pedal power

June 2022 View more

By Kelli Ra Anderson

For cyclists curious to experience a whole new level of power, Naperville’s newly opened franchise of Pedego Electric Bikes (513 W. 87th St.) offers many possibilities. 

The California brand’s electric bikes (a.k.a. e-bikes), which riders can pedal with or without assistance from an electric motor, come in all shapes and sizes to fit a variety of needs. Want help with hills? Planning longer excursions? Looking to make your commute easier? Naperville shop owners Bill and Karen Budicin and Jeff and Andie Alvis can field questions about riding styles, ranges, maintenance, and components.

Whether it’s the zippy models popular with college students, beefier mountain bikes, urban-friendly foldables, or comfy cruisers (especially popular with those who thought their cycling days were over), these e-bikes  all have one thing in common: They give your cycling a boost.

“Everyone who goes out to try one of our bikes comes back with a huge smile, and that’s what makes this job so great,” Karen Budicin says. In fact, one client logged 5,000 miles last summer. “He often tells us how much he loves his bike and that it starts every day for him with a smile.”

And he isn’t the only one. The Budicin’s and Alvis’s first shop, which opened March 2021 in Wheaton, doubled projected sales its first year, with customers coming from as far away as Wisconsin and Iowa to buy these American-made bikes. 

Pedego is known for hosting group cycling events, exclusive vacation packages, and GPS-guided local tours. Building a following is certainly easier for brick-and-mortar stores like the Naperville and Wheaton shops that service e-bikes in-house and sponsors local events, such as the Pedego Palooza, scheduled for July. “It’s part of Pedego culture—it’s a community,” Bill Budicin says. “People enjoy riding together for a shared experience.”

For many customers, e-biking has reintroduced them to an activity that may have gone by the roadside. Some are pleasantly surprised to find themselves back in the saddle again—or maybe even for the first time. “When people have a pedal-assist feature, they’re willing to take farther and longer rides and are able to see things they weren’t able to see before.” 

It circles back Pedego’s motto, really.“Hello, fun is our mantra,” says Karen Budicin. “And our Naperville store will be all about that, too.” 

Photos courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes, Naperville