Fancy following the Tour de Yorkshire, but can't face the uphill climb?
A new electric bike company has been launched to enable people to emulate the Olympic winning Brownlee brothers without the exhausting uphill struggle.
Yorkshire Electric Bike Company will offer one of the largest selections of branded electrically-assisted bikes in the region with showrooms in Shipley and Wetherby.
The new venture will become a division of long established bike retailer All Terrain Cycles. It aims to tap into the growing popularity of pedal-assisted bikes in the UK with the British market expected to catch up with Europe where 30 per cent of bikes are electric.
Offering a choice of more that 50 e-bikes from the leading names such as Cube, customers will have the opportunity to test drive the bikes.
Featuring a small, integrated electric motor which is engaged by pedalling or using the throttle on the handlebar, they have rechargeable batteries that can be charged at a normal mains socket. It takes about three hours for a full charge which lasts for around 20 miles.
With a maximum uphill speed of 15mph, e-bikes have the added advantage of not requiring road tax or a licence.
Tony Booth, managing director of Yorkshire Electric Bike Company, said: “People seem to be more open to the idea of electric bikes. Initially, they were seen as being aimed at older people, but they are now becoming hip with much younger riders who want the thrill of some off road fun without the slog of ploughing up hills.
“There is still an element of exercise involved as you have to pedal in order for the motor to run, but it means you don’t have to be ultra-fit to go mountain biking with your friends and you have a little extra help if you’re recovering from an injury."
He said motorised bikes are environmentally-friendly and cost-effective which also makes them ideal for commuters or teenagers who want some independence.
"In fact, we’re finding that lots of motor cyclists are now turning to e-bikes," he said.
“Like many cycling purists, I was initially a little scathing about e-bikes - that was until I tried one myself. I am now a complete convert – quality, branded electric bikes offer all the performance benefits you would expect from today’s pedal bikes, but the extra power boost makes them even more fun and gives the rider more options.
"While the UK has been slower than Europe to embrace e–cycling, the experts are predicting that the craze will soon take hold here too and I fully expect to see a surge in demand over the next year.”