Tag Archive: electric bicycles

  1. Stromer receives Red Dot ‘Best of the Best’ Design Award

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    The Swiss e-bike manufacturer has received the highest praise from the Red Dot jury for its ST5 Pinion electric bike

    Swiss electric bike manufacturer Stromer’s new ST5 Pinion e-bike has received Red Dot’s highest accolade from design experts, The Best of the Best Award, highlighting its outstanding product design and quality to the world.

    This is not the first time Stromer has received a product design award of this calibre, last year its flagship ST7 received the same award, marking a successful few years for its e-bike product designs.

    Stromer ST5 Pinion, winner of Red Dot Best of the Best Award

    Stromer’s ST5 Pinion features an aluminium frame and fork, an 850W hub motor, and Pinion’s C1.9 Smart Shift internal gear system. It uses a Gates carbon belt instead of a chain, which is rare for a multi-gear e-bike. It also features Stromer’s state-of-the-art anti-lock braking system, which was developed in conjunction with Blubrake and TRP.

    Stromer’s latest award-winning model is a class 3 pedelec with a maximum assist speed of 45km/h and a range of up to 180km on a full charge. It is also equipped with a Pinion C1.9 drivetrain that provides riders with nine gears and can shift smoothly and silently, whether they are pedalling or standing still. Finally, it offers users an extra level of safety with Bluetooth connectivity.

    Read more about Stromer’s Red Dot Award Achievement.

  2. Shinga Lacros Scamper S600XL ranked ‘Best-in-Test’ for folding e-bikes

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    After numerous tests with the Fietstest.nl panel, this model has collectively received the highest scores in the folding electric bike category.

    Lacros‘ Scamper S600XL has once again been awarded the best in test by the panel of Fietstest.nl, with a high score of 8. This news highlights another triumph for the folding e-bike brand, whose Scamper S600XL also came out on top in 2022, with other models from the brand also receiving top marks from Fietstest.nl over the years.

    Lacros is delighted with this achievement, stating that this recognition “confirms the top quality and reliability of Lacros” and thanks its customers for their continued trust and support.

    The folding electric bicycle manufacturer has an experienced and passionate team that offers test rides, personalized advice on various models and maintenance checks. They also look forward to giving more people the opportunity to experience their latest range at trade shows this year.

  3. Bafang presents revolutionary Gear Variable Transmission (GVT) technology platform and new 5-speed automatic gear hub

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    Spearheading a new era for the shifting experience, Bafang proudly introduces its innovative Gear Variable Transmission (GVT) technology platform, along with its latest creation based on GVT—the G500A, an internal 5-speed automatic shift hub designed for high-powered eFat bikes. Offering a groundbreaking shift experience for eBikes, G500A is debuting at the 2024 China Cycle Show.

    Breaking Cycling Boundaries with the Revolutionary GVT Technology Platform

    GVT, short for Gear Variable Transmission, represents years of meticulous research and development by Bafang. This technology elevates the eBike shifting experience to a new level with precise automatic shifting mechanisms and advanced transmission control, creating seamless and smooth gear changes that aligns the eBike and rider as one, turning what was once merely a concept into reality. Products featuring GVT technology are belt-drive-friendly and offer a high degree of integration, enabling greater design possibilities. Moreover, GVT significantly reduces common maintenance issues and durability concerns found in existing shift systems, thus extending the overall lifespan of eBikes.

    “Over the past 3 years, we have launched the automatic hub motor and the automatic gear hub series, both of which have received positive feedback from various markets. We are very proud and honored,” said Zou, the chief engineer of the Bafang GVT. “It is this motivation that has led us to decide to give it an official name, to better acquaint everyone with it. Regarding the GVT technology platform, in the future, we will further interpret it through more innovations.”

