Pedego Dealer Meeting—An Inside Look at this Successful E-bike Company.
Once again I was invited to participate in an important meeting for the Pedego dealers and distributors. This was their 2nd annual meeting and it was at least three times bigger than last year’s. Pedego has slow-walked their way into having riders in many parts of the world. By slow-walked I mean that unlike others that have rushed to get a wide range of models designed and constructed, Pedego has taken the time needed to get the bikes right and expand the line-up at a smart pace.
Some kiddingly and unknowably say I work for Pedego, yet nothing could be further from the truth. I remain fully independent, but do my best to get the inside story whenever I can. The family at Pedego has become close to me, just a little more than others I know in the industry. The enjoyment and knowledge I get from this relationship is cherished. Getting this kind of treatment from all the E-bike and folding bike companies is fully welcomed (hint, hint).
The meeting started on a very starchy level, but escalated quickly by some enthusiastic planning from management (all intentional). Although most of this convention happened on one day, afternoon, evening and night, there were activities and training the day before and after. Because of the shift from just domestic to international, dealers weren’t the only people in attendance. Distributors from Europe, Italy, Canada and South Africa were on hand too. Some other covered countries weren’t represented at the meeting.
The key speaker was Ed Begley Jr, a well known actor, green advocate and Pedego pilot. With comedy and seriousness he affirmed how important the roles of Pedego dealers are for the attitudes and health of individuals and the world. Another important talk was given by Tom Patty, the author of “Marketing Without Money”. Most of the other presentations were given by employees and dealers. Last year I was able to talk about the need for educating people about E-bikes and their existence. I was kind of sad I didn’t get a repeat at the podium this year.
Subjects covered were many, including planning and executing the E-bike tours that some shops offer, and the ins and outs of E-bike rentals. Social media use, websites and marketing strategies helped to expand the dealer’s minds for success. So many things were covered and each session included a round of Q & A’s to make sure everyone’s knowledge was filled to the tiptop. As the info was laid out, a large group of venders waited in the wings for their turn to wow the crowd.
As always, Pedego owners Don and Terry showed the ultimate in generosity by treating everyone to a trio of fantastic meals and plenty of swag. Breakfast before hand was tasty and the room was filled with people from different walks of lives, yet one common bond, getting to know each other better. For me, this is one of the best parts, getting caught up on their shops and progress. As you know my wife and I have visited many of them for videos, rides and friendship.
After the first break of the morning we moved onto more speakers telling the Pedego story and business plan. This company’s shift to Pedego only stores was more initiated by the dealers themselves then management. There are still shops who sell Pedegos that offer other brand E-bikes, but they are more or less grandfathered in and are becoming fewer. Increasing in numbers are independent bike shops that have a Pedego kiosk, with them as their only E-bike brand.
Continually obvious during the event is how hard this company works to keep each and every customer happy. With quality and safe products, top-notch service and a strong will to satisfy, Pedego has built a brand name that is questionably un-matched in the E-bike industry. I see and hear all the time the love owners have for their bikes and the people behind them. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy such days as this.
After a great buffet lunch by the pool and overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Huntington Beach, the meeting rolled on with more input the dealers need to keep their cadre of customer’s wheels turning. I posted a video (see the links below) of part of the lunch break where each person in attendance introduced their self, shop and reasons for coming. So many areas of the world were represented in the comments and testimonies. BTW, I posted two other videos from the day, one showing almost everyone that was on hand.
Although I have been privy to many of the new products and up-dates to be introduced over the coming months, this was part of the meeting that most dealers were waiting for. Before that part of the afternoon (a part where I parked my camera), they rolled out some customs that different dealers have created. A show of Pedego branded accessories and swag was touted before the group too. Still, the venders waited for their turn, yet their tables were being visited all during the day for a close look.
Another thing I already knew and was impressed with has to do with batteries. Pedego has always strived to have only the best cells in their bikes. Yet with lots of continuous research in the battery technology world, 6 months ago they made the shift to the best and most efficient ($ too) E-bike batteries in the world today. Every new and replacement battery they sell will have these inside. They also offered each dealer to cover half of the cost of a heavy-duty all metal cabinet for shop battery storage. And even though there is no history of customer problems, Pedego now asks their dealers to recommend each customer store their E-bike battery in a steel toolbox when not in use. The best offense is a good defense.
Finally the venders got a turn at the front of the room. Pedego only suggests their dealers stock items from these companies, but fully researches them to make sure they are quality and desirable bike pieces. The vender list looked like this (check their websites for details). Nantucket Bike Basket Co.—Abus Locks—BikeSmart—Outdoor Tech—Showers Pass—Bern Helmets—BikeBoards—Birksun. Each vender was totally tuned into their product’s abilities and uses, and answered each question the dealers queried.
Now the part you will want to know but I can’t tell you, the new models. All I can really say is wow!—and that as each page of the calendar in this coming year is flipped, you should keep an eye on the Pedego website and FB pages. Some will be brand new model introductions, some will be major up-grades to existing models and some will be a combination of the two. These are exciting times for Pedego and the dealers were brimming with wide-eyed happiness. The customers will be doing the same.
As another teaser, when Interbike comes about, a fantastic new Pedego will be introduced. To please their European customers, it will have two versions, a American spec and European spec configuration, something I don’t think Pedego has done before. I hope I haven’t told you too much.
When the meeting closed, I hopped on the EcoReco M3 electric scooter I brought, to ride down the beach bikeway to a local restaurant for a Pedego hosted dinner. The place was brimming with exciting talk of all of the day’s activities. Some great food and drink capped off a awesome day of E-bikes, friends and knowledge. 15 hours after the day started it was time to go home. Thanks for the good time Pedego, I really enjoyed myself.
So if you haven’t tried a Pedego, maybe the time is coming soon, Turbo Bob.
“Bikes have wheels.” —Noam Chomsky.
Pedego, their dealers and bikes can be found on the web and Facebook
Here are links to three videos I posted from the day. A few dealers posted short videos of the opening scene with pounding music and flashing lights. Look for them if you are interested.