Whether your bicycle is your primary source of transportation or you mainly ride for pleasure, you may find yourself looking into purchasing an electric bike.
However, e-bikes are not for everyone. Before you jump on the bandwagon, here are a few things to consider.
Are there any health benefits?
According to Bicycling magazine, 55% of almost 1,800 participants of a survey rode daily or weekly before purchasing an electric bike. After their purchase, that number grew to 91%. If getting outside and riding your bike is your main priority over the fitness cycling provides, then an e-bike may be a worthwhile investment.
Those who are less accustomed to riding or who do not regularly exercise may find that riding an e-bike still has health benefits in spite of its self-propel function. One study found that people with sedentary lifestyles who began riding an electric bicycle three times per week lowered their blood sugar and improved their cardiovascular fitness.
E-bikes can be heavy
If you have to bring your bike up some stairs once you get to your destination, an e-bike may make that part of your commute more difficult than a traditional bike. The batteries and motors can be heavy. In fact, an e-bike may weigh 20 pounds more than a standard bike.
Speed and safety concerns
Most e-bike motors will not boost your speed beyond 28 mph, although the limit varies. You can typically adjust the amount of power you need based on the terrain of your bike ride.
While it may seem like better acceleration and faster speeds would make e-bikes more dangerous than traditional bikes, Curbed reports that these factors actually decrease crash risks. Keeping pace with vehicles on city streets can make your commute safer.
However, if you are not already familiar with how to ride in the city, you may want to take a class or practice in areas without much traffic first. Motorists can be unpredictable, and learning to anticipate danger and develop defensive maneuvers is essential.