A new business is town is boasting electronic bikes, a craze the owner says has already caught on around the world.
Local TV commercial star and business owner Len Mattioli just opened his store this past weekend. His new product is far different from furniture, which is what he used to sell in Madison. However, as a biker himself, Mattioli is ready for the new challenge.
Mattioli expects the baby boomer age group to take advantage of the power-assisted bicycles. A rechargeable lithium battery powers a small engine on the wheel. When the rider needs help getting through some tough terrain, the engine can double the pedal power of the bike and give the boost needed to continue the ride more comfortably.
Mattioli is excited to see the trend catch on as a mode of transportation, not just a means of recreation.
"We've always been a 'I want my car' nation," said Mattioli. "But it's becoming more difficult all of the time."
Mattioli pointed out other bike shops have similar products, but they are only popular in Europe and Asia so far.
Mattioli added the battery can last a rider upwards of 40-plus miles before needing to be recharged, depending on that person’s weight and how far their trip stretches. A power-assisted bike at his shop runs $900 on average.
Michael Bryant came to Len’s Electric Bikes to test ride some of the models. He is looking for a healthy and efficient way to navigate his hilly route to work.
"I could make the commute, get the exercise, get the fresh air, still get the time to think, and enjoy this beautiful city," Bryant said. "And still show up at work presentable."
For more information on the store, go here.