Since selling their first bike in 2009, Retrospec, a Los Angeles-based ecommerce recreation and fitness brand, has expanded their product line to include gear for skaters, paddle boarders, snowboarders, yoga lovers and others.
And now after a fruitful 2020, where more Americans found themselves heading outdoors amid the pandemic, they’ve also entered the e-bike market. Their first line launched on April 21st.
Ely Khakshouri, who started Retrospec out of the back of a van in 2009 while he was a student at USC, explained to us the appeal of e-bikes for the regular commuter.
“The single most attractive thing about riding an e-bike is the ability to go farther on your rides with the help of the motor, pedal assist, and throttle boosts along the way,” he said. “A quick ride to the beach, farmer’s market, or out to dinner is that much easier, without the worry of being too fatigued to make it back to your starting point.”
Retrospec released two models to start out: the Beaumont Rev and the Jax Rev Folding Electric. The Beaumont can reach up to 20mph and last about 25 miles, depending on the battery. It’s a classic city bike that comes in four colors, including soft pink, pale blue, eggshell and matte gray.
“Don’t let Beaumont Rev’s simplicity and timeless design fool you,” Khakshouri said. “Its city tires with water dispersion grooves, mighty power train, and upright riding position will help you forget about the bells and whistles of your Tesla in a hurry.”
Meanwhile, the Jax Folding Electric is a much more rugged design with a foldable frame and thicker tires meant for all kinds of terrain. It comes in matte black or olive and can also reach up to 20 mph and last up to 35 miles.
“Jax Rev fits easily in an RV, boat, or in the coat closet,” Khakshouri said. “I think customers will really enjoy that capability with Jax, to take it virtually anywhere.”
The Beaumont Rev and Jax Rev retail for about $1,200 to $1,500.
The roll-out comes as demand for e-bikes continues to increase. In March, Lime announced a $50 million expansion of its LimeBike fleet, spurred by an investment round led by Uber last year and the addition of Uber’s bike-share system, Jump. Moreover, the Pasadena-based start-up Urb-E also announced it had also raised $5 million to expand its e-bike deliveries.
Khakshouri told LA Daily Finance that entering the e-bike world was never a matter of if, but a matter of when.
“We’ve been part of a big movement since our launch to promote cycling as a primary mode of transportation, exercise, and hobby,” he said. “The interest in electric bikes is a natural extension of that movement as folks are pushing the limits on what they can do on their bike.”
Now it’s important to note that just like many other fitness companies, Retrospec did see a significant uptick in demand for their products during the pandemic as people looked to build indoor gyms or took up an outdoor hobby.
“We saw so much of this demand reflected in our sales. Fortunately, we were able to continue to restock bikes and skateboards during this time,” Khakshouri said. “We have barely kept up with demand but still found that we were better able to meet the needs of our customers and dealers compared to many other brands.”
Now while Retrospec is entering the e-bike market late in the pandemic and will likely not be able to gauge that demand specifically, Khakshouri said that the response has been positive, so they’re already preparing for the drop of three more models in the coming months.
He added that they’re also looking forward to making use of the larger space they’ve moved into in the Inland Empire, as well as the launch of other products over the next year.