Pedego Featured in The Wall Street Journal

The largest newspaper in the United States has just featured Pedego in a recent issue. Called “Instead of Slowing Down, He Revved Up With An E-Bike,” the article appears in the “What’s your Workout” section of The Wall Street Journal and details how 70-year-old Californian Bruce Austin switched to a Pedego Ridge Rider electric bike after he found it was too challenging to get up hills on his mountain bike and keep up with his kids.

The article by writer Jen Murphy appears in the August 7, 2017 issue and tells the story of how Bruce loved to ride the mountain bike trails near his home in Camarillo, especially with his two sons, who are now in their 40s but in recent years he had found the exercise was too hard. “My heart rate would be way out of range,” he’s quoted as saying. “After a three-hour ride I’d be wiped out.” So he purchased a Pedego electric bike with pedal assist and now keeps up no problem – he uses his pedal assist when he’s tackling a steep climb but otherwise turns it off when he’s on flat ground. The author writes, “Riding his e-bike has helped bridge a generation…allowing him to ride regularly with his sons, as well as his two daughters, both in their 20s.”

Bruce uses his e-bike’s battery-powered assistance to keep his heart rate in its appropriate range. Photo by Michal Czerwonka.

The article goes on to say, “Mr Austin bought a second e-bike so he can ride with his wife, Rhonda, his daughters, and friends his age. ‘In the past, my daughters found mountain biking stressful,’ he says. ‘Now they’ll be full-throttle on the e-bike and they have so much fun. They haven’t yet refused a ride.'”

The article finishes by addressing the myth that using an electric bike while working out is cheating. “Riding an e-bike is akin to doing push-ups on your knees or using a weight-assisted pull-up machine,” the author writes. She then quotes exercise physiologist Adam Mills as saying, “You’re still getting a workout. You just have a little help.” Adam goes on to say the because an electric bike is heavier than a normal bike, due to the weight of the battery and motor, it gives a better workout when not using power assist. “It requires a lot more core engagement, especially if you’re on mountain trails and making tight turns…E-bikes make the sport more accessible to a broader demographic.”

To read the article in its entirety, log on to the story on The Wall Street Journal‘s website.

A Pedego is This Doctor’s Miracle Cure

Miryam Liberman is a 64-year-old doctor living near Los Angeles who credits her Pedego Interceptor for helping her overcome a number of physical challenges. In fact, she says her Pedego is one of her best forms of physical therapy.

We read about Dr. Liberman’s amazing story in a recent Tech50+ article in which she is quoted as saying, “I bought it [her Pedego Interceptor] two years and three days ago. It was momentous because I’d been wanting to get an electric bike for almost 5 years.” Before then she says that anytime she’d ride a normal bike, “I just wouldn’t be able to because of my knee. It turns out that it was actually a common female problem with chondromalacia patella. It’s basically a loose kneecap that wanders off…”

Not only did Doctor Liberman find that a Pedego electric bicycle helped with her strengthening regime, she genuinely enjoyed riding so much, she started commuting the 17 kilometres to work. “It was always kind of my weird dream to commute to work by bike which is doable in this area but only if you’re quite athletic because we have a lot of hills and a lot of eight percent grades which is pretty steep. I was able to do that…”

She goes on to say, “I’ve been doing that commute now for a year and a half. It’s 23 miles roundtrip and it’s literally the best part of my day. There’s just no question. It’s wonderful. I use the Pedego to commute to work but I use it for every opportunity that I can ride, I use it to go to the movie theater, I use it to meet up with friends.”

Given her experience, and how important the throttle is for her convalescence, she has become a big advocate of throttles on electric bikes. “I tried riding my bike without a throttle for just one day, and my knees became incredibly painful because to initiate the bike movement, to get your momentum, you have to put some downward pressure and it takes about a second for the pedals to engage which is fine when you’re completely flat. But where we live, there are so many hills and of course, that’s exactly what the electric bike was made for. So anytime I would try to start the bike with any kind of incline, I would have to use more pressure and therefore my knee would start killing me.”

Not only has her Pedego Interceptor made her commute to work more enjoyable, she says she’s also noticed big changes regarding her fitness. “My shoulders are so much stronger, my core is stronger, then of course my legs. My energy. Appetite control. Weight control. Better sleep. How does any really good exercise change your life?…It’s awesome.”

To read the entire article about Dr. Liberman, log on to: Tech50+.

Pedego Featured in Bicycle Retailer Magazine

Pedego Featured in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News Magazine

Pedego Featured in Bicycle Retailer Magazine

America’s de facto magazine about the bicycle retail industry has featured Pedego in its most recent issue. Called “100 on the way to 500,” the article describes the company as “the fastest growing, and least traditional, bike brand in the business.” Founder Don DiCostanzo is quoted heavily in the piece and he says “his goal is to build Pedego into the brand that consumers think of when they think of electric bikes – just like Amazon is top of mind for online shopping, Harley-Davidson for motorcycles, or Tesla for electric cars.”

