Now open: Electric Lady, the Central District’s first e-bike dealership

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The ride took a little longer than planned but Electric Lady is now open on E Union just west of 23rd Ave.

Of course Alex Kostelnik ended up with a bitchin’ 206-504-ROLL phone number for the new shop.

The man behind 20/20 Cycle just up the road will now try his hand at addressing the nascent mainstream market for cargo and electric bikes. CHS talked with Kostelnik about his venture last June:

Electric Lady*, inspired by and named in the glow of amazement Kostelnik felt as his wife gave birth to his first child 10 months ago, will feature electric cargo bikes, a full line of new bikes, kits, gear including handmade bike bags and panniers, “and the best touring rack selection in Seattle.” The Lady will also sell Kostelnik’s handmade Kalakala bikes and he’s working on which folding bike and single-rider electric bike brands to feature. The new bike section is set. Italian classic Bianchi, the oldest bike manufacturer in the world, will house its line inside the coming Central District store. *Kostelnik is also a recording engineer so the name is also inspired by Electric Lady Studios, of course, the legendary Greenwich Village studio constructed for Jimi Hendrix.

The Electric Lady showroom is a showcase for cargo “city trekking” bikes designed to carry commuters, and families, and sometimes more than a 100 pounds of stuff plus a rider.

The time for electric has also come, Kostelnik told CHS, thanks to a technological leap forward with new mid drive motors that make for a more natural ride and don’t involve managing a throttle, plus improved lithium ion batteries that squeeze charging time down to a couple of hours.

IMG_0271The new bikes are an investment with price tags ranging from $3,000 to $6,500. Electric Lady also plans to sell kits to help riders on a more limited budget create DIY trekking machines. “I don’t want to be Banana Republic,” Kostelnik told us last year.

What makes ten-year-old 20/20 Cycle work will also be a big part of Electric Lady. Kostelnik said that longtime 20/20 employees Chris Gilliam  and Robb Kunz are part of the Electric Lady ownership. Meanwhile, the shop will also have a new neighbor in The Central building when Squirrel Chops cafe+salon opens next door later this year.

Electric Lady will be open at 2207 E Union Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 7 PM for the next few weeks before celebrating with a grand opening planned for April 24th and expanded hours. You can learn more at electricladybicycles.com.

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17 thoughts on “Now open: Electric Lady, the Central District’s first e-bike dealership

  1. I like the idea, but I am hoping these have more sophisticated theft prevention. Bikes get stolen all the time. I would hesitate to invest this kind of money and then have it get taken.

    • The best theft prevention is — don’t leave your bike unattended out of your view. How do you propose anti-theft measures be built into an object that can be simply picked up and loaded into a van or truck?

      The best locks can be defeated in less than a minute with an angle grinder, and large bolt cutters can get through even high quality locks in seconds. And no one will notice, or care; there are plenty of videos of people stealing bikes as hundreds of people stroll by.

      If you do have to park your bike outside, replace quick release fasteners with more permanent ones (seat post particularly), lock your frame, front, and back wheels to an immovable object, and invest in the best lock and chain you can afford (a $250+ investment for a $6500 bike doesn’t seem too bad). The extra weight shouldn’t matter as much, with an electric motor doing the heavy lifting.

      Watch some Youtube videos on properly securing your bike. How you secure it does matter (for example, placing the lock such that it’s not supported and easier to cut through).

    • I’m in agreement with Nick here- normal good practices will keep your bike safe.

      In the ten years I have been selling locks to people who “Just got my bike stolen”, I can tell you that the overwhelming majority either:
      1. Left it on a busy area over night
      2. Didn’t lock it because they thought their garage was safe
      3. Didn’t lock it because they thought their back yard was safe

      Sadly, these folks will sponsor you by sacrificing their bikes to the bike thieves. Bike thieves aren’t dumb- easy picking is always best.

      -Alex

  2. I am so thrilled to see this shop open, I wish them great success. 20/20 Cycles has been a wonderful neighborhood bike shop. And, as an electric bike owner, I hope everyone will go give these ebikes a try. They are a fantastic way to commute in hilly Seattle.

  3. So people bitch and moan about expensive donuts, but $3K-$6K bikes get a free pass? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the talk about how the only people that can afford these are the techbros everyone hates? Come on, people.

    • It’s not even worth getting fired up about it, it pretty much goes without saying. Lots of implicit eye-rolls follow after “I hope everyone will give these a try”, and they cost $3k+. Good luck with that. Maybe some of the D.I.Y. ones.
      (do you think these will fit in the back of a Tesla?).

    • some people wistfuly compare apples to oranges to their regret of energy wasted….. others (you,maybe?? compare bicycles toDONUTS??
      How about comparing bicycles to cars?? or bicycles to shoe “leather”… how about adding lifelong diabetes care as an obvious comparison that makes real sense…or maybe a vacation every year compared to saying yes to a setting yourself up for a viable alternative live style investment LIKE AN ELECTRIC BIKE?? no one is saying everyone in the universe can “afford” such choices…. but Hey! sounds good to me and mine to make our comparisons real.. Let’s mix it up — get our heads around fresh, healthy (for us AND the environment) ways of movin’ and gettin’ around….. so just sayin’ xxoo

    • Hi Jim and Privelidge!

      Fancy new bikes are surely to be interpreted as stuff that rich people buy, and I am do aware of that.

      What is often overlooked, though, is how affordable these bikes and kits and modifications are when compared to a car.

      Im not selling racing bikes, I’m selling bikes and solutions/ideas that haul & commute.

      I have motor kits for a fraction of the cost of my “Cadillac” bikes. Also I have long tail kits that will convert your bike into a cargo bike over night. They really can replace over 2/3 of what you do with your car.

      It’s weird, but we don’t ever see cars as the expensive money pits that they are.

      Buy a used car on craigslist for $800 and drive it for a year. And license it. And insure it. And fill it with gas all the time, pay for parking tickets, parking meters, repairs, and you quickly see that your “cheap” car cost you 4 times as much as one of my cargo bikes- in one year!

      I’m not selling jewelry for the rich to clank around.

      My shop looks fancy because I put everything I had to build it, risked everything, and asked a good friend to design it.

      The entire build out of this shop, I’m proud to say, cost $24,500!

      I innovate, trade services, network, and busted a** to make Electric Lady look shiny and cool.

      Come in, you guys, and see for yourself- I only look like a privileged operation from a distance.

      After that if you still feel the same way I’ll eat my shoe!

      Sincerely, Alex

  4. Give it a try might mean simply going by the shop to say hi and take a look… maybe taking a test run or something– in other words, Hey, Dream a little.
    And i love the honoring jimi, too. hugs!