On a recent trip to SLO, I made my customary stop
at my favorite local bike shop, Wally’s Bicycle Works, to see
how the locals were doing. During my conversation with
Wally, he mentioned that besides the hardcore and weekend-warrior type of roadie customer, one of the fastest-growing
segments that his shop had been catering to were people
looking to rent (and buy) recumbent trikes within his fleet of
standard bikes. However, more recently, a growing number
of customers had begun asking if he offered electric-assist
trikes. At the time, Wally was unsure if such a category of
bike even existed.
After doing some research and coming up empty, Wally
decided to develop his own version of an e-trike. He started
out offering the unassisted recumbent Catrike, which has a
starting retail price of $2300. After installing a BionX electric-assist unit, it adds approximately $2300 more to the base
price. Both versions are also available to rent by the hour or
by day. Wally was surprised to find that many of his regular
customers showed an immediate interest in the concept.
Although many of these customers professed to be former
racers and hardcore riders, age had crept up on them, and
with it an apparent interest in trying their hand at sit-down
According to Wally, this new breed of customer was
already enamored with the concept of driving electric cars,
and the electric trike effectively provided the ideal solution to
two key hurdles they faced in life—namely how to deal with
getting older while being able to maintain an outdoor exercise
routine. There were also some riders new to cycling with
certain physical ailments (bad knees and hip replacements)
which the trike spoke to. One customer had developed
vertigo, which prevented him from riding a standard bike due
to loss of balance.
Another popular reason for someone to look at an e-trike
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a hardcore cyclist, Wally’s
offers a wide variety of bikes and trikes to purchase or rent.