Murf Electric Bikes is a local E-Bike shop, run by Josh Jones and Alan Kang. It began with Jones in the Summer of 2016 and has since managed to become a storefront success.
Jones is a San Clemente kid turned husband, father, and successful business owner, and Kang is a SoCal native. They met when Jones was still working in ECommerce and Kang was consulting. The connection happened on Craigslist.
“Isn’t that random?” Jones says, the both of them chuckling.
These days it’s less odd to meet your future good friend and business partner on the web than it used to be. Odd or not, the connection has changed their lives.
In August 2016, Jones started assembling and selling E-bikes from his own home.
Out of his garage alone, he was able to sell dozens of bikes. Some good word of mouth, in a place like San Clemente, is enough to kickstart local support. Couple that with the way the guys approach customer service and the quality of their bikes, and there’s not much to wonder about their success.
Murf bikes are made from a hardened aluminum alloy, so they’re sturdy, and they’re equipped with a Samsung lithium-ion battery, so they have longevity. On a full charge (about 6 hours) these batteries can take you 30-35 miles on average. The electric motor allows you to operate the bike, using a throttle, at up to 25 mph, whether you’re pedaling or not. Some customers buy a second battery, so they can take trips as far as the Huntington Pier and back. However, if you’re content with riding locally, the Murf boys suggest you take a ride along the new trail on PCH up to the Dana Harbor, or off-roading on a local trail.
The bikes are designed like beach cruisers, and come in three models: The Fat, The Pax Step-Thru and The Izzy Beach Cruiser. The Fat Murf is great for the adventurous type because you can take it off-roading, and the surfing type because it moves across the sand with ease. The Pax Step-Thru is perfect for the rider in a skirt, or who has difficulty swinging their leg over to mount the bike. The Izzy works for someone who appreciates a more discreet look. Both Kang and Jones are partial to The Fat Tire, but according to Kang: “these days there’s not really much time to ride them, we’re so busy.”
The shop, located on El Camino Real behind The Grill, is small and approachable. Speakers at the entrance play the kind of warm music you hear by the beach and spilling in with the sunlight and the warm air are customers who seem to be experiencing the highlight of their day. The laid back space is one of the many ways that Murf Bikes epitomizes the culture of San Clemente. The most adorable of those ways being that their logo is one of the local staples: a dog. Josh’s dog Murf, to be exact.
Another thing Murf does that seems to be embedded in the spirit of this town, is charitable giving. The guys have donated bikes to notable organizations including San Clemente Military Family Outreach and The Boys and Girls Club of America.
“We knew right away we wanted to get involved and give back to the local community…we will continue to partner with these existing organizations and expand collaborations with other local organizations next year,” say the guys.
In the brief time that I sat with Jones and Kang, a handful of people came in and out of the shop. It reflected the steady flow, and multiplicity of business they receive on a daily basis.
“So far we’ve seen everybody from high school kids, whose parents don’t want to drive them around anymore, to the retired population,” mentions Kang. “The range is pretty broad,” he adds.
The fact that cruising around on anything motorized is objectively fun, is enough to attract a gorgeous diversity of customers. However, to really understand the popularity of Murf’s E-bikes, you just have to ride one. They’re mystifying. On any of the several hundred perfect weather days in Southern California, jetting around on an E-Bike lets you take in the beauty of it all, without having to sacrifice the comfort of your joints and muscles. It glides you up and down San Clemente’s hills, to the beach and back, without stealing your breath.
“It’s like a motorcycle that you can take on a sidewalk, and on a trail, that can take you anywhere!” Kang exclaims.
Check out MurfElectricBikes.com to learn more about pricing, shipping, and philanthropy!