It’s been a wild ride since opening in 2023, and we’ve had a lot of fun meeting new customers and bringing the joy of E-Bikes to Surbiton. With that being said, we wanted to share a bit more about how Torque Electric came about, why we’re so passionate about E-Bikes, and share some things that we’re working on for the future! To do that, we had a chat with store owner Kathee:
How did Torque Electric story begin? What inspired you to get into the bike industry?
Our journey started after spending some time in New Zealand (Kathee’s home country!) back in December 2019. We were captivated by the E-Bike culture there, but when we returned to the UK, we noticed that E-Bikes were still largely misunderstood. We wanted to change that, so decided bring the joy of E-Bikes back to the UK!
What can people expect when they step into the Torque Electric store?
You'll find a friendly and down-to-earth bike shop. We take pride in creating a welcoming atmosphere, where no question is too silly. We understand that electric bikes might be new to some, but we're here to guide you every step of the way, making sure you find the perfect E-Bike for your needs.
What is it that makes electric bikes so exciting, and why do you think more people should consider buying one?
Electric bikes are a game-changer! They provide an opportunity for riders of any ability to go further and enjoy longer experiences on their day out. There's a misconception amongst some people that ebikes are ‘cheating’. In reality, they simply assist you as you ride and allow you to still enjoy the thrill and joy of cycling while extending your adventures.
What advice would you give to someone who is new to electric bikes, or thinking about buying an E-Bike for the first time?
If you're new to electric bikes, don't worry, they're not as complicated as they might seem. Think of an E-Bike as just a regular bike with a little extra ‘oomph’. The motor and battery provide assistance, but they don't take away from the enjoyment of riding. Feel free to ask us any questions or come test ride one to experience the fun firsthand!
What’s your E-Bike of choice, and how has it changed your day-to-day travels?
My personal favourite is the Thompson Traveler Performance Inter, which happens to be a folding E-Bike. I love it because it's easy to ride, equipped with hub gears, and incredibly convenient to store due to its folding design. Since I started riding this E-Bike, my day-to-day travels have been transformed – I breeze through traffic, conquer hills effortlessly, and it has made my commute a lot more fun!
Sustainability is clearly a big part of the ethos at Torque Electric – how do you approach sustainability and what do you do to reduce waste?
At Torque Electric, we take sustainability seriously. Electric bikes offer an eco-friendly alternative for transportation and reducing carbon footprints, so getting more people on E-Bike is very important to us! Our shop furnishings are thoughtfully designed, using upcycled and recycled materials to minimise waste and lower our environmental impact. We've also invested in a cutting-edge bike part cleaning system that employs natural bioremediation, further reducing waste and remaining non-toxic to the environment.
What’s next for Torque Electric? Do you have any goals for the next year or so?
Exciting times are ahead at Torque Electric! We are in the process of launching our E-Bike rental service, offering you the chance to enjoy the E-Bike experience, whether it’s for a day or a month. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that our in-house bike mechanic, Elliot, will be available to ensure your rental E-Bike is always in tip-top shape.
What have you enjoyed most about starting Torque Electric?
Oh, there are so many things we’ve loved about starting Torque Electric! If we had to pick one, it would be the joy of talking to customers about our E-Bikes and the difference it has made to their lives. The fact that we can share our own experiences and help others discover the perfect E-Bike that suits their lifestyle and preferences is incredibly rewarding!
I’ve also personally had a lot of fun sourcing and upcycling items to furnish our showroom. Our showroom features refurbished pieces made from upcycled pallets, discarded scaffolding, floorboards, and OSB, and we've also been resourceful in finding other items from platforms like eBay or local Facebook marketplace groups, contributing to a sustainable and unique shopping environment.