Add an E-Bike Line

Jump on the two-wheeled e-bike bandwagon!

Add an E-Bike Line

Put this in your selling toolbox: e-bikes are great for uses besides just hunting. Whether it’s checking trail cameras, reaching a deep-woods trout hole, picking blackberries away from easily accessible roadways, or cruising up and down ocean shores, an e-bike can help you get places others don’t and in an efficient manner. That means buying an e-bike isn’t merely a hunting investment. It’s a multi-purpose tool that can provide excellent transportation for many uses. If that isn’t a selling point, then I don’t know what is.

The adage “work smarter, not harder” lays the groundwork for the points we’ll address in this article. For decades, reaching the best hunting locations has meant hiking deeper and pushing our bodies and minds to their limits. Case in point: I remember many outings when reaching deep-woods hotspots exhausted me and drenched me in sweat. Some of them ended successfully, but many did not.

Working hard is unquestionably a notable life attribute, and when it brings success, every bead of sweat sweetens the victory. However, working harder isn’t always the answer to bowhunting success. Often, the more forethought we put into our approach, the more successful we’ll be. Why? Because we’re chasing wild critters on their playing fields. They have many advantages over us the second we step onto their turf.

Access is arguably one of the largest contributors to bowhunting successes and failures. Do it right, and you can position yourself to capitalize. Do it wrong, and you could blow your hunt and even your entire season.

Obviously, the time-worn way to reach hunting locations is walking. It works, but it also has its dilemmas. First, walking takes time. If you fail to allow enough time to reach a stand, speeding your pace means more commotion and greater impact. Secondly, dressing appropriately for the weather can be detrimental. If you do, you risk sweating and causing odor that could reverse all of your calculated scent-eliminating efforts.

The solution, at least in many instances, is an electric bike. E-bikes are a hot product category popular among hunters who want to push deeper while still minimizing impact. Large lithium-ion batteries power today’s e-bikes for numerous miles between charging. Models tailored for hunting also feature fat tires ideal for off-road travel.

Let’s discuss why e-bikes are so popular among the hunting community. Then, we’ll transition into why adding an e-bike line to your store makes tangible business sense along with some selling tips. 

Reduce the Impact

Gas-fueled ATVs and UTVs have long served as fast alternatives to walking. However, they have negative attributes. First, gas-fueled engines produce noises that can disrupt game from great distances — no sneaking within 100 yards of a gobbling turkey or unsuspecting bedded pronghorn buck. Second, their emissions can quickly contaminate a hunting area and the rider’s apparel. Third, there are usually many restrictions with using them on public lands — they’re generally illegal to drive beyond gated parking areas.

To that end, e-bikes such as QuietKat’s RidgeRunner (see sidebar for more information) solve most of these dilemmas. Powered by lithium batteries, e-bikes operate virtually silently. The only audible noises are the tires rolling over leaves and small rocks — comparable to walking, but without the time commitment and sweat-producing effort.

To boot, e-bikes have no emissions. They won’t needlessly contaminate your hunting area and apparel with game-spooking odors. Knowing that, with a little wind for coverage, I wouldn’t hesitate to drive my QuietKat Predator 750 to within 100 yards or less of a bedded mule deer (out of sight, of course), then finishing my stalk on foot.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

As it relates to hunting transportation, there’s great merit to working smarter rather than harder. An e-bike can get you from point A to point B fast. You’ll save time, but you’ll save some sweat, too. Consider the following example.

When hunting during cold conditions, you must dress appropriately to maximize your time on stand. However, foot access presents a dilemma, as mentioned earlier. Dressing in your cold-weather apparel and then walking to your stand a mile away will turn you into a sweat factory. This produces odors, but sweat also can soak through your layers. Then, shortly after climbing into your stand, you’re freezing and must cut your hunt short.

Contrarily, wearing only your base layers to access your stand can be equally troublesome when walking. Not only is it possible you’ll get cold, but you’ll deal with the added cumber and ruckus of packing your warm clothing — along with other gear such as a backpack, rattling antlers and bow, crossbow or firearm — through the field or timber. When you finally reach your hunting location, you must finish dressing, which is difficult and noisy to do, especially in the dark. The more time you spend at the base of your tree (if treestand hunting), the more human odor and commotion you’ll disperse. 

