As modern technology has shaped the way we live our everyday lives in lots of different aspects, one area we usually prefer to remain ‘natural’ is through exercise. While the methods of measuring and recording exercise data has helped with the way we track our exercise habits, we usually allow sport and cycling and other exercises to be natural without the inclusion of electronics. However, this doesn’t mean they should be ignored - especially when it comes to e-bikes!
One of the main advantages of e-bikes is the battery power boost to your pedalling that allows you to cycle at a less strenuous intensity that can ultimately let you go on for longer and extend your exercise period. Some hardcore cyclists make see this as unauthentic and ‘cheating’ but it’s ultimately down to what is best for you; yes you don’t necessarily get the genuine energy transfer from your body to the bike, but it is just a boost. You still get the benefits of exercising and by using less immediate energy, it means you may even be able to exercise for a longer period of time and spread out your workout.
Most e-bikes also give you the option of power usage, allowing you to adapt your cycling techniques depending on what type of terrain you are on. If you’re planning on a more rocky ride then you can boost the power to give yourself more of a helping hand when cycling on tougher ground - or if you were looking for more of a challenge then you can turn the power all the way down and keep it as natural as possible to work your intensity levels.
Benefit of batteries
When some people think of batteries on bikes they might think of clunky, heavy pieces of kit that slow you down and are a pain to deal with. In reality, e-bike batteries are getting more sleek, powerful and efficient every year, with newer batteries being able to reach distances of 150km in a single charge before losing power - far better than how they used to be! Batteries can even be identified as power banks with their compact and convenient sizing making it even easier to take off and charge which is particularly useful for commuting and city travel when you may need an extra boost of energy for the journey home whilst you’re at work.
Batteries can also help blur the line between cars and bicycles with their modular forms of travel. While you have the clean energy boost of the battery, you can also freely use it on cycle paths, take it on the train or lock it inside your building that goes along with the notion of easy accessibility when it comes to cycling! Of course, the addition of a battery also gives you a choice whether or not you want to get the benefits of an energy boost or not - it can certainly help in the tougher terrain when the pedalling gets a bit tiresome.
One of the most common uses for e-bikes is for commuting use in the city due to their purpose as a clean and powerful upgrade to a standard pedal bike. They have the same useful portability of typical bikes meaning you can ride it to work and carry it up to your office where you can safely watch over it while you’re at work - certainly an advantage over leaving your car parked out on a sketchy looking street for several hours a day! Also, if you’re commuting into London, the good news is that e-bikes help with avoiding any congestion charges and stressful traffic scenarios too, providing you with a comfortable ride into work.
But if you ask any e-bike commuter what the best thing about riding into work is and they’re more than likely going to say the lack of sweat in the morning! Nobody likes commuting into the office first thing in the morning and having to change out of sweaty cycling gear before starting your day, however with the power boost that e-bikes provide means there is no need to travel full throttle and deal with the bustling morning commute of the city. Instead you have the option to pedal with less intensity to give yourself a more relaxing journey while those around you are getting worked up with sweat and road rage!
Similarly with batteries, e-bikes in general may have a negative perception around them in regards to weight and portability on the whole. However in reality, they can be just as flexible as normal bikes with the added convenience that they can be stored easily with most models offering folding capabilities that help give them the title as a perfect commuting machine.
Folding e-bikes do usually come with smaller batteries generally, however if you plan on using it as a commuting machine then putting it on charge every day to ensure you have enough to get to work every morning shouldn’t cause too many issues. Folding e-bikes tend to be designed with commuters in mind, but if you do have the desire to use it for more expansive travelling then your best bet is to look into a fixed model of e-bike with a larger battery capacity. The vast selection of e-bikes is expanding all the time with the rise of popularity so there’s always a chance that we see folding e-bikes with larger batteries year-on-year in the future!
E-bikes generally provide a greater level of comfort to standard bikes too, with a sacrifice of performance aspects allowing for features such as comfier seats, more efficient steering and multi-terrain tyres. With a power boost from the battery, there is no need for expensive and stripped frames, handlebars or other features, but instead can allow for a comfort-focused experience which is a handsome prospect to a first time cyclist. If you are a more experienced cyclist, the chances are that you know your bikes and your needs when it comes to choosing a bike so you’re unlikely to look at getting an e-bike if you are a budding mountain bike cyclist or if you were looking at getting into the competitive scene.
As well as general comfort when riding the bike, e-bikes are often relatively lightweight making it great to transport. You can find a great e-bike that weighs only 35 pounds and can be great as part-way use for commuting journeys; travelling to a train or bus station before continuing the rest of your journey with your bike in hand on public transport. While this doesn’t necessarily relate directly to ride comfort, it creates a much more pleasant travelling experience, knowing the bike you’re riding is light enough for you to pick up and move if you ever need to, without compromising any on-seat pleasantness.
E-bikes are a fantastic way to bring yourself into the world of modern cycling. Best suited for commuters or short-journey travellers, the benefits of e-bikes make them a more than commendable option for new cyclists, especially those living in cities where you are more than likely to deal with congested traffic delays and stressful road encounters! The fact that e-bikes are still relatively new in the grand scheme of bicycles, and that their popularity is only increasing over time, means that we are likely to see them get even better in future - upgraded battery capacities, smarter pedal technology and perhaps new styles of specialist bike will give an option to all types of cyclists, both new and old. The time is now to give e-bikes a go!