Should I buy an electric bicycle?
A few months ago, Graham Hill asked me for some help in choosing an electric bike. I wanted to help, but I knew that my knowledge was limited – there are so many models, with progress being made all the time in battery tech and power electronics – so I pointed him to someone who I knew was a real expert: Court Rye, the e-bike demigod behind ElectricBikeReview.com. But Graham’s question also made me realize that he certainly wasn’t the only one trying to figure out if an electric bicycle was right for him, what were the pros and cons, and if it did make sense, where to begin and which models to have a look at first.
Why would anyone want an electric bike?
Well, electric bicycles offer the same great benefits as traditional bicycles including cost savings (no licensing or insurance required), improved health and connection with community.
The real advantage to ebikes in my view is efficiency in climbing hills or fighting the wind combined with better range. If you experience knee pain or exercise induced asthma for example, electric bikes can breath new life into the sport of cycling. They might convince your friend or significant other to join you on the trails more often or they might enable you to commute to work in extreme heat without perspiring so much. I’ve owned cars and mopeds before and neither felt as safe or refreshing as cycling along community paths, away from traffic.