Secret Shopper @ Motostrano in Redwood City

Jeff Backes

Active Member
A few days ago I stopped by the Motostrano bicycle shop in Redwood City, CA. I played the roll of an interested bicycle aware customer, here's my review.

Their shop is a standalone brick building in an older part of Redwood City. There are a few on street parking spots out front and a small triangular lot north of the store.

First impressions mean a lot in any retail business! The first thing I noticed walking in the front door was LOTS of inventory. They carry bikes from many manufactures. I saw Bulls, Cube, iZip, Felt, KTM, Mustache, Trio and Haibikes. Haibikes seems the most prevalent.

I was greeted quickly by Joe. We struck up a conversation about what kind of bike I was interested in. He asked me about the bikes I owned and with that and some other questions he recommended a Felt with all the features I had requested. We talked about hard-tail, full suspension, frame geometry, bikes stuff, bikes and more bike stuff.

When I mentioned that my Wife would be getting one as well but needed a much smaller bike, he was very quick to recommend that we get the same "drive system". He correctly pointed out that by purchasing both bikes from different manufactures, if they have the same "drive system" I could swap parts around if needed. We talked about Bosch and their dominance in the mid drive category.

We talked about commuting and he mentioned I should take into account that on some bikes the batteries can be charged both on and off the bike that way I could leave the bike locked up outside and still take the battery with me and charge it at my desk.

He knew all about the laws in the state of California and explained very quickly what category of bike could be used where. The longer we talked the more I was sure that this sales person really knew his stuff.

I asked about my "favorite" brand, Trek, and he said "We don't carry Trek or Specialized." He suggested that there is an exclusivity requirement for those two brands.

Another customer entered the store and a second sales person was right there to help out. It's so nice to see attention to customers.

I thanked him for his attention and he handed me his business card. Joe, nice work, great store!

All in all a pretty perfect retail experience.

jeff
 

Alphbetadog

Active Member
Joe is a good guy and really enthusiastic about ebikes and it shows. Although I have never actually met him in person or visited his shops, I've talked with him many times and have purchased 2 ebikes from him, shipping to me in Arizona. A good friend also purchased a Haibike from him and all transactions where flawless. Motostrano does it right.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
Joe is great. He really knows his stuff and is able to help all kinds of customers find the right bike. The most impressive thing, however, is that he rides electric mountain bikes often, and is probably the most knowledgeable person in America when it comes to eMTBs. Not every ebike shop has that kind of niche knowledge.
 

Joe Remi

Active Member
Motostrano already had a strong reputation with motorcyclists before they discovered ebikes. I'd be curious to know how many ebikers came over from motorcycles; I used to ride the motors and found ebikes to be a slower, safer alternative that didn't have to mix it up directly in traffic as often. I was a non-assist cyclist, too, so I really appreciate how ebikes mix the two disciplines.
 

Alphbetadog

Active Member
This was exactly my story. I found ebikes last winter and have enjoyed them so much more and feel safer riding them so I sold my street motorcycle and plan to also sell my dualsport too. Not only safer, but more enjoyable because they are so quiet. I also like not having to wear all the Atgatt that goes along with motorcycling.
 

Joe Remi

Active Member
This was exactly my story. I found ebikes last winter and have enjoyed them so much more and feel safer riding them so I sold my street motorcycle and plan to also sell my dualsport too. Not only safer, but more enjoyable because they are so quiet. I also like not having to wear all the Atgatt that goes along with motorcycling.
Oh man, the gear. Spend a stack of money trying to stay protected, then spend a stack more to stay warm. Or buy a car!
 

Alphbetadog

Active Member
Oh man, the gear. Spend a stack of money trying to stay protected, then spend a stack more to stay warm. Or buy a car!
Often, by the time I put all my gear on, including the knee guards, boots, body protector, wrist guards, neck brace, etc, I was just too tired to swing a leg over that tall SOB!