Why You Should Become LEVA Tech Certified
E-bikes are selling like hot cakes. But are bike shops prepared to service them when they break?
Ed Benjamin shouldn’t be surprised anymore when he sees an electric bike cruise down his quiet south Florida street, but he is.
When COVID-19 gripped the world last year and sent nearly everyone home, Benjamin, who founded the Light Electric Vehicle Association in 1996, said his neighbors flooded out of their homes and into the outdoors.
As the world ground to a halt, he watched from the window of his home office as his historically empty suburban neighborhood came alive: People were going on socially-distanced walks; they were spending time in their yards; and, most notably for Benjamin, they were riding e-bikes.
Benjamin has sat at the helm of LEVA for the better part of three decades. The trade association of about 400 members spans 29 countries and is the loudest voice championing e-bike mechanics, dealers and manufacturers. From day one, Benjamin’s job has been to spread the good word about e-bikes to pretty much anyone who would listen. Even back in ‘96 when e-bikes were little more than an odd novelty, Benjamin knew they would one day change the entire world’s relationship with bicycles.
But it has been a slow burn, especially here in the United States.
Before March 2020, the sight of just one e-bike cruising down his street would have caused enough excitement for him to point and shout from his desk, calling “honey come see!” to his wife across the house.
Now, of the roughly five bikes a day he sees roll by his window, at least three are e-bikes. He still has a hard time containing his excitement.
“I think they’ve woken up to electric bicycles,” he told me on a late-March phone call.
It would seem his neighbors aren’t the only ones.