Ying, of Momentum Electric, talks to Pedelecs about Momentum’s products, target market and their plans for the future. Momentum have just been selected as finalists for the ISPO BRANDNEW award in the e-bike category, which recognizes innovative start-ups in the sporting goods industry based on market potential, degree of innovation and design and marketing.
For those that haven’t heard of you, tell us a bit about who you are and how long you’ve been in the electric bike business?
We are Momentum Electric and our slogan is “Moving Everybody”. We are a one-year-old start-up company based in London and we believe that the electric bicycle is one of the best ways of getting around. We want everybody to get on their electric bikes.
We have five core values that influence everything we do. We believe that things should be simple, efficient, offer good value, be an improvement and, last but not least, provide joy.
What about your bikes, what models are you currently selling and what makes them different to what else is on the market?
We have two models to start with, Model T and Upstart. Model T is a well-equipped and comfortable step-through frame model. It is designed to allow you to get around easily and is equipped with lights, mudguards, chainguard and pannier as standard. At £1095, we believe it offers great value. Upstart, also priced at £1095, is the polar opposite. It is a speedy stripped-back diamond-frame roadster. It’s pretty fast! Reviewers have said it’s quick at accelerating and it’s efficient. When we developed the bikes, we were very careful in the selection of our components. We wanted to ensure that we were offering desirable bikes and great value at the same time.
Our bikes are unique in that they have our AUTORQ™torque sensor system. The name is just a team of the words automatic and torque. From our experience, we know that most speed sensor based systems are not good enough, you never feel in total control of the power. We think that the powered assistance should come in when you need it, not half a turn of the wheels later. The power should stop when you want to stop, not after the traffic lights. Our AUTORQ™ system inspires confidence when you ride because it’s intuitive.
Both bikes are also equipped a SRAM Automatix gear hub. It is a two-speed automatic shifting hub which changes gear automatically and does away with manual gear shifting. Together with the AUTORQ™ system, it makes cycling our bikes totally uncomplicated.
Who’s your target market for these bikes; are they aimed at a particular lifestyle? What has the response to your bikes been?
Everybody! We intend to target the larger, non-cycling crowd. Our bikes were designed to be affordable and accessible to everybody as a form of transport.
The response to our bikes has been overwhelmingly positive. We designed them with passion as something we would want to buy ourselves and we are glad that people feel the same about our bikes as we do. Our experience so far is that if someone has the intention of purchasing an electric bike, very often, after trying different ones, they choose one of ours. We think a lot of it has to do with our uniqueAUTORQ™ system.
Who are the people behind the business, what’s their background and what made them choose to go into this industry?
The driving force behind Momentum Electric are Andreas and myself. My background lies in engineering and product design, having graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a Master in Product Design and then working for Hoover for several years. I was based in China for that time which is the leading user and manufacturer of electric bicycles. Not only was I gaining experience learning the intricacies of the Far East supply chain during my day job, but I was also spending my days off sourcing for the next step in my career.
Andreas has a Master of Sports Engineering from the Technical University of Chemnitz which combines sports science and mechanical engineering to develop sports equipment. His experience in the industry extends back to 2009 when he started with the German light electric vehicle test institute, ExtraEnergy. By the time he left in 2012, he had tested over 200 models of European market electric bikes. That is valuable knowledge and experience that is essential for us as a new company.
We were drawn by our common belief that electric bicycles are a great form of transport and that we could make them better and more affordable.
How do you see the UK’s electric bike market progressing over the next 5 years? Also, what’s next for Momentum?
The UK electric bike market is growing – in a different way to other European countries. We cannot just look to Germany, which has a large population, or the Netherlands, which has been traditionally a cycling country, as examples of what the UK market will grow into. The UK has a different geography and climate as well as a different culture of consuming goods. We believe that the British public will grow to embrace electric bicycles but for that to happen, we must first offer them something that is appropriate to their needs.
Momentum Electric is still young. We hope that more people will get to know us and like our products in the future. In terms of our next move, we have been working on a few exciting innovations. They will take a while to develop and we do not want to give away too much away just yet. What we will say is that we are constantly working hard for our customers and rethinking how we can make our products better to use. We are very excited about what lies ahead!
Our thanks to Ying-Tsao Tan for telling us more about Momentum.For further information, visit their website.