of power having one gear to pedal with, will ruin the ride completely. Anyone who has experience with a gasoline engine dirt bike, will probably laugh at the concept of just a few hundred watts. Not trying to be a wise guy, just trying to be accurate. Do some Google searches for electric mountain bikes. It's been done before with enough power, and the resulting short run time. This was a few years ago at least.
    25 horsepower is more reasonable.

    One does market research first, to find a niche or a potential market. Then make a product that will fill that void afrterwards.
    It may be a great bike for short runs on the pavement in places like Florida. If you have some good results at beach bike shops, do a customer survey, or some kind of market research, to fine tune what market is good for you, and wanted by customers. Try and find something customers are missing and go after that. Maybe a good rental bike? Even while doing this keep testing or trying new markets, you will need both.

    Maybe an electric bike with enough power for the sand would be a potential niche for you at the beach shops?

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    I think those look like a nice comfortable ride. I have a Townie D7 Fat Franks with Crystalyte DD hub front hub motor, and would think it is a similar ride. I do like having seven gears though. I just think the ebike business is a very tough one, with lots of vendors thinking it "should be" a great success. People that ride normal bikes tend to frown on ebikes naturally, if they are young, and those bicycle riders who need the assist are older and have the time and experience to make their own kit ebikes to save a lot of money over pre-fabbed ebikes. I think the price barrier to pre-fabbed ebikes is significant for the average person - with very particular niches being sought - the lightweight road bike with a small geared motor, or the cargo bike/edgerunner/extracycle type etc. People are not willing to pay more than about a thousand dollars for a bicycle, and so many of the pre-fabbed bikes are relatively lame powerwise, and fail design-wise as regular bikes, and expensive. And it takes a lot research and worry to understand what you are buying and the pitfalls - scepticism about range, battery life, fly-by-night operators, unavailable replacement parts, shoddy third-world parts, risks of online buying/shipping, etc. I've built a lot of ebikes myself for my use, but I can't think of any prefabbed bikes I could have aquired with a similar bang for the buck. And I'm an almost retired science geek. So I think ebikes won't take off until battery technology is a lot better and a lot cheaper. For now, it is a risky business model, unless you just sell parts, like Grin Technology (ebikes.ca). I'm not sure if better marketing will help much. And you will have tons of support headaches as a vendor, with failed batteries used outside their recommended charging pattern, and dead bms'es etc. No easy fixes. Another thing is the sort of buyers of pre-fabbed bikes are often from a non-cycling background - smokers or DUI types or whatever, and don't consider these bikes to be a true hybrid vehicle which includes human effort/pedalling - rather as lame motorcycles or scooters. If that's the comparison ebikes will certainly not compare to a gas-powered scooter. In my case I want to be able to ride the multi-use trails as a bike in a stealth fashion, for ranges up to 100 miles, which involves dual packs, recumbency, fairings and the like. So no easy answers. In a coastal environment (I'm in one) you get a lot of visitors for rentals on a daily basis, and I'm sure many of them would enjoy trying ebikes. That could be a gateway experience for them to get their own bike, or even make their own. But I don't think you would see them buying the bikes without considerable skepticism and a ton of comparison shopping.
    Last edited by chvid; 02-18-14 at 11:49 AM.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for the feed back! I really appreciate it. I understand though. It is a very tough field especially when you go All Terrain with them. We tried our best to give them as much power and range as possible. Our batteries seem to be pretty efficient. We designed them ourselves and they detach from the stand or can even be charged while attached to the bike. I guess the major plus side is we use top quality parts like internal 3 speed, 8, & 16 speed alfine gears. The price will still be a problem, but we will continue to improve the bike and push it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chvid View Post
    I think those look like a nice comfortable ride. I have a Townie D7 Fat Franks with Crystalyte DD hub front hub motor, and would think it is a similar ride. I do like having seven gears though. I just think the ebike business is a very tough one, with lots of vendors thinking it "should be" a great success. People that ride normal bikes tend to frown on ebikes naturally, if they are young, and those bicycle riders who need the assist are older and have the time and experience to make their own kit ebikes to save a lot of money over pre-fabbed ebikes. I think the price barrier to pre-fabbed ebikes is significant for the average person - with very particular niches being sought - the lightweight road bike with a small geared motor, or the cargo bike/edgerunner/extracycle type etc. People are not willing to pay more than about a thousand dollars for a bicycle, and so many of the pre-fabbed bikes are relatively lame powerwise, and fail design-wise as regular bikes, and expensive. And it takes a lot research and worry to understand what you are buying and the pitfalls - scepticism about range, battery life, fly-by-night operators, unavailable replacement parts, shoddy third-world parts, risks of online buying/shipping, etc. I've built a lot of ebikes myself for my use, but I can't think of any prefabbed bikes I could have aquired with a similar bang for the buck. And I'm an almost retired science geek. So I think ebikes won't take off until battery technology is a lot better and a lot cheaper. For now, it is a risky business model, unless you just sell parts, like Grin Technology (ebikes.ca). I'm not sure if better marketing will help much. And you will have tons of support headaches as a vendor, with failed batteries used outside their recommended charging pattern, and dead bms'es etc. No easy fixes. Another thing is the sort of buyers of pre-fabbed bikes are often from a non-cycling background - smokers or DUI types or whatever, and don't consider these bikes to be a true hybrid vehicle which includes human effort/pedalling - rather as lame motorcycles or scooters. If that's the comparison ebikes will certainly not compare to a gas-powered scooter. In my case I want to be able to ride the multi-use trails as a bike in a stealth fashion, for ranges up to 100 miles, which involves dual packs, recumbency, fairings and the like. So no easy answers. In a coastal environment (I'm in one) you get a lot of visitors for rentals on a daily basis, and I'm sure many of them would enjoy trying ebikes. That could be a gateway experience for them to get their own bike, or even make their own. But I don't think you would see them buying the bikes without considerable skepticism and a ton of comparison shopping.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ypedal's Avatar
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    I recently got myslef a Norco BigFoot
    http://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...hp?f=6&t=57232

