Failed CF Campaigns & Cheap Batteries

George S.

Well-Known Member
Can Anyone Make CF Work?

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lazer-edge-series-ebike-starting-at-499#/

The Lazer Edge is back. What, you didn’t know it was gone?

Back on 1 March Ron Adamowicz posted a link to a bike called the Lazer Edge. It was basically an IGG campaign for a nice fat bike. Problem is that selling e bikes on IGG is kind of a Sondors exclusive anymore. A lot of campaigns have gotten no attention, and no sales. The Lazer Edge was withdrawn, something I noticed on 12 March. Then RA posted something about a battery contest, and there was a link to his battery business, which is very ambitious.

So here’s a guy out to make a mark in e bikes facing the obvious problem. Apathy. No one knows about e bikes. The CF campaigns are floundering. I personally like the battery business, which is what Luna and EM3ev do. But another competitor is healthy.

The IGG campaign seems to be offering a 36v battery, by itself, for a very decent price (not sure about the shipping). It seems to be available in every configuration, like Shark or triangle packs. Anyway, for $239 it’s a grabber price.

It’s a nice bike, looking at the website and specs.The Sondors bike is low power and has a small battery. I don’t see why it is so popular, based on those specs. It’s a great starter bike, to see if you like the idea, but it isn’t a great bike except when you say ‘for the money’. Sondors has momentum and Sondors has a brand.

But, good luck to the Lazer Edge and the battery business. Somebody has to make a CF campaign work, I guess. Batteries are the key component in e bikes. I know I can buy a decent motor for $300 and have it here in a week. I know for $600 I can have a motor that stretches the meaning of ‘ebike’. So that’s done, to me. Getting basic batteries with good cells, built right, has been harder. I’d like to see a situation where you could just buy a 12AH and 36v battery for $300 or less. It just wouldn’t be an issue. And you'd have a cost structure where a motor and a battery would make a nice ebike for a good price. Just add a bike.

There's a listing on Kickstarter, same last name:

https://www.kickstarter.com/project...e-series-ebike-starting-at-695?ref=nav_search

Very low goal, so likely to fund under KS rules.
 
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MLB

Well-Known Member
I think Sondors exploits got so much attention, good and bad.
And anyone that paid attention has to have seen the outrage that this guy got millions of dollars to order bikes from China like every other seller that puts up their OWN money.....
There was zero reason for his bike to be crowd sourced and I think that's been readily shown.


They start with an artificially low price that nobody can really make money on, jack the price over the course of actual development (ordering and waiting for shipment from China can take close to a year with customs) and then "hope" to have sold enough to make a name (good luck) and have a real biz (like most start) AFTER that, selling at "real" prices ($1500) and offering pretty much the same as every other E bike Chinese clone................

After you've seen that 8 or 10 times, it's pretty hard to be naïve any more. ;)
 
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George S.

Well-Known Member
You made the same point yesterday about the Flux. People use CF because they don’t need capital. They get the money, upfront. There’s no inventory. How can you say it doesn’t work? If you can get the money from a CF campaign, and it’s getting harder, it’s a great model. Sondors is now doing a ‘pre-order’ campaign, no crowdfunder to take a cut. Sondors was in China, sealing boxes and putting them in containers. A lot of these guys are hands on in China.

I’m not sure it’s such a great idea to have 100 bikes in a warehouse somewhere, and another 100 floored at ebike shops. That adds a lot of costs. Sondors have any salespeople? Nope. No real estate under lease.

Yeah, he’s totally stupid and he’s only sold $2.5 million in bikes over the past few months. Idiot! But I am saying a lot of recent campaigns have been total busts. Just no real takers. Maybe the Flux shows what you need. No way Flux was going to do a production run of 200 bikes and sell them into shops or on Amazon. Their model looks just about perfect, to me.

