Electric bikes are one of the biggest growing areas of the bike market. Here’s why you should consider one too.
The term ‘e-bikes’ might sound futuristic, but in most cases electric bikes are very similar to ‘normal’ bikes. They have all the same components such as pedals, a chain, derailleurs and gears. The only difference is that they also come with a motor, battery, and a control panel on the handlebars.
While some electric bikes do offer complete motor-driven performance where the rider has to do nothing but sit on and steer, most modern e-bikes are better referred to as ‘pedal-assist’. That is to say, the rider still pedals and contributes as much energy as they wish, while the motor makes up the difference to achieve a certain top speed.
You can often select just how much contribution you want the motor to make via the handlebar-mounted control system. The more power it contributes, the quicker the battery will deplete. Typically, though, you should see distances of 50 miles plus available from a single charge, even if on maximum power. You then recharge the battery via a charger and household socket.
In Continental Europe, where e-bikes are an established part of cycling life, purchasers appreciate that £1,500 is about the minimum for a decent electric cycle. However, in the UK, the e-bike market is awash with cheap, low-quality products, so buyers here should be particularly careful.
At All Terrain Cycles we pride ourselves on stocking only top-quality models from some of the world’s most respected e-bike brands, such as Cube and Giant. Many of our e-bikes also come with the hugely impressive Bosch power system — widely regarded throughout the electric cycle industry as the standard-setting motor. This system supplies power through the chainset, rather than via a motor in the rear hub, making for an incredibly natural ride experience — you’ll just feel like you’ve got superman’s legs!
Should I buy one?
Electric bikes are perfect for a huge range of cyclists. There’s the older, life-long rider who might find local hills now too tough but doesn’t want to lose the joy of cycling. Then there are younger people who want to refind some level of fitness, but who don’t want to face the initial embarrassment or physical stress that come with jumping on a normal bike. A third potential e-bike user concerns people battling or recovering from illness, who can use the pedal-assist function to get the full cycling experience.
And even these users aren’t the be all and end all when it comes to electric-assist bicycles. If you’d like to commute every day, but are worried you’d feel tired by the end of the week, think about buying an e-bike. If you’d like to go cycle touring, and want to enjoy the sights and sounds more than the physical challenge, think about buying an e-bike. If you love downhill mountain biking, but not the climb back up, think about an e-bike. The fact is, electric bikes are just great fun to ride, whatever your personal situation.
Is the future electric? For a lot of people it may well be.