We were approaching ‘the end’ of the pandemic and had grown tired of the morning commute via public transport; the shuffling and squeezing and sneezing--the delays, the traffic, the transfers. Along with a huge handful of Lausanne residents, we were ready to take our commute into our own hands, or rather on our own two wheels.
Not too long ago in 2018, Switzerland overwhelmingly voted in favor of giving federal authorities more responsibility in coordinating and developing cycle paths nationwide. We’ve witnessed the transformation of Lausanne streets; where parking spots once were, there are now bike lanes clearly marked in yellow. Though some of these new lanes are laughable (no widening of the roads, so cars don’t have much of a choice but to drive in the bike lane), the effort is clearly there. And though Lausanne may still have a long way to go before being considered a “bike-friendly” city, the promise of new infrastructures in place has cyclists increasing in number exponentially over the past two years.
Are you thinking about joining our numbers? We had a chance to connect with Anna Bory and Daniel Van den Berg, the founders of a local e-bike company called Miloo who are set on disrupting the world of mobility in the best of ways. They provided insight into the future of the e-bike and why it’s got a solid place in daily life both here in Lausanne and around the world.
Miloo means more than mobility
After moving around the globe for corporate jobs and living in cities that were more manageable on two wheels, both Anna and Daniel recognized a gap in the market: why couldn’t commuting not just be functional, but also fun? “An idea is born when you know a market well, you live it from the inside, and you realise something is missing,” explained Anna. Daniel and Anna tested every type of two-wheeler imaginable but couldn’t find anything on the market that fulfilled their desire to bring fun and excitement to their commutes but were also safe and powerful. This gap is what gave birth to Miloo (https://miloo.com/en/).
"An idea is born when you know a market well, you live it from the inside, and you realize something is missing."
The Beast is born
Miloo was founded in 2019 and is based just next door in Geneva. All bikes are under the Swiss Quality certification, which means they are both engineered and assembled in Switzerland. When beginning their prototyping phase, Anna and Daniel surveyed potential customers asking them about their ideal ride and the main response was unanimous: safety and stability. They knew from experience and market research that this would mean a focus on frame strength and choosing wider tires.
Fast forward many years and prototypes later, and their very first bike, The Beast, was born. Because of the frame, the power, and the wider tires the Miloo range of e-bikes is often described as ‘the luxury SUV of e-bikes.’ And after testing them in both the urban setting of Lausanne as well as the snowy mountainside paths of the Alps, we can indeed confirm that they handle with both finesse and force.
Now Miloo offers three different e-bikes in their main range: the Classy Beast, Mighty Beast, and Cargo Beast along with a Limited-Edition Xplorer Beast designed in collaboration with Swiss Explorer Mike Horn. They are all customizable, and all models except the Classy Beast come in 45 km options.
The Brains of the Beast
But perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of Miloo is their drive toward constant innovation. “It’s up to use to keep our finger on the pulse of innovation,” explained Daniel. “We are constantly on the lookout for any signal, change of attitude or new product.” And both Anna and Daniel’s experiences in the Asian and American markets have given them a head start in the European one. They’ve decided a big focus of Miloo will not just be on the tangible product, but also on service. That’s why they’ve created the Miloo app, which provides a place to organize your maps and saved rides, offers specific recommendations based on your geolocation, keeps track of your bicycle stats and health, and allows you to schedule a service at home (yes, they can come to you). They also are the first brand to offer a “customer relationship management program” where they offer incentives and rewards for every 500km you ride.
Did you know Miloo also offers rentals? If you’re not ready to commit to e-bike ownership, or want to try it out for a period of time before making your decision, Miloo now offers the option to rent one of their e-bikes for contracts of 6, 12, or 24 months:
- Cargo 25km/h starting at CHF 206.- per month
- Mighty Beast starting at CHF 234.-
- Classy Beast from starting at CHF 173.-
It has now been over a year since we personally started our e-bike lifestyle here in Lausanne–we’ve cycled through every season, and every type of weather pattern imaginable, and we honestly cannot imagine functioning in our day-to-day without a bicycle. The autonomy and independence, the fresh air, and the enjoyment of interacting with our city of Lausanne in an entirely new and tangible way still brings us joy. It’s an experience that we highly recommend joining in on — and we feel spoiled to have beautiful and stable bikes engineered and manufactured right here in Switzerland to choose from.
FAQ's about E-biking in Lausanne
Are there discounts or subsidies available for Lausanne residents who purchase an e-bike?
Yes! The Ville de Lausanne is incentivizing residents to take up cycling. Did you know that you can get a subsidy for an e-bike purchased IN a store in Lausanne (careful: it does not count if you buy a bike online). You can also receive a subsidy for a new battery purchased in Lausanne.
You need to apply for the subsidy within 2 months of purchase. You should receive your payment within 2 months as well and it ranges from 300-500 CHF. You have two months to claim your rebate.
What’s the difference between a pedal-assisted vs. motor-assisted bicycle?
Depending on your needs, you have two options for e-bikes: pedal-assisted which usually has a max speed of 25km/h or motor-assisted (more than 45km/h) which requires a category M driving license and registration plate with an annually renewable vignette.
Is there an age requirement for e-biking in Lausanne?
Yes, the minimum age for riding an e-bike is 14 years but they must hold a category M driving license. If not, cyclists aged 16 and above may ride a 25km/h e-bike without any form of license.
Is it obligatory to use a helmet?
While highly recommended (it’s your BRAIN, people), it’s not compulsory to wear a helmet for a 25 km/h bike, but it IS required for a 45 km/h bike.
Other helpful tips for future E-bikers in Lausanne
- Bicycles must use the road or bike lane paths.
- You are not allowed to listen to music while riding a bike
- New rules since Jan 2021 – Cyclist and moped riders are now allowed to turn right at a red light, just make sure to indicate and to keep an eye out!
- Children up to 12 years of age are allowed to ride on the sidewalk if bike lanes are not obvious or present.
- Cycling does not mean you’re exempt from traffic rules. If you expect vehicles to follow the rules and respect you, you also have to follow the rules on a bicycle. Running red lights, hopping on the sidewalk to avoid traffic, and cutting off pedestrians when they have the right of way are all jerk moves.
- Be predictable. Motorists are still getting used to so many bikes on the roads and they rely on your cues. Try to signal when you can, and avoid sudden braking or turning.
- If you’re on a motorscooter, stay out of the bike lane. If you’re a pedestrian, please try to stay out of the bike lane (and don’t be offended if a cyclist rings their bell at you – it’s not meant to be aggressive)
- Motorists: When parking on the street, look in your sideview mirror before opening the door
Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 6:30pm
Saturday: 10:30am – 6pm
Sunday & Monday: Closed
021 312 54 60
Interested in joining the E-bike community in Lausanne? Book a test drive with Miloo & experience the Beasts for yourself!