2020 is proving to be a challenging and interesting year for many business. The changes caused by the COVID 19 pandemic are ongoing and will likely continue for some time. One change is that people are re-thinking their person transportation needs. Cycling to work instead of using public transport appears to be one of the changes people are considering. In my world this change has materialized by people contacting me who are needing parts and advice to mobilize their Strida bikes. Bikes that may have been stored in a closet or a garage and not used for sometime. And there has also been a renewed interest in folding bikes.
These recent world developments just adds another layer of complicity to a already complicated Strida sales world. As a Strida fan you may know that the Strida bike has been around for many years, about thirty four years. There are places in the world where the Strida is very popular and places where riding a Strida makes you one of a select few. North America is more of the later.
The COVID 19 pandemic has changed many peoples buying habits. There has been a significant increase in online sales and product delivery. Strida Canada is almost exclusively online with our sales. People are also using email and chat services to communicate more, I spend a big part of my day answering emails and responding to requests on the Strida Canada chat line.
Strida Canada Going Forward
I think the biggest change in cycling in the last few years is the growth of E-bikes. Strida was developing one a few years ago but it seems to have disappeared. I believe the Strida bike would make a great electric assist bike. The Strida would make a great electric assist bike that is easy to fold, lightweight and clean with the belt drive. I have made this suggestion to Justin at GRIN Technologies and he agreed. GRIN has my EVO at this time and is building a lightweight electric assist front wheel to my bike.
Three Speed Strida
Strida developed and made available the Strida EVO three speed in 2012. This was about the same time I started selling Strida bikes and there was a pent up demand for a multi speed Strida. The EVO uses a Sturmey Archer gearbox, the KS3. The KS3 gearbox fits in the enlarged EVO bottom bracket and shifts with a back pedal motion. What I like about the KS3 is the clean design and the smooth shifting. What I don’t like is that there appears to be no way to service them other than replacing the gearbox. Also for some riders they are not built strong enough. I have personally broken two and have seen several fail.
A polish company, Efneo has developed a three speed gearbox that fits into a standard bicycle bottom bracket. They have also developed a Strida kit that includes an excenter, beltwheel, belt and handlebar grip shift. I have been able to test an early prototype found in this post.
I plan on having the production models of the Efneo in stock before summer.
And what would be really exciting is to have my first E-Strida to test this summer. I will keep you posted. If you have any questions please find me on my chat line or send me a message through the chat line if I am out cycling.
New Bike Stock
You may have noticed that at this time I only have four new Strida bikes in stock. Interest and sales have picked up this Spring. But I have a few things to consider before restocking. What complicates things is that Strida ( Ming Cycle) do not carry a stock of bikes. They manufacture once an order is placed by a distributor. The time between my placing an order and receiving an order can be as long as five months. This time delay is challenging for me. Most of bikes sold in Canada happen in the six months of Spring and Summer, I have missed my order window for this year.
I do have a reasonable stock of parts and accessories of which I can sell all year long to customers in North America, Europe and elsewhere. I may not order more bikes until the Fall so I will have them next Spring.
Vello Bike Update
If you have been following Strida Canada the last couple of years then you would have seen my interest in the Vello folding bike from Austria. Last year I imported the Vello Plus, the electric assist model and the Alfine 11 an internal hub belt drive model. I have sold my demo Vello Plus and have also decided not to import more. I still have my Vello Alfine and it is for sale. This post in my Cycle For Fun website details the reasons for my decision.