Benefits of an Electric bike
Why Buy an Electric Bike?
Electric Bikes are becoming more popular all the time - not as popular as they are on the continent yet but we are fast catching up.
So why would you buy an electric bike? What are the benefits and are there any downsides?
1. Flatten the Hills
With an electric bike all of the pain and sweat of the hills is removed. Most of our customers are amazed the first time they try an electric bike how easily they can climb hills. I recently took a customer up a steep hill and his comment afterwards was that for the first time in his life he could imagine looking forward to hills. You may not be as fit as you used to be or you may always have struggled with hills. No more with an electric bike!
2. Go Further
With an electric bike you can go out on your bike all day without getting tired. I am sometimes asked why you would get an electric mountain bike. Well mountain bikers know that it can be very tiring and after an hour or two many people have had enough. With an e-bike you can keep going for much longer. You can explore the countryside more and if you come across a big downhill you don't need to worry about the effort of climbing back up.
If you are a commuter the e-bike will enable you to commute greater distances without getting tired or arriving at work hot and sweaty and badly in need of a shower.
3. Rediscover Your Youth (and the joys of cycling) - and Overcome Your Ailments
I have lost count of the numbers of people that have told me how much they used to enjoy cycling but health or just the onset of age has prevented them from cycling. With an e-bike you can roll back they years and rediscover why you enjoyed it so much.
We have a lot of customers who are prevented from cycling or indeed many other kinds of exercise because of their health. If you have a weakness in your legs or knees or suffer from breathing issues or circumstances have meant that you are now overweight then cycling a normal bike can be very difficult or indeed unpleasant. An electric bike can help enormously and can get you back to doing some exercise and joining in with the rest of the family.
4. Get More Exercise
This may come as a surprise, but you can actually get more exercise than you would on a regular bike. This is because firstly you are more likely to go out on the bike, because you do not have that dread of the hills and secondly because you will in all likelihood go out for longer. Furthermore, the exercise is going to be more consistent rather than surges of extreme effort followed by very easy parts as you go downhill. With an e-bike you exercise as much as you want to. You can alter the amount of assistance that the bike gives you and if you want to you can turn the motor off altogether. Although the bike is heavier than a regular bike, if you are cycling on the flat, the extra weight makes very little difference and it feels just like riding a normal bike. There is no resistance from the motor.
5. Save Money
An electric bike may seem expensive. Our bikes typically start at about £1000 with a Bosch equipped bike being close to £2000. However for smaller trips you can use your bike instead of a car - and you will find that you will. You pay no tax, insurance, parking or fuel costs. The cost of charging a 400 watt hour battery from flat is about 7 pence. You will conservatively get 35 miles from the battery making about 0.2 pence per mile compared to about 12 p for a standard car - that's less than 2% of the cost.
We can go into the other running costs - the servicing, the tyres etc - and the bike will win every time.
Your bike should not need a replacement battery for five years. Even allowing for that and assuming you have the bike in total for 10 years the total capital cost of even one of the more expensive bikes is about £5 per week. I can't think of such an effective form of transport that can beat that.
6. Enjoy Your Surroundings
We are lucky. We live very close to the North Downs in Surrey and we can ride for miles without ever seeing a road. Most people in the country will live close to somewhere where they can enjoy the countryside, yet many don't . With an e-bike you can explore this and get to see some of those places that are on your doorstep but you never quite get round to visiting.
7. Help the Environment
As we know cars, especially diesel cars, are responsible for a significant amount of the world's pollution. We can all make a difference to this by using a bike as much as possible rather than taking the easy option and jumping in the car. An e-bike will make this a much easier decision. When we pop down to the shops we are not looking for a workout so an e-bike is the perfect solution.
8. Get Around More Easily
If you live in a city or a large town you will know that getting anywhere by car is becoming increasingly difficult. Sometimes it feels like our cities will just grind to a halt for ever. There are so many cars around now that it only needs a small problem to occur and gridlock occurs. With a bike you can by-pass the traffic, not worry about where you are going to park - or how much it will cost!
Not everyone is as happy as we are to see the surge in popularity for electric bikes. This has led to a few myths of what electric bikes mean for cycling. Some of these include:
1. It is Cheating
By far the most common complaint we hear from tradionilist cyclists is that getting on an electric bike is somehow cheating. And in a race between an electric and a conventional bike it probably would be. But that's not what cycling is all about. Cycling is about setting your own personal goals, and getting the most of what you want out of it. If you want to go faster for longer, to flatten sharp hills and shrink your commute, we highly recommend electric bikes. A runner would probably consider it cheating to get on a bike with or without a motor. Nobody has the right to tell you how to best enjoy the great outdoors.
2. You are Not Getting Exercise.
Electric bikes simply won't go without a cyclist. We constantly receive feedback from our customers about how they've been inspired to exercise more than ever thanks to their electric bike. Having the power to get up hills you previously may not have even considered means you're more likely to choose the bike over your car - something that provides no exercise at all. Low intensity exercise is incredibly good for you, and provides many benefits that you miss out on if you exhaust yourself too quickly.
3. Not Safe
Cycling can seem to be dangerous. Cars often give bikes very little space and cycling lanes are often no more than two feet wide before they suddenly come to an end! But your chances of being injured on a bike are still very small. Cycling lanes are improving, although I would be the first to admit that there is a long way to go. There is safety in numbers and with bikes becoming more and more popular then we will reach a tipping point. A cultural change is needed in this country (and many others) so that the instinctive thought will be to use the bike wherever possible and leave the car in the garage rather than leave the bike in the shed and take out the car.
An electric bike is safer than a conventional bike for two reasons: First you are going faster. Instead of slogging up a hill at 5 or 6 mph causing the drivers behind you to have steam blowing out of their ears, you will be managing closer to 15 mph. This means they will be (ok, should be) more patient and therefore not overtake with inches to spare and sometimes will not overtake at all realising that you are not holding them up more than the usual traffic congestion. Second, when it comes to traffic lights, roundabouts etc you can accelerate away from the traffic. Having a little more power at your finger-tips, or feet will enable you to pedal your way out of danger.