Recently someone asked me 'what's an ebike'?
I was a bit surprised to be honest. To me an ebike is self explanatory but not everyone has seen the light just yet when it comes to understanding The Who What and Why of electric bikes.
So the purpose of this article is to debunk some of those myths and misconceptions we often hear.
What's an E-bike?
An ebike is simply a bike that has the additional power of an electric motor either in the rear hub or mid-drive. You pedal it like a normal bike, pedal with some assist or you can use it with just the throttle in some instances.
But it looks and acts like any other bike on the road. Top speed is 28 MPH by law and the majority of ebikes shipped or class 1 or 2 which tops out at 20 MPH.
There are also products that look more like e-mopeds or electric dirt bikes. I don't consider these ebikes in the traditional sense. They are meant for road use or dirt tracks and dont belong on bike paths or rail trails. They are usually bigger and heavier as well...making them more like an electric motorcycle than anything else.
Ebikes are NOT Cheating
Probably the most common thing you hear about ebikes. Mainly comes from road bikers. What these people dont realize
- I still pedal my ebike. The benefit is that I now bike longer, farther and faster.
- You can still get excise with an ebike. Just use it on the lower pedal assist settings to get a workout.
- Some people can't ride a regular bike due to certain health limitations. Don't hate on them because they use an ebike.
- Some use it for commuting or work. For example many delivery drivers in New York City use an ebike to make deliveries.
Next time someone says you're cheating while using an ebike just tell them Lance Armstrong was a cheater too!
Anyone who thinks ebikes are cheating are only saying that because they are hard core exercise freaks who think bikes exist for a singular purpose.
Ebikes are taking cars off the road. That alone is a reason to use them.
Can you get exercise on an e-bike?
Absolutely yes. I have read a few stories on social media from people saying they have lost weight. I myself have shed a few pounds after riding all summer.
Anytime I go out on my ebike I tend to pedal in the lower assists levels to get my heart rate up. Going up hills takes effort as well.
Are ebikes legal?
Yes ebikes are legal. The federal government has classified ebikes into 3 classes that nearly all states have adopted. Class 1,2,3. They dont require a license to operate, insurance or registration.
Traditional bike companies like Trek and Schwinn also make and sell ebike versions so that right there should give you piece of mind.
Can you ride ebikes in the rain?
Yes you can. In fact may are have a waterproof rating of IP 65 or more which means they can get wet. However you should always store your ebike out of the elements when not in use. Most ebike batteries are removable for indoor storage.
Ebike are Expensive
They certainly can be. But you can buy ebikes for a little as $500 on Amazon for the most basic versions. Most direct to consumer ebikes that are popular now can cost from $1,000 like a Lectric XP to a $5,000 Serial1 from Harley Davidson.
Will you have range anxiety?
Just like with electric cars your ebike will have a limited range depending on how you ride it and how big of a battery is on it. The average ebike today will get you 30-40 miles per charge (roughly).
I'd love to hear what other myths you think there are about ebikes. Follow my ebike channel and let me know.