E-bikes, or electric bicycles, are growing in popularity in the United States and around the world. By 2023, the industry is expected to sell more than 40 million units globally. If you’re considering purchasing an e-bike, what do you need to know before you bring one home? Are there any tricks to caring for one? How long will a charge last? Here’s everything you need to know about going electric.
What Is an E-Bike?
E-bike is short for an electric bike. These models come equipped with a small motor and a rechargeable battery. Unlike other bicycle motors, these electric ones aren’t designed to turn your bike into a motorcycle. Instead, it offers a bit of a boost to help riders conquer hills or other challenging terrains.
Electric bicycles are becoming a popular choice for commuters in cities around the globe because you can ride your bike to work without putting a ton of effort into it. You’re still the primary power source for forwarding momentum, but you don’t have to exhaust yourself trying to get up hills.
How to Ride an E-Bike
If you know how to ride a bicycle, you might think you know how to ride an e-bike — but they’re not exactly the same thing. Instead of pedaling at full tilt to maintain your top speed, you only need to occasionally spin the pedals to keep yourself going. The max will depend on the specifications of your e-bike, but most models top out at around 15 mph. You may find models that offer between 20 and 28 mph, but the motor will stop engaging at that point.
They may also have a variety of settings — like low to save power when you’re pedaling down a flat highway or boost to help you get up a steep hill.
You will need to continue to pedal to keep the motor engaged, though. It won’t do all the work for you.
Keeping Your E-Bike Charged
The big difference between an e-bike and a regular bicycle is that you need to keep it charged. Most e-bikes come with a charger, and most will take between two and six hours to reach full power. If you don’t have that much time, an aftermarket charger can help. Some are capable of charging your e-bike battery up to 400% faster than the stock model that comes with your bike.
Choosing Electric for The Environment
If you’re looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint while still commuting to and from work, an e-bike might be the best option. Not only does it help keep you fit because you’re the primary power source — the battery and motor only assist — but it also creates no emissions. They get even greener if you charge them with wind or solar energy.
E-Bikes Are the Right Choice
E-bikes are becoming more popular, and with good reason. They allow you to stay fit and exercise on your commute without exhausting yourself trying to get up any hills that might lay in your path. They’re better for the environment, help reduce traffic congestion and just look cool.
There is a bit of a learning curve if you’re transitioning from a traditional bicycle to an e-bike. Just remember that the motor isn’t doing all the work for you, and you need to keep pedaling to maintain your speed. While you’ll never be as fast as a motorcycle, it’s still faster than riding a human-powered bicycle. Don’t forget to keep it charged, and your e-bike will serve you well — and save you from traffic jams — for years to come.