Beijing-based smart bike maker SpeedX on Thursday unveiled three types of “super-light” smart bikes made of carbon fiber, aiming to inspire a nation-wide fitness craze.
Li Gang, CEO and founder of SpeedX, shared his entrepreneurial experience at the beginning of its product release.
He says that before running his business he was a bit overweight, about 95 kilograms, and his best friend Gao Jiayang, the co-founder of SpeedX, suffered facial paralysis after consecutive night shifts. All these factors combined made Li Gang decide to change the way they live and work.
“If we own the whole world at the cost of our health, our lives will just become meaningless,” says Li. “We should dare to do what we love the most.”
Li and Gao then took a bicycle tour in Hainan and Taiwan, in southern China. That experience confirmed Li’s belief that they should do something they truly love – cycling.
The two founded SpeedX in March 2015. At the beginning, they faced fierce market competition with investment. But he got lucky in just a few months.
When Li and his team presented their business idea and a demo product to famous angel investor Xu Xiaoping, the founder of ZhenFund, and landed USD one million in angel investment. Then even more money followed, when the team received RMB 50 million in Series A funding led by Innovation Works in July 2015, and RMB 30 million (USD 4.6 million) in Series A+ financing from the Xindong-Jinding Fund last Friday.
On Thursday Li proudly unveiled his products: two road bikes, the SpeedX Leopard Pro and the SpeedX Leopard, and a mountain bike, the SpeedX Mustang. They all use carbon fiber material from Toray, a Japanese high-tech company. This special material makes the bikes super light. The bike frame weighs about 1180 grams, equivalent to the weight of two 550 ml bottles of mineral water. The Leopard Pro is the most expensive model, priced at RMB 14,999, followed by RMB 7,999 for the Leopard and RMB 3,999 for the Mustang.
There are doubts over whether the high price of the SpeedX may hinder sales in the competition with domestic bike producers, which tend to win customers using a low price strategy. However, Li has his own vision.
“We have no plans to produce low-priced bikes in the future,” he says.
He added that compared with traditional bike makers, they have integrated their three products with the SpeedX app, a GPS ride tracker that connects an online community of cyclists who use the app for networking and recommending riding routes; cycling computer “Smart Control”, a smart system that provides real-time information and suggestions to users; and Xcoach, a smart bike fitting system.
“The only thing we want to do is to make SpeedX a globally influential brand like Tesla and Nike,” he said.
In June, SpeedX will also launch its bike camera “Jiluke” to record road conditions, aiming to keep cyclists from danger.
Li told AllChinaTech that SpeedX is planning to be listed on China’s New Three Board by the end of 2016, and also plans to sell products to America.
“SpeedX is not just a company chasing profits by selling products. Our higher goal is to encourage more people to join us in cycling,” says Li. ”We will inject RMB 20 million to launch 100 SpeedX 200K competitions this year. We aim to lead the national fitness craze.”
The SpeedX 200K competition is a biking event for both professional cyclists and amateurs, including races, bike riding campaigns, extreme games and regional contests.
(Top photo from ban-ma.com)