Thursday, October 1, 2015

Some Great Commuter Ebikes Under $3000

For most people, the idea of spending $3,000 or $2,000 or even $1,000 for a bicycle is little more than an impossibility. But, if you've put yourself in the market for an electric bike, you know that anything under $1000 is not worth your time and that all the highest quality bikes start at around $4,000. 

But this does not mean you have to settle for POS ebike that you can't ride around with a sound mind on, knowing it won't break down on you and knowing you can you can expect lots of miles on it in the future. 

Some shops will flat out tell you that you need to buy the "highest quality" or most "high end" bike you can get or not buy anything at all. We disagree and we're not bike snobs and that's one of the many reasons customers come to our store vs other stores around the Bay Area- we offer a wide selection of bikes in various price points and quality ranges all over the spectrum. 

For new riders of an electric bike, a price point ebike may be the right bike to get to start with. Also, if the bike is going to be ridden and parked in a high-theft area, you'd only be doing the thief a great favor by parking your "high quality" bike on the street only for it to get stolen. 

We think, a price-point bike can be some thing worth your money and time if you just don't need a high performance ebike to do the job. For this, there's a long list of price oriented ebikes that pack a lot of punch. Here's some of our favorites:

A2B KUO+ Electric Folding Bike - this little folding ebike packs a lot of punch for just $1699.00. A true Swiss Army knife of the ebike world. It folds. It climbs. It goes. It saves you time and money. 

A2B Ferber Ebike - this standard town commuter is priced at $2299, features a 350W motor and scoots around town or paths reliably and efficiently. 

iZIP PEAK - The latest iZIP Peak is a competent on and off road ebike with a mid-drive motor and a long lasting LI battery for just $3,000.

iZIP ZUMA - Rear hub motor and cruiser comfort for just $2550. 500Watts of power with both a throttle and pedal assist mode. 

BLIX KOMFORT - this 3 speed town cruiser is designed in Sweden and looks sweet. It's priced great too at $1990. 

Magnum Ui5 - a step thru model bike with big battery and lots of features for just $1800. 

These are just some of price point ebikes we sell here at Motostrano. Our stores are stocked to the ceiling with the largest variety of ebikes in California. Come see for your self. 

Motostrano DEMO Event October 10, Saturday

One of the best ways to do this is to get out and ride a bike and Saturday October 10, we're having another EBIKE demo featuring some of the best e-bikes in the business. This is where you get to explore the bikes up close and get them on the trail and get them dirty. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face while you learn about ebikes, talk to other riders and vendors.
WHEN: Saturday October 10 from 10AM to 5PM
WHERE: 926 Broadway St, Redwood City, CA 9406
Ample parking around our store

ALERT: Haibike, Felt, A2B have kicked in give-away items like t-shirts and hats for all who attend. 

24 Hour Fitness is also giving away one 30 day free membership to one lucky attendee.
What's it like to ride a real mountain bike with a low center of gravity electric motor mounted to the crank with a long range battery system mounted to the battery? It's causing a revolution in e-biking and it just might cause you to trade in your dirt bike. 

Climb any hill with ease, silently. Enjoy a battery assisted range up to 90 miles. 

Ride with pedal assist up any hill and still get a great work-out!


We currently offer performance mountain e-bikes from the following brands: FELT, HaibikeLapierre, KTM, iZIP and more brands are on the way. These are real mountain bikes that any pro-level MTB rider will feel right at home on. 

It will change the way you ride and view mountain biking. 

Speaking of BOSCH, they are interested in your opinion and have a survey going on currently and any one who completes the survey is eligible to win a new ebike! CLICK here for more information and enter to win!

If you like riding in groups and don't have friends with an e-bike, check into one of our group rides coming up over at Rides of all types and for all rider skills! Rides are set for places like Tahoe, Pacifica and Big Sur!

RSVP to the EBIKE DEMO so we know you're coming! Just reply to this email with questions or call us at 650-918-6259

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Arrives - It's ELECTRIC!

If you've been holding out for the perfect electric cargo bike to come served up to your door on a platter of wonderful perfection- the Felt Brühaul electric cargo bike has been served.

Arriving to our stores in Redwood City and San Francisco THIS WEEK (we found out all by oursleves), the Felt Brühaul is what we'll be dropping the kids off at school with this semester, complete with our rad-dad eco friendly can't-stand traffic jams attitude. Fresh from a morning run with the whole family, we'll blow a kiss to our techno-wife and pick up our happy-go-lucky kids from the front porch and they will climb aboard the big bronze bullet with B52s Love Shack playing out of the iPHONE speaker amp and the kids will hop on all care-free and blow bubbles all through the neighborhood to their totally rad COOP alternative brainiac school on this ever so sleek eco-alternative traffic-cruncher. Once there, we'll sit in with our kids in class for a few minutes, maybe install a new driver on the clunky old desktop computers there and then play some hoops with the janitor. Then it's back on the Bruhaul (which by now has attracted a crowd other parents from the neighborhood all wondering where they can get one) for some early morning grocery shopping to stock up for the weekend: wholesome stuff, non-GMO, farm fresh, gluten free, paleo diet, local grown, fresh squeezed, craft....will all fit perfectly on to the back of the Felt Bruhaul and we know it because we've done it. 

