Flywheel | May 01, 2022
Featuring the top 5 used vehicles of the week and exploring differences in average resale prices across the four largest secondary micromobility markets
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 two cargo bikes, two commuters, and a scrambler/emoped. The observation of the week explores differences in average resale prices across the four largest secondary micromobility markets.
Top 5 Vehicles of the Week
The Schoolbus+ is a class-1 electric cargo trike designed for “kid hauling”. The bike’s three wheels are in a tadpole configuration, with two front wheels mounted on either side of a front cargo box that has a capacity of 110lbs. The cargo box is placed in the front of the vehicle to allow parents to see their kids in their line of sight while riding. However, this configuration does make it awkward to maneuver the vehicle. Turning the Schoolbus+ requires turning both the cargo box and the wheels, and the handlebar doesn’t twist in place because the turning pivot is actually on the bottom of the cargo box instead of on the handlebar. The powertrain (250W motor and 320Wh battery pack) is smaller than that of most single rider ebikes and the vehicle itself weighs 140lbs, both of which only further exacerbate the maneuverability issues. This vehicle isn’t necessarily the best cargo bike for families looking to make long trips on hilly roads, but it’s an interesting option for riders looking for a vehicle with more cargo capacity and stability than the average long-tail cargo bike. Listing can be found here.
The DYU R1 is a budget compact commuter. The powertrain features a 250W motor and 180Wh battery pack, which limits the bike at ~15.5mph and a range of ~15 miles. However, there are a few unique design features that make the DYU a cool option for bike lane commuting and everyday errands. The handlebars fold so that you can easily slide the bike into storage, and the rear disc brake can be locked so that a thief can’t ride the vehicle if it’s stolen. Additionally, the battery pack is elegantly integrated into an easily removable seat post, which allows riders to take the seat post indoors for battery charging. Although the R1 doesn’t have a throttle, it does feature a torque sensor that makes it easy to engage the pedal-assist despite its short pedals. The R1 is still only available for pre-order in the US, so this listing of a brand-new R1 is one of the few ways to get early access to this ebike. Listing can be found here.
Sondors MadMods is Sondors’s line of scrambler style class-3 ebikes that toe the line of electric mopeds. The MadMods come in three different styles that each have different configurations of seats, handlebars, and other chassis components. This specific listing is the Cafe racer configuration, which features a seat with a backrest, a flat handlebar, and a front light with a windshield. All MadMods are built on the same powertrain (750W motor, 1008Wh battery) and have dual suspension on the rear-wheel and a fork suspension on the front-wheel. However, while the vehicles look extremely powerful and comfortable, early reviewers have indicated that the suspension and motor are weaker than competing class-3 scramblers. To that point, the seller of this specific listing actually bought the bike recently but is already reselling it due to (what seems to be) comfort and rideability issues. Listing can be found here.
Vehicles that retire from shared fleets will form a core component of the secondary micromobility market. Shared vehicles are often retired because they cannot withstand the wear and tear of daily shared use from many different riders. However, they are usually still more than capable of meeting the needs of an individual owner. This listing features such a vehicle retired from a scrapped bikeshare program in New Orleans. The ebike seems to be a class-3 cruiser (max speed of ~32mph) and includes a front cargo basket with a capacity of 100lbs. Listing can be found here.
The Tern Cargo Node is a pedal cargo bike made for space-constrained urban riders. While most cargo bikes are difficult to store due to their bulky size and weight, the Cargo Node actually folds to 1/3 its size and only weighs 54lbs. Unlike typical folding bikes, it’s also extremely stable and secure; most riders report that the joints are very sturdy and there’s very little flex even when riding with the max cargo capacity of 350lbs. The original Cargo Node has no pedal assist, but this seller actually retrofitted their Cargo Node to make it electric. The upfitted powertrain includes a 1000W Bafang motor and a 1000Wh battery pack to help the original seller “get from South San Francisco to Marin and back (~100 miles roundtrip) every day on a single charge.” The seller is even offering an upgraded charger that only charges the battery to 90% to maintain optimum battery health. Unfortunately, there are a few small parts of the bike build that the seller didn’t complete. Neither the brake sensors or rear spoke magnetic sensors are connected, and the kickstand is slightly broken. However, for buyers willing to make a few easy fixes and upgrades, this is an incredible option for a folding cargo bike that is more compact, cheaper, and just as powerful as any electric long-tail cargo bike on the market. Listing can be found here.
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Observation of the Week
Differences in average resale prices across the four largest secondary micromobility markets
So far in 2022, the average resale prices of used ebikes across the four largest used micromobility markets are as follows:
SF - Bay Area: $2,113.31
Notably, NYC’s average resale price is only 55%-65% of the average resale prices of other major markets. To me, this indicates that NYC has a higher adoption of micromobility as a means of utility and accessible transportation than other markets, where adoption still seems a bit more skewed towards micromobility as a means of leisure and sport. While Craigslist in LA, Seattle, and SF is often filled with high-end trail and mountain bikes from the likes of Specialized, Craigslist in NYC tends to feature more commuters that are either from budget brands or custom builds. I suspect this is a reflection of the fact that NYC is the most advanced of the above four markets in terms of dense urban bike infrastructure, and it seems to have the largest number of delivery networks and drivers that use ebikes for their operations.
That’s it for this week. Thanks again for joining, see you next Sunday!
- Puneeth Meruva
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