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Gregg Bagni: Finally ...

Published May 18, 2012

Recently I saw and touched the new Specialized ebike at the Sea Otter Classic. Actually it was the first electric bike I ever really wanted to ride despite the fact they wouldn't let me ride it. 

With that said recently saw the blurb about the Audi concept ebike. Read the story, peeked at the photos, etc.. ... Holy smokes someone is finally figuring out how to build an ebike product that might actually sell and be used in the U.S.

Let's set price aside for a second because I have to look at this like a 1tb hard drive. When they first came out they were super expensive and last week I bought one at Walmart for $119. This is the type of product has the same potential to go wider, broader and less expensive with acceptance.

Granted the overall market for a product like this is smaller and narrower, but now that's a good thing — call it a "super-niche," meaning narrow and deep with high loyalty and referral. But if concepts and designs like this can trickle down in price this type of ebike could actually do OK in the States. Finally an ebike with low dork factor, high feature and benefit to the consumer, a 2 1/2-hour charge and with a real brand name on it that is relevant to almost anyone on the planet.

Admittedly I've always been skeptical about ebikes in the U.S. market and not about cost but more about look, feel, speed, charge time and cool factor. Nobody has been able to nail it. The truth is with all the carbon fiber and high-tech wizardry on this bike (including the wheelie mode) this bike will probably never reach production. However, it's now on the top of my list of ebikes that I gotta ride.

PS: I'm wondering now that Audi owns Ducati if this product will instead roll in the moto world with license plates and a tail light before it's commercialized as a bicycle?

Editor's note: Bagni spent seven years (49 dog years) as the SVP of Marketing and Prod Development for Schwinn Cycling & Fitness in Boulder, CO, as part of a new management team that carried the ailing icon back to the number one position in the U.S. marketplace. To close his tenure, in his usual humorous style, a corporate press release was sent claiming he was to be abducted by the same aliens who dropped him off in 1993. Not long after he re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and launched Alien Truth Communications, a Colorado-based strategic marketing and communications consulting firm.


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