Electric bike experts: Which demographics are the customers of the future?

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Though certainly selling well to older or returning cyclists, the myth that electric bikes are for the over 50s has been busted wide open.

Manufacturers are becoming increasingly daring with both their design and marketing. As tubing slims down and integration enables brands to mimic more traditional lines the e-bike age bracket is descending rapidly.

So just who is the electric bike for nowadays? We ask a panel of experts:

ebike panel

Ray Verhelst: As the only national organisation in the U.S. concentrating on the consumer to retailer segment, we know the true demographics of the current U.S. customer base for “legal” pedal-assist, electric bikes.

The U.S. consumer for e-bikes comes from the Baby-Boomer category. Our leading age groups are 45-54, 55-64, and 65+. In terms of interest, while the EU tends to be more male dominant at around 90%, in the U.S. our ratios show a 70% male, 30% female buyer ratio.

We have extensive studies from more than 15,000 consumers that have come through the Electric Bike Expos all across the country to back up these positions. We also know that a majority of our visiting enthusiasts live within five miles of their workplace, so the potential of commuting is real.

Interestingly, on average, 51% of our attendees at each event have come to experience e-bikes for the first time. In terms of the adoption of electric bikes into the U.S. market, much of the barrier (as with pedal cycles) has to do with safe and legal places to ride.

Edward Benjamin: The demographics vary by market. My answer is quite simple: I expect nearly everyone who can ride a bicycle to be part of our market. That ranges from children to elders, from rich to poor, and includes many who are not strong enough, or perhaps have health issues that would limit them from using a manual bicycle.

Clive Gosling: The positioning of e-bikes has been misleading. They have been posed as the solution for a customer that struggles to ride without assistance. Having ridden e-MTB’s extensively over the last six months, they should be much more clearly explained as benefiting a much wider audience. They’re for anyone that wants to get more riding, more distance, and more speed in for an allotted time and who doesn’t want to pay for uplifts at
trail centres.

I’ve found that my Cannondale Moterra LT actually descends quicker than a non e-MTB, so offering a better experience. Recently riders at World Cup DH races have been placing lead weights on the bikes to make them descend quicker.

Niko Lindner: In the past e-bikes were considered to be ridden by elderly customers only, but this is changing rapidly. The market from Cube’s perspective is now everybody who wants to have fun and equalise age, fitness level or purpose while cycling. To fulfill all these needs it was necessary to create so many different e-mountain bike category’s which nobody thought a few years ago. For example, six years ago we only had two different models, now we offer more than 100 and we are still consider this the beginning.