For Millsboro-based friends Michele Berdelle, Lisa Kalbach and Marci Kanenson, it only took one ride last year on an electronic bike to know that they not only liked it, but they could also improve on it.
“We were three women approaching retirement age and we were looking for something to be involved in,” said Berdelle. “First we thought we were going to rent e-bikes. Everything was coming up short. Finally, it occurred to us that maybe we should make a bike that had everything in it.”
Thus, the trio decided to design their own e-bike and start their own business, My Extreme Bike. Berdelle said the biggest thing they wanted was additional safety features, including brake lights, headlights, wider handlebars and a horn.
Berdelle said an e-bike is what is referred to as “pedal assist,” which enables the user to either ride it like a regular bike or use a motor to help. A My Extreme Bike has a rear hub motor system with five pedal assists on it, as well as five gears. Berdelle said the bike allows the user to either use the pedal assist all the time or to only use it in certain situations, like going up hills. My Extreme Bikes come with a 48-volt battery that gives a charge of about 500 watts, which Berdelle said is more than the industry standard. This allows the bike to have more power, and the battery lasts longer. Much like a cellphone, the bike can be charged by plugging it into a standard 110-volt outlet. Charging takes four to six hours.
My Extreme Bike sells three styles of e-bikes: the Journey, which resembles a mountain bike; the Velocity, which is a scaled-down version with smaller tires; and the Bolt, which combines features of the Velocity with a sportier look. The bikes are all foldable for easy travel, which Berdelle said was inspired by RV users who are traveling frequently.
My Extreme Bike is only sold through the company website, and at expositions and pop-up shows. Berdelle said one of the reasons for this is that she and her business partners love to travel and didn’t want to be tied down with managing a brick-and-mortar store. Information on shows can be found at the company website or on Facebook.
“We wanted to be out there,” Berdelle said.
She said at this point, she feels like the company has designed the perfect e-bike, so the challenge now is to come up with accessories that can make the riding experience even better. One of the things they are working on, she said, is to be able to charge a phone on the bike, using the bike’s battery.
“A lot of people like to use certain apps and the apps drain the phone, so we should be able to use the battery power to charge the phone,” Berdelle said.
For more information on My Extreme Bike, go to myextremebike.com. The company also has pages on Facebook and Instagram.