The story by writer Doug McClellan appears in the July 2017 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) magazine and features Don as well as various dealers of Pedego electric bicycles including Mike and Rachel Wolf. The couple opened Pedego’s 100th retail store in the United States in Simsbury Connecticut and Mike, who started working in the bike business 65 years ago, says he’s never met anyone like Don because “he’s a promoter. If you go to the toilet you’ll see a Pedego sign up there.” Mike also says he’s impressed with “Pedego’s investment in replacement parts. DiCostanzo said Pedego maintains an inventory of more than $1 million in spare parts and stocks every component for every Pedego bike ever sold.”

“A car dealership is not the right place to buy an electric car and, similarly, a traditional bicycle store is not the place to buy an electric bicycle.”

The July issue of BRAIN also features a guest editorial written by Don DiCostanzo in which he explains how retailers can learn about electric bikes from the car industry. “Some car companies, including Ford and Mercedes Benz, have already launched electric bicycle models. BMW is launching its line of electric bicycles in the US right now, and General Motors is reportedly developing one. The reason is simple — they understand that car sales are flat because we simply don’t have room for any more vehicles in our cities. Other forms of mobility are emerging and they don’t want to be left behind.” Don goes on to say the a car dealership is not the right place to buy an electric car and, similarly, a traditional bicycle store is not the place to buy an electric bicycle. Which is why Pedego has come up with a successful retail model in which store owners are licensees, not franchise owners. That means they can stock their shelves with whatever accessories they want provided the electric bikes are purchased solely from Pedego.

Don goes on to say in the column that bicycle retailers can learn the following from the automotive industry: “Open a separate location; offer just one brand that specializes only in electric bicycles; and locate it away from other bicycle stores. Pick a brand that offers plenty of choices and that has powerful systems and extended range batteries.”

To read the articles and column in their entirety, click here and download the PDF: BRAIN-PEDEGO-July-2017

The Best Electric Bike Rides in Canada

Last month we wrote about how the Trans-Canada Trail is being completed this summer as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebration – making it the longest bike trail in the world! We also wrote about the fact the country’s national parks are free to enjoy this summer and then listed the best national parks to visit on your electric bike.

In keeping with our showcase of different rides to enjoy on your Pedego electric bike this summer, here’s a list of the 10 best electric bike rides in Canada.

British Columbia – Galloping Goose Trail

Victoria, British Columbia

Stretching over 100 kilometres, the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails in Victoria, British Columbia, offer some of the most varied views in the country. There are paved and unpaved (but smooth) sections that are perfect for electric biking and you’ll enjoy riding through parks, past farmland, through rainforest and along the oceanfront. The Lochside Trail begins at Schwartz Bay, where the the provincial ferry terminal is located, and winds it’s way along the Saanich Peninsula for 27 kilometres before connecting with the Galloping Goose Trail near Victoria. That portion of the trail connects all the way to Leechtown, the site of a former gold mining community. To fully enjoy parts of the trail we recommend connecting with Pedego Victoria and partaking in their “Cycle the Flavour” tour which guides people on a 20-kilometre ride via country markets, farms, nurseries and gardens.

Alberta –  Icefields Parkway

The 230-kilometre stretch between Jasper and Banff in Alberta, known as the Icefields Parkway, offers some of the most stunning views in the country. We recommend doing sections of the route rather than the whole thing in one go (there are hotels along the route) and be vigilant of the traffic but it’s worth it because you’ll pass massive glaciers, turquoise lakes, snow-capped mountains and alpine meadows full of wildflowers. An electric bicycle is the perfect way to appreciate this ride because you won’t even notice the consistent climb that rises about 2,000 metres.

Saskatchewan – Battleford Trails

Believe it or not Saskatchewan isn’t entirely flat. In fact, the beautiful trails that wind their way through the town of Battleford and into the city of North Battleford include rolling hills and sloping river valleys. Part of the Trans Canada Trail, the Battleford starts at Wheeler Rd in Battleford, continues along the North Saskatchewan River and across the bridges towards South Railway Ave and then onto Miller Rd before heading north out of North Battleford. It is a 12.5-kilometres paved trail that’s perfect for beginner to intermediate cyclists. Be sure to ride across the arched bridges onto Finlayson Island where you’ll find wild marshes, chokecherry trees and great horned owls.

Manitoba – Duck Mountain

Manitoba is a land of lakes and a ride around Duck Mountain provincial park will prove it for you. Not only will you see a variety of waterfowl on your ride, you’ll also enjoy well-marked signage that explains the level of difficulty for each section. We recommend starting your ride in the 1,424-square-kilometre park, located near the Saskatchewan border, at a campground near Mossberry Lake then riding the western loop that passes no less than 10 lakes in 30 kilometres. Be sure to keep a lookout for elk, moose, bobcats and, of course, ducks.

Ontario – Waterfront Trail

Ontario’s southeastern Waterfront Trail extends from the winery region of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, to the province’s eastern border so there’s not shortage of things to see from the big city of Toronto to the quaint vacation area of Prince Edward County where the newest Pedego store has just opened up. The route extends for 780 kilometres so you’ll probably not want to do it all in one go but there are beautiful sections to enjoy, such as the 33-kilometre route from the historic city of Kingston, and through the Thousand Islands.

