2 Wheelin in Tucson

Jan 5, 2012 9:49 AM

2 Wheelin' in Tucson: pedalling with power

TUCSON - John-Mark Bantock and Taylor Hedberg are the owners of a new electric bike company called Velocis.

"This is a way you can get out there, you can have an adult bike and you can have a lot of fun on it. You can take it on trails, you can go farther distances and you can customize it. It can be a high speed road bike, you can do a nice carbon fiber frame or you can just get a nice commuter bike," Hedberg said.

The idea for the company came from a school project at the U of A. Students in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management were asked to come up with a business plan to help solve an issue they observed. For Bantock and Hedberg, commuter congestion around Campus was the issue they wanted to fix.

Their initial plan was to create an electric bike sharing program, however they couldn't find any well made electric bikes. At that point they changed their focus and decided to design an actual bike instead.

"A lot of people are kind of skeptical but once someone tries it they love it because it's a lot of fun."

The bikes can be ridden just like a regular bike, or powered by a motor on the back wheel and a battery affixed to the frame. They can go up to 20 miles per hour and the battery regenerates itself when you slow down.

Additionally, their variable assistance tool can help you make it up those hard to ride hills.

"The motor will sense how hard you're pedaling and match that. Essentially turning you into Lance Armstrong," John-Mark Bantock said.

However, if there are days when you want to get somewhere fast without breaking a sweat, you can do that too.

"If you want to go out and have a leisurely cruise to the park you can press the red button and it will cruise like a scooter," Bantock continued.

The bikes also come equipped with an alarm system which beeps and stops the bike from moving over 4 miles per hour, if the correct code is not entered.

If you'd like more information on the bikes, the converter kits, or the rental program Velocis has, check out www.rethinkyourbike.com.

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