Made in FLA: Electric Bicycles for the Traveler
Meet Jupiter Bike: The folding-bicycle builders electrifying Tampa’s commuter community
Rob Daniels wasn’t looking for a new product venture when he took a routine business trip to China in 2016 and stumbled on a rough prototype for a folding electric bicycle.
“The design was so unique and eye-catching,” he recalls. The bike’s original design, a small frame consisting largely of two circles hinged in the center, weighed in at 24 pounds, making it much lighter than most electric-powered bikes. The best part: It folded so neatly it could be packed up in a suitcase.
“The boating industry was so ripe for it, and there was a big opportunity with pilots, especially those who are sensitive about adding weight on a small plane,” explains Daniels.
He returned home to Tampa and immediately began to innovate and improve on the original design until it was the most portable electric-powered bike on the market. He called his new company Jupiter Bike, named for the product’s space-age design. The Jupiter Bike, which today comes in two models, one that weighs 24 pounds and one that weighs 40 pounds, gives commuters, boat captains, pilots, RV owners and adventurers a convenient way to get around. It can travel up to 40 miles when fully charged, so it lends itself to scooting around in the Florida sun, or enjoying an island lifestyle. The company even partnered with Florida Polytechnic, joining their capstone program, where students are challenged to expand upon the Jupiter Bike’s current model. This project helps them gain real-world experience with software and mechanical engineering.
Since its debut in 2017, fans of the Jupiter Bike have spread from the Sunshine State all the way across the United States thanks to a dealer network and retail partners like Ace Hardware. The company is also expanding to Australia and Europe. Another key way Jupiter Bike finds its riders? Trade shows—the bike is always selling out. “It’s a fun product, because we do test drives,” says Daniels. “By the time [riders] come back, they’re always grinning ear to ear.” jupiterbike.com