Yes, there are lots of advantages to buying an electric bike or converting your bike to electric. eBikes have gotten a bit of a bad rep from the regular road bikers but there really a lot of great reasons to have an electric bike.
For starters there are still all the same benefits of having a regular road bike. There is nothing that requires you to ALWAYS have the electric motor do all the work for you. That is optional. That means you can pedal when you want to and enjoy the same health benefits.
the electric bike is actually a great way to bridge your current health condition with a more fit desired condition. For example persons with COPD who need to stress their cardio can do their best then rest without having to get off the bike or stop.
The same with people who have joint pain, overweight, or just poor overall general conditioning. Rather than having to be confronted with the worry of not knowing if you will pedal away but not be able to get back home, now you can fill your switch and know you can ride back using your motor. In its own way the electric bike can be an even better motivator for a person to get on the road.
The bikes motor can carry you up hills you aren’t quite ready to tackle.
More good news is they are great to commute to work. No gas and you can use the bike paths AND not break into a sweat if you don’t want to. Now you can tinkle your bell as you roll past the gridlock.
Caveat: Make sure they are fully charged unless you have one that self-charges its own battery using your peddling.
The Cost of Electric Bikes
Electrical Bicycle Conversion Kits may be more economical. The DIY kits are plentiful and fairly simple to install. The drawback on this is the probability that you will use the bike more and will need a more robust electrical conversion kit that the cheaper ones.
Electric bikes off the rack can range quite a bit in pricing. Decide on what you want use it for and go from there. It isn’t unusual to have one that will cost $1000 or more.
Determining the value of the bike to help decide on how much to spend maybe make note of the current cost of gas, insurance, tires, oil changes and general maintenance costs of a car. Even a used car will cost much more than the top of the line electric bikes.
Common Problems with Electric Bikes
When choosing an eBike shoot for something that doesn’t have a reputation of battery issues. Replacement packs can run into $100’s and it won’t take too many replacements to have you wishing you’d bought the more expensive bike in the first place.
A good bike battery should handle around 50 miles of road before it needs to be charged again.
Electric Bikes Can Be Slow
The top speed of the eBike motor is less than 30MPH. Some are throttled at 20MPH. Many folks can pedal it faster.
Taking Your Electric Bicycle Off-Road Trails
Introducing the electric mountain bikes. The same rules apply to the electric mountain bikes as they do to non-electric. Mind the paths that are pedestrian only and be respectful of other riders.
Some places may place distinctions on the type of motor you can have on the trails. Many will define that you can only have a Class 1 (lower speed) electric bicycle on the trails. Some faster ones may be barred and considered more o a motor vehicle like a motorcycle.
Aside from trail rules there are things that need to be considered for the health of the eBike itself. For example wet areas and trails can leave your motor vulnerable to needing repair. Excessive road ruts and root hopping can interrupt sensitive electrical components.
Even if there are no restrictions on your neighbouring track, be courteous of other riders. Watch speed and think about others using the path. If you come up against others trying to get up a hill but you’ve got it powered, wait your turn and don’t crowd the others out or go off-trail, just because you can.
Protecting Your Electric Bike Motor
The majority electric bikes and kits can take a little bit of damp. But much like a watch you have to pay extra for more water-proof capabilities. If the bike is going to be used for more than just leisure then a reliable water-proof housing will be necessary.
Things to watch out for are the distinctions of what is actually protected from the elements. An electric bike might have a weather proof battery housing but the rest of the parts are still exposed. This type of protection would be OK to ride through a puddle but not out in the rain.
The bike needs to be kept clean, dust and dirt whipped off the frame and tires and keep the motor and components clean and free of debris. Frequent cleaning also means frequent re-greasing. If you use an air hose to blow off dirt be careful you don’t blow off sensitive parts or an eye.