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Las Cruces Bulletin
Roberto Trigo, a Las Cruces dentist, finds joy in being able to pass by the long line of cars stuck at the stoplight on his bicycle – especially in construction-ridden areas. He also enjoys the ease of pedaling his bike, reaching a speed of 22 miles per hour, without breaking a sweat.
He can do this because he has an e-bike, a bicycle that can be run on electric power (allowing the rider varying levels of assistance), as well as by pedaling with no assistance.
“You have to try one to understand how it feels and how much more enjoyable getting around town can be because you have the assistance of the electric motor,” Trigo said. “It feels like you get a lot more use out of the bicycle - you’re more likely to get on it and go than a regular bike for everyday things.”
Trigo said he uses his e-bike to run errands and to commute to work daily, something he only did on occasion with a regular bicycle. He rides an EG Oahu electric cruiser bike, which he bought in November 2018 from E-Bikes of Southern New Mexico in Las Cruces, just one month after buying a smaller, foldable e-bike from the same business. He was hooked.
E-Bikes of Southern New Mexico is owned by Jim and Barbara Toth, who opened for business in January 2018. The couple sells a variety of e-bikes, geared toward all types of cyclists, out of their home garage. Customers can make an appointment to stop by and try out several models; all they have to do is sign a waiver and wear a helmet.
Jim Toth, an avid cyclist since 1974, said last year they sold 16 e-bikes, which he thinks is good start. The couple hopes to sell more this year.
“If our business takes off, we’d like to move to a brick and mortar store,” he said. “But at the same time, we’re fine with our garage.”
Toth said thus far, all their customers have been pleased with their e-bike purchases.
“Our youngest customer is 22 and our oldest customer is 81 years old,” Toth said. “We do keep in contact with our customers and haven’t found anyone who isn’t satisfied with their bike.”
Toth explained there are three classes of e-bikes:
• Class 1: A bicycle with a motor that provides assistance up to 20 miles per hour while you pedal.
• Class 2: A bicycle with a motor that provides assistance up to 20 miles per hour while you pedal, but also has a throttle mode that can be used to propel the bicycle.
• Class 3: A bicycle with a motor that provides assistance up to 28 miles per hour while you pedal.
“Those three classes are the only ones legal in the U.S.,” Toth said. “The way Las Cruces and the state of New Mexico handles things is it’s treated just like a bicycle, so you can ride it anywhere you would a regular bicycle.”
In addition to the different classes, customers can choose among different models, with the motor attached to the front wheel hub, in the middle, at the crank or on the rear wheel hub.
The size of the motors and batteries attached to the bike also vary.
E-bikes sold by the Toths range from about $1,000 to $3,500. Sales are also offered on occasion. The couple said some e-bikes sold in the U.S. can cost as much as $10,000, but that they try to keep prices as affordable as possible.
Along with making a daily commute easier, Barbara Toth said e-bikes are great equalizers.
“People who like to ride with people they think they can’t keep up with are able to join those rides with people they couldn’t initially and are able to ride faster and farther than they could,” she said.
Being able to manage the degree of assistance you get from an e-bike also makes them ideal for people who have health concerns, Barbara Toth said.
In addition to selling e-bikes, the Toths provide e-bike repairs and offer the service of turning a regular bike into an e-bike.
For information about E-Bikes of Southern New Mexico, call 575-635-9961 or visit www.facebook.com/EBikesofSouthernNewMexico.
Alexia Severson may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO:
E-Bikes of Southern New Mexico Coffee Chats: Come by and see an E-Bike, ask questions and enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee.
• Saturday, April 27: 9 a.m. -1 p.m.: Mom's Coffee, 101 E. University Ave.
• Saturday, May 11: 9 a.m. -1 p.m. at Picacho Coffee Roasters, 200 Conway Ave.