    Photo: Products powered by Bafang GVT Technology: G500A, G300A H700, H710, H720

    The 5-Speed Automatic Gear hub – The Latest GVT Technology

    As the latest innovation on the GVT platform, the G500A is a 5-speed automatic gear hub specifically crafted for high-powered fat-tire eBikes, designed to effectively tackle challenging terrains like snow and sand. G500A can withstand torque ratings of over 200Nm and supports speeds of 45km/h and 60km/h. It is available with 175mm and 190mm dropout options to accommodate most eFat bikes.

    Bafang’s commitment to quality and reliability is reflected in its rigorous testing standards. Each of the five gears in the G500A undergoes at least 10,000 impact tests, ensuring durability and rider confidence.

    G500A simulated load testing

    With the introduction of the GVT technology platform, Bafang aims to set a new benchmark for drive system reliability and durability in the eBike industry. As the GVT platform continues to evolve, Bafang is developing more ground-breaking products, underscoring its commitment to leading the industry towards higher technological standards and user experiences.

  4. Alternative to buying an e-bike: the electric retrofit drive

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    Source: Pendix

    E-bikes are popular but expensive. Recent studies confirm this. Electric retrofit drives, such as the Pendix eDrive, offer an alternative solution. They can be installed without major modifications and equip regular bicycles with the advantages of e-bikes.

    Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in Germany, as shown by the SINUS Institute and BMDV’s 2023 Bicycle Monitor. According to the monitor, a quarter of respondents plan to purchase a bicycle or pedelec (electric pedal-assist bicycle) in 2024. Pedelecs, commonly referred to as e-bikes in Germany, are particularly favored, with 48 percent of potential buyers interested in acquiring such a bike.

    The amount people are willing to spend on these bikes averages slightly over 1,400 euros, according to the study. However, there’s a catch: e-bikes are generally much more expensive. EY, a consulting firm, noted in its 2023 bicycle study that electric bikes in Germany are among the most expensive in Europe, averaging around 2,800 euros per e-bike. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t deter cyclists from opting for electric biking. After all, there are alternatives in the form of retrofit electric drives. These are typically not only cheaper than buying an e-bike but also offer additional benefits.

    Electrical Upgrade for Your Favourite Bike

    One example of such a retrofit drive is the Pendix eDrive. It consists of a gearless mid-drive motor and a battery. Both can be installed on almost all frame models and types of bicycles with a so-called BSA bottom bracket. The motor is directly built onto the bottom bracket, while the battery can often be mounted on the screw holes for the bottle cage. For those who swear by their existing bicycle but still want electric assistance, this provides a practical solution: your favourite bike can be transformed into an e-bike in a short time. The familiar riding feel and appearance remain intact, essentially just upgraded.

    Move Further, Ride More Relaxed

    With the additional electric assistance, several things change, including increased range and agility. Motors like the Pendix eDrive provide pedal assistance up to a speed of 25 kilometres per hour. This allows for tackling longer distances or hilly terrain without the rider becoming overly exhausted. The Pendix eDrive offers three different battery options, allowing for ranges of 37 to 240 kilometres depending on the model, external conditions, and riding style. Charging time with a 160-watt charger ranges from two to three hours.

    Such a retrofit drive can also be adjusted to individual fitness levels. For example, the Pendix eDrive offers three modes, ranging from light, barely noticeable pedal assistance to up to 200 percent additional pedal power. This provides assistance in all riding situations, from leisurely rides on flat terrain to mountain crossings with steep inclines, loose surfaces, or strong headwinds. The optional app allows for further fine-tuning of assistance levels.

    The bicycle remains a bicycle

    If one wishes to engage in a more intense workout, the electric assistance can be deactivated at any time. Due to its gearless construction, a motor like the Pendix eDrive adds little weight when turned off, resulting in no significant pedal resistance. Additionally, the drive is completely silent, preserving the familiar feel of riding one’s own bike.

    A retrofit drive can also help bring together people of different ages and fitness levels. With individual electric assistance, the entire family can ride together on a spring tour without anyone feeling overwhelmed or left behind, whether it’s grandparents or parents with children on child seats.

