Bike commuting is becoming more and more popular in most cities in the world. The invention of modern ebikes has taken cycling to a new level. More and more people who could not cycle before, or who could only cycle occasionally, are now able to cycle more often after upgrading to an e-bike.
So, should one settle for an electric bike or a conventional bike?
An electric bike also known as an e-bike or electronic bike has an integrated electric motor for the propulsion of the bicycle.
An e-bike combines has features of both a standard bike and a motorcycle because of being powered and yet having pedals. They, therefore,have benefits of both a conventional bicycle and a motorcycle. As such, it is an alternative to a conventional bicycle. But they also have disadvantages. Below we discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
Another post of us: Electric Bike Speed Limiter Removal
Advantages of an Electric Bike
Some of the good reasons to invest in electric bikes include the fact that they are cheaper to run and operate. Read more for further merits.
They are Cheaper than Motorcycles and Vehicles
An electric bicycle can be a good alternative to a car or motorcycle especially if you are on a budget. They are cheaper than motorcycles and cars and because they don’t require a driving license or any other licenses(in most countries in the world), they are therefore easier to acquire.
In addition, the age limit for riding an electric bicycle is less restrictive in most countries in the world, at 14 years.
They are Powered unlike Conventional Bikes
Electric bikes use a system called ePAS (Electric Pedal Assist System) to operate. The system makes turning the pedal easier than on a normal bike. As such, it is less labor intensive than pedaling a normal bike making them sweat-free.
Electric bikes are powered by re-chargeable batteries, unlike motorcycles which use fuel. They are therefore cheaper to maintain than motorcycles. Also, the use of batteries makes them environment-friendly because they don’t emit gases into the environment.
In addition, they can manage steep terrains effectively which requires a rider to walk when using a conventional bicycle.
Various Brands to Choose From
Most if not all mainstream bicycle manufacturers have an electric bicycle model and therefore you can have your favorite brand of electric bicycle.
The Battery Has a Long Running Time
It takes the battery a long time to run out of power. Some can cover up to 140 km distance before the battery runs out. What’s more, you can increase the battery running time by pedaling more.
They are Faster than Conventional Bicycles
The maximum speed of an electric bike ranges from brand to brand but it is between 25 to 50km/hour. Electric bikes are much faster than conventional bicycles. They give you many features of a bicycle yet with speed. For example, they are compact like a standard bicycle.
In places where the speed is not controlled, they can help you cover more mileage than standard bikes and consequently, they are a good alternative to public transport. Bicycles are small and easy to maneuver and consequently, they can be faster than public transport because you can dodge traffic.They are also easier on a hill as they give the rider power.
Electric bikes don’t contribute to noise pollution like motorcycles.They are as quiet as conventional bicycles because the battery is quiet.
They Don’t Need Licencing in Most Countries in the World
Electric bikes are classified as bicycles legally and they don’t need insurance covers or driving licenses to be operated. This makes it easier to buy them than motorcycles and vehicles.
They are Safer than Motorcycles
Electric bikes have a limited speed, and therefore they are easier to control than motorcycles and other vehicles. They are less likely to cause a fatal accident in comparison to a motor vehicle and a motorcycle because their low speed causes a low impact in an accident.
They are Healthier
When using the motor and not pedaling, a rider can sit in a more upright position than when pedaling a conventional bike which is healthier for the back and neck.
They are Easier to Ride than Normal Bikes
There is less strain when riding an electric bike than a conventional bicycle. It is much easier on the thighs, knees, and joints. An e-bike can be a good choice for seniors or anyone with an injury enabling them to cycle longer distances.
An E-bike Can Function Without the Battery
A rider can pedal in case the battery is out of power, for their convenience. In this regard, if you still want to get the benefits of pedaling, you can pedal an e-bike.
Disadvantages of Electric Bikes
Like any other man-made item, electric bikes have their fair share of downsides. We have discussed some of those right below in this run-down of pros and cons of electric bicycle.
More Expensive Than Standard Bicycles
It is cheaper to buy a conventional bike than an electric bike. The normal price of an e-bike is usually double that of a conventional bicycle.
In addition, they are more expensive to maintain because the motor and batteries do breakdown after sometime requiring to be replaced. Battery replacement is quite expensive especially if you need a bigger battery,
Long Battery Charging Time
To fully recharge the batteries of an electric bike takes time which is time-consuming. If the battery is not charged well, the pedal assistance will stop. An empty battery takes up to four hours to get fully recharged.
They are Heavy
Electric bikes are designed with additional features namely the battery and motor which adds to the weight of the bicycle. They weigh about 50 pounds. In case of a flat tire or battery failure, while you are uphill, they are harder to push than conventional bicycles.
Another disadvantage of the heavyweight is that it causes the bicycle to get flat tires more easily than conventional bikes. Also because they are heavy, they are harder to store or lift onto a train, car or bus.
Some cities restrict electric bikes from using bicycle lanes. The riders are then forced to use car lanes which poses a big risk. In addition, electric bikes have a speed limit in most countries that do not exceed 15 mph, which slows down the rider.
The Battery Has a Short Life Span
The battery has a short life span than the bicycle itself. Therefore, as it ages, it becomes less efficient, covering shorter distances. Also, an old battery takes a longer time to charge which is inconveniencing. Which makes the owners want to sell the bicycle and unfortunately, an electric bike has a low re-sale value.
Fewer Body Exercises than Conventional Bicycles
Pedaling is an exercise in itself. Using an e-bike gives a rider fewer opportunities to pedal.
The fact of the matter is that electric bikes have their fair share of positives and negatives. But there’s a twist – if you select a well-made bike, you are likely to reduce the downsides and get more of the good stuff.