From mountain biking to commuting, there’s a two-wheeler for you
“Riding a bike itself is already as much fun as anyone can enjoy. Electric bikes go one step further and enable people of all ages and abilities the chance to experience this fun—it’s biking for everybody.” — Chandlee Caldwell
Co-owners and brothers Chandlee and Garnett Caldwell aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. The concept of an electric bike is nothing new. And neither is Electric Bike Specialists, now in its sixth year of business at its downtown location on East Main Street. What the boys do bring to the table, however, is fun. And this is something they offer in spades.
“It’s not what I expected!” Chandlee notes that’s a common reaction of customers who come in to test-ride the bikes. “People expect the help of the motor to take away both the excitement and exercise out of cycling, but nothing could be further from the truth,” he says. “The electric motors utilize a reward-based system; you “get what you give.”
Chandlee explains the motor uses a sensor that measures torque, which then provides help proportional to the power. It’s sophisticated technology that helps riders climb hills, maintain speed, and cycle for much greater distances.
The motor itself can reach speeds up to 20 mph; slow enough to warrant the driver not needing a license, but making daily commutes manageable. A throttle can be installed on the bike’s handlebars to provide an instant kick.
Battery life is typically anywhere between 20 and 50 miles, depending on the rider’s route (and courage). The bikes also come in all shapes and sizes. Popular brands such as Specialized, Easy Motion, and Motiv all ensure the highest ride quality and that cyclists are spoilt for choice.
Off-road enthusiasts and downhill bombers can pick from a number of fat-tired aggressively styled mountain bikes. Families looking to make cycling a team sport can enjoy the Juiced Rider, which features a heavy-duty front basket and is child-seat compatible.
City dwellers and commuters, though, may enjoy the accessibility of the e-Joe Epik Folder bike. This offers a greener alternative to other urban-transport systems and runs on a modest 350-watt engine. It can also be neatly folded into the trunk of a car whenever your legs need a rest. All-day rentals are also available for anybody looking for an excuse to cruise around the Scenic City or test their skills on mountain trails.
Electric Bike Specialists is a business that knows exactly what is important to them: riding bikes and family. Even the family dog, Archie, can be found in the store enjoying the foot traffic and lounging next to the displays.
But for the owners, family is not limited to mere blood relations. Garnett and Chandlee spoke about being a part of something bigger, something that they feel can change Chattanooga—a biking community.
This community, they insist, is founded on principles that promote safer and more environmentally friendly modes of transportation. They hope to keep growing this community and customer-by-customer, family-member-by-family member, get the city to trade four wheels for two.
Electric Bike Specialists
45 E. Main St. #104
Chattanooga, TN 37408
Wed-Sun: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.