Julian Ilich’s Tiller Rides pushing power behind e-bike revolution

Claire TyrrellThe West Australian
Julian Ilich’s Tiller Cycles has released a unique e-bike designed to improve the experience for commuters.
Camera IconJulian Ilich’s Tiller Cycles has released a unique e-bike designed to improve the experience for commuters. Credit: Mogens Johansen

If Julian Ilich has one mission in life, it is to get more people on bicycles.

The Perth entrepreneur’s work as a corporate consultant about seven years ago led him on the search for the perfect e-bike.

“I worked as a corporate sustainability consultant for several years and while I was cycling to meetings in Perth’s heavy traffic and persevering through the summer heat and wet winter roads, I really started to think there must be a better way,” he said.

After a global research mission to find the perfect e-bike, Mr Ilich found it did not exist, so he took matters into his own hands.

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“I couldn’t find a bike that was right, if it was beautiful the functionality had been lost and if it was highly functional it gave little consideration to aesthetics,” he said.

Enter Tiller Rides, founded by Mr Ilich in 2016 to develop a unique e-bike to suit business commuters.

“With a focus on city transport, we’ve now designed an urban e-bike that overcomes the major design-related barriers,” he said.

A rubber belt instead of a chain, integrated lights, one-size-fits-all frame, anti-theft system including GPS tracking, front and rear carriers, a USB charging outlet and a removable 50km-range battery are among the key features of Tiller Rides’ recently released bike.

Mr Tiller is selling the bikes at $3750 each as part of a presale campaign and expects to deliver these by September.

He hopes his bike will eliminate barriers for Perth commuters to ride to work.

“A lot of businesses have major issues with how people get to and from work and all the new buildings going in all have showers and those things but for a lot of people the barrier isn’t the facilities, it’s having to shower and bring all your clothes in, but e-bikes will overcome that,” he said.

“With normal e-bikes you still have to carry a lock, lights, extra things to carry your bag. It’s still not a complete solution, so the next level up is a bike with it all built in so you walk out of your house with your helmet and your bike.”

He said his goal was to change the image around cycling from pure sport to a form of transport.

“It seems Australians because of the way bike sure used here and the way our cities are designed, which are very car dominated bikes are seen as recreation rather than transport,” he said.

“The majority of people who ride to work are those recreational cyclists.

“In other cultures it’s seen as a viable form of transport so people invest money in it like they would in a car, that’s not quite here yet.”

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