4 comprable bikes


(1) Night-Rider (Dealer Installed Kit w/Marin & E-BikeKit) (2) eFlow Nitro (by CURRIE) (3) A2B Metro bike (by Ultra Motor) (4) Stromer ST1 Elite

OK,from part 1 the TOTAL COST OF HARDWARE came to $1.674. In order to build Night-Rider I had to write $1,674.00 worth of checks. Keep in mind; these are the prices I paid delivered to my shop in Carlisle, PA. I spend a lot of time shopping for the best deals, I buy in small quantities & combine orders to reduce or eliminate freight & as a dealer I often get additional discounts off the prices that you would pay buying one or two things at a time.

Marrin E-Bike


Fenders, headlights, running lights, gauges, H2O bottle, kickstand, bags, etc. Inexpensive accessories that make your bike easier & safer to use.

Now, in addition to the time spent procuring those parts, there is the time spent making these little pieces and parts come together to form a big electric bike. How much time is that? From start to finish, from receiving everything in & un-packing it, to modifying the parts & installing them, to rolling it out the door and taking it for a test ride, it took about a week. I did do other things during that week, but it’s safe to say that it took at least 25 hours. At a discounted shop rate of $20 an hour that’s $500. So now the cost of our electric bicycle is up to $2,174. If I were to be satisfied with making only a 10% margin on everything then the selling price of this bike should be $2,391.40. Let’s round that up to a proper sounding retail price of $2,399.99. That’s it $2,399.99 is the price I’ll have to ask for Night-Rider in order to turn a profit. The question now is, Can I get it?

Wow, you say, I was thinking it would be just a few hundred bucks more than the base bike. I mean, I’ve seen e-bike bikes advertised at Wal-Mart for under $600 & there’s all kinds of e-bike kits on Ebay for $250. Hell I could buy a used car for $2,400.

If this sounds like you, then I’ll assume you’re the average consumer. Or in my case the average customer. And that’s kind of what I’m up against. Other than having seen them advertised on the Internet & knowing you’d like to have one, you don’t really know too much else about them. Nor had you really planned on spending a bunch of time researching them. You just wanted to find a decent bike, for a decent price, pay for it, then take it home & go for a ride.

Well, since it’s my job to educate my readers about e-bikes & I have to determine the “asking price” for Night-Rider anyway let’s check out some comparable e-bikes together.

First I’ll try to determine how much it would cost a medium sized company in the USA to build “GOOD” entry level e-bikes. This will be EZgo-Now’s “Virtual Factory Bike” . I’ll start by purchasing the cheapest, components that still offer the necessary performance & reliability required to build a good bike. I’ll order in 100 plus quantities to get the best wholesale pricing FOB freight prepaid to my shop door. In order to stay competitive with all of the other great sounding poorly built e-bikes I’ll advertise the basic bike price (a stripper) & then offer a full list of options. To keep things simple I’ll use a 30% mark-up on parts & labor in hopes of making a profit.

  • $150 for a Drive Motor laced to wheelWe work with tools
  • $11 for a Wiring Harness
  • $12 Throttle
  • $25 Motor Controller
  • $7 battery bags
  • $11 racks
  • $4 misc. hardware & fasteners
  • $200 for LiFeP04 36V 10 amp battery packs
  • $180 for a pre-built to my spec. MTB bike
  • $150 labor 2 hrs. @ $75 per hr.

_____________________

  • Sub Total for basic bike $743.00
  • Average Total spent on options $150.00
  • $22 S&H cost
  • Total bike & options $893 x 1.30 = $1,160.09

In my case the customer will pay a flat $50 for S&H, making the grand total for my “Virtual Factory Bike”  $1,210.09.

Assuming, like me, you don’t have a bike shop close to you selling these things, we can start by typing “electric bicycle” or “e-bike” into the Google Search Box. But first let me tell you what my Dad always told me.“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is”. I know you’ve heard that before but it’s always worth repeating. You should do this exercise even If you are lucky enough to have a decent bike shop or two in your area selling e-bikes; doing some on-line research can still help you land the best deal.