Maybe it’s just a low cost structure with a low capital requirement. The CF stuff is not going away. Sondors was aiming for the low end, virtually made the low end of e bikes. Now bikes are showing up aimed right at stuff like Haibikes.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
You made the same point yesterday about the Flux. People use CF because they don’t need capital. They get the money, upfront. There’s no inventory. How can you say it doesn’t work? If you can get the money from a CF campaign, and it’s getting harder, it’s a great model. Sondors is now doing a ‘pre-order’ campaign, no crowdfunder to take a cut. Sondors was in China, sealing boxes and putting them in containers. A lot of these guys are hands on in China.

I’m not sure it’s such a great idea to have 100 bikes in a warehouse somewhere, and another 100 floored at ebike shops. That adds a lot of costs. Sondors have any salespeople? Nope. No real estate under lease.

Yeah, he’s totally stupid and he’s only sold $2.5 million in bikes over the past few months. Idiot! But I am saying a lot of recent campaigns have been total busts. Just no real takers. Maybe the Flux shows what you need. No way Flux was going to do a production run of 200 bikes and sell them into shops or on Amazon. Their model looks just about perfect, to me.

Maybe it’s just a low cost structure with a low capital requirement. The CF stuff is not going away. Sondors was aiming for the low end, virtually made the low end of e bikes. Now bikes are showing up aimed right at stuff like Haibikes.


I'm not sure what you're responding to. Of course it makes sense for Sonders!! My whole point is the PAYING CUSTOMER is (slowly) wising up and realizing there was/IS no reason to support a CF product that is already in the market by conventional (risk taking) entrepreneurs.

PS - I don't mean that anyone that buys a CF product is 'wrong'. I just think we as consumers are rewarding the wrong people in this scenario.
 
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Donny

Active Member
I'm not sure what you're responding to. Of course it makes sense for Sonders!! My whole point is the PAYING CUSTOMER is (slowly) wising up and realizing there was/IS no reason to support a CF product that is already in the market by conventional (risk taking) entrepreneurs.

PS - I don't mean that anyone that buys a CF product is 'wrong'. I just think we as consumers are rewarding the wrong people in this scenario.

I'm relatively new to this and have been reading up on ebikes like crazy the last week or so. Many people have pointed me towards Sondors because of the price point. I'm financially challenged and when I can order a Sondors for $700 (base bike with shipping) compared to a $3000 bike collecting dust at my local bike shop, I find it extremely difficult to justify the extra $2300 - even if there are some differences. I'd be a casual/commuter type rider and something like the Sondors would probably fit the bill. The problem is that I can't test one out (Will it fit me? How is the power?) and I'm not spending that kind of money mail ordering a bike. Is his company going to be around in five years for me to get parts from? The aftermarket seems to be growing for it and I've spent the last week lurking on Sondors owners groups and those are some rabid fans let me tell you.

On the other hand, even if I could afford it, no way am I paying three grand or more for a bicycle, that's just nuts (to me - if you've got that kind of disposable income it's cool). The other problem I have is that the local shops in my area currently have the vast majority of their ebikes on clearance because nobody wants them. For example, my local REI and local bike shop both have iZip Dash bikes for $1600 - $1900, Diamondbacks for around $1600, and numerous other iZip models and what I believe to be generic models for around $1200 or less (all of which have been rated well from what I can tell).

I think crowdfunding is fine as long as you know you are going to get your product and frankly, it's the way I would do it. Why waste money on physical space when you can just take orders and then drop ship straight to the customer? Does it hurt brick and mortars? Probably, but is that his problem? Look at how successful Amazon has become.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Which bike? The Fat Sondors has parts everywhere. Zero chance you couldn't get parts. The Thin is hard to judge, right now, with no bikes out there.
 

Donny

Active Member
Which bike? The Fat Sondors has parts everywhere. Zero chance you couldn't get parts. The Thin is hard to judge, right now, with no bikes out there.

