- Flywheel: Safety-Rated Ebikes in the Secondary Market | Vehicles from GMC/Recon, Velotric, Tenways, Aventon, & Rad Power
Flywheel: Safety-Rated Ebikes in the Secondary Market | Vehicles from GMC/Recon, Velotric, Tenways, Aventon, & Rad Power
Breaking down safety-rated ebikes in the secondary market & featuring the top 5 vehicles of the week
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of owned and used 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 breaks down safety-rated ebikes in the secondary market. This week’s featured vehicles are three fat-tire ebikes, one smart commuter, and one moped-style utility ebike.
Note: This is the last Flywheel newsletter of 2023. Over the next few weeks, I will be working on this year’s Flywheel Wrapped, an end-of-year report on the state of the secondary micromobility market (for context: 2022’s Flywheel Wrapped). If there's specific metrics/trends you'd be interested in, respond below or email me at [email protected] and I'll do my best to incorporate them into the report. In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and see you in the New Year :)
Observation of the Week
Breaking down safety-rated ebikes in the secondary market
About 2 weeks ago, I released the Flywheel Vehicle Safety Guide, a live and growing list of ebikes that have have received some level of safety credibility or certification. It currently catalogs 1544 models/variations of ebikes that are either UL-certified or rated by Consumer Reports, and will continue to track even more ebikes as more vehicles are certified and new signals for safety ratings/standards are adopted by the industry.
To get a sense of the types of safety-rated ebikes currently out in the market, this week’s observation of the week breaks down all UL-certified or Consumer Reports-rated ebikes in the secondary market:
31.3% of the listings in the secondary market across major US regions are safety rated as defined above. The average resale price of a safety rated ebike is $2,297.88, which is substantially higher than the overall secondary market average of $1,739.37. The average mileage of a safety rated ebike is 437.38mi, which, similar to the higher average resale price, is also higher than the secondary market-wide average mileage of 330.70mi. Given that UL-certified/Consumer Reports-recognized bikes tend to be vehicles from higher quality, better known brands, it’s no surprise that they are more expensive and are ridden more/last longer.
Breakdown of safety-rated used ebikes by region:
The SF - Bay Area is the easiest place to find a safety-rated used ebike, and the region accounts for 41.3% of all safety-rated used ebikes in the secondary market. This is in line with the fact that the SF - Bay Area has the highest average resale price and that its listings are pre-dominantly from premium dealer-network brands or highly recognizable D2C brands.
Breakdown of safety-rated used ebikes by form factor:
A breakdown of safety-rated used ebikes by form factor shows that Commuters (accounting for 40% of the segment) and Sport ebikes (accounting for 22.3% of the segment) are the most common. Again, this is unsurprising given that these are the form factors that the most reliable brands typically focus on. Additionally, the importance of safety is magnified for city riders given the high-utilization of the vehicles, and these are the two form factors most commonly ridden in urban environments.
Breakdown of safety-rated used ebikes by brand:
The bicycle big 3 of Specialized, Trek, and Giant lead the way with the highest number of safety-rated ebikes in the used market. Notably, Aventon ranks 3rd on the list, which speaks to the amazing work they’ve done providing reliable and safe ebikes at affordable prices. Rad Power and Lectric, which are the D2C brands with the highest volumes, crack the top 10 but are towards the bottom of the list given that they only recently started offering UL-certified vehicles.
If you’re interested in exploring the details of ebikes that have some form of safety credentials, check out the Flywheel Vehicle Safety Guide.
For more observations and resources on owned and used micromobility, check out rideflywheel.com/resources.
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Featured Vehicles of the Week
The GMC Hummer EV ebike is a class-2/3 fat-tire ebike. Announced as a “super ebike” companion to GMC’s electric Hummer, it’s the latest installation of auto manufacturers entering the world of ebikes. The Hummer ebike is not actually a vehicle developed by GMC, but rather a Hummer-branded ebike developed by by Recon Power Bikes. Recon is a fat-tire ebike brand that supplies ebikes to police departments and, fun fact, is actually based in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana :). As the Hummer name would suggest, the vehicle has a monstrous powertrain, featuring two twin 80Nm Bafang hub motors and a 840Wh battery pack. A 1008Wh battery pack version is available for ~$175 more. For reference, as electrek's Micah Toll points out, the ebike’s big sister has “a 200x larger battery” and is “around 28x more expensive.” The powertrain is UL 2849 and 2271 certified, and is operated by a smart motor controller with torque vectoring functionality that intelligently sends torque independently to each motor to allow for much better traction control when off-roading. The handling is even further improved with the Hummer ebike’s 9-speed Shimano transmission, hydraulic disc brakes, and grippy 4” fat-tires. Hummer ebikes are sold either via GMC’s auto dealerships or D2C online. This listing is assembled but brand-new, and is priced at ~$500 less than MSRP. Listing can be found here.
