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FAT Tire Bike Prototype Complete and Tested / First EU Batch Leaving!

10/11/2017

Hello Backers,

Had a discussion through the help of a translator today with the owner of the factory that we have had the luck of partnering with to make Stark Drive a reality today. This has been a learning experience on both our parts, partly as the concept of custom built (with a lot of different options) for our backers was something that the factory had never attempted before and partially because we here at Stark Drive underestimated some of the massive hold ups that can occur from simple delays at the factory. Then there are the holidays which do not sync with western calendars and seem to last at least a week at a time. Understandable if the people have to commute several hundred km's to see their families.

Either way, super good news for you Fat Bike Backers. The Fat Stark Drive is now done and we want to reveal some photos and videos of its assembly and testing below.





The Fat bike is on schedule now to finish in a couple of weeks and will ship by latest the 26th of October (fingers crossed). Here are a few more photos of the Fat Bike in slightly higher quality then the videos.



Full Stark Drive Glamor Shot.


Stark Drive More Romantic Lighting


Stark Drive with Head Lights


Even though its Fat, it fits really well in the rear hatch













All Batch 1 bikes (minus Fat Tire) going to the EU will have left the factory by friday. They will be transported by iron horse to europe and once they reach the central distribution location (a secret) they will be given to local carriers and then tracking numbers will be provided for all these bikes.

The Swedish Bikes as well as Ireland, Iceland, Norway will be transported by boat leaving china at the end of the month as our order of Stark Drive for our newly opening Showroom location are also included in this batch and the majority of this order is Fat Tire.

We really appreciate the patience of our backers. Your faith and belief in us has really helped to make Stark Drive a reality. Without your support none of this would have been possible.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

EU Accuses China of Dumping Inexpensive eBikes in Europe?

10/04/2017

A article by CNN dumbfounded us here at Stark Drive recently. The title of the Article:

China has been accused of flooding Europe with hundreds of thousands of cheap electric bicycles. by Ivana Kottasová @ivanakottasova

the main reason that the article has invoked such reactions over here is that the EU has been pushing a policy of renewable transport to combat climate change as long as we can remember and most recently with the VW Diesegate fiasco as well as the environmental disasters in recent years related to fossil fuels this the policy makers have lead us to believe that anything that is good for the environment is something actively pursued by the EU.

Well here we have something that could not be more green (electric bikes) which both take single passenger vehicles off the road and replace them with compact and lightweight transport not only reducing inner-city congestion but also contributing to improved air quality consequently reducing disease and improving quality of life.

Yes the chinese are able to make electric bikes affordably, i have written about this in a previous blog post in so much as china with their gargantuan population and significant environmental impact due to them basically working as the worlds factory is making strides in trying to clean up their cities through the use of bike sharing programs and a concerted effort to electrify their cities.

Inexpensive electric bikes are a good thing.

Yes it means that competition is harder for EU based companies but this is where innovation comes into play. Innovate and create unique eBike designs, features and capabilities. The chinese are unbeatable in mass production as their cost of labor is so incredibly low, innovation is what will save the electric bike industry in europe, not imposing sanctions, anti-dumping tariffs and the like. These just serve to limit consumer choice and prevent mass adoption of electric bikes.

These are our companies founding principles and ones we stand by.

We were approached by a VC firm whom wanted to invest in our company significantly. After a discussion about financials, one of the team made a statement which although true was completely against our companies values in so much as he had said: 'Well with the current market here in the EU you could easily increase your prices to improve your margins'. Yes, it is true we could increase our prices but that would decrease the number of people whom have the ability to afford an electric bike which goes against everything we believe in at Stark Drive.

With ❤ from Stockholm

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC


Stockholm Prioritizing Bike Lanes

10/03/2017

Stockholm Cycle News:

Further to the vain that efforts are being made in order to ensure that central Stockholm will eventually be vehicle free is the news that on Kungsholmen (where our future Showroom will be located) there is currently an ongoing reorganization of the vehicular traffic whereby they are removing both lanes and parking spaces and instead reallocating these spaces to bicycle lanes and/or parking.

The representative of the Environmental Party states clearly in the article that they want to ensure that Stockholm is a city where its easier to have a bicycle and commute on two wheels instead of 4.

Further, there has been news recently that the sales of electrified bikes have exploded in 2017, just as we at Stark Drive believed it would, with an estimated 45000 sold in 2017 which was an increase of 50% from the previous year. And this at traditional pricing. Once Stark Drive arrives on the market there will no longer be any question of whether or not a consumers next bike should be electrified or not.

