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Flywheel | July 11, 2022
Featuring the top 5 used vehicles of the week and exploring the types of ebikes listed on the secondary market
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of the used side of owned micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight five of the most interesting used vehicles being sold in the market followed by an observation of trends emerging in the industry.
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This week’s features are a utility ebike/moped, a folding commuter, a cruiser, a trail ebike, and a cargo bike. The observation of the week explores the types of ebikes listed on the secondary market.
Top 5 Vehicles of the Week
The 2X2 Adventure is a utility e-bike/moped by New Zealand startup UBCO. UBCO originally got its start by building commercial utility ebike workhorses for high-duty off-road applications like agriculture and conservation. Based on their learnings from those applications, UBCO launched the street-legal 2X2 Adventure. The 2X2 Adventure’s highly powerful powertrain features two 1kW, ~90Nm Flux2 motors and a 2.1kWh battery pack. This motor wattage unfortunately puts the 2X2 in the moped category given today’s ebike taxonomy. There are a couple of interesting operating systems on the vehicle that add a layer of software-defined features to the ebike. The Cerebro2 vehicle management system integrates electronics, enables over-the-air updates, and connects to an isolated CAN bus, while the Scotty battery management system performs realtime safety monitoring and predictive maintenance. This listing has ~4300 miles of usage, but is still selling well below its Flywheel Vehicle Value. Listing can be found here.
The RadMini is a class-3 folding bike and one of the most comfortable folding bikes on the market. Featuring the same powerful 80Nm Bafang geared hub motor and 672Wh battery pack as its larger sister Rad Power vehicles, the RadMini has a substantially more powerful powertrain than most competing budget folding ebikes. Riding a RadMini over rough roads is already very smooth due to its 20” fat tires, but the seller of this listing also installed a suspension seat post to further make “those pesky NYC potholes feel like nothing.“ The seller is selling this ebike because its battery was unfortunately stolen. However, the cost of replacing the stolen battery with a new battery from Rad Power ($549) is adequately accounted for in the listing price. Listing can be found here.
The Arroyo C8 HMB is a high-quality step-thru class-1 cruiser built by Dutch brand Gazelle. Despite its step-thru frame, the Arroyo doesn’t flex in the same way that a lot of other step-thru cruisers do and provides the rigid and sporty feel of a high-step ebike. Gazelle uses the Bosch Performance Line Cruise for its powertrain, which features a 63Nm motor and a 883Wh battery pack. There’s also a suspension fork and seat that are more than sufficient for commuter use-cases. The C8 HMB is certainly towards the higher end of pricing for cruisers, but this is after all an ebike manufactured by a 100+ year old company that has been formally recognized by the Royal Dutch family. The seller of this listing does an exceptional job of providing relevant maintenance information. Not only does the seller list the bike shop that has serviced this vehicle over its lifetime, but she is also willing to provide a 5 page diagnostic report prepared by an official service center. This listing has 1300 miles of usage and is in excellent condition. Listing can be found here.
The Rove E+ is a class-1 trail bike from Liv, a line of ebikes from Giant specifically designed for women. In fact, Giant even sells a sister model called the Roam E+ that has the same powertrain, suspension, and controls system for the same MSRP of the Rove E+. The powertrain features a 50Nm SyncDrive Core motor co-developed by Giant and Yamaha and a 400Wh battery pack. The SyncDrive motor is actually a particularly notable component inclusion. By measuring pedal cadence, pedal torque, vehicle speed, vehicle acceleration, and incline, the SyncDrive motor can provide a much smoother and more intuitive feeling pedal-assist than most other ebikes. The suspension fork is a bit weak for trail riding and mountain biking, but is sufficiently comfortable for urban commuting. This listing has less than 100 miles of usage and is being sold because the seller is upgrading to a mountain bike with better suspension. Listing can be found here.
The Benno Boost is a class-3 compact cargo bike built in the Swiss designer Benno Beanziger’s philosophy of “etility” (electric utility). Designed to be highly configurable, the Boost is compatible with a number of different cargo modules sold by Benno that allow it to be a versatile vehicle for everyone from families with kids to delivery drivers. The Boost is built on the Bosch Performance Speed powertrain, featuring a 85Nm motor with a 500Wh battery pack. Compared to the Tern GSD or Rad Power RadWagon, the Benno Boost isn’t as stable because it has slightly larger diameter tires. However, it is a class-3 ebike as opposed to the class-1 GSD and class-2 RadWagon, making it up to 8mph faster and potentially a more practical vehicle for longer distances. This listing only has 287 miles of usage and is in like new condition barring a few cosmetic scratches. Listing can be found here.
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Observation of the Week
Types of ebikes listed on the secondary market
Looking at the types of ebikes most commonly sold on the secondary market provides an interesting lens into where we are in the ebike adoption curve.
Below is a breakdown of the types of ebikes listed so far on Craigslist in 2022 across the top 5 major ebike markets. Note: vehicle type is a self-reported category on Craigslist, and is included on ~78% of listings.
Some quick stats:
Urban commuting focused ebikes (Hybrid/Comfort and Folding categories) make up 42.7% of listings.
Sport focused ebikes (Mountain, Road, and Gravel categories) make up 36.6% of listings.
Leisure focused ebikes (Cruiser category) make up 15.8% of listings.
Cargo focused ebikes (Cargo/Pedicab category) make up 3.3% of listings.
It’s encouraging to see that urban commuting focused vehicles make up the largest portion of listings. To be fair, this is stat is likely a bit skewed because the markets I analyzed are primarily dense urban regions. That being said, I still believe it is an indication that ebike adoption is starting to hit a broader audience that is now more comfortable biking in cities because of ebikes. This is also a compelling data point suggesting that bike shops (who have traditionally focused on the sport market even when located in dense cities) should consider incorporating a wider range of commuter options.
Additionally, keep an eye out for the cargo category. Although it’s still a pretty small sliver of the ebike pie, I believe it’s only poised to grow moving forward. As more and more people start thinking about using ebikes to replace car trips, utility and payload capacity will quickly become critical considerations and must-have features.
That’s it for this week. Thanks again for joining, see you next week!
- Puneeth Meruva
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