Unique SentiMental Bikes Hope to Conquer Western Europe

Lauren Simmonds

sentimental bikes
SentiMental Bikes/Facebook

October the 30th, 2023 – SentiMental Bikes are entirely unique, and they’re proving to be extremely popular. Conquering Western European markets is very much on the cards.

As Borivoje Dokler/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, SentiMental Bikes is a Croatian brand of unique, handmade electric bicycles. The company was founded by Duško Ilijević, who has been making entirely original two-wheeled vehicles for many years now. He started out by modifying cruiser bikes and petrol mopeds with small two-stage engines. After fifteen years of engaging in that, he decided to change things up a bit and turned to ‘electricity’.

Green transport solutions

“The world is turning more and more towards greener transport solutions, so I also started thinking about coming up with a more modern vehicle with reliable e-technology that is tested and readily available. I designed a prototype of an electric moped that could go into mass production relatively quickly,” revealed Ilijević, who presented his work at the Zagreb Auto Show back 2018. That move proved to be the best possible for the development of SentiMental Bikes. At that 2018 show, his electric moped was spotted by Ivan Ignatovski, the owner of the family company POD, which produces components. “His products intrigued me because they’re really something different and quite special on the market as things currently stand. As component manufacturers, we always created products based on other people’s designs, so we didn’t have our own final product. Having such a final product was my wish. So, after ten years of managing the company, I’d end up turning to something new, taking on a different kind of challenge, the production of the final product and its placement”, explained Ignatovski, who then teamed up with Ilijević, who is today a close associate and friend.

Until then, Ilijević created each project individually according to the wishes and needs of his clients, and financed everything with his own savings or funds earned from those clients. “With the arrival of Ivan, who selflessly invested his knowledge, abilities, contacts, resources and considerable creativity, SentiMental Bikes took on a much more serious attitude and appearance in the perception of our clients,” said Ilijević, adding that until then, he’d been stacking his bikes on the balcony of his twelfth floor apartment. “Running a custom shop for bicycles in this region isn’t a very self-sustaining business model, and what I made then are now mostly prototypes waiting in line for serial production,” revealed the founder of SentiMental Bikes.

Advantage over the competition

Thanks to his partnership with Ignatovski, today, the bike parts are produced at the Đakovo-based POD workshop, and certain components are ordered from Asia.

“The products we launched this year, more specifically the Noogat and Pralina models, have enjoyed a very positive response on the market. Everyone who saw and tried the bikes was delighted. We put a lot of effort into making a product that is simple, practical, ergonomic, and original in terms of design,” said Ignatovski, with Ilijević adding that they’re among the few e-bike manufacturers that offer their customers the option of personalising their final product.

“On our website, the customer can choose the shoulder shape, wheel width, accessories such as lights, fenders, additional load carriers, personalised reflective stickers in the configurator, and then chooses the colour for each part of the bike. The basic design of all of these components is my work, which I translated into a functional tangible product in cooperation with Ivan and the team from POD”, explained Ilijević, noting that in addition to the possibility of personalisation, SentiMental Bikes also stand out from the competition with better ergonomics, a larger battery capacity in their basic model, and a more favourable price for the same level of equipment. The range of the bike is approximately 100 kilometres, which ultimately depends on the configuration. The battery is always the same, but if thicker tires are chosen, the range will end up being shorter. Likewise, if a front or rear rack is fitted, the weight of the bike increases which also affects the range.

SentiMental Bikes was recently present in Frankfurt

“The price of the basic model is 1,699 euros with the version with thinner tires, while the model with wider ones starts at 1,799 euros. Additional equipment options such as fenders, lights, front and rear racks can also go on it. The most expensive version costs 2,099 euros,” revealed Ignatovski. SentiMental Bikes recently presented itself at the largest and most important European fair in Frankfurt, where, according to Ignatovski, the reactions were extremely positive, both from end users and potential distributors.

Entering foreign markets

Buyers across Western Europe are more cautious, especially when someone new appears on the scene”, believes Ignatovski, adding that they are definitely extremely interested in entering foreign markets.

“In Western Europe, bikes like this are on the rise. They’re an important means of transportation there, and the purchasing power is also generally greater,” said Ignatovski, pointing out that SentiMental Bikes is a new brand on the market and it will take some time to create awareness among end users and gain a reputation. It is interesting that so far, they haven’t produced two identical bikes, which isn’t surprising if you take into account the fact that, mathematically speaking, there are about 65,000 possible combinations and configurations of such bicycles.

At SentiMental Bikes, they emphasised that they have ambitious plans and can’t wait for the launch of their first electric moped. “This is truly a product that knocks you off your feet with its design. But before that, we have to bring the production and sale of our existing models to a higher level,” concluded Ignatovski.


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