Behind The Scenes

The "Goat Bike" Free Trial Program

Black and white goat in a bunch bike K9 3.0

 At Bunch Bikes, our mission isn't really just selling bikes.

It's making family biking easier, more accessible, more widespread and more fun. 

That's why we help build community. Sponsor local bike events. Support better bike infrastructure.  

That's also why we offer a free trial and easy, no-hassle returns to all US customers.

This is an option we're really proud of - because it lowers the barriers to entry for families who might not otherwise be able to give the bike life a try.

Trial program = access

The trial program makes cargo biking more accessible to families who may not be able to test ride a cargo bike before buying or compare multiple bike options. 

Some live in an area that isn't very "bikey" and doesn't have a nearby Bunch Squad member.

Some have family circumstances or needs that make it difficult to attend a test ride.

Or just don't have time.

Some may need to try the bike over several days to make sure that their family member can get comfortable.

Or that their planned route and routine really works for them.

One customer just wanted to see if the bike would work for her goat.

(This really happened, read on...) 

We want people who are curious but unsure about the bike life to feel comfortable giving it a try - without feeling like they're taking on a huge risk if it doesn't work out. 

Yes, it's truly 100% free

We think our policy is unique in the industry.

Because yes, it's truly, totally free. 

If you receive your Bunch Bike, and you find it's not the right fit for your family:

You don't have to save your shipping box or pallet.

Or pack it up.

Or pay for shipping.

Or pay for return shipping.

Or cover a restocking fee.

We just pick up your bike... and refund 100% of what you paid. Accessories, shipping, tax, financing, everything.

You'll be $0 out of pocket at the end - the only exception might be graphic design costs if we created a custom vinyl wrap for you.

Free means free. That's our promise. 

Here's how it works

1. Customer tries the bike for a few days, then reaches out to let us know it isn't working out - see below for some reasons this can happen.

2. We may offer some troubleshooting suggestions or a trial period extension if appropriate.

3. If it's still not a good fit, we'll schedule a pickup with our return shipper. We may list the bike for sale as Open Box, or return it to our warehouse. 

4. We'll ask the customer to place the charger, keys, arch poles, and any accessories inside the cargo box, and confirm with a photo. We'll also ask for pictures of any damage to the bike - minor wear & tear from normal use won't affect their refund, though. 

5. Our return shipper comes to the customer's home, packs up and picks up the bike.

6. They'll receive a $2,000 refund the day their bike is picked up, and the remainder of their 100% refund when their bike arrives at its destination and we can confirm that they've returned all their items. Typically the entire process takes 3-6 weeks, depending on scheduling for our return shipper. 

7. More often than not, we'll hear from customers that even though the Bunch Bike wasn't the right fit - the trial process was a smooth experience and a positive step on their family biking journey!

Isn't that super expensive for Bunch?


It's true - when a customer returns a bike, the process is fairly costly for us - because we refund 100% of what the customer paid, and we still have to cover the cost of packing and reshipping the bike, plus reselling at a steep Open Box discount.

But it's 100% worth it. 

Why? Because knowing the return policy is there makes the Bunch Bike an option for so many families who might otherwise not be ready to start biking.

The occasional return is a small price to pay for the many families who tell themselves (or their spouse) "If it doesn't work, we'll return it" - then fall in love, and never look back!

My family's story

Before I worked for Bunch, I was a Bunch customer. And before I was a Bunch customer, I was a Bunch window shopper. 

A fairly anxious, overthinking window shopper.

This was back in 2019. There were no other Bunch Bikes in my region yet. A test ride wasn't an option. 

I stared at the Bunch online for MONTHS.

I wanted it so bad... I could imagine my family's life on wheels... but I could also imagine ordering it and then just having it sit in my backyard unused. 

In my 20s, before kids, I had repeatedly tried to become a bike commuter - bought a bike, planned a route, and all the rest - and then run out of motivation after a few days or weeks.

I really didn't want to make the same mistake with a several thousand dollar cargo bike. My family couldn't afford that. 

I went back and forth, bored all my friends and my spouse with deliberations. At one point I even ordered it, then left a teary 3am voicemail to cancel the order.