    Support for Everyday Activities

    A retrofit electric drive not only provides a more relaxed and sporty riding experience on family outings or off-road adventures but also offers support in everyday life. Those who frequently transport groceries or work materials by bike or take their children to daycare will experience relief and arrive at their destination more relaxed and less exhausted. A retrofit electric motor like the Pendix eDrive is suitable for cyclists of all ages.

    Older generations, in particular, stand to benefit. Retrofitting without major changes to habits can provide them with greater participation and keep them mobile and active, whether running errands or pursuing leisure activities—hills, additional weight from bags, or long distances are no longer obstacles. Thus, the bike remains a constant companion in every stage of life.

    Uncomplicated Enhancement of the Bicycle

    In addition to the cost efficiency of the retrofit solution compared to purchasing a new e-bike, there are other economic aspects. The familiar bike experiences an increase in usability and resale value. There are also maintenance benefits. A system like the Pendix eDrive, with its gearless construction, is not only compact and lightweight compared to other designs but also wear-free and maintenance-free. This saves costs and ensures longevity. And if one eventually wants to exchange their current bike, transitioning to a new bike with the Pendix eDrive is simple.

    It doesn’t necessarily have to be a used bike that receives an upgrade through the electric motor. Numerous manufacturers integrate such solutions directly into their factory models. Additionally, at partner retailers, a regular new bike can be purchased and equipped on-site with a Pendix eDrive. While retrofitting the motor and battery is relatively easy for those with DIY skills, the manufacturer recommends safe and reliable installation by a professional dealer.

    For more information on installation requirements, features, variants, and technical data of the retrofit motor, visit: https://pendix.de/edrive

    About Pendix: Established in 2013, bicycle drive manufacturer Pendix is part of the Pendix Group. Since its introduction to the market in 2015, Pendix GmbH’s employees have focused on the development and marketing of products such as the Pendix eDrive, the hub motor Pendix eDrive IN, and the integrated mid-drive Pendix gDrive. The drives, components, and bicycles are distributed or utilized by more than 750 authorized Pendix dealers, 37 bicycle manufacturers worldwide, and 35 industrial customers. Pendix is driven by quality, sustainability, reliability, and smart technologies, aiming to deliver the best possible quality and make a contribution to the environment. Since 2022, Johnson Electric International AG has been the majority shareholder of Pendix GmbH.

  5. SUPER73 outlines schemes to increase bicycle safety

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    Bicycle road safety and anti-theft measures available for SUPER73 customers

    American electric bike manufacturer, SUPER73, has announced that all of its bicycles can be insured with Interpolis, and will have the option to be linked with FRIS trackers, which enable real-time tracking for pinpointing stolen vehicles, whether they’re indoors or outdoors.

    SUPER73 has offered the FRIS tracker and mounting for free for April bicycle purchases. Customers have also been able to buy more bicycle safety products in its Amsterdam showroom, such as ABUS ART2-certified locks and a brand new range of helmets.

    The brand commits further to increasing the bicycle safety of its riders by organising traffic safety and awareness training for bike owners, parents, schools and cycling organisations. The training includes a basic induction to cycling rules, a group ride, and a demonstration of how to use the FRIS app for locking and tracking the bike.

    Visit the SUPER73 website to learn more.

  6. Last Chance to Help Pushing for Inclusive E-Bike Regulations in the UK

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    In the UK, an online consultation organized by the governement, to gauge opinions on improving technical rules for electric bicycles, will be closing next Thursday 25 April at 23.59. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to significantly improve the rules and make the electric bicycle market accessible to millions of British people. The consultation is here: https://rb.gy/a8guw3.

    LEVA-EU calls on all parties with a real interest in growing the light electric vehicle market, and electric bikes in particular, to respond in a positive way to the proposals. It will give millions of people access to electric bikes, it will boost electric cargobike use and it will make mobility in the UK more sustainable.

