DENVER (CBS4) — A local e-bike company is switching gears after the latest tariff hike in the U.S.-China trade war. Denver-based FattE-Bikes prides themselves on being locally born and locally built.
It’s one of the only e-bike companies that builds their bikes in the U.S., but most of the parts are imported.
“The majority of the bike and bicycle components are coming from overseas. A very small percentage are coming from the U.S.,” said co-founder Kenny Fischer.
Rather than importing fully-assembled bikes, Fischer orders the parts and engineers build them in house. Fischer says they’re still able to price them less than most competitors.
“Our bikes are $2,000. Most e-bikes are $3,000 to $5,000 as it is,” said Fischer. He says it keeps quality high and prices low. Building the bikes domestically helped offset tariffs imposed last year.
“We’re not taxed on the entire bike, we’re taxed on specific components,” explained Fischer.
Now, more of those imported components are being taxed. For example, Fischer says the parts to make 50 bikes could cost them $15,000 more than it would have previously. The business will already take a hit from e-bikes that were preordered before the new tariffs were imposed.
“It pretty much depleted any potential profit. All that goes directly back into our increased shipping and taxes,” explained Fischer.
Fischer says he’s not squeezing the breaks on business, but he will have to shift gears. He hopes to keep prices lower than the competition.
“We’re finding manufactures or producers locally that we can begin working with directly. We are affected by the tariffs but we’re also finding solutions in the problem,” said Fischer.