Why we love electric bikes
In the past electric bikes (e-bikes) have received some negative feedback from the cycling community. But there is no reason there should be any negativity around such amazing machines. E-bikes are quite different from motorized dirt bikes and mopeds. A true e-bike still require the rider to pedal for added assistance to be delivered to the drivetrain. Thus, anyone who is riding an e-bike is still exercising and building strength. E-bikes have no age requirement or target audience, e-bikes are for everyone. The common misconception about e-bikes is that the riders are cheating or somehow ruining the elite sport. But the way we should look at e-bikes is that they will get more people on bikes, outside, and exercising. Which, I should not even have to say, is a good thing.
E-bikes are a great tool for any rider. Whether used for commuting, grocery shopping, picking the kids up, or other random chores, e-bike can be more efficient and enjoyable. For elite athletes, an e-bike is a great way to travel without getting sweaty, where as for the general public, an e-bike unlocks new possibilities for every rider. Why should you be content with the same old short rides when an e-bike will allow for so many more possibilities with the same amount of effort? Let’s discuss why everyone should (or will eventually) own an e-bike.
First of all, e-bikes do an amazing job of equalizing bike riding between those at different levels. Cycling requires very specific muscles which means that those who do not ride as much might end up falling behind. Falling off the back of a group is not fun for anyone. But e-bikes can change that. E-bikes allow people of different abilities to travel at similar speeds. Cycling should be a social event and e-bikes make that happen. In addition to being able to travel at the same speed as more competitive cyclist, many people find cycling much more enjoyable when moving at faster speeds. Cycling slowly can feel cumbersome and overall boring. On an acoustic bike, a fair amount of strength is required for a great experience and building cycling muscles is a time-consuming process that not everyone has time for. Thus, the perfect solution for anyone to enjoy cycling is an e-bike!
Everyone on a e-bike is exercising. In a world were we are seeing obesity and health issues crisis's, we should encourage everyone to improve their lifestyle habits. True e-bikes do not give people free rides, rather they allow people to ride at more enjoyable speeds and for longer distances. An e-bike motor will only engage when the rider is pedaling. Depending on the model of e-bike, riders are getting anywhere between 20-30% assistance. For those who weigh less, the assistance will have a greater impact for it is a ratio of power to weight. 20-30% might not sounds like a lot of assistance, but it makes a difference. An average human effort plus the assistance from the bike is enough to make anyone smile. Cycling should be an enjoyable activity in order for it to be sustainable. Because the riders are still pushing their limits, they are improving their health while also increasing enjoyment. So ultimately, people who enjoy pedaling e-bikes they are still putting in the same effort generate power, however they are just moving faster than normal.
In the past few months, we had seen professional ‘mountain e-bike’ specific racing all over the world. This style of racing requires different skills that other disciplines might not. With semi-specific courses and features, riders are still required to push their limits but in new ways. We see riders from the Enduro World Series ranking riders who are talented in certain ways, but not at the top of their game, excelling in cross country e-bike racing. The best thing about e-bike competitions is the new terrain the riders are able to ride through. Using their own skill and strength with the addition of modern cycling technology unreal routes are being raced on.
E-bikes are helping to improve the equipment on acoustic bikes. E-bikes are much more powerful and weigh a lot more than acoustic bikes, thus the parts must be stronger. With e-bike specific drivetrains, forks, brakes, wheels, etcetera, bicycle part companies are learning how to improve the experience of every rider. Drive trains on e-bikes shift under immense load each time the rider shifters resulting in small pieces of metal smashing into each other. On many 12 speed drive trains, this would quickly wear out both the chain and cassette. However, e-bike drivetrains have been configured to last for much longer. The way e-bike accelerate and pick up speed heading downhill (most e-bikes are not light), requires strong brakes that are able to keep cool when under load for long periods of time. Other parts like forks and wheels have become increasing stronger to support a new style of riding. We have already seen this technology crossing over to acoustic bikes.
It is fair for people to be skeptical about implications e-bikes will have on the future of cycling, however it is very important to remember that pretty much ever piece of technology on our bicycles is derived from motocross and or Formula One. This is true about paint, materials and part design. If someone wants to race a bicycle, race directors will be sure to keep things fair. And if another individual wants to race a bicycle that does not require pedaling, they will start practicing motocross. Cycling should stay pure as long as communities ensure their races and fast group rides do not allow e-bikes. Ultimately, e-bikes are here to stay and the numbers will only increase in the next couple of years. We suggest everyone should try out an e-bike to understand the joy it will bring them.