E-bikes all the rage at Sea Otter Classic

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E-bikes all the rage at Sea Otter Classic

Once the disdain of bicycling purists, e-bikes have arrived at full speed in a sport of nearly always fluctuating trends.To get more news about electric mountain bike, you can visit magicyclebike.com official website.

Add a pandemic, supply chain woes and expensive gas into the mix and the segment of cycling in which riders get assistance from a motor is in a boom phase.To get more news about electric bike, you can visit magicyclebike.com official website.

More than 130 athletes, a 30 percent increase from last year, have registered for Friday afternoon’s men’s and women’s open and age-graded e-mountain bike race at the Sea Otter Classic, a four-day festival of cycling that started Thursday at Laguna Seca Recreation Area.To get more news about Fat Tire Electric Bikes, you can visit magicyclebike.com official website.

Cyclists will complete a 2-mile circuit and compete for between 60-80 minutes depending upon division. The route will include Laguna Seca and Fort Ord National Monument trails. The men’s and women’s open divisions will include $500, $400 and $300 in prize money for the top three finishers.

“Everyone wants an e-bike now,” said Chris Kernaghan, marketing director of Bulls Bikes in Lynwood, a vendor and e-bike supplier for riders competing this week at the Sea Otter Classic. “Originally, I think it was seen as ‘I’m getting old, I can’t do as much so I will get an e-bike.’

“But now it’s expanding across the board. We don’t carry any of them right now, but the bigger, longer travel bikes younger people are getting on, they’re going crazy on them. Age doesn’t matter. People who love bike parks can now pedal up the top rather than taking a chairlift.”

Electric bikes riders use varying levels of motor assistance while pedaling. Riding an electric bicycle still often requires pedaling but it can be less taxing.Depending upon the design and cost, some e-bike designs allow the bike to move forward under its own power from the motor while others require rider assistance. There’s one certainty: e-bikes aren’t motorcycles.

“It’s a conversation starter,” said Kernaghan of e-bikes’ increasing popularity as gas prices have skyrocketed. “I don’t know how long it will last; Americans are just attached to their cars.I think there’s something to be said for people who have gotten on their e-bikes through COVID and they’re able to use them and they’re more comfortable commuting and leaving the car at home, for sure.”
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Like many other industries, e-bikes availability and sales have suffered in some ways. Shipping costs from manufacturers to retailers have increased five-fold. An enthusiast purchasing a new bike may have to wait more than a year for certain components to build a bike.

Sam Benedict, general manager of U.S. mountain biking for Specialized Bicycle Components in Morgan Hill, knows cycling’s increasing participation as well as anyone in the industry.

“It’s great to know how many people are still looking for the (right) bike,” said Benedict, a former professional downhill rider who competed Thursday morning in a circuit race on the raceway. “That’s what’s been really cool about bikes. It’s very welcoming to people, particularly for people who may have been intimidated at first. But now there are so many riders. The idea that bikes were for people who had a little bit more experience in life is gone.”

Depending upon the product lineup and riding modes, e-bike charges may last several hours.“It’s just a good time,” said Benedict. E-bikes “give you the power to see more trails, more roads, get out there with your friends. It’s now kind of taking the intimidation out of it. It gives people a license to give it a shot.”

Like traditional road and mountain bikes, e-bikes range from less complicated, entry-level options to the machines used by the pros now competing domestically and internationally. Prices range from about $3,000 to $15,000 for a custom-made, full-suspension model.

“When the pandemic started, that’s when we saw just a major shift,” said Benedict. “There were terrible things happening around the world, but a lot of positivity from people wanting to ride and spend time with the people they could spend time with on any bike

“But as the pandemic has improved in some ways, e-bikes, especially electric mountain bikes … those have just increased in the U.S. It was really a big deal in Europe to start, but now in the U.S. we are seeing people more comfortable on them.”

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