Opening an e-bike shop in Lexington
Lexington has long had a strong cycling community. With its location along the Minuteman Bike Trail and an environmentally conscious population, the town is poised to develop even further as a cycling hub. Now bikers in the city and beyond have a new way to get around the streets.
Pedego, a national brand of e-bike stores, has opened a location in Lexington. It is located at 8 Camellia Place, behind the new fire station and next to the Minuteman bike path. This is the former location of Hit & Run, a card store that went bankrupt earlier this year.
California-based Pedego has more than 200 local stores. The owners also operate stores in Yarmouth and Bourne, manager Edward O’Neil said. A location previously existed in Belmont, so a location in Lexington made sense due to the existing customer base in the area, he said.
“We’re building a bike culture…in many ways I feel like America is lagging behind other places in the world in terms of bike culture. We’re catching up now, and I think Pedego is one of them,” O’Neil said.
But what exactly is a Pedego bike and how is it different? They use a feature called pedal assist, which allows riders to go faster using power from a battery. These batteries are installed in the back of bikes and can last on a charge for 30 to 60 miles, O’Neil said. The bikes are also equipped with a throttle to give the rider an instant boost in speed. The batteries are removable and can be charged in any normal wall outlet in two to five hours. The bike can also be used without the battery.
“The thing to keep in mind with pedal assist is that you keep pedaling, so you get just as much exercise. The difference is you go faster,” O’Neil said.
Batteries for Pedego bikes cost around $1,100, according to O’Neil. Bike frames must be purchased separately and prices may vary. The starting frame price is $1,895, a mid-level frame will cost $3,295, and a high-end specialty frame can cost up to $5,595, he said.
These bikes are especially good for people with mobility issues, O’Neil said. He and other Pedego representatives seek to work with communities 55 and older to connect those residents to these bikes. Some Pedego models have a low step-over designed for people who find it difficult to lift their legs above the frame of a normal bicycle.
Other specialty Pedego products include mountain bikes and one specifically designed for law enforcement, O’Neil said.
Commuters are a big priority for O’Neil and the Lexington store. O’Neil added that he particularly wanted to reach young commuters, who might be wondering whether or not they should buy a car.
O’Neil, from Lexington, said he recently converted to e-bikes. Initially, he said he got into cycling because of city life. While I was living in Boston, biking made more sense than car travel. It was easier, cheaper and better exercise, he said.
But after the pandemic caused him to change priorities and look for a new job, he found a new love for e-bikes.
“I was a pedal bike purist before discovering Pedego, I was skeptical. Now that I’ve cycled on an e-bike, I’ll probably never go back,” he said.
The new location for this Pedego store is ideal, said O’Neil. The large secure car park allows customers to take their bikes out for a test ride. Bikes can also be rented and people can take them out on the bike path that runs right by the store.
The Minuteman Bikeway is one of the best rail trails in the country, O’Neil said. On a larger scale, leaders in Boston and surrounding suburbs are making a conscious effort to become more bike-friendly, he added. Surrounding towns like Concord, Winchester and Waltham all have strong cycling communities.
“Another thing that’s amazing about the cycling culture here is that it’s multi-generational. I know two retirees who basically run bike shops out of their garages. They already know how to fix bikes, we want to train them to know how to fix Pedegos,” O’Neil said. “We want to develop this knowledge.”