Ever looked at a bike, looked at your commute via Google Maps and then looked at the weather and thought, “No way fam”? Peddling a normal bike can seem like a tall task to some, especially when you’re trying to look presentable for work or don’t enjoy the sport of cycling. Luckily enough, local company Riide has the remedy in the form of electric bicycles.
“When you’re thinking between the design of a bike, an [electric] bike opens up the possibilities,” says Riide co-founder Amber Wason. “You can wear a more diverse wardrobe or access different geographies. It [also] increases the distance you’re able to ride.”
Set to debut the Riide 2 this spring, production on the company’s second bike was temporarily delayed to Covid-19. However, Wason says reservations are nearly sold out, and the bikes will be delivered to purchasers sometime in the Fall.
We caught up with Wason to chat about how the virus changed Riide’s plans, why electric bikes are useful and what people can expect from the Riide 2.
District Fray: I guess the first question is how is Riide handling the pandemic?
Amber Wason: Yeah, thank you for asking. I was going for my notes that we were preparing for the launch, and we were supposed to pitch media the first two weeks of March. We did our part, stayed home, troubleshooted with production and saw how our partners were. We launched on May 13 because we were thinking that people would like to have bikes as they navigate their lives as we come out of the stay at home orders. There were increased demands and we’ve been overwhelmed with the response.
How many reservations?
We’re not saying our number. It changes by the day. We think we’re going to sell out. I think we’ll sell out sooner than we thought.
When can people expect their bikes?
Probably August or September, manufacturing is a little trickier than normal. Our factories are reopened, but a little slower.
What were some of the bigger challenges Riide has overcome?
Certainly, there were challenges on so many levels. We were getting ready to place orders in March and April. But Taiwan closed the borders and took stay at home precautions. There’s the economic issues: Will people have jobs to commute to? Will people have the income? We have finance partners, but we’re in the process of solving all of those issues. The biggest thing is physical travel, normally in production we’re there on the ground, but that’s not possible to do at the moment. We’ve never manufactured without being there.
What kind of changes have you made in marketing?
Literally I’m spending my days thinking through that. The biggest challenge was the timing of the plan, we had all our ducks in a line. We had to put it on ice. It’s a little jolting coming back to it. Additionally, a lot of our marketing revolves around events with demo bikes. It’s hard to give people one-on-one demos. We obviously weren’t able to get into that.
What do people like about electric bikes?
I’ve heard from our customers too, just having a motor getting up to speed quickly helps people feel
safe. You can go up to 28 miles per hour and I think it opens up biking to a wide array of fitness levels, ages and lifestyle choices. It really opens up the possibilities because you can do more with it.
The Riide 2 is available for both purchase and via subscription at www.riide.com. Stay updated on the latest Riide has to offer by following them on Instagram and Twitter @riidebikes.
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