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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    New electric bike shop opens

    Look out cyclists and drivers! Bikes Electric opens today on North University Boulevard.

    With thoughts of reducing pollution and traffic, Daniel Mannheim, owner and founder of Bikes Electric, is enthusiastic to include electric bikes in the panorama of transportation, he said.

    “”Gas is thrown-out money,”” Mannheim said. “”It’s simple math. Students could buy one and have a bike that will serve as a mode of free transportation for years.””

    Prices range from $800 to $2,400, so Mannheim said he is offering financing for students by renting or leasing monthly.

    Alan Cordero, a cyclist and a nutrition senior, is concerned that the cost of the electric bikes may be too much for the average UA student, he said.

    “”I think it’s a great idea, and I think it’s good that that they aren’t gas powered,”” Cordero said. “”They are pretty expensive though, and I’ve already had one bike stolen from me.””

    There were more than 200 reports of campus theft last school year, many of them in relation to bicycles, according to the University of Arizona Police Department.

    “”I would never want to have something that expensive just sitting around at the U of A, because if it got stolen, I’d be out a lot of money,”” Cordero said.

    Initially, electric bikes were road bikes converted through the addition of an electric motor. Mannheim said his bikes are manufactured for electric use through British company Ultra Motor.

    The electric-bike motors are made in Germany, the batteries in Japan, and they are assembled in Taiwan, Mannheim said.

    Not much larger than a road bike, electric bicycles travel up to 20 miles per hour and between 40 and 50 miles per charge. The motor and battery are located on the frame. After dying, the batteries require anywhere between 2.5 to five hours of charge time. Bikes can be plugged into any 110-volt outlet.

    “”I am in favor of whatever helps make the traffic situation better,”” said Scott Hilkemeyer, a music business senior. “”There’s way too many cars, and if people want to ride electric bikes, I think that’s great.””

    Some students are concerned with safety. Riding an electric bike does not require a license, registration or insurance and must be ridden in bike lanes.

    “”I think it would be dangerous to have people riding 20 miles an hour down the bike lanes,”” said Casey Sapio, a journalism junior. “”It just seems like that’s asking for injuries.””

    Mannheim, who was formerly the owner of Renewable Energy Sources, converted to Bikes Electric, and hopes to expand electric-bike use by setting up electric-bike charging stations, he said.

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