As the electric bike industry continues to grow it has created opportunities and challenges for bike shops and riders. Electric bikes allow a rider to ride farther, climb hills easier, and most important are helping get more people riding bicycles more regularly. The health benefits of riding a bike is well known, and an E-bike offers the same benefits as regular bicycles and is a great form of exercise, as well as a practical way to commute and run errands car free. For anyone who has not ridden a bike in a while or someone who is looking to reduce the strain on their legs will find an E-bike to be an amazing way to keep riding, ride farther and decrease automobile fuel use. As the industry grows and changes it presents some unique challenges for bike shops like us at Cordova Gear. As a bike shop we always make it our top priority to repair and maintain bicycles to the best that can be achieved. New E-bikes come on the market almost daily it can be difficult to keep up with the new technology and the vast assortment of brands which may or may not be U/L Certified. As we navigate the industry from a business standpoint we find that we have to make decisions for our own liability and safety, and to be aware of what electric bikes we will bring into our shop. We want to educate those interested in E-bikes to make the same considerations. Safety issues can be caused by improperly constructed or damaged cells inside the battery, which in extreme cases can lead to a battery catching fire. Other issues related to hub motor E-bikes are motors that are not properly designed to fit into the bicycle dropouts; there is a risk of the motor spinning in the dropouts and permanently damaging the bike frame and potentially causing the wheel to fall out while riding. E-bikes built with sub-par and often proprietary bicycle components can make repairs very difficult or impossible in certain cases.
We take all this into consideration at Cordova Gear when making decisions about the E-bikes that we will take in for repair, and unfortunately we do have to turn some bikes away as we cannot work on them safely. An E-bike without a removable battery cannot be brought in the shop. By not having the batteries in the shop we avoid the risks associated with them. Due to the issues associated with hub motors damaging frames we cannot remove a wheel from the bike if it has a hub motor. We have to assess each bike to decide if we can accept it into the shop for repair.
The potential of E-bikes to bring a healthy, environmentally friendly and enjoyable activity within reach of anyone is no small thing. Whether they help you make a grocery run, or get out on more bike rides with your family and friends, or allow kids to be able to more easily ride a longer distance to school. There are so many ways an E-bike could improve your health and the health of the community as a whole.
We encourage people to ask us about E-bikes and consider renting one to see what they are all about. Starting a conversation with your local bike shop is a great first step. We are here to help and can support you with information about e-bikes. When you decide to purchase an e-bike you will have a better understanding of the options available, pros and cons between different types as well as what type of maintenance and repair services are available at Cordova Gear right here in Cordova, Alaska.