(ABC4 UTAH – Salt Lake City, UT) When was the last time you rode a bicycle? Maybe you haven’t ridden since you were a kid. On the other hand, you might be an avid mountain biker or commuter.

What you might not know is that Utah has one very special bike manufacturer located in downtown Salt Lake City.

The first hint that something different is going on is when you walk by the glass exterior of their showroom and see a bicycle in the window that seems to be driving by itself. 

As Jesse Lapin, the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Magnum Bikes, gives me a tour of their offices you can tell that he is passionate about their products. “We have the city bikes, we have beach cruisers, we have mountain bikes and we have folding bikes.” 

The amazing part is Magnum Bicycle is Utah’s only electric bicycles manufacturers.

Lapin showed me the various features of one of their most popular models; “The Metro is one of our city bikes. It’s step through frame. Has components 500 watts 48-watt battery. The battery as you say see, integrates right here into the frame. That makes for a stealth, sleek integration.”

Electric bicycles help make commuting more practical without sacrificing fitness opportunities.  Lapin told us; “The electric is going to assist the rider with hills. It’s going to allow the rider that is commuting to work not get sweaty in the morning and then get his workout on the way home on a lower assist level or no power all together. It’s going to allow you to go faster, longer. “ 

Talking about an electric bicycle is one thing. Showing how something works takes things to a whole different level. That became obvious as we followed the crew from Magnum Bicycles for a quick ride from their offices at 629 South State Street up to the Utah State Capitol Building and back. As Lapins hops on a cool looking prototype for a new fat tire bike, he tells me; “You can literally access power from the throttle and the bike is going to take you as if you are on a motorcycle. No peddling necessary. What is more fun, in my opinion, is to use the pedal assister. You just start pedaling and the sensor, which is a speed sensor, is just going to kick in, it’s going to feel the crank moving and assist you with power. Anywhere from 10 to 20 miles an hour of assistance.”

It is impressive to note that the batteries last 40-60 miles per charge and recharge in about 4-6 hours. How fast can the bikes go? According to Lapin; “On pedal assist, 28 miles per hour or if you are using the throttle. 20 miles per hour. “

Bicycling commuting is a way of life in most of the world. The ability to save space and be easily portable is paramount. The line of folding bicycles from Magnum is a top seller internationally. It was amazing how fast that Jesse was able to unfold the bicycle for me. I took a ride through the office and was surprised how maneuverable the compact cruiser was.

How did it Magnum Bicycles come to be? Hard work and persistence. Jesse explained; “It started out as me working out of a home office. Calling on shops. Traveling around the country. Getting people excited about electric bikes.”

So, now we know what Magnum Bicycles does and how. My favorite question when meeting with Utah entrepreneurs is the “why”. What’s Jesse Lapin’s answer? “Electric bikes resonate with people. We are in an era where going green is cool. Reducing one’s carbon footprint. That’s cool. That’s important. Especially here in Salt Lake City where we have a problem with inversion. Why not have an electric bike company right here in downtown Salt Lake City.”

With another Utah Success Story. I’m Doug Jessop

This segment contains sponsored content.