Understanding how electric bikes are reshaping mobility for all ages and lifestyles
There’s no doubt about it, electric bikes are becoming one of the most popular modes of transport and leisure activity. But there are still a few people who don’t realize that electric bikes can benefit everyone. Instead, they regard them as cheating and a lazy way of getting around. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
With this in mind, we decided to highlight how electric bikes can benefit different groups of people and their needs. You will learn that electric bikes can be advantageous to everyone, not just people who are looking for an easy and cheap way to travel.
Commuters benefit incredibly from riding an electric bike for several reasons. Driving through a city can be extremely tedious, frustrating, and slow. Being stuck in traffic every morning is a lousy way to start your day. However, this isn’t a problem for an electric bike rider, who can continue moving even on the busiest morning in town.
The motor on most electric bikes is more than powerful enough to allow you to keep up with traffic and even get ahead of it. You especially realize this at junctions and traffic lights. This is because an electric bike’s extra acceleration and torque over a traditional bike means you can get off the line like lightning, making your commute less stressful.
If you were to ride a regular bike during your commute, there’s a good chance you will arrive at work hot and sweaty, especially in the summer. But the great thing about commuting on an electric bike is that you can choose a higher assistance level from your motor, meaning you put less effort into the pedals. Some electric bikes even have a throttle mode, so you don’t have to pedal at all. The result is that you can arrive at work looking as fresh as you did when you left home without taking a shower.
Many electric bike manufacturers now produce folding commuter bikes. These have collapsible frames, which make the bikes extremely compact. This makes them ideal for “last mile commutes,” where the commuter will drive or take public transport for a large portion of their commute, then transfer onto their folding electric bikes when they get to the city. Another benefit of doing this over driving is that they don’t have to find and pay for somewhere to park.
The compact size of a folding electric bike also allows you to stash it in a safe place at work rather than leave it outside. This is also a bonus if storage space is tight at home.
If you want to commute on an electric bike, check out our essential tips for stress-free and enjoyable electric bike commuting.
People who want to improve their fitness
It is easy for someone to dismiss riding an electric bike as a way of getting fit. After all, these wonderful contraptions are equipped with powerful motors and batteries. Of course, the motor goes a long way to assist your peddling, depending on which mode you choose. However, you still have to put a significant amount of effort into the pedals to keep the bike moving.
It has been proven with scientific studies that someone riding an electric bike can be working at more than 90% of the level of someone on a regular bike. However, they have a lower perceived effort, making the experience more pleasant.
A group of researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah sent a collective of seasoned mountain bikers around a 10 km course. The riders first went around the course on regular mountain bikes to see their heart rates. After a recovery period, the mountain bikers completed the route again, but this time on electric mountain bikes. Their heart rates reached 94% of their average heart rate when riding their regular mountain bikes, and they still got into training zone four. This indicated they were still working hard, even though the motor assisted them.
The researchers also concluded that commuting on an electric bike benefits your health. Their studies revealed that people who commute on an electric bike have an 89% average heart rate of someone on a regular bike. This may be lower, but it goes a long way to contribute to an active lifestyle.
One of the great things about using an electric bike for fitness is that you can fine-tune how much effort you put in much more easily than on a regular bike. By using the gears and different levels of pedal assist, you can ensure that you stay in your required heart rate training zone, depending on your workout and fitness goals. By this, I mean you can choose a higher assistance level when you want to take it easy or a lower level when it’s time to work hard.
People recovering from injury
Light exercise is a large part of recovery, depending on which injury you’re suffering from often. Physiotherapists and medical professionals often recommend cycling as a great low-impact exercise which is why it is often used for rehabilitation. However, you have to take care when riding a regular bike with an injury. It is incredibly easy to overdo it and make your injury worse rather than better.
Suppose you had a knee injury and were prescribed light exercise as part of your recovery regime; a regular bike may be too much, especially if you live in a hilly area. But using the pedal assistance of an electric bike will allow you to move without causing too much stress on your injured knee. As your knee strengthens, you can choose lower assistance levels when necessary, reducing your recovery time.
Another good thing about riding an electric bike with an injury is that you can use the throttle mode to get home if you need to rest. This is an extra bonus if you have been a little too ambitious on your rehabilitation ride and don’t want to add unnecessary strain to an injury you’re trying to recover from.
