Electric bike sales are skyrocketing. According to The New York Times, sales of regular bikes increased by 65 percent between 2019 and 2020, while sales of electric bikes rose 145 percent.
Sarasota is no exception to the trend. The local electric bike sale and rental business Endless Summer has witnessed a 500 percent increase in its e-bike sales in the last year. The company's owner, Derek Wilson, says he has also seen an increased interest in rentals for the easy, breezy mode of transportation.
"I don't think anyone would be surprised to know sales have gone up, but what's surprising to me is who's been buying them," says Wilson. "Folks in their 60s and 70s are buying them, or those who wouldn't be biking otherwise. They still have the ability and desire to ride, but have factors that limit them. Electric bikes help."
The most popular model at Endless Summer has been fat tire bikes, used on rough terrain, like the sandy shores of Siesta Key or off-road riding trails at Myakka River State Park. The business sells Rad Power Bikes from Seattle, Washington, which offers 10 different models for all levels of experience. Prices range from $1,299 to $1,899.
"Rental season has still been all-year-round, even though peak snowbird season is March-April," says Wilson. "We are still seeing about 15 customers per day to rent. We are also going out for tours seven days a week."
If you purchase a bike and want to take it for a spin, try the Legacy Trail for a smooth ride on pavement, Oscar Scherer State Park for a dirt path or any local beach where bikes are allowed. If you are visiting, join a tour with a local company or ask for traditional bikes at your hotel. The concierge will also know where to find these zippy new rides.
Endless Summer is located at 1251 N. Jefferson Ave., Sarasota. For more info, call (941) 539-1741 or visit the company's website.