July 29, 2021

Interview with Mikey Part 2

OK, so as an ebike reviewer, what do you personally get excited to see show up in an upcoming ebike?


What I get really excited for is a new way to get a bikes to new riders, or a new innovation in bikes or parts.


Is that where you think the trend is going?


The bike parts is easy to be excited for; I love new stuff! Even if they don't work very well, I still appreciate the concept. Ceramic gearing, suspension stems, internal GPS trackers, cut-away top-tube rear-suspensions, and so on. But I also appreciate new ways of marketing and selling, because I like that new people are riding bikes. 'Selling' isn't a bad thing, especially in eBikes because people really like them, and want them. But there's so much junk in the way of that goal. Incoming riders get bogged down with confusing stats (like motor watts) and it can cause a lot of frustration. If a company comes up with a new way of marketing, or explaining what makes their bike special. By all means, go for it! Even if the bike itself is kind of plain jane; if the rider likes it, then it's a success!


What is an un-foreseen factor that the would be ebike buyer should consider before pulling the trigger? Or, what is something that they should consider in practicality that they are pushing aside when they fall for all the marketing?


I see new riders falling into certain traps when buying an eBike. One such a trap reminds me of an SUV. It's quite likely that (as a new eBike rider) you will own more than one eBike, probably more than one at a time. The sticker shock, or open world ideas can give new riders the sense that their first bike will be their only bike for the rest of their lives, and it needs to do everything. The solution to this is to simply know that you'll probably sell your first eBike on the classifieds some years down the road, and step into a much better bike. It might only be better because it's a better fit.


Another trap is that new riders will try to skirt one of two requirements for buying any new, expensive, and amazing item; You must pay in money, or time. You can't get away without paying.


If you've got the money to waltz into a local store, talk to the very knowledgable people and get the perfect bike with an amazing fit, and get a handful of over-priced accessories. You will have spent maybe a few hours, but you'll be on the trails later that day.

If you've got the time to spend watching ads, reading spec sheets, comparing specs, watching testimonials, range tests, looking up local trails, learning how to repair/maintain, searching out mis-matched accessories and so on... you can ride in a few months, and save roughly 1/2 the price. Perhaps 1/3 if you study for a few more months.


Either one of these routes are perfectly fine. However, spending $400 on the first amazon eBike (with a phony 5-star rating) is a one-way street to wasted time/money.