The "fatty" one is the one I keep pointed towards. There are two for sale locally, but they both want nearly double what they cost new and I'm not doing that ;)
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
I'm relatively new to this and have been reading up on ebikes like crazy the last week or so. Many people have pointed me towards Sondors because of the price point. I'm financially challenged and when I can order a Sondors for $700 (base bike with shipping) compared to a $3000 bike collecting dust at my local bike shop, I find it extremely difficult to justify the extra $2300 - even if there are some differences. I'd be a casual/commuter type rider and something like the Sondors would probably fit the bill. The problem is that I can't test one out (Will it fit me? How is the power?) and I'm not spending that kind of money mail ordering a bike. Is his company going to be around in five years for me to get parts from? The aftermarket seems to be growing for it and I've spent the last week lurking on Sondors owners groups and those are some rabid fans let me tell you.

On the other hand, even if I could afford it, no way am I paying three grand or more for a bicycle, that's just nuts (to me - if you've got that kind of disposable income it's cool). The other problem I have is that the local shops in my area currently have the vast majority of their ebikes on clearance because nobody wants them. For example, my local REI and local bike shop both have iZip Dash bikes for $1600 - $1900, Diamondbacks for around $1600, and numerous other iZip models and what I believe to be generic models for around $1200 or less (all of which have been rated well from what I can tell).

I think crowdfunding is fine as long as you know you are going to get your product and frankly, it's the way I would do it. Why waste money on physical space when you can just take orders and then drop ship straight to the customer? Does it hurt brick and mortars? Probably, but is that his problem? Look at how successful Amazon has become.


I think you missed reading the contract. You are NOT buying a product. You are contributing to the development of of the product and MAYBE, at some point, you might get one of what you are hoping for. If you don't, tough luck......
THAT is the biggest difference!!
It makes some sense for new technologies that are still being worked out, that's NOT Ebikes, he simply went to China and ordered what he wanted made. Like everyone else.
Cept buyers gave him 2.5 million dollars to go do it. chuckle
Lastly, there are skads of differences that show up dollar for dollar between even a $1500 retail bike and the Sonders bike. And from $1500 to $3000 is night and day.
I can't afford a Mercedes but I can appreciate that it would probably spoil me in ways I hadn't thought of without owning one. ;)
IF that setup ever fails you'll understand why a dealership network and service providers cost a lot and are worth every penny when it comes to reputation and surviving the Ebike shake out.
Sonders HAS set a new low price point of course and yes lots of people are loving them. Mostly folks that hadn't been on bikes for a long time. And never used gears when they did. If that is you it might be all you ever need. For lots of riders, a single speed just doesn't cut it for long. Depends on your expectations and how much you use the bike, plus terrain differences, etc etc
 
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Donny

Active Member
I think you missed reading the contract. You are NOT buying a product. You are contributing to the development of of the product and MAYBE, at some point, you might get one of what you are hoping for. If you don't, tough luck......
THAT is the biggest difference!!
It makes some sense for new technologies that are still being worked out, that's NOT Ebikes, he simply went to China and ordered what he wanted made. Like everyone else.
Cept buyers gave him 2.5 million dollars to go do it. chuckle
Lastly, there are skads of differences that show up dollar for dollar between even a $1500 retail bike and the Sonders bike. And from $1500 to $3000 is night and day.
I can't afford a Mercedes but I can appreciate that it would probably spoil me in ways I hadn't thought of without owning one. ;)
IF that setup ever fails you'll understand why a dealership network and service providers cost a lot and are worth every penny when it comes to reputation and surviving the Ebike shake out.
Sonders HAS set a new low price point of course and yes lots of people are loving them. Mostly folks that hadn't been on bikes for a long time. And never used gears when they did. If that is you it might be all you ever need. For lots of riders, a single speed just doesn't cut it for long. Depends on your expectations and how much you use the bike, plus terrain differences, etc etc

I haven't heard of anyone who ordered one who did not receive it (although I have heard of people getting the wrong color), but I cannot disagree with what you're saying. Some of the reasons you mention are reasons why I am a bit weary of the company and why I've been reading up on it. I can also agree with you on the network issue and it's why I have been leaning towards something like an iZip. I have been riding around on them all week (different models) and I think I've narrowed down my choice to a iZip Zuma ;)
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Not talking about Sonders and not getting product. He didn't CREATE anything, so no reason for there to be developmental delays! He just ordered bikes from China and everyone waited for them to get delivered. NOT the same thing and not really the idea of CF is for.
Here's the other side of the problem with CF but at least shows the idea, backing new IDEAS to get them developed and to production:

IZip is making some nice bikes now.
 
