RadRover - $1000 Fat eBike .. why spend any more than this?

You can be risk averse and still make smart choices. There is no reward without risk; is your financial portfolio made up of certificates of deposit and government bonds?

By the way my occupation is in financial crimes investigations at a large institution. I will tell you that no information about a person or business online is as big a red flag as negative information. With the radrover campaign owners neither is the case. There is plenty of information about the campaign owner as well as his long standing business in the industry, none of which is negative as far as I have found. If you have information otherwise, please share!
 
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You can be risk averse and still make smart choices. There is no reward without risk; is your financial portfolio made up of certificates of deposit and government bonds?

By the way my occupation is in financial crimes investigations at a large institution. I will tell you that no information about a person or business online is as big a red flag as negative information. With the radrover campaign owners neither is the case. There is plenty of information about the campaign owner as well as his long standing business in the industry, none of which is negative as far as I have found. If you have information otherwise, please share!

I will be happy to share! it's one of my favorite things!

Is there anywhere you can point me to for the specs for this bike? I did some research, their website talks about the battery quite a bit, but not much else.

Here's what I have to share so far:
1. Very little information
2. Lots of generated excitement ("get it now before the price goes up again!")
3. Doesn't smell good so far.
4. The "if it sounds too good to be true, it is" rule is out there waiting to be used, but ...

...let's look into it a little more!
 
Steve - I have attached the bike measurements, which were provided to me directly via email before I ordered the bike (I wanted to know what size tires would potentially fit on the bike if I wanted to swap them out with larger ones). They also indicated the rear drivetrain is a freewheel, which I wanted to know so that I knew my options as far as upgrading - I will be swapping out a 7 speed 11-32t freewheel t gain speed over the 14-34t freewheel they have spec'd on the bike (note: while freewheel gears are standard on electric bikes, and not cassettes, there is only one manufacturer, DNP, that makes gears that start at 11t rather than 14t that are on the shimano component that come with the bike).

Mike is a 7 year + member of the endless sphere forums, and has been building custom electric bikes for longer than that, as well as other unique electric vehicles (google electrafin and golfboard - both also began on crowd-funding sites, both delivered upon). If you go to the comments in the campaign itself, one of the first posts directly linked to an alibaba bike and straight up asked what the difference was. They didn't hide from the question, didn't state they built this bike from the ground up, but simply acknowledged that they built the bike with specs they knew (based on experience in the industry) would be the right design for a bike like this. I appreciated the response...and the fact that they responded (given the other big selling unnamed bike on indiegogo having gone dark long ago).

Finally, lest you think they are being deliberately quiet about the motor specs, they have discussed them in detail at endless sphere in the following thread link. Note that they have provided a LOT of details, so I'm not going to cross post it here. There is also a 10 minute independent user uploaded video and another video with Mike comparing the motor sound to 4 or 5 different motors he also has in shop. The member over there (bowlofsalad) asking Mike all the questions is trying pretty hard to rake the bike over the coals if you ask me, and the responses from Mike have all been professional, and most importantly, detailed:

http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=68212

If that still isn't enough information for you I'm not sure what would be. As far as the 'lots of generated excitement' comment - that is called advertising, I guess I recognized the effects and still fell prey myself. The reality is I could likely have dealt endlessly back and forth directly with an alibaba manufacturer and built something similar, one off, probably for not much more money - but it would have cost more, and been much more of a hassle.

I also could have purchased a motor and battery from em3ev, but they are a big name in the electric circle and charge accordingly - I would have paid just shy of the same amount for the motor, battery and required components. Then I would have had to build it into a rim (I almost went this route...I actually bought the rim beforehand because it is extremely difficult to source a 36 hole fat rim - it is in the garage!).

For slightly more risk I get an extra bike for the same money (I've mentioned it before - I LOVE riding my current fat bike and became wary of changing it to electric and losing the ride in its current form), from an established and reputable business. That was my road to contributing to this campaign.

If that isn't enough for you, I guess you would need to be able to buy the bike, at this price, at a local shop - that isn't going to happen; no risk, no reward on this one I'm afraid! I respect that you're trying to warn people about taking a gamble, but I think most are well aware of what they are buying into.
 

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First of all, you don't ride a fat bike on a paved road. The tire noise and self steering is a ridiculous experience.

It's like killing a fly with a hammer. Anyone buying this is probably on a fat bike hype bandwagon and haven't given it enough practical thought.

Is this true? I've read others saying that they're nice because they absorb potholes, bumps, etc.
 
Jamie, self steering depends on the tire, some are very bad (vee 8s and vee missions in particular...I have a set of vee 8s...they are hanging in my garage, we're the stock tires on my non electric fat bike).

