Shared electric scooter company Bird is branching out into new two-wheeled vehicles, namely electric bikes. A few months after it introduced its first shared e-bike, the company announced that it would also offer its own e-bike for sale.
The bike, dubbed Bird Bike of course, has a 500W rear hub motor, a Gates carbon belt drive, pedal- and throttle-assisted power, and the relatively modest sticker price of $2,299. Design-wise, the bike looks very similar to VanMoof’s popular e-bikes, with a slightly elongated top tube and embedded front and rear lights.
Bird, which was the first company to introduce shared electric scooters in a US city, has always flirted with the idea of e-bikes. The company first rolled out its Scoot-branded electric mopeds in Los Angeles in 2019 but was forced to pause the Cruiser program because of the pandemic.
Last May, the company announced that it was going public by merging with a SPAC called Switchback II. In its pitch to investors, the company included an image of a shrouded bicycle next to several graphs charting the meteoric rise in e-bike sales in the US. “Coming soon,” the graphic promised.
Based on the spec list, the Bird Bike looks to be a more powerful option compared to the shared e-bikes the company plans on rolling out to select cities in the US and Europe later this year. The rear-hub motor is made by Bafang and will come in 500W (for the US) and 250W (for Europe) configurations. The 36v / 12.8Ah battery is removable for easy charging and, based on the power setting, should provide up to 50 miles of range. Using pedal assist, the bike can reach a top speed of 20mph.
The Gates carbon belt drive, which is quickly becoming a popular choice among bike manufacturers, is a cleaner alternative to the derailleur and chain ring and requires less maintenance. The tires, which are made by Kenda, are puncture resistant. And the bike can be connected to the Bird app via Bluetooth, where customers can turn the lights on or off and see the battery range and miles ridden. (This information is also available on the bike’s LCD panel display on the handlebars.)
The bike comes in two colors, stealth black and gravity gray. It’s also available in a step-over and a step-through frame type. The company says it expects the bike to be “broadly available” this fall in the US and Europe. Bird also is one of the few shared scooter companies to sell personally owned scooters as well.
Bird’s decision to add e-bikes to its product lineup coincides with Lime’s recent moves to expand its own fleet, such as with the addition of electric mopeds. While both companies are mostly known for their electric kick scooters, there is a growing sense among micromobility providers that the more varied your vehicle lineup is, the better your chances are at becoming a financially soluble business.