E-bike to the rescue! Since peddling isn’t required (more on that later), operating an e-bike requires little physical involvement. So, simply dress as you must to stay warm in the elements and let the e-bike effortlessly carry you to your hunting location. It simplifies everything and drastically cuts time and sweat.   

Select a Pace

In hunting, your pace must be tailored to each individual situation. For example, you’ll want to approach a stand hung over a scrape line jutting out from a bedding area gingerly. In contrast, beating a gobbling turkey to his midday strutting zone requires get up and go — get there now or lose the opportunity.

Regardless of the situation, an e-bike is an ideal transportation medium since you can choose your pace. My QuietKat Predator 750, for example, can carry my 190-pound frame from just a couple of miles per hour up to nearly 30 mph. What’s more, traveling at higher speeds obviously doesn’t affect my heart rate like running would. If I were to charge full steam ahead on foot to cut off a pronghorn heading for a prairie saddle, my heart rate would practically explode, which would also impede my ability to execute an accurate shot once positioned.

My QuietKat Predator 750 has five different speed modes, each increasing its velocity when pegging the accelerator. It can also be used as a conventional peddle bike or even as a hybrid (using peddling to assist the battery power). Plus, the Predator 750 can cruise for about 20 miles (depending upon load and terrain severity) on a single charge. That impresses me, and it’ll impress most of your customers, too.

If you understand the many benefits e-bikes offer, then you'll be able to clearly articulate them to your customers when delivering a sales presentation.
If you understand the many benefits e-bikes offer, then you'll be able to clearly articulate them to your customers when delivering a sales presentation.

The Sales Pitch

Now that I’ve discussed e-bike attributes, you have the information to articulate a killer sales pitch. But wait! We can’t ignore the downside. That is, $2,000-5,000 is a lot to spend on transportation to and from hunting areas. However, many hunters spend that and more for ATVs and UTVs, so it’s possible that some of your customers can afford an e-bike, especially if they want to improve their hunting strategies.

Now, before you dive into a sales pitch, I suggest re-reading the attributes and benefits I presented above. Why? Because you can expect some objections to arise whenever you’re selling something expensive; you must be prepared to articulate legitimate solutions to those objections.

Even the best sales pitch doesn’t mean your prospect will buy, though. For them, a test drive could possibly seal the deal or at least turn their “no” into a “maybe.” Discuss the test-driving proposition with your insurance provider first. If all is clear, offer an e-bike test-drive station in your parking lot or shooting range (when not in use, of course). Explain all of the fundamentals needed to operate the bike correctly, and then let the customer begin the test drive. It’s wise to have helmets for your prospects to wear, and your insurance provider might suggest or require it.

Sometimes, seeing is believing when a customer is contemplating a purchase. You’ve seen it dozens of times with high-end compound bows, and you’ll see it with e-bikes, too. Expect jaws to drop and eyes to enlarge. That’s precisely what happened when I took my first e-bike test drive at a small Wyoming archery shop more than two years ago. 

Make the Leap

If you aren’t currently offering an e-bike line in your store, I hope this article changes your stance. I’m not suggesting that you should order 12 high-end models and expect them to sell out within a couple of months. Yes, that’s possible in some markets, but I’m not forgetting the small mom-and-pop archery stores.

If your store is small, then begin small. Bring in one or two e-bikes to gauge customer interest. To help you determine which line best suits your store, I’ve outlined a few top makes/models in the sidebar accompanying this article. 

Regardless of which line you choose, capitalize on every opportunity to educate your customers about it, and allow them to test drive an e-bike, even if they aren’t shopping for one. It’ll create a positive buzz that could spread like wildfire. Let word of mouth go to work, and also occasionally pump promos across social media to generate more publicity. 