Bypass all that angst-ridden morning drop-off get-to-work commute traffic with this high quality, high performance electric e-cargo bike and enjoy life a little more, a little better and a litter faster.

Commute in your flip-flops. 

Powered by the latest and greated BOSCH system to the US soil, you know it will always start up when you need it to and never let you down when you don't need it to. Climb up any hill. Carry any load. Don't look like a dweeb doing it. 

Beautiful to ride and wonderful to behold. Visit our San Francisco and Redwood City locations to enjoy this bike and integrate it into your lifestyle today. 

This bike is available in our store only and may not be shipped.

Felt Bruhaul

We're huge fans of electric cargo bikes. They extend the usefulness of the bike, while replicating and improving on much of the effectiveness of the car. A cargo bike can change your life in a great way. Try one. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

About the 2016 BOSCH Ebike Haibike, Felt, Lapierre and BH Systems Coming to the United States

As we get closer to 2016, we are receiving lots of inquiries about the 2016 models of Haibike, Felt and other brands featuring the award-winning BOSCH ebike drive systems

Here's a catch all reply to whether we will be receiving the new 500Wh batter, the new NYON display and the new CX motor. 

On Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 7:33 AM, Matt <matt@POTENTIALEBIKER. us> wrote:
Will you guys be getting the 2016 models of the haibike xduro trekking pro? Bosch Nyon computer, and 500 wh battery?  I am looking to buy 2 of them, hopefully at the beginning of next year for a long distance bike ride but would like to get the 2016 model.  Do you have any information on them and their availability in the us and what has been updated since the 2015 model?


Hi Matt

Thanks for your note. We are asked this question daily now as we approach 2016 and consumers are reading about the European spec 2016 BOSCH systems, all of which I have just had the pleasure of seeing at the recent EUROBIKE event in Germany where I spent time with Haibike owners and BOSCH senior staff. 

Yes- we will absolutely be getting the 2016 Trekking models but BOSCH is not bringing or supporting the 500wh hour battery, Nyon or CX version of their motor in the United States. 

The new Haibikes will all feature the same BOSCH drive technology as 2015 with some software updates and some minor tweeks. These will be shipping in 2016. HAIBIKE does not operate like an American company and 2016 models won't be in the USA until January. 

The 500WH battery hasn't yet passed US points for regulating and approving so it won't be here yet. The Nyon is also not ready for the US market and the CX either. The CX motor WILL come to the US later in the year 2015 on some model of KTM, Cube, Scott and Moustache - but there's no confirmed date on when that will take place. 

The CX motor is rumored to be smaller than the Performance system. It's not. It's tucked into the frame higher, it's black and doesn't have a the standard casing so it looks smaller. 

The Nyon system isn't something to be sorely missed at the moment. Your cell phone has better GPS and networking abilities and takes calls and plays music and apps and you'll take it with you anywhere you ride your bike, so the current display is simple, bullet proof and works great. 

So what this means to you and your trip is: Don't Wait. The Trekking to get is the 2015 model and the 2016 US spec models will be the same. 

All of the stuff you are reading about what BOSCH is doing for 2016 applies only to BOSCH Europe. BOSCH is a huge company and launches all their stuff first in Europe and then migrates it and homologates it to other markets later. 

Could you buy a European spec BOSCH system and ride it around here? Sure. But you'd pay to get it here and Lithium batteries can only travel by boat and then when you got it here no warranty would apply in the US and you would not get any software updates for your system here either. All of that would have to be done in Europe. 

So- I have just sold 3 Trekking e-bikes to folks asking similar questions as yours this week. 

Give me a call to get your order started. 

We are doing a special free shipping promo on all Haibike, Lapierre and BH EasyMotion systems and can ship your bike out next week. 


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Uh-Oh A Broken Sonders

A couple months ago, the "ebike every one is talking about" shipped out to would-be owners following its much ballyhoo'd Indiegogo launch. A few days later we started to get Sonders bikes in our store for assembly and so we got to know the bike first hand and then we made a video about it. The video showed the Sonders bike and a more expensive bike and basically said that the more expensive bike was a better investment and that the Sonders bike should cost more but it relied on the hype of its Indiegogo campaign to keep the cost down to nearly zero and therefore come to market without all the added baggage that a more expensive bike might have (customer service, distribution, quality, professional service assembly, post-sale support). Sonders consumers hated the video and trashed us on forums and in the video's comments, as if we had spat on their deity. It was so bad and so constant, we had to turn off the comments.

