Are you keen on finding out if you should get an electric bike? If you are undecided about the answer, let’s work it out together.
The truth about ebikes is that they are not for everyone. Even though they have enormous potential and attract regular bike riders with their extra benefits, they still might not be suitable for some people.
In this article, we are going to discuss who will genuinely benefit from getting an ebike, and who should refrain from such a costly purchase.
If you are at the very beginning of your decision-making process and wonder if you should get an electric bike, and if electric bikes are worth it, it is better to start by learning about the advantages of owning one.
The benefits electric bicycles offer:
- Enable fast and traffic-free commuting
- Foster an active way of life
- Cut your commuting expenses and save your budget
- Make cycling more fun and much easier
- Provide a better range of motion for seniors and disabled people
- Allow riding long distances without fatigue
- Help to overcome off-road terrain and steep hills
- Are superior for people who experience knee pain
- Increase metabolism, stamina, and core muscle strength
- Contribute to conserving nature and environmental protection initiatives
- Require no, or very little, maintenance
- Provide more comfortable rides—improving the rider’s abilities
- Can meet more of your individual needs
Are electric bikes worth it? They definitely are.
An electric bike allows you to climb hills and overcome almost any distance you would never dare to try before. It helps you to get to your work more quickly, and in a better condition. It enables people with health issues or disabilities to live their lives in much more proactive ways. It encourages you to be active and spend time outside with the fresh air.
But let’s be realistic here, it is not a magic flying carpet that can take you any place or help you do the impossible. Let’s figure out what options electric bikes have, and what types (classes) are present in local electric bike shops or through online bike dealers.
Three classes of ebikes
- Class 1 (also referred to as pedal assist electric bikes) are, most of the time, legally classified as conventional bicycles. The electric assist is activated only when the biker pedals. Its speed limit is 20 mph with a motor that consumes 750 watts or less.
- Class 2 (also known as throttle assisted electric bicycles under 500) is equipped with a throttle that can activate the electrical power without any need to pedal. These ebikes can develop speeds of around 20 mph quite easily.
- Class 3 (also defined as speed pedelecs, or speed pedal assist electric bicycles) provides you assistance only when you pedal. They will provide you with enough power to go up to 28 mph and have a motor with 750 watts. In some states and countries, they are considered equal to mopeds, and therefore require a driving license and registration.
Knowing your driving goals is the key to choosing the right device for your rides.
So here are some usability cases that will help you answer the question: “should you get an ebike or not?”. Depending on your sphere of use, you may need a different class of ebike to take full advantage of a vehicle with an accelerated electric motor.
Who might love to use an electric bicycle?
If you are a student, a standard ebike will be more than enough for you. But if you live in a small room, you will find that a folding ebike will likely be more appealing.
You can use an electric bike to get to college or university, then return with it once your classes are over. It also makes sense to purchase an ebike if you study at a large campus or university—when you need to cruise quickly from one building to another within short periods. As students often need to be cautious about money, they will save a lot on gas, driving licenses, and transit fees.
You will also have a chance to recharge your electric bike battery while you are in class.
An urban dweller
Cars are not always the fastest way to get from one place to your destination. If you are looking for an electric bike that can replace your car and will take you anyplace within 30 km of reach—free of traffic jams, parking issues, and large sums of money spent on the gas—you should consider getting an electric bike with a hub motor and lithium-ion batteries.
Such bikes are the most frequently used model and are designed for everyday use. Hub motors virtually do not require any maintenance and are cheaper. If you end up in the unlikely scenario where the assist system fails, you still will be able to get to your destination. Lithium-ion electric bike battery capacities can work for about 30 miles per charge, and hold about 1,000 full charge cycles.
An eco-friendly person
For those who find riding bikes a great nature-saving alternative, and for those with the need to travel long distances or who can’t use traditional bicycles for any other reason, a quality ebike is a great option.
Switching to a bike from a car or public transport is probably one of the best ways to dramatically reduce your environmental impact. With an ebike, you will drastically reduce, if not eliminate, your air pollution footprint, and therefore become more environmentally friendly.
An active type
Active people who spend a lot of time outdoors and prefer to ride long distances choose ebikes—especially those who enjoy non-stop rides or mountain climbs.
Even though the battery capacity is limited, many riders still choose ebikes for long trips. You can use a second battery or a fast charge to cover great distances. Bike lovers who might be interested in climbing a big hill or mountain will benefit a lot from an electric mountain bike with fat snow tires—because of their ability to carry you through any terrain with less effort.
Most senior citizens quit cycling due to their age or physical state. They are sometimes not able to cope with hills and become exhausted throughout their rides. With ebikes, these issues cease to exist. Consequently, people who are 40 years old or older can return to their favorite pastime with the help of the added benefits of electric bikes.
Who else might love to ride an ebike:
- Disabled people
- Recreational riders
- Racecar drivers
- Mothers with children on the back of their bikes
Riding an electric bike can solve most of the headaches that rural and urban dwellers do not want or can’t use a car for. However, an ebike is not for everyone. They are sometimes not allowed on the sidewalk and have restrictions that one should consider before making a purchase.
Who should refrain from using an electric bicycle:
- Children under 14 or 16 (dependent on the state and country)
- If you are not ready to invest $1,000 or more right away
- People who ride bikes very rarely
If the question “should I get an ebike?” is still on your mind, you now have food for thought and can finally decide if you need this vehicle. But without a doubt, if you love bicycles and want to retain or begin an active lifestyle, purchasing an ebike is the right choice for you.