eBikes are everywhere these days, but is going electric right for you?
We’ve rounded up a list of great reasons why an eBike could be your favourite mode of transport yet - plus what you need to consider before buying one.
This is a 2-article series helping you decide if an electric bike or scooter is right for you. Here in Part 1, we cover electric bikes. Stay tuned for Part 2 for the low-down on electric scooters!
An eBike could be right for you if...
You’re keen to improve your health and get outside more.
Electric bikes assist your pedalling efforts which means you’re still exerting energy and getting plenty of exercise.
It’s definitely possible to get fit riding an eBike and have fun while you do it! You enjoy the scenery and the joy of cycling – minus the frustration or exhaustion you might feel using a regular bike for the same trip.
Freeing for riders with limited ability and mobility, owning an eBike gets you outside taking longer and more varied trips regardless of your capabilities.
You want to save money.
The average Australian who works in the CBD and drives to the office can spend up to $14,000 a year in car maintenance and running costs.
For those that own their cars outright – fuel costs are the biggest ongoing expense with an average spend of $71.50 a week.
Regularly swapping your car for an eBike ride (especially for the daily work commute) you’ll lower transportation costs. Some riders love their eBike so much they give up their car entirely!
You’ll also save on the expense of maintenance and insurance – both of which are lower for an eBike compared to a car.
You want less traffic stress in your life.
“I love a good traffic jam” – said no one ever.
Studies have shown that many Australians spend up to 3 weeks of their lives each year stuck in traffic. An electric bike is a smart (and fun!) alternative mode of transport to help you cut back or eliminate peak hour traffic stress.
Even long commutes are easily doable thanks to the extra boost the motor provides.
You don’t want to arrive sweaty to work.
If you cycle to work a post-ride shower is a must (especially in summer) unless you want to scare away co-workers with a sweaty red face and damp clothes.
You can skip the shower at work and save yourself time with an eBike. You’ll still get the exercise benefits of your morning commute without the sweaty aftermath.
You care about reducing your environmental impact.
There’s no question that an eBike is a much greener mode of transport vs a car or motorbike when it comes to environmental impact.
The average e-bike requires far less energy to operate and you won’t be pumping exhaust fumes into the atmosphere while using one - unlike cars and motorbikes.
Only a small amount of energy is needed to recharge the battery. You can make this process even more eco-friendly by using a renewable energy source.
Things to consider before buying an electric bike.
How do you plan to use your eBike?
Commuting, off-roading, epic tours – how do you plan to use your eBike?
Different eBike designs suit different purposes and some of the popular styles of eBikes include:
Urban commuter bike: A great choice for riders who are keen to commute daily to work and/or use the bike to replace car trips.
Folding /city bike: Small in stature, the city bike is a compact model and ideal if storage space is limited or for trips that involve bus and train travel too.
Mountain bike: At the more rugged end of the scale are mountain eBikes that effortlessly take on the trails.
Road bike: Great for adventurous, long days on the bike or tackling hilly terrain with ease.
You need to decide what features are most important to you based on your preferences and lifestyle.
If you’re new to riding you may choose a bike, like a Smartmotion E-City, with a low throttle setting that eases you into the ride and a step-through frame to make it easy to get on and off.
On the other hand, an experienced rider who wants the eBike for recreational off-road use will need different features like a more powerful throttle for climbing hills and fatter tires.
Find the right fit size-wise.
Your eBike needs to be the right fit for you. Otherwise, it’s a little like wearing a pair of shoes that are a size too big or small - uncomfortable and may lead to an injury.
Make sure you test ride several different bikes, each time assessing how comfortable it feels for you to ride and if it has the functionality you’re looking for.
Taking trial spins is one of the best parts of shopping around for your new eBike!
Where can you take it for service or help?
Riding off into the sunset on your newly purchased eBike isn’t the end of the story. The ease of after-purchase support is important and there are a few questions to consider.
Does the store you purchased it from offer a maintenance service and support?
It’s important to buy from a store with a history of repairing and understanding eBikes. You’ll find most local bike shops can fix common issues which makes it easy to have repairs and maintenance handled.
What about the warranty?
Warranties will vary from supplier to supplier. In general, if you choose a well-known brand with an Australian support network you should be looked after. Brands like Bosch and Shimano are a safe bet.
How easy will it be to get replacement parts or accessories if needed?
Replacement parts are normally easy to source if you choose a well-known brand. It might seem like you’re saving money by buying a little-known brand but it can come back to bite you with repairs. We’ve seen plenty of people get stuck with a problem that can’t be fixed because we can’t get the parts. When buying an eBike think long term!
Don’t overlook these questions in the excitement of buying your first electric bike.
Surprising Way Aussies Stung 14k A Year Just To Get To Work (Article - news.com.au)
Car Running Costs In Australia 2019 (Report - Budget Direct)
Gold coast drivers spend almost 3 weeks of their life stuck in traffic every year, new data shows (Article - MyGC.com.au)