Fashion-forward: The e-bike

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The Pedego Classic Beach Cruiser e-bike. RRP: $3799. For Mercury customers: $3549.

The SmartMotion Essence e-bike. RRP: $2099. For Mercury customers: $1849.

The BH EasyGo Race e-bike. RRP: $1999. For Mercury customers: $1899.

The Moustache StarckBike M.A.S.S Sand e-bike. RRP: $7750.

The ETT Industries Trayser e-bike. RRP: $3081.

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Lycra didn't really make the cut at New Zealand Fashion Week 2016. So for the fashion conscious among us there's good news: the spandex is no longer a pre-requisite for the cycling commute.

Cycling on an e-bike, with an electric boost, has opened up a world of opportunity for your regular commute – zipping around town in eco-friendly fashion, no emissions, and you can discard the full biking kit.

That's right. The humble bicycle, relatively unchanged since the late 1800s, has been revamped.

Mercury's Pedego e-bike seen at the Auckland waterfront recently during New Zealand Fashion week.
CHRIS McKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Mercury's Pedego e-bike seen at the Auckland waterfront recently during New Zealand Fashion week.

With a battery full of renewable electricity and a small motor, your e-bike is an extension of your style, but it doesn't rain on your parade. Easily handle the morning commute without breaking a sweat, with bargain-basement running costs of 10c for 100km.

Your wardrobe choice is limited only by your fashion flair and not by the practicalities of the old-style push bike ride. You can now look ultra-chic on two wheels.

And the bikes themselves? They look good too.

READ MORE:
* E-bikes changing gear in New Zealand
* Renewable energy a boost for pedal-power

The thing with bicycles is this. They've always been human powered, apart from the occasional foray into mopeds or other weird contraptions which never really caught on. That fact has driven design overwhelmingly towards the practical: how to get the most performance out of the legs of the cyclist.

We're not all Olympians. And while those of a certain age may remember the cool factor of a Raleigh Chopper, you're also likely to recall how fiendishly difficult it was to ride the thing. It was also styled, well, for the kids.

Today, electric bikes have said a firm 'goodbye' to those design limitations. Getting around never looked so great – and has also never been so good for the planet. E-bikes take cars off the road, carbon and pollution out of our environment. They are age-defying, traffic-defeating, hill-flattening, and awesome fun! Their styles are only limited by the imagination of their designers, and with some great imaginations working on e-bikes, there's no shortage of choice.

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RETRO IS IN

Beards, Ray Bans and Pedego California beach cruiser-styled electric bikes make a statement of style for today's cool, urban commuter. In step-through and bar versions, the Pedego also comes in a foldable model that offers an even more compact alternative. The SmartMotion range, originally designed for New Zealand posties by Anthony Clyde, is a great city bike which also has the choice of a step-through or bar frame.

SEASONED CYCLIST?

You'll recognise the Spanish BH brand, used by top professional teams including Direct Energie. This range includes a stylish matte-black single speed, classic racers and a range of mountain bikes. There are also designs for commuters who want a top brand with the easy going posture for cruising around town.

An additional plus for the Pedego, SmartMotion and BH brand range e-bikes, Mercury customers can get them at a discount of up to $500.

A TRUE HANDLEBAR MOUSTACHE?

A Moustache bike range is definitely couture, from traditional designs to the seriously stylish. They have one created by esteemed designer Philippe Starck. You'll recognise that one by its name: the Moustache StarckBike. Fat tyres, electric assistance and a dab of classic brown leather makes a real statement on Ponsonby Road.

PUSHING THE ENVELOPE EVER FURTHER

Some of the more outrageous designs demonstrate how the e-bike has revolutionised the bicycle: the Yike Bike looks like an inclined comma and folds up for maximum convenience. Also a folding bike, the GiFlybike is a radical design likely to appeal to those with a futuristic outlook. And then there's Jay Wen's designs, including the striking Trayser.

Whatever your style, there's an e-bike for you.

For more information on e-bikes, and details of the up to $500 discount, visit mercury.co.nz/ebike.

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