Our website visitors can receive an exclusive offer of a whopping £100 of equipment with every E-Bike bought from The Electric Bike Shop.
This month we are profiling Karl Haden, CEO of the Electric Bike Company. Find out why he has a passion for electric bikes and why he believes they are not a ‘cheat’ when it comes to getting fitter.
Q: What inspired you to set up the Electric Bike Company?
I was so impressed with the technology and could see that this would change the face of commuting as it became more affordable. And with cycling gaining in popularity, more people wanted to join in – but not everyone is fit enough for conventional cycling. E-bikes are perfect for customers who have had an injury but really want to get out there – it helps them follow on from their physio at the right level for them without impacting too heavily on their joints. And if people just want to lose weight, moderate exercise is the biggest fat burner. I’m passionate about this because I’ve seen the difference it makes to customers who come in very timid and I put them on a turbo trainer on an electric bike and then we’ll take them out and within literally a minute of them being on it, they get to grips with it and they love it. It opens up a whole new world to them.
Q: What is driving the huge increase in popularity of electric bikes, do you think?
I think it’s a combination of people becoming more environmentally aware, plus getting fed-up with traffic jams, to be honest. And the much cheaper cost of running an electric bike over a car makes a difference too. More and more people are using them for commuting because you can tackle longer rides and bigger hills without turning up at work, hot and sweaty. If, when you wake up in the morning you think ‘I would love to go riding but I’m worried about the hills’ then it’s time to consider an electric bike. And even pros are buying them to keep fit or to have fun e-mountain-biking.
Q: What would you say to someone who thinks that an electric bike is just cheating?
There are loads of scientific studies showing a huge health impact from e-biking. Why? Because it encourages more people to get out on a bike, it encourages people to do longer trips than they might do on conventional bikes and it still requires you to do some work!
You can work as hard or as little as you want on an electric bike. You just have to adjust the power. If you’re commuting and you want to give yourself a good workout on your way home rather than go to the gym, you can just turn the power right down.
Q: What do you do to keep fit and healthy?
I have two crazy dogs who love long walks in the country. It keeps me active and also helps me de-stress from the demands of a growing business. And, of course, I have an e-bike which I use whenever I can.
Q: How is your business doing its bit for the environment?
Cycling is clearly better for the environment than cars – and by encouraging more people to cycle by the use of e-bikes we can reduce traffic crowding in our towns and cities and reduce emissions as bikes produce about a tenth of CO2 emissions per km as cars. E-bikes are a great alternative to cars for short commutes. In fact, if we were to raise urban commuting by bike or e-bike from about 7% today to approximately 22% by 2050 we would reduce emissions 47%! I am also exploring how we can recycle batteries more effectively.
The Electric Bike Shop is proud to partner with Vavista – an insurance company that focuses as much on your health and wellbeing as it does on providing top-rate insurance.
Just ring our experts or call into one of our shops to discuss your electric bike needs and quote ‘Vavista’ to benefit from our special offer of £100 of equipment with every electric bike purchase.