Electric bikes are sometimes diminished as “cheating”. But electric bikes are growing quickly in popularity, and an accessible option that makes getting around quickly, comfortably, and affordably as easy as ... riding a bike!
Whether you’re new to cycling or are already a regular rider, there are a number of reasons why you might want to try an electric bike, from health and fitness, through to financial and environmental benefits, here are 9 reasons to start riding an electric bicycle.
1. Improve your fitness
Like cycling any bike, riding an electric bike will up your aerobic fitness level. Despite the added boost, you will still be pedalling throughout the course of your ride.
This movement means that you burn almost as many calories riding an electric bike as you would on a manual bicycle.
Studies have suggested that ebike riders’ hearts can be working at more than 90 per cent the level of riders of non-assisted bikes, but they perceive less effort.
Researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah monitored the heart rates of seasoned mountain bikers riding ebikes and bikes without motors.The participants on e-MTBs reached 94 per cent of the average heart rate they did when riding purely pedal-powered on a 10-kilometre test circuit.
2. Less muscle strain
Extra assistance means less strain on your muscles and joints, particularly since the motor will give you most support on hills and accelerations, when most effort is needed. That means you should need less recovery time and you’ll be fresher for another ride.
It’s helpful if you’re just getting into cycling, too, and maybe haven’t yet developed the muscles you need to move fluently on the bike.
3. Better mental health
Any form of cycling, or indeed any form of exercise, has big benefits for your mental health.
British Cycling quotes five mental health benefits of cycling, including reduced anxiety and stress, and greater happiness. It says that exercising outdoors delivers these benefits better than in a gym.
You should sleep better too, thanks to the anxiety-busting effect of cycling, along with the exercise and fresh air.
4. Cheaper (and faster) than a car or other transport
More time on an ebike means less time spent in your car. That’s good news for your checkbook. The average American spends $6.7 per day on gas. Needless to say, that kind of money adds up -- to roughly $2,000 a year.
For short-to-medium length journeys, an ebike is more efficient and less expensive than using a car.
The cost per mile is also tiny relative to a car and for urban trips an ebike is often faster. Plus, it’s non-polluting, so it’s better for the environment.
An ebike journey is cheaper than public transport as well, and it’s point to point, so you probably won’t need to walk as far at either end of your trip.
5. Hassle - free commuting
If you are an everyday commuter, you may find yourself regularly sitting in traffic daydreaming about being anywhere else other than in your car, on the bus or dealing with train delays.
That dream can become a reality.
Cycling to work is a great way to include more exercise into your daily routine and you'll arrive at work more alert and ready for the day.
6. Have more fun
President John F. Kennedy once said that “nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike” and this rings true for electric bikes as well.
As the frames continue to change and the technology improves, the joy of riding an electric bike is only going to increase.
One of the main things we’ve come to expect is that no matter how nervous or skeptical someone may be when they first climb onto one of our bikes, they’re almost always grinning from ear-to-ear when they roll back into our driveway.
To put it simply, riding an electric bike is… fun. The dread of hills is eradicated and you can smile and wave as you pass other riders who toil behind.
7. Carry more cargo
Cycling with a heavy load of groceries can be exhausting. Packing your panniers with products means you'll be carrying extra weight on your way home.
Using an electric bike for your shopping means you can use your battery power on the way back to help with the added weight.
Electric bicycles require more exercise than driving, so you can still justify a few treats for the week ahead.