The best product is usually the one that evokes an immediate, visceral, emotional response. No matter how good anything works or how cheap it is – be it a dongle, phone, or headphones – if you are not motivated enough to open the box and use it.
There are a number of ways you can create an emotional response, but for an e-biker, Greg LeMond’s prologue hits the spot. It’s a spectacularly beautiful (and spectacularly expensive) lightweight carbon fiber electric bike. It has a hybrid, inclined frame with straight handlebars, a 250 watt rear hub drive from Mahle and an 11-speed Shimano GRX gravel-specific transmission. And in LeMond itself, it also has a compelling backstory.
It’s beautiful, light, and incredibly fun to ride, but it stands out from the electric bike space for a number of reasons, so much so that I find it very difficult to recommend that the average e-bike buyer buy this one. But if you have a Bicycle person If you want an e-bike, you should probably buy one.
Let’s go back here and talk about the packaging. Most high-end bikes don’t come straight to the consumer. These are expensive, powerful machines that can really hurt you badly if something goes wrong. As a result, many manufacturers want to protect their reputations by working with reputable affiliated dealers and mechanics to dispose of their bikes.
When I’ve got direct-to-consumer bikes, it’s been a hit or a miss. Sometimes they arrive in good shape, but when the bike costs under $ 1,000 it usually isn’t. Forks arrive horribly bent, or the mangled gear dangles from a stab wound in the side of the box.
Then the manufacturer tells you, “We don’t have any more in stock, so you can either fix this yourself, or you can mummify the box with tape, schedule your own FedEx pickup and not get a replacement for three months.” It’s annoying – don’t that I’m speaking from personal experience or something.
It’s a remarkable act of trust for both FedEx and the customer that LeMond designed its own packaging to ship a $ 4,500 bike direct to the consumer without a mechanic checking things like the brakes got to. In terms of protection and easy opening – simply pull out the pre-set bike and the steps and equipment are clearly labeled – it is way ahead. The only packaging I’ve ever seen is from VanMoof.
However, it is worth knowing a little about bicycles. I followed the directions and put it together all the way to the point where the little reflectors wiggled into the spokes. But when I proudly hopped up and rode down the street, the seat immediately went away kraaack. I forgot to adjust and tighten the angle of the seat, which in my defense is not something you normally think of on an e-bike. When an engine is doing most of the work, you can usually get away with less than ideal ergonomic conditions.
The bike has a 250 watt Mahle rear hub motor with a 36 V Panasonic battery. It’s not the most powerful motor you’ll find in the U.S. that puts the legal limit at 750 watts, but it’s enough if the bike only weighs 26 pounds. By comparison, the next lightest bike I’ve tried is the Specialized Turbo Vado SL, which weighed 33 pounds.
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