You’ve heard about ebikes, or electric assist bikes but is one for you? Some people rave about them, others say “no way”, so to help you decide if you should look further, here is a summary of the pros and cons compared to other modes of transportation so you can decide for yourself.
An ebike is essentially a regular bike with the addition of a motor, display, and battery. There is little the average ebike user can do to impact longevity of the motor and display, but the battery is within our sphere of control. It is within our “power” (pun intended) to take steps that will keep the battery in top shape for years to come. A well-maintained battery will result in greater range, performance, and increase the time before the battery needs to be replaced. Specific practices can vary from brand to brand, so always follow the guidelines for your battery manufacturer.
Even if you take precautions while outside on your bike, are alert to your surroundings, and predictable in your actions, there may be a time when you’ll need an emergency maneuver. According to Larry Mysz, League Cycling Instructor and speaker at the Oct. 13 meeting of the Chicago Cycling Club, sometimes you can’t avoid an obstacle and you need to stop or turn quickly. If you know how to do this and have practiced the move it will be second nature when you need it and you will be able to “save your bacon”, that is, come out of the situation unharmed.
When you mention you ride an ebike to someone who is an avid cyclist who goes on 50-100 miles rides on a road bike or is a year around daily commuter who rides 70 miles per week you can almost hear the sneer. An ebike has a motor so is that even cycling? Are you getting any exercise? You may be outdoors but are you working hard enough to get your heart rate up?
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