SAMSON ELECTRIC BICYCLES
Over the last few decades, Steve Hurst has worked in some incredible retail environments, including a stint at Best Buy as Regional Vice President before moving up to being the Chief Human Resource Officer. In the summer of 2015, he took a weekend trip up the California Sierra hamlet of Mammoth Lakes, and while he was there, he rented an e-bike for a spin among the pine trees and scenic lakes. Although the bike he tried was an expensive fat bike, it didn’t perform as well as he hoped, and in the end came away let down with his first e-bike experience.
“Unlike most of us who would shrug off the experience of a slower-than-expected e-bike and just try another bike, Steve came up with a more impressive option instead; he decided to make his own bike.”
Unlike most of us who would shrug off the experience of a slower-than-expected e-bike and just try another bike, Steve came up with a more impressive option instead; he decided to make his own bike. And so, from that one disappointing rental ride, the Samson bike brand was born.
BLAME THE KIDS, OF COURSE!
The name of the company is a portmanteau of his kids’ names, daughter Sami and son Jackson. His idea is to make not only affordable and well-built e-bikes, but one that also met his personal performance metrics. The idea was to make good-quality bikes at good price points, using components like RockShox suspension forks and hydraulic disc brakes. Most of Samson’s bikes are under $2000.
The result was a bike we originally reviewed a couple of years ago (EBA, June 2018), and Steve said he took our comments in that review to heart. The result is a bike that now has a higher-capacity battery and a couple
of other component changes to improve the bikes without raising the price significantly.
FIRST A BIKE, THEN A STORE
As if starting his own bike brand wasn’t a big-enough step in the e-bike world, Steve took it a step further and decided to open his own e-bike shop, which is located in the Simi Town Center in Simi Valley, California. The locale is essentially a huge, outdoor mall, and sales have been booming. In addition to the well-stocked dealer floor with plenty of samples and demo bikes, there’s also a separate warehouse that’s been full of bikes to ensure a steady supply of bikes during the bike boom that’s resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two Samson models have batteries semi-integrated or fully integrated into the downtube with a 500–750-watt Bafang motor. They’ve also created the Wild e-bike brand, which features mid-drive motors. They’re just about to bring in their first full-suspension bikes for both brands.
The third brand they carry is Segway, offering the X160 and X260 electric dirt bikes, as well as Segway and Nine-bot e-scooters There are also a wide variety of accessories, from Hollywood bike racks to helmets, lights and more.
In addition to providing bikes for his recreational riders, Steve has designed a bike specifically for local police agencies. It is called the eNFORCER, which has special little details, like separate electronic components for lower operating and repair costs, high-torque motors, and high-capacity batteries for longer range.
We’ve frequently written about how e-bikes are transforming police work by enabling officers to cover greater distances and cut down response times. Steve has worked with the various agencies to come up with a bike purpose-built bike, and they are now being used by the cities of Santa Monica, Inglewood, Culver City, Palm Springs and Simi Valley.
1555 Simi Town Center
Simi Valley, CA 93065
ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION MAGAZINE
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