Electric bikes are the way to go


From British Columbia to China, electric bikes (e-bikes) are all the rage. An increasingly popular form of “green transport”, the industry has seen a global sales increase of nearly 50 per cent in the past two years. In China alone, 20 million units were sold in 2006.

And if you’ve ever tried an e-bike, you’ll understand why. E-bikes are fun. They’re safe, and they’re surprisingly good exercise. But they’re also environmentally friendly, which is not only good for the planet but also your pocketbook.

E-bikes – which are driven by battery-powered electric motors – are a far cry from the clunky creatures that appeared after the energy crisis in the 1970s. Modern e-bikes are things of beauty with their sleek design, comfort features and portable battery packs.

And once people discover e-bikes, they are seemingly hooked.

“Over 50 per cent of people who try e-bikes eventually end up buying one,” says Alastair Russell, CEO of the Airstream Group, a Canadian company that specializes in the distribution of a wide range of Personal Electric Transporters (PET).

While e-bikes have long been legal in BC and other provinces, they only became legalized in Ontario in the fall of 2006. New regulations for Ontario maintain that a person must be a minimum age of 16 for use on roads and wear a bicycle helmet. There is no operating license, insurance or registration required.

Health benefits
• While a conventional bike may provide more exercise, people tend to use electric bikes more frequently with less stress.
• For people with mobility restriction (i.e. hip or knee replacement), an electric bike offers an opportunity to exercise they would not normally have.
• Older cyclists can still stay in shape with less strain.

No more pain at the pump
• With oil prices on the rise, fuel-efficiency is a big concern. Think what it costs to fill up your car – and then consider what it costs in electricity to keep your e-bike charged: less than 50 cents per day.
• Additional savings: no insurance requirement, driver’s license or plate registration. E-bikes are typically covered in your home insurance policy.

Cycle to work or shops
• Convenience: E-bikes have experienced a surge in popularity among gated communities and planned retirement communities. New accessories can make shopping and errands easy.
• Savings: In many cases, an e-bike can replace need for a car – or if you’re a two-car family at least one of them.
• Beat the heat: If you’re on a leisure ride, sweat may not matter, but if you’re cycling to work, e-bikes allow you to arrive fresh and ready to go.
• It’s easy: batteries can be recharged quickly on or off the e-bike.

• Love the feeling of freedom a conventional bicycle gives? Coasting down a hill with the feel of the wind in your hair? Then you’ll love e-bikes: the same exuberant feeling, but without the difficulty or barriers of hills and headwinds.
• E-bikes open up new recreational opportunities not only at home, but when you travel.

Green, clean & quiet
• “Greener transport” means less pollution linked to global warming.


Boomer-friendly products
Airstream Group offers a wide range of products to meet different needs and lifestyles. Two particularly boomer friendly e-bikes:
Merida Shopping Cruiser, popular with women.
Powabyke Euro-6 speed Cruiser, popular with men.

Special discount for 50plus.com readers
Airstream Group is offering 50Plus.com readers a special summer discount of $200 off their suggested retail price for the above products. For more information, go to: http://www.airstreamgroup.com or phone toll-free at 1-866-282-9560 or 905-678-2002.

Merida 500 Power Cycle complete with battery charger and basket Shopping cruiser* $999.00
Powabyke 6 speed Euro*



5 speed city bike



7 speed folding bike


Powabyke Tryke

5 speed tricycle – 20″ wheel


Powabyke Tryke

5 speed tricycle – 24″ wheel


* Most popular bikes.
** Prices include shipping fees.
*** Available for the Euro and Tryke models are new Lithium-ion batteries and chargers. Add $500 to the price of each unit.
**** $200 allowance is available on purchase and $300 allowance on the Lithium-ion units.