Why ride an electric bike?
In case you aren’t familiar, an electric bike (or “eBike”) is very similar to a traditional bicycle. It looks like a bike. It rides like a bike. But there’s one important difference—it has a small electric motor that you can use for extra propulsion.
There are many types of electric bikes to choose from, including models of different shapes, sizes, and designs, and models with different types of motors. You can choose a model that best suits your needs, rather than going with something generic.
But why ride an electric bike in the first place?
Advantages Over Cars
Electric bikes have several advantages over cars and other motor vehicles:
- More freedom. As a bicyclist, in most areas, your bike can travel like a motor vehicle; you’ll obey all motor vehicle laws, and remain on the road. But with a bike, you’ll have more options and more freedom. You can pull off the road and start traveling on a bike trail. You can use a bike path, if available. You can also navigate fields, dirt trails, and other terrain that cars can’t approach. Maneuverability is also easier in an electric bike, allowing you to travel in tighter spaces with more room.
- Manual propulsion options. At any time you wish, you can kill the electric motor and travel based purely on your own manual propulsion. Bicycling is a fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise, and it’s great for your lower body. If you bike regularly, you can significantly improve your overall health and fitness—which isn’t something you can accomplish when driving your car.
- Fewer emissions. If you’re pedaling your bike, you won’t produce any carbon emissions. And even if you turn on the electric motor, you’ll produce far fewer emissions than you would in a traditional vehicle. If you’re concerned about the environment, or if you just want to contribute to cleaner air in your local area, an electric bike can help you do it.
- No licensing requirements. If you already have a driver’s license, you may not be concerned with licensing requirements. However, if you’ve never had a driver’s license before, you may feel anxious or concerned about the prospect of getting one. Riding an electric bike typically doesn’t require a license in most areas, much like riding a traditional bike. Accordingly, an electric bike can grant you effective transportation with no legal requirements.
- Fewer expenses. As you might have guessed, most electric bikes are far less expensive than full motor vehicles. You might pay several thousand dollars even for an old, unreliable motor vehicle—but you can get a modest electric bike for just a few hundred. If you want something top-of-the-line, you might pay a few thousand. On top of that, electric bikes require less fuel, less insurance, and less overall maintenance costs; they’re dramatically less expensive than motor vehicles overall.
Advantages Over Traditional Bikes
Many of the above advantages can apply to traditional bicycles. But electric bikes have several advantages over traditional bikes as well, such as:
- Less strain. If you’re young, healthy, and in shape, riding a bike may seem like a breeze, but not everyone has the physical capability to propel themselves on a bike. If you’re struggling with a knee injury, if you’re out of shape, or if you’re starting to feel the effects of age, riding a bike may feel like an impossible challenge. An electric bike allows you to pedal occasionally, stimulating your muscles and body, but you’ll always have the option to turn the motor on and coast, giving your body a break.
- Greater distance options. Similarly, there’s an upper limit to how far you can travel on bike. Even avid bikers might struggle to travel more than 25 miles in a given session, or may not want to exhaust themselves during the journey. Getting access to an electric motor means you can travel a much further distance; you’ll suffer less physical fatigue, and you’ll be able to push far beyond your natural physical limits.
- Accommodation for hills and headwinds. For some people, biking is fun, relaxing, and a totally doable form of exercise—except when it comes to extra-challenging times like climbing hills or facing headwinds. Electric bikes provide you with the tools necessary to conquer these challenges easily; you can use the motor to climb the most challenging hills on your journey, or to compensate for strong headwinds.
Electric bikes offer more than just a bike or just a car. They aren’t for everybody, but for those who love them, they represent a perfect hybrid of motor vehicles and traditional bikes. If you aren’t sure whether it’s the right mode of transportation for you, give one a test ride and see how it feels.