Finally - while I was on maternity leave with baby #2 - I decided to take the plunge. I told myself, "I'll try to ride it every day - and if it's hard or I can tell I'm going to struggle to make myself do it - I'll return it on day 10." 

I even called Aaron (owner & founder) on the phone for him to reassure me that if I didn't like the bike, I really could return it, no questions asked. And then I ordered again!

The first day was scary. I couldn't figure out the steering, especially on my very narrow street, and I kept feeling like I was about to hit a parked car. 

The second day I made it onto a bike trail. IT WAS SO EASY. I felt amazing - free and easy like I never did on a regular bike.

By the third day, I was in love. I knew I was never going to have to force myself to ride it. Instead it would be a struggle to ever force myself to get in the car again.

12,000 miles and 4 years later... I'm very glad I had that return option, because it gave me the courage to change my life. 

Common return reasons

About half the time, customers who call us to ask about returning their bikes end up requesting a trial extension instead. 

They're getting used to the bike life, but simply need more time to get comfortable. That's fine! 

They'll call us back in another week or two to say they're loving the bike life and ready to keep rolling.

Others do end up deciding to return the bike - here are some situations we can share:

* One customer's dog simply could not get used to the bike. The dog did not like riding in the bike and kept trying to jump out even after daily practice and training sessions. 

* One customer hoped to use the bike to bring supplies from the main house to a lakeside cabana - and back. The cabana was at the bottom of a very steep gravel driveway that needed to be attempted from a standstill. Even on full assist, the customer could not manage the ride up this driveway, which was his main intended use. 

* One customer did not realize ahead of time that the bike would not fit into their building's elevator, which they would need to use in order to place it in the storage room where they planned to keep it. 

* One customer intended to use the bike to get around with her diabetic alert dogs. She found that while the bike was in motion, the dogs could not smell her breath (the breeze blew it backward, away from the front cargo area) leading to a potentially dangerous lack of monitoring. She realized she will need a setup with the dogs behind, not in front, in order to ensure the dogs can properly monitor her blood sugar.

* One customer realized over a few days that they simply didn't like the handling and "feel" of the trike and strongly preferred riding a two-wheeler. They returned the Bunch Bike and decided on a two-wheeled bucket bike instead.

(We do really recommend scheduling a test ride if possible to get a sense of what the ride is like! It's awesome and super easy, but quite different from a two-wheeler and can take getting used to, especially for avid cyclists.)  

The goat bike

My favorite return story. 

One customer wanted to try the Bunch Bike to get around with her adventurous but elderly goat, who was having more trouble keeping up on errands on foot.

She was not sure whether her goat would be able to learn to stay in the bike. A test ride didn't seem adequate to answer this question. 

She called us after a few days to report that the goat did keep jumping out of the bike, especially while in motion - which was dangerous.

We brainstormed some alternative setup options together, extended the trial period and sent the rain tent which we thought might help. She was now able to prevent the goat from jumping out - but the goat became distressed and thrashed around in a way that felt scary and potentially unsafe. 

She was sad about it, but she couldn't make it work - we set up a return pickup for her. 

After the weekend, she called us back. She was having too much fun and had decided she couldn't let the bike go!

She wasn't sure if her goat would ever get comfortable enough to go for long rides - but she was tooling around town with her dog, picking up her groceries and having a blast.

The Bunch Bike might be overkill for her (very small) dog, she admitted - but still a lot more efficient than driving! And a lot more fun, too. 

Our philosophy

Not sure how you'll feel about the bike life?

If your kids will like it... or your dog... or your goat? 

Please go ahead and give it a try. 

Risk free. We gotchu. 

If it doesn't work out - we'll help your bike find a new forever home, we'll take great care of you and we'll refund your money. It's that simple. 

We'd love to help you find the right fit for your family. 

Our goal is to get more families rolling - and to make life easy! 

What about Canada?

We'd love to be able to extend our trial and return policy to our Canadian customers. Unfortunately our return shippers aren't yet able to offer return service outside of the contiguous United States, so we don't yet have a good way to pick up a returned bike from Canada. We are actively exploring options to provide a trial and return program in Canada in the future. 

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