Made in FLA: Flaunt Electric Vehicles
It’s Electric–Boogie, Woogie, Woogie! Zip down the beach with a Florida-made e-bike.
Bicycling might be the dreamiest way to get around the town or beach. You get exercise, fresh air and unobstructed views of the world around you. Plus, you can forego the stress of hunting for a parking space and feel good about reducing your carbon footprint.
If only there weren’t pesky elements like sand, hills and wind that make pedaling more formidable than fun.
“A lot of people hold out for perfect weather and, consequently, their bikes sit around in the garage collecting dust,” says Kevin Mount, co-founder of Flaunt Electric Vehicles in New Smyrna Beach. Keen on reversing that trend, his company, established in 2013, studied what deters people from cycling and developed products that remove these painful points.
Flaunt’s bicycles are built with a 500-watt electric motor and a 36-volt, 15.6-amp Samsung lithium battery pack. “A lot of people hear these details and picture a motorcycle, but that’s not what these are like at all,” Mount says.
For starters, electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, make very little noise. They don’t emit any greenhouse gases or require a special license to operate.
“They look, sound and ride just like regular bicycles, except you can go a whole lot farther without exhausting yourself. And you can still get a great cardio workout on an e-bike,” Mount says, addressing the common belief that adding a motor to a bike negates any exercise potential. “Several research studies have found that e-bike owners are actually getting a better workout than owners of regular bikes because they ride more often and for longer durations.”
With three different power modes and six speed settings available, there are 18 ways to experience a Flaunt bicycle, ranging from a full-throttle ride at 20 miles per hour in which the motor does all the work to a light pedal assist, where the cyclist contributes most of the effort. “You can have a completely leisurely ride or just opt for a boost when conditions get tough,” as when navigating a headwind, soft surfaces or a steep bridge, Mount explains.
The bikes’ ranges vary according to a rider’s selected setting, but, on average, each travels about 40 miles per charge. Flaunt bicycles come with a charger that plugs directly from the wall into the battery. The battery is removable, so, “just like with their cell phones, users can recharge anywhere they can find an outlet,” Mount says. It takes approximately three hours for the battery to fully charge.
Headquartered a mere two miles from the Atlantic Ocean, Flaunt designed its bikes with the beach in mind. Built to endure a saltwater setting, they feature aluminum frames, stainless steel spokes, a galvanized steel “rust-buster” chain and stainless steel nuts and bolts. (Riders who frequent the shore should use an air compressor to blow sand out of the bike’s crevices.)
Flaunt currently sells two models, the Vicko and the Atticus, which buyers can customize with tires and handlebars best suited to their ideal activity–trail or road riding-. Different colors are available, too.
Mount and Todd Hilton, the company’s engineers, are both lifelong surfers intent on protecting the environment. “That’s what drives us,” Mount says. “We’d love to see more people embrace eco-friendly transportation.”
Flaunt has some customers who’ve decided to sell their cars and rely entirely on their e-bikes. “There’s a man in Los Angeles who rides one to work,” Mount said. “He’s shaved half an hour off his commute, plus he’s saving significant gas money and getting endorphins, so he’s starting his day in a much better mood.”
Since he began commuting by e-bike, Mount has become a real admirer of his town. “There’s so much you don’t notice when you’re traveling 40 or 50 miles per hour in a car,” he said. “At a slower pace, everything’s more beautiful.”
Flaunt is located in New Smyrna’s historic district at 105 Magnolia St. The brand’s bikes are also sold at JC’s Bike Shop in DeLand, Seminole PowerSports in Sanford and Ron Jon Surf Shop.