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 BrĂ¼haul 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 BrĂ¼haul 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

FELT BRUHAL EBIKE CARGO BIKE
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?

Thanks!
Matthew



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. 

Joe

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:

http://fortune.com/2015/08/16/sondors-ebike-review/

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.