Fattebike owners?

Charles Floyd

New Member
Region
USA
Greetings all from Austin, TX, USA,
Nov 15, 2021, I ordered a Penalosa model fattebike. My initial verification email promised frequent build updates. However, as of 1/14/22 I've received three so-called updates ("We're working on it."), all of which I had to request. Kenny with customer support emailed with, "Our bikes are hand-built, so they take awhile." Just wondering, is this extended wait typical for all fattebike owners? I guess I don't mind waiting if the product is worth it, but it would be nice to get those promised updates, like: "Hey, Charles! We put the wheels and tires on today! Won't be long now."
Thank you,
Charles
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
People are waiting three months for black stepthru fatbikes that come right out of a shipping container. He might be waiting too.

I take it you wanted the fancy frame.fender colors this guy offers, so you also have to wait for the paint to dry,
 

rtp

Active Member
Region
USA
They paint the frames and have a bunch of options... considering these things, they're very likely just stuck in the whole COVID 'wait for everything' deal. Might want to ask if all parts are in stock, and if not, if you can change your options to things in stock. Zero experience with them, but looking at the bike, it's like most - China built frame/motor/parts at least, comes over on much delayed cargo ships, then they do some added assembly customization and paint apparently.. all of which can lead to additional delays (e.g. do they paint in-house, do they have the color in stock, etc. and worse if they outsource even if locally in some cases..) Good luck!
 

Charles Floyd

New Member
Region
USA
They paint the frames and have a bunch of options... considering these things, they're very likely just stuck in the whole COVID 'wait for everything' deal. Might want to ask if all parts are in stock, and if not, if you can change your options to things in stock. Zero experience with them, but looking at the bike, it's like most - China built frame/motor/parts at least, comes over on much delayed cargo ships, then they do some added assembly customization and paint apparently.. all of which can lead to additional delays (e.g. do they paint in-house, do they have the color in stock, etc. and worse if they outsource even if locally in some cases..) Good luck!
Thanks, RTP. Thought I was buying American. I'll reach out about parts, though won't hold my breath for an answer.
 

rtp

Active Member
Region
USA
Now that I believe I've gotten a Chinese-build, what are your suggestions for made-American eBikes?
There really aren't any. Even Trek/bigger name bike companies have frames and components coming from China.
Especially at that sort of price range, best can do I'm aware of is finding a US company that either assembles, or at least specs, inspects, and warrantees for any issues.... or move to a LBS bike. There's Zen (see brand forums) - unsure where their frames are coming from, but nearly all are from overseas, etc.

The company you bought from seems to be 'US assembly and customization' which is OK in the scheme of things, as long as their specced parts, assembly, testing and support are good.
 

BrianK

Well-Known Member
There really aren't any. Even Trek/bigger name bike companies have frames and components coming from China.
Especially at that sort of price range, best can do I'm aware of is finding a US company that either assembles, or at least specs, inspects, and warrantees for any issues.... or move to a LBS bike. There's Zen (see brand forums) - unsure where their frames are coming from, but nearly all are from overseas, etc.

The company you bought from seems to be 'US assembly and customization' which is OK in the scheme of things, as long as their specced parts, assembly, testing and support are good.
Do the high end European e bike companies also use primarily Chinese sourced parts?
 

rtp

Active Member
Region
USA
Do the high end European e bike companies also use primarily Chinese sourced parts?
You know the answer - where are the frames made? Taiwan or China?
But the level of specification, assembly and testing is higher than 'random relabeled off-the-ship-with-a-sticker/'brand' label' on it, thus the 'or buy from an LBS.

Are there other 'special' variants I've missed? Even fully built in China, the same factories produce the same/near identical products with different labels AND different levels of quality for more than ebikes... just for different brands and to different specs/quality etc.
 
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Pulsar

Member
Region
USA
City
DFW
Biktrix has one of their frames built in the US. At least they did before Covid started screwing up things. Not sure who makes it for them but I assume that company also makes other frames for other companies as well? The US is no longer a powerhouse for manufacturing. I spent over 30 years in the aircraft fabrication industry with a lot of our parts and assemblies coming from overseas for years. We used to make everything in the 80s and 90s and when I retired a year ago we were an integrator assembly shop of large components only. Purchased most everything. The Asian companies just undercut our cost in most cases plain and simple. If a US company was to attempt to make most bike components here, bike cost would probably be 2 or more times the cost we pay today. Robotics and more automation could help in this regard but capital expenses would be high to attempt to start this. Fair to assume China and Taiwan will control most bike assembly and fabrication for a long time I think.
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
In 2 months you've gotten 3 updates? That's way above average from what I read here. They don't make a lot of progress if they need a full time person updating people every week. Personally I travel to buy my eBikes at a shop. I see it, I ride it, I have it in 1 day.
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Bail out while you can. These bikes are junk. This one has clown bike/kid's bike sized rims. Heavy as hell. It is a hub drive with a garbage battery and is a folder! The cable and wire runs are a mess. This blue example is what a decent electric bike looks like. Yes, it is electric and outruns the $9400 bikes. Decent bikes do not have crappy wires or a connector mess on the HB and they do not look electric. Think of all the money you would spend on paper bags? To put on your head when riding it in public.
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Charles Floyd

New Member
Region
USA
Bail out while you can. These bikes are junk. This one has clown bike/kid's bike sized rims. Heavy as hell. It is a hub drive with a garbage battery and is a folder! The cable and wire runs are a mess. This blue example is what a decent electric bike looks like. Yes, it is electric and outruns the $9400 bikes. Decent bikes do not have crappy wires or a connector mess on the HB and they do not look electric. Think of all the money you would spend on paper bags? To put on your head when riding it in public.
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Enjoyed your reply, PedalUma.
Rode a Specialized for years. Sadly, their Turbo line, even entry level Como, is out of my budget, but they do look cool, no bags for sure.
I'm tempted to follow your advice and "bail out." Apparently, I have time since it's taking them so long to put the parts together.
Thanks again, and happy trails.
 

rtp

Active Member
Region
USA
@Charles Floyd Just bear in mind, everyone's got their own budgets and priorities.
Many of us want a torque-sensing controller/motor over cadence-sensing, and mid-drives over any hub drives. Reality is there are only so many actual manufacturers, and the rest are down to bike specs (e.g. frame X with motor Y, suspension Z), assembly, testing and support.

Some people are happy enough with hub-drive bikes in reality. YMMV as always - I don't see anything 'special' on that bike other than presumably they are doing final assembly and hopefully QA and paint local, so - for a hub drive, maybe it's fine... just don't expect anyone 'only mid-drives' or 'only brand X' to 'like' it, etc.