Most tires are not so bad though, I have a juggernaut on the front of my fat right now and it is a great ride (i have the 4.5 inch version, the 4 would be similar if not better, and this tire seems to slowly be starting to replace the vee tires as stock tires on a lot of bikes). Anyone who says a fat bike isn't comfortable to ride on the street hadn't ridden one. May not be quite as fast, but they aren't slow either, the tires have a large diameter and roll very well at speed.
 
Jamie, self steering depends on the tire, some are very bad (vee 8s and vee missions in particular...I have a set of vee 8s...they are hanging in my garage, we're the stock tires on my non electric fat bike).

Most tires are not so bad though, I have a juggernaut on the front of my fat right now and it is a great ride (i have the 4.5 inch version, the 4 would be similar if not better, and this tire seems to slowly be starting to replace the vee tires as stock tires on a lot of bikes). Anyone who says a fat bike isn't comfortable to ride on the street hadn't ridden one. May not be quite as fast, but they aren't slow either, the tires have a large diameter and roll very well at speed.

You've been awesome and you've answered most of my questions. I think I'm going to give this one a shot. I'm in Seattle so it should work out well.

If you're ever in town let me know, I owe you a drink. :)
 
If you're in Seattle you should go try the radrover out! Drop them a message I am sure they would accommodate on the last weekend of their campaign. Definitely a better deal since you can arrange to pick the bike up as well and save the cost of shipping (an even better deal if you consider they still had to get the bike shipped from China to Seattle and aren't charging for that portion!)
 
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motor specs, they have discussed them in detail at endless sphere in the following thread link. Note that they have provided a LOT of details, so I'm not going to cross post it here

So, I'm just curious since I've been reading this thread again, is there a place where the specs are consolidated in one place. derailleur, brakes, tires, cassette, shifters, wheels... ? ....and motor, battery!
 
From the Tech section on the campaign:


Battery 48V 11.6Ah Li-ion with 15 Amp Continuous BMS Samsung 29E Cells
Front Brake Tektro Mechanical Disk Brake (180mm)
Rear Brake Tektro Mechanical Disk Brake (160mm)
Derailleur and cassette are listed as 7 speed shimano (and click shifter) - nothing to write home about here tbh
a 60 tooth crankset, wellgo pedals and kenda juggernaut 26x4 tires round out the other specs.

Motor is listed as 750w brushless geared hub - Mike posted motor details over at endless sphere:

It is a Hengtai with steel gears. Quieter than my previous gen ezee motor and a VERY close match to the BPMII I have experimented with. It has slower wingdings for 20 MPH on 13S so even the e-bike enthusiasts at the SEVA meeting last night were pleasantly surprised with torque for something this compact
icon_smile.gif
Similar off the line torque (0-8ish MPH) compared to my HS3540 limited to 1000 watts on the CA with skinnier tires for comparison.

There is a two page discussion over there where Mike has been relatively active with some more details if you hadn't read it before:

http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=68212

There are a few forum members that have had a chance to ride the bike with some solidly positive feedback there too. Motor sounds to be pretty high torque which is the right way to build a fat bike motor. they also posted 1 video comparing the motor noise to like 6 other motors...gotta have some faith that a guy with access to a half dozen different motors in his business shop is going to pick the right one for the job, right?
 
From the Tech section on the campaign:


Battery 48V 11.6Ah Li-ion with 15 Amp Continuous BMS Samsung 29E Cells
Front Brake Tektro Mechanical Disk Brake (180mm)
Rear Brake Tektro Mechanical Disk Brake (160mm)
Derailleur and cassette are listed as 7 speed shimano (and click shifter) - nothing to write home about here tbh
a 60 tooth crankset, wellgo pedals and kenda juggernaut 26x4 tires round out the other specs.

Motor is listed as 750w brushless geared hub - Mike posted motor details over at endless sphere:

It is a Hengtai with steel gears. Quieter than my previous gen ezee motor and a VERY close match to the BPMII I have experimented with. It has slower wingdings for 20 MPH on 13S so even the e-bike enthusiasts at the SEVA meeting last night were pleasantly surprised with torque for something this compact
icon_smile.gif
Similar off the line torque (0-8ish MPH) compared to my HS3540 limited to 1000 watts on the CA with skinnier tires for comparison.

There is a two page discussion over there where Mike has been relatively active with some more details if you hadn't read it before:

http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=68212

There are a few forum members that have had a chance to ride the bike with some solidly positive feedback there too. Motor sounds to be pretty high torque which is the right way to build a fat bike motor. they also posted 1 video comparing the motor noise to like 6 other motors...gotta have some faith that a guy with access to a half dozen different motors in his business shop is going to pick the right one for the job, right?

Read the thread, watched a couple videos. Saw the pics of bikes in assembly. Nice!

What a difference compared to other similar campaigns. I think this could be one of the 9% of indiegogo successes.

I do think a product like this really is best for someone with some mechanical / tinkering skills. That leaves me out!
 
Read the thread, watched a couple videos. Saw the pics of bikes in assembly. Nice!

