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Looking to try a new hobby? Check out electronic bikes! They are a fast, fun, and efficient mode of transportation that can be great to have on hand for your next adventure. Cycling has become very popular lately because of the exercise it can provide as well as a great socially distanced activity, and e-bikes are no exception to this.
In case you’re not familiar, electric bicycles use motors and batteries for propulsion. Most offer pedal assist which means you still must be pedaling but the motor works in tandem with your pedaling to move you along. Typically these bikes reach about 20 miles per hour and the battery range could last up to 35 miles! Most are capped at speeds of 20-28 miles per hour so you can get some speed too!
E-bikes can be a great form of transportation for work or play. You can skip the traffic by enjoying the bicycle lanes (in most areas), making your commute time quicker. If you live close to town or work, an e-bike can be a cost efficient form of transportation costing you just 5-10 cents per mile. Maintenance and repairs are much cheaper than owning a car, and you don’t have to pay for parking. It’s a great form of exercise, but the motors can be especially handy on hills, making it so you don’t arrive at your destination full of sweat. They are quiet and environmentally friendly too. Another perk is that you don’t have to worry about having a drivers license or registering your bike as these bikes are treated just like regular bicycles on the road in most cases. Do check with your area on this depending where you live to learn all about the rules and regulations associated with these bikes.
Some view these bikes as a lazy way to bike, but E-bikes can be a great alternative to a traditional bike for people of different fitness levels. In fact, studies have shown that you can still get a great workout on these bikes. With pedal assist, you can get outside in the fresh air and ride longer distances. If you have knee or joint pain, these bikes that be a great option for that too. This type of bike allows people of different fitness levels to ride together, and it’s a great way to see the scenery without worrying about whether or not you can get back to where you started!
Some things to consider about E-Biking
If you plan on going on a long ride, you will need to find a place to charge your bike which could be hard to find plus it takes a while to charge. You can charge it partially if you need a quick boost, but a full charge could take up to 6 hours depending on the bike. This means the bike is best suited for short commutes and probably not best for seasoned bicycle tourist. It is however a great way to travel around the beach or for a tourist looking to enjoy scenery within a smaller geographical area.
Do keep in mind too, they can be very heavy (some weighing up to 70 lbs) so they can be harder to store if you have to take it up a flight of stairs. Also, if the battery dies you can still propel it forward with your own pedaling but this could be a challenge especially if you have to pedal up a steep incline so be sure to keep that in mind.
As far as the cost, these bikes can be a bit pricier than a regular bike with prices starting at around $1,000. The batteries are also another $500 or more. You typically get a few years use out of them but be prepared to have to spend that extra on top of the bike cost every few years. Parts also can be hard to find or expensive because each brand has their own parts plus you will need special parts like tires rated for higher speeds. It’s still not a bad price for all the many functions in provides!
If this kind of biking sounds like fun, but you don’t want to spend a fortune, you can convert your current bike to an E- bike! You can use an electric bike conversion kit which costs around $100-$500. This may involve switching out the wheels and attaching an electric motor in the hub. You will then mount a battery onto the frame and wire everything. This can be tedious but a much more affordable option and a good way to see if this kind of biking works for you.
Types of e-Bikes:
There are many types of E-bikes, but there are generally two broad categories. You can buy Pedal Assist e-Bikes and Throttle Controlled. Pedal Assist Bikes only provide propulsion when you pedal. When you stop pedaling, the power cuts off. These are the most common types of e-Bikes. Throttle Controlled is more like a motorcycle where a button or twist grip on the handlebar allows you to control the power so you don’t have to pedal if you don’t want to! Most e-bikes do come with the pedal assist feature. Both still can be pedaled by the rider and therefore are not classified as motorcycles.
Examples of E-Bikes:
When it comes to e-bikes, you will notice different designs with different motor positions is regards to where they are mounted. There are also different motor sizes so depending if you want to commute, or plan on going off road or up hills will determine the motor size that you will want to choose.
If you’re looking to have more adventures and explore new areas, an e-bike might be something to consider! There are plenty of brands online, but if you need additional assistance your local bike store should be able to help.