With the estabilished players selling eBikes for prices starting on average around the 14.000 SEK mark, we will truly be a disruptive force for good with an average starting price of less then half.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

Stockholm City Bikes (Finally) Introduces Rental eBikes

10/01/2017

We here at Stark Drive were really excited when we saw the article pictured here. The company behind City Bikes in Stockholm is introducing an electrified version of their rental concept for everyone in Swedens Capital. The premise is really excellent from our analysis with super low prices making this accessible to anyone that wants to commute throughout the city. The plan is a softer launch with around 1000 bikes spread throughout the city approximately April 2018 expanding further to a network of 5000 bikes in 2019.

In a previous article on this new concept we read that the company will be 'leasing' the batteries meaning that one would need to carry the battery to the bike, plug it in and remove it once you returned the bicycle. This concept seems very strange in my opinion creating an extra inconvenience to the end user. Stranger still is that if BikeX as they will be called chose to follow in the footsteps of Stark Drive with a locking internal battery in each bike, they would be able to have them charge automatically when returned to any of the dozens of Bike Drop off locations which all have access to inexpensive grid power.


This would make the entire transportation solution not only more convenient but also more likely to gain mass adoption throughout the city. No user is interested in lugging around a huge battery just to be able to commute a few Km's.

Further, BikeX has chosen to go with a style of eBike that has the motor or propulsion system on the front tire which we personally believe is a mistake since this style of design is more prone to skid outs as there is generally not much weight on the front tire but that being said, unlike Stark Drive, you can not take advantage of the 'e' portion of the bike without pedaling. Stark Drive has the option to upgrade to include a throttle meaning that you can travel on pure electric energy without needing to get break a sweat. This is especially important if you plan on commuting to work and want to arrived to your destination calm and composed not drained and disheveled.

Still, we are moving in the right direction and we are pleased at the inroads electrified transport is making not only in Stockholm, but worldwide.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

Stark Drive Showroom In Stockholm!

09/30/2017

Hello Backers!

We are super excited over here in Stockholm. With the tremendous support of you backers and our vision of affordable and well equipped but more importantly customizable electric bikes for the masses we have achieved a lot in a short amount of time.

We were always interested in helping to cement our legitimacy through the creation of a non ostentatious showroom where anyone can show up and try Stark Drive for themselves.

We are pleased to report that as of Friday we have signed a contract with a building owner to open up our own showroom on the beautiful island of Kungsholmen in Stockholm, Sweden.

The space is perfect with huge windows and is actually a protected historical architectural building. This will be the perfect forum for people interested in seeing what we have to offer and getting into the seat of Stark Drive. We will also have terminals at the location so that people interested can order their custom bike right there.

Are there any designers among our backers? If you have a knack for Shop layout (think more Apple Store) we would love to get in touch with you. There are some generous rewards for those that work with us to bring our Showroom to life. Contact us at hello@starkdrive.com.

With ❤ From Stockholm

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

Stark Drive Sent to Korea, Taiwan, and India!

09/27/2017

Hello backers,

Fortunately for us, all asian countries listed in the title are local to china and therefore we can send these out before the chinese holiday begins. As a matter of fact they were sent today! Each monumental journey begins with a single step, or in our case a single shipment. Im not here to spout platitudes but we are seriously excited over here. We are talking 6 deliveries of Stark Drive.

We hope that those whom receive these deliveries immediately blog, tweet, facebook, instagram, and anything else they can think of to spread the word to the world about Stark Drive.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

Now We Are Rolling!

09/26/2017

Hello Backers!

Wow, things are really moving now! All batch one orders are being boxed as we speak and will be ready for shipping directly after the current chinese holiday.

See some photos and videos of the bikes below. as you can see we use heavy duty boxes for trasportation as well as strapping, and tamper proof tape to ensure that your customized Stark Drive arrives exactly as its intended to and as per your order.



Below you can see a video of the strapping procedure.

A short closer up view of the major bike components.



Everything is neatly packed and ready for the future owner to attach a few pieces and then ride off into the sunset.




Our production is taking up the entire factory production line at the moment as you can see from the image below.

Batch two will be closing soon, get your stark drive ASAP if you want to be a part of the next wave of deliveries.




Sincerely,

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

Fat Tire Frames Complete! Final Assembly Started

09/25/2017

Hello Backers,

The Fat Tire upgrade that we added at the last minute due to backer demand took a longer then expected amount of time to finish as we wanted to keep the ability to fold Stark Drive for all the backers that live in the city that want to easily be able to transport the most affordable electric bike in the world up to their offices or homes. Further, the folding ability enables one to more securely lock stark drive to street furniture or just simply together to prevent and deter theft.

The final step now is assembly which takes a much shorter amount of time then the long lead time aluminum smelting and welding.


