Cycling events tours and sponsored rides are set to boom once again post Covid 19 restrictions.
Organizers should considering offering full e-Bike packages to open up the market.
Market growth indicators
In our opinion this is a growing market. Some of the leading indicators; are listed below;
· People in general are more disposed to experiences rather than purchases.
· More people have experienced riding eBikes and they have been left with a positive opinion.
· People are exercising more and getting fitter but unless they are experienced cyclists they do not have the core fitness or muscle development to cycle long distances effectively for several consecutive days.
· There will be a post Covid need to build and strengthen teams who have possibly never met face to face. This will be safer outdoors.
· The obvious lagging indicator is a global shortage of all bicycles including ebikes
Barriers to trips on conventional cycles
· Mixed fitness and ability limit the distance that can be covered in a day, to the slowest rider (for whatever reason).
· This causes problems with accommodation and onward travel bookings and often, the time available to complete the trip is fixed.
Advantages of eBikes
· Groups of mixed ability and fitness can cycle together and keep up a similar average pace.
· Abnormal exertion is kept to a minimum reducing the likelylood of illness or injury
· Generally ‘morning-after’ fatigue is reduced.
Disadvantages of eBikes
· Heavier and bulkier to transport than normal bikes trailer not van required.
· No air transportation with Lithium batteries
· Range is limited by battery size and ability and fitness of the rider
· Charging facilities are required (overnight) (generally but not always, batteries can be removed from bikes for charging)
· Tendency for people to over-estimate their fitness and ability is increased. Some but not all people generally accept their lack of capability to cycle but may think a battery is a total substitute for both fitness to exercise and ability to ride a bike.
These factors amongst many others are commonly-occurring on local hires and can be largely managed with a professional approach and competent, trained staff and appropriate bikes.
Consideration of different eBike technologies
Hub motor bikes
This is an old technology with a motor in the wheel hub (front or rear). Largely overtaken by crank/pedal/centre motor, it has however seen a recent resurgence in some quality/light road and gravel bikes due to enhanced computer control.
The concept is light weight and light touch with the power delivered as invisibly as possible although they can be ridden for short distance with very little effort.
Quality and sophistication varies with brand, mainstream bikes vary from £2000 to £6000+
The workhorse of today’s eBikes. Basically multiplies the rider effort according to the handlebar setting and high torque motors can be ridden on any hill with relative ease.
High torque motors tend to be more expensive, generally heavier and need a bigger battery to deliver the power for long periods. This technology is most developed in hybrid, touring and trekking and mountain bikes.
There is a lightweight crank motor option from Fazua which is a great allrounder but keeping weight low limits the range if a lot of power is requested by the rider.
The advantage of a lighter bike is that the weight of the bike is not using so much power so in theory it can be pedaled with less or no motor input….. but will/CAN renters manage their battery use?!
Light/road bike tours in my opinion would be a specialist area, perfect if renters accept their own personal limitations and perfect for mixed electic/non electric, cycling enthusiast groups.
For the non-enthusiast, general interest groups the crank motor represents a safer and more enjoyable option so long as;
The ebike has enough power to allow poor cyclists to climb the envisaged terrain
There is a big enough battery to provide the daily range in the worst case scenario (or there is a support vehicle with spare batteries = utopia)
Style is important and even hirers like to have bikes in which the battery is not obvious.
All this adds up to quite an investment and consequent per day/week rental charge.
A practical startup.
Bikes like these would be popular.
Scott Sub Tour e-ride 10
(Dual battery would add about £1000)
Spare batteries would be about £750 each retail.
See range calculator
Pricing and ROI
Any business thinking of participating in this arena need to be sure of the uptake of ebike rental on top of all the other costs involved. However commercial enterprises sending employees on team building or charity events are unlikely to be counting the pennies, rather looking at the benefits.
Once the purchase (or lease may be more attractive) of the bikes is decided, the next major considerations are;
· Maintenance and repair
· Safety and compliance (record-keeping)
· Staffing and training
Advice should be sought on all aspects before embarking on a startup in this area.
Once the likely uptake and total cost of running the fleet is estimated, simple ROI and profitability calculations will derive a likely cost to rent and thus a daily, weekly or monthly rental charge.
Quality ebikes are currently enjoying a slow rate of depreciation due to lack of availability and manufacturing capacity worldwide. They generally have a 2 year warranty on the electrical components (subject to terms and conditions) and frame warranty depends on envisaged use. However a rental bike is subject to a lot of transportation knocks and is unlikely to be treated as well as an owned one so this needs to be taken into account on the residual value.
Can we help?
Eden-e-Motion have experience in selling and renting ebikes B2C and B2B since 2013.
We have a large network of suppliers and partners and also offer consultancy services to those wishing to integrate ebikes into their private or commercial operations through things like.
· Ebike rental schemes for tour operators or hospitality providers
· Companies wishing to engage their workforce for business effectiveness and sustainability
We offer bespoke projects. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’
We are a small family business but don’t let that stop you. If you have a project in mind, a phone call or email is free!