Is a new electric bike the right gift for the holidays?

Posted 11/16/21

By Bruce Karnick [email protected] Back in April of this year, I knew I needed to work on being healthier because of, well, everything. I told you all about my decision to buy an electric bike, …

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Is a new electric bike the right gift for the holidays?


By Bruce Karnick

[email protected]

Back in April of this year, I knew I needed to work on being healthier because of, well, everything. I told you all about my decision to buy an electric bike, or e-bike. I purchased mine from a start up in Red Wing called Tuoteg and I enjoyed it. It was a solid bike and very affordable. Many of you readers stopped me to tell me how much you enjoyed that story and that you went looking for your own e-bike, many buying from I have to say that I love hearing those stories, I love that you took my advice and did the research on an e-bike that would be right for you. I’m glad that the Tuoteg brand fit so well for many people, their service and support really sold me on them at the start and they still do that extremely well. I put a measly 75 miles on mine this summer, and I could not figure out why. I started out loving my bike, but as the summer wore on, I found that I just did not ride it like I hoped. Part of that was just being constantly running around town and needing to do so quickly, part of that was not staying just in town when I was running, and another part was having to carry more stuff with me that I wanted to put on the bike, or my back. I think the largest part was something more to do with the bike. As I rode it more, I found that there was a level of comfort that was missing. I was leaning just a tad bit too far forward and I felt off balance. I felt uncomfortable, and I did not know what to do to fix it.

I tried a seat upgrade, handlebar upgrade, neck extension for the handlebars and a variety of adjustments. I just could not get it perfect. I will be the first to admit, my body proportions are, well, not quite normal. I have a super short inseam and a longer torso with average length arms. So, what works for most people is a little out of whack for me. I want to be very clear, the bike never failed me mechanically, it is a solid, good quality bike. I just could not find the comfort I hoped to find as I was breaking it in. The main regrets I had with the e-bike I picked up were not getting a step through frame and not getting the fat tires, so I was looking to upgrade. That is when I was introduced to Excel Power Bikes.

Excel Power Bikes is a company that is owned by a group of families from the area that includes the guy that introduced me to electric bikes, Eric Weber. He knew I was fine with what I had for the bike, but not 100% happy, so he brought his over for me to try. I fell in love.

The bike he had me ride is called the Big Ticket. It looks like a monster of a bike; it is huge when you stand next to it. The tires make it look even bigger and the handlebars easily sit six or more inches higher than my Explorer from Tuoteg. The thing is the step through frame makes it feel smaller. The higher handlebars put me in a better position for riding comfort, an important piece to keep me using it next summer. The motor was a 750-watt motor versus a 500-watt, so it moved my bigger frame faster and the hydraulic brakes stopped me more quickly too. Along with the bigger motor, the frame of the bike is beefy, this thing looks tough. For those that are around my age, the first thing I thought was, I could see BA Baracus from the A-Team use this thing for some crazy tank like invention to get the team out of trouble. I also thought the bike looked pretty ‘BA’.

The more I examined the Big Ticket, I realized that my Tuoteg bike, while still a great bike, is much like a very basic Chevy or Ford car. You know, the basic car that has arm crank windows, no power steering and 4/55 air conditioning. (Roll down all four windows and go 55 MPH.) Sure, it is a still a Chevy or Ford, which means it is still a good quality product, but even Chevy and Ford make upgraded cars like Cadillac and Lincoln.

The Excel Power Bike Big Ticket was just that, a Cadillac or Lincoln. A much more luxurious e-bike that comes with a built-in rack, a build in headlight, a more powerful motor, upgraded tires, better computer screen, better grips, a nicer seat, and a superior ride. Ok, the Tuoteg was a Chevy Equinox with power steering and air, so it is a good product, but the Excel Power Bike just had more and fit me much better than the explorer.

The cool part of the Big Ticket, with the fat tires, if I am feeling really adventurous, I can take it out in the snow and ride. Ok, I probably won’t do that, but I could.

You can head on over to and check them out yourself. They are located in River Falls, Wisconsin and have plenty in stock to ship them fairly quickly to Hastings, usually within a week, subject to change of course. The only bad news is, they are far less likely to offer some of the crazy good deals that Tuoteg did, and their price tag is a little higher than that of their competitor’s normal price just down the river.

The fact of the matter is, with Excel Power Bikes, you get what you pay for. I put an additional $200 into the Tuoteg to get more comfort which, at regular retail makes their price very similar to Excel Power Bikes and I still did not have all the features of the Big Ticket. I appreciate Tuoteg for getting me into the world of electric biking and I will always suggest them as a great, en- try level, budget bike, but if you have the ability to spend a little more on a bike, I am certain you will love a bike from Excel Power Bikes.

I said above, one of the things that sold me on my first bike was the service from the company. Excel Power Bikes has been just as amazing with their service.

So here is what I am asking you to do. If you have been considering an electric bike for yourself or someone close to you, check out, schedule a test ride and look the bike over. They come with a high-quality Samsung battery, all steel fenders, a sturdy steel frame, the stuff I named above and a custom decals that can make your bike unique.

Of course, there are accessories you can get to go with the bike. Here’s the coolest part, my friends at Excel Power Bike are offering Journal readers a deal.

First, when you buy your bike, make sure you tell them that Bruce from The Journal sent you if you talk to them.

Second, they created a custom coupon code for our wonderful Journal Readers to help you save on the perfect holiday gift and share in my excitement of riding an electric bike.

Use code “TheJournal” (yes, one word, with no quotes) at check out and save $100 off the total per bike ordered. Order two bikes, save $200! Order three, save $300! This code expires 12/31/2021.

Next summer, when you see me out on my Big Ticket in Hastings and beyond, don’t be afraid to flag me down and show me yours! Ride safe!