AN entrepreneur is gearing up for a busy season after opening the second branch of his Electric Bike Shop at a family attraction in Warwick.
Brummie Karl Haden says it was customer demand that has led him to the region after launching his first shop in Bristol.
“We found we were spending a lot of time bringing bikes up here for customers because this area wasn’t served. And they would complain that there isn’t any after care or support,” he said.
Now he’s keen to dispel the ‘lazy’ myths surrounding e-bikes by encouraging visitors to try them out for the first time at a free test day at Hatton Adventure World, on Saturday, April 13th. Raffle tickets to win four e-bike and picnic experience days will be on sale in aid of Hatton-based charity Molly Olly’s Wishes.
“Some people think electric bikes are cheating but you can work as hard or as little as you want on an electric bike. You just have to adjust the power. If you’re commuting and you want to give yourself a good workout on your way home rather than go to the gym, you can just turn the power right down,” he said.
“The days of it being seen as cheating or not legitimate exercise are long gone. Even pro riders are now using electric bikes to keep fit on.”
Typical customers range from leisure cyclists and commuters to caravanners and those with injuries or physical conditions that prevent them from using normal high-impact road bikes.
“They are perfect for customers who have had an injury but who have got all the drive and enthusiasm and really want to get out there but can’t on a normal bike. It opens up a whole new world to them. And it helps them follow on from their physio at the right level for them without impacting too heavily on their joints. And if people just want to lose weight moderate exercise is the biggest fat burner.
“I’m passionate about this because I’ve seen the difference it makes to customers who come in very timid and I put them on a turbo trainer on an electric bike and then we’ll take them out and within literally a minute of them being on it, they get to grips with it and they love it.”
Karl, 52, added: “My whole methodology behind this business is about best advice. If somebody comes in here I’ll be honest with them if I think a bike is not right for them.
“I will also give advice on after care, even if they didn’t buy the bike from me. I am passionate about electric bikes and I just want them to have the best possible experience.”
The shop stocks a wide range of makes and models designed for a variety of terrains including road racing, trekking and mountain bikes ranging in price between £1,600 and £8,000. They also sell bike accessories as well as offer bike hire and a service and repairs workshop.
Formerly a recruiter by trade, Karl’s change of career path was inspired by a new-found love for his first e-bike in 2015 and he opened his first shop in Bristol in November 2017. There are already ambitious plans to open up to three more sites around the UK as well as franchises.
In the meantime he’s on a mission to pass on his passion for his product to the locals.
He added: “To anyone who isn’t sure about getting an e-bike, hire one first. There are no excuses not to ride a bike around this area. If when you wake up in the morning you think ‘I would love to go riding but. . I’m worried about the hills’ then it’s time to consider an electric bike. Hatton is absolutely idyllic and an ideal place for people to just come and have some fun.”
The Electric Bike Shop is open Wednesdays to Sundays at Hatton Adventure World.
Main website is: www.theelectricbikeshop.co.uk
DID YOU KNOW?
- Last year e-bikes outsold normal bikes in the Netherlands.
- Some experts predict that there will be parity between e-bikes and road bikes in the UK within five years.
- It is a legal requirement for the motor on an electric bike to drop out when it reaches 15.5mph, not have more than a 250 watt motor and a throttle that doesn’t exceed 4mph.
- There are no legal requirements for Insurance, MOTs or Road Tax. The same rules and recommendations that apply to cycles, apply to electrically assisted cycles for use on the road.
- The batteries on e-bikes can typically cover between 20 and 100 miles per charge, depending on size.
- It costs no more than 10 pence to fully recharge a battery and takes around four hours.Part One of Amanda Chalmers’ blog on e-bike riding can be read here