A background in electrical engineering and an interest in bicycling led Dave Belanger to open Locomotion E-Bikes in McKinney.

While e-bikes have been around for some time, Belanger said, they grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’ve really come into their own in the last couple of years,” Belanger said.

An e-bike has a motor and battery, Belanger explained, adding that they provide assistance to the rider, allowing them to ride against the wind easier or cover more distance.

The backstory

While Belanger is an electrical engineer by trade, he spent 20 years working in information technology. He is an avid road rider and became interested in e-bikes when his wife, who helps him run the store, asked for an e-bike for Christmas so she can ride with him.

“I started researching e-bikes for my wife, and in doing all that research found how they are growing so much,” Belanger said. “We were thinking about retiring, but we still have a daughter in school, so it didn’t make sense to retire with someone in high school.”

Ultimately, Belanger and his wife decided opening the e-bike shop in June 2022 because it could be “an interesting way” to end their working life.

“So far, we’re very happy that we’ve done it,” Belanger said.

What’s in a name

Belanger said he wanted a name that connoted motion, adding that he teamed up with a local graphic designer to create the logo. Belanger also worked with a representative from Fixture Lab to create the store’s interior. As a result, Belanger said customers often ask if Locomotion E-Bike is a franchise.

“It’s a simple family shop,” Belanger said. “It was a lot of work, but we’re really pleased with how it came out.”

What makes it special

Belanger said he and his wife are both customer-oriented and do not pressure customers into buying their products. Instead, they want people to buy the bike that is right for them.

“We encourage customers to take many different bikes out, and they can find which bike speaks to them,” Belanger said. “We just want to make sure the customer is happy, even if they don’t get a bike.”

What else

There are some people who think that riding an e-bike is cheating, but Belanger disagrees, adding that the important thing about riding is getting outside.