Quebec – Route Verte

Quebec boasts no less than 5,000 kilometres of connected trails and its well-marked “Route Verte” was named by National Geographic as one of the best in the world. Ride any section and you’ll see why. One of our favourite stretches is the “Véloroute des Baleines” (the Whale Trail) from Tadoussac to Baie-Trinité because you’re ride alongside the St. Lawrence River and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot humback whales.

Nova Scotia – Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail is world-famous for it’s seascapes, beaches, forests and quaint historic communities. It’s almost 300-kilometres long though so be prepared to do it in stages. This route is very hilly and can experience offshore winds, which makes it the perfect area to explore on an electric bicycle!

PEI – Confederation Trail

Canada’s smallest province is the perfect place for electric bike riders to get used to touring. It’s not very hilly, and you can cover a lot of the island in a few days. The Confederation Trail was built on abandoned railway beds and takes you past rolling hills, woodlands and postcard coastlines that we guarantee will have you mulling Maritime real estate. Bonus: Malpeque oysters freshly harvested from the bay.

Newfoundland – Bonavista Peninsula

Most people will tell you the Viking Trail in Newfoundland is the best biking trail in the province but we’ve found a lot of that 450-kilometre route is forests. (Except for the spectacular fjords of Gros Morne National Park.) We prefer bike touring around the Bonavista Peninsula because it contains some of the oldest settlements on the island of Newfoundland, and therefore North America. The towns of Bonavista and Trinity are particularly beautiful. Plus the ocean views are outstanding! Go in June or July and you’re all but guaranteed to see icebergs.

Yukon – Whitehorse Loop

If you’re riding an off-road-friendly electric bike such as the Pedego Trail Tracker or Pedego Ridge Rider then there’s literally nowhere you can’t go in the Yukon. There are so many singletrack trails, double-track roads and off-the-beaten-path pathways, you could ride forever. However, if you’re on any of our other electric bikes, such as the Comfort Cruiser or Boomerang, you’ll probably want to stay to the well-trodden areas. If that’s the case, we recommend a tour of Whitehorse and the scenic trails that surround it. Especially in the summer time when daylight extends through the night. Nothing like going for a casual ride around town at 3:00 a.m. during the sunset!

Everything You Need To Know About Electric Bike Brakes

Brakes are the most important part of your electric bicycle so it’s important to know a few things about them to ensure you enjoy a fun and safe riding experience. It’s also important to note if there’s a change in the sound of your brakes: a squeaking or rubbing for instance. In most cases it’s a good idea to take the bicycle to your local shop to have a bike mechanic look over it. If caught early, the fix will be a lot easier than if it persists and you find yourself having to replace a rotor rather than just a pad for example. Here is everything you need to know about electric bike brakes, along with a few simple maintenance tips.

Pedego electric bikes are equipped with either mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes, which are different from calliper brakes that bicycles used to have. (Some bikes still do have them – they look like two arms resting on either side of your tire and when the lever is depressed, the pads on the end of the arms wedge themselves against the rim of your tire, slowing you down.) Disc brakes are similar to the brakes in your car in that there are rotors attached to your wheel hubs. When a brake lever is used, it activates (by cable or hydraulic pressure) a mechanism that engages the pads and they cinch against the rotor, providing the stopping power.

As with car brakes, the pads wear out over time. (If you live in a hilly environment or an urban area where you’re stopping a lot, they’ll wear out quicker.) Therefore it’s a wise idea to inspect them regularly and the good news is it’s really easy to do. At the centre of both your front and rear tires are metal, disc-shaped rotors and each is seated in the grooves of the braking mechanisms. (See image below.) There should be at least 1.5mm of braking material on either side of the rotor – that’s about the thickness of two business cards. Any less and it’s time to visit your local bike mechanic to have them replaced.

For the mechanical disc brakes, you’ll notice red dials on the braking mechanisms on the front and rear tires and these are handy to make micro-adjustments on your brake pads. By twisting the red dials clockwise, the brake pads are moved closer to the rotor. This ensures you don’t have to depress the brake levers all the way back to the handlebars in order for the pads to engage. There should be about a 1.5mm distance between each side of the rotor and the brake pads. Again, you’ll want to ensure enough brake pad material is there to engage.

What you don’t want is to have the metal backing that holds the brake pad rubbing against the metal rotor as that can damage it. In the case of hydraulic brake units, they automatically adjust the space between the rotor and brake pads. If your brake levers are almost hitting the handlebars when you put the brakes on, and you can’t adjust this as described above, it’s time to take the bike to a mechanic for a tune up.

If your electric bike brakes are making noises, whether squeaking or squealing, we recommend you read the excellent article by Pedego Qualicum Beach bike mechanic Jessica Skelton called, “Cleaning Squeaky Brakes“. If the noises persist, get an expert on the job and take your bicycle in for a tune-up.