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 Post subject: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2017, 11:51 
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Taking the train home
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Has anyone here ever crowdfunded, especially for a personal cause? I'd really like to buy an electric bike: it would be a huge benefit to me mobility and independence-wise, with the ME/CFS. But they cost upwards of two thousand pounds, especially if you want a decent one, and, well, on ESA it could be a couple of years before I'm able to save up enough, though I do also plan to sell some books and other things.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone has any tips on effective crowdfunding.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2017, 09:13 
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Not for a personal cause but SLOC ran a successful one for a music project last year and I know some of the theory from fundraising courses. It was a lot of work.

The thing which stood out for me in the course was that crowdfunding works best if it's for a one off thing (ie your bike) rather than something recurring/an activity (eg I wouldn't look it for relaxation therapies at work) because people ask what will happen once this money is spent.

Happy to chat more if it's useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2017, 20:08 
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Thank you JB, that's helpful to know! I thought I'd mention that if by any bonkers chance I ended up with more than I needed I would give it to an ME charity, because I don't want to be taking advantage of people!

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2017, 20:53 
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Probably not too relevant as this was a commercial rather than personal project, and I was a backer not the creator, but the biggest thing I noticed when I took part in a crowdfunding project was that communication between the creator and the backers was important; it was often remarked upon in the comments from people that it was good to see a creator that was keeping everyone well-informed with regular updates on the project, so I guess some people just set their campaign up and then let it run with no updates on how things are going, and people are more reluctant to back it.

Also, consider carefully which category you pick for your project, as it could really affect how many potential backers see it. This project started off in one category and didn't seem to be taking off, but it was changed after a week or two on the suggestion of a few people to a much more popular one, and things started rolling from there. Even so, it actually looked as though it wasn't going to make the target right up until the last couple of days, when there was a massive rush of pledges and it ended up smashing the target by over £30k. It was awesome. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 00:42 
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Abbey, you might want to consider a folding bike. The one downside to e-bikes is their weight. They're very heavy. The folding ones are generally the lightest and even the lightest of them are around 23kg. I have 2 "Ranis Foldis" out in Germany (the spare is for when I have guests) and getting them up and down steps isn't easy. They're generally cheaper too, mine didn't cost anything like £2,000. I chose them initially as it was many years since I'd cycled and I wanted a bike with small enough wheels that I could sit on the saddle and still have both feet firmly on the ground if needs be. (3 years on and despite growing confidence, I still feel much the same way). The weight was also a big factor in my choice.

I wouldn't be without them, it's great not having to hump heavy bags back from the local supermarket and it also means I can cycle to places that aren't on the local train route. When my local station finally gets a lift, I'll be able to take them on the train free of charge too and explore further afield.

Good luck, I hope you succeed in raising the money.


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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 11:38 
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Aquabird, thank you. I'll definitely look at categories carefully before I start! And give regular updates too, though as it's not a project I'm not sure exactly how that works, but certainly something to bear in mind.

Thanks for the advice, Annied, but I've already considered this pretty carefully. I don't think anything but an electric bike would be of great use to me because of going up hills. As I said, I have ME/CFS, which means I need to reduce the high energy stuff as much as possible. I doubt I'll be able to cycle at any great speed but if I get a boost up hills that's tremendously important since it's impossible to go anywhere around here without encountering at least a small hill.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 12:17 
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Abbey wrote:
Thanks for the advice, Annied, but I've already considered this pretty carefully. I don't think anything but an electric bike would be of great use to me because of going up hills. As I said, I have ME/CFS, which means I need to reduce the high energy stuff as much as possible. I doubt I'll be able to cycle at any great speed but if I get a boost up hills that's tremendously important since it's impossible to go anywhere around here without encountering at least a small hill.


Sorry Abbey, I phrased it badly, The Ranis Foldis that I have are e-bikes! Despite their size (20" wheels), they cope with hills very well. The first time I did a trip to a local lake about 10 miles away, I had no idea I'd been steadily going up hill on the way there until I found myself free-wheeling most of the way back! During my last trip, a friend and I cycled up to the Tatzelwurm, about 6 miles away and 1300ft higher than the village. We certainly knew we were going uphill in places, but it was still very do-able and while I don't have ME/CFS, I'm no spring chicken!


