Have you ever come across a deal online that seems too good to be true?
Maybe it's a trip around the world or a miracle weight-loss pill. Or maybe it's a cheap electric bike.
It might even be a bike that looks remarkably similar to one we make. In fact, it may look so similar that it’s almost like they downloaded a picture of it from our online store and Photoshopped out all of the Rad Power Bikes logos. Weird, right?
Your instincts are right. These deals are too good to be true. It turns out that there are quite a few shady companies that are making knock-off versions of our award-winning electric bikes.
Sure, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but getting saddled (see what we did there?!) with a shoddy fake has the potential to turn someone off from electric bikes forever.
Here are a few reasons why that dirt-cheap bike isn’t the bargain you may think it is.
1. It may look like an ebike from Rad Power Bikes, but it's not an ebike from Rad Power Bikes.
Sometimes, third-party sellers may claim that these knock-off bikes are made by the same people who make our bikes. That's just not true.
All of our models are designed in-house by our engineering and design teams and are manufactured under agreements that prohibit the use of Rad specs by anyone besides us. All of our designs are proprietary, and many of them have patents pending.
We've never bought off-the-shelf bikes and slapped our logos on them, and we don't permit the resale of our bikes. The only people who sell our bikes are, well, us.
2. Our Bikes Can't Be Replicated.
But what if a random factory ended up getting hold of one of our bikes and tried to copy it inch-by-inch? You'd think they'd be able to at least come close by reverse engineering it, right?
We reached out to our product team, and as it turns out, it's just not possible.
When we add a new component to our bike, they're produced with exclusive Rad-owned tooling.
Our bikes are balanced systems where each component is tuned by our engineers in Seattle to work in perfect concert with other parts of the system. For example, motors, speed controllers, and batteries all have dynamic tension with one another, which means one can’t be swapped out without negatively impacting the whole system. Each of these components is manufactured to our detailed specifications.
This process doesn't stop until it has the right balance of speed, comfort, and maneuverability. When the final parts are chosen and put through exhaustive tests, they are manufactured exclusively for us, which means the unique combination our team landed on can't be duplicated by anyone else.
"The companies making these knock-off bikes don’t have the years of quality-enhancement processes under their belt that we do," Redwood Stephens, Rad's Director of Product, told us. "Even if it looks like one of our bikes, it’s not going to ride like one of our bikes or have the durability of one of our bikes."
3. Fake electric bikes hurt the entire industry.
As the largest ebike company in North America, others regularly try to copy what we are doing. In situations where they cross the line, our in-house legal team swoops in to protect Rad’s intellectual property.
But knockoff companies also have a negative impact on the entire ebike industry. That's because they lack the same product quality and post-sales support of an established brand.
While others may attempt to mimic our design, they don't match our infrastructure, proven track record, quality inspection/testing process, commitment to our customers, and further investments into supporting our riders.
By riding an ebike, you're putting yourself at the forefront of an amazing moment in transportation history. Why not enjoy it with a bike you can trust?