Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are growing in popularity. You may have even seen one zipping through your neighborhood. If you’ve been thinking about getting one for a while, but still are not sure why you would want to spend the extra money on an e-bike versus a regular one; here are 10 reasons to invest in an electric bicycle.
1) Enjoy cycling faster, further, and longer
With pedal assist, e-bikes are easier to ride than regular bikes. This means you’ll breeze up those hills that would usually stop you in your tracks and make you walk your bike up them instead. Pedaling on an e-bike requires less energy, so you’ll have the energy to go further and to explore more. You’ll also find that your average speed is faster than on a normal bike, so you’ll be able to go further in less time. This is especially beneficial if you’re trying to juggle a busy schedule.
2) Health and fitness benefits
Since e-bikes started gaining popularity, there have been several studies done, and many of them have concluded that e-bikes help people burn more calories. Because pedaling an e-bike is easier, this conclusion sounds counterintuitive, however it turns out that people who own e-bikes are more likely to ride them than they would a regular bike. That means they’re logging more miles overall and burning more energy.
E-bikes also allow folks who have experienced injuries or set-backs in their health to get out and ride. E-bikes allow you to choose the level of pedal assistance that you’re getting. Therefore, the more you recover and gain strength, the more you can gradually reduce the level of assistance from the motor and ease back into those hill climbs. This encourages those in recovery to keep on riding. In contrast, often on a regular bike, many people just have to get off and walk, making them want to give up riding altogether.
Additionally, because e-biking is still a form of exercise you’re strengthening your heart, lungs and reduce your blood pressure as you ride. Since people find they can ride further and up bigger hills, it’s easier to enjoy some of our local treasures from a new vantage point. Ride around Lost Creek Lake, or do the Crater Lake Rim ride, and feel the release of those endorphins, the melting of tension, and miles of smiles as you ride. Fish Lake to Lake of the Woods and back is another great ride with a midway stop for lunch and a dip in the lake on those really hot valley days.
3) Economical in the long run
It is true that buying an electric bike is more expensive than a regular bike, but if you’re using it to take the kids to the park, pick up groceries and other quick tasks around town, the savings you’ll have on fuel prices will quickly add up. For those that make the switch to swap out a second vehicle or be an e-bike only family, the savings will be significant.
Compared to a regular bike, the costs for upkeep are roughly the same (replacing worn tires, lubing/replacing chains, brake pads, etc…). The one additional thing e-bikers need to consider is the eventual replacement of their batteries.
Compared to a vehicle, the savings for upkeep are massive. Gas prices are just a starter. All of the maintenance is much more expensive when you own a car or truck. Instead of $70-$100 for a set of new tires on a bike, you’re often looking at more than $150 per tire on a vehicle. Throw in regular oil changes, air filters, fluid flushes, and ongoing maintenance of vehicles adds up. Not to mention the cost of major vehicle failures, like the transmission going out. Then, there is also the insurance. Moving towards e-bikes could help many people save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year.
4) No more bad traffic
Ever get frustrated by how long it takes to get across your small town, because you’re stuck at lights and waiting in traffic? Ever miss something important because you were two minutes too late for your bus? With an e-bike you can easily breeze across town using the bike paths, navigating back alleys, and taking advantage of the bike lane when you need to turn right. On an e-bike you can pedal your way past those 6 cars waiting for the light to turn green as you make your way to the intersection for your turn.
5) Easier hill/mountain cycling
When it comes to cycling uphill and against the wind, e-bikes really come into their own. The assistance you get from the motor lets you overcome the drag, wind resistance and power of gravity that wants to keep you and your bike at the bottom of the hill. You’ll be cresting those steep hills on your bike instead of on your feet (with your bike next to you). You’ll head out for more rides knowing that you’ll have the energy to tackle more rugged terrain without feeling like quitting.
6) Reduce your carbon footprint, reduce harmful emissions and save money
Electric bikes have a smaller manufacturing footprint than cars and trucks of any power source. Most of us go to and from school or work in vehicles equipped to carry 5-8 people, but we’re the only ones in the vehicle most of the time. So even if you drive an electric car, it takes much more energy and natural resources to charge your car than it does an e-bike. Then add in that by riding your e-bike instead of your car, you put less harmful emissions in the air that we all have to breathe, and you can save money while doing it. Studies say it takes on average $0.06 to $0.11 cents to fully charge an e-bike. See how far your gas or electric car will get you on just pennies.
7) Carry more
It is exhausting to cycle with a load of heavy stuff, but with an e-bike, the assistance from the motor makes those larger loads manageable. People find themselves loading down their e-bikes for bike packing trips, carrying their children, groceries and even their partners on the back of their e-bikes and are still able to climb the hills of our region. The owner at Ashland Electric Bikes even carries her 150lb best friend Andre around for a ride on her e-bike.
8) Parking convenience
Sometimes, you’re only out running errands or going to work. However, looking for parking spaces can be time consuming as you circle around the block, especially on a busy day. With an e-bike, you’ll be less worried about where to park.
Additionally in bike-friendly towns like Ashland, often you’ll find you have front row parking, as you pull up and secure your e-bike to the provided bike rack.
9) Less sweat
For those of you who have thought about biking to work for years, but just don’t, because you don’t want to arrive at the office with sweaty hair smelling less like roses than you did when coming out of the shower in the morning, then an e-bike can help. As the temperatures rise, you can increase your level of pedal assist to travel at the same speeds, with less effort. This allows you to exert less energy as the temperatures rise, but still feel the breeze as you cruise down the road and stay cool on your way to school, work, or just running errands around town.
10) Much more fun
There are so many benefits to riding an e-bike. Mostly they’re just a lot of fun. Because you’re getting exercise, you’re also getting those positive endorphins running through your veins.
The adventure to and from places with friends and family, allows you to laugh more as you cruise down the streets and bike paths together. It can be a new fun way to create a bonding adventure with your little ones. They can pretend to be superman or superwoman as their hands glide through the air, and you pedal them around your neighborhood, making fun memories.
You can get back to those Tuesday and Thursday night rides that you used to do with your best friend before you had kids, and life took over, while they never stopped cycling. Now you’ll be able to keep up and not be out of breath while you laugh and share stories on your rides.
BONUS – Feel Young Again
There is something so simple and nostalgic about getting on an e-bike, especially for those of us who grew up riding bikes, but then found the pressures of life and the world around us take over, as we chose to focus on families and careers. It can mentally transport you to an easier time, a time when you felt less stressed, felt more capable, because they’re simply easier to ride than a normal bike. Plus you might literally feel younger when you’re out with your child or grandchild and you watch them dismount and walk their bike up a hill, while you easily crest to the top of it on your e-bike.