Are eBikes for serious riders?
Theres still a lot of discussion on what it means to own and ride an electric bicycle and rest assured this new mode of transportation is here to stay. The state of the world today is that the worlds largest bicycle company, Giant, is rehearing its product line to focus primarily on the manufacture of bikes and gravel bikes. At the same many of the worlds largest bikeshare companies are aggressively competing to deploy more and more efficient and safe ebikes to their customers. The fact of the matter is that new pedal assist drivetrains and lighter / more powerful batteries are changing everything that used to be difficult about riding and owning ebikes. Most importantly in a world where a large contributor to the climate crisis is car manufacture and car utilization the ebike is quickly becoming a desirable alternative for car-owners looking to make the switch. Motorcycles are too unsafe, weighting so heavy that they are able to break bone simply falling over while parked. Pedal bikes are available in a very plethora of varieties - many of which are too heavy or inefficient and contribute to the perception that cycling is difficult. Even the right used road bike found at a great deal is still not that easy for someone to get excited about when they are switching from a lifetime of driving. An ebike strikes the right balance between the advantages of motorcycle speed and lightweight pedal bicycle construction - while being very intuitive to pick up for the models which come with a speed selector and pedal assist ( instead of a throttle ). Its just like pedaling a regular bicycle drivers are familiar with since childhood, but with an extra kick that makes you feel superhuman! The battle for ebike supremacy is fierce - as evidenced a lack of market leader in the category. As opposed to iPhone vs Android, there’s no such go to brand to start from when shopping for an eBike. eBikes themselves are quite expensive, ranging from as low as $1000 for a Sonders to +$10,000 for a top of the line Specialized. So wise salesmen have introduced financing to make these bikes accessible, in a way making the process similar to purchasing a small car. Another way to make eBikes accessible has been their introduction to many bikeshare fleets around the country. While ownership of a $5000 bike can be prohibitive, renting a shared one to get quickly across town can now cost you as little as a Starbucks Latte. There are a lot of opinions in the bicycle community on whether ebikes are ‘cheating’. For context, in the United States only about 1% of the population bikes at the moment with a large %’age of those riders in many cities comprised of white men who are making decent salaries. A lot of the bicycle community has historically viewed cycling as an athletic feat and looks up to the achievements of professional road, track and mtb champions. It is therefore unsurprising that someone who can maintain a 20-30mph speed with no physical training is not as readily welcomed by those who have ‘earned’ their place on traditional bicycles. However this feeling is misplaced because the on the contrary the more cyclists enter cycling and ride on our roads the safer our infrastructure will become at faster rates of improvement. Not only are electric bicycles making cycling more accessible than it has ever been previously, but specifically making riding accessible to new groups of people who we rarely saw before: the overweight, the parents with children, minorities who feel unsafe in traffic and the working professionals for whom even the best pedal bikes will never be fast enough. Due to recent advancements in technology we might be seeing a new golden age of cycling propelled to fantastic adoption by the eBike! And if we are to save this planet from climate change for future generations we may seriously see many of these new riders take their first pedal stroke on pedal assist. If you liked this article and are on the market for an affordable eBike, consider checking on the Sprocket Bicycle app for great deals in your area Likewise if you have an eBike laying around you don’t use anymore start someone riding by selling it on Sprocket