Ebikes specialist saddles up to ride the electric wave

Bolton-based Ebike Capital recently sold a bike to a 92-year-old rider. “He could no longer ride a mechanical bike because he couldn’t handle hills anymore, but he didn’t want to give up cycling completely,” says manager Pat Aherne. Equally customers can be of all ages and abilities, such is the growing popularity of going electric.

The shop opened to cater for this demand in May 2019, specialising solely in e-bikes, and has 100 models on display.

Among these, it recently took delivery of Insync’s Lectro range of e-bikes and Aherne is excited about offering the bikes to customers. Insync is the only British bike company headquartered in Manchester, where the Lectro range has been designed, and the business is keen to establish strong partnerships with independent bike dealers such as Ebike Capital. 

“The Lectro range comes at a great price for the specification, which opens up the e-bikes market to even more people,” he says. “We’re looking forward to working with Insync and excited to showcase these bikes to our customers.”

It is the shop’s wide range of e-bikes, and the expertise of staff, that Aherne and owner Martin Cairns hope will set it apart from other stores, which tend to devote only a small section to e-bikes.

“You go into a big retailer and 95 per cent of bikes are mechanical, so we wanted to offer the end user a different option where they could look at 100 bikes rather than, say, six,” says Aherne. The market is only expected to get bigger as local authorities set aside more money to support cycling initiatives. In February, the government pledged £5bn to improve bus and cycling services in England over the next five years and, locally to Ebike Capital, Greater Manchester is planning to introduce 1,800 miles of cycling and walking routes as part of its Bee Network.

It’s clear more and more people will be jumping on the saddle and, for many, electric power will give them they extra push they need.

Aherne’s 92-year-old customer took an e-bike but for a test ride and immediately placed an order. “He loved it,” he said. “He thought his cycling days were over and he realised they weren’t. We get a lot of customers with impairments, for example, hip and knee replacements, lung or heart conditions. They’ve cycled all their lives and once they get on an e-bike they realise they can do what they did before.”

People commuting to work are also a target. An e-bike may mean you don’t arrive at the office as sweaty and tired as you might have done on a mechanical bike, leaving you ready to take on the day ahead and, importantly, able to ride back home at the end of the work day. This was the case for Aherne, who was riding eight miles there and back to his previous job at Halfords every day.

There are younger customers, too, who enjoy having the extra impetus on a mountain bike for weekend riding, while others purchase accessories such as panier racks to enable them to carry shopping. Then there are folding e-bikes, popular with the caravanning community or flat dwellers, for example.

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