    Have yet to electrify it, but it's happening, one way or another..

    chvid is absolutely correct in his statement that batteries are the weakest link, everything else is easy in comparison, finding a good battery supply, and charger, that last, regardless of users who do not read the instructions and just ride it until it stops will be the bane of your business...

    I've been involved in this for the last 10 years, learned a lot, the fat bike is not an ideal tire profile for good efficiency, lots of drag and power robbing friction from these big tires.. but they are not meant to be a high speed bike and are very comfortable of a ride for a non-suspension bike.

    good luck with the venture !

  10. #10
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterHodges View Post
    Thank you so much for that feedback! I will continue to do further & additional testing on the bike!!! We have done test and have achieved 25-30 in range and in sand we would get about 15-20 mile range. We have not tested in any other surfaces yet. We make then in 3 speed, 8 speed, & 16speed they all have internal gears.
    That's a lot farther than I thought one would get in sand. Soft sand?

    I have ridden an electric bike on the road, it surprised me how well it did going up hill. I'm only 140 lbs.
    So the bike shop had a 220 lb guy test it on the hills. It did very well. I would not have believed it unless I saw it.
    A video would be a good way to educate riders.

    The 16 speed would be the one to promote to MTB riders. I believe the other post about weight is mostly true also. If you can get through soft sand or mud, I think a video of that would be a good selling tool. I'm not the only forum member that would like to see that. Assuming most dirt riders are thinking like I am, they might believe that soft surfaces would be a problem. If it's not, you need to get the word out.

    Look at some of the MTB videos around that are from a helmet mounted camera, and taken by others. Riding videos I think would be a lot better than an instructional showing the features etc.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  11. #11
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    If you could post a video without actually promoting your business, then I think that would not violate any of the rules here (as I tend to interpret them).