The Velotric Nomad is 1 is a class-2 budget fat-tire ebike designed for riders looking for a hybrid to take on both roads and trails. Its powertrain features a 75Nm rear hub motor and a 691.2Wh removable battery pack, and is combined with a Shimano 8-speed transmission and hydraulic disc brakes to provide excellent control and handling. The Nomad 1 is both UL 2271 and 2849 certified. It’s one of the few fat-tires to have UL certification, and it’s one of the cheapest UL certified vehicles available in the market. Rounding out the Nomad 1 are a suspension fork and 26” by 4” fat tires that make it plush to ride, as well as built-in lights and fenders to keep you visible and clean when off-roading. The Nomad 1 is Velotric’s high-performance variant. It has the strongest powertrain within Velotric’s lineup (stronger motor, bigger battery, and a high-performance Velopower H75 motor controller), but it uses a cadence sensor as opposed to a torque sensor and has no smart urban-focused software features like Apply Find My/GPS tracking or an app. This listing has a mileage of 313mi and comes with a front basket and Tannus Armour Inserts (to prevent flats). Listing can be found here.
The Tenways CGO800S is an elegantly designed class-1 commuter that mimics the style of VanMoof, Cowboy, and other tech-forward integrated brands. Its powertrain features a 35Nm rear hub motor and a 375Wh battery pack, and is paired with a torque sensor and a Gates carbon belt drive. This package delivers a riding experience akin to a mid-drive motor, but at a much lower cost. Rounding out the CGO800S is its front suspension fork and hydraulic brakes, which further improve its smooth and responsive handling. The CGO800S is tailored for city riding right out of the box, as is suggested by its turn signals, integrated rear rack and fenders, comprehensive lighting, and other urban-focused built-in accessories. It's a great choice for riders looking for high-quality components and city-focused design without a hefty price tag. However, the CGO800S's powertrain isn't as strong as that of other competitors in the ~$2K price bracket. In fact, this listing has only been ridden once and is being resold because the seller needs a bike with a more powerful motor. Listing can be found here.
The Aventon Aventure.2 is a versatile class-2/3 fat-tire ebike. It’s arguably the best budget fat-tire in the market, and offers a D2C price point alongside a sizeable servicing dealer-network. Launched at the start of this year, it's a significant update over the original Aventure, which gained popularity amongst cost-conscious urban cyclists for its practicality and low maintenance. The powertrain (TÜV certified in accordance with UL 2849) is the same as that of the earlier model, featuring a 75Nm rear geared hub motor and a 720Wh battery pack. However, the Aventure.2 has several exciting upgrades that warrant its $400 price hike. A key upgrade is the shift from a cadence sensor to a torque sensor, which offers nearly the same intuitive and responsive pedaling experience as a mid-drive motor while maintaining the dependability and throttle-functionality of a hub motor. Additionally, the latest model includes a frame-integrated rear rack and turn signals. The Aventure.2 is yet another example of how budget-friendly brands make sure that their bikes are equipped with all necessary urban-riding accessories right out of the box, as opposed to higher-end brands that charge extra for them. This is a strategy particularly beneficial to new riders who might be unfamiliar with how to properly configure their ebikes, which ultimately makes micromobility more accessible and user-friendly. This listing has a mileage of 154mi and is sold by a YouTube ebike reviewer. Listing can be found here.
The Rad Power RadRunner is a versatile, class-2 utility ebike. Its Rad Power’s 3rd most popular model and the brand’s most versatile offering, perfect for both easy commuting and efficient cargo carrying. Equipped with an 80Nm rear-hub motor and a 672Wh battery pack, the RadRunner has a substantial 300lb payload capacity that can easily accommodate a second child or small adult passenger via RadPower's Bring a Friend kit. Combined with its 20” fat tires, low center-of-gravity, and modular and easily configurable design, the RadRunner is a comfortable and high-utility Swiss Army Knife of ebikes. Recent regulatory pushes towards UL 2849 certified ebikes raised significant questions about Rad Power and threatened its position as one of the industry’s leading brands. In response, Rad Power announced that all Rad Powers sold after September 2023 will have UL 2849 Certification. The RadRunner itself has also been rated by Consumer Reports. This listing has only been ridden for 15mi and comes with front and rear racks, the rear passenger kit, and a downtube-mounted luggage box. Listing can be found here.
That’s it for this edition. Thanks again for joining, see you next week!
- Puneeth Meruva
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