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Donny

Active Member
Not talking about Sonders and not getting product. He didn't CREATE anything, so no reason for there to be developmental delays! He just ordered bikes from China and everyone waited for them to get delivered. NOT the same thing and not really the idea of CF is for.
Here's the other side of the problem with CF but at least shows the idea, backing new IDEAS to get them developed and to production:

IZip is making some nice bikes now. See some great deals at Crazy Lennys and others .

I agree - once you get your crowd funded business off the ground, it's time to make it into a real business. Although I can see the appeal in doing what he's doing to keep costs down, but still. I ended up picking up an iZip Zuma the other day. They were marked down to $1499 and they gave me another $200 off, so I ended up getting it for $1299. It was more than I really wanted to pay, but after looking around at what these bikes are going for and what it was going to cost me to build my own bike to the specs I wanted, I figured I was better off. Plus I like supporting a local business and what not and I know they'll take care of me when the time comes.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
Sondors went to China. He arranged everything in meticulous detail.

I'm on your side on this one. Sure there were plenty of off the shelf parts, but those make up 90 percent of literally any bike. It does have a unique design aspect, that arguably looks nicer than a dolphin or bottle battery pack in most people's view.

The problem is he can't shift to retail because they will never sell for more than people know they have been valued at, $700 shipped.

The problem on the other side of the market is an established industry that isn't willing to allow advertised prices more than 5 percent off msrp, when they can be purchased well under that amount if you go to the right dealer and know where to get a great deal. It took me 4 bikes to figure that part out myself, and found the right place to buy from.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
The problem is he can't shift to retail because they will never sell for more than people know they have been valued at, $700 shipped.

Paul,

I guess he is going with a 'modified retail', now. The bike is available from Sondors on a pre-order. So, he still has the money upfront, but no fees to a CF wrangler.

http://gosondors.com/

I don't think we've ever seen much of the Thin. I get the idea that display is now proprietary, and maybe the battery. Ah, they all go down the same road, in the end?
 

Donny

Active Member
My understanding was that, at least originally, only the early adopters were going to get them for that price anyway and once he was established, they were going to go up to something like $1300. To me, they look like every other fatty bike out there, he just has the plastic triangle box hiding everything
Paul,

I guess he is going with a 'modified retail', now. The bike is available from Sondors on a pre-order. So, he still has the money upfront, but no fees to a CF wrangler.

http://gosondors.com/

I don't think we've ever seen much of the Thin. I get the idea that display is now proprietary, and maybe the battery. Ah, they all go down the same road, in the end?

My understanding was that he was supposed to shift to a traditional model after he got started. The bikes were supposed to go up in price to around $1300 or so and the only people who would get them for $500 were the early adopters. There is also an issue with the display to where it will only work on certain models (the Gofundme bikes are different than the Indiegogo ones), so it is not plug and play on all models. Not that it matters......
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
There was zero reason for his bike to be crowd sourced and I think that's been readily shown.

There was every reason for the Sondors electric bike to be crowdfunded. First of all, it gave his brand lots of attention, media coverage, and free marketing. How else is an unknown brand supposed to generate millions of dollars in sales for an unknown product in just a matter of weeks?

The only way that the Sondors electric bike makes financial sense is by direct sales (cut out the LBS/dealers), but just selling factory-direct doesn't give you the marketing/media exposure that you need to sell lots of bikes, so crowdfunding is just the ticket. If Sondors had tried a different sales model, there would be tens of thousands fewer people who owned ebikes today. The industry is vastly better off with Sondors. A large proportion of Sondors buyers will buy better and more expensive ebikes later on down the line.

When Dell computer started selling factory direct PCs in the 1990s without the usual local computer store markup, were you this critical of them, too?