Sales take off like an e-rocket

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By AIMEE WILSON

Ipod – ipad – iphone – e-bike?

E-bik­ing could soon take over the Sun­day drive as more peo­ple pre­fer ped­als to petrol, and for busi­nesses in Wanaka and Queen­stown it’s a real cy­cling re­nais­sance.

Good Ro­ta­tions in Wanaka has only been open seven months, but al­ready it can’t keep up with de­mand for elec­tric mo­tor kits – small bat­tery-pow­ered de­vices that can make your bike go like the clap­pers.

Well not ex­actly rip roar­ing around town like a mo­tor­bike, but def­i­nitely enough power and speed to make that ride to Glendhu Bay more of a cruise than a chal­lenge.

And for an ex­tra $1000 you can have the real deal – a fully cus­tomised ‘‘ur­ban’’ elec­tric bike, with thick tyres, wide han­dle­bars and a big com­fort­able seat.

Own­ers Babu Blatt and Matt Quirk, who come from Switzer­land and the Isle of Man, were more sur­prised than any­one e-bikes would take off so quickly in this coun­try.

Hav­ing trav­elled ex­ten­sively through Europe, where e-bikes are common, and then not see­ing many at all in New Zealand, they thought it would take a while for peo­ple to catch on.

While Wanaka catered ex­ten­sively for moun­tain and road bik­ing, what they no­ticed was an en­tire open mar­ket for ‘‘prac­ti­cal’’ bik­ing.

Not all their bikes have mo­tors though. They also spe­cialise in non-elec­tric bikes, cargo and ad­ven­ture bikes.

‘‘What we wanted was just a cab­i­net…a sweet shop of bikes,’’ Quirk said, re­fer­ring to the small area at the front of the premises where the bikes are on dis­play.

‘‘At first peo­ple were ask­ing all sorts of ques­tions like ‘could th­ese ac­tu­ally dam­age my bike?’ Blatt said.

Then they get on one, take it for a spin, and come back with a huge smile on their face, Quirk said.

Camp­bell Read, who owns the eBike Stu­dio in Queen­stown, im­ports the Mous­tache brand of both ur­ban and moun­tain bike from France, and said his business is grow­ing rapidly.

Also op­er­at­ing the Charge About rental bike business, which opened along­side the ebike Stu­dio in Jan­uary this year, he wouldn’t share sales fig­ures but said another con­tainer was ar­riv­ing in Novem­ber.

Good Ro­ta­tions will also be an out­let for his bikes, which Matt de­scribed as ‘‘state of the art with Bosch mo­tors and stun­ning de­sign.’’

Good-e: Babu Blatt and Matt Quirk of Good Ro­ta­tions bike shop in Wanaka.

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