The electric bikes for sale in the Pedego shop at 48th & Chicago are banned in parts of Europe, as they feature a throttle and up to 500-watt motors.
The bikes can travel up to 24 miles per hour, depending on the rider’s weight and the terrain.
“Most customers come from a situation where years ago they were very active and something disrupted their life,” said dealer Ann Paulson.
Illness, injury or age can hamper cyclists’ abilities, she said, and the electric bike can allow a rider to keep up with a grandchild or a seasoned cyclist.
“Electric bikes are a great equalizer,” she said.
The bikes range from $2,295 to $3,595. Some bikes include a pedal-assist mode in which riders set the level of resistance. The easiest setting is a “ghost pedaling” mode designed to mimic conditions without resistance from the road or wind.
“It’s like you’re pedaling in the air,” Paulson said.
The more throttle and pedal assistance used, the quicker the battery is drained. The battery can recharge in a standard wall outlet for two-six hours.
The shop is planning self-guided bike tours and rentals for the spring, with team-building packages available for businesses.
Pedego was founded in California. Paulson owns another Pedego shop in Owatonna, where she discovered many customers traveling from the metro and seven surrounding states.
“We needed to find a place where people could get onto the bike path and not feel unsafe,” she said. “We’ve had nothing but wonderful greetings from the neighbors around us.”
Occasionally shop staff hear someone comment that a bike throttle is “cheating.” But Paulson said those riders likely haven’t experienced a trauma that can rob them of cycling.
“Welcome the new riders out on the path, because they are so excited to be there,” she said.