E-Bikes 2017

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By Sean Hermes | SCHEELS Cycling Expert

Oftentimes, customers come in to the bike shop and ask me, “What are the best bikes we have at SCHEELS?” I love to take them on my own little bike shop tour and show off some of our top-end carbon road, cyclocross and full-suspension mountain bikes. What I explain is this, the “best” bike really depends on who is riding it, and how and where it will be ridden.

But the bike or bikes that really have me excited, and that I’ve been ending my “Best” bike tour with lately, are e-bikes. E-bikes look and ride just like a standard bike, but they have crank or wheel motors powered by rechargeable batteries that assist the rider by adding power to their pedaling. People often mistakenly think of e-bikes as a new version of the moped, but only a few models have throttles while the vast majority require the rider to pedal for the motor to work. These bikes have been around for several years, but their potential is just now becoming more apparent with most brands offering a wide selection of e-bikes. Whatever your riding style or preference, there is now an e-bike that will fit your needs and enhance your experience.

The Trek Lift and Electra Townie Go! offer a smooth, upright and comfortable ride. The low center of gravity and predictable power input make this a great option for new or casual riders. These bikes are well suited to explore paved bike paths and trails without fear of headwinds or hills.

For the rider looking to get from A to B a bit quicker, there are a number of models geared up for commuting and city riding. The Conduit+, XM700+ and SuperCommuter are set up with fenders and will accept racks. This will help you ditch the car and get to work without worrying about parking, high gas prices or sweating through your clothes.

The dual sport style blends attributes of a city bike and an off-road bike, giving you one of the most versatile electric assist bikes available. The DS+ and Neko+ can be outfitted with racks and fenders for grocery runs in town or bike-packing along rails-to-trails. It’s rugged enough for long gravel road rides and comfortable enough for cruising around town all day.

For those who prefer to venture off established roads and explore more rugged terrain, the Powerfly+ hardtail and full-suspension bikes will have you conquering trails that seemed unmanageable in the past. Be sure to check with your local trail groups before heading off-road, as these new e-bikes may have restricted access.

Head to your local SCHEELS and test ride the latest e-bikes to see which model is best for you.