eBikes Aren’t Cool

A NYTimes most emailed article about ebikes earlier today contained this quote

“To the core cyclist, it’s cheating,” said Loren Mooney, editor in chief of Bicycling Magazine. “Marketers understand this, and it’s why some have put e-bikes in mass retailers like Best Buy, rather than engaging in the uphill battle of trying to sell them in bike shops.”

There’s a perception problem when @bicyclingmag says you’re not cool and cyclists look down at you, but the ebikes market isn’t about bike geeks, or the opinion of Loren, it’s new cyclists and commuters. Marketers fail to sell ebikes because they’re hybrids with motors, not performance or even cargo bikes with a boost, like the Bettie.

The “uphill battle” with ebikes will continue until the industry makes better bikes, until marketers discover who the urban cyclist is, and actually talks to them. If she hasn’t already, the editor in chief of Bicycling Magazine should meet the urban "noncore" cyclist. She’d likely learn they ride almost everyday around town and don’t shop for bikes at Best Buy.

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