Sartée Bikes started with an idea…
That bikes should be built to last a generation, not a product cycle. Right now riders are caught in the middle of an e-bike manufacturer’s arms race. Bike brands are trying to stay ahead by designing proprietary components and hidden electrical systems. This makes it near impossible to repair or replace drivetrains, batteries or critical frame parts. The end result is a bike with the product lifecycle of an iPhone, not a vehicle. Riders are discovering this the hard way, when they can’t find the replacement parts they need, and find it easier to buy a new bike rather than repair the one they already own.
Up until recently, nearly all bikes were built with industrial standards that make it easy for one component to be replaced 10, 20 or even 50 years down the line. Owners could always go into a local bike shop and reliably find or order the part needed to get rolling again. Companies are at a crossroads. Will they choose planned obsolescence or right to repair, short term profits or long term wins for their customers and the planet?
Here’s how we’re different…
We build bikes that can be repaired, piece by piece if needed. Our motors use standard 148×12 axle spacing, meaning you can swap it for a non-motorized wheel or another brand’s hub motor anytime. We use press fit bottom bracket shells, so cranks and chainrings will always be available. We use standard aircraft-grade stainless steel braided cables for our steering mechanism, meaning you will always be able to find off-the-shelf replacements, even if we aren’t around to do the work for you. And our frame uses an industrial-standard 80/20 T-slot profile, so you can bolt hundreds of off-the-shelf accessory brackets to support any business needs. The possibilities are endless.
We make bikes that will last a generation and will strive to be around for at least as long to share the ride with you.
Is to build the last bike you will ever need and to address the environmental crisis by using our company to improve the natural world.
We endeavor to build bikes that will stand the test of time, support the local economy, and break trail towards a gas-free future.
We envision a community where people not only know how their products are made, but care deeply about improving the lives of the people who make it.
We see ourselves as leaders, not measured by sales or market share, but in product reparability, customer transparency and community wellbeing.
Everyone deserves a convenient, safe and clean way to get around
Bikes should be repairable and serviceable by anyone, anywhere, anytime
Materials should not be wasted, pick the best ones and use them sparingly
Transparency encourages conversation, and conversation enables change
Pride of ownership and quality of product are two sides of the same coin
Stronger communities, both locally and globally, through carbon-free mobility
Meet the Team
Our team is small but our ambition is big, to attract talented individuals who care about our mission of building the best bikes and addressing the environmental crisis at hand.
Jared has spent his entire life either building things or taking them apart. With a background in Mechanical Engineering at MIT and a career that has spanned from product design at Apple to small startups and consulting, his passion has always been to bring great ideas off the sketchbook and into the world.
A passionate mountain biker, father and dual Canadian and American citizen, he sees the boundless potential for a company that focuses on building community, one bike at a time.
Say “hi” at firstname.lastname@example.org
Evan has always worked to grow mission-driven companies committed to making the world a better place for all.
As the COO and Director of Marketing at Xtracycle, Evan grew the company and the team over a decade.
Say “hi” at email@example.com
As a sustainability and urban planning professional, Kyle has ruthlessly chased a simple mission – get more people into the bike lane. He’s designed and led the implementation of numerous protected bike lanes, authored regulations that sparked a rebirth in the bike share industry, and scaled a shared micromobility business internationally to over 100 markets.
Devin is a dedicated retail shop owner who understands the bike industry in and out. As the owner of the family-run shop Skiis & Biikes in Toronto and Mississauga, his advice and insight have been invaluable to our small company.
Drummond’s background working as the director of sustainability for Method and Arc’teryx has helped us to focus on the factors within our control as a small company. He reminds us that our ambition should be within reach of our capabilities and that starting is the first step towards improving.
You have questions, we have answers ideas
What are you doing to combat climate change?
Sartée Bikes is committed to building bikes that last for generations to come and we want the people riding our bikes then to live in a world that is safer, cleaner and more sustainable than the one we live in now. To achieve these parallel goals we are taking the following actions right now…
Build the best bicycles possible
We feel the best way to reduce our impact on the environment is to build bikes that have no reason to ever be replaced. This means using materials and hardware that will not deteriorate over time, as well as designing our frames and in-house components with a priority on durability over weight savings and quality over profit margin.
Understand our impact on the environment
The gold standard diagnostic tool for a company understanding the impact of its products is a detailed life cycle analysis (LCA). This tool takes into account the carbon footprint of all stages of a product life cycle, from raw material extraction and manufacturing, to distribution, customer use, and disposal or recycling. When done correctly and thoroughly, these analyses tend to be very expensive to implement but provide invaluable baselines from which a company can measure improvements over time.
Sartée Bikes is not yet at the point where a detailed LCA makes financial or practical sense to implement. As a young company, there are just too many variables still at play throughout our supply chain to justify such a detailed evaluation. That being said, we are committed to radical transparency from day one, and to that end we have begun the process of cataloging the amounts and sources of each of the major materials used in our PICKUP Bikes.
We are also committed to complete supplier transparency, something that is not typical in the bike industry as a whole. For every component and major part of the PICKUP, we have provided company names and even links to the exact parts that are sourced, information that can be found here. We hope that by providing this information to our customers and the general public, we will encourage other companies to do the same, allowing for a stronger connection between end customers and makers of the goods we all use.
Finally, starting from year one, we plan to commit 1% of our annual sales to organizations who focus on restoring the natural environment and build community, both locally and globally. More specifically, we will direct our contributions towards non profit organizations which restore natural habitats that have been negatively impacted by raw material extraction as well as recycle and repurpose unused and end-of-life bike components like batteries, parts, tires and frames.
You say your bikes are made in Canada, what does that mean?
