Super73’s K1D bike can go off-road.
E-bike company Super73 released a bike for kids that can go up to 15mph and costs nearly $1,300.
E-bikes have exploded in popularity, but accidents and battery fires are also on the rise.
Super73 CEO LeGrand Crewse thinks that starting kids at a young age can create responsible riders.
California e-bike company Super73 wanted to make a bike for kids that’s more than just a toy. It came up with an electric pedal-less bike for 4 to 8-year-olds called the “K1D.”
It can go up to 15 miles an hour on any terrain, comes in four colors – and costs $1,295.
E-bikes have risen in popularity, but so have accidents and battery fires. The number of fires caused by e-bike and e-scooter batteries grew from 44 to 220 from 2020 to 2022 in New York City alone, Insider previously reported. And there’s concern over a lack of regulation given e-bikes are more like vehicles, yet without needing a license or registration.
So why would any parent fork out $1,300 for a K1D? Super73 cofounder and CEO LeGrand Crewse thinks that putting kids on e-bikes at a young age could create more responsible riders down the line.
“For a huge part of our customer base buying our core e-bike products, this is the very first time that they are on a two-wheeled vehicle that can operate under its own power,” he tells Insider. “So our desire is to be able to teach at a very young age what that feels like and ultimately create safer riders as the kids age, and are using more of these products — which are now everywhere.”
And e-bikes really are everywhere now. According to an industry trade group, about 1.1 million e-bikes were imported last year, up from from 880,000 in 2021, Insider previously reported.
The K1D is aimed at 4 to 8-year-olds – the same age range when many children learn how to ride a bike.
Crewse says that without the battery, the K1D is just a regular balance bike, which many parents now opt for rather than training wheels.
“We’re just taking that formula and adding some power to it,” he says. “It’s that training tool that any child who wants to learn how to ride can learn how to ride a K1D, just as you would any other balance bike. But then you have that other layer where now you can add that power to it, and it’s so much more than just a training aid.”
Crewse also says safety was a major concern in the design process. The bike has a lithium-ion battery, which the company says is the safest possible type, as well as a regenerative braking system that brings the bike to a stop when the throttle is released. It also has different power levels and speed limits.
The K1D is also meant to be ridden on trails, pump tracks, and parks, rather than busy roads.
Crewse says his niece loves her K1D bike. “Apparently she comes home from school and immediately just wants to ride the bike and is going up and down the little quiet street that they have,” he says. “It’s not being used for transportation purposes, and she’s not a little future moto racer or anything like that. It’s just something to have fun and blast around on on her own, while learning important skills.”
Safety worries aside, there seems to be a market for the K1D. It became available for presale in April, and by the time shipping began in July it had sold out.
Are you a parent who has bought an e-bike for your child, is considering buying one – or is a skeptic? Contact this reporter at [email protected]