By Dean Yobbi – Bicycle Retailer & Industry News March 2021
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Recon Power Bikes started on the principle that to create the right e-bike for law enforcement, having the proper background is paramount. With several core team members having military and police backgrounds, Recon forged an identity in the law enforcement market by supplying “military tough” e-bikes to agencies in 35 states. Recon has been a supplier of e-bikes to municipal police departments, the federal government, military, conservation, and other agencies.
“We believe our Recon team members, with their diverse military and law enforcement experience, bring a superior skill set to the organization,” said owner and founder Jeff Fuze. “They work extremely well in a team environment. Additionally, their strong sense of duty and responsibility, coupled with a disciplined work ethic, brings a winning dynamic to our organization.”
For example, Recon’s lead mechanic is an Air Force reservist, and its law enforcement trainer a Marine Corp. veteran and a retired bike patrol officer. Backgrounds such as these give Recon insight into what law enforcement looks for in assembling a bike patrol fleet and training it, Fuze said. “It is a privilege and honor to work with the professionals in law enforcement and the military,” Fuze said.
While 70% of Recon’s business is to law enforcement, the company does offer three all-terrain e-bikes for civilians — priced from $1,899-$3,895 — for various uses, including hunting and fishing, RV and camping, and commuting. “The consumer side is growing as individuals seek out this type of bike,” Fuze said. “Law enforcement will always be our priority, but much of what we have done in that sec-
tor carries over into the consumer market. We have seen a steep rise in our consumer bikes over the last 18 months.”
Marketing its bikes as military tough is built around a lifetime frame warranty pledge. The 6061 alloy frame features beefy downtube, chainstays and seatstays. Fuze said an FBI bike patrol agent who’s part of Washington’s J. Edgar Hoover Building headquarters patrol is 6-foot-7 and weighs 300-plus pounds. He had durability issues until the FBI began using Recon Power Bikes.
The brand features three law enforcement models. The signature model the Interceptor has a Bafang 1,000-watt˛ pedal-assist mid-drive motor, 48-volt lithium-ion battery, Shimano drivetrain, hydraulic brakes, and 4-inch wide 26-inch tires. It has a speed capacity of 25-30 mph, depending on rider weight, with a range of 30-50 miles on a charge. MSRP range for the police models is $2,299-$3,495.
Perhaps most interesting, the Interceptor comes with the Ekin Bike Patrol feature, which performs license plate recognition and has live video streaming and facial recognition capabilities. The live-streaming feature is helpful for law enforcement because of bike accessibility. If there is unrest, an officer can reach the area quickly and be able to live-stream to command to make strategic decisions, Fuze said. License plate recognition is helpful for patrolling for parking fines, monitoring amber alerts and stolen vehicles. Fuze said having facial recognition allows for photos of suspects of interest to be quickly downloaded.
In addition to offering patrol training, Fuze said Recon offers a leasing program to municipalities. Recon sells direct-to-consumer on its website and also has a dealer network consisting of law-enforcement specific, consumer, and some that handle both. “Our dealer network is key to our sustained growth in our primary markets,” said Fuze, who added the goal is to double its 30 U.S. dealers this year.
The bikes are sourced and manufactured primarily from China, Japan, and Korea and assembled in the U.S.
“Finally, I would say our customer service is outstanding,” Fuze said. “When you call Recon, someone answers the phone and addresses the clients’ needs individually. This basic customer service seems to be a lost art in this industry.”