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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 12:21 
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Oh, I'm with you (finally :wink: ). I didn't realise that! Yes, something like that would be worth considering... at some point I'll go to the local e-bike shop and ask their advice as to what sort would suit me best and hopefully try some out - there's only so much you can work out just from reading on the internet!

ETA: I definitely won't be cycling up any mountains :rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 13:16 
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Good idea. In particular check the weight of them. The full sized ones can run to 30kg, which is more than I could lift. Even though you probably won't have to lug it up and down cellar steps like I do, you'll still find you have to lift it over kerbs from time to time.

I don't know if you'd ever take a bike on the train, but my local Metro here in the UK only allows folding bikes, so that could be something else to consider.


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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 16:38 
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My son, who is a keen cyclist, tried a friend's electric bike the other day and was blown away by it. He is thinking of saving up for one so that he can use it to get to and from work, instead of driving. It's do-able on an ordinary bike, but he reckons this will be far better in advance of a full day's fairly physical work.

I am also planning to try one out soon; it is ridiculous that I have to drive the short distance to Small Worlds each day but walking is just not an option at present, both because of my knees and current breathing problems.

The tip about a folding version is excellent Annied, many thanks, because I shall need to be able to transport to and from the UK in the back of my now much smaller car.

ETA I have just been looking at the Ranis Foldis Annied and they look great - which model do you have. I need to bear in mind that I am quite heavy....

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 17:13 
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They're wonderful Cestina. I really wasn't sure when I bought mine if it would be a good idea or not as I hadn't actually been on a bike for 40 years. Now, I wouldn't be without it, especially since I don't drive in Germany. Just be prepared for a very sore bum, especially at the beginning!

The only word of caution would be definitely to try one out first as the motor only works when you pedal. As soon as you stop the engine cuts out. I understand it's a legal thing. If the motor didn't cut out, it would be classed as a moped and all the regulations that apply to mopeds would come into force. (Of course, it might be different in the Czech Republic.) There's little to no effort involved in pedalling most of the time, but if you have dodgy knees I'm not sure if the constant bending of them might be uncomfortable.

This is a picture of one of the bikes (and the friend I was with - I was on the bike behind), when we cycled to the Tatzelwurm. We're on our way back in the pic. I think you can see that we're still fairly high up.


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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 17:20 
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I am a little worried about the smaller wheels - much more bending of the knees required to cover the distance....with a very large wheeled bike one can freewheel comfortably with one leg hanging straight.

I guess that is not possible with these?

Lovely photo - I am jealous!

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 17:53 
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Mine look pretty much the same as this one here. I think that might even be the website I bought them from. It says the maximum weight they'll take is 100kg.

Both the saddle and the handlebars are easily adjustable, so I'm sure you could position the saddle high enough to be able to stretch your legs out. But yes, you would need more rotations than a larger wheeled bike to cover the same distance.


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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 20:42 
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I'll definitely be trying a few out before I decide what to go for! And going for something as lightweight as I can!

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2017, 15:05 
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Abbey, Halfords do a Coyote Connect Electric folding bike for £500. Worth looking at, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2017, 12:58 
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Thanks Jennie; there's a Halfords near us, I should give those a go. I'm a tad concerned that a bike with small wheels like a folding bike might take more energy to propel but I've no idea if that's actually a thing... I should google it and then I would know :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding advice?
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2017, 14:23 
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It takes more pedal rotations to travel the same distance, but unless you're on a very visible incline, there's absolutely no effort to it. Even climbing up to the Tatzelwurm, there was only one short stretch where it took some muscle. The rest of the way, by a process of elimination as I've never owned a bike with gears before, I found 3rd gear was all I needed.

You also can't build up as high a speed on a bike with smaller wheels (I found it a bit daunting being overtaken by people on pushbikes before the penny dropped), but it's quite fast enough both for my needs and for my peace of mind and, from what you've written, for yours too.

Do read all the online reviews. I was very concerned to read about the problems of mending a puncture on that Halford's one and I'm wondering if it's tricky with all e-bikes. Even if my instruction book gives a clearer explanation, it's all in German and my vocabulary doesn't extend to bicycle parts, so I'll just have to hope I'm close to the village and the cycle shop there!


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