If you’re a bicycle purist, take note there are over 220 million e-bikes ridden daily worldwide, and that number is rising rapidly. One industry reporter notes that while traditional bikes may be collecting dust, e-bikes are being ridden “more, further, and faster.”
Colorado e-Bikes owners Diane and Scott Manuppella turned their enjoyment of riding e-bikes into a thriving business with sales consistently increasing 30 percent each year. In the spring of 2019, they will join other outdoor-minded businesses relocating to Las Colonias Park on the Riverfront Trail, and they have plans for a dramatic expansion of e-bike rentals.
“Baby Boomers have a lot to do with the popularity of e-bikes,” says Diane. “With the many varieties of e-bikes and modifications that can be made, people are able to get back on bikes, even if they haven’t ridden for years.”
New e-bike designs are both lighter in weight and on the wallet. Options include trikes, recumbent and recumbent tandems, fat tires, cross (road to gravel), mountain, road, and folding bikes.
E-bikes use an electric motor and rechargeable battery for gentle propulsion as needed. They are grouped into three classes, according to the speed and type of assistance given. The lower level of assistance used, the longer the distance per battery charge. E-bikes emit zero combustion byproducts — good news for the environment.
While they are classified by state law as non-motorized vehicles (as opposed to mopeds or motorcycles), e-bike regulation varies between the classes and from city to city. In general, in the Grand Valley e-bikes are allowed anywhere motorized riding is permitted, and along the Riverfront Trail system (with the exception of the Audubon Trail section).
Customers are calling their e-bikes life-changing. “Every day we see the satisfaction our customers get in their range of motion and ability to be active again,” says Diane. “One customer who was previously immobile has lost over 90 pounds, and another in his 80s is able to ride the Colorado National Monument again with his friends.”
E-bikes can be useful therapy for those with cardiac and respiratory challenges, hip and knee replacements, prosthetics, MS, Parkinson’s, and other limitations. They are also an excellent choice for individuals with special needs.
“Recumbent tandems are popular with the disabled, allowing caregivers to get out and have fun too,” says Diane. “We’ve gotten teens out of their wheelchairs riding their own bike, and have couples of different abilities getting e-bikes so they’re able to match speed.”
For leisure seekers, commuters, extreme mountain bikers, and those needing a little extra assistance, e-bikes are a great on- or off-road option.
“E-bikes take the intimidation out of riding,” says Diane. “They take the worry out of distance, hills, and headwinds. Instead of thinking ‘I can’t,’ you’ll find yourself saying
Where to Find E-Bikes in the Grand Valley
Bicycle Outfitters 537 N. 1st Street Grand Junction 970.245.2699 Sales + rentals
The Bike Shop 950 North Avenue Suite 108 Grand Junction 970.243.0807 Sales only
Colorado E-Bikes 561 25 Road Grand Junction 970.242.3126 Sales + rentals
Rapid Creek Cycles
239 S. Main Street
Ruby Canyon Cycles 301 Main Street Grand Junction 970.241.0141 Sales + rentals