Check out today’s revolutionary e-bikes that are making cycling fun again at Century Cycles

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Century Cycles owners Scott and Vicki Maloney offer today’s top-quality e-bikes along with professional assembly, service, and maintenance. (Photography: Francis Angelone)

By Mitch Allen

One of the fastest-growing consumer products markets in the world is the e-bike. Dramatic advancements in battery technology combined with an aging population mean more of us can enjoy the thrill, adventure, and fitness benefits of biking—for many more years and over greater distances.

And, no, electric bikes aren’t “cheating.”

“Lots of people think that at first,” says Scott Maloney, who owns Northeast Ohio’s Century Cycles along with his wife, Vicki. “But e-bikes aren’t about cruising without pedaling. Most models require you to pedal for the motor to engage. Instead, it’s about assistance, allowing you to pedal farther, faster, and with more confidence and joy.”

Century Cycles offers a wide selection of high-quality e-bikes and traditional bikes. Brands include Wolff, Electra, Giant, Momentum, Gocycle and Liv, which is designed specifically for a woman’s physique.

The Perfect Exercise
“The e-bike allows me to keep up with my husband and grown sons when we ride,” Vicki adds. “You’re still pedaling, but it’s easier to get up hills and fight headwinds. And when you feel too much burn in your thighs, you can simply increase the level of assistance.”

According to Scott, new research reveals that e-bikes still deliver 70% of the exercise you’d get on a traditional bike. And if knee pain or some other health condition prevents you from biking at all, an e-bike delivers huge benefits by getting you back out there on the roads and trails.

And, yes, Class I and Class II e-bikes—which do not exceed 20 m.p.h.—are permitted in local, state and national parks wherever traditional bikes are allowed.

The Unintimidating Way to Shop
The retail bicycle industry is traditionally complicated. Avid cyclists and bike shop personnel seem all too eager to intimidate more casual riders, and with 50 different companies now manufacturing e-bikes, there is plenty to be intimidated about.

But not at Century Cycles.

“That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on,” says Matthew Schieferstein, store manager for Century’s Shaker Heights location. “We believe everyone should be able to ride confidently, so we focus on education and helping our customers feel comfortable about making the right purchase. Once you know the basics, riding and caring for a bike isn’t complicated at all.”

Century Cycles’ Shaker Heights location is at 20132 Chagrin Blvd. in Shaker Heights. Parking and the entrance are in the rear off Lomond Blvd.

Quality Is Important
Many of those 50 global e-bike manufacturers are producing poor-quality bikes for sale online or at discount stores, without meaningful warranties or the ability to get service. They often don’t even come assembled.

“We focus on offering higher-quality bikes and servicing them properly,” Scott says. “When you leave with your bike, it’s ready to ride. We have some of the best service techs in the business, and likely one of the best service managers in the nation.”

Scott is referring to Mitch Gabel, the service manager for all four Century Cycle locations.

“Proper service is hugely important, whether you’re talking about an e-bike or traditional bike,” Mitch says. “Bikes take a lot of abuse and have many moving parts. Keeping them tuned and operating safely and efficiently is essential to enjoying a ride.”

Bicycle whisperer Mitch Gabel is the service manager for all four Century Cycles locations.

“Get Back to My First Love”
Scott Maloney knows service, too. His first job at age 12 was working on Schwinn bicycles in the late-1970s at the legendary Roger & Ray’s Hardware in Bay Village. He later worked at other local shops and even began restoring vintage bikes. After college, Scott enjoyed a 20-year career in banking followed by 10 years as an IT consultant.

Then one day…

“I just decided I didn’t want to stare at a computer screen all day for the rest of my life,” he says. “Vicki and I discussed it, and I knew I wanted to get back to my first love—bicycles.”

So in 2021, the couple purchased Century Cycles.

“That 12-year-old is still inside me, and now I get to do what I love and help people every day,” Scott says.

Matthew Schieferstein, store manager of Century Cycles’ Shaker Heights location, focuses on educating customers in a non-intimidating environment.

A Large Selection
Century offers a wide assortment of e-bike brands, including Wolff, which is manufactured in Canada. “Wolff offers a better product and a better warranty than most brands,” Scott assures. “But it isn’t just about battery technology. These bikes also feature four layers of paint, heavy-duty rims and spokes, and they come with fenders, headlights, taillights and a rear rack standard. And they start at just $1,529.”

Other Century Cycle e-bike brands include Electra, Giant, Momentum, Gocycle and Liv.

“Gocycle is a lightweight, folding bike so it’s ideal for boaters, RVers, and apartment dwellers,” Vicki says. “And many women love the Liv brand because it is specifically manufactured for a woman’s physique. The frame geometry is based on the torso, inseam and center of gravity of most women.”

Take a Test Drive
If you’re interested in trying an e-bike, you can stop by any Century Cycles location for a test drive, including the one in Shaker Heights. But for a deeper experience, consider renting an e-bike from the Rocky River or Peninsula location and enjoying a longer ride. The shop’s inventory of bikes and parts is also available online.

If you’re interested in a good deal on a traditional bike, know that the bicycle inventory shortages which made news during the pandemic are over. Manufacturers not only caught up, they also overproduced, so Century is offering special discounts on 2021 and 2022 models.

Century Cycles is located at 20132 Chagrin Blvd. in Shaker Heights. Parking and the entrance are in the rear off Lomond Blvd. The store also has locations in Peninsula, Rocky River and Medina. For more information, visit