Are you a cyclist? I think there are many people out there that used to be enthusiastic about bike riding at one point in time but are not so much into it anymore. At least that’s the case with me. The last time I owned a bicycle, I couldn’t bring it back with me as I was returning home from living overseas; it was just too big to bring, so I gave it away and never really looked back. But then about a year ago I got the chance to test my first electric bicycle, and that really reminded me of just how much fun bike riding can be. Not to mention the great exercise you can get on a bike. And yes, this is even true of Electric Bikes—the focus of today’s blog.
What are eBikes?
If you’re reading this article, you probably already know—or at least have a pretty good idea, what eBikes are. Even so, a few defining points may help to better establish the many benefits they offer. For instance, eBikes are not motorcycles; they don’t run on gasoline, and they require no special license or testing to operate.
In fact, most eBikes are actually hybrids of standard and electric bicycles. In other words, they give you the option of using none, some, or all of the available electronic power assist that you want. Either way, you still have to do some of the legwork yourself (as in pedalling). Even when you turn your eBike up to its highest power assist level, you’ll still have to do your part. And that is exactly why eBikes are valuable fitness tools—you still get your exercise with them!
Other benefits of eBikes include lightweight construction (such as the use of light yet durable aluminum alloys), long-range rechargeable batteries that in some cases can take you up to 40 or 50 miles on a single charge, and advanced braking systems (known as regenerative braking) that recoup kinetic energy from the braking process. Most also have LCD display panels that show you things like speed, distance travelled, and remaining battery power.
Some eBikes even fold up for easy storage and transportation, though it is important to note that not all eBikes are created equally, and not every model will have all of these features. It’s also important to note that the features given here in no way constitute a comprehensive list of all eBike characteristics (i.e., there are many, many others).
eBikes and fitness
If keeping fit is important to you, you might want to consider the benefits of an e-Bike in the pursuit of better overall health and conditioning. This is because eBikes, unlike their more traditional counterparts, can help everyone to get out and riding again—even if it’s been a long time since you last rode or worked out.For instance, did you know that the pedal assist feature in electronic bikes makes it easier to ride up hill? That’s right, if you live in a hilly area and believe that bike riding is a thing of the past, now you can ride again. Of course, the steepness of the hills I’m talking about must be within reason. If they’re more than about 40 degrees, you may have difficulty on them.
Electronic pedal assist also puts long distance riding back within easy reach, as you can rely on the motor’s boost as much or as little as you need. This is because eBikes have different levels of electronic assistance, much like the gears/speeds in manually powered bicycles, so you can set the power level you like and change it as often as you want.
If you left off riding some time ago because it was no longer fun for you, an eBike might make you reconsider that decision entirely, because eBikes make riding fun again!
Alternatively, if you’re a beginner to bike riding altogether, electronic bicycles are a great way to get into the activity without getting in over your head. If you haven’t exercised or worked out very much lately, you’ll still be able to ride. The bottom line with eBikes is that they’re a great aid to fitness, but you don’t have to be fit to ride one.
Types and examples of electric bikes
The eBikes available at Best Buy are divided into two main classifications: Electric City Bikes and Electric Mountain Bikes.
The Magnum Ui6 is a cool looking example of city bike with a number of useful features that are great whether you live in a big city or a much smaller town. This bike, shown above in the eBikes and Fitness section, has a powerful 502W electric motor, mechanical disc brakes, and is designed for urban riding/commuting. It also features an integrated battery pack (that’s positioned to keep the bike’s weight centred) and has a lightweight (aluminum alloy) step-thru frame that makes it easy to get onto and off of, among many other features that you can read all about on its Best Buy product page.
As for electric mountain bikes, the Krafty M2 – Fat Tire Model is a great example. This bike has a long list of features going for it. Among them are a lightweight and durable aluminum alloy frame; an LCD display with speedometer, odometer, and battery power level indicator; heavy duty “fat” tires that are great for riding on rough terrain; and a powerful, 1000W Bafang BBSHD electric driving motor. Of course, I’m only scratching the surface of this bike’s many features, but the one’s I’ve listed should give you some idea of what differentiates an electric mountain bike from an electric city bike.
As you can see, electric bikes do not come from a cookie cutter mold. In fact, there’s significant variety even within the 2 major eBike classifications that Best Buy carries. Of course, all that’s really important to use here is the fact that these bicycles are perfect for riders of all age, experience, and fitness levels. If you’ve been thinking of hitting the streets (or the hills) on a brand new bicycle this coming spring or summer and are concerned about how much you might use an old-fashioned manually powered model, set those fears aside and look to an electric model instead. You’ll have no excuse whatsoever if you choose not to use it, because it truly is an easy ride.
For more on eBikes and what they can do, check out my Pluto R Electric Bike Review from a few months ago (the photo above is from that piece). I think you’ll find it useful.