Do you try to sell a n00b on a bike...

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
On the bike model you ride, or take a moment to steer them towards their “needs” and desires?

I find it far more satisfying to lose a sale but get a rider on the motor that may better fit their wants and desires.

Lousy commissions but better sleep...
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I have never worked in a bike shop but the one's I like to frequent care enough about customers to want to match the right bike to meet the customers stated needs, preferred riding style, and budget. In my job as a librarian we apply Ranganathan's 5 laws of library science, the first three are: 1. Books are for use. 2. Every person his or her book. 3. Every book its reader. Turned into a bike shop context these become: 1. Bikes are for riding. 2. Every person his or her bike. 3. Every bike its rider. Cycling is so very tribal, I don't patronize bike shops that ignore potential customers, but recognize this has as much to do with what the local market will support, and business decisions, as with personal prejudice. I liked listening to Arleigh Greenwald's podcast where she has talked about cycling culture, working in a bike shop, and the bicycle industry.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
I have never worked in a bike shop but the one's I like to frequent care enough about customers to want to match the right bike to meet the customers stated needs, preferred riding style, and budget. In my job as a librarian we apply Ranganathan's 5 laws of library science, the first three are: 1. Books are for use. 2. Every person his or her book. 3. Every book its reader. Turned into a bike shop context these become: 1. Bikes are for riding. 2. Every person his or her bike. 3. Every bike its rider. Cycling is so very tribal, I don't patronize bike shops that ignore potential customers, but recognize this has as much to do with what the local market will support, and business decisions, as with personal prejudice. I liked listening to Arleigh Greenwald's podcast where she has talked about cycling culture, working in a bike shop, and the bicycle industry.
Very good then. I have never worked in a bike shop or a library but I have a friend who sells cars. His creedo is somewhat different and quite simple : "There is an ass for every saddle" (-:
 

mitchhackleman

Administrator
Staff member
On the bike model you ride, or take a moment to steer them towards their “needs” and desires?

I find it far more satisfying to lose a sale but get a rider on the motor that may better fit their wants and desires.

Lousy commissions but better sleep...
Thomas,

I think that choosing better sleep over money is probably the way to go.
Please see this article about the hazards of not getting enough sleep :p

 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
On the bike model you ride, or take a moment to steer them towards their “needs” and desires?

I find it far more satisfying to lose a sale but get a rider on the motor that may better fit their wants and desires.

Lousy commissions but better sleep...
I admire that stance. I haven't tried to sell the brands or models I own. And I've loved my ebikes. I'll answer direct questions about the brand. I also don't want the responsibility of directing someone to the wrong bike. So many great bikes on the market these days. There's a saddle for every butt. The problem with so much variety, it can be tough finding the right fit. Especially for the person completely new to cycling.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Although I spent a great deal of time researching ebikes before buying, it's only natural that I know more about the one I ride. When questioned, I try to give a fair representation of what I've learned about ebikes in general but it's hard not to be somewhat biased by the one I own.
 

Browneye

Active Member
IMO budget has a big play - why show a prospect a $6K bike when his budget is half or less?
What is their use? Is it for fun? Or are they replacing other transportation mode? Commuting? On or off road use?

Sometimes people will up their budget with some education - and that really is what a sales job is - to educate the customer. Trying to give them 'what they want' isn't always the best approach because generally they really don't know what they want. If they do, then by all means. The ebike isn't a 'mature product' sold on price - everything has a product life cycle, and in the beginning it is about educating the consumer of the features and benefits. Then the customer adjusts his budget to align with what he wants based on enlightenment. Later on in that lifecycle they already know what the product is, what it does, and they just want it, so it's a matter of choices and expediency. Then at the end of a product life cycle it's about blowing them out at a discount.

Remember the VCR? Typical example - in the beginning no one knew why they wanted one. Later they got more fancy and capable, the price came down, in the end they were worth nothing, replaced by other formats and digital.

I still think the sub-$2000 price point is where the most buyers will select themselves. Sure, many can and will spend more, but compared to a pedal bike an ebike is obviously considerably more expensive. At first I wasn't prepared for just how much that was, now I'm seeing the light!
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I still think the sub-$2000 price point is where the most buyers will select themselves.
Which as a pedal bike for an avid user was a good price point. A really nice well equipped motionless bike is around $1000. Americans are typically incredibly ignorant about bike costs and what those prices bring to the table. I remember everyone I knew going NUTS over me spending $450-$500 ($3100 adjusted for inflation) in 1971-1974 on VentNoir, Paramount, and Raleigh, Reynolds 531 frames and Campagnola running gear. I could easily ride home from work and reach 30 plus MPH. And have the scars and war stories to match the madness of being a young strong rider.
 

