By Annika Tomlin
Levi Conlow and Robby Deziel were passionate about biking. When electric bikes hit the market, they piqued their interest.
“Robby was already a passionate cyclist,” Conlow says. “But then once he heard about the electric aspect, he really dove straight in and really kept asking the question, ‘How can it be better?’”
Minnesota natives who now live in Phoenix, the two decided to answer that question themselves. Through Conlow’s entrepreneurial skills and Deziel’s mechanical engineering abilities, Lectric eBikes in Deer Valley was born.
“The reason the electric bike came to be was because my dad kind of almost pestered us to try to make it more affordable just for his own personal benefit,” says Conlow, a Grand Canyon University graduate.
Conlow and Deziel thought it would be a small effort called “Levi and Robby’s Lectric eBikes.” Instead, they shortened the name and chopped off the first E.
“It’s kind of cool because it takes the ‘e’ where it’s supposed to be in electric then puts it before the bikes,” says Conlow, who earned his degrees at the University of Minnesota. “We just fell in love with the name.”
Sales have been a surprise for Conlow and Deziel. They started selling the high-end Lectric XP, which retails for $899, in May 2019. It was an instant success where “sales were flying through the door,” according to Conlow. Barely a year later, the Lectric XP bike has over 10,000 purchases and earned Electric Bike Review’s Top Choice Award for Best Folding Electric Fat Tire Bike of 2020. The company was expected to hit $12 million in sales by its first anniversary on May 30.
“We got the ball rolling with really awesome influencers on YouTube,” Conlow says. “The beautiful thing is these influencers reviewed the bike and the response was overwhelmingly positive, which was a huge win because we didn’t know what they were going to say until the videos came out.”
Conlow and Deziel enlisted the help of YouTube influencers to help market their bikes without having to drop an excessive amount of money on ads. The guys started with an email asking the influencers to review the bike and post a video about it. Eight people accepted the offer. The videos have reached more than 3 million views and helped sell 10,000 Lectric XP bikes.
At one point, the two increased the price to help combat the bike’s demand. They also had to switch to offering preorder for the bikes to help give them time to manufacture the orders.
“We were in preorder, and we’re asking customers to wait eight to 12 weeks to get their bikes,” Conlow says. “We understood that was a huge ask, and we had to be able to support them the whole way.”
The COVID-19 pandemic brought on a surge of bike requests, too. To give back to the community during these unprecedented times, Lectric eBikes will donate 8,000 KN95 masks to health care workers in Arizona.
“In certain parts of New York or on the East Coast, subway stations and certain transit systems have been shut down and people still need to get around,” Conlow says. “People are wanting our bike to be a solution for that.”
Conlow thinks that during the time of social distancing it’s the perfect opportunity to get out and ride.
The bike came about after researching customers’ wants and desires.
“The hardest part of creating the bike was the process of figuring out what customers wanted out of their bikes,” Conlow says. “It was a very lengthy process. At some point, you may feel discouraged because you think you might have it figured out and then you go back to square one.”
Once they had that down, it was time to find a place. They ran it out of a friend’s garage and living room, before moving to a building in Deer Valley. Ultimately, the high-end Lectric XP came alive.
The duo’s bike remains affordable, even though they use name-brand quality parts from LG, Shimano and Tetra. The bike’s design has riders’ backgrounds in mind. The paint job, the branding, the style and the big-top tires were all designed to be really cool in the guys’ eyes.
The all-terrain tires and foldable frame make the bike easy to pack up and go riding anywhere at any time. Lectric XP folds into a third its size with a hidden battery within the framework.
“The foldability is just beautiful, because I have a small hatchback car and I can fit three bikes in it,” Conlow says. “Just being able to go out riding, fold it up and throw it in the car is the best feature of it.
“Nobody wanted to buy a bike they had to put together, because they don’t build bikes. So, we ship the bike to you fully assembled. You get the bike, unfold it and you start riding.”
Lectric XP maxes out the legal top speed for an electric bike by zooming up to 28 mph. Lectric XP can ride anywhere a normal bike can go.
“With the high performance and speed, our customers are tapping into that youthful fun,” Conlow says. “Many of our customers have said this is their first time biking in 20 to 30 years and they like the way the bike looks and feels.”
The company is focusing on its high-end Lectric XP, with no plans to create a new model. There’s always room for improvement, though.
“I think it’s human nature to improve and make things better,” Conlow says. “I most certainly believe that in 2021 we will have a new version of our bike or maybe a different bike entirely to the public.”
Lectric eBikes, 602.715.0907, lectricebikes.com.