Recreation Outdoors

PEDALS WITH POWER: Explore Eau Claire With Full-Service E-Bike Rentals

Electric Bike Rentals opens May 1 at The Local Store

Tom Giffey, photos by Ma Vue

Have you considered climbing onboard and taking the e-bike revolution out for a spin? Well, now’s your chance: Eau Claire’s first full-service e-bike rental operation will be charged up and ready to hit the streets, roads, and trails of the Chippewa Valley for locals and visitors starting May 1.

Electric Bike Rentals will be a new service offered through The Local Store at Volume One World Headquarters, 205 N. Dewey St., Eau Claire. It’s all operated from an upgraded garage space on the Galloway Street side of the historic building, which was built out in part with support from Downtown Eau Claire Inc.’s Downtown Enhancement grant. In addition to fully charged bikes (and helmets, naturally), riders will get information and advice on the best routes to follow to explore the community on two wheels. The Local Store is conveniently located just across the street from the Old Abe and Chippewa River trails, meaning miles of scenic routes are just a few battery-assisted pedals away.

“The Chippewa Valley is truly an incredible place to ride all kinds of bikes, and the downtown trail network is a particularly strong offering for both locals and visitors,” said Nick Meyer, owner of Volume One and a overall bicycle enthusiast. “Layering on rentable pedal-assist e-bikes really just makes it all more accessible for more people to experience it all.”

E-bikes have exploded in popularity in recent years, more than tripling in sales between 2020 and 2021 alone. In fact, by one estimate, e-bikes are outselling electric cars and trucks in the United States by a large margin. The appeal is clear, both for commuters or (in this case) recreational riders: An e-bike’s onboard motor makes getting up hills and traveling longer distances a breeze, even for those who aren’t accustomed to pedaling.

The Chippewa Valley is truly an incredible place to ride all kinds of bikes.



The Momentum Lafree e-bikes available for rent from The Local Store offer five levels of pedal assist, making traversing the Valley’s hilly terrain a breeze (although e-bikes can be peddled like a regular bike if you’re looking for a workout). These e-bikes can travel as far as 65 miles on a single charge, and will be available in three frame sizes with adjustable seats to accommodate riders of different heights.

Rental time slots start at two hours of use, and all bikes will come with cargo racks (perfect for carrying gear, bottles, or a picnic lunch) and bike locks. Just as importantly, renters will get information on what routes to explore thanks to a collaborative effort with Visit Eau Claire. Bikers can scan a QR code to get route information on their phones, which can be snapped into handy handlebar phone holders if desired. Printed maps will also be available.

Suggested routes will include urban loops of 5 to 13 miles, ranging from courses that take e-bikers through the heart of downtown Eau Claire – past parks, breweries, the UW-Eau Claire campus, and more – to routes that traverse the trail through Putnam Park State Natural Area. Other, longer routes will carry ambitious e-bikers along the Chippewa River Trail through Eau Claire and out of the city along the mighty Chippewa or north along the Old Abe Trail to idyllic Riverfront Park in downtown Chippewa Falls.

Electric Bike Rentals at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St., Eau Claire • available May-October during Local Store hours: 9am-9pm daily Monday-Saturday and 9am-6pm Sunday •

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