Gasoline was four bucks a gallon and rising. SUVs and trucks sales were in decline. Finally, the door for alternative means of urban transportation appeared to have opened – and poised to roll through it was OHM Cycles and its electric-assist bicycles. The year was 2008 (although the past appears to be repeating itself). Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, OHM Cycles had developed a high-quality e-bike, also known as pedalec. Wildly popular in Europe and the Far East, such 2-wheeled devices were, for the most part, unknown in North America.

While a small start-up, OHM Cycles asked Medley Communications to launch the brand in the U.S. and Canada. On a very limited budget, Medley Communications carried out a PR launch that targeted not only the cycling press, but mainstream and gadget media as well. A well-crafted press release, combined with a focused product review effort, and trade show PR yielded immediate results. The auto editor of the Wall Street Journal commuted from New Jersey into Manhattan on an OHM, resulting in an online video and feature. AutoWeek tried one on the streets of West LA. Wired magazine thought highly of it – print and online reviews – as did USA Today, the Vancouver (B.C.) Sun, FOX News Business/New York, the Baltimore Sun, Bicycle Retailer, the Gear Junkie, BikeRumor, as well as extensive “viral” coverage across the high-tech and green online universe.

Check out the OHM XU450 video on the Wall Street Journal "Man versus Machine".