What does it mean to be made somewhere? Our bikes, and all bikes really, aren’t simply made. Their frames are hand built by real people all over the world, extruders, tube benders, welders, anodizers and painters. Their components are sourced from one of hundreds of suppliers across Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Japan, Europe and USA. This article from Vernon Felton at Pinkbike offers an amazingly insightful view into the bike-building industry.
Right now, our bikes are fully assembled at our headquarters in Pemberton, Canada. The main reason we do this is to maintain as much flexibility during the early days of our company. If a part or process isn’t working for us, we have the ability to change it immediately, from one bike to the very next. As many of these variables begin to stabilize, we will consider moving them up the supply chain if it helps us focus on the most important quality issues here at home.
Final assembly, test and pack-out (FATP) is only one of many steps in the process towards making a complete bike. We source about 90% of our mechanical components from vendors in Taiwan and the remaining ones from China. Our front-frame is assembled from raw aluminum extrusion and CNC billet machined aluminum blocks from our partners in China, then anodized and sent on a container ship to Pemberton for final assembly. Our rear triangle is hand-welded and powder coated in Montreal, Quebec and sent to us here as well.
From assembly of the smallest components to welding the final frame, our vendors, welders and staff work hard to bring the elements of a complete bike together. We would like to highlight their stories, both to say thank you for the hard work, and so you know the monumental effort that goes into each and every one of our bikes.
Can I order the LIFT without a motor? Do I even need a motor?
Yes, you can (and should consider) buy the LIFT without a motor.
One of the most important things for us as a bike company is to sell only what is needed and nothing more. Up until 10 years ago, nearly all bike sales were for non-electric models, and there was plenty of bike use across the country, both in business and for personal use. Clearly, there are advantages to having a motor-assisted platform, but there are many circumstances in which it’s likely more trouble than it’s worth. A perfect example is in our hometown of Pemberton, BC.
Pemberton is a small farming community-turned outdoor sports hub built on a floodplain in the Coast Mountains. Despite having hundreds of snow-capped peaks in every direction, it is pancake-flat and sits at 600’ above sea level. The village is centrally located and small, with neighborhoods surrounding it and most things within a 20 minute walk or 5-10 minute bike ride. If one of my closest friends came to me asking whether they needed an e-bike to get around, I’d probably recommend against it or at least ask them to consider why they think they want one.
Electric bikes use lithium batteries, made from raw material that is harvested from open-pit mines halfway across the world. Motors use large quantities of rare-earth metals and copper and do have a lifespan after which they will eventually need to be recycled. And motor/power systems add weight and significant expense to the final price of ours, and everyone else’s bikes. If there isn’t a clear need for the added benefit of a motor (or a clear need for our bike in general), we don’t think you should buy one.
That being said, we recognize that circumstances change and want to make it as easy as possible to retrofit our bikes with motor kits down the line.
Why do you use a hub motor, aren’t they less powerful?
Most are, but not ours!
Our hub-mounted direct drive motor is one of the most powerful you can find and is designed specifically for high-torque applications, 85Nm, to be exact. Combined with our high-power motor controller, our made-in-Canada drivetrain will pump out up to 1300W at the wheel when needed, nearly 2 horsepower! Our AWD model more than doubles the thrust of the RWD and can climb sustained grades of 10% at full speed and full load.
One of our core values is that bikes should be easy to repair by anyone. Most other front-loading electric bikes fall short on this promise by using a proprietary mid-drive motor locked to a particular manufacturer (Shimano STePS, Bosch, etc.). When this motor breaks, you’ll have to hope the company is still supporting repairs for your model, and if they aren’t, you’ll be stuck pedaling a heavy gearbox around and looking for a replacement bike.
Finally, our bike is the only cargo bike with regenerative motor braking, increasing both your range and the life of your brake pads. This is simply not possible with a mid-drive motor. When the brake lever is pulled, our controller engages regenerative braking to slow the bike down smoothly and top up the battery at the same time.
Can the LIFT be left outside? What about rain?
We’ve designed the LIFT to be left outside and in the rain, although consider the following when doing so.
Chains rust, even ours with KMC’s Eco Protect finish. If you leave it out for several days in a humid environment or out in the rain, you may eventually notice a layer of surface rust develop on the chain. This is ok and the bike is perfectly rideable. A quick wipe with a dry cloth and a chain lubricant will get things moving again. Much longer periods of true neglect will result in chains that eventually bind.
What can I do to deter or prevent theft?
People steal bikes, even when the most conservative measures are taken to prevent it. Usually theft is opportunistic, so we recommend taking a couple easy measures to make thieves think twice about taking your bike for a joy ride.
- Use a reputable chain lock (cables can easily be cut with cable cutters or grinders) and thread it through the rear wheel and steel rear triangle.
- If you’re leaving the bike a little longer, consider folding the rear triangle against the front and locking both the front and rear wheels together and to a bike rack. While just as difficult to break into, thieves will probably pass on your bike because it looks different and difficult to simply ride away.
- Finally, we recommend taking the bike inside with you, especially overnight, when circumstances allow. The PICKUP folds up small enough to wheel into an elevator or through a hallway, and that little bit of separation from street traffic will go a long way to preventing crimes of opportunity.
Why is it called a LIFT?
LIFT for us invokes the adaptable nature of our bike so that you can easily give a LIFT to a friend or LIFT big loads. And, of course, riding upLIFTs our mood. LIFT off with the throttle and enjoy the ride!
I want to use the BIG LIFT for business. Can I order a custom length or alternate specifications?
The BIG LIFT has been designed to be fully customizable for clients that have specific needs for their business. Wheelbase may be spec’d longer or shorter as needed, and we can work with you on custom accessories for the cargo bay, from a large-volume delivery container to a mobile retail kiosk. Please reach out to us to discuss how we can help you meet your goals.