Q&A with the Creators of ESPIN eBikes
Meet the Founders, Josh Lam and Yina Liu
ESPIN is brought to you from San Francisco with love by husband and wife team, Josh Lam and Yina Liu. For the past few years, the pair has been developing a new breed of commuter bikes that came to be known as ESPIN eBikes – a stylish, affordable mover that will re-define the eBike industry. ESPIN eBikes are equipped with a powerful 350-watt motor and a lithium-ion battery with a range of 20-40 miles. Now available at $1588 for pre-order with only a $100 down payment to reserve your bike today, scheduled to be ready for delivery before Christmas this year.
Delivery is available for pre-orders in the US starting NOW. Check out the Q&A below with the founders to learn about the inspiration behind ESPIN.
- How did ESPIN eBikes get started?
ESPIN was started out of necessity really. When we first moved back to San Francisco from Shanghai three years ago, we wanted to find an electric bike that was high performing, great for climbing SF hills, had a modern and sleek design, while still in an affordable price range. When we couldn’t find anything of value without breaking the bank, we decided we could build a better product than what was available and from there it just grew and we decided to go with it!
What inspired the name ESPIN eBikes?
ESPIN is a play on the name, Espen Askeladden, which is a character in a famous Norwegian fairy tale, as an homage to Yina’s childhood in Norway. Espen is the youngest of three brothers and in the stories, he is always viewed as the misunderstood, eccentric character representing the “little guy,” compared to his older brothers who appear to have a much greater chance of success in life early on in the stories. But as the stories unfold, it is clear that the older brothers are tied to their conventional thinking, and in contrast, Espen uses creative tactics to conquer battles, always prevailing in the end. He is typically able to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to problems they encounter. We really identify with Espen’s character and liken ourselves to being the more free-thinking and nimble player in the market compared to the traditional companies in the industry. Secondly, the name is also shorthand for electric spin so it fits perfectly!
Why did you want to design an electric bicycle?
We wanted to design an electric bicycle because, in our opinion, it’s the marriage of the two greatest inventions ever, the bicycle and the computer. We wanted to design a product that we were proud of and be a part of the solution to everyday transportation problems to change the way people commute in the future. An electrical bicycle is so powerful because it combines the efficiency of transportation while working on your fitness and health. Not to mention, it’s so much fun!
What is the average person’s biggest misconception about e-bikes?
The first response most people have about e-bikes, is that they think it is cheating and they will not get exercise. To that, we say it is not cheating, rather it is enhancing the ride experience while making riding more convenient. Just like a digital camera is more convenient than a film camera, and a word processor is more convenient than a typewriter, an eBike makes riding much more convenient than a traditional bicycle. With an eBike, you no longer need to worry about being sweaty after your ride to work or struggle with making it up steep hills. Of course, there are always purists who just simply love riding a traditional bicycle. But for the average person, riding an eBike can be an exhilarating experience, almost like riding a bike for the first time again. You have never felt anything like the propulsion you feel when you pump the pedals on an ESPIN. Furthermore, since ESPIN eBikes are pedal assist, meaning you have to pedal in order for the motor to engage, you can still get a good workout while going faster and further than ever before. Research has shown that eBike owners actually ride much more often and longer distances than normal bicycle riders. With 5 levels of assist, you can choose to put in as much or as little effort as you like!
How do you think ESPIN eBikes can help improve commuter biking?
The ESPIN eBike makes commuting by bike a breeze. The biggest hurdle with commuting by bike is arriving to your destination sweaty and tired after having to deal with steep hills or long distances. The ESPIN eBike will eliminate all those problems with the first push of the pedal.
We have taken ESPIN eBikes over the steepest hill in San Francisco, which is a 32% grade, so no hill is too big for an ESPIN. It is an amazing feeling to be able to flatten the hills in front of you all while having a blast riding.
What’s the main differentiator between ESPIN and other eBikes?
While many eBikes on the market currently are focused on mountain biking or off roading, the ESPIN eBike is built specifically for city riding in mind. All ESPIN eBikes come standard with balloon tires for extra comfort, a bright LED headlight and a rear rack for transporting cargo, so it is the perfect bike for commuting around the city. We pride ourselves on having built the best city bike with the highest quality to price ratio on the market!
What do you think eBikes will bring to the community of San Francisco and beyond?
Riding an eBike for the first time is kind of like riding a bike for the first time. It’s a little scary at first but a whole lot of fun once you get the hang of it. That is exactly the feeling of joy and excitement we want to bring to riders everywhere, back to when riding a bike to work, school or just to the grocery store was cool and fun. Looking beyond, we want to continue spreading the love we have for eBikes, why you should get on one and continue promoting the benefits of riding an eBike as a mode of transportation.
What do you expect the impact of eBikes will be in 10 years?
I think we will see a big shift towards electric bicycles as people are beginning to see the benefits of zero emission vehicles and the positive impact they have, not only for our planet, but also the many health benefits that come with riding an eBike. The advancement of technology in batteries along with people’s changing mentality will be the driving force in transforming the eBike industry. But the main impact, from a societal perspective, will be how in 10 years we will have a new framework for understanding urban mobility with the help of eBikes and all the benefits they can bring.
Where is your favorite place to ride your bike to in San Francisco?
We love zipping around the various neighborhoods in San Francisco, and the ESPIN is the best way to tackle those SF hills. But on weekends we love riding in Marin County. The scenery around Marin is beautiful and has some of the best bike loops around. The loops can be quite challenging, but riding an ESPIN eBike on the trails in Marin is the best way to really take in the views on a ride. Mt. Tamalpais, Marin Headlands, Hawk hill, pretty much everywhere you go has a postcard view!
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