The Slovenia Times

Ski-maker Elan branching out into e-bikes

Industry & Agriculture

Elan, a Slovenian company with a 78-year tradition in development and production of skis, is adapting to shorter winters by expanding into other sports. After launching a water sports collection two years ago, Elan has now presented two new models of electric bikes.

Elan first entered the cycling market in 2003 with freeride bikes but the experiment only lasted a few years. The company re-entered the cycling market in summer 2022 with mountain and trekking bikes.

The company is now launching a new electric bike collection, which is focusing on the Alpine and pre-Alpine regions, where the brand is already present and well-known. The collection, which will first launch in Slovenia and then expand to neighbouring markets, is suited to both beginners and experienced users, said product manager Matija Rimahazi at the launch on 24 May.

As Elan director of commerce Matjaž Meglič told Žurnal24, they tried to blur the line between regular and electric bikes, finding the right ratio between performance and weight. The bikes are still lighter than the competition, he added. Elan tried to keep the authentic cycling experience, so they did not want the electric drive to play a dominant role.

Elan has developed two models of electric bikes. The first, developed with a more demanding user in mind, is an agile bike, reliable on descents and fast on climbs, while the other is designed for the widest range of users with its front suspension, versatility, durability and ease of use. All components are adapted to the electric bike, which allows for easier use and less maintenance.

The electric bikes will hit the stores next year and will be priced between €4,000 and €7,000.

Top Slovenian athletes and Elan ambassadors Bojan Križaj, Filip Flisar, Tim Mastnak, Vid Baruca and Ana Pišot attended the presentation. Križaj noted that Elan has entered the right niche market and that the new collection is suited for a broad circle of cycling enthusiasts.

Elan is currently not considering other sports. "We are moving step by step and I think it is right to first look at our flagship programmes that are our core and heart," said the sports division director Leon Korošec.

"We should first ensure that we are a leading provider and manufacturer of winter sports equipment and that we can correctly launch the water sports and cycling programmes. That is quite a lot of work for the next mid-term period," Korošec added.

Elan currently employs some 900 people. After last year's successful business results, they are expecting a similar or even better performance this year, despite the fact that this winter season saw less snow than the one before.

Branching out into cycling is in line with the company's strategy. "We are addressing the same customer, in the same environment, with a sustainable and healthy lifestyle and enjoying moments in nature both on skis and on bikes," said Meglič.

Elan hopes that electric bikes could replace other motorised forms of transport in mountainous areas. Tourists in Kranjska Gora, Bohinj or Bled can use electric bikes to explore the area and don't need to use cars, said Korošec.


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