3 On Your Side
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Consumer Trend: Electric Bikes

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eBikes have a small, battery-powered electric motor that activates only when you pedal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) eBikes have a small, battery-powered electric motor that activates only when you pedal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The electricity around eBikes is surging, with an estimated $32 million in sales in 2016. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The electricity around eBikes is surging, with an estimated $32 million in sales in 2016. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
As for cost, the majority of eBikes will set you back $1,000 or more. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) As for cost, the majority of eBikes will set you back $1,000 or more. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A new consumer product seems to be catching on. 

We're talking about electric bikes. They're pretty popular overseas, but they seem to really be catching on here in the U.S.

Mia Cheeseman is a competitive cyclist.

But when it comes to day-to-day biking, she's all about the practicality. 

"Primarily to displace the car, and limit my carbon footprint," says Cheeseman.  

One of Cheeseman's new cycling "toys" is her electric bike, or "eBike." 

eBikes have a small, battery-powered electric motor that activates only when you pedal.

"It really does save you, especially in times like you're running late for a meeting, or there's a giant hill, just to have a little boost," Cheeseman said.

Ben Stites works on bikes and has ridden several of the electric versions.  

He likes that they allow cycling to become a more feasible option as a form of workday transportation.

"An eBike could make a big difference in not arriving to work covered in sweat. Also for people who may be older or less fit," says Stites.

But Stites warns riders can't get too comfortable.

"You're still out there working, climbing the hills. It's helping you out, but you're still doing a fair portion of the work," Stites said.

The electricity around eBikes is surging, with an estimated $32 million in sales in 2016, more than triple just two years ago.

Bike expert Darren Buck says eBikes are the future.

"We're gonna see them evolve towards all kinds of new uses, like using them for last mile freight delivery, using them for families, to make the day care drop-off for kids," Buck said.

As for cost, the majority of eBikes will set you back $1,000 or more. Buck has advice before you make an investment.

"The best bike is the one you're actually gonna ride," said Buck. 

Cheeseman says she looks forward to sharing the road with more eBikers starting with her parents. 

"I would love to see them on an eBike, versus not being as active," Cheeseman said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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