Rad Power Bikes to ‘restructure’ with a focus on e-bike customer experience

Rad Power Bikes, the leading electric bike company in North America, is restructuring its operations to cut costs and double the customer experience of its hundreds of thousands of e-bike riders.

With the help of new changes, Rad Power Bikes also has on board a new President and CEO Phil Molyneux, who previously served as President and COO of Sony Electronics and President of Dyson America.

The moves come as electric bike companies in the US have to contend with rising costs on everything from raw materials to parts to shipping.

If you are the largest e-bike company in the country, those costs pile up even higher. To his credit, Rad Power Bikes has become creative in finding ways to pump out thousands of electric bikes a day and keep them stocked with their fast-selling e-bikes. The company has gone so far as to charter its own ships while other smaller e-bike brands are still struggling to find shipping containers and space on cargo ships.

Now Rad goes even further, trimming the fat with a focus on streamlining the customer experience. And one of those big cost-saving measures is closing Rad Mobile in favor of enriching the online shopping experience as well as opening more Rad Power Bikes retail stores.

As Rad Power Bikes founder and CEO Mike Radenbaugh explained in a call with electrek,

We focus on resetting the company, on our strategy, and on placing ourselves on a sustainable path for the long term as we become operationally mature.

Instead of a Rad e-bike mechanic in a van who makes house calls to service e-bikes or deliver them fully assembled, Rad instead wants to provide more physical retail locations where customers can receive service / support, various e-bike models test ride, and explore accessories on their bikes before making a purchase.

Rad Power Bikes already operates physical stores up and down the West Coast of the US in Seattle and two California stores in Berkley and San Diego.

Rad Power Bikes is now announcing five more stores to open this year, including locations in Salt Lake City, Huntington Beach, Dallas, Brooklyn and St. Louis. Petersburg. With the opening of stores in New York and Florida, Rad is expanding its retail presence to the East Coast and all four corners of the country. The company is working to rapidly increase the number of physical locations even further, and underlines its goal of providing both an online and a personalized shopping experience for customers.

While Rad Mobile will end, Rad’s mobile service partners will continue to work with the company to provide that mobile service to customers who do not live near a Rad location.

As Rad’s new president and COO Phil Molyneux explained to electrek,

Our US customers will continue to have access to mobile support from our partner services such as Velofix and Beeline. They understand our mission to reduce cars in our communities and get more people on the bike, it’s part of their DNA. And these are partners we have grown up with in recent years and we know they will continue to provide great service to our customers.

redeexpand 5 electric bikes

Radenbaugh further stated that the move is aimed at using Rad’s resources more efficiently in the face of increasing industry challenges:

What we wanted to do was reduce the cost in the business where that does not affect the customer experience. And our third-party partners are greatly expanded in coverage and capacity, and they provide a lot of preferential support for Rad Power Bikes because of the size of our community and the close relationship we have built with them.

Rad is also committed to further growing his team. While about 100 Rad Mobile positions will close, a higher number of new positions will open up at Rad’s new retail locations.

Another new change will be the way customers can build their e-bikes virtually online, as Molyneux further described:

We put resources behind building a leading e-commerce experience, including a feature that allows customers to see what their bikes look like with various combinations of accessories, as well as new functionality that makes measurement easier, better frame selection and a more in-depth visual.

Rad is known for having the largest selection of e-bike accessories, covering everything from rain gear to freight to lighting and even an abundance of pet accessories for riding with a four-legged friend.

The new online tool will make it easier for customers to test practically different combinations of loadouts on their e-bikes to see what they will look like before making a purchase decision.

Finally, the changes are designed to further invest in the way customers respond with Rad, as Molyneux explained:

We all go about it by focusing on the customer experience and increasing our capabilities. We continue to invest there and I think we have a very bright future to build.

elecpull his take

I have to say that I would be sad to see the Rad Mobile service go down. It was incredibly convenient and I used the service several times. But I understand that not only is it difficult to make it sustainable, but it is also not Rad’s core competency.

Rad is about getting as many accounts on bikes as possible, not operating an extended mobile network. There are companies like Velofix that specialize in them, and they do it well. In fact, I use Velofix myself and happen to already have a Velofix appointment for another bike on Friday. So I’m sure they’ll keep serving Rad’s customers in areas where Rad’s stores are not accessible.

But it is those Rad stores that are the bigger price here. With Rad’s massive scale and massive financing, opening more retail stores seems like a prudent investment. The hardest part of buying an e-bike online is the uncertainty of knowing how the bike fits and feels. With Rad now expanding to massive population centers around the country, I’m excited to see the company give more people that experience. And the fact that they will have a service center nearby obviously makes that shopping choice much easier.

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