US Veteran Sells Electric Pedal Assist Bikes

Chris Nolte is the owner of Propel Bikes in Brooklyn, New York, a shop that deals in electric pedal-assist bikes or e-bikes. The bikes come in handy when it comes to mountain biking, kid carrying, and even urban commuting as they add a motorized boost when riding. The rider uses less energy when riding the e-bikes as compared to their traditional counterparts.

Nolte served in the military and was present during the 2003 Iraq invasion but came out with a back injury. Being disabled, he decided to venture into electric bicycling to exercise (since he bike-exercised since childhood) and for recreation purposes.

Despite his back injury, Chris would still take on biking, but this time, he had to go for traditional bike alternative. This is where he landed on the electric pedal-assist bikes. He learned that the technology used in the bikes would only demand little energy to ride, making the bike perfect for disabled people. He knew the bicycle would improve his life as he would again see himself riding alongside his friends.

As a quick thinker, he developed a business idea. He thought of filling the gap for sweat-shy commuters and disabled people through selling them the bicycles. He then got a loan of only $20,000, and by 2011, he had sold his first batch of e-bikes. Within just three years, his sales had hit $1 million. In 2015, he started the Propel shop.

Nolte knows that the e-bike industry is still young and growing. He urges perspective entrepreneur to tread carefully with technology so that it does not harm the industry in the long run.