Electric bikes have come a long way in the past decade. These days, they come in all shapes and sizes, equipped with a wide range of features for any type of rider. But do these electric bikes compare to regular bicycles, or are they just another tech fad? In this article, we’ll determine if you should purchase a new electric bike or just stick with the old faithful regular bike.
Electric bikes have come a long way in the past decade. These days, they come in all shapes and sizes, equipped with a wide range of features for any type of rider. But do these electric bikes compare to regular bicycles, or are they just another tech fad?
If you’re in the market for a bike, you should invest in an electric bike (or e-bike). Unlike a regular bicycle, an e-bike comes with a motor and battery that can take you to your destination quickly and without your legs doing any work. Still, you can pedal an electric bike, either by yourself or with help using the pedal-assist feature available on most e-bikes.
In my opinion, if you’re planning on purchasing a bike for commuting to work, then an e-bike is the best choice because you won’t be a sweaty mess when you arrive. E-bikes are far cheaper to operate, they are better for your health, and they are a blast to operate.
This quick guide will introduce you to electric bikes and help you understand how they function. Then, you’ll discover the pros and cons of e-bikes and why you should buy one instead of a regular bicycle.
How Do Electric Bikes Work?
Generally, electric bikes look and function the same way as regular bicycles. They have pedals that you can turn to make the bike move forward and handles so you can steer in the right direction.
However, electric bikes have several extra components that provide added benefits.
For example, electric bicycles (or ‘e-bikes’) include:
- An electric motor to generate power
- A battery to supply electricity to the motor
- One or more sensors to measure things like speed
- And a small display to let you know how fast you’re going and how much battery life you have left
Thanks to those additional components, you can move that bicycle without pedaling at all! Instead, the electric motor will move it forward, and all you have to do is steer.
If you feel like pedaling without tiring yourself out quickly, you can use the pedal-assist function many e-bikes have.
As the name suggests, the electric motor will produce a little output so you can pedal with less effort.
Overall, electric bikes are a combination of traditional bicycles with modern conveniences.
How Fast And Far Will An Electric Bike Go Without Pedaling?
A typical electric bicycle will go as fast as 20 miles an hour at full speed. You can also expect the average e-bike to take you up to 50 miles on a fully-charged battery.
Keep in mind that the market is full of e-bike options ranging from entry-level models to high-performance electric bikes. Those high-end models come with better batteries that will provide you with much higher mileage, though they also cost a lot more.
Regardless of the e-bike brand or model you have, the mileage you get from an e-bike will be significantly higher if you rely on the pedal-assist function, where you essentially do some of the work.
Aside from the battery capacity, an e-bike’s total range also depends on other factors like:
- Terrain: An electric bike requires more power to go over some landscapes than others. For example, riding uphill will use more energy and reduce the bike’s total range.
- Rider’s Weight: The amount of weight the bike carries can also affect its total range. So, for example, a heavier rider or added baggage will drain the battery faster before reaching its maximum range.
- Riding Style: Bike riding style and behaviors will impact an electric bike’s maximum range. For instance, riding at high speeds and aggressive braking will limit how far you can take the bike.
- Battery Capacity: Lastly, an e-bike with a high-capacity battery can go much further than those using standard batteries. The capacity is also affected by the battery’s health, so it’s always best to use a new battery to get the most from an e-bike.
Can An Electric Bike Be Used As A Regular Bike?
Yes, you can ride an electric bike the same way you would a regular bicycle. That’s because e-bikes still come with pedals and chains, allowing you to power them using your own feet.
So, let’s suppose you run out of battery power. In that case, you’ll still be able to ride your bike to your destination instead of pushing it by hand.
Plus, as you saw earlier, e-bikes can also make pedaling easier with the pedal-assist feature. When enabled, the bike will provide some power to make your pedaling much more effortless and prevent you from getting tired.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Electric Bikes?
Before you decide to invest in an electric bike, you must understand the benefits and drawbacks that it can provide.
Here are a few pros and cons to think about before you buy an e-bike:
Pro: Still Functions Without A Battery
Firstly, an electric bike will still function like a regular bicycle if anything happens to its battery. So, for instance, if a battery runs out or experiences damage on the road, you can still use the bike pedals to get yourself home safely.
Con: Slightly Heavier Thanks To Added Components
E-bikes are undoubtedly heavier than standard bicycles. After all, they carry additional components like batteries and motors that add to the total weight.
Of course, that weight is nothing to worry about as long as the motor is still functioning.
Pro: Pedal-Assist Features Make Pedaling Easier
On the days when you feel like riding your bike the good old-fashioned way, you can turn the pedal-assist feature to make it much easier on your legs. In other words, you can let the bike do half the work for you!
Con: Higher Price
As you might expect, electric bikes cost more than regular bicycles. The more significant price tag will reflect the cost of the additional features and components you’ve read about above.
Pro: Long Range On A Single Charge
Electric bikes can take you very far with a fully-charged battery. Many models have a range of around 50 miles which can get you to your destination and back plenty of times.
Con: Local Rules And Regulations
Unfortunately, some locations have rules and regulations about personal mobility devices that might include electric bikes. So, at most, you’ll have to register your bike with the local authorities.
However, not many places have these rules. So it depends on where you live and plan to ride your e-bike.
Bottom Line: Should You Get An Electric Bike Or A Regular Bike?
Considering all of the above, should you buy an electric bike or stick to regular bicycles? The answer is simple: you should upgrade to an e-bike.
The benefits outweigh the costs significantly, so you can be sure to get plenty of value out of your investment in an e-bike.
Firstly, you can go far and fast to your destination using an e-bike. But even when you long for the experience of a regular bicycle, your e-bike still gives you the option of pedaling it manually.