Sales take off like an e-rocket
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.