The Sonders ebike launched with a fancy claim of basically being "FREE", or next to it, and it quickly became one of the most popular Indiegogo campaigns ever. "FREE" is always popular, as is next to free and the Sonders prices out as basically free, or, if you will, a nearly no-risk purchase for any one thinking about getting an e-bike. Because, you see, a real e-bike costs real money. The Sonders just isn't real and that makes it popular.

The best thing about the Sonders e-bike was that all of a sudden, people who thought they never could afford an e-bike - because they knew a real e-bike costs real money, that they didn't have ($2,000, etc.) - could now conceivably afford one. And, even those who could afford one but just couldn't justify spending $2,000 on a real e-bike, could justify blowing $500 on something that, even if it didn't work, would be like purchasing a collectors piece, like the first ipad, or Google Glass. The Sonders bike is more about a movement, not a an e-bike. After all, e-bikes are the "latest craze" on the Internet, according to authorities like Yahoo and some blogs.

Most of the people we met - 7 in total - who plunked down their hard earned credits on this bike seemed to be out of shape tech men who didn't want to buy a bike, didn't want to buy an e-bike and didn't want to go into a store and talk about bikes or ebikes. Buying an ebike for this tech crowd, who haven't been on an bicycle since they were a kid, was quite possibly an embarrassing concept. MOre embarrassing than the risk of wasting $500 in cool and much talked about Indiegogo campaign. When you contribute to an Indiegogo campaign after all, you're not just a customer, you're an investor. (ensuring that you would be waiving all general rights or expectations as customer / consumer)

A Fortune Magazine writer even bought one! Read about it here:

My response to this article is here:

Rick- Hopefully your bike is still working after your two weeks... The ones we have coming into our store for repair aren't and it's hard to get tech support from a company with no phone number posted on their web site. Perhaps there is a post-sale support package they offer.. Customer service comes at a cost, as does quality, distribution network, etc. and you wouldn't be writing about this bike had you paid $1500 or $2000 for it, which is what it would cost had it not relied on Indiegogo internet hype for it's marketing and distribution. Let's hear about a long term review in a year. It only cost $500 so we shouldn't expect it to last much longer than a few weeks, right? E-bikes are not a new thing. Neither are poor quality e-bikes. The reality is that they are more expensive than most people can afford or would care to spend, which made this bike seem like a great deal and why you thought you could blow $500 on a potentially useless investment and it made for some great content in your tech article any way. Like many, you bought not a bike but the hype surrounding it and hype is priceless right?

Of course, being a writer for Fortune magazine, Rick more than likely got to expense his Sonders purchase as a business expense, so his stake in the game is even more than nearly free - it IS free. One can only imagine how much Federal Tax revenue was lost out to this program....

So, now months later after the ebikes' launch, we have our first broken Sonders in the store....

As an e-bike store, we often speak with customers who own low-grade e-bikes bought on the internet that do not have any type of support infrastructure ( customer service, spare parts, local national contact office) attached to it. They are typically throw away e-bikes and every one knows this. We have been selling and servicing e-bikes for years and so we get everything from the Lee Iacocca ebikes, to odd Chinese e-scooters with pedals bolted on them to make them look like e-bikes, to full blown kit contraptions on crappy beach cruisers owned by grumpy old men living the DUI dream of a car-less lifestyle.

When these crappy throw away bikes have a problem, there is no one to phone, because there's no company behind the brand. When there's no company behind the brand, there's no parts to be had. Their owners are left to "the internet". When there's no parts to be had, there's no bike to be fixed and so there's no bike to be ridden.

In those cases we and the owner shrug our shoulders. It's a $500 product. To try to even diagnose the problem will take time and that comes at a cost. To then source or fix parts comes at a cost. The cost of the service far out weighs the cost of the parts that the bike needs, but since you can't get them because their no entity behind the product, there's no sense in trying to fix the bike.

The owner of this ebike has had it all of a week. He's able to communicate with the entity behind the company by email only. They have sent him a spare part to attempt to fix it. The part did not fix it. He now has brought it to us to try to fix it further and the costs associated with trying to fix it quickly outweigh the low initial cost that was put out in the original online purchase. At $500, it's like trying to fix a hair dryer. Who does that?

The owner of this bike "had been thinking about getting an ebike, read the stuff about Sonders online, read the hype about it and without much thought, put down his credit card". He's said he may get another one some day. Who knows. After the first experience costing him time and money he may just go back to driving a car or riding a regular bike.

He's not able to bring the bike back to the shop who sold it to him and tell them he wants his money back. He's not able to bring it to a shop who has access to parts, to tech support, to experience, or to a new bike.

