‘They’re ruining normal riding’, ‘they spoil the fun’, ‘they’re for fat people’… just a few of the crazy rumours we’ve heard about e-bikes. In this article we’ll de-bunk some of the rumours and explain why e-bikes really are a great purchase for any cyclist.
‘Electric bikes aren’t like ‘normal bikes’’.
Though once upon a time this might have been the case, the design and engineering of e-bikes has come a long long way in recent years. Improved battery life and handling have made these machines move like never before. And they go a lot lot further. Besides, what defines a ‘normal’ bike? An e-bike has two wheels, and you pedal it from A to B, usually fairly fast. It’s got a chain set, gears, brakes, handlebars… it looks like a normal bike, handles like a normal bike…. It’s just a bike that’s been on a new episode of pimp my ride. You don’t have a throttle, engine and clutch like you would a moped. They’re still largely controlled from the legs.
Not to be confused with a motorbike. The bike doesn’t ride for you, it simply assists you. It’s not, fill with petrol, twist a handle and off you go. In fact it can be quite the opposite. E-Bikes can be set up to offer as much or as little help as you require. The motor simply allows a boost when you need it. Now if you’re the race orientated, leg shaven, stem munching type, we can see why this doesn’t appeal to you. You race to go all out from start to finish, to push the physical capabilities of your body as far as possible.
You can usually choose the amount of assistance the e-bike will offer you. With most having up to 5 settings, and being capped around 250W, they’ll deliver assistance as and when you need it. Meaning you can ride harder, for longer. Often the new technology monitors your input and delivers the power exactly when required meaning there’s no surges or kicks out of the motor. It moves exactly as a normal bike would, you’ll just feel like you’ve developed the legs you’ve always wished you had.
They’re not just for people that struggle.
E-bikes aren’t just for people that struggle on a normal bike, or those that can’t quite keep up with pace. These machines have come such a long way in recent years, that even the hard core racers are beginning to branch out to e-bikes. We’re seeing these machines become far more popular among the sports elite, and races are beginning to incorporate an electric only category.
But there really is an e-bike for everyone, whether you’re after a hardcore mountain bike, a road bike, a commuter or just a bit of everything bike. There’s a design capable to meet your exact needs. In fact, if you use your e-bike to get to and from work, you’ll arrive almost less sweaty than if you got the tube!
Some e-bikes need tax, insurance and riders need to wear a motorbike helmet.
In Europe there is a breed of e-bike known as the ’s-pedelec’, which would mean you need all of those things. But as we know the European mentality to cycling far exceeds that of the UK. With friendly attitude towards bikes and many many more people using them, it’s far easier to pass the law. In the U.K. you only have to be over the age of 14 to ride one. The power rating and speed have to be capped, but the rest is just like riding your bike.
E-Bikes still aren’t in fashion yet.
While in the U.K. that might have been true at one stage. In the Netherlands over 1/3rd of bike sales now come in the form of e-bikes. And considering it’s one of the worlds biggest cycling nations, that will give you some idea on the scale of the market over there! With a huge boom in the last 3 years in the U.K, e-bike sales now make up a huge portion of the market. And the attitudes in the cycling community are beginning to reflect that.
I may as well get the tube.
That’s true, but getting the tube won’t save the planet. And you still have to get public transport. Whether you drive, get the bus, tube, train, however you get to work. The e-bike is 25 times cheaper than a car on average, and it’ll probably be faster over the shorter journeys! Plus you’l get to enjoy the fresh air and enjoy new, traffic free routes while you do it.
What if the battery runs out?
Well first of all you can just pedal the bike if it runs out of charge. It’s exactly the same as a normal bike, just heavier. So you can still move it with your legs if the battery runs out. And the chances are, you can charge it in the office. Unlike electric cars, which require specialist sockets, e-bikes can be charged as easily as your phone. And most will last for days before you need to swap the battery. You could even carry a spare! Often at trail centres people will ride one battery in the morning, stop for lunch, then ride a spare battery in the afternoon – making full use for the day.
Of course the batteries aren’t going to last for ever, but as research improves the batteries are lasting longer & longer. Generally e-bike batteries will last the best part of 1,000 charge cycles before you need to fully replace the battery. And currently the battery will last anywhere between 40 and 120km when fully charged. This will obviously depend on the battery and the amount of assistance you require.
E-bikes just aren’t fun.
Unlimited riding terrain, more downhills, and as much power as you need when your legs run out of juice. What’s not to love about e-bikes. They handle the same, move the same, and ride the same as a normal bike. Except you can now unlock routes that you’ve only ever dreamed of doing. You can work just as hard as you would on your normal bike, so don’t worry about that.
Brands such as Specialized, Cannondale, GT – all have electric ranges now. So you’re in trusted hands. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call the Cyclestore customer service team today. They’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.