Hey There, And Welcome To 2024
The Year Of The Sun Dragon
According to ancient Chinese wisdom, on February 10th of this year, we will all collectively enter into a new year. The Year of the Dragon. Or, more specifically, the year of the Sun Dragon™ by SolMobil. More on this later, as the year gets underway ...
We have reorganized the product offerings into a short, easy-to-understand list that best shows the different types of customized e-bikes and parts that we currently have available. If you aren't interested in these and other general housekeeping updates, then please proceed to the end for information about the Sun Trip America 2024. Thanks.
New for 2024 - an actual product catalog! See the navigation bar above, then click 'Vehicles.'
For instance, we generally recommend some type of Montague bike when someone wants a 'normal' e-bike. We don't do normal, so this is about as close as you can get. Now we simply call this process the 'ParatroooperMobil' (Paratrooper + Sol Mobil).
If you're searching for a Stein Trike, for instance, but end up with some extra wild, 3 wheel drive, futuristic lookin' solar bike .... well, then, we'd simply call that a 'normal' build under the SteinMobil category (Stein Trikes + Sol Mobil).
And so on - what we would have previously considered a 'conversion,' or 'electrification,' we would now simply refer to as a GrinMobil (Sol Mobil, plus whatever bike you want, plus a top end parts kit from Grin Technologies). This is one of the first types of jobs we began doing, back in ~2018, and we still find it fun to see what people decide to build.
If you're adding Grin parts to an otherwise dead or dying e-bike, in order to restore and enhance its functionality, we typically refer to that as a 'Jailbreak.' There have been plenty of instances where we've been able to restore a nice e-bike to proper functionality, without having to replace it, thanks to adding the Cycle Analyst system (we've done this on everything from a BH Easy Motion, to a Stromer, to ELFs, to random other bikes like Magnum / Bafang / and more).
Anyways, I hope that makes sense. Typical builds, as described above, can generally take 2-6+ weeks depending on the availability of the bike in question. More time if it's weird or super custom. Less time if it's simple and already available. Every build is different. The best way to get some kind of time estimate for your project is to send us an e-mail and tell us what you want!
We think, when spending lots of money on an e-bike, that it's better to spend some time figuring out what you want first. Talk a lot about what the different 'mission(s)' of the bike build actually are, then design around that. Who's riding it, distance, cargo, other use cases, all that and more. Look at numbers, batteries, etc. Choose a top speed (yeah that is totally a thing), then we will help you choose which motor winding and voltage is most appropriate for you to start with. Then we'll do motor simulations. We should probably have multiple conversations. Maybe choose a set of tires, plus some accessories like lights, mirrors, etc. Then, after a while, you may know exactly what you want, and you'll be happy you spent a couple months doing research. At that point, if you still do not have the perfect bike frame in mind, then we will be able to recommend the best one for your application.
If you want something right away, then please take a look at what we currently have in inventory for immediate sale. Then simply send us a text or email to get started. Phone calls will not be answered right away, but we will definitely get back to you if you leave a voicemail.These bikes can be purchased online, then picked up from one of our web drop locations. Or you can pay extra to have it shipped somewhere, either by express courier or normal shipping options.
Beyond the shopping, I encourage everyone to take a look at the new Adventures page, where we give details on 3 e-bike tour opportunities coming up this year. Though the first two trips for this year are already full, we are looking for participants for our little mini Sun Trip this September. This, first ever east-coast Sun Trip will start out very tame, but promises to quickly become a challenging mountain ride. We'll go through the southern Appalachians in West Virginia and Western North Carolina, stopping at the new New River Gorge national park. Partial participants can ride just a two-day loop instead, which will start and end in Xenia, Ohio at the conclusion of CycleCon 2024.
Of course, we continue to support the Organic Transit ELF. More than ever, in fact. But the unfortunate truth, we've found again and again, is that doing maintenance on the ELF is not actually profitable! Only selling parts is! And we simply need to stay in business at all if we're going to do anything whatsoever to help support the old ELF.
So we did something else entirely - we completely redesigned all our current and future ELF repair parts to click into a new, future system as well. One that will enable you, by your selfy, to quickly and easily do builds, diagnostics, and repairs on your own bike ... your SELFe ... without relying on some tiny little company that may or may not go out of business in the future (the irony of this statement is not lost on us).
More info about the SELFe project can be found HERE. Updates will continue to come through the year as we continue to develop the system. Though please note that it will be a continued work in progress for several more years before the whole build-it-yourself kit is available. Thanks.
Road Show Spring 2024
Over the last year or so, I have ganged up a list of potential customers that want something that I have (whether it be a body, motor install, ELF, other trike, you name it!). I have a lot of take offs, old parts, and used bikes that I am interested in selling (both to make space, as well as raise a little cash towards future projects). The problem is that these buyers are spread out all over the US, making shipping expensive. And more importantly, these potential customers don't have a great way to interact with me in person! Most people actually want to test drive these things, and get a feel for how the bike drives, before forking over thousands on something that still needs to get built!
It's also quite a valuable opportunity to continue with our Voice Of The Customer-type analysis of the larger light electric vehicle market. You can't get this type of data off of google... You can only get it directly from customers!
So I thought long and hard about how to address these concerns, while at the same time, continuing to make this business more effective in the long term. So here's what I came up with. Kind of a mix between a delivery run and a marketing experiment. Hey, it seems like it worked for One Wheel, and our recent test trips worked well - so I'm going to give it a try!
Here's how it works:
1. I am heading out on this 'Roadshow' trip, from mid March until mid April, to make 8 prearranged meetings with various different customers. Most of them already bought stuff to be delivered, while one or two of them are somewhat on the fence, and would like to simply see it first. A couple are repairs. I also have 2 suppliers, and a few friends to see along the way (like my brother, plus a couple buddies from college who are now all spread out everywhere). These stops are what determined the route for Spring 2024.
2. If you live along this existing route, or will be in one of these cities on the date listed, then you are absolutely invited to come meet with us (myself and Smoke Dawg). I will be there, hanging out with a nice new solar powered bike parked out front, ready to answer any and all questions you may have about us or the tech! Like a real life AMA. These meetings are pretty informal, and they serve two purposes. If a lot of people show up, and want to discuss ebikes, then great! A successful marketing opportunity. But if only a few people show up, or there is no one there at all that day, then who cares! I still win, since I still need to manage the website & e-mails while I'm gone. Though on the road, I still plan to spend 4-6 hours a day managing the business online. Just as I would if I was home (just switch the other 4-6 hours of my day with driving instead of design+manufacturing+assembly+etc. I'm honestly looking forward to a little mental break).
We will not be taking any web orders over March 15th - May 1st. If you need something specific, or need help right away, then please send an e-mail to see what I can possibly help you with during this time. My suppliers, industry connects and homies can most likely still assist you in your search. Otherwise, whatever you need will likely be available again starting May 1st! And continually after that. The website is overdue for a refresh, so I will be taking that opportunity as this trip opens up the springtime.
Thank you very much for the continued interest in our exciting little operation.
Many more updates coming soon! Until then, thanks for checking out the site, and please do let me know if you need help with anything by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is so much more to come from Sol Mobil that it makes me laugh out loud. One day, there will be planes, trains and automobiles all with solar on top of them. There will be autonomous shipping vessels running off of clean energy all over the world. There will be plants growing in space.
And we will continue to be a part of all of it.
Thanks, and happy new year. May the Sun Dragon pass over you one day.
- Ryan G.