Glenwood Springs gets an e-bike store
For the past two months, Glenwood Springs has had a dedicated store for electric-assisted bikes, and owner Dave Iverson says it’s going great.
Colorado eBike of Glenwood Springs, on Grand Avenue across the street from the Phillips 66 gas station, officially opened March 15.
E-bikes are not fully electric powered; they still need to be pedaled. But, for those who want to go farther with less effort, or who have physical limitations but want to get out and exercise, e-bikes offer a useful assist.
Iverson, who is 60, says many of his customers are his age and older, and just want a little boost.
“They still love to be on their bikes, but they want a little help. It’s that simple,” Iverson said.
E-bikes also offer benefit to others — those with injuries, amputees, or otherwise — who want the extra assurance, according to Iverson.
“You can ride e-bikes like a bike, a heavy bike, and get all the exercise you want. But, when you run out of gas, the bike will take you home,” Iverson said.
Iverson worked for RFTA for 32 years, until he parted ways with the company in September 2018. His best friend, Scott Manuppella, owner of Colorado E-Bikes in Grand Junction, was quick to suggest a new career path.
“He said, well, I guess it’s time for you to open up an electric bike store in Glenwood,” Iverson said.
And that was that.
Iverson has been enjoying e-bikes for six years, but didn’t have mechanical background, so he studied five weeks with the Barnett Bicycle Institute, and set to work getting a store ready.
“I’ve always liked working with my hands, and I didn’t have that with my last job (at RFTA). Now I do, and I’m digging it,” Iverson said. He also repairs standard bikes at his store.
E-bikes come in three classes. Class 1 is just pedal assistance, on several different levels. Class 2 adds a thumb throttle that can power the bike completely up to about 20 miles per hour, but not for very long, leaving the rider to still have to pedal up hill if the motor loses its charge.
Class three also has the pedal assist and thumb throttle, but can go up to 26 mph on its own thrust.
The most popular bikes Iverson sells are made by Rambo — fat tire, class 2 or 3 bikes built for off road in practically any condition. Iverson himself uses that type of e-bike on bow-hunting trips.
Eventually, Iverson wants to rent out e-bikes as well, particularly the electric fat bikes. With the fat tire, there is extra suspension, and the electric assist makes the bikes more stable, Iverson said.
Some of the serious mountain bikers and cyclists look down on the e-bikes, but Iverson says “to each his own.”
“It’s exactly like it was with skiing and snowboarding. Everybody looked down on the snowboarders, and now, it’s like, ‘Let’s all live together,’” Iverson said.
E-bikes haven’t been welcome everywhere. In cities and on trails, people have complained that e-bikers go too fast, or cause pedestrians and others to be unsafe.
E-bikes are restricted on some area trails, and RFTA has been weighing whether or not to allow them on certain sections of the Rio Grande Trail.
But Iverson dismisses the safety concerns as being a rider’s, not the e-bike’s fault.
“It’s all up to the individual rider. If you’re a jerk on a regular bike, you’ll be a jerk on an e-bike,” Iverson said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
We’re encouraging everyone to support our local small businesses by shopping and dining safely this fall and winter at our local boutiques and restaurants. By supporting local businesses, you’re helping our economy to grow and…