Ashland Electric Bikes BIKE RENTALS – Now Available

Ashland Electric Bikes is your ultimate destination for all your electric biking needs. Whether you’re searching for the perfect electric bike, bicycle gear, repairs, or tune-ups, they’ve got you covered—all conveniently located in the Ashland Shopping Center. Owned locally by Samantha Smith, her dedicated team goes the extra mile to ensure that every bike leaving her shop brings joy for years to come. What’s more, Ashland Electric Bikes is thrilled to announce that they now offer electric bike rentals. And if you fall in love with the bike and the electric biking experience, becoming a proud new owner is easier than ever.

Hi Samantha, welcome back to LocalsGuide and thanks for taking the opportunity to tell us about your business Ashland Electric Bikes!

Thanks for chatting with me, Shields. We are starting to get busy as we gear up for our 17th year in business. The team and I are excited to be serving the community, and are excited to share some of what’s new here at the shop.

To begin with, I see electric bikes everywhere. Why is that?

Beyond the financial and environmental benefits for many people, electric bikes can be life changing personally. They help grandparents keep up with their children and grandchildren on biking adventures. They can give cancer survivors the energy needed to tackle those hills as they rebuild their strength. They create bonding experiences between children and parents as they commute around our beautiful valley on cargo bikes. They help people with their weight loss and health journeys. They help families and individuals reduce their gas budgets to put towards things they need or want. E-bikes are a healthy way for couples, families, and friends to disconnect from the digital world, be present with each other and have more fun.

In the industry there is a thing called “The Electric Bike Smile.” It’s that moment that a person first gets on an e-bike, and it awakens their inner child. You’re riding along and realize it’s as effortless as when you were a young man or woman, providing fun and freedom that you weren’t expecting.

Owning an electric bike as a lifestyle choice is a huge and important vision behind your work with Ashland Electric Bikes. Why is that?

Yes, I think we are at a point in history where most of us are privileged. Not all of us of course, there are still people whose basic needs are not being met. For most of us though, our real challenges are human made. Unlike our ancestors who had to forage for food and risk starvation, we now have so much food that we are overeating to the detriment of our health. We have so many options of things to do at our disposal that we get suckered into what seems the easiest at the moment, like doom scrolling the internet, which may be harmful to our mental wellbeing. It’s also a time suck that stops us from spending time building the relationships that actually nourish our soul, or getting exercise that will physically make us feel better. I find that electric bikes, if you incorporate them into your life, can be a form of positive habit stacking.

Here’s a personal example. My partner and I love meeting up with friends and riding to get breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are so many places in bike-friendly Ashland or just a short ride off the bike path in Medford, Phoenix and Talent, that makes this easy.

Habit stacking benefits of this one ride include:

1) Nurture relationships with important people in my world 2) Physical nourishment

3) Light exercise, creates those feel good endorphins, without the sweat – improved physical and mental wellbeing

4) I spend pennies instead of dollars getting to my destination – money savings

5) My bike trip was better for the environment – more health benefits

6) I am physically too uncoordinated to doom scroll on my phone and ride – avoid negativity – more mental wellbeing.

How many items in your daily life have such a positive effect?

Samantha, what goes into choosing an electric bike and with so many choices in the market where does one start?

Since there are hundreds of brands I first want to talk about some watch outs. You need to get your bike from a reliable source. Preferably a local shop, but if you really can’t afford one please reach out and talk to us at Ashland Electric Bikes. There are some decent online brands and there are others that are only profit-driven and don’t care what harm they do to their customers. We are the only shop in the valley that will work on the electrical systems of these bikes. So we have a lot of experience with which brands will stick it to you after the purchase, which ones don’t meet the legal requirements to be an e-bike, and/or which ones just can’t be worked on locally for insurance reasons. My team has the knowledge to work on most of the bikes out there, but most insurance companies set limits on what the bike shop can work on. This includes motor wattage, speeds limits, and electrical safety certifications. I regularly get calls from people who are upset because they bought a bike online that falls into one of these categories and now no one will work on their bike. We want to help you avoid this.

Next there is a bill in Congress (S.1008) that is trying to address the fire issues that we’ve been seeing from cheap lithium ion batteries. This law seems to have bi-partisan support. If it passes, that means many of those internet companies will no longer be able to sell in the US. If you buy one of those bikes now, down the road you may not be able to get parts and again for insurance reasons, local bike shops may not be able to work on them for you.

Putting aside all that, now let’s talk about how you choose the best bike for you. First you need to decide how you want to use the e-bike. Leisure and fun down The Greenway is very different than a daily hauler for kids and groceries. Are you mostly going to be riding smooth pavement, mostly trail riding, or a mix of both? What are your physical needs or limitations? Do you have a back injury or are there any mobility issues that we need to take into consideration? Do you plan to travel around the country with this bike? All of this is going to paint a picture for us of what you need from an e-bike. From there we can narrow down options, and even mock up some of the scenarios so you’ll know whether or not the bike is going to work for you.

Lastly, but most importantly then you need to test ride, test ride, test ride. E-bikes are a very personal choice. Our body’s shapes, strengths and abilities are unique and individual. A high price doesn’t always mean a good fit. We’ve seen people buy some very nice expensive e-bikes that are wonderful, but just don’t fit the specific needs of the rider. If you don’t feel safe and comfortable riding it, then you won’t ride it. That is just money down the drain and we want to help you avoid that.

Ashland Electric Bikes stands behind every bike they sell with ongoing service and support for all customers.

