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Naomi Dyson and David Metzke have spent years refining their range of ebikes and building a growing network of loyal dealers. From small beginnings Dyson’s total bike sales have reached the multiple thousands.
“We started about eight years ago when we got some off the shelf bikes from China just to test the waters,” recalled David. “We found that they worked quite well. There was interest in the market, and we could see potential for growth.
“That’s when we decided to launch our own brand, Dyson Bikes. At the time I was working for General Motors in the Aftersales side of their business. I’d been with them for 12 years previously working in their Customer Relations and Marketing departments, so it was good grounding for Dyson Bikes.
“Back in 2013 when we launched Dyson Bikes, ebikes were still quite new to the Australian market. If we visited a typical bike shop, they weren’t too receptive to ebikes, so at that stage we were doing more online and more face to face with our customers.”
Naomi added, “Customers back then were not so au fait with ebikes. 80% to 90% of people had never ridden an ebike and the thought conjured up ‘science project’ type images for them.
“But today 90% of bike shops have at least one ebike on the floor and it’s becoming a greater part of their business because more and more customers are asking for them.
“Today about 70% of our sales are through our dealer network. Our online sales have contracted to customers in smaller towns or remote areas where there is no nearby dealer.
If we get a call from a customer in a town or city where there is a dealer, then we encourage them to visit that dealer. We don’t want to sell in competition with our dealers.”
A key point of difference is that Dyson bikes are designed in Australia specifically for the Australian conditions and customer preferences.
“Part of our philosophy is to make what Australians want as opposed to what Europeans want,” David explained. “They like bikes a little bit more rugged here, so we do things like steel mudguards and chain guards.
“We also run controller software that is unique to us so that there is a wider variation between the lowest and highest power settings. We find some older buyers in particular like the lower power setting option so they can improve their fitness as they ride.”
Attention to Detail
“I personally fly to China and test ride every bike before we put it into the box,” David said. “I’ll be typically testing 150 to 200 bikes each trip, then we don’t have many problems because our quality control is strong.
“We tried a few different factories before we found the right one that we’ve been with for a several years now. Their quality is good, their staff are consistent and they build for major international brands. They also have their own frame, motor and controller factories so we can have more input into our designs because they make all the core parts.
“It’s all about attention to detail,” David continued. “They’ve got to look right. The ergonomics must be right. Lower seats and higher handlebar positions because you tend to sit down more on an ebike. Comfortable gel seats. Lock on ergonomic grips.
“In the early days we had issues with spoke breakage on some the MTB rear wheels, so now we use Pillar stainless steel spokes with a special cold forged process for the J bend and they’re more meat in the head. Then we use rims that are drilled at an angle so that the spoke nipples are coming out at the correct angle and not loading up strain on the spoke.
“We use Tektro levers with connectors for the motor cutouts in both levers so that if a customer bends the lever it’s easier to disconnect the brakes and replace without pulling wires through the frame.
“For our Rail Trail Commute (RTC) model we have strong aluminium mudguards with more clearance so that if a stick flicks up it won’t jam. We have a brake light that flashes when you use the brakes, to our knowledge it the only bike on the market with this feature. The rear rack is integrated with the mudguard. It’s our specific design and has stainless steel fastening screws which are Loctited on.”
This high level of attention to these and many other details in every Dyson bike has earned them recognition.
When Choice Magazine did their last review of a wide range of ebikes, Dyson’s hardtail was one of just four bikes that earned their highest recommendation.
Great Dealer Service
Dyson Bikes know that giving dealers great value means far more than just offering attractive margins on paper. If there’s widespread discounting and costly product faults, those margins can be quickly eroded.
“Dyson has a story to sell and we rarely run specials so dealers can hold their margins,” said David. “Most importantly, we also don’t market by model years for our bikes. That’s what erodes margins. We’re like Tesla. We’re always improving our models.
“We’re not rigid in requiring big stock holdings from our dealers. If someone’s in a regional centre we’re not going to expect them to take lots of bikes.
In metro areas we don’t want dealers on top of each other. We want to keep profitability in the brand for us and the dealer network. So we don’t want to have dealers say only five kilometres apart.
“Being a small company, nine times out of 10 when a dealer calls, they can speak to me. Because we design the bikes ourselves, we know them in detail. Chances are we can give advice to sort out whatever problem they might have.
Dyson has six frame styles in their range, with some variations of wheel size and specifications within these.
“We keep the price point around $2,000 to $2,500. So we’re below the major brands’ price points but still offering good margin to dealers.”
It appears that Dyson’s eight years of hard work is benefiting their growing network of dealers. Jake Wolki of Cycle Station, a very large and well-presented store in Albury on the NSW Victorian border said, “Dyson E-Bikes are fantastic value and there is real demand for them. Dave & Naomi are a pleasure do deal with, there is just something extra nice about Australian Owned!”
You can also see David explaining key features of the Dyson Mixte RTC on this YouTube video