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Sharing the Stoke

The Beauty of E-Bikes With Boulder’s Full Cycle

Article by Lisa Van Horne

Photography by Phil McKenzie

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Let’s put it out there right from the top. In locales like Boulder that are brimming with fitness enthusiasts, there was once a pervasive stigma surrounding e-bikes—that they aren’t “real” bikes, that you don’t get a “real” workout when riding them or that they’re just for an older age group. Former professional triathlete Davide Giardini, 33, and the team at Full Cycle—one of Boulder’s best-known bike shops—are committed to breaking these misconceptions and unlocking the opportunities that e-bikes represent for cyclists of all ages, skill levels and styles.

“I raced professionally on the Ironman world circuit for many years and have been amongst the most competitive, hard-core and fit cyclists in town,” says Davide, marketing manager at Full Cycle and Colorado Multisport. “And I can tell you that my absolute favorite, most used and most enjoyable bike for zipping around town quickly is my Class 3 pedal-assist Giant e-bike, which has allowed me to live a car-free life in Boulder for the last three years.”

According to Davide, e-bikes are the greatest revolution in cycling in the last decade and are engineering wonders. Full Cycle sells and services Class 1 and Class 3 pedal-assist e-bikes, which boast a “smart” engine that provides an assist to pedal strokes based on a complex algorithm that considers the rider’s speed, cadence and force. The level of the mechanical assist is based on the chosen support mode, and this motorized boost blends seamlessly with the rider’s input to make pedaling feel smooth and natural.

The benefits of e-bikes are myriad. They allow cyclists to ride farther and longer as well as to ride as slow or as fast as they wish. There are various assist levels available, and riders have the power to decide the level of exercise they wish to pursue. They are a small-scale travel option that is highly beneficial when it comes to achieving local transportation and climate goals, and there are also inimitable factors of fun and speed that e-bikes provide.

“E-bikes don’t make you lazy, they just make you able to ride farther and faster with less effort,” says Russell Chandler, Full Cycle’s owner and general manager. “They even the playing field for older riders like me, allowing us to keep up with younger, more fit riders.” 

E-bikes are part of Full Cycle’s comprehensive suite of products and services that make it a one-stop-shop for cycling needs. From bike sales to rentals, fittings, group rides, coffee, and beer refreshments and more, it is a true local hub for all types of cyclists with a mission to—as Davide would say it—share their “cycling stoke” with the greater community.

“In Boulder, we have a cycling paradise right in our backyard,” says Davide. “It’s one of the best places in the world to ride your bike, regardless of how fit you might be or the type of bike you’re on!”

Finding Your E-Bike

With so many styles and models of e-bikes available, Davide notes that choosing the right e-bike comes down to knowing how you intend to use it. Here are his recommendations:

  • For rediscovering and enjoying Boulder’s city bike paths
    • Class 1 Electric Cruiser line
  • For cutting back on car usage or decreasing bike commuting time
    • Class 3 Electric Cruiser line
    • Class 1 Electric Assist Cargo bike
  • For expanding road cycling range in time and distance
    • Class 1 and Class 3 Electric Road models
  • For getting off the beaten path and exploring new, more challenging terrain
    • Class 1 Electric All-Trail or E-MTB models

E-Bike Classifications

Class 1: Pedal assist only, up to 20 mph

Class 2: Pedal and throttle assist, up to 20 mph

Class 3: Pedal assist only, up to 28 mph

Note: Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are legal to ride on most city and county multi-use paths, with the exception of Boulder County’s single-track mountain bike trails.

Heading Out for a Ride

Ready to start your e-bike adventure? The Full Cycle team has e-bikes available for rent at their new store at 2355 30th Street in Boulder, and they are happy to provide recommendations or even guided tours.

  • Local Trails
    • The LoBo and Niwot Trail System
    • The Coal Creek and Rock Creek Trail System
    • Boulder Reservoir (e-bikes are not allowed on reservoir dams)
    • Lagerman Preserve
  • Bike Paths, Roads and Mountain Routes:
    • The “Around Town” Bike Path Tour
      • The best way to explore Boulder on two wheels
    • The Boulder Roubaix Gravel Tour
      • Non-paved fire roads with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and Longs Peak
    • Sunshine Climb to Gold Hill
      • The ultimate climb from town with a steep grade and historic destination
    • Flagstaff Sunrise Climb
      • An iconic climb with the opportunity to see a beautiful Boulder sunrise
    • Peak to Peak Road Loop
      • A beautiful endurance ride above Boulder in the midst of the Rocky Mountains
    • Switzerland Trail Off-Road Adventure
      • A transporting, historic off-road ride along defunct railway lines

Note: When riding an e-bike around Boulder County, be sure to comply with all local regulations and be mindful of cycling best practices.

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