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Electric bikes used to have a specific market - people who needed assistance in order to ride. But the market is quickly changing to everyone. Photo Credit: Specialized Bicycles.

What is an electric bike?

As electric motor technology progresses, so does the diversity of how it can be applied in two-wheeled machines. The “electric bike” umbrella encompasses a vast array of battery-powered cycles, but they are certainly not all created equal.

The term e-bike in the cycling world refers to pedal-assist bikes. This type of bike requires you to at least do some of the work. As you pedal, the motor will engage and add power to the rear wheel. The bike can achieve this in a few different ways that I’ll discuss shortly, but more sophisticated systems will actually work in harmony with the rider, basing the amount of power the motor puts out on how hard the rider is pushing the pedals. The way I like to think about a pedal-assist electric bike is that it’s just like I’m riding a regular bicycle, but with the fantastic illusion that I’ve magically gained the superhuman fitness of a Tour De France rider overnight. This feeling can be shared by anyone, including Grandma Joan.

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Marisa (back, pink) mountain bikes at Perry Hill in Waterbury, VT. Photo credit: Zach Walbridge.

The debate surrounding women’s specific bicycle frames has been ongoing for several years. Women’s specific bikes have been around since the early 2000s, but some of the major brands have started phasing out the practice of designing bikes specifically for men or women.

Specialized in particular is aiming to gender-neutralize their bikes. New for 2019 / 2020, we are seeing several women’s models being dropped and replaced by the more neutral frame design. Specifically, the Specialized Ruze (a 27.5 plus tire hardtail mountain bike) and the Specialized Ruby (an endurance road bike) will no longer be manufactured. This follows the gender-neutralization of the Specialized Diverge, Stumpjumper, Tarmac, and Sirrus in the past couple years. So why, after fighting so hard for women’s bikes, are these manufacturers deciding to do away with women’s specific frames?

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Electric Bike Me Out to the Ballgame Using Skirack's Electric Bike Lending Program

Last month in July, I had the pleasure of trying Skirack's new electric bike lending program. The program is set up for Vermont residents only where you incorporate an e-bike into your life for 3 days and to see if it is right for you. The Skirack electric bike lending program was super easy to use! I just called the store and a helpful employee set up a reservation for me.

On the day of my reservation, the e-bike was charged up and waiting for me at Skirack's bike shop! The bike (the Specialized Turbo Vado) comes with everything one would need to ride away with including: a lock, helmet, spare tube, battery charger, and panniers. I just had to fill out a waiver and drop the $100 deposit (refunded after successful return), and off I went!

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A First Hand Look at Skirack's Electric Bike Lending Program

After trying an electric bike (e-bike) demo for under a minute at the Lake Monsters Bike Me Out to the Ballgame, I knew I would have to give the 3 day demo a shot. I have a 15 mile round trip commute each day and also do lots of local commutes around Burlington. I wanted to test the e-bike on the numerous steep hills and areas where bikes don't have great options.

The reservation process was easy. I simply called Skirack and gave them my info and setup the days to demo. When I arrived I signed some simple paperwork, put down a refundable $100 deposit, got a quick tutorial on the e-bike and was on my way. The bike (which is a Specialized Turbo Vado) comes with pannier bags, repair kit, helmet and locks - you don't need to supply any equipment. It also has built in front and rear lights as well as a mirror. The bike is a little heavy and hard to maneuver through a tight doorway but you don't notice the weight when riding (the Specialized Turbo Vado comes with a “walk mode” to make it easier to push the bike).

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Comments | Posted in Product Features and Reviews Bicycling By Jason Stuffle

Jake from the Skirack Bike Department introduces the Specialized Tracer Pro Tire, available in two sizes: 700x33 and 700x38. Find out why you should check out this tire and the differences between the two.

Click here to shop online for Tracer Pro Tires today! 

Now until May 31, 2018: Buy a Specialized Bike Tire and Get the next one at 50% OFF!

Shop at Skirack or online for ALL Specialized Tires today!

*Offer applies to tires $40 and up. Second tire must be of equal or lesser value. Limit four tires per customer.

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Specialized Tire Sale

Now through May 31, 2018, buy a Specialized tire and get the next one at 50% OFF*

*Offer applies to tires $40 and up. Second tire must be of equal or lesser value. Limit four tires per customer.

Shop at Skirack in store or online today!

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Comments | Posted in News Events Bicycling By Skirack

Skirack is Now Offering a $200 Rebate on E-Bikes for Burlington Electric Customers

Through Burlington Electric, customers can obtain a $200 rebate on e-bikes directly from Skirack. We have outlined how you can take advantage of this sweet deal!

How do I receive an e-bike rebate?

To receive a $200 rebate on an e-bike, you must be a current Burlington Electric customer (in other words, you must be a current Burlington resident). The rebate may be redeemed at a participating retail shop in Burlington.

Simply bring your ID and proof of residency - like a Burlington Electric Department bill - or a letter addressed to your Burlington home with your name on it into the shop at the time of purchase. $200 will be taken off your purchase right there at the time of purchase!

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