    The two main proposals are:

    1) increasing the maximum continuous rated power from 250 to 500W
    2) allowing electric pedal assisted bikes to be equipped with a throttle without the vehicles having to be type approved (as is the case today).

    In the EU, and until further notice also still in the UK, an electric bicycle with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h, a maximum continuous rated power of 500 W and a throttle, is categorised as an L1e-A powered cycle, and must be type-approved.

    EPACs 250W without throttle and EPACs 500 W with a throttle, of the same weight, have exactly the same kinetic energy. Consequently, the result of an impact will be identical for both vehicles. So you would expect these identical vehicles to be subject to identical technical requirements. And yet they are subject to two completely different legal frameworks: the Machinery Directive for the 250W as opposed to Regulation 168/2013 for the 500 W. The result of the latter damming legislation, originally designed for mopeds and motorcycles, thus totally inadequate and inaccurate for any type of electric bike, is that not one powered cycle has been approved. No manufacturer wants/is able to risk type-approval. Moreover, most Member States wouldn’t even know how to deal with such a vehicle in their traffic code. Belgium, one of the few member states to acknowledge the difference between mopeds and electric bicycles in the traffic code, has given L1e-A vehicles the same status as conventional bikes. However, this is to no avail since there are no such vehicles on the market.

    LEVA-EU has been advocating for years for the abolition of the maximum continuous rated power requirement, which plays no role in the safety of electric bicycles. Instead, technical regulations must be developed to ensure that vehicles accelerate safely. The proposed increase from 250 to 500W is not ideal but would provide some breathing space for cargo bicycles in particular.

    The proposal to give electric bicycles with pedal assistance and a throttle the same legal status as bicycles with pedal assistance only sounds like music to LEVA-EU’s ears.

    The UK has 16 million people with a physical disability. For several millions of them this means that they are unable to pedal consistently. The combination of pedal assistance and throttle is therefore a solution that can get millions of people in the saddle. Moreover, it will also make the lives of, for example, cargo bike riders and bicycle couriers considerably easier.

    But guess what? The entire British cycling community is loudly calling for the proposals to be turned down!!!!

    The Bicycle Association (BA), the professional organization of (electric) bicycle manufacturers and importers and the dealer organization ACT call the proposed measures “unnecessary” and “risky”. They even claim: “There’s no evidence these changes would significantly boost demand.” That’s really making a fool of the truth. Until 2016, electric bicycles with a throttle were allowed as regular EPACS in the UK. They know all too well that the so-called twist and go bicycles were more popular than bicycles with pedal assistance only. It took the UK until 2016 to align its legislation with European legislation as a result of which e-bikes with a throttle were banished to the L1e-A category.

    The BA and ACT warn that 500W could pose a fire risk! Such absolute nonsense, provided without any proof, undermines the credibility of their argumentation completely. They further argue that e-bikes, on which you no longer have to pedal, could lead to “moped-style regulation on the whole e-bike category“. They have clearly erased from their collective memory the long episode in British law during which e-bikes with throttles enjoyed the same status as conventional electric bicycles, without that resulting in moped-style regulation on the whole e-bike category. The British government now voluntarily offers once again equalization for equal vehicles. Why would they suddenly turn around and change the law into moped-style regulations after all?

    The sheer nonsense that electric bicycles with throttle could jeopardize the bicycle status of the current EPACs is a song that has been sung by CONEBI for 25 years. The only reason for that position is protectionism. The major companies behind CONEBI do everything they can to protect their cash cow, the EPAC with pedal assistance only, against any competition and at any price. And as a member of CONEBI, the BA naturally sings from the same hymn sheet. It is not clear why the ACT also finds it necessary to deny their members, the (electric) bicycle dealers, a much better future.

