We’re regularly being told that it would be better for the environment, and for our own health, if we did more cycling, but for many this can be somewhat daunting.
If you’ve not done much cycling before, then even a small uphill slope can feel like scaling a mountain. Similarly, if you’ve got a long way to go, the prospect of going there by bike and potentially pedalling for an hour non-stop may be too much. This is why many people are opting for an e-bike rather than a traditional human-only powered bicycle.
E-bikes have many positives to them. They allow you to exercise safely and easily. You pedal the bike as with a normal bike, but the motor will keep up momentum when you hit a hill, and will help when when you need to restart after stopping such as when you come to a red traffic light.
The e-bike’s motor means you don’t need to be worried about that moment of instability in the same way as with a normal bike. Then when you feel stronger, you can start turning the motor off for smaller hills and build up your strength and stamina slowly.
E-bikes are also quick to charge. Many of them only need an hour, or even less, to charge the battery completely.
They are expensive compared to a standard bike it’s true, which is certainly a downside of an e-bike, but overall it can end up being cheaper than paying for parking on a daily basis, or the cost of train tickets. Also, if you live in Scotland, you can apply for an interest-free loan in order to purchase one.
There are downsides though. If you get a puncture it can be far more complicated to repair the puncture since removing the wheel is no longer a simple job with a spanner as there are the motor fixings to take into account.
It’s also worth noting that e-bikes can be attractive to thieves. Good bike locks (perhaps more than one!) should help guard against this though, as should parking your bike in a public place with lots of potential witnesses. No thief wants to be caught in the act!
So, if you want to see if an e-bike is a good fit for you having taken the pros and cons into account, then perhaps consider hiring one for a couple of days and seeing how you get on. After all, it’s a big investment to make.