SALT LAKE CITY — In recent years, Utah has quietly become a hub for electric bicycles, bicycles built with an electric motor to assist with pedaling.
Whether to address air quality or mix up the morning commute to work, more and more Utahns are turned on to e-bikes every day. E-bikes are available in a variety of models, including road, mountain, cruiser and cargo. Depending on the quality, they cost between $1,000 and $2,000.
Here is a look at six Utah businesses that are capitalizing on Utah’s e-bike trend.
1. Magnum Electric Bikes
Magnum Electric Bikes was started in Israel in 2010 and “quickly became one of the top e-bike brands in Israel,” said Jesse Lapin, who got involved with the company in 2014. Lapin, a Utah native, was hired to start an American branch of Magnum Bikes and to “take it to the international level.”
Lapin said Magnum Bikes is currently one of the top three e-bike brands in the country. In three years, it has opened 200 shops and established dealer bases in 30 states, he said.
E-bikes are part of the worldwide “movement towards going green and reducing one’s carbon footprints and impact on the world,” Lapin said.
“It especially speaks to Utah, where inversion is such a problem and everybody is that much more conscious of the air quality,” Lapin said.
Address: 629 S. State St., Salt Lake City
2. Salt Lake Ebikes
Salt Lake Ebikes is located just east of Liberty Park. It is one of the few retailers in Utah that offers e-bike rentals in addition to selling them, said owner Matthew Passey.
Passey said there are many benefits to e-bikes, including health, freedom and saving money.
“Ditching your car for an electric bike even for a portion of your commute can save you a ton of money,” Salt Lake Ebikes states on its website. “No more parking fees. Maintenance is way less than a car. It is by far less expensive to charge the battery on an ebike than to fill up your car with gas.”
One reason e-bikes are becoming popular in Utah is the weather, Passey said.
“I’ll ride in any weather except for downpour rain or a blizzard storm,” Passey said. “If the roads are dry, I’ll ride. Even if it’s 20 degrees. It’s fun. It’s like an urban snowmobile.”
Address: 1030 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City
3. High Country E Bikes
High Country E Bikes was built in 2016 “on a love and passion for bicycles,” according to its website. It is relatively unique in that it offers e-bike repairs, the website states.
Marketing specialist Wade Mann described the e-bike market as “a good business to be in right now,” adding that this is especially the case in an “active state” like Utah.
“The technology has really evolved over the last 20 years that people have been building electric bikes,” Mann said.
Riding an e-bike is something that can’t be fully understood until it is done, he said.
“It kind of makes you feel like you have bionic legs,” Mann said. “It’s a very exciting experience when you ride one.”
Address: 6824 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan
4. Great Western E-Bikes
Great Western E-Bikes “evolved from a personal need” but has since grown to benefit the public, said owner Brent Lechtenberg, who started the company with his wife, who has asthma, in mind.
Lechtenberg described himself as someone who got into bicycles as a kid but “just never stopped riding.” His shop provides e-bikes for trail, leisure and pavement riding, according to its website.
There are many misconceptions and stigmas about e-bikes, Lechtenberg said, such as the belief that riding a bike with an electric motor is “cheating.” Nonetheless, Lechtenberg said they are becoming increasingly popular among both older and younger generations.
Lechtenberg said the state’s orientation toward the outdoors makes its e-bike market a thriving industry.
“Utah is the perfect application,” Lechtenberg said.
Address: 74 W. 500 South, Bountiful
5. eSpokes Electric Bikes
Open since 2012, eSpokes Electric Bikes offers a wide selection of bikes to riders and carries bikes from more than 15 different brands, according to the company’s website. The website states that eSpokes Electric Bikes focuses on providing quality name-brand products while educating customers and helping them navigate difficult information.
“It’s important to work with a company who understands the strengths, benefits, and risks of the various ebike systems, what will work best for your needs and knows how to help you if something goes wrong,” the website reads.
Address: 11277 Kestrel Rise Road G-1, South Jordan
6. Blue Monkey Bicycles
Blue Monkey Bicycles describes itself as being more than a bike shop. According to its website, the company also has a YouTube channel where employees share updates on the e-bike industry and provide tutorials for riding and maintaining e-bikes or scooters.
“Being active in our community, we take every opportunity to demonstrate how bicycles can be a true car replacement and a step in the right direction to a sustainable lifestyle,” Blue Monkey Electric Bicycles’ website reads.
Address: 4902 State St., Salt Lake City