Electric bikes are great for the older generation
The older generation can really benefit from riding electric bikes. Electric bikes are proven to improve the quality of life of older people in many ways. For example, staying active is more important the older you get, as an active lifestyle improves cognitive function, stimulates the mind, and gets blood pumping through your body. The result is that older people can keep dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at bay. This active lifestyle also helps to reduce stress levels which is incredibly important in your later years, especially when you just want an easy life.
Leaving the car at home appeals to many older citizens, but public transport can be troublesome. Also, older people with certain health conditions are vulnerable to contracting diseases from others. Therefore, an electric bike allows people to travel freely while reducing contact with the general public.
Electric bikes enhance social interaction. This is because older people have the freedom to visit friends and family much more easily than if they were using public transport. But on top of this, the electric motor makes up for differences in performance when riding with other people. This means friends and family with different fitness levels can enjoy the outdoors together, which is excellent for families who want to spend quality time together. Grandparents can enjoy a day on the bikes with their grandchildren rather than miss out.
Students and young professionals can enjoy the benefits of electric bikes
With the rising costs of modern living, it can be difficult for young people to incorporate traveling to work into their budgets. Therefore many students and young professionals opt for electric bikes over cars. Of course, the initial cost of an electric bike is still quite high if you want a good one, but it is still cheaper than buying a car.
And when you look at the other costs associated with car ownership, such as fuel, insurance, tax, and maintenance, you can see how an electric bike becomes more cost-effective. There are many different types of electric bikes to choose from, with varying features and characteristics. For example, you can buy electric bikes with cargo racks to carry everything you need for the day. These electric bikes are incredibly versatile and can easily replace some car journeys.
Small business owners
Small businesses are desperate to reduce their carbon footprint and costs. One of the ways they are doing this is by us replacing cars, vans, and traditional bikes with electric bikes. An electric cargo bike is an excellent way of delivering goods, packages, or food to customers.
Electric bikes are much cheaper to run than traditional delivery vehicles. They are just as efficient as a regular bike but much faster. When the right electric bike is used in the right way, small business owners can maintain or improve their level of service while reducing costs and being more environmentally friendly.
We are already starting to see this in our cities, but expect to see more deliveries being made on electric bikes in the very near future.
People with an adventurous side
An electric bike, particularly an electric mountain bike or gravel bike, will enable more adventurous people to ride further. This theory has been proven by an analysis of health and transport data in Europe. People who own electric bikes have been found to ride further distances than those on traditional bikes without motors. The result is that electric bike riders get similar fitness gains to those on regular bikes.
How far you can ride with pedal assist varies greatly between electric bikes. The range is determined by lots of things such as your weight, fitness, the profile of your journey, weather conditions, and the specifications of your bike. Some electric bikes allow you to fit larger or additional batteries to extend range. Still, you can also carry an extra charged battery for when you need it.
The pedal assistance allows you to tackle terrain you wouldn’t have been able to ride before. This is why many mountain bikers are now buying electric mountain bikes. Mountain bikers find they can ride twice as far on an electric mountain bike in the same amount of time as on a regular mountain bike. This means mountain bikers are becoming more adventurous, especially those who live in Alpine regions, as they can explore the mountains and forests much more easily.
It is worth noting that people who explore the unknown on electric mountain bikes are getting themselves into trouble. They tend to end up riding terrain that is too advanced for their skills. So, if you find yourself a long way from home, it may be better to turn back than keep pushing forward.
However, you don’t need to be the type of person who wants to find challenging off-road trails to enjoy the pedal assistance of an electric bike. Road cyclists can use electric bikes to take on larger and longer loops.
This is the same story for casual day trippers. Load your electric bike into the car or take it on the train to get around and visit new places. When you use an electric bike for leisure, you can see more of an area while spending more time in the saddle and exercising.
Final thoughts on how electric bikes can benefit everyone
As you can see, electric bikes are not just for lazy people. They benefit people in all sorts of circumstances and from all walks of life. Whether you are a seasoned athlete, an older citizen, or someone just about to take their first step into the real world, you can benefit from owning an electric bike.
Of course, electric bikes cannot replace every car journey, but they can benefit most people. Electric bikes are excellent for your physical and mental health, the environment, and wallet. But above all, they enhance the quality of life by being fun to ride and increasing freedom and mobility.