When it comes to electric bicycles there are a lot of misconceptions out there. For starters, most people are under the impression that an electric bicycle is like one of those electric scooters - essentially an electric version of a motorized bike. That’s actually not the case! Electric bikes are really electrically-assisted bicycles. Most electric bike kits have a throttle and a sensor that triggers when you start pedaling so you can speed up with or without increasing your effort of pedaling. Essentially it makes it so that you don’t need to pedal as hard or as fast as you would on a regular bike to achieve and maintain the same speed. It also lets you go faster than you ever could from just pedaling alone.
Clearly, people have been catching on. U.S. sales of bikes with electric motors rose 73% last year, and more than doubled the year before while sales of traditional bicycles were down 8% last year. (https://fortune.com/longform/ebike-sales-on-the-rise/)
Why have electric bikes seen such an increase in popularity? Well there’s a few reasons. People are a lot more environmentally conscious than they used to be 25 years ago. We understand the effect that cars have on the environment and our health, and realize that it isn’t necessary to drive everywhere. Also, battery technology has advanced tremendously in the last few years, making them more powerful, lighter and cheap enough to use on bicycles.
Another reason is because they’re enabling people who previously had difficulty exercising to get outside and start building their base muscles back up. It can be challenging for somebody who hasn’t worked out in years to just jump onto their old bike and take it for a 20 mile ride, but with a bike with an electric kit they can still enjoy the experience!
People who are commuters have taken a lot of notice too - they might not ride for any reason other than efficiency and spending less money than a car or public transit. An electric bike simply allows them to achieve that goal quicker, cheaper and with less effort. Imagine how much easier and less tired out you would be if you rode your bike to work 10 miles away, but only put in the same amount of effort as you would to ride 2 miles on a regular bike.
Another unlikely group who have embraced e-biking have been the off-road mountain biking crowd. This is the adrenaline sport end of the biking spectrum, and one that is extremely challenging. What these riders quickly found is that it can be a thrill-ride going down the mountain, but when you get to the bottom it’s a real pain to go all the way back up. With modern e-bike kits you can fly back up the mountain in record time, and save your energy for the downhill fun!
Electric bicycles are here to stay, and more and more people are embracing them. They provide a lot of utility and benefits to riders and their communities, while greatly reducing pollution and road congestion. If you have been thinking about turning your regular bicycle into an e-bike, it’s now easier and more affordable than ever!