WE SHIP WORLDWIDE. ALL PRICES IN US$
A quick update for those that don't follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
UPS has finally received the bikes and the USA tracking numbers will start to work as of this week. Canada backers will get tracking numbers from us this week as UPS first needed to get ahold of the bikes and then assign tracking numbers locally as it could not be done from China. We will be in touch with you once we get these.
We have now added TNT tracking numbers to our website and Paypal (if payment was made by paypal) for all EU batch 1 bikes. These numbers will begin to function this coming week, right now they are working their way into the TNT system as these numbers are provided by our logistics partner.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
This post comes after our experience sending bikes to Australia but this has also effected several of our EU based backers specifically in Germany where they have some very stringent regulations on electric bikes and their motor power rating.
You see the EU has written regulations that govern the total power output of motors that are supplied on electric bikes opting to set this limitation at 250w which on the surface may seem like a reasonable power rating and more then enough for the average user as these bikes are strictly meant to 'assist' the rider in getting from a to b. The problem arises however that this limitation is ill conceived for several reasons for example, if one digs deeper into the entire reasoning behind this limitation its really based in the fact that these electric bikes should not provide assist to any rider past a speed limit of 25kph. That is quite fast and depending on the rider weight, there can be a lot of momentum generated for someone traveling at speed considering that the average electric bike weighs in excess of 20kg plus the rider weight. Assuming an average rider weight of 100kg you are looking at approximately 100KN of force being applied if we measure the stopping distance at about 3 cm. This is a huge amount of energy that is transferred into the opposing object, enough to cause serious injury.
The problem is the following, the average person can pedal (without assist) faster then 25kph for short periods and if you look at the amount of assist versus rider weight, you will find that the average professional biker can easily generate 400w or energy on a normal bike. What ends up happening for heavier riders is that there is a severe performance hindrance even on flat terrain not to mention if there are any hills involved.
As has been the case in several instances in the past, the lawmakers are not looking at the real root causes and solutions in order to make riding safer in that what really should be regulated is the max speed while assisted by the power system. A heavier rider on a 500w bike for example may in fact get the same performance during the acceleration phase as a lighter rider would up hills while only on a 250w equipped electric bike.
The power systems can be regulated with internal electronics or the bike computer and the max speed which can be easily tested (as opposed to trying to figure out what watts the motor on the electric bike installed is, if there are no markings on the motor).
As electric bikes are made more mainstream by such companies such as ours that are enabling people whom may not have seen the value proposition at a price of 1500 USD but can easily see the value when the price costs less then 500 USD, the regulations should reflect the desired final outcome instead of imposing limits that negatively effect the user's experience based on factors that were not taken into account such as rider weight.
All Stark Drive bikes include inbuilt electronics that limit the total final speed when being assisted by the electric motor and/or when riding on pure electric power with the use of the Throttle.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
Timi, one of our earliest Stark Drive Backers received a nice surprise directly after christmas in Tahiti
Electric bikes are not so common on this island which is drenched in sun for a majority of the year and a definite contender for being able to supply all of their electric (and transportation needs) via 100% renewable sources, namely the sun. One of the barriers for these island inhabitants has been a lack of availability and a lack of affordability in terms of their electric bike choices.
These are two things that we endeavor to solve here at Stark Drive.
Price should not be a barrier to entry but getting bikes to an island in the south pacific is not without its challenges either, challenges that we meet head on at Stark Drive. One of the biggest things that has been somewhat a limiting factor for us here have simply been volumes. Although we have hundreds of backers around the world that have entrusted us with their hard earned savings for the reward of a fantastically well equipped electric bike, when we ship a single or a few units to any given country we are held somewhat at the mercy of the logistics terminals that our bikes arrive at. Although we prepay shipping charges in all instances, and in many instances to far away places the costs are higher then the 200 USD that we charge as a flat rate, once they arrive at any given port, its a whole different ball game as the local handlers that move and brake down the containers and ultimately readdress the package so that it can be handled locally do charge a fee that we do not see from our end. We are trying to improve this aspect of the customer experience and we hope that as volumes of Stark Drive increase, we will be able to ultimately eliminate this additional cost that is tacked on at the ports of entry. Flying Stark Drive to the final destination may seem like the ultimate solution to many however this is not without its challenges as airlines have very strict policies on high capacity lithium ion batteries which are a standard component of every Stark Drive unit. These are then marked as hazardous goods and it increases the shipping costs exponentially.
Timi Loves Stark Drive
I have just had the pleasure of speaking with Timi over the phone and ironically he mentioned that he was in Auckland, New Zealand when Stark Drive was transferred off the container ship from China to be loaded onto the container ship traveling to his home island in the south pacific.
