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How Electric Bikes Redefine the Traveler’s Lifestyle Experience

Before even the pandemic hit way back in the fourth quarter of 2019, e-bikes rapidly gained popularity in the western part of the world, particularly for people who commute in the city on a daily basis to avoid traffic and be on time. While their presence in the city is well-established, many biking enthusiasts are arguing whether e-bikes are really good for longer travel and off-road adventures, considering that e-bikes are initially designed for commuting. In this article, we’ll discuss the increasing popularity of e-bikes, the benefits for both our environment and health, things to know when choosing, and whether it is really worth it for traveling or if you should just ride your car.

Why The Sudden Popularity With Electric Bicycles?

Before the pandemic, we saw a lot of electric vehicles popping up, like electric skateboards, hoverboards, or electric micro-scooters. These seemed fun, mainly for short trips in the city for younger folks. But are these electric options really better in the long run than saving your $1000 and sticking to their non-electric versions? Or perhaps just taking a few extra minutes to walk and enjoy the streets? Only time will tell.

Now, what about electric cars? After a slow start, electric vehicle sales are going up. One known and emerging brand is Tesla. Its stock has shot up in the past year, and traditional car makers are improving their electric offerings. While this is good for city air quality, the truth is these cars are still too expensive for most people, and they’re likely to stay that way for quite some time.

This is where electric bikes are stepping into the spotlight. While they were once viewed more as a niche recreational product than a practical transport solution, that perception is shifting. Surprisingly, electric bike sales are already surpassing those of other electric vehicles and are likely to continue doing so by a significant margin. Way back in 2014, e-bike sales in the United States alone have grown more than eightfold. In the Netherlands, a country known for its cycling culture, more electric bikes were sold in 2019 than standard pedal bikes. According to experts, this momentum is gaining even more traction. 

How Do Electric Bikes Help the Environment?

Electric bikes stand out as an exceptionally effective means of enhancing the environment compared to various alternatives. They operate without gas and emit no harmful substances. Although they require energy to function, their environmental efficiency surpasses that of many other modes of transportation.

  • Zero emission: Electric bikes produce zero emissions, contributing significantly to air quality improvement and reducing the overall carbon footprint associated with transportation.
  • Saving electricity when charging: E-bikes save electricity during the charging process, making them a more sustainable option compared to conventional vehicles that rely on fossil fuels.
  • More range while easier to ride: E-bikes provide an extended range for riders while offering a user-friendly and accessible riding experience, encouraging more people to choose a greener mode of transportation.
  • Longer batteries while reducing waste: Electric bikes feature longer-lasting batteries, reducing the frequency of replacements and minimizing electronic waste, aligning with sustainable practices for a healthier environment.

Considerations When Buying Your First E-bike

When you’re thinking about getting your first e-bike, it’s crucial to keep things practical. Your budget, daily routine, how much maintenance you’re willing to do, and whether you’re using it for commuting or off-road adventures play a big role in making the right choice. Let’s break down different types of e-bikes, giving you simple information on motor power, battery range, frame materials, and how comfortable they are to ride.

Commuter e-bikes: These are your classic e-bikes, good for rides of 20 to 50 miles, with rain fenders, lights, strong motors, and the power to handle hills.

Mountain e-bikes: Most of these are made for pedaling, designed with modern mountain bike features but with extra power. Good ones to check out include those made by known brands.

Cargo e-bikes: Think of these as beefed-up commuter e-bikes. They handle more weight, might have extra built-in storage, and are built for carrying stuff or even passengers.

Folding e-bikes: These bikes fold down for easy carrying or storage. But remember, they can be heavier than regular folding bikes, so consider that if you need something light to carry. Some folding e-bikes are both easy to carry and portable, like the Engwe’s T14.

Cruiser e-bikes: Perfect for short, easy rides on flat roads. They usually have a smaller motor and battery but are comfy for a relaxed ride.

Performance road e-bikes: If you’re into fast, long rides on smooth roads, these bikes are made for you. They’re a bit pricier, but models like the entry-level ones from good brands are worth checking out.

Health Benefits of E-Bikes

E-biking extends beyond convenience; it offers physical and mental health advantages. We’ll discuss how e-bikes provide enjoyable cardiovascular exercise with minimal joint strain and explore the positive effects of outdoor activity and stress reduction associated with e-bike riding.

So, Are E-bikes Safe For Travel?

Yes, electric bikes prove to be an excellent alternative means of transportation. They’re perfect for traveling around short to medium distances, especially when exploring your vacation destination. However, this also means you need to figure out how to bring your e-bike with you on your trip.

1. Utilize a Bike Rack or Carrier

Bike racks and carriers are essential accessories for bikers, especially if you frequently travel with your e-bike. These accessories are designed to make transporting your electric bicycle easier and safer.

2. Don’t Forget To Remove The Battery

Before securely attaching your e-bike to the rack, remember to remove the battery. This not only reduces the load on your rack but also protects the battery from potential damage during the journey. Store the battery inside your car, ensuring it’s fully charged and kept at a suitable indoor temperature.

3. Ensure That You Meet The Weight Requirements

Check your manual before transporting your e-bike to avoid inconveniences. Make sure the carrier can support the weight of your e-bike, and if you’re transporting multiple bikes, ensure the carrier is capable of handling the combined weight. Properly strap the bikes to prevent wobbling.

4. Keep Your Bike Safe

Ensuring the safety of your e-bike during travel is vital. Use a bike lock, with the U-shaped lock being the most common. Secure the bike frame to a solid structure, like a post or street sign, to prevent theft. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing your e-bike is fully secured when parked outside.

Get Your First E-bike Now!

Electric bikes are no longer just a fun trend but a practical and eco-friendly choice for getting around. They’re becoming popular because they’re good for the environment, save money, and come in different types to fit various needs. Choosing the right e-bike depends on what you want, whether it’s for commuting, adventures, or just a convenient way to travel.

Understanding how to bring your e-bike on trips is essential for a smooth journey. Using a bike rack, removing the battery, checking the weight limits, and keeping your bike safe with a lock are simple but crucial steps. The electric bike revolution is not just about riding; it’s a positive change in how we travel, making our journeys more sustainable and our cities greener.

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