Electric bicycles are rapidly gaining in popularity. Fatbikes – so-named for their over-sized tires – are also quite popular. Combine the two and hang a limited-time-only $499 price tag from the handlebar and you have a flash flood of demand and, hopefully, the cash to launch a new business. Case in point: the Storm electric bike that showed up on the Indigogo crowdfunding website this week. In just two days, the campaign has raised over $2,000,000, with orders for more than 4,000 bikes.
Though it appears the future MSRP will be $1,299, those willing to take a risk on the startup can spend less than half of that, provided they do so by today – from there the price will increase as the campaign wears on. What they will get in return is a funky-looking 45-pound bike outfitted with four-inch tires, a 350-watt electric motor, and a easily-removable 36-volt, 10-Ah battery. Together, these components should provide for a cushy 30 miles of range and the ability to hit 20 miles per hour. If the campaign lives up to its promise, deliveries will start in May. Shipping can cost up to $194.
Our good friends over at TechCrunch had the chance to take it out for a ride to see how it performs. The verdict? They say it's fun to ride and perfect for urban commuters, but expect to test the mettle of the pedals when you get to an imposing hill. We imagine reaching the maximum range will also require some amount of input from the rider. Still, for this special price, it looks like it's worth some consideration.
You can head over to the bike's Indiegogo page here, or watch the video pitch below.
*UPDATE: Some more thoughts on the likelihood of this deal being real.