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E-bikes are revolutionizing the world of cycling.
They’ve become extremely popular as a sustainable and efficient mode of transport that’s both convenient and eco-friendly.
However, with their rise in popularity comes an increase in the number of myths surrounding them. In this video, we’ll debunk some of the misconceptions about electric bikes, helping you to discern fact from fiction.
1. ‘Electric Bikes Are for Lazy People’
E-bikes make cycling longer distances very approachable, even for the less active among us.
For this reason, there’s a popular misconception that having an electric bike is somehow cheating or lazy.
In reality, electric bikes are primarily designed to assist riders rather than replace the cycling effort entirely. In other words, they still provide a workout. The electric motor provides a boost that makes cycling more accessible to a broader audience.
That doesn’t just include the elderly or the less fit, but can also be a game-changer when it comes to commuting longer journeys.
Ultimately, they exist to facilitate cycling, and if it means that you spend more time on a bike, then frankly, we’re all for them.
2. ‘E-Bikes Aren’t Portable’
More of a misconception than a myth, but people still seem to be under the impression that electric bikes weigh a ton or take up a lot of space.
While that may have been true when they were first mass-marketed, they have advanced so quickly that they’re often almost indistinguishable from a regular bike.
Did you know that the Hummingbird 2.0, the lightest folding e-bike in the world, weighs just 23 pounds, or a little over 10kg? To put things into perspective, that’s roughly the weight of a French bulldog.
Not only can you easily lift it with one arm, but it’ll also tuck under your desk without an issue.
Granted, not all electric bikes can boast such feats, but clunky, unmanageable e-bikes are largely a thing of the past.
3. ‘Electric Bikes Are Complex’
Many people still seem to think electric bikes require a bachelor’s degree or some specialist knowledge to use or maintain.
When it comes to riding them, they’re almost always incredibly intuitive. After all, they’re designed to be user-friendly! The electric assistance is typically controlled via a handlebar-mounted display or even a single button that is far easier to navigate than a smartphone.
Most e-bikes also have a removable battery, meaning they’re pretty much plug-and-play when it comes to charging.
They aren’t necessarily more complicated to maintain than a regular bicycle. The electric components are usually sealed, require minimal attention, and can be replaced as and when they expire.
4. ‘E-Bikes Are Dangerous’
Speaking of electrical components, we all share a cautiousness. After all, everyone seems to know a friend of a friend who’s had a battery blow on a mobile.
Whilst concerns are ultimately legitimate, the fact of the matter is that e-bikes have to meet stringent safety standards, especially in Europe and the USA, and the industry as a whole is committed to reliability when it comes to e-bike systems.
Batteries, in particular, undergo rigorous testing in varying conditions and are also equipped with thermal management systems that regulate temperatures and prevent overheating.
However, it is important to always follow safe charging practices. Store your battery at room temperature in a dry environment when not in use, and familiarise yourself with the manufacturer’s guidelines. A little common sense can also go a long way.
5. ‘E-Bikes Are Too Fast’
There are a lot of uncertainties about the speeds of e-bikes, and many people think that they are too fast to be safe.
Fortunately, this is usually not the case. E-bikes are subject to strict regulations that define their maximum speed limits. For example, e-bikes in the UK must not have power assistance exceeding 15.5mph. They also aren’t allowed to have a throttle, meaning that acceleration is controlled by pedal assistance.
In short, if you’re concerned that you’ll lose control of your bike’s speed, you needn’t be.
On the other hand, it’s likely that you’ve seen electric bikes that exceed these limits. Whilst laws and regulations vary worldwide, if you see one going very fast, the chances are that it’s been modified and is potentially law-breaking.
There will always be those who live outside the lines, but when used legally and responsibly, they are generally very safe.
6. ‘Electric Bikes Are Only For Commuting’
While e-bikes can and do excel as commuters, they are versatile and can cater to all needs.
Electric bikes come in all shapes and sizes and aren’t a one-trick pony. From folding to hybrid, MTB to road, and gravel to hardtail, there’s an e-bike suited for every rider.
Whether it’s for recreational use, for fitness, or even for touring, e-bikes have the flexibility to suit a variety of preferences.
Their range capacities go far beyond that required of most commuters. Did you know that many e-bikes can do 150 miles on a single charge?
That is an absurdly long distance to travel for most of us and probably far more than the majority could do with just our leg power alone.
7. ‘E-Bikes Are Expensive’
The most common complaint about e-bikes is that they’re too expensive. Granted, some can reach eye-watering figures of almost six digits, but these are exceptions to the rule.
Electric bikes are available at a wide range of prices, and there are plenty of very affordable entry-level models for those on a tighter budget.
Depending on your country, you might also have options, ranging from financing through a cycle-to-work scheme to government incentives and rebates for those who swap a car for an e-bike.
For example, In 2022, France introduced a scheme that offered €4,000 to anyone trading their car for an electric bike.
It’s also worth noting that, in the long run, it’s far cheaper than running a car. The initial costs, as well as the ongoing ones, such as running costs or maintenance, are usually far less.
The bottom line is that an e-bike is an investment, not just financially, but for our health. As we look for alternative ways to travel, electric bikes are a great form of active transport that could save us money and lead us to a happier, healthier life. What’s not to like?