Whether you are looking for a faster and greener alternative for your bicycle or if you want to make commuting easier and less stressful, there are numerous reasons why you might be interested in moving on to riding an e-bike.
Recently, they have become increasingly popular, and thus more producers and DIY-ers, choose to make them.
If you are not quite familiar with electric bikes, here are the 10 basic things you need to know about these modern two-wheeled vehicles:
1. They are not much slower than cars. If you think that e-bikes are much slower than cars, you may want to think again, especially if you live in an urban area with heavy traffic. The average driving speed in most towns is 18mph while the average speed of an electric powered bike is 15mph. Not much of a difference right?
2. They are still considered to be good exercise. If you are wondering whether e-bikes are still good for you and can you count them as exercise. Yes, studies show that riding an e-bike does benefit your health. If you ride your e-bike regularly you can help improve your cardiovascular well-being, aerobic capacity, and fitness level. This is valid mainly for new e-bike riders who previously relied on cars or led a sedentary lifestyle.
Still, you can use the advantage of modern e-bikes which will allow you to reach to your destination without sweat by maintaining an average speed of 15 mph without too much effort. This is especially helpful if you suffer from an injury, asthma or other health condition which prevents you from riding a traditional bicycle, and yet you want to take advantage of all the benefits of riding one! You will get that fresh air, moderate cardio exercise and the thrill of riding!
3. E-bikes are cost-efficient. If you are wondering whether getting an e-bike is economically efficient, then the answer is yes. Even though the price of a good quality e-bike can reach that of an old used car or another motorized vehicle, in the end, it is a good long-term investment to make. There are no costs associated with fuel, oil change, maintenance, insurance, parking and much lower costs for repairs. The cost of a fill up of 12 gallons of gasoline is about $33.60, and the cost for charging the e-bike is only about $0.50.
Sure, your e-bike will require regular care and some maintenance, but the price is considerably lower than that for maintaining an old or new car.
4. Their range per charge is pretty good. Some e-bikes such as Elby can travel 95 miles per full charge, and others can go 18 to 60 miles after being charged. A car, on the other hand, can travel about 290 miles on one tank of gas. And there are some e-bikes which have a greater range than certain electric cars.
5. Charging an e-bike is very easy. You can simply plug it in a power outlet wherever you want. Most e-bikes do not require dedicated charging stations like electric cars. Some even have removable batteries which are even easier to charge.
6. The types of batteries used to power them differ. They can be lithium-ion or lighter and higher tech ones for the high-end e-bikes. With proper care and upkeep, a battery could last for a few years. A full charge can take from 2.5 to 6 hours depending on the type of battery.
7. You can turn an ordinary bicycle into an e-bike. If you are a fan of DIY, you can make your own e-bike and enjoy riding your own creation as well. There are various instructions, DIY kits, parts and online resources which you can use to create your own e-bike. You will find that it’s climbing efficiency, range and wind resistance will improve amazingly once you fit it with an electrical motor.
8. Do the road rules apply to e-bikes? You should check your local rules and regulations, but in many states and countries, e-bikes are considered bicycles rather than motorized vehicles which makes it legal to ride them on bike lanes and paths.
9. There probably is an age limit for riding an e-bike where you live. You should also find out whether there is an age limit to riding an e-bike in your area to be on the safe side.
10. There are different types of e-bikes to suit the needs of preferences of different users. Some are made for leisure and relaxed cruising, others can help haul cargo, others are for trail or mountain biking, there are e-bikes for downhill, road, snow or sand biking, as well as smaller versions suitable for children. So, the range is very wide, and all you need to do is determine which type of e-bike you want!
The motor can be either mounted on the wheel or at the crank or pedal area below the frame, on the back or middle area of the bike. Some e-bikes have a throttle. It will kick-in to help you get uphill or speed up.
Overall, getting an e-bike or making one yourself has multiple advantages – health-related, environmental, financial and others. You can easily commute or get to any place you want without needing to wait stuck in the traffic. There no harmful emissions and thus your carbon footprint will decrease drastically once you start riding one of these amazing vehicles.
Even though the first e-bike was patented back in 1897, it is now that they are becoming so popular and the demand for them is growing. Some manufacturers and many e-bike fans consider e-bikes to be the vehicles of the future – green, convenient, flexible, economically effective and a great alternative to cars, especially in densely populated urban areas where traffic, pollution, and overcrowding is becoming a very serious problem!
This is why many areas are adopting e-bike sharing programs, or are propagating the use of electrically powered bikes in order to resolve these very pressing issues.