Bimotal gets two thumbs up at Sea Otter

Morning practice at the Sea Otter Classic

Bimotal gets two thumbs up at Sea Otter

Morning practice at the Sea Otter Classic
Early morning practice for the Sea Otter dual slalom. The vast tent expo is in the background, where more than 350 companies exhibited

As any cycling aficionado will tell you, the Sea Otter Classic is the pinnacle of cycling events. Top athletes line up on the start grid across a wide range of cycling disciplines, and the world’s leading bicycle engineers show their latest and best ideas in the expansive outdoor expo that’s encircled by the famed Laguna Seca Raceway. 

media and industry representatives at a Bimotal product presentation
Media and industry representatives gathered at our Thursday product presentation

In the expo, thousands of cycling enthusiasts and company professionals show up to explore the latest offerings of the industry, and maybe even order a new bike. 

We took the Bimotal demo fleet and set up our booth in the middle of this busy throng, partly so customers on our pre-order list could feel for the first time what they were in line to purchase, and also to show the system to a broader audience.

The Bimotal booth was popular among Sea Otter attendees
Strong consumer interest kept our booth staff occupied all four days

So how’d we do? Well, we’re still blinking in the sunlight and wondering how it can have been so good. It was non-stop in the Bimotal booth, all day every day until we started breaking down on Sunday afternoon. 

The journalists and bloggers loved it, early reports giving positive comment, and several publications have already requested a unit for in-depth review. Consumers at the event told us it is interesting and excellent, some even said it’s the best thing in the whole expo. We took orders throughout the weekend and they’re still coming in. In other words, it went great!

Bimotal booth staff
End of show: Their smiles say it all. From left, Mike Duensing, Chad Furey, Neil Flock,
Toby Ricco, ‘Aussie’ Bob (a pre-order customer), Lauren Duensing, Matt Rounds

The pre-order customers, of whom many had waited a year since putting down their deposits, came back smiling from their test rides. For us this meant a lot. They had invested in our idea and now were finding the real-world product lives up to their expectations. There is a lot of satisfaction in that for both us and our customers.

Our booth staff, composed mostly of the Bimotal engineers, compared notes about why it went so well. In general, customers and journalists alike were intrigued by the concept that not only does a high-end ebike not need a fully encapsulated drive unit and battery, but in some respects it’s better this way.

Toby Ricco gives a media interview
Bimotal founder Toby Ricco gave several media interviews over the four days

People loved the versatility of adding a top quality electrification system to their existing bike and having the option to easily remove it in just seconds whenever they choose. 

Everybody who took out one of the demo bikes for a test ride came back with an ear-to-ear grin; they loved the peppy pickup and the high-end power.

What they said:

“This is genius”

“Revolutionary and disruptive!”

“The most innovative thing at the show!”

“Best product I have seen at Sea Otter.”

“I’m buying one right now, where do I place my order?”

(Walking away from the booth, one to another) “It’s so neat that you can take it off so easily.”

“I’ll bet everyone comes back from their demo ride with a big smile on their face, right?”

“I already have an ebike, but this is just what I need for my other bike.”

Bimotal Engineer Jason Roesslein said, “The best reaction for me was watching the face of an 8-year old grom, it was just the biggest smile, ear to ear, full-face glow.”

The Bimotal Elevate drive unit
This is what caused all the excitement

With all that positive feedback we’re all still riding on a high. What better motivation could we ask as we go about filling the orders in our book? And on that point, very few spaces remain on our pre-order list. Now is a great time to get in line if you’ve not done so already.

After a year of covid-cancelled events, and many long nights of engineering, it was great to finally get Elevate out into a mainstream cycling marketplace where it could be viewed alongside other excellent products. We couldn’t be happier with the enthusiasm for our light, removable, and novel motor system, which is already changing perceptions on what an ebike is, and who wants to have one.

Paul Skilbeck is Bimotal’s media liaison & blog editor.

Photos: Paul Skilbeck, Mike Duensing, Jason Roesslein.

By Paul

Paul has written hundreds of articles and a few books on cycling. He's organized rides, riders, journalists, occasionally his desk, and he's advised numerous bike companies and organizations of all sizes with communications matters. He lives with his partner, his dog and several bikes in Berkeley, California.