Browneye

Active Member
I dunno Thomas, you can get a LOT of bike for well under a grand. Sure there's plenty of junk from China for really cheap, but take the Trek FX series as an example - really nicely equipped, super light, state of the art, $500 to $700, they've been around for a LONG time. Sure, they're not high-end, nor really fancy, but for most people more than adequate, and surely much nicer than anything you would find at Walmart, or Amazon. For specialty and enthusiast bikes then sure, all bets are off - the sky's the limit. Around here, the beach strand is rife with cruisers - very basic, heavy, single speed, two to four hundred dollar bikes. Bazillions of them. Show these riders a $2500 ebike and their brain goes poof!! 🤣

I've never commuted on a bicycle, they were always just recreation. At one time I had 6 motorcycles and 5 cars - bikes hung around for a casual loop around town for something fun to do.

And that's why I think each ebike buyer has a different set of criteria for what fits. I don't have stats, but my guess is the volume sales are in and around that couple-of-grand figure. All of the shops are really crying the blues about the china-import direct sellers - they're killing the market and turning people off to the concept when they have so many problems it's not worth it, or the seller is here today and gone tomorrow.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I'm afraid I have to continue to disagree. Sub $2000 will not get a GREAT eBike. I can easily spend that on a decent kitted bike.Once decent lighting and accoutrements are added...UP goes the cost. I used to giggle when I sold parts for those $800-$900 Sondors bikes. Every serious user spent at LEAST another $500 to still have a mediocre bike.
 

Browneye

Active Member
Yes, we disagree. Dig up some stats to support your claim. Maybe that will sway us. 👍

Perhaps this report can shed some light: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/e-bike-market

I've inquired with them if they have any price-point matrix - percentage of unit sales by price point. Will post on reply.

Your over-$2000 price average may well be true as the top companies in the segment are Giant, Yamaha, Trek and M1 Sporttechnik (never head of this last one). All of their bikes are in the mid-to high two-thousand range and up. But they only hold about 6% of marketshare, so the lesser known brands are still carrying the majority of the market.

It could well be different here in the US as compared to Asia-Pacific or European market. The fastest growing region is Asia-Pacific.

Growth from $14M last year to $18m by 2024. If you can get in on the right channel here there has to be some very good profit potential globally, and certainly US-based as well.

In any case, I doubt it's going to come anywhere close to the growth and profits in cannabis industry. 🤣

EDIT: There are a few substantial marketing analysis reports for the industry, but they want to SELL their data - none of them willing to give a price-point synopsis. [shrug]

From above-referenced report:
Key Market Trends
Pedelec Dominated the Global Market and Expected to Witness Fast Growth Rate

The global pedal-assisted or pedelec market is expected to reach USD 18,655.90 million by 2024, and is expected to witness the fastest growth rate.

An e-bike works much like a traditional bicycle, with pedals that the rider has to manually operate to turn the wheels. However, additional power is supplied by a battery-powered motor that mounts on the front or back wheel, depending on the type of bike.

Pedelec, an acronym for a pedal-assisted electric cycle, is an electric motor-supported bicycle. The chargeable battery-supported electric motor is intended to aid in pedaling.

Some of the benefits offered by these bikes are as follows – ease of travelling (especially long distances); best suitable for recreational activities, such as hill climbing; ease of carrying heavy loads; ensure fitness of the consumers (owing to growing health concerns among baby boomers and consumers (especially professionals)); and save money.

Moreover, the demand for e-bikes is also increasing among youth, as their lifestyle is gradually shifting toward adventure sports, such as cycling up hills. Moreover, with shifting battery manufacturing base to the emerging markets, such as China, the battery prices have declined significantly, over the past few years, thereby, resulting in reduced cost of the e-bikes and pedelecs.

Furthermore, with the consistent technological advancements, the pedelecs manufacturers are focusing on enhancing the overall user interface, by designing and developing pedelecs that can integrate with the rider’s smartphones, and provide them real-time information of their speed and battery status of the pedelecs.
 
Last edited:

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
no Interest in swaying anyone’s opinion. Just my experience in building and reviewing a dozen motors, controllers, batteries, and components. A cursory review of add on components to those sub $2000 builds quickly raises the bottom line. I converted 7 of my own $500-$600 bikes. Using better quality components quickly jumps the price into the $2500 range. Add up all the improvements to your kitted bike. What’s your actual bottom line? How many hours invested in the build?

Now there a creative builders like Indiana joe, and others that have great rides on a budget but how many have the skills, or drive to create those builds? If I forgo a suspension seat post, a comfort saddle, brakes that actually perform at class 3 speeds, add effective lighting designed for safe riding, and basis upgrades, again the price jumps. If a rider is someone that JRA resently pointed out and seldom rides more than 10 miles a day or strictly as weekend joy rider, all those improvements may be moot. But if I’m a daily year round rider and commuter/shopper replacing a cage the story and costs grow.

All good, you point well taken, but I think it doesn’t cover anything more than joy riders, not those dependent on an eBike as an alternative to a cage. But freely admit my values and views have evolved. Let’s revisit this in a year or after you’ve done 5000-10000 miles.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Thomas, after building a couple myself, and customizing a 3rd off the shelf bike after getting into it a bit, for many people (maybe half or more?), I think it's going to be really tough to beat some of the 1500-2000. bikes that are available with a custom built bike. Even if they aren't the latest word in quality or technology, many riders will find them more than adequate for their mission.