Timi, has already had the chance to assemble and try out his Advanced bike and from his perspective he loves it, we hope to hear more from him in the coming days and will post anything that he sends us on our blog (with his permission) and we hope that we are able to enable anyone else in Tahiti the opportunity to own a solid electric bike to ease the flow of movement throughout this hilly region.
Thank you Timi for believing in our dream and backing our campaign even when we faced unexpected hurtles.
One of the benefits of being worldwide is that we have thousands of eyes following or progress and shipping 24 hours a day. Today we received word at about 230am Swedish time that bikes in the USA have cleared customs and that they were now moving forward to the final carrier for door delivery. More on this when it becomes available to us. We also have word that the EU bikes will ultimately be delivered by the carrier TNT for final door shipping for all our EU backers, more on this later.
Update on Batch 2
We will be posting an update on batch 2 soon with all the information as well as photos we know and its all good! the production is ongoing with all the major components for this batch having been ordered for the eventual 3rd week of January departure from the factory and ultimately having this batch leave China before the Chinese New Year which is a time when the entire country shuts down for about 2 weeks with people traveling home to their loved ones to ring in the New Year. We will post an update specifically on Batch 2 in the coming days.
From everyone at Stark Drive working around the world we would like to with everyone:
A Happy and Prosperous New Year, Dare to Dream and Dream Big!
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
A very well done, professionally edited (at least from my perspective) Video of the assembly of two units of Stark Drive.
Finally an independent third party review that many have been asking about.
We want to take a moment to with everyone Happy Holidays and all the best for 2018!
Now that the bikes for Nordic backers have arrived and we have been able to get Stark Drive into the hands of several Stockholm based backers, we had the pleasure of receiving some unboxing photos from the first ever backer of Stark Drive. You can see them below. Note how we are super proud of the organization and packing of the bike within the box. We are interested in the whole ownership experience of Stark Drive. While the assembly is not at all extensive as Stark Drive ships with the front tire removed for more efficient space utilization within the box.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
Below we have one of our early backers Manu describing his experiences backing not only Stark Drive but also a few words about crowdfunding in general and how Stark Drive has exceeded his expectations by delivering an ultra affordable travel mate in record time, especially when one compares it to competing projects/campaigns that he has backed in the past.
We want to wish Manu and his wife a merry christmas and we hope that he rides with pride knowing that he has helped us in achieving the altruistic goal of launching and making available the most affordable electric bike in the world.
Update: We have received images of the assembled bikes:
Another Swedish (Stockholm based) Backer has received his bike and he had a few words to say about Stark Drive (In Swedish).
We want to extend an extra huge THANK YOU to Alessandro whom is the first Swede to receive his Stark Drive electric bike but its actually a lot more then that. Alessandro is the first ever backer of Stark Drive on our crowdfunding launch through our own website after having our campaign on indiegogo under never ending review due to our lovely competitor Mate.bike filing a fraudulent DMCA claim against us oh so many months ago (February 23rd to be exact).
Alessandro, we really hope you love your new Stark Drive and remember we are here to help you if you have any questions and we would love to get your feedback when you have more of a chance to take our Fat Tire bike for a spin around Stockholm.
To our backers in South America, Merry Christmas as you have now all received your tracking numbers for delivery via DHL of your Stark Drive Electric Bike.
There seems to be some confusion over at the tracking website for these bikes as its reading that there is some type of hold up or delay in customs. I have just corresponded personally with our logistics team in China (whom apparently never sleep and work on the weekends) and they have stated that US bikes will be delivered before Christmas starting this week.
There was a bit of confusion about the delivery of the Swedish bikes as Marsk believed that they could take a container and drop it in front of our store front for unloading which turns out to be illegal. This delayed the shipment by a day so they are destined to arrive at our shop on Tuesday December 19th. Once we receive them we will process all the bikes and send bills for Customs and Duty fees and then reship (in the event that the backer is not in Stockholm) these bikes to their final destination. It pains me to say this next bit but being brutally transparent, we can not guarantee that they will arrive to all final destinations before Christmas.
The bikes were processed through German Customs last week after spending several weeks in the Netherlands waiting for processing and now that they have cleared customs they are being sent to Poland to receive their final tracking numbers to the end backers. A very long and frustrating process but a good lesson for the future of Stark Drive. Tracking numbers will be uploaded to your Stark Drive account, we are not yet aware of which carrier will be used. As long as you have paid your Duty and Customs fees, there is nothing more you need to do except be home to receive the shipment.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
On a recent trip I decided to do what most must do and pass the time browsing through the onboard shopping catalog on turkish airlines. While most must admit that pricing at airports can be a tad on the high side, it was really surprising to see the non electric folding bike pictured here for sale at ($490) that was about 25% more then our base model of Stark Drive ($399). Although this bike more matches the Stark Drive Mini we are launching next year for $299 which will makes this bike approximately 70% more expensive.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC