Say hello to Ken Vos

He’s the guy on the cool bike

By Mary Lu Laffey

Ken Vos on e-bike
Ken Vos on e-bike

Whenever Ken Vos is asked if he rides a bicycle, he smiles and nods, “Yes.”

He took his cue from his father who built bicycles before metal became scarce during World War II. Vos recalls his dad making 250 bikes, which he sold at a selling price of $12.95.

“He even made sociables,” said Vos. Sociables are bicycles built for two, seated side-by-side. “In our family we have always been about fun,” he said.

The corporate name for the family business in Holland, Reliable Sport & Billiards, is Fun, Inc. Its tagline is “All we sell is fun.”

Power-assist bicycle models, Reliable Sport & Billiards
Power-assist bicycle models, Reliable Sport & Billiards

A third-generation Hollander, Vos still rides a bike. He prefers to run errands by bike and most often rides for the joy of it. He says it is easier than ever to ride and even more fun when he steps through a low frame Haibike or Izip e-bike. All are power- or pedal-assist and street legal.

“We have been offering e-bikes for 10 years,” Vos said, adding that as time passes, the bikes just get better and better.

One of his vendors in California has 150 quality checkpoints for each bike as it rolls off the line.

“Early e-bikes got about 8 miles off of a full charge,” he said. With the attention that e-bike production gets today, it is not unexpected for a single charge to handle 80 miles.

Vos said one of his customers took an e-bike on a round-trip ride to the bridge — referring to the Mackinac Bridge that is 270 miles from Holland. Another makes the 7-mile trip to Saugatuck on US Bicycle Route 35 for the fun of it.

“We sell power-assist bikes. We rent-to-own e-bikes and we rent them,” he said.

Reliable has four rental locations:  the Holland store on River St., up north at Shanty Creek Ski area, south in Saugatuck at Coral Gables and west near Eldean’s at Lake Macatawa.

“Whenever anyone returns with one of our e-rentals, they always have a smile on their face,” Vos said.

Reliable Sport & Billiards
254 S. River Ave., Holland