Earlier in the article I gave you the prices on all of the components, including the price of the bicycle that went in to building Night-Rider. These are the same 2013 prices that most bike shops & custom builders like me would pay. Granted, a really large E bike corporation buying parts in the thousands would get even better prices than the ones above but they are still can’t build & sell a reasonably decent e-bike for much less than $1,000. I don’t care how you do the math, or where the bike is built, at the end of the day it still has to get to you. We both know that the  cost of living has gone up substantially in the last few  years & I just gave you the costs that goes into building & selling these things, so now we should both know that finding a good well-equipped e-bike for $1000 or less is pretty darn slim.

So why are there so many out there? Simple, they are neither good, nor well equipped. Most are built in the Far East free from the liability issues that most western countries normally deal with. They are built using inferior & or outdated parts, anything that does not make the bike go forward or come to a stop has been eliminated. Quality control & service after the sale are non-existent. Fortunately for you & unfortunately for me this flood of sub-par e-bikes keeps the price of even the better quality bikes artificially low. For me, I have to price my e-bikes at prices that are competitive to these similar sounding lower quality bikes.  For you, by doing some research, shopping smart & accepting the fact that you’ll have to pay more than $1,000 for a good e-bike, can & will find a great bike for well under $3,000.

The following are the results of our research & the links to the e-bike companies & their e-bikes that might be competitive to Night-Rider. I did my best to compare “Apples to Apples” & to note the differences.

After that are a few links to web-sites that I will regularly use for information on products & prices along with links to articles I have written & published on EZgo-Now.com. I’ve listed these in groupings based on how & what I use them for.

The following companies are well regarded by folks in the e-bike industry. With the exception of Currie & Stromer, these companies produce mostly mid to upper level e-bikes. Currie e-bikes start at the bottom at $489 but quickly go up to the $3,000 category. Stromer e-bikes start at $3,000 & go up from there. Although none of these companies are from the Far East you can be sure that some, most or all of the components are.

Their similarly equipped e-bike offerings are listed below. Keep in mind that “similar” is not “the same as”. Some of these bikes have smaller or cheaper batteries, some have no suspension & none of them come with the full complement of accessories that Night-Rider has. I built Night-Rider to be FUN, GOOD-LOOKING & FAST while serving as PRACTICAL TRANSPORTATION. In order to be used as practical transportation an e-bike has to do more than just haul your ass around on nice days. Click the links for all their details.

An important note before you start. Next to the quality of the bicycle itself, the size & quality of the battery pack is the next biggest contributor to both cost & performance. All of the bikes listed use expensive light weight, long lasting Lithium batteries. Far superior to either lead acid or ni-cad, lithium batteries can be broken down into multiple sub-groups. For e-bikes the two most common types are Lithium-Ion that will last for approximately 700 charge cycles & the more expensive LiFeP04 that can go for around 2,000 charge cycles. The old heavy lead acid batteries found on most inexpensive e-bikes will last about 250 charge cycles.

The more information you can arm yourself with about this very expensive component the better your chances of getting  a good battery at a good price. You can start by reading any of the following: Introduction to Battery Types, Calculating battery power & rangeBattery University.

MY BIKE:

 

Night-Rider by EZgo-Now (Built using a dealer installed kit)

 Night-Rider

“Night-Rider” – 011 Marrin w/E-BikeKit DD 500/1000W $__?___

 

THEIR BIKES:

eZee TorQ II, electric bike
  • $1,900.00 – 36V 10 Ah lithium-ion
  • Dash-panel Display
  • 350 watt /700 watt peak / 36V gear drive hub motor
  • Shimano Deore 9 Speed
  • 62 lbs.
  • South Africa
Yukon Trails Electric Mountain Bike

ezee-torq-ii-electric-bike-3

Ezee-Torq-ii $1,900.00

 

