Guillaume Arthuis, hooked on bikes
With the electric conversion kits he sells in his online store, A Bicyclette Paulette, Guillaume Arthuis wants electric bicycles to become the mobility solution of tomorrow. Especially in towns and cities, where the solution he sells is less expensive, less polluting and less stressful than any other mode of transportation.
The name of Guillaume Arthuis’ company is a nod to French singer Yves Montand’s “A Bicyclette,” which he says “brings back good memories for everyone.” And with A Bicyclette Paulette, his online store selling electric bicycle conversion kits (battery pack + wheel and motor), Guillaume from Paris is convinced that he’s in the fast lane to the future of mobility.
“It’s the best way to get around town”
This is true in terms of practicality and money-saving, but also for the environment. The 30‑year‑old entrepreneur flashes a glowing smile, saying he is “convinced that it’s both the solution of the future and the best way to get around town.” Guillaume went on to argue that “it’s cheaper than buying an electric bicycle, and the kit gives your old bicycle a new lease on life.Most importantly, it enables us to overcome barriers that cars and public transportation present: no more traffic jams, parking nightmares, time constraints, pollution, and don’t forget – it’s a form of exercise and it’s faster! The idea is really to get around with a more positive mindset and without the stress of traditional transportation.”
A lover of mountain biking and DIY
Now an “ambassador for this new way of getting around,” Guillaume launched A Bicyclette Paulette in mid-October, and is “trying to spread the word and convert people around him.” For this mountain biking enthusiast, the company is the product of long-held dreams and ambitions. “Since a very young age, I’ve loved mountain biking and getting out in nature.When I was a teenager, my friends used to play video games, but I would spend hours in my basement working on my bikes, changing parts and making them perfect.I even invested my very first paychecks in improving them,” said Guillaume. He even made a career out of it for a while, as a bicycle retailer and repairer. But his project was also born out of a necessity. Feeling exhausted and clammy after his daily 20-kilometer cycle to work from the Paris suburb of Nogent-sur-Marne, Guillaume started to “look for a way to go electric while keeping [the] bicycles [he was] very attached to.”
90% of existing bicycles are compatible
Four years ago, Guillaume learned about electric kits for bicycles and started using them. But he “found the products on the market too complicated.” When the climbing company he worked for was bought a year and a half ago, Guillaume took the entrepreneurial plunge to “offer kits that are universal, as simple as possible, affordable and easy to understand.” A Bicyclette Paulette sells two different kits, both including a wheel and integrated motor and a battery pack with a range of 40 to 70 kilometers depending on the model. But Guillaume’s offering stands out from the competition as his two kits are compatible with no less than 90% of existing bicycles. And they’re also a lot easier to assemble, taking around 30 minutes from start to finish. “Finding the right supplier, the most universal kit possible and the simplest assembly solution – that’s what took me the longest. We didn’t want to be marketing 10,000 kits.”
Assembling and repairing kits at home
As a passionate champion of electric conversion
kits for bicycles, Guillaume posts tutorials on his online store to show keen
customers how to assemble the kits themselves. For those not so keen on getting
their hands dirty, Guillaume has a partnership with a company that travels from
home to home to assemble or repair the kits. More than just an online store, A Bicyclette Paulette plans to “build an electric
kit community and provide customers with all the expertise they need.”
“The scooter of the future”
Aiming to be fully operational by March, which he describes as the “peak period in terms of bicycle sales”, Guillaume is now focusing most of his energy on marketing a solution that is, at present, little known. He plans to target individual buyers before contacting company works councils to help equip their employees. “Demand for electric kits is still in the early stages, and there aren’t many providers, but the market potential is enormous. It’s a mode of transportation that will hopefully get more popular in big cities. It’s the scooter of the future,” – minus the expense and the pollution!