Top Reasons to Ride an Electric Bike
Electric bikes are super cheap to charge
Other than pedalling yourself around on your existing bike under your own power or walking, you’ll struggle to find a way to get around for less. Both those cheaper methods will generally get you there slower too. Using some crude calculations and average power prices my 8Ah battery on the 250w Dillenger equipped bike is somewhere between 20 and 25 cents to charge. That gets me 50km distance on average with moderate pedalling effort. Try getting anywhere with 25c on petrol or public transport.
Electric bikes are low maintenance
Unlike petrol powered motors, electric motors need little maintenance. Other than keeping the bearings lubed and replacing them if needed there is very little else that will need attention. Your ebike can give you thousands of kilometres without any servicing at all, no oil, no cooling system, no fuel filters, just plug in and ride.
Electric bikes can make you fitter
Maybe you didn’t expect that one. But it’s 100% true, and I’m not just a dude who has sat around not getting exercise, I’d call myself a cycling enthusiast with varying levels of enthusiasm over the years. I have become much fitter and stronger by regularly commuting on my electric bike, and it’s shown off the ebike as I feel better every time I go mountain biking under my own power. The effect on somebody who doesn’t move much, desk job, drives to work, can be a huge health benefit. Pedal assist means moving, for the time that you are travelling on the bike. Do that every day and no matter how easily you push on the pedals you are still moving.
Electric bikes have a small carbon footprint
On top of the cost saving, burning a tiny amount of fuel via your power point for ebike transport also means you save on putting CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere. On really rough approximate numbers, we could say we emit about 1kg of CO2 per charge of our 8Ah battery burning coal to provide the power to charge. If we can go around 50km on that, it adds up to 20 grams of CO2 per km. If we have an efficient petrol car that gets 5 litres per 100km the numbers add up to 120 grams of CO2 per 100km, 6 times as much. Add the materials in a car compared to a bike, and the other pollutants cars create (spent oil, other emissions) and you’re definitely doing the environment a favour.
Get back on the bike after injury
If you just want to get back on a bike but injury or fitness level has made it difficult or not possible, ebikes might be a viable option. There are many out there who couldn’t ride a bike under their own power very far at all, but still know how to do it, and loved it when they could do it. Get the feeling of the wind rushing past without any pain in the legs as you pedal gently or just pull on the throttle.
Beat the traffic
There are plenty of cities suffering from traffic congestion where over a certain distance an ebike could beat the traffic. Even if you have a longer distance and can’t beat the traffic for time, you will not be standing still as much as many commuters suffer on the roads with the rest of the crowd. If you live close to where you work, it’s more than likely that you wouldn’t be able to get there as fast on public transport or on the roads with the traffic.
One issue that plagues commuters is parking, even motorcycle parking costs money in a lot of cases, but I have never heard of bicycle parking costing money and cities around the world are encouraging cycling by installing a lot of bike parking facilities which are entirely free. A friend of mine has recently converted his bike and he’s set to save $10 per day on parking. That means in a matter of months, even if not riding each day, you can recoup the entire cost of your ebike conversion, or over a little more time if you bought a more expensive off the shelf complete ebike. Some people pay even more than $10 per day for the luxury of parking at or near work.
No sweat on the commute
You can ride an electric bike as hard or as soft as you like. You might be like me, a one-time bike enthusiast who is just not into riding hundreds of kilometres per week to commute. You may also lack the appropriate facilities at work for taking a shower, either factor can make riding your normal bike a bit too difficult. Enter the ebike, arrive at work with barely a sweat and freshen up at the sink in the bathroom before starting work. If you do some homework and check out various websites you can come up with the perfect bike to suit your needs so you are not covered in sweat and low on energy when you arrive at work.
No waiting for public transport
Maybe you don’t even have a car, and you take public transport everywhere, I you even supplement this with an ebike you can save time and money. Get where you need to go when you need to do it instead of being caught by the timetable of the public transport in your area. The initial outlay for an electric bike is low and the running costs are much less than travelling by public transport.
What are you waiting for?
If you’ve even considered riding a normal bike for regular transport but put that in the too hard basket, or if you’ve become fed up with your current transport situation for whatever reason you can’t go wrong getting into electric biking. The technology is mature, the products in the market are proven and will give you some or all of the benefits I’ve described above. Best of all, if it doesn’t work for you, the market is booming and chances are you won’t have much trouble selling your bike. I’ve “converted” a couple of friends, and they say it is a “game changer” for them. I hope some of the reasons I’ve outlined can help to sway you to join us in the electric bike revolution.