April 19, 2024
Kevin Cox of the Electra Bicycle Firm in Encinitas. Picture by Luis Montegueado Jr.

In a constructing close to the seaside, an Encinitas firm is promoting the Southern California life-style. On wheels.

Based in 1993, Electra Bicycle Firm has turn into a home-grown success story within the electrical bike business, promoting bikes for adults and youngsters that riders can pedal at their very own pace or, with a push of a button, with a motorized help to go quicker and additional.

For firm leaders, it’s extra than simply bikes that they promote.

“We’re an out of doors, SoCal sunny climate seaside model that through the years has sort of morphed ourselves into extra of a life-style e-bike model, however that life-style is deeply steeped in Southern California,” stated firm president Kevin Cox.

Electra was began in Leucadia by two German entrepreneurs who needed to reinvent seaside cruiser bikes to make them extra enjoyable and fashionable. Its first bike, the Townie, grew to become Electra’s most iconic bike and stays extremely well-liked in the present day.

The bike was designed to let riders sit extra upright and really feel extra comfy. The corporate additionally sells a Cruiser assortment of bikes, the Loft assortment that’s designed to be a grittier, extra sturdy bike that may deal with metropolis streets and youngsters’s bikes.

Its latest e-bike is the Ponto Go! that’s named after North Ponto Seaside in Carlsbad. Described by the corporate as tremendous enjoyable and versatile, the Class 3 bike can use a throttle and pedal energy to go as much as 26 mph. The bike has flip indicators and brake lights and might seat two individuals.

Like many firms, Electra was initially harm by the worldwide pandemic that pressured shutdowns. However, as individuals looked for secure actions they might do outdoors their houses, bike and e-bike gross sales took off in 2021 and 2022. Cox wouldn’t disclose actual gross sales figures however stated the corporate has bought tons of of hundreds of bikes.

The e-bike business has surged in america. A latest Enterprise Insider report estimated that electrical bike gross sales have quadrupled since 2019 and the business is approaching $1 billion in annual gross sales nationwide.

Cox stated the corporate is acutely aware of a necessity to ensure its bikes could be inexpensive for individuals. Initially, its bikes bought within the worth vary of $2,500-$4,000. Because of new expertise, a few of its e-bikes now can go for underneath $1,500 and most are underneath $2,000.

As the recognition of e-bikes grows, native cities have sought to reinforce bike security by adopting ordinances that enable for extra enforcement of e-bikes and bicycles on native roads.

Cox stated rider security is vital to the corporate. It gives bike security info on its web site and in its consumer manuals, holds security courses for bike trainers to show youngsters and, long run, wish to work with state officers so as to add bike security info to California driver’s handbooks.

“We’ve at all times been security first,” stated Cox. “It’s one thing that we imagine in as a result of we all know that one in every of our core missions is absolutely getting extra individuals out using bikes extra usually and the extra individuals you placed on bikes, the upper the dangers could be. We’re at all times driving to make bike using as secure as potential.”

Electra, which is owned by the large bicycle producer Trek, employs about 25 individuals in Encinitas and has one other 6-8 workers in Wisconsin, the place Trek is headquartered.

The San Diego workplace of Electra is positioned lower than two blocks from Moonlight Seaside in Encinitas, offering a handy testing floor for its bikes. San Diego’s climate and its bike-friendly tradition and bike paths present year-round inspiration for Electra’s employees to assist them create the bikes they make.

“We wouldn’t be who we have been had we not been based and grown up in San Diego,” stated Robin Gordon, the corporate’s Director of Gross sales and Advertising and marketing. “Southern California is nearly a model in and of itself.”