In this episode of the SLN Podcast, we speak to Nick Larsen, Founder of Charge Bikes. Nick has spent the last 25 years at the intersection of brand design and cycling. Charge Bikes is an upstart by design living under the parent company of Cycling Sports Group, or better known as CSG which is the parent company to Mongoose, Cannondale, and other household names. Nick spoke about the benefits of having the backing of a parent company like CSG and the challenges of launching a new brand during COVID-19. He also gave us thoughts on trends in the micro-mobility space, and e-bikes in general.

Podcast Highlights

2:13 – Nick’s love for bikes: “Since I was a kid, I started riding bikes in the eighties and I got really into that. For a while in the first BMX craze. I grew up in the middle of the countryside in the UK and I really got into riding bicycles. I also got into pulling bikes apart when I was 12, 13 years old.”

4:55 – Making bikes easier to understand: “We’re trying to make it simple. So we started with a really simple range. Only three bikes, one that was for off-road, one that was going really fast on-road and the other one was for commuting, for urban riding, with the idea that we had less bikes.”

7:30 – Charge Bikes entering the e-bike market: “I felt like now at this point in the last 2 years, it’s really got to the point where it’s a compelling solution and it’s affordable, which is why Charge Bikes is now just entered into the e-bike market.”

10:15 – Cycling being prioritized: “In the US there are cities where I would say that are far more cycling-friendly than others. And that’s not just because of the way that the city has been built, but also the way that cycling is prioritized as a transport.”

11:15 – Getting people on e-bikes: “You have to get on and try an e-bike and experience an e-bike to understand what it actually does and how it makes you feel.”

14:15 – Charge Bikes are lighter: “We’re able to create products that, I would say significantly are better than our competitors because of our history in cycling.”

21:10 – Car companies entering the e-bike market: “I would say there must be challenges for new businesses getting into this industry. So I would welcome car companies to come in. I’d welcome them to make less cars and make more bikes.”

24:48 – Micro-mobility solutions: “It enables you to use the bike as a utility vehicle as well as something that can be an enabler to have great experiences and go out and have adventures.”

28:33 – Charge Bikes are authentic and unintimidating: “We’ve been making bikes at Charge for a long time. Our intention was to be authentic and genuine and quality for people who were biking.”