  • $1,013.51 36V 10AH LiFePo4
  • 250W/500W peak / gear drive Hub Motor
  • 3 Mode Display
  • 7 Speed
  • 60 lbs.
  • USA
Prodeco V3 Outlaw SE 8 Speed Electric Bicycle 
  • $2,199.00 – 51.2V 9Ah LiFePO4
  • Direct Drive 48V 750W Motor
  • 20 mph Speed
  • 25-30 Mile Distance
     Prodco V3 Outlaw

    Prodco V3 $2,199.00

     

  • 62 lbs.
  • USA
Montague Paratrooper with BionX 350 watt G2 48V kit (Dealer installed kit)
  • $3,000 – 48 volt 10 amp lithium-ion
  • 350 watt /700 watt peak / 36V gear drive hub motor
  • Dash-panel Display
    montague-paratrooper-with-bionx-6

    Paratrooper w/bionx-6 kit $3,000.00

     

  • 7 Speeds x 3
  • Folding Bike
  • Weight With Kit: 46 lbs.
  • USA / Canada
  • $2,799.00 – 36 volt 9 amp LiFeP04
  • 500W direct drive hub motor
  • Dash-panel Display
  • Weight: 62 lbs.
  • Sweden

 

Stromer ST1 Elite / ST1 Platinum – Electric Bicycle

Stormer ST1

Stormer ST1 $3,399.00

 

  • $3,399 – 36 volt 14.5 Ah LiFeP04
  • 500W direct drive hub motor
  • Dash-panel Display
  • Weight: 62 lbs.
  • Sweden

 

A2B Metro bike

(Ultra Motor / HeroEco)

  • $3,099 36V 10 amp Lithium-Ion
  • 500W gear drive hub motor
    a2b-metro

    A2B-Metro $3,099

     

  • Shimano Alivio 7 Speed x 3
  • Dash-panel Display
  • 73lbs
  • USA
eFlow Nitro electric bike
 (by CURRIE)
  • $3,999 – 36V 10.7AH Lithium-ion
  • 500W Direct Drive Hub Motor
  • SRAM 20 speed
    Currie eFlow Nitro

    Currie eFlow Nitro $3,999.00
    CurrieNitro

     

  • LCD Display
  • 52 lbs.
  • USA

All of the information above was found using the web-sites below. The first three have been around for quite a while, and the Electric Bike Report by Pete Prebus is a little over a year old. All of them offer unbiased and accurate information on the bikes they are reviewing.

The United States is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to using bicycles for transportation so I often read web-sites from other countries like this Buyers Guide from the UK. A to B .

I also check Amazon’s Bike Commuter Store, not just as a source for retail prices, but also for the frank & open reviews offered by their millions of customers. Some stupid, some great, all are un-edited.

For detailed technical information on absolutely everything having to do with electric bikes, batteries & parts, from problems to praises you should scroll through any of the following web-sites. The Endless-Sphere forum is hands down the definitive source of technical information on anything having to do with electric vehicles.

For detailed & accurate information as well as good reading about neat high-end e-bikes I always read:

Finally I always check Ebay.com. Just be careful. Ebay has really tightened the rules in the last few years but that doesn’t make it full-proof.

The conclusion is “IF” I’m selling to an educated group of consumers pricing Night Rider at $2,399.99 is probably right where it should be. “IF”,  however is an important word in this scenario. To make things even more difficult, my custom built e-bike conversion are only for sale to my local Central PA market, narrowing my potential customers down to a comparative  handful  of people. After taking all of  this into consideration I will  price “NIGHT-RIDER”  at an astonishingly low $1,995.00. To see more of my e-bike conversions please check out my Carlisle Sales Page or E-Bike Projects.

 
Be safe & have fun,
Matt
 
 
 

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Filed under: bicycle partsE-BikeE-Bike ComponentsE-Bike KitsTransportation

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