Your last comment above, regarding 5-10k miles, is telling regarding the market you are considering. When looking at all the bikes being sold, I think there is going to be just a small fraction that are going to be riding that kind of distance in a year. As a recreational rider that gets out several times a week myself, I doubt seriously I will see a 2500 mile year!

That's not to say somebody approaching you with the idea that this new ride will be a significant factor in their transportation needs, and asking for ideas on how that might be best accomplished, shouldn't have some of the finer details laid out for them. That can lead to a LOT of information to somebody just coming up to speed!

What you need to be careful about is TMI (too much information). All the additional info an enthusiast is hungry for can lead to information overload (and frustration) on the part of others!

At what point do you bring up the motor choice call that needs to be made? That's a good question. Unfortunately, I think any answer that worth a darn is going to overwhelm many buyers. It might be better to suggest one after digging in to how the new rider is going to be riding. Then maybe you can work around that idea with the options to keep the conversation relevant?

My thought anyway, FWIW. -Al
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
no Interest in swaying anyone’s opinion. Just my experience in building and reviewing a dozen motors, controllers, batteries, and components. A cursory review of add on components to those sub $2000 builds quickly raises the bottom line. I converted 7 of my own $500-$600 bikes. Using better quality components quickly jumps the price into the $2500 range. Add up all the improvements to your kitted bike. What’s your actual bottom line? How many hours invested in the build?

Now there a creative builders like Indiana joe, and others that have great rides on a budget but how many have the skills, or drive to create those builds? If I forgo a suspension seat post, a comfort saddle, brakes that actually perform at class 3 speeds, add effective lighting designed for safe riding, and basis upgrades, again the price jumps. If a rider is someone that JRA resently pointed out and seldom rides more than 10 miles a day or strictly as weekend joy rider, all those improvements may be moot. But if I’m a daily year round rider and commuter/shopper replacing a cage the story and costs grow.

All good, you point well taken, but I think it doesn’t cover anything more than joy riders, not those dependent on an eBike as an alternative to a cage. But freely admit my values and views have evolved. Let’s revisit this in a year or after you’ve done 5000-10000 miles.
I would add that the amount of cycling done is directly proportional to the pleasure of the experience. That is the reason my wife has a Yunbike C1 that has only 600 km on it after 3 years and a Trek Powerfly that has 6000 km after 18 months.
 
Last edited:

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
As a side comment. I’m always amazed by the zero to expert in a single build/purchase posts. Everyday without question, I learn another lesson. Funny to me that so many have the answer when I still often struggle sorting the right question. For me, my opinions and knowledge are constantly evolving.
 

Browneye

Active Member
As a side comment. I’m always amazed by the zero to expert in a single build/purchase posts. Everyday without question, I learn another lesson. Funny to me that so many have the answer when I still often struggle sorting the right question. For me, my opinions and knowledge are constantly evolving.
I know you don’t like me to post, oh well.
Yep, only riding for fifty years, built one and bought one, and tried out a couple dozen different ones. Just a few hundred miles now. I’ll never catch up with you - the jedi-master!

The real problem though is that if I had listened to you I never would have done either bike. So much negativity. Maybe its analysis-paralysis.

Surely you have lots of experience with your bikes and builds, just not sure why the negativity.

The forum has a block feature, consider using it.
 

FlatSix911

Active Member
Yes, we disagree. Dig up some stats to support your claim. Maybe that will sway us. 👍

Perhaps this report can shed some light: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/e-bike-market

I've inquired with them if they have any price-point matrix - percentage of unit sales by price point. Will post on reply.

Your over-$2000 price average may well be true as the top companies in the segment are Giant, Yamaha, Trek and M1 Sporttechnik (never head of this last one). All of their bikes are in the mid-to high two-thousand range and up. But they only hold about 6% of marketshare, so the lesser known brands are still carrying the majority of the market.

It could well be different here in the US as compared to Asia-Pacific or European market. The fastest growing region is Asia-Pacific.

Growth from $14M last year to $18m by 2024. If you can get in on the right channel here there has to be some very good profit potential globally, and certainly US-based as well.

In any case, I doubt it's going to come anywhere close to the growth and profits in cannabis industry. 🤣

EDIT: There are a few substantial marketing analysis reports for the industry, but they want to SELL their data - none of them willing to give a price-point synopsis. [shrug]

From above-referenced report:
Thanks for sharing the report... some interesting data and graphics on the growth rate of the eBike global market.

1573443013258.png

1573443038412.png

1573443285497.png
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I know you don’t like me to post, oh well.
Yep, only riding for fifty years, built one and bought one, and tried out a couple dozen different ones. Just a few hundred miles now. I’ll never catch up with you - the jedi-master!

The real problem though is that if I had listened to you I never would have done either bike. So much negativity. Maybe its analysis-paralysis.

Surely you have lots of experience with your bikes and builds, just not sure why the negativity.

The forum has a block feature, consider using it.
if I have a direct criticism I’ll be certain to respond directly. Until such time please assume my comments are a generalization.