Priority Bicycles is a direct to consumer commuter bike brand that delivers premium bikes at a reasonable price. Founded in 2014 and funded with $565,000 from their first Kickstarter campaign, the brand sells lightweight, rust-proof commuter bikes (also known as “street cruisers” for being a mix of road bike and beach cruiser).
Based in New York City, Priority Bicycles is a direct to consumer bicycle brand founded by former software exec Dave Weiner. The brand sells lightweight, rust-proof commuter bikes or “street cruisers” that are a mix of road bike and beach cruiser. They deliver a premium bike at a reasonable price, by cutting out the middlemen with a low overhead, online-only business model.
On its home page, the brand explains its unexpectedly good start:
“On July 15, 2014 we launched on Kickstarter–opting for a crowd-funded approach with a goal of raising $30K to fund the first shipment of what would later be called “The Priority Classic.’ Nervously, Dave hit “launch” and waited. And waited. After what seemed like days (but was only a few hours), the first backers entered. The goal was hit within a few hours, and over the course of the 30-day campaign, Priority Bicycles raised $565,000 with over 1500 bicycles backed.
That campaign was the first of 3 fully-funded Kickstarter campaigns, all of which delivered on-time for all backers. Priority Bicycles now has 5 models, shipped thousands of bicycles around the world, and features partnerships with premium resorts, educational institutions, and top-rated tours in major US cities.”
In a very well-done Youtube video, Weiner explains the deeper story behind Priority Bicycles and shows how his bikes are different, including their belt drive system. This belt drive system is made of carbon and is said to last 2 to 3 times longer than traditional chains. The bikes have puncture-resistant tires and an aluminum frame, making the bike lightweight. In a February 2018 article on Forbes.com, Weiner said, “All of our bicycles feature internal gears, which last much longer than traditional derailleur systems, and some of our bicycles even feature a Continuously Variable Transmission, or CVT, by NuVinci which is a step-less gearing system that’s the ultimate in low maintenance.
This direct to consumer bike maker offers 5 models of everyday commuter bikes (or “street cruisers), one beach cruiser model, and 2 kids’ models:
Priority Classic ($449), Classic Plus Gotham Edition ($469), Classic Plus Neverflat ($524), Priority Continuum Onyx ($999), Priority Glide ($799), Priority Coast (Cruiser, $449). Kids’ models are the Priority Start ($249, ages 3-8) and the Biddle Balance Bicycle ($99, ages 2+). Training wheels ($30) and kickstands ($13) are also available for the Priority Start model.
For those who would like to pay for their bike in installments, Priority has a handy integration with Cross River Bank, showing loan payment options for monthly financing on each bike, if approved.
The brand charges $30 for shipping to the continental USA, and other regions’ costs are calculated at checkout. The bike comes 95% assembled, and “we try to keep the last 5% as simple as possible,” the brand writes on their website. Priority also works with a delivery and assembly service called Velofix, as a way to provide value that came with the (now eliminated) retail middlemen. “With Velofix,” the brand writes on its Delivery Options page, “you can experience all cost benefits of buying your bicycle online, yet enjoy the convenience and one-on-one interaction of having the bike shop and certified mechanic come to you. This Service includes a size fitting and new bike orientation. Plus Velofix will install all of the accessories you order with your bike!” Velofix service is $100; so, effectively $70 to have someone deliver the bike and finish the assembly for you.
Priority’s customer service and support looks very responsive and helpful. They offer 7-day-a-week support, which could be especially helpful if assembling the bike on the weekends. In addition to phone and email support, online chat is at the ready, their Facebook response time is typically within an hour, and they offer text-message-based support. In the 2018 Forbes article, Weiner explained how he goes to great lengths to provide excellent customer service: “We own our warehouse and each bicycle is checked for quality control and shipped by our staff. We handle all service calls internally, 7-days a week. We are a very customer-centric team and all of us are equipped to handle customer inquiries.”
The founder’s background in software and innovation is clearly yielding fruit for this lean, automated brand, and their product quality is being rewarded with high-profile partnerships with upscale hotel brands.
At No Middleman, we believe this direct to consumer bicycle brand is delivering significantly high value for a very reasonable price, at they’re our “premium value” favorite in the street cruiser category.
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