Yes within the past 6 months we worked on both the 2nd and 3rd bikes ever built by the previous owner back in 2008. In both cases the old controller had finally failed, but we were able to source a new one and make it compatible. We understand that e-bikes are still relatively new, so a lot of folks come to us for their first e-bike. We are also here for those that were early adopters and have been riding their e-bike for years. Sustainability is at the forefront of what we do, so we help keep as many of them running as possible.

Samantha, please tell us about some of the brands of bikes that you carry and what sets them apart from the pack in terms of quality and reliability.

Tern is my favorite brand. They have the best quality control, safety testing, and customer service. I also love how portable and stable they are for people carrying large loads. They recently introduced the Orox to the market, and I’m going to go with a car analogy and say it’s the Land Cruiser of e-bikes. This beast is unlike any of their other bikes, or any e-bike on the market. Its engine is the Bosch CX motor, the rear atlas rack can carry up to 220 lbs and it has a Gross Vehicle Weight of 462 lbs. This thing can haul you, your little ones and your camping gear, for when you really want to get off grid. It’s also set up for a dual battery and maximum range of 200 miles.

Bulls is a great bike brand if you have to tackle steep hill climbs or if you’re into trail riding and want comfort. They’re solid built bikes, made by a German company and not as well known in the US, so they’re more competitive with their pricing. All their bikes come with a Bosch CX or a Bosch Performance Speed motor (85 nm of torque). You can get into a full suspension bike starting at $2999. That’s what a lot of regular mountain bikes without the motor will cost you.

Smartmotions are still great if you want a throttle to help you get started but still want a mid-drive bike. Bianchi is the longest lasting bike company in the world. They started in 1885 and have now moved their production back to Italy. Their E-Omnia’s have some really sleek styling.

What are your top reasons for buying an electric bike?

The biggest reason I see folks come into the store is for a fun way to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. That’s usually followed by cost savings reasons, for those that routinely commute less than 5 miles.

My personal top reason is sustainability. The whole electric bike life cycle from creation, through use, to end of life is less impactful on the environment than any car out there, even EV’s. No matter how the energy is generated it will always take less to move me and my 54lb bike than it will take to move myself and a multi-ton vehicle.

I’m super excited that you are now offering Electric Bike Rentals. What a great opportunity for locals.

Yes, and for those visiting from out of town. We’re now offering rentals from our Tern and Bianchi line-ups. We’ve decided to offer three different styles of bikes, to try to fit the widest range of riders and needs. If you happen to have some mobility issues or if you’re closer to 5’0 on the height chart, most bikes will not fit the rider. That’s where the Tern NBD is a great bike. If you’re looking to rent a bike for an event like the Crater Lake Rim ride all of the bikes will do the trick, but both the HSD and NBD fold down. This means you can easily fit two bikes in a Subaru or other hatchback without having to rent a bike carrier. If you want a traditional bike with a sleek look then the Bianchi’s are a great fit. All the bikes were chosen for their components and ease of use for the riders.

Please share some recent success stories with us.

This first one goes back to knowing how you’re going to use the bike. We had a wonderful woman come to us recently who owned a quality bike, from another local bike shop, but it just didn’t fit her needs. Once we understood it was very important for her to ride with her dog on the bike we directed her toward our Tern line-up. We set her up on a test ride that would emulate her carrying her dog, and she was impressed with how much easier it was to handle. The lower center of gravity on the Tern was key to this success, and now she can take her best friend with her.

This next one stresses the importance of test rides. We had a couple who found the Aventon Aventures online, and wanted to check them out in person. Quickly the wife was not digging the 77lb fat tire bike, and we picked two other bikes to also test ride. I took them up Park St. because they needed hill climbing capability. The husband got up Park street on the Smartmotion and the Bulls bike he tested just fine, but still wanted to try the Aventon. He went about half way up the hill and turned around. He was shocked that the Aventon’s 750w motor performed worse than the Bosch’s 350w motor. He and his wife went home with two Bulls full suspension bikes. Since most folks don’t know the e-bike brands, let’s just say they came in for a Hyundai and left with a Lexus at a Toyota price.

One of my personal favorites was for this wonderful woman in her 70’s. She lives high up on Ashland Mine road. She absolutely loves the e-bike that she bought in 2015. Unfortunately the bike brand withdrew from the US market. Last year her battery no longer had the power she needed to tackle that monster hill. Our previous supplier stopped working on those batteries, so we went on the hunt, and found one that would repack her battery with new cells. She stopped back into the store just a couple of weeks ago and was absolutely raving about how wonderful we were and happy she was to still be riding that bike.

What do you think is the secret sauce for the success of Ashland Electric Bikes?

I think it’s the team of wonderful, kind, caring, genuine and authentic people here. I cannot say enough nice things about my team. They’re knowledgeable, work hard, and go out of their way to make sure that everyone that enters the shop feels welcome and served.

What is your vision for Ashland Electric Bikes as we move into the future?

We want to be every person’s bike shop. We want to do this by making sure that everyone has service for their electric or non-electric bike regardless of where they bought it. We strive to do this by providing knowledgeable and friendly service and by being experts on the electrical components of e-bikes in Southern Oregon.

What are the hours for Ashland Electric Bikes and again where are you located?

Starting May 1st, we’ll be open from 10am-5pm, Monday and Tuesday and 11am-6pm Thursday – Saturday. We’re in the Ashland Shopping Plaza, right on the corner next to the Ashland Artisan Emporium and across from the Wendy’s.

Samantha, congratulations on all the great work you’re doing.

Thank you Shields, and a big thank you to all our local readers and supporters. You’re the reason we do this work. If you’re new to the idea of e-bikes, we encourage you to stop by and see us so we can help you understand them better, and give you the opportunity to try one out for yourself.

Learn More:

Ashland Electric Bikes

1678 Ashland St., Ashland


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