A Dayton area bicycle manufacturer is growing its business via a product line that is part of an expanding segment of the cycling market: e-transit.
Buzz E-Bikes offers an enhanced electric bike riding experience that allows riders to travel farther and faster, navigate hills and even reach speeds of 20 mph. Features include pedal-assist, an electric control panel and up to 40 miles of battery life.
“The E-transit trend has exploded finally in our country, as well as the desire to have a direct relationship with brands, so we thought let’s converge the two and have a pure D2C (direct to consumer) e-bike/e-product brand,” said United Wheels Inc. Marketing Director Kris Parlett.
Buzz E-Bikes’ line of products is manufactured by United Wheels, which is headquartered in Miamisburg, and owns Huffy, Niner Bikes, Batch Bicycles, Royce Union and VAAST. The Huffy Corporation, which has been in the Dayton area since 1892, has been under the same ownership since the early 2000s.
“United Wheels Inc. was formed under the same ownership to better represent the collection of brands that we manufacture across mass and specialty markets and through multiple retail channels such as e-commerce, omnichannel and direct-to-consumer,” Parlett said.
Buzz E-Bikes, which produced hundreds of e-bikes and e-trikes during 2019 and even more in 2020, its first calendar year, is aiming to manufacture “every e-bike we can to meet demand” this year while introducing new models, Parlett said.
United Wheels employs approximately 200 people globally, more than 100 of them in Miamisburg, Parlett said
The vast majority of consumers associate e-transit with sustainability, but may not understand the range of an e-bike, he said.
“There’s nothing saying you cannot commute now in a 5- to 10- to 20-mile ride on an e-bike or trike or even scooter in some instances ... because of the technology that exists today,” Parlett said. “You’re going an average of 15 to 20 miles per hour, so it’s not going to take you as long as it once did.”
First-time riders of a pedal-assist or full-throttle e-bike often are surprised at the power a Buzz E-Bike or E-Trike offers, he said.
“They start pedaling and then all of a sudden the boost kicks in and they’re like ‘Whoa!’” he said. “It’s almost like that juvenile reaction that a kid has the first time the training wheels come off and the hands are on the hand grips, but it’s as an adult and it’s with someone that’s ridden a bike their whole life.”
Buzz E-Bikes’ mission is to get people to understand that feeling and the benefit of extending the ride, Parlett said.
“Extending means not just length, but if you have a hill that has kept you from riding or your terrain in general has kept you from riding to work or school, it’s not an issue any more. You’ve got help and that’s what that boost is for,” he said. “If someone in your family or close in your neighborhood rides their bike and you’ve never been able to ride with them in that shared experience because you don’t have the same stamina, now you’ve evened the playing field.”
Buzz E-Bikes cost $1,349 and Buzz E-Trikes cost $1,549.
Through May 31, Buzz E-Bike is encouraging people nationwide to nominate their favorite small business for a chance to win a new Buzz E-Bike to help make local deliveries faster and easier. Entrants for the Buzz Across America Giveaway at www.buzzbicycles.com/buzz-across-america will be asked to share how a Buzz will help the small business being nominated and winners will be chosen randomly from the eligible pool of entrants.