    Cyclists’ organisation, Cycling UK, is also firmly against the proposals. In a comment, the director of external affairs showed a complete lack of knowledge of the matter as she stated: “These proposals present a huge safety risk to pedestrians and others who cycle. The dramatically increased power would mean faster acceleration and much heavier bikes, which we’re really concerned about.” The Cycling UK director is clearly not familiar with the concept of maximum continuous rated power, ignorance which does not prevent her from taking a firm stance.

    The British government is voluntarily offering a unique opportunity to remove legal barriers to electric bicycles, making them accessible to millions more people. The BA and ACT challenge that proposal with nothing but intellectual dishonesty, Cycling UK even with stupidity. How dare they deny millions of people access to sustainable mobility, whilst claiming they are defending the interests of their industry?

    The consultation is here, https://rb.gy/a8guw3, and will remain online until 25 April, midnight.

    We welcome the challenging of the LEVA-EU position on this issue, but we will only engage in evidence-based discussions.

    Annick Roetynck,
    LEVA-EU Manager

  7. Bizbike’s Veloci brand exceeds 100,000 bicycles

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    This month, Veloci, a Belgian e-bike brand by Bizbike, is set to reach a significant milestone by surpassing sales of 100,000 units directly to consumers in Belgium. The brand is also expanding its presence in the Netherlands, building on its established market in collaboration with the newspaper publisher Mediahuis.

    Source: NieuwsFiets.nu

    Mediahuis, which publishes a range of newspapers across Belgium and the Netherlands, has been in partnership with Veloci for over a decade. This collaboration has been pivotal in allowing Veloci to offer its e-bikes at competitive prices. “Thanks to this collaboration, which has lasted eleven years in Belgium, we can offer our bicycles at an affordable price to potential bicycle buyers,” explains Laurence Vanhove, Brand Manager Veloci at Bizbike. “On the one hand, we mainly sell the bicycles online via Nieuwsbladshop.be and on the other hand, we have also developed our own store network of seven Veloci stores in Flanders. The first two stores, then still ‘pop-up stores’, opened in 2021. We quickly noticed the added value of these physical points of sale. Potential customers attach great importance to viewing, comparing and testing our bicycles. The balance in sales online and in stores is now approximately fifty-fifty. On April 2, 2024 we opened our seventh store in Aarschot. The other six stores can be found in Aalter, Kuurne, Kasterlee, Houthalen, Mortsel and Erembodegem.” Vanhove went on to highlight other sales channels, “In the Netherlands, sales are mainly online via www.webshop.telegraaf.nl, or via certain fairs. We recently participated in the Cycling and Walking Fair in Utrecht. At consumer fairs we not only work on our brand awareness, but we also want people to extensively test our Veloci,”

    Vanhove states that Bizbike’s role is also very important with regard to after-sales service, because they take full responsibility for it. Also from the bicycles sold online. “We provide a lifetime warranty on the frame, a seven-year warranty on non-electrical parts and a two-year warranty on all electronic parts, such as the battery, motor and display,” Vanhove explains. “We also provide home service and maintain or repair bicycles at customers’ homes. We have a team of thirty mobile technicians who come to solve customer problems throughout Belgium and the Netherlands.”

    Unlike other direct-to-consumer bicycle brands, Veloci focuses on a compact collection, consisting of three city bicycles (Vivid, Vidid Plus and Solid) and a folding bicycle (Hopper). According to Vanhove, a conscious choice. “We focus on a limited number of distinctive models, from € 1,599 to € 2,499, so that the customer does not experience too much choice stress at home or in the store.”

    In 2024, Veloci will welcome two new models to its range. The Vivid Plus is based on the best-selling model of 2023, the Vivid. As a ‘plus’ the bicycle was given hydraulic disc brakes. “In combination with a Bafang mid-motor, 468Wh battery, and a Shimano Altus 8 rear derailleur (and Shimano freewheel), this is the perfect bike for longer distances and hilly areas,” Vanhove explains.

