There’s a new world evolving where green energy will be the norm and within a generation petrol and diesel combustion engines will be obsolete. People need to travel, to work, to the shops, to visit family and friends, of just for some fresh air and exercise. So, increasingly, a spread of green transport options will have to be available for the purpose of such travel.
In this new world, ebikes will be an important factor. They are cheap (compared to car ownership, or the cost of bus or rail travel). They are easy to ride (most anyone can ride a bicycle). They take the strain out of physical exercise, so assist the lazier cyclist like myself, or make it easier for the elderly, or those with infirmities to join in.
What is an ebike?
An ebike is an electric bicycle. It has a motor, and a battery, and the motor helps, or assists, you to get to your destination without too much of an effort. Most ebikes have a ‘pedal assist’ mode where motor assistance is increased as the physical exercise of the rider grows, e.g. going up a hill, or cycling into a strong headwind. Some have a throttle, and can allow the motor to do all the work for a while. Whatever the type of ebike you have, you can still pedal, so can still exercise, however gentle that exercise may be.
For more information check our article: What is an ebike, or an Electric Bicycle?
Why Buy an ebike?
There are many reasons people buy an ebike. They can be a great money saving way to commute to your place of employ without the sweaty workout of a traditional bicycle. You can save time, especially if you live in a heavy urban area with regular gridlocked traffic during rush hours. Hilly areas are no longer a hindrance to cycling. The elderly cyclist, who perhaps gave up the pleasure of cycling due to age, can once again get out and about in an ebike.
Another reason why people buy ebikes, is because they are such a joy to own, and there is nothing to beat the pleasure of whizzing along with little or no effort in a sunny day.
What exercise will I get on an ebike?
When you are pedalling an ebike, you are still pedalling, just as you would on a traditional bicycle. You can turn off the motor and exercise fully just as you would in a traditional bicycle. The bonus is though, you can turn on the ‘pedal assist’ and the exercise has become easier, less of a strain, and more of pleasure. You can decide on how much, or how little, exercise you take. You can save the pedal assist until you reach a hill, or use it on low or medium, and switch to high when the hill appears. Whatever, if you are pedalling, you are exercising!
Who Can Use an ebike?
Just about anyone, of any age, can use an ebike. If you can use a traditional bicycle, you can use an electric bicycle. Whether you are young and sporty, or an older adult, an ebike may be for you. Certain regions may have restrictions on children using ebikes, or certain ‘heavy-powered’ ebikes may be categorised differently to normal run-of-the-mill ebikes, so check the law where you are to ensure you comply with any legislation.
How expensive is an ebike?
Ebikes are relatively inexpensive and as technology continually advances, as time goes by, you get more for your money; more efficient motor, more efficient batteries, lighter frames, better brakes, etc. Ebikes are like most other technological equipment, you can pay more for the very latest advanced technology and innovations, or pay little for the very basic. It is all down to your budget. You can find an ebike on sale from around $500, or pay a premium of $5,000, or more, for all the latest bells and whistles.
Ebikes are also great for the environment, check our article: What Do Ebikes Do for the Environment? for more information.
These are just some of the answers to questions I get asked regularly, and they are by no means all the questions I get asked over the course of a week, or a month. These are what I would consider broad answers to common questions. Other questions I get asked frequently, I cannot answer broadly, they depend on the type, or specific model, of ebike the questioner has in mind. Example of such questions would be:
How far can I travel before I have to recharge?
How long does it take to recharge the batteries?
How much does it cost to recharge the batteries?
The specific answers to questions such as these will be found by investigating the specifications of the particular ebike. Bear in mind though, that some manufacturers may exaggerate some claims about a particular model of theirs. Broadly though, manufacturers want your business, want you to recommend them, so any exaggerated claims may not be too off the mark. Keep in mind though, that an ebike road-tested by a manufacturer on a good calm day with a rider half your weight, may travel further than you will be able to on the same ebike on a cold wet day with a headwind all throughout your journey.
With a little research before you part with your hard-earned cash, I’m sure you will source an ebike that will suit your needs and give you endless pleasure. When you buy your ebike, check out our article on safety checks for your brand new ebike to ensure you stay safe while you go.