When space got tight in the 7102 Germantown Ave. store front of Philly Electric Wheels (PHEW), owners Afshin Kaighobady and Meenal Raval, have opened a separate showroom at 20 E. Mt. Airy Ave. for their electric bikes.
Kaighobady says there won’t always be a staff person at the electric-bike space, but a sign on the window tells customers to call 215-821-9266 or stop by his main store for help.
PHEW is a Mt. Airy based full-service bicycle shop that sells an array of regular, folding and electric bicycles throughout the tri-state region. The shop does repairs as well as offers bicycle renting service for approximately $50 per day. The store also sells conversion kits, which gives bicyclists the option to convert their own bicycle into an electric-assisted bicycle, which is perfect for those that have special needs.
Kaighbobady said the store began as an entirely electric-assisted bicycle shop until customers began asking for manual-powered bicycles. He said they mainly sell folding and electric bicycles, which can retail from $500 to $4000.
Who needs an electric bike?
He says electric-assisted bicycles is a great way to include exercise in your daily routine and is perfect for the Mt. Airy neighborhood that has a lot of hills.
“If you are bicyclists, the hills usually get you because you have to get off the bike, walk the hill then continue,” said Kaighobady. “With the electric bike, it gives you a little assistance and it’s like somebody is behind you and when you need help, they jump up and push you up the hill.”
The owners learned about electric-assisted bicycles after they sold one of their cars. Shortly after, Raval took a job where she needed a car making them fight over who had it for the day. Because they didn’t want to buy another car, they began looking for alternative methods. Everyone’s curiosity in Raval’s electric-assisted bicycle made them think it would be a great business venture.
Kaighobady says electric-assisted bicycles look similar to regular bicycles except they have a little motor and battery in it, which are harder to find on the newer models because they are built into the frame. The battery can be charged in any electric socket
“You just see somebody in suits and ties zooming by you and they don’t look like they are sweating much,” he said.