Once your customers understand the concept and see how it can turn their hunting programs tactical, you’ll likely start selling e-bikes here and there. With each sale, you’ll reap the profits involved and provide customers with definitive solutions to a necessary step in hunting, which is transportation.

Sidebar: E-Bike Top Picks

QuietKat Apex

Designed for optimal performance in the deepest of deeps and wildest of wilds, meet QuietKat’s Apex, which has been overhauled for 2020 with the all-new integrated battery and motor system. It features updated frame geometry paired with focused weight distribution to optimize handling and ride quality. New for 2020, the Apex features a 12mm rear thru-axle and sealed bearings in both front and rear hubs for smooth operation in all weather conditions. The Apex features QuietKat’s top-build kit, including adjustable air-suspension, 4-Piston Hydraulic Brakes and a 9-speed drivetrain. Powered by a mid-drive motor paired with wide-range gearing, the Apex provides maximum torque for climbing the most rugged and advanced off-road terrain, and it’s available in 1500W, 1000W and 750W motor options. For more information, visit www.quietkat.com.

BAKCOU Mule

BAKCOU (formerly BackCountry eBikes) has updated its popular Mule. With performance-driven features, it climbs higher and goes farther. Built to pack like a “mule,” it has the suspension and gearing to get you there fast. The unparalleled performance of Bafang’s M620 ULTRA mid-drive motor is at the heart of the bike’s design. Available in 750- and 1,000-watt configurations, this premium motor delivers unbelievable torque and a dual-speed sensor. Premium Shimano Alivio Hill-Climbing 9-speed components shift seamlessly, while a rear derailleur guard protects your chain and components. The Max Drive System gives the rider more control, and despite its tremendous power output and maximum torque of more than 160 Nm, the motor operates in virtual silence. The 66-pound Mule is one of the market’s lightest hunting-style e-bikes. Designed around a user-friendly and ultra-durable, high-grade 6061 aluminum frame, the Mule’s geometry makes mounting and dismounting hassle-free. Front and rear mud fenders, a pannier rack capable of carrying over 70-pound loads and an ultra-bright performance headlight complete the ensemble. For more information, visit www.bakcou.com.

Rogue Ridge Ridge Warrior RB1000

The result of more than two years of research and development, Rogue Ridge’s Ridge Warrior affordably delivers advanced features. At just 63 pounds, the Ridge Warrior is lightweight. Still, the tech-welded 6061 aluminum alloy construction can withstand a payload — rider and gear — up to 300 pounds. A digital color display provides a speedometer and trip data along with the remaining battery life. The Bafang G320.1000 motor combines power and stealth so you can get where you’re going quietly. A Mozo fork with dropout 135mm hydraulic shocks makes rugged trails feel smoother to the rider. A high-quality Panasonic 48V13AH battery ensures long-lasting power, while Kenda 26x 4.0-inch fat tires provide positive traction for dicey conditions. For more information, visit www.rogueridge.com.

Rambo R1000XPS Carbon

Rambo delivered on customer demands by introducing the R1000XPS Carbon fat-tire e-bike. The aluminum-alloy frame is carbon-dipped to flaunt an attention-getting tactical flavor. Whether accessing elk habitat via steep grades or merely closing the distance on a gobbler, the R1000XPS Carbon can provide a smooth ride with its RST Renegade Suspension. Get all the power you need with a 1000-watt extreme-performance motor. Increased ground clearance is another benefit the R1000XPS delivers. At 69-pounds, the e-bike is highly maneuverable but sacrifices no strength and offers all high-end components. A Panasonic 48V 14.5AH battery provides a generous 20-mile range (without peddling). Maxxis Minion FBF FBR, 26x 4.8-inch tires, round out the R1000XPS Carbon. For more information, visit www.rambobikes.com.

Sidebar: Offer E-Bike Accessories

When you sell e-bikes, each sale could lead to accessory sales. For example, a QuietKat e-bike can be outfitted with a hard bow case, pannier bags and rack, additional batteries, fenders and even a trailer. These and many more compatible products give your customer the ability to accessorize his or her QuietKat e-bike, plus you’ll nail some more profits.



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