Tom Wilson, founder and owner of Small Planet eBikes, calls himself an “unashamed tree hugger.” After a career in construction, he wanted to focus more on the sustainable green movement, specifically, alternatives to gas powered transportation. He opened Small Planet eBikes in 2009 at a time where few electric bikes brands were in America, and the technology for them was in its infancy. As time and interest in ebikes grew, so did Small Planet, keeping pace with – and at times leading – the movement.
Ebikes combine a bicycle with a quiet electric motor that reduces the amount of energy expended by the rider. This enables the rider to still get beneficial outdoor exercise while having a reliable source of eco-friendly transportation. Small Planet eBikes describes it as a “human electric hybrid.”
“The bike’s electric system is comprised of a quiet or silent electric motor, a rechargeable lithium battery, a controller, a display/console that regulates power, and a few other components. The electric motor and components assist the rider by amplifying the rider’s pedaling effort, which is called pedal assist,” says Sherri O’Hara, team member in Sales, Marketing and Outreach. “In addition to the pedal assist mode, some bikes are also equipped with a throttle that can provide an independent boost to propel the rider with or without pedaling. We generally think of ebikes as blending human pedal power with electric assistance, allowing a rider the luxury of choice to use the power as much or as little as they like.
EBikes are generally classified the same as regular bikes meaning no driver's license or insurance required. According to Federal and Colorado State regulations, most eBikes can be ridden on bike infrastructure like urban and regional multi-use trails as well as on bike lanes, streets and roads. However, regulations may occasionally vary, so check local ordinances.
O’Hara continues, “One of the best things is, ebikes have a very low carbon footprint. They’ve been researched and rank as one of the most efficient forms of transportation currently available in terms of using a ridiculously small amount of energy or electricity. For roughly 5 cents in electricity, you can ride 30-40 miles. Put another way, for $1.00 in electricity, most ebikes will give you 750+ miles of riding.”
Small Planet eBikes has locations in Boulder County in Downtown Longmont Colorado and San Antonio Texas. Both locations are in highly bikeable cities or regions, with Colorado billed as a top bike destination in the United States. Bikes, accessories, service, and test rides are available at each location.
Anyone who can operate a pedal bike can try an ebike, and they are especially ideal for:
- Anyone looking for a fun way to get outdoors in open-air setting alone or with friends for a fairly safe Covid activity
- Those looking to increase their physical activity and daily wellness
- Those looking to save on commuting expenses like gas, car maintenance or parking fees
- Those looking for an efficient way to run quick errands in a healthy, recreational way
- Anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive change on the environment
- Anyone that likes to bike but is hampered by hilly terrain, as ebikes easily handle hills with far less pedal effort
- Parents that want to bike with their kids – family cargo ebikes with an extended platform
- rear rack are a perfect fit for a parent to pedal and the kids to ride on the back
“You can do way more on a bike like errands, grocery shopping trips, trips to the farmers market, etc. and longer distance rides than you may have ever thought possible."
Small Planet eBikes is staffed with people that are as passionate about ebiking as they are knowledgeable. Not only will you find the best bike for your needs, you’ll also find all the accessories you need for fun, safe, riding. The commuter and recreational bikes are equipped with head and taillights for added safety. Supply and accessories vary during the year and for different activities, so be sure to talk to a Small Planet eBike team member who will ensure you are outfitted with everything you need to get started. As an essential business during Covid, Small Planet is open for in-store shopping, test-rides and can deliver to most Front Range locations.
“These bikes are fun, promote health and wellness, and are a major step in reducing carbon emissions,” says O’Hara. “They are very affordable, with most choices ranging from $1,100 and up. Ebiking opens up a fresh new mindset and lifestyle whether you choose this mode of transportation for errands, exercise, recreation, or just to explore where you live.”
Learn more at www.smallplanetebikes.com.