    That being said, one of the reasons why you might have had little success in penetrating the mtb scene is because of the "what if?" scenario: "What if I taco a wheel miles away from the nearest access point?" or "What I'm I supposed to do if this kit craps out mid-ride?". It's bad enough to have hike out with a bike, but one that is carrying that much extra weight due to the kit would be a real PITA.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  12. #12
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Sorry about the hot mess, but since you were looking for product feedback, it was decided to merge the the threads from Mountain Biking and E-Bikes and place the combined thread here in the Feedback forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

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    Thank you for the advice and feedback!!! Yes we have tried to make a battery that would run longer and and push out more power as needed. We have 3 different modes on the bike. We have a light, medium, & heavy mode and it controls the speed and torque. We made it front wheel so you can pedal separately from the motor to increase speed. We have the batteries in stock, but we will have a battery company soon make the battery available for direct purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ypedal View Post
    I recently got myslef a Norco BigFoot
    http://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...hp?f=6&t=57232

    Have yet to electrify it, but it's happening, one way or another..

    chvid is absolutely correct in his statement that batteries are the weakest link, everything else is easy in comparison, finding a good battery supply, and charger, that last, regardless of users who do not read the instructions and just ride it until it stops will be the bane of your business...

    I've been involved in this for the last 10 years, learned a lot, the fat bike is not an ideal tire profile for good efficiency, lots of drag and power robbing friction from these big tires.. but they are not meant to be a high speed bike and are very comfortable of a ride for a non-suspension bike.

    good luck with the venture !

  14. #14
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    You are right!!! We are working on a professional video commercial explaining and displaying the bikes, in the mean time we will go ahead and do a quick little video to see one of our guys on the bike!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
    That's a lot farther than I thought one would get in sand. Soft sand?

    I have ridden an electric bike on the road, it surprised me how well it did going up hill. I'm only 140 lbs.
    So the bike shop had a 220 lb guy test it on the hills. It did very well. I would not have believed it unless I saw it.
    A video would be a good way to educate riders.

    The 16 speed would be the one to promote to MTB riders. I believe the other post about weight is mostly true also. If you can get through soft sand or mud, I think a video of that would be a good selling tool. I'm not the only forum member that would like to see that. Assuming most dirt riders are thinking like I am, they might believe that soft surfaces would be a problem. If it's not, you need to get the word out.

    Look at some of the MTB videos around that are from a helmet mounted camera, and taken by others. Riding videos I think would be a lot better than an instructional showing the features etc.

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    Thank you for the feedback!!! Those are great questions. We will do a small mini video tomorrow to show you a little bit about the bike (ofcourse not actually selling it). We developed and patented new rims that would take about 1lbs out of each wheel and a new tire that takes about a half a pound out of each tire so it wouldn't be so heavy but I think one of the main things will be reducing weight from the electric kit! So we will continue to work on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    If you could post a video without actually promoting your business, then I think that would not violate any of the rules here (as I tend to interpret them).

    That being said, one of the reasons why you might have had little success in penetrating the mtb scene is because of the "what if?" scenario: "What if I taco a wheel miles away from the nearest access point?" or "What I'm I supposed to do if this kit craps out mid-ride?". It's bad enough to have hike out with a bike, but one that is carrying that much extra weight due to the kit would be a real PITA.

  16. #16
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterHodges View Post
    Thank you for the advice and feedback!!! Yes we have tried to make a battery that would run longer and and push out more power as needed. We have 3 different modes on the bike. We have a light, medium, & heavy mode and it controls the speed and torque. We made it front wheel so you can pedal separately from the motor to increase speed. We have the batteries in stock, but we will have a battery company soon make the battery available for direct purchase.
    That sounds exactly like the electrical system on the hybrid I rode on the road. It really impressed me. I think it has a reduction gear inside the hub, to gear it appropriately. That is something many don't know. The gearing is a critical part of the good results. Am I correct, is there a reduction gear in there?
    Also having the motor on the front wheel seems to be easy for service. Keeping the rear wheel just like any other bike, allows for all kinds of drive train options. The bike I rode had a 7 speed rear derailleur.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17
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    We took a video today and will have it ready soon! Here is a little picture from today! Thank you so much for taken interest and giving feedback on our design!

    CAM00088[1].jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
    That sounds exactly like the electrical system on the hybrid I rode on the road. It really impressed me. I think it has a reduction gear inside the hub, to gear it appropriately. That is something many don't know. The gearing is a critical part of the good results. Am I correct, is there a reduction gear in there?
    Also having the motor on the front wheel seems to be easy for service. Keeping the rear wheel just like any other bike, allows for all kinds of drive train options. The bike I rode had a 7 speed rear derailleur.

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