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.

The Best Car Racks for Your Electric Bike

Believe it or not, more bikes are damaged while they are being transported using another vehicle than they are when they’re doing the transporting. Scratches, dents, crimped cables and even broken derailleurs or spokes are more often caused by putting a bicycle in the back of a truck, in a trunk or on a poorly designed bike rack than when we’re riding them.

At Pedego Canada we’re regularly asked what are the best car racks for your electric bike. There are two important things we tell people:

#1. You’ll want a platform rack that mounts to a trailer hitch. The reason being is that racks which sit on top of the roof of your car are too high to reach and those that rest on the trunk or hatchback of your vehicle are not robust enough to take the weight of an electric bike. Platforms distribute weight best, are easiest to load and minimize any damage due to car movement.

#2. Ideally, you’ll want a 2-inch trailer hitch. A smaller hitch will typically result in more side to side movement of the rack with the heavier bikes. A 2″ trailer hitch allows you to carry multiple ebikes without wobbles and ensure your electric bicycle investment is safe and secure.

After extensive research with multiple brands of bike racks, these are the best car racks for your electric bike.

Thule Easyfold

The best part about the Thule Easyfold platform bike rack is it comes with a ramp so you can easily roll your electric bike up and onto it. In this video, Ruby, the co-owner of of Pedego Qualicum Beach, shows just how easy it is.

As the name suggests, the Thule Easyfold is completely foldable for easy handling and storage. However, an important thing to note is the rack itself is robust (it can carry up to two 65-pound ebikes) but that also means it’s heavy so you’ll want to take care installing it.

The adjustable grip handles allow you to secure any style of bike from an Interceptor Step-Thru to the Ridge Rider and the wide tire trays can accommodate all bikes including the Trail Tracker no problem. Another great detail is the foot-operated lever, which allows you to tilt the fully-loaded rack down and away from the bumper so you can easily open the back hatch.

Swagman Escapee Bike Rack

Swagman Escapee

Another hitch-mounted platform bike rack that we really like is the Swagman Escapee.  Swagman is a company based in Penticton, British Columbia and it is responsible for a variety of different styles of bike racks but we’ve found the Escapee to be the most robust – it can easily carry two 50+ pound ebikes. An added bonus is that they are RV rated. Also, the Escapee, with its wheel clamp system, works really well with low step-thru bikes such as the Boomerang, which can be challenging on other types of racks.

The other thing we like about the Swagman hitch-mounted platform racks is they’re not situated too high off the ground so it’s easy to lift the front end and then the rear end of the electric bike to get it into the platforms.

As always, if you have any questions are comments regarding this article, please leave us a note below or email us at info@pedegocanada.ca. And to learn more about security for your electric bike, including locks and insurance, read our article, “Everything you need to know about security for your electric bike.”

two riders on electric bikes in Prince Edward County

Announcing Canada’s Newest Pedego Store

We’re excited to announce that Prince Edward County, one of the most popular vacation areas in eastern Ontario, is now home to the newest Pedego store.

Prince Edward County is one of the most beautiful areas in Ontario and a paradise for electric bike riders. Located just West of the city of Kingston on a peninsula that reaches out into Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County boasts sandy beaches, quiet country roads, dramatic vistas, quaint towns with 19th century architecture, apple orchards and vineyards. Plenty of bicyclists visit this area every year but because of the occasional hill (such as the one leading to the beautiful “Lake on the Mountain”) an electric bike is the perfect way to travel and see the sites.

That’s why it’s so exciting there’s now a local dealer of electric bicycles in the region, namely Pedego Prince Edward County, which features the full line of Pedego electric bikes. Test rides are always free, or you can rent an electric bike and experience riding a Pedego on any of the rural lanes, through the two wildlife reserves or around the three provincial parks located in the area.

Drop by or contact Pedego Prince Edward County today and plan your trip to the best electric bike destination in eastern Ontario. It should also be noted that this area is close to the largest cities in Canada! It’s only a 2-hour drive from Toronto, a 2.5-hour drive from Montreal and a 3-hour drive from Ottawa.

two riders on electric bikes in Prince Edward County

Owners Gillian and Pat (Bear) Maloney say they’re excited to be representing the best-selling electric bike brand in North America and they can’t wait for you to take a test ride on the quiet roads in the region that wind through apple orchards, beaches, vineyards and towns. Drop by and say hi!

Pedego Prince Edward County
106 Main Street
Bloomfield, Ontario
905-650-4451

Store hours are:

Monday: closed
Tuesday: 10-5
Wednesday: 10-5
Thursday: 10-5
Friday: 10-5
Saturday: 10-5
Sunday: 10-5