What a difference compared to other similar campaigns. I think this could be one of the 9% of indiegogo successes.

I do think a product like this really is best for someone with some mechanical / tinkering skills. That leaves me out!
Is the 9% the number of successful products or the percent of launches that fund?
 
My guess would be the latter. I highly doubt anyone has paid attention through the end journey of every single campaign!

It sure sounds good if you're poo pooing crowd funding though, doesn't it? :)
 
Hi @pxpaulx,

Random thoughts:

How did IGG luck into getting these guys?

Will they go into a second funding period? Seems like things get off the rails if you hang around too long.

Wonder if Mike can build a retail business off this? It's a great bike at the price. I don't know if he can build a business around it. He might sell direct, but how do you promote? He's close to building a name. Wonder what a real retail price would be? Wonder if he would do a couple of other models.

How much will any CF campaign be able to do after the products are delivered? This is so tough, because there's luck in what goes bad, what gets recalled, how picky the warranty claims turn out to be. Can they send people parts? Send them to a local shop? Stop answering the phone?

Will a totally quality campaign like this force the 'big guys' to come into this price range? If you get quality people in the CF arena, hopefully including Hong, it gives the CF venue a lot more stature. But it sort of depends on how CF funders build businesses after the CF. In theory you could come back with a series of CF ebikes. It's harder to see building a business on the the Wave.

Anyway, it's been much more fun to follow than that other fat bike campaign.
 
Would the percentage of "successful products" be greater or less than the percentage of campaigns that fund?

I'm sure it most certainly would be less! There are plenty of successful campaigns that end up in the tank whether it is a product that was too ambitious, a nefarious campaigner, or I'm sure a multitude of other reasons!
 
Hi @pxpaulx,

Random thoughts:

How did IGG luck into getting these guys?

Will they go into a second funding period? Seems like things get off the rails if you hang around too long.

Wonder if Mike can build a retail business off this? It's a great bike at the price. I don't know if he can build a business around it. He might sell direct, but how do you promote? He's close to building a name. Wonder what a real retail price would be? Wonder if he would do a couple of other models.

How much will any CF campaign be able to do after the products are delivered? This is so tough, because there's luck in what goes bad, what gets recalled, how picky the warranty claims turn out to be. Can they send people parts? Send them to a local shop? Stop answering the phone?

Will a totally quality campaign like this force the 'big guys' to come into this price range? If you get quality people in the CF arena, hopefully including Hong, it gives the CF venue a lot more stature. But it sort of depends on how CF funders build businesses after the CF. In theory you could come back with a series of CF ebikes. It's harder to see building a business on the the Wave.

Anyway, it's been much more fun to follow than that other fat bike campaign.

I have heard IGG has a better payment system for int'l buyers, which the Radrover has aimed at a global sale, not just the US (granted they have their full disclaimers at least, but that may have played into it).

I did notice when the Radrover campaign started that the fine print stated that the campaign would be funded whether it reached its goal or not - I don't believe kickstarter offers such an option either. For me, using IGG was really the only negative to this campaign, I've never liked them and much prefer kickstarter for what its worth. Ultimately you're going to get behind a product because of both what is being offered and who is offering it - and for the price this one hit the right boxes for me, especially since I was going to drop pretty much the same money for just a motor/battery kit setup from em3ev (and was also hesitant to convert my current fat bike because I enjoy it so much as is!).

I do think they are going to move away from IGG quickly - my hunch is based on their statements that they are going to bill us directly for the remaining amount when the bikes are ready to ship (whether you just have the shipping left, or were in on one of the partial payment options like I was - my bike is on the production floor, but I still have had to only pay $549 so far).

I've noted they have done a production run at $50K intervals, which probably equates to the purchase of a full packed container load - if they want to build a business around this bike, being that they already are an established business (and probably want to expand, a natural business progression), it would make sense to used the crowd-funding to build up a post-campaign inventory. Perhaps they are taking the capital and investing it directly, per container, on building up inventory - just a thought! So if $50K in sales is about 45 bikes, maybe a container is 70-80 bikes and they can hold a few for parts/replacement and the rest for new sales.

Ultimately there are plenty of bikes on the market that are already in the $1,500 to $2K range - if you walked into a shop this would be a competitive bike priced maybe $2K to $2,200 - the new prodeco is a little more refined at $2,400 but it is a slightly weaker battery and motor as well. Bikes like this, on a relative scale, maybe you could compare with bikes direct - they do very well being at a (mostly) well spec'd entry level pricing strategy to compete, but the big normal bike manufacturers aren't scared of them, and don't adjust their prices to compete in the normal bike market. I don't expect the big e-bike manufacturers to act any differently.

The reality is even the storm at 7K units sold is still only 3-4% of the annual ebike sales market in the US (and that number will grow again this year I'm sure). The big makers are not worried :)
 
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