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Father and son venture makes cycling accessible for more Hawke’s Bay locals as e-bike demand triples

A new venture run by a Hawke’s Bay father and son is making cycling accessible for more locals, with estimated demand for e-bikes in the region tripling over the last three years.

Respected local cycling enthusiast, Dave McGregor, is the owner of New Zealand’s newest Electrify NZ e-bike franchise in Taradale, working with his son Alex.

Born and bred in the Bay, Dave has been in the cycling industry for more than 25 years, with 18 of those as sales manager for another bike shop in Taradale selling both manual and e-bikes.

It was here Alex learned the tricks of the trade from his father, with the duo developing a mutual love for all things bike related over the years. These days they still ride together, but Dave opts for an e-bike so he can keep up with his son and enjoy the ride.

Dave saw the arrival of the first e-bikes in New Zealand in the early 2000’s and has ridden every kind of e-bike, from cruising machines to mountain bikes. He has watched the e-bike market explode from both behind the shop counter and out on the trails.

Customs import figures and other data suggest that between 2014 and 2020 New Zealand’s e-bike imports skyrocketed from about 2,000 units a year to 50,000 units. Dave has also seen the popularity of e-bikes explode in the Hawke’s Bay, estimating that demand has tripled in the last three years.

“When the first imports arrived, people were curious, but a bit unsure,” says Dave. “We sold a few back then. Now everyone wants an e-bike and I know why. They open up a huge range of outdoor options for people of all ages and capabilities, especially when you’re riding into the Hawke’s Bay’s dominant head winds!

“An 80 km bike ride used to be for cycle-fit enthusiasts. They’d rise early on a Saturday morning, pull on their lycra gear, then head into the back of beyond. Now anyone with an e-bike can make that trip, without the lycra!”

Dave says all generations are now cycling to Hawke’s Bay’s finest wineries for lunch. Somewhat-fit people are riding hundreds of kilometres a week on their biking holidays. ‘Café Cruisers’ pedal out of town to their favourite coffee spot. And more people are leaving their cars at home as they cycle to work.

The Hawke’s Bay offers more than 200kms of easy-riding trails throughout the region, with a number of exceptional mountain bike parks for more adventurous riders. Dave says partnering with Electrify means he and Alex can combine their local knowledge of the Hawke’s Bay with the widest range of e-bikes in the country.  

“From our point of view, that means we can give each individual the perfect e-bike. If they want to ride the trails, which 70-80% do, we know which bike will give them the best experience. If they want cross-country thrills, we have a range of electric mountain bikes to suit their riding style. We can even kit out an entire family for long-range adventures, including the grandparents!

“It’s also important to us that Electrify is New Zealand owned. They’re independent. They know our country’s unique landscapes, which is why their bikes are designed for our conditions. It’s a hand-in-glove thing, which is so important.”

Dave believes the best way to find your perfect e-bike is with a trial.

“And I don’t mean doing laps around a car park. We want our customers to take a bike out for a decent ride. Everyone is welcome to take an e-bike out for an extended test ride – off to their local café or winery, or over the hills to their favourite beach.”

Electrify NZ Hawke’s Bay opened on Wednesday in Gloucester Street in Taradale. Electrify NZ is the country’s largest specialist supplier of e-bikes, with more than 70 independent suppliers nationwide and a franchise retail operation of eight stores.

Electrify NZ;Dave and Alex McGregor