Bike shops see electric bicycles a little differently than their customers do. We work with the distributor or manufacturer directly - developing a relationship that can either make us excited to sell every bike or make us wonder whether we'll still carry them next year. As a dealer looking to carry an electric bike we want all the same stuff you might as a customer - looks that could kill, performance that is felt while riding rather than read in a press release, good quality workmanship, and good support.
My work with Stromer BMC selling the ST1 Elite and ST1 Platinum has been some of the most fun I've had at NYCeWheels in the last 3 years. To put that in perspective, let's flash back to when I just started here, way back in 2010... (cue Twilight Zone music)
At the time we had a full line of electric bikes bikes but they were all pretty basic looking, had clunky controls attached to the handlebar and very basic interface. More than that though, they lacked a certain refinement found on regular bicycles.
Skip ahead to 2011 when we got our first Stromer Sport model on the sales floor. This bike out shone everything else in the shop. It looked cooler, worked better, and rode nicer than any other bike we carried. I remember that first ride - I was blown away by how much like a regular bicycle it looked. I loved the frame mounted battery and mountain bike looks. I loved the clearly readable display that didn't look like an Atari strapped to the handlebar. In fact, I still like that bike. I rode it home and back the other day and it still kicks butt.
Flash forward to now, we've had the Stromer ST1 for about a year and I feel electric bicycles are finally starting to attain the sort of beautifully sculpted, well balanced look found in the regular bicycle world. Just like my first experience with the Stromer Sport - my first encounter with the ST1 was a moment of true excitement. Here is a bicycle I can get behind. Here is a bicycle I'm excited to sell!
Look at that carbon fork! You see how it accents the shape and stance of the bike? Don't you love the feeling of beefy speed that it adds to the front end? Stromer dared to challenge the convention of always putting suspension forks on electric bikes - heck, we even told them it was a risk - but in then end they proved to be on the leading edge of something amazing. Of course, they still offer suspension models for folks who'll be on and off dirt trails a whole bunch but for those of you who ride the pavement most often the carbon fork is really where it's at.
I'm getting a little carried away with looks, you can already judge those for yourself. Let's get back to what I see as a dealer, rather than a customer.
Selling a bunch of bikes you get to know whether they're reliable or not. You also get to know whether the maker will jump to the line to help its customers or whether they'll blow things off and not take care of business. Stromer has performed incredibly well on both counts.
Any bike, no matter how perfect, can have a problem. What's critical is how the company deals with these problems. Everything is better and easier with a company that stands behind their product. Stromer has proved very capable of supporting their dealers and customers in tough situations by providing the knowledge and initiative necessary to get things done right and done quickly. If anyone from their tech department is reading this I'll just say, you guys are awesome - thank you!
If you're thinking of getting an electric bicycle, I'd really recommend you look into a Stromer. Watch our video review below, read some reviews on this great site, compare it to other top performers. You might just find the ST1 at the top of your list.
Thanks for reading!
Peter, Manager at NYCeWheels bike shop in New York City