I’ve been asked on Twitter: "Does the experience of a Brava justify the cost (relative to other e-bikes).” A fair question, as I think.
My answer was "BOND bikes are as different from other e-bikes as jets are from propeller planes. Some would argue that both get the job done. Some would argue that the jobs are different. I for one can’t possibly go back to propellers."
The reply to this was reasonable: "Engine 350W vs 800W, battery is also double. I get it, BOND is a different beast."
To which I replied "It’s not even in the numbers. The perception is so different that I changed my mind about what can exist."
Perception? What perception?
BOND bikes are different in certain quantities: more speed, more power, more battery, more lights, etc. But the sum of these quantities is a quality that is very difficult to explain.
It’s like saying that an iPhone in 2007 was different than existing phones. It had a big screen, more computing power, bigger battery, etc. It was also more expensive. But what made the iPhone truly different was in the outcomes it created for its users. People used it more than other phones and got more done with it. Eventually they did more than bigger computers could do. It was a difference that people perceived rather than measured. Those who measured phones were left scratching their heads in response to its popularity because the specific interactions that the iPhone enabled were not part of what was measurable.
Is a BOND bike, and the Brava in particular, equivalent to the iPhone? That remains to be seen but I can attest that a BOND Bike feels different than other e-bikes and creates a different outcome for its users.
A BOND bike is fast, but with more speed it not only delivers time, it delivers confidence, even safety. More speed means being more visible to drivers. It’s well known that vehicles (small or large) are less visible the more different the speeds are. Brava’s 45 km/h is sufficient to keep up with urban traffic in 80% of European cities, keeping the rider in view and offering time for drivers to react and respect. How do we quantify this respect?
A BOND bike is powerful, but with power it not only delivers acceleration, it delivers control. Controlling speed on inclines so that they basically disappear, as they do for a car, again keeping you in view. Dual hydraulic disk brakes give you control on deceleration and the downslope. This control is imperceptible to the BOND rider until you try doing the same with less power. How do we quantify control?
A BOND bike has a huge battery, but with that it not only delivers range, it delivers peace of mind that you can take as many trips in a day as you need and even arrogantly suggests that you should consider taking more trips. We justify a transportation vehicle choice based on what trips we think we need to make with it. Little do we know about trips that we will want to make. How do we quantify inspiration to go where we did not think we wanted to go?
Fundamentally, like a smartphone, a BOND bike allows you to do more than you even thought you needed to do. It allows you to substitute for transit and car use. It allows you to take longer trips than you would otherwise. It allows you to ride in worse weather. To do so with a serving of dopamine and a dose of adrenalin on the side. It makes you feel like superman or superwoman. It gives you a cape. It gives you mental armor. It gives you wings.
And did I mention it looks awesome?
Maybe other bikes give you some of this. Maybe other ebikes give you a bit more than regular bikes but BOND bikes give you so much that you will think, like I did, that more can exist.
That respect, control, inspiration, potential is, I think, priceless.