While e-bikes are gaining in popularity, there are still some widespread myths and misconceptions about this new fad. Like anything new, it requires an open mind and a positive attitude to embrace this new way of riding; especially for all of you bike enthusiasts.
We’re here to clear up the 7 most common myths about our new best friend - the e-bike. Trust us, by the end, you’ll be itching to ride and experience the thrilling world of the electric bike.
Myth One: They are way too fast like a motorcycle!
Lest you fear that you’ll be joining the team on Fast and Furious, we’ll clear this idea up right now. Your e-bike is still a bicycle – not a motorcycle. You won’t get chased, flagged down, or pulled over by the police; we hope.
The truth is, e-bikes go as fast as traditional bikes. A regular pedal bicycle traveling downhill can get up to 37mph! That’s pretty fast! Class 1 and 2 e-bikes, however, have motor cut-offs once the bike reaches a maximum of 20 mph.
That’s right. The fastest you’ll go with the motor on an e-bike is 20 mph. Some e-bike classes have speeds that will go higher, but there are legal restrictions as to where they can be ridden.
No matter which bike you’re riding, it’s essential to note that you always control how much power the motor provides you. You can ride any e-bike like a regular bike and use pedal-power only.
When you do engage the motor, you can adjust the setting from low to high and decide how much of a boost you want it to give you.
Myth Two: They are far too heavy.
Unless you’re planning to carry your bike up a mountain for some good old-fashioned dirt biking, the slightly increased weight of an e-bike shouldn’t bother you.
They are only marginally heavier than a regular bike, coming in at 40-45 pounds in comparison to their non-motorized cousin which can come in up to 30-40 pounds. When you’re riding down the street, however, the extra weight becomes a non-issue.
If, you’re concerned about hefting the extra ten pounds onto a bike rack, there’s an easy solution for that, as well.
Simply remove the battery pack – which causes most of the extra weight – and mount your bike. Place the battery in the back seat of your vehicle. When you arrive at your biking destination, take your bike down from the rack, strap the battery back on, and you’re good to go.
Myth Three: Riding an e-bike is cheating.
E-bikes often get a bad reputation for being “cheater” bikes because of the pedal-assist feature. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. E-bikes provide the same benefits as traditional bikes.
When a regular bike rider “coasts” by letting the bike carry them forward without pedaling, would you say they’re “cheating?” Of course not. The same principle applies to e-bikes.
With both styles of bike, the person riding is still required to pedal and keep the bike upright. Pedaling – with the assist or not – provides beneficial muscle building and cardiovascular exercise. You engage your core muscles throughout the ride, even if the motor is on “high.”
The motor simply pushes you along in addition to the work you are doing.
Another benefit is that you can level your workout according to your ability. E-bikes allow those who wouldn’t be able to ride regular bikes to get outside and exercise.
Have a hard time pushing yourself uphill? No problem. Let the pedal-assist kick in during the tough parts and you can take over for the rest. Do what you can, and you’ll still get plenty of exercise.
Myth Four: They can’t be ridden in the rain!
E-bikes are water-resistant and can be ridden in the rain. Bike manufacturers wouldn’t recommend trying to ride across the bottom of a lake, however. Water-resistance is not the same as waterproof.
If you want to know how much of the wet stuff your bike can handle, check your bike’s IP code. This is a two-digit number that rates the degree of protection your e-bike battery has against elements such as dust and water. The second number is the one you want to look for – the higher the number, the better it can withstand water.
Myth Five: They don’t go far, and you’re hopelessly stuck if your battery dies.
Most e-bike batteries have a range of 20-100 miles before they need to be recharged. But they will need recharging sooner if the entire bike ride is uphill. The more they work, the faster their battery will drain.
However, even twenty miles is more than enough for the average rider to enjoy.
If the battery does die, you’re still not stranded. Like a regular bike, the pedals will work just fine to get you the rest of the way home. If you arrive to work one morning and realize you won’t have enough battery for the return trip, charge it up during the day, and it’ll ready for your commute home.
Myth Six: E-bikes aren’t that environmentally friendly.
In comparison to motorcycles or cars, e-bikes are incredibly eco-friendly! They run off electricity rather than fossil fuel and reduce greenhouse gasses. They also recharge using clean, renewable energy sources.
E-bikes are considered zero-emission vehicles. By the time you factor in the decrease in using a gas-powered car while using these machines, e-bikes become about as eco-friendly as you can get.
Myth Seven: I can’t ride my e-bike in a lot of places.
You’ll be happy to know that, as of January 1, 2019, legislation passed making it legal to ride your e-bike anywhere a regular bike can go. E-bikes with a maximum speed of 20mph can enjoy the use of bike and multi-use pathways in parks, nature areas, boardwalks, and anywhere else a regular bike is permitted.
E-bikes that go over 20 mph are not allowed on bike or multi-use paths unless they are parallel to a highway or local authorities have permitted their use. Just something to keep in mind.
Truth: E-bikes are perfect for everyone!
There you have it! Several common e-bike myths debunked. We hope this has helped with some of your confusion when it comes to riding an electric bike.
An e-bike is ideal for avid riders who want to go farther and faster or the commuter who is tired of public transportation. They’re also perfect someone who needs an extra push, or even if you want to help planet earth in any way you can.
We hope you’ll consider an electric bike for your next ride!