Our basic position on this hype e-bike remains the same - it has achieved its low price through a combination of low quality parts and design and a distribution strategy based on internet hype, lacking any of the expensive infrastructure needed to bring a quality product to market.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ebikes that Go Beep, Whir and Buzz

Modes of Transportation

Bikes that go Beep, Whir and Buzz

Perhaps you've seen the funny Tesla video of the mechanic taking the Tesla out for a little "joy demo ride" after servicing the car. The old-school mechanic's never played with an electric car before and he exclaims that "it's like a freaking computer". It's transportation 2.0 and it's very much like a computer. The same paradigm shifts are happening in the bike world. The bikes we sell in our store and online have buttons the go beep, that make buzzing sounds and that propel you up hills with ease instead of with a grimace. They are bikes that delete the sweat from your arm pits and upgrade you to super-human climber status - able to climb hills as if you were going down them. We turn them on and we download software that is then uploaded to the on-board computer, to the controller, to the motor.

One of the great examples of this is the new Yuba Spicy Curry electric cargo bike. it's an electric cargo bike- a bike you can put stuff or people on and carry them around. This one has a motor in connected at the crank. It efficiently interacts with your own pedal strokes to double or triple your power output and lets you ride with cargo quicker and further.

We're offering demo rides on this amazing mode of transportation in our stores in Redwood City or San Francisco.

In the next few months a whole collection of ebikes are coming down the pipe that will feature electronic shifting as well as electronic power management. You'll just get on and pedal. The bike will do the rest. You still pedal. You still get your heart pumping, but you do it without the pain.

We have 2 stores presently that offer sales, service and test rides for ebikes. Redwood City and San Francisco locations are stocked with the best ebikes in the world. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Haibike Electric Bikes - E-bikes From Germany

Haibike e-bikes have taken over the the US, creating an all-new category for electric bikes - electric mountain biking. Given that over 99% of the earth is UNPAVED, we like the idea of great e-bikes to explore and ride that unpaved earth.

Haibike e-bikes have been dominant in Europe for years. Based on the BOSCH e-bike system, Haibike electric bikes are equipped with a mid-drive motor system that is ultra efficient and ultra light.

But it's not enough to slap a motor on a mediocre mountain bike and to make something that really stands out. Haibike has been doing what few other e-bike companies dared to do- make a purpose built range of high end race-spec e-bikes that a pro mountain biker would look at and say -yes, that's a real mountain bike.

Naturally, an electric mountain bike is heavier than a non electric. But the key to building the perfect electric mountain bike is to make the lightest most reliable e-mountain bike you can with the weight that is required for motor and battery that will also stand the test of durability under the harsh conditions that are natural in mountain biking. On top of that, the bike needs to handle well and ride comfortably.

Haibike did all that, splendidly and with a full array of bikes starting from basic to full blown.

Motostrano's back ground in moto led us straight to the Haibike brand as a natural. Born in Europe, Haibike fits perfectly into our niche of European focused parts and accessories.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Motostrano's E-BIKE DEMO DAYS in Redwood City - Check it out.

We're starting off 2015 with a jolt, kicking off the first DEMO day of the year Saturday January 24. 

Come to our EBIKE demo event to explore and test a wide variety of electric bicycles in a relaxed and informative environment where you can try and view e-bikes from brands such as Felt, Haibike, A2B, Vanmoof, BH EasyMotion, BESV, OHM Cycles, BIONX, M1 SPORT TECHNIK, BENELLI, KTM Industries and iZIP all day. 

UPDATE: Just in time for our e-bike demo, Lapierre electric bicycles will be unveiled at our e-bike demo! Lapierre comes to the US with a great line of off-road BOSCH powered e-bikes. 

Talk with manufacturer reps, talk with us and talk with other e-bike riders just like you who want to try and maybe buy an e-bike some day. Enjoy some fresh brewed coffee and treats too. 

Whether you are a new rider or returning to the sport and have been looking at getting an e-bike, or you’re looking for a great deal, this is the event for you.

Take the time you need to try different bikes, speak with manufacturer reps from multiple brands and test the bikes out in their natural environments. Plus we’ll have special purchasing incentives running this day as well.

All day long we’ll be doing demo test rides from our store in Redwood City, plus we’ll have 2 longer demo excursions set-up for riders who want to see what the bikes can do in their intended elements.

For the touring and road bikes we’ll be doing a morning ride up to Huddart park and back to ride through some steeper hills and beautiful countryside.

For the off-road and trail riders, we’ll be doing an afternoon ride to a nearby trail park with hills and single track trails.

Both of the rides will be leisure easy rides designed to let you see how easy and fun it is to ride an e-bike.

E-bikes are changing the way people get around and Motostrano has the largest inventory of e-bikes in the Bay Area. Come visit us, talk and explore with us and other e-bike riders all day long and see what it’s all about.