CHENNAI: A mong a handful of positive developments ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic is the boom in bicycle sales, followed by a rapid spike in the craze for cycling. The All India Cycle Manufacturers Association reported that 41,80,945 bicycles were sold between May and September 2020. For a country that’s the second-largest producer of bicycles with 2.2 crore units sold every year, the sales are expected to be on an upward trajectory in the coming months.
Besides bicycles, e-bikes too have been rolling off the shelves as people are on the constant lookout for efficient modes of transportation. It’s this promising trend that has encouraged relatively new entrants like Pedaleze to plunge into the market with the launch of pedelec — their in-house, electrically powered bicycles that offer pedal assistance. Claiming to be India’s first connected pedelec (a feature that helps monitor your performance), the brand was launched by Chennai-based start-up Daijo Pvt Ltd in the middle of 2019. All with a hope to enable more city dwellers to take up cycling as a sport, exercise or a stressbusting activity.
Wheeling in change
Walking us through the idea, Rishab Rangarajan, associate manager R&D and marketing, shares, “The pandemic hit us just when we were testing our electric bicycles. Instead of shutting doors, we decided to get going because of the visible demand in the market for it. People avoided public transport and got more fitness-conscious during the lockdowns. Our products were launched mainly targeting people in the IT industry. We wanted to give them some form of exercise through commuting and a break from their otherwise sedentary desk jobs. While going electric is not completely eco-friendly, it’s still a sustainable option. The market is yet to tap the fullest potential of e-bikes.” Pedaleze is currently offering three models. While the Pedaleze O2 and H2 are designed for commuting within the city, the Pedaleze C2 is for longdistance and endurance training.
Throwing light on the attention- to-detail that has gone into every component of the bicycle, Rishab explains, “Handles, motors and seats are our patented designs. The cycle’s unique feature is that it can either be torque assisted or cadence assisted. We’ve incorporated a mid-drive motor where the motor is installed between the pedals and is energy efficient. They ensure you drive at an optimal speed based on your pedal power. Often found in expensive models, we aim to offer them at an affordable cost. The frame is built using premium hydroformed aluminium 6061 alloy. The battery and the motor come with a two-year warranty.”
For a safe ride
Keeping functionality and aesthetic appeal of their cycles at the core, the team has ensured the designs are edgy and racy — from the frame to the rims. The model meets international standards in quality as well as the robustness required to cater to the local markets. “We have six physical dealers in India so far. We’re currently selling an average of 20 cycles a month. Our customer base is spread across Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Kolkata. The international market includes Germany, Kuwait, Australia and Canada. While it’s been a mixed age group, those aged 25-45 have shown great interest. We do have a few female customers.
We will be tweaking some features to suit their comfort as well,” he asserts. While cycling is considered one of the safest and flexible forms of exercise after walking, the design elements that go into the making of a cycle play a big role in ensuring a smooth ride on all kinds of terrain. Rishab elaborates, “As much as the city is bicycle-friendly, we’ve designed the models in a way that helps you maintain an optimal speed on roads. So far, the only apprehension among customers is the cost. We also have an EMI option to make the payment part easier. In any case, we insist people ride it to get an experience. Avid cyclists won’t think twice about investing in it because that’s how good the feel is. A lot of research and testing has gone into it,” he assures.
The team has been receiving positive feedback especially from the senior citizens who’ve tried their bicycles. “We want people of all age groups to enjoy the experience without putting in much effort. Our website also has the required accessories and gears to amplify the whole riding process and safety. You can install the Pedaleze app that churns out data, and will help you optimise the ride up to your satisfaction. We’re also happy to share that this has become an aspirational product for Dunzo and Swiggy. We are working on newer models and believe that it can revolutionise the market,” says Rishab. While you check out the pedelec models on their official website, here’s to more enterprising innovations! For details, visit: pedaleze.com
Models and comfort Pedaleze offers three models. While the Pedaleze O2 and H2 are designed for commuting within the city, the Pedaleze C2 is for long-distance and endurance training. The team has ensured the designs are edgy and racy from the frame to the rims. The model meets international standards in quality as well as the robustness required to cater to the local markets.