Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular, but are they worth the cost? E-bikes have taken other countries by storm, and are now becoming increasingly more prevalent here in the US as well. However, they can be costly and might not be a great fit for everybody. One of the best things about them is that they are easy for beginners to learn. They also can carry more weight than a traditional bike more easily. However, they aren’t really giving you as much exercise as a traditional road bike. And of course, they can be cost-prohibitive. If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing an e-bike, consider these pros and cons when making your decision.
Pros and Cons of Electric Bikes: Worth the Cost?
Pro: Easier for Beginners
Electric bikes contain a motor that can give you a pedal assist. This makes it much easier to peddle uphill or to carry heavier loads. The rider can increase or decrease the assist based on the terrain and how much the rider wants to exercise. Therefore, these machines are a great way for beginners to get into biking. It’s also helpful for older people, overweight people, or people with joint issues who are wanting to slowly acclimate themselves to biking. As you get in better shape on the bike, you can decrease the help from the motor until you are using the bike like a traditional road bike.
Pro: More Carrying Power
Another pro of electric bikes is that they have more carrying power than your typical bike. Some can carry up to several hundred pounds of cargo. You can purchase child seats, benches for children to sit on, baskets to haul groceries, and carts for carrying pets. The assistance of the motor makes it possible to easily take heavier loads on the bike, even if the terrain is hilly. For example, the Radwagon from Rad Power Bikes has options for allowing up to three children to safely ride on the bike with an adult.
Con: Not as Much Cardio
While electric bikes can seem like a perfect idea, there are a few cons to consider before purchasing. One of the main issues that traditional bikers have with e-bikes is that they are “cheating.” With the assistance of the motor, you’re cutting down on the actual amount of cardio exercise you’re going to get. However, if you keep your peddle assistance to a low number or turn it off entirely, your e-bike is now a traditional bike. If you’re looking to get a workout, a traditional bike might be the way to go. If you want to be able to travel farther or carry heavy loads, an e-bike is a great fit!
Finally, the main con to electric bikes is the cost. Electric bikes can be very expensive and are sometimes not easily available. They typically are more popular on the West Coast, so finding them locally can be difficult. You often will need to order online and then either assemble yourself or have a bike shop assemble which adds to your cost. In addition, since they are expensive, they can be a target for bike thieves as well. It’s important to invest in a strong lock if you decide to leave your e-bike anywhere public.
Electric bikes are a great fit if you want to ease into longer and longer bike rides. They’re also great if you need to carry heavy loads or several children. They can be great fