Ride with ease

Ride with ease
Randy L. McKee

Although e-bikes are motorized, Ohio law generally treats them as bicycles if the motors don’t exceed 750 watts of power. That means riders don’t need a license or insurance to ride them on the road.

                        

Tourists probably expect to see horses and buggies on the road during their visit to Amish County. But it’s another type of vehicle that has caught the eyes of many visitors, according to David Mullett, owner of E-Bikes of Holmes County.

“Many people from outside the community who see the electric bikes cruising along the streets are intrigued,” Mullett said. “Many of them visit our shop to find out how the bikes work, and they usually end up taking a test ride.”

For five years, E-Bikes of Holmes County, located in Millersburg, has specialized exclusively in sales and service of electric bicycles.

Mullett said locals and tourists all are invited to test ride and learn more about electric bikes at E-Bikes’ annual anniversary sale on Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9. All guests will be treated to ice cream and beverages, and if you buy a bike, you’ll get a free sandwich and fries from Byler’s Barbecue.

“Representatives from the various brands will be there to help people choose the perfect e-bike for their needs,” Mullett said.

Among the prize giveaways at the celebration will be two Cirrus Kinekt Body Float seat posts, which help to reduce bumps and road vibrations as you enjoy your ride.

“We have multiple sizes available to be compatible with virtually every bike on the market,” Mullett said.

The seat posts are just one of the many biking accessories available at E-Bikes.

In 2015 Mullett was looking for an easy ride to work when he discovered an electric bicycle conversion kit five years ago. His own conversion project led to a part-time business installing electric motors on other folks’ bicycles. Demand grew so strong that he expanded his business to carry a showroom full of prebuilt electric bikes.

The showroom now features about 80 e-bikes on display, from leading manufacturers like Magnum, iGO, Specialized and Stromer, the store’s luxury line. The shop services all brands of e-bikes.

“We have a wide variety for people to come in and try out,” Mullett said. “Test rides are a very important part of the process of buying an e-bike. Each bike has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, and everybody has his or her own style of riding, so the best way is to try some out and see which one matches your needs.”

Magnum, Mullett said, is his most popular brand. The shop’s newest product line is the Specialized Turbo e-bike.

“The advantage of an electric bike over a traditional bike is the assistance that the electric motor provides,” Mullett said. “The bike is actually helping you achieve your ride. Many people in this area rely on bikes for transportation, so having a motor to support your own peddling has really changed the way we commute to work and other places. It allows you to reach your destination quicker and easier, yet you still get exercise.”

Although e-bikes are motorized, Ohio law generally treats them as bicycles if the motors don’t exceed 750 watts of power. That means riders don’t need a license or insurance to ride them on the road. State law passed last spring created three classes of electric bikes:

• Class 1 e-bikes have electric motors that provide assistance only when the rider is pedaling and cease to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.

• Class 2 e-bikes have electric motors that may provide assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedaling and are not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.

• Class 3 e-bikes have electric motors that provide assistance only when the rider is pedaling and cease to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 mph. You must be at least 16 years old to operate a Class 3 e-bike, Mullett said.

You can try out all of the many e-bike options at E-Bikes of Holmes County’s anniversary sale, which will take place on Friday, May 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop is located at 3290 County Road 160 in Millersburg. You can learn more at EBikesOfHolmesCounty.com or by calling 330-275-5011.


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