By Rick Vosper
Much Bigger Pond = Much Smaller Frog: The IBD’s slice of the e-bike pie is a whole lot smaller than we think it is. It’s time we stopped kidding ourselves about that fact … and start getting a whole lot smarter about what we’re going to do about it.
Let’s start by getting some stuff out of the way. E-bikes are not the Next Big Thing. They are the Right This Minute Big Thing, and only getting bigger from here. Many retailers will recall hearing this statement before, and going back over a quarter century, too. I even wrote a long piece about it in GorillaNet, a pre-internet bike industry scandal sheet and fax/email newsletter I published. The headline was something like E-Bikes: Next Big Thing Or Moped Of The ’90s?
I mention this because enough independent bike shops have been burned by here today/gone tomorrow e-bike brands and not-ready-for-prime-time technology that there’s still a lingering fog of doubt around the whole ebike topic in many circles. And this fog lingers despite excellent, well-funded, well-supported product offerings from any number of reputable brands both within the traditional IBD segment and outside of it.
While the IBD channel largely dithers about …read more