Demo of Stark Drive Advanced:

Stark Drive Black

Final confirmations of all non-Fat tire occurred this weekend (double checking addresses etc). All these bikes have been prepred for shipping and will go out directly after the chinese holiday.

Now we are ready to roll!


Sincerely,

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

Stark Drive Commends the Swedish Government Get a Further 25% Off

09/23/2017

Hello (Swedish) Backers,

We are super excited to relay the information that as of September 20th 2017, all electric bikes that are sold in Sweden qualify for 25% off up to a total of 10.000 SEK (approx 1250 USD) an an incentive to purchase and start using electric bikes as a form of transportation. With our bikes starting at $399, that means that for the base model of Stark Drive you can now deduct a further $100 USD from the price meaning Stark Drive can be yours for as little as $299!

We firmly believe that major city centers will eventually be completely vehicle free and that public transportation, and bicycles will dominate the urban lanscape. In order to accelerate this much needed transformation the Swedish government is setting aside 350 Million SEK per year from 2018 through to 2020 to promote the adoption of electric transport which includes electric bicycles.

While the final details of the rebate are not set in stone the important thing here is to save your backer information when you support Stark Drive and eventually you will be able to submit this to the Swedish government for your money back.

What does this mean for you, our Swedish Backers?

Well it means you can now upgrade Stark Drive even more knowing that you will get money back on every upgrade meaning you can more fully equip your electric bike perhaps with a higher capacity battery pack or a host of other upgrades that we offer to help you create your perfect transporation tool

As our deliveries to Sweden are coming in the following weeks everyone that has backed us will qualify for this incentive.

Further On Deliveries,

The first batch is complete and we are doing a final check of all the addresses that are registered from a master list that the factory has created to ensure no errors. Transportation errors would be costly from both a financial and time perspective. We have some news that will mean that the first shipment will not go out until at least October 8th the reason being that China has a national holiday from the 30th of September to October 8th where the entire country shuts down. There is unfortunately nothing we can do about this and we regret that it will take just a bit longer till you all receive the most affordable and most well equipped electric bike in the world.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

Batch 1 Update / Production Videos / Delivery

09/20/2017

Hello Backers,

Production is in full swing with our manufacturing partner sparing no expense to ensure that you get the best electric bike on the market for the most affordable price ever. We are pleased to report that due to the volumes we have achieved with our launch we were able to upgrade the following:

  • Higher quality metal folding pedals

  • Brighter high intensity front light (included with all Stark Drive units at no charge)

  • Color coordinated wheel rims

  • Upgraded disc braking system (video as shown below).

That being said, we have approximately 75% of the orders for europe complete but try as we might our logistics partner is not willing to take a portion of the bikes and ship them out stating that they need all 100% of the EU based bikes complete for shipment meaning a few days delay but we are well on our way.

Note that the trade off that you backers have made to get the worlds most well equipped, affordable electric bike in the world is a bit of time. We are still working to fine tune the production and we are making headway.

PRICES WILL GO UP SOON

meaning that those that have backed us up to know have received the best deal imaginable.

We are also pleased to announce that we have made the maximum speed Stark Drive even more easy adjust as is seen in the videos below which show Stark Drive topping out at 37kph.


Black Speed Test


Gearing Caliberation



Power Systems Installation


Rear shocks Installation



Upgraded Brakes


Totally Concealed Electrical Wiring routed through the frame.

Wheel Truing

I know that everyone is anxious to get their bikes but please note that competing crowdfunding campaigns did not ship their first bike for almost a year after promised! We are achieving the same in just a few months after our original campaign ended. A little bit of patience will get you an overall better electric bike that will give you enjoyment for years to come.

MATE.Bike Lawsuit

Today we are also reporting that shortly, our lovely competitor Mate.bike will have yet another lawsuit to deal with, this one not for libel (or defaming us in their original indiegogo campaign) but this time for having our project removed from indiegogo for a fraudulent DMCA sent in by their team.

Their ultimate complaint: they were upset that the photos of our battery looked similar to theirs on our campaign. A battery that is a standard shape and size to fit in these standard bikes that have been manufactured since 2011. A photo that is available all over the web and can be found with a simple google photo search, not the least of which can be found on Alibaba from hundreds of identical folding bike resellers, albeit for more then we are offering our base model for to the end user.

We will shortly publish the entire rebuttal from our lovely competitor Mate.bike on our blog for anyone to look through. We believe in transparency and being completely forthright.

Know that instead of waiting a year to get your bikes, you will just be without the best bike in the world for a few months while we get everything loaded onto Trains, Boats, and Planes and ship them all around the world to our backers. We really do appreciate each and every one of you and that is why we are working extra hard to make sure you have the highest quality bike that will provide you with years of happiness.


From Stockholm with ❤

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.