Flywheel | November 14, 2022
Exploring the best performing commuter bikes in the secondary market and featuring the top 5 vehicles of the week
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of the used side of owned micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight an observation of trends emerging in the industry and feature five of the most interesting used vehicles being sold in the secondary market.
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The observation of the week explores the best performing commuter bikes in the secondary market. This week’s featured vehicles are two unique takes on cargo bikes, a commuter, and two folding micro vehicles.
Observation of the Week
Best performing commuter bikes in the secondary market
Commuters are the most common type of ebikes, making up ~27% of all ebikes listed in the used market. For many manufacturers, it’s one of the first form factors they build since it’s a relatively straightforward use-case (single passenger with little to no cargo, ridden on roads, and short trip distances) that simplifies the frame and base componentry and has the widest customer reach. A quick breakdown of the best performing commuter bike models in the secondary market across top US regions in 2022:
Note that the 5 most commonly listed commuters are all fairly affordable, and have an MSRP in the $1,500 to $3,500 range. I believe that ~$2,500 is the goldilocks retail price (for new vehicles) that the best commuters will eventually converge to.
For the top 5 most utilized commuters, Stromer makes an appearance twice with its ST1 and ST2 models. This isn’t too surprising given that Stromer has long had a reputation for making the highest quality and most reliable ebikes in the market. Although they’re pricier than the other models on either list, they’re pretty affordable in the secondary market. Used ST1s sell for an average resale price of $2,171 ($2,228 less than MSRP) while used ST2s sell for $4,089 ($2,111 less than MSRP).
The models that strike the best balance between popularity and high utilization are the Rad Power RadCity and the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0. They form an interesting dichotomy and tackle the commuter use-case from two very different angles: The RadCity is a budget ebike from an upstart D2C brand while the Turbo Vado SL 4.0 is a premium vehicle from an incumbent dealer-network brand.
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Top 5 Vehicles of the Week
The Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 is an agile class-3 commuter. It’s Specialized’s best selling ebike in the used market, and arguably the best commuter from an incumbent brand given that it’s more affordable than ebikes from peer manufacturers. The powertrain features a 35Nm mid-drive motor and 500Wh battery pack, both of which are custom designed by Specialized. Additionally, this listing’s front fork has also been replaced with a Crust Clydesdale cargo fork to give riders a bit more hauling utility. A compelling and unique take on a cargo bike built on one of the most trusted commuter ebike platforms, this listing has <400 miles on it and comes with proof of purchase. Listing can be found here.
The Morfuns Eole S is a premium class-2 folding ebike. Unlike many other folding ebikes that tend to be budget vehicles with budget parts, the Eole S packs high-quality components into a sleek and ultra lightweight frame. The powertrain features a modest 43Nm rear-hub motor and a 230Wh battery pack, and the pedal assist that the powertrain provides is controlled by a torque sensor (as opposed to jerkier cadence sensors typically used on folding bikes). Most notable about this vehicle is its carbon fiber frame, which helps reduce the weight of the ebike without compromising the strength or stability of the frame itself. This listing has been ridden <10 times and is being sold for over $1K less than its Flywheel Vehicle Value. Listing can be found here.
The Pedego Stretch is a highly customizable class-2 cruiser-style cargo bike. By combining the cruiser position/riding style Pedego is known for with a high-payload (400lbs), modular rear rack, the Stretch has a unique frame unlike that of any other cargo bike. The rear rack is composed of a series of removable tubes that can be configured to make the rack longer and wider or to add a rear back rest and running boards for a second passenger. The powertrain features a geared 40.5Nm rear hub motor and a 624Wh battery pack, which gives riders a real world range of ~40 miles. Crucially, the Stretch also has a throttle, making it a highly practical vehicle for cargo jobs. Although the Stretch is a bit on the heavy side given its cruiser frame, its low 24” wheels make it easy to maneuver. As the seller puts it, the Stretch is a perfect minivan replacement for families and “a dream for a parent with a couple children to cart around.” This listing is ~4yrs old with a Flywheel estimated usage of ~2000 miles. Listing can be found here.
The Trek Verve+ 2 is an affordable yet high-quality class-1 street ebike. As Trek’s most affordable vehicle that is specifically designed for commuting, the Verve+ 2 is an extremely compelling incumbent brand option for urban riders. The Verve+ 2 is ready for daily commuting right out of the box, with the vehicle featuring lights, a rear rack, and fenders that are all directly integrated into the frame. The powertrain consists of a 40Nm Bosch Active Line Cruise mid-drive motor and a 400Wh Bosch PowerPack, which combines nicely with the torque sensor and suspension seat post to give riders a smooth and comfortable ride on city streets. Trek is also one of the big three incumbent bike OEMs (alongside Giant and Specialized), so Trek ebikes have easy access to a vast maintenance network in the US. The post for this listing is excellently authored, particularly because the seller does a great job of indicating how the vehicle was stored, ridden, and maintained. This listing has 946 miles of usage, and the firmware for the vehicle has been customized to include a walk assist mode that helps riders manually push the bike and any cargo it may be holding. Listing can be found here.
The Gyroor C2 is a folding, seated electric scooter designed for portability. Although the powertrain is fairly weak (22Nm rear-hub motor and 360Wh battery pack) and slow (30km/hr max speed), the C2’s compact form factor makes it an excellent cruiser for the first or last mile in an intermodal trip. The C2’s standout feature is that it folds inward into a circle and exposes a set of casters beneath the foot pegs to let you to roll the folded C2 like a suitcase. There’s also integrated lights and a fairly complex motor controller capable of dynamic range estimation and cruise control. Lastly, the C2 is designed to be easy to assemble/disassemble to simplify maintenance. Gyroor advertises the C2 as an ebike, but it’s actually technically classified as an escooter since it has no pedals. This vehicle is a fun example of the new form factors we’ll see when brands don’t stick to the arbitrarily rules around pedals and the lines between ebikes, escooters, and other micro vehicles are blurred. Listing can be found here.
That’s it for this week. Thanks again for joining, see you next Monday!
- Puneeth Meruva
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