    With the Solid , the Belgian brand is launching a robust e-bike that is built to last. Thanks to the hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano Nexus 8 hub gear and closed chain guard, this bicycle is sustainable in maintenance. “The ideal companion for daily trips through town and country,” concludes Vanhove.

  8. LEVA-EU calls on EU assemblers for support to end dumping duties on bicycle parts

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    The anti-dumping measures on conventional bicycles from China are to expire on the 30th August 2024. The measures are now in their 31st year. In 1997, they were extended to essential bicycle components based on alleged circumvention. Those measures are now in their 27th year.

    There is no doubt that EBMA has already or will very soon request the Commission to review the measures against conventional bikes with a view to continuing them for another 5 years. To gather the necessary support for their request, they visit bike assemblers up and down the continent, inviting them to co-sign the request for the review. In doing so, they will undoubtedly explain how it is necessary to continue the measures to avoid Europe being flooded with cheap Chinese bicycles, which would undoubtedly destroy European assemblers. They will add that the measures will allow production to be brought back to Europe and will create jobs.

    The other half of the story

    However, that is only half the story. LEVA-EU hereby invites all European assemblers to think carefully before explicitly expressing their support for EBMA’s request. After all, the other half of the story goes like this.

    The anti-dumping measures against bicycles from China were expanded in 1997 to include essential bicycle parts. Anyone who assembles in Europe must be able to prove that no more than 59% of the value of their components comes from China or that at least 25% value is added in the assembly. Anyone who can prove this will receive an exemption from the European Commission, meaning that 48.5% duties will not be levied on bicycle frames, forks, gears, sprockets, brakes, wheels and handlebars from China.

    When ADD and ASD were levied on electric bicycles in 2018, this had a major impact on the duties on essential bicycle parts. European assemblers who use essential bicycle parts for electric bicycles could also receive an exemption if they proved that they used the parts for electric and not for regular bicycles. Please note that the Commission has not (yet) extended the rights to essential bicycle parts for the European assembly of electric bicycles. Many European assemblers make electric bicycles of which the value of the components amounts to more than 59%. In some cases, the electric bicycles even consist of 100% Chinese components. The European assembly sector cannot do without these Chinese components because the availability of parts outside China is too limited to meet full demand.

    To circumvent or not to circumvent, that is the question.

    The EBMA’s request to the Commission to extend the duties on bikes to essential bicycle components, came almost immediately after the imposition of the duties on bikes, alleging massive circumvention by China. In the case of electric bicycles however, EBMA misses no opportunity to assure European assemblers that they can use as many Chinese parts as they want. And so, companies are happily assembling in a way that, according to the law, can very easily give rise to anti-circumvention measures.

    It is bizarre, to say the least, that while the European Commission responded to EBMA’s request without hesitation for conventional bicycles, the same Commission now simply ignores the situation, even though they could initiate an investigation at their own initiative. After all, why would the Chinese, accused of massive circumvention for conventional bikes, not resort to the same solution for electric bicycles.

    LEVA-EU calls on all assemblers in the EU to treat the EBMA reassurances with utmost caution. In reality, not everyone who assembles in Europe appears to be safe, as EBMA pretends. While the Commission is not currently interested in possible circumvention, some assemblers have indeed been attacked, more specifically by customs services. They determine that insufficient value is added in the assembly, upon which they categorize the import of parts as the import of a complete electric bicycle to which anti-dumping and anti-circumvention duties apply. With this alleged circumvention, the company is committing a criminal offense for which not only arrears are charged, but also extremely heavy fines and possible prison sentences. It will take 5 to 10 years to reach a conclusion in the case. During that period, given the extremely serious threat, it is impossible for the company to grow even if it is ultimately acquitted.

    Pushing businesses straight into the abyss

    So, when you sign certain EBMA requests to the Commission, which are allegedly intended against China and for Europe, keep in mind that this will not necessarily protect you from customs actions that may push your business straight into the abyss. As mentioned, LEVA-EU has no position on the dumping measures against conventional bicycles. As for the extension of the measures to essential bicycle parts, we say loud and clear: in the interests of European assemblers, these measures must be terminated as quickly as possible. No European company benefits from a legal restriction on the use of Chinese parts, nor from a very complex and expensive administration to enforce that restriction.

    LEVA-EU strongly hopes that European assemblers will consider this call and will no longer support EBMA requests that result in the continuation of the additional measures on essential bicycle parts from China.

    There is another important reason to terminate the duties on essential bicycle parts. That legislation makes it virtually impossible for new electric bicycle assemblers to enter the market. To obtain a Commission exemption or end-use approval, they must first pay 48.5% anti-dumping duties on essential bicycle parts from China. This is completely unacceptable because legally there are no anti-dumping duties on essential bicycle parts for electric bicycles.

    Which start-up can afford to include an additional cost of 48.5%, that serves no purpose and even has no legal basis, in their business plan? And to get rid of that 48.5%, which is not reimbursed in the case of end-use authorizations, they must provide significant guarantees!

    This makes EBMA’s claim that anti-dumping measures against electric bicycles from China are necessary to reshore production and to create jobs an outright lie. You may think that it is a good thing for your company if it is difficult for new companies to enter the market. Restriction of competition inevitably results in a reduced, thus less attractive offer and higher prices that ultimately leads consumers to quit. That response will eventually affect all remaining companies, including yours.

    LEVA-EU acknowledges that this is a complex matter and remain therefore at the disposal of anyone seeking further clarification: annick@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 475 500 588.

    Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

  9. Vosper: “E-bikes step up in a down market”

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    Source: Bicycle Retailer

    2023 wasn’t a great year for the e-bike market, with high inventory & low sales, and struggling relationships between suppliers and retailers. This is unlikely to improve in the immediate future.

    Decreased Imports

    A recent analysis by Rick Vosper in Bicycle Retailer shows that the number of imports for both classes of bikes fell significantly in 2023 (Figure 1) as suppliers attempted, and succeeded in, decreasing the number of orders in the pipeline.

    Pedal only bike imports for 2023 were down by 41% from 2022, which itself was down 31% from 2021. In 2023 5.3 million units were imported, which represents the lowest number of pedal-only imports since the first recorded year in 1981. To compare, e-bike imports were 990,000, down 10% from 2022, which represents a 25% increase from 2021.

    Figure 1: USA E-Bike imports vs pedal only bikes
    Source: eCyclceElectric & U.S Department of Commerce (USDOC)

    Not only that but e-bikes are steadily gaining market share, from 2% in 2016 to more than 18% of pedal-only bike sales in 2023 (Figure 2). This increase inversely correlates with the decrease in pedal only bike imports.

    Some have speculated that when e-bike imports reach 20% of pedal only, it will mark an infection point for e-bike sales in the U.S., and that a large increase in market share will happen as a result.

    However, Vosper disagrees commenting “I am sceptical of this projection. Here’s why: some large majority of e-bike sales are in the very bottom of the mass market as low-end bikes shipped D2C from China and other Asian manufacturers. These units have no direct parallels in the pedal-only market segment, so there’s no basis for an apples-to-apples comparison, which renders that 20% number arbitrary. To really see the relationship, we’d have to look at dealer and mass retailer sales and filter the bottom feeders out of the equation somehow. At present I don’t believe the industry has the resources to do this.”

    Figure 2: E-bike imports as a percentage of pedal only (20″+)
    Source: USDOC

    An ongoing problem

    Despite the cuts in imports in 2022 and 2023, there’s still inventory excess due to the huge number of imports during the years of COVID (2020 & 2021), this indicates that the inventory excess is a long-term problem. On the bright side, e-bikes seem to be doing better than other product categories. In an informal poll on the Facebook group Cycling Industry Recover, 56% of retailers reported that their e-bike sales are up relative to their pedal only models. Perhaps this is indicative of future buying trends.

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