It’s hard to find many products made in the USA these days, and even rarer to find bikes or electric bikes made here, but there are a few American companies competing. One of them is Boogie Bikes.
Located about 40 miles north of Milwaukee in un-incorporated Hingham is where you’ll find the small team that makes up Boogie Bikes assembling their electric bikes.
Founded in 2019, Boogie Bikes is rooted in the that old American made work ethic that prides itself on quality.
You can see that quality evident in their first model, the Boogie Bikes Cruiser. It has a lot of classic Americana traits. Chrome, white wall tires. It really is a gorgeous bike.
In 2019, America imported 270,000 electric bikes. That number was estimated to be about 600,000 in 2020. The number of American made ebikes are quite small in comparison, but that may change.
I reached out to Boogie Bikes to get their take on building electric bikes in the United States. Dean DuMez, the CEO replied to my questions.
What do you think should be changed to help American ebike companies compete against imported bikes?
“Nothing. If a better value is offered by assembling/making parts in the USA the purchase price will be worth it to the consumer. Example, we make a bike you can buy for less from our competition based on specs alone; however, we assemble and check the parts prior to shipment, offer factor level support for parts and service directly to customers or their local bike shop, and stock parts to support our customers. Our customers have determined that this is worth more.”
I then asked if there was any information that Boogie Bikes would like to share and have me relay. Here is the response.
“I would like to share that our intention was to source a complete bike and do a great job with a premium product marketing it. We realized quickly that in order to be able to really support the product and assure quality we had to do the final assembly in the US.
This was not an easy or inexpensive route to take and adds a lot of variables into the business plan. Based on our customer feedback and the bike we have been able to build, we all agree that it’s been well worth it.”
There are obvious advantages to buying an American made electric bike. One, the quality of the product reflects directly upon that business. A manufacturer assembling bikes made overseas, and then sold by a middleman here, doesn’t have to directly answer to a customer.
In other words, there’s much more incentive to do a great job when you know your customer can show up at your door.
Another very important advantage for American made ebikes is that parts have to be kept in stock. After all, they are using these parts to assemble the bikes.
It’s very common to have to wait weeks, if not months, for a simple part to ship from overseas. Having those parts in stock means that a customer doesn’t have to wait while the riding season passes by.
Of course, right now it’s difficult for all electric bike companies to source parts. Last year’s significant production delays due to Covid-19 are still impacting the industry. Couple that with very high demand, and you’ll likely have pre-order your ebike right now, even from the largest bike companies.
There’s also no such thing as a 100% American made bike. The components are made globally. It would be nearly impossible to build any kind of bike with only American made parts.
The same is true in the car industry and nearly all others. My husband works for Caterpillar building the largest earth moving equipment in the world, and their products are made from parts sourced from various places all over the world.
We live in a global economy, and that’s not going to change. That doesn’t mean that we have to give up building products in America, or that it’s impossible to compete.
We can. Electric Bike Company from California is assembling electric bikes here, as well as Boogie Bikes. It can be done, and as a customer, you’re probably going to come away with a bike that is offering more in terms of quality and ongoing customer service.
Right now, as of Feb 2021, you can pre-order the Boogie Bikes Cruiser for spring delivery with a deposit and $450 off. It’s a good deal. We’ll be taking a look at the bike later in more detail.
Thanks to Boogie Bikes for their response.