Selecting An Electric Bike
The fun factor of an electric bike!
This is turning out to be a brilliant idea. So much fun.
With age, the idea of nipping out for a quick jog around the block is requiring more and more personal incentives.
I have always liked cycling 'for leisure especially when the kids were younger, (just for information, Im not a lycra speed freak), but Ive never been one for long pedalling journeys, especially up hills. So even the thought of regular exercise on a 'normal' bike was bothering me.
However...at a recent dinner party we were inevitably talking about the environment and global warming and someone declared that they had started cycling to work on an electric bike. Enthusiastically she declared she had released a new sense of life and wellbeing. I was interested. After a short interrogation, I learned that this person had gone from a car driving couch potato with an 'ever so slight' weight issue, to a buzzing, fresh skinned, healthy outdoor enthusiast, (relatively of course), but without too much effort. I was intrigued.
I was informed that her initial idea of cycling to work had been filled with dread and thoughts of wearing perspiration drenched work-clothes or the thought of corporate showers. But no... with the electric bike, she had the delight of arriving at work fresh and excited. With the electric bike she was able to pedal when she wanted to, or even use a burst of pedalling enthusiasm to speed along quicker and efficiently. Even with this slight cardiovascular exercise, she had noticed a quick change in metabolism and was beginning to feel alive again. No need for heavy exercise at all. I suppose with your weigh supported on the saddle your joints are not being over stressed and you can still get to your destination in the open air peddling as much or as little as you like. A sense of achievement and daily exercise. Win! Win!. If you add in the saving of transport costs and impact on the environment, its a WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN!
So.... from a quick on-line search over lunch time, I quickly discovered that this was not a new experience. This has been going on for years and there were literally hundreds of different electric bikes and conversion kits on the market. As a bonus of this technological age, very recent advances with electric motors and batteries has made it more efficient and more affordable. This does make the difference now. Forget the old electric bikes of 10, 5 or even 1 year ago, I learned. It's a completely different market now and well worth a renewed look. I was also surprised to learn that there is a rapid growth in popularity, hence the large number of new models on the market. I was delighted! I could be heading for a stress less method of transport and exercise. The technology is now right. Now is the time to do it!
But where to start. I was aware from the conversation with my dinner party friend that she had paid nearly $500 for her bike and on hearing that, had then almost wiped the idea from my mind. But on reflection, as a mode of transport and a source of easy exercise, it could have been a good investment. It certainly was for her. She was 6 month into using the bike, so it wasn't just a fad. How much was I spending on gas and maintenance? How much exercise was I getting on my commute?
My fears were quickly alleviated. The world wide web is a wonderful thing. You very quickly get an idea of what's available and what to pay. I even looked at the many conversion kits that could convert your own existing bike to an electric bike. A very good idea if you are technically minded. These kits started around $200.
On the notion of initial cost - I'm extremely happy with the quality and technical aspects selecting a bike. I have no intention of buying an expensive version now, however, like all things, if money was no object I would be tempted by the more expensive bikes. Especially to perhaps get a more efficient battery and motor; but just because I could. But I have no need. This range is perfectly adequate for me.
My dinner friend told me she was charging the battery every second day of use, whether it needs it or not. To be honest she did say she had not noted any swing on the electricity meter as a result either. After all It's a trickle charge and I suspect the advertised costs are absolutely minimal and correct.
My Simple Selection Method...
To be honest my first choice of electric bike is based on price and how it looks and what color it is. Yep, really. The technical specs were, to begin with, a little bewildering to me anyway but don't be put off by that. It's what you can afford. Basically, the higher the battery capacity, the longer you can ride between charges. The higher the motor wattage, the easier it is to get up steeper hills without excessive pedalling. But nowadays all but the 'suspect' extremely cheap imports well get you along that highway nicely.
I also do not want to spend too much money for me to later discover that it will fall apart or I did not enjoy it after the initial excitement. You can read the many reviews yourself to get that warm and fuzzy feeling about particular bikes.
What do you think of Electric Bikes?
Rise In Popularity
Be the first on your street...
It's not surprising in this age of 'Green' and environmental awareness, that cycling has become increasingly popular. And, like me, you do not need to be a fanatic to enjoy it. Just get on your bike and ride. The increase in popularity of Electric Bike is staggering. Not only in stalwart counties like Holland, Germany and China, but Electric Biking is on a rapid increase in the USA and the rest of Europe now too. Perhaps it's the significantly improved technology (and the ability to get up a hill now), or even just the delight of being one of the first on the block to be seen to use this mode of transport, there is now doubt about it, we are going to see a lot more happy smiling people out there on Electric Bikes...
Would You Recommend an Electric Bike?
Would You Recommend an Electric Bike?
Electric Bike Conversion Kit
A great alternative to buying in an assembled electric bike, would be convert your existing 'normal' bike. It might take a bit of technical know-how, but if you feel confident, why not think about this alternative.
Some fun electric items too. For the big kids?
Have fun and be safe....
Thoroughly recommended. And yes......so much fun!
...... finally, do remember to put safety first. Always obey the highway codes. Always obey the law. Always be aware of traffic and pedestrians around you. Always be courteous, (especially to non-electric cyclist who may be struggling up that hill), always wear your reflective gear and helmet, and always wear that silly grin of immense satisfaction as you trundle along.