Archive for January 2017

Why Electric Bikes might be the greatest thing to hit the bike industry in years   Leave a comment

 

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At the latest Independent Bike Dealer Summit in Arizona, e-bikes were a hot topic. While many shops have already embraced the e-bike movement, many still struggle with how, or if, to add these to their sales floor.

Europe’s bike market is more progressive than the US market in this regard, and industry experts say that we are about 5-10 years behind Europe’s e-bike market. E-bikes currently account for less than 1% of the US market, while in many European countries, 1 in every 3 bikes sold is an e-bike! That could mean good things for the US market, which has been struggling to attract new riders. One of our mechanics was recently in Germany on vacation, and couldn’t believe how many e-bikes he saw everywhere he went.

E-bikes are not just an expensive bike, they are a less expensive car, or transportation alternative. The pedal assist versions of e-bikes make it possible to get motorized assistance when needed (like when climbing hills) but not use the motor at other times. Typically, there are several settings which adjust how much motor assist the rider wants (lo, medium, high, turbo). The more motor assist used, the lower the amount of distance can be ridden on one charge. Likewise, the hillier the ride, the range will decrease.  Many bikes can be ridden up to 60 miles between charges and cruise up to 28 miles per hour.

So what uses do we anticipate for e-bike users? How about riding into town and buying all of your groceries by bike? E-bikes are ideal for this- just add a rack and panniers, or even a cargo trailer for big loads.

How about commuting to work by bike without arriving sweaty? Just pack a bag with work clothes. Remember to use lights for improved visibility. How about less fit, or newer mountain bikers who still want to ride challenging off road trails? E-mountain bikes are the perfect solution.

And, if you’re a city dweller, Tern bikes makes an awesome line of folding e-bikes. They take up very little space, but are adjustable enough to fit riders between 4’11” and 6’4”!

The bike industry is hoping that e-bikes will appeal to new riders between 45-65 years old, who aren’t attracted to traditional bikes. There are so many different types of e-bikes: road, mountain, hybrid, commuter and even beach cruiser, that the possibilities could be endless for attracting new riders! And, as more riders buy e-bikes, we’re hoping to see improved infrastructure to accommodate higher bike traffic, which is good news for all bike riders.

If you’re one of those people who has been resisting bike riding because of the hilly terrain in our area, e-bikes are a “hill eraser”! We have demo e-bikes to test ride, and we guarantee a big smile when you try one.sport-e-3

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