Cycle Charged

Commuting in the 'new normal'

Young woman putting on helmet, preparing to ride her electric bike conversion bicycle

Covid-19 has had a remarkable effect on human mobility across the planet. In a matter of weeks once-gridlocked streets became barren, bustling sidewalks were quiet and jam-packed subways became empty. As the US, Canada and other countries reduce their restrictions on society, a ‘new normal’ way of life and mobility is starting to emerge. If you’re fortunate enough to still have a job or school to go to, or just need to get out and runs errands you now need to figure out what the best option of getting around is.

Public transit is now seen as a risky choice, so much so that a recent survey in a major North American city showed one-quarter of transit riders will not go back until a vaccine is widely available. (source) Shared scooters and bikes are a great alternative, but likely mean disinfecting before jumping on as a precaution.  There’s also evidence that once pandemic restrictions are lifted, traffic congestion quickly goes back to normal or even higher because of the fear of crowded buses and subways. People are more thoughtful about car usage now; a survey out of the UK showed 75% of citizens are concerned about the environmental impact of traffic congestion now that they’ve experienced weeks of clean, pollution-free air. (source)

So, what choices are left? Believe it or not, electric bike sales and usage has skyrocketed in the last few months and when you look at the reasons behind this it actually makes a lot of sense. (source)

  • E-bikes are a lot cheaper than cars and motorcycles in every way: cost to buy, maintain, insurance, gas, parts, parking, you name it.
  • On a bike you’re out in the open fresh air, and as long as you’re not riding in a crowd its quite safe from a social distancing standpoint.
  • Speed is king, and with e-bikes you can get around at up to 20mph (or 28mph if using pedal assist) on roads and bike lanes and in cities that’s usually faster than the speed of traffic.
  • Spending weeks cooped up at home means we could all use some much-needed exercise and even though e-bikes assist you and you don’t need to pedal as hard, you still get your heart rate up and that sweet endorphin kick

So that leaves you with the final choice; do you buy a brand new e-bike or do you install a kit on an existing bike? There’s really no right or wrong answer here, it mostly depends on your budget. If convenience is king and you don’t mind spending a little more, then a brand new e-bike will serve you well.  If you like to tinker with your bikes and don’t mind putting a wrench in your hands then a kit is the way to go. You can fit one onto your existing bike, or buy a used or a brand new bike and install it and you’ll end up with a fantastic e-bike for less than the cost of a similar brand new one.

To check out some high-quality e-bike kits and get started check out our collection of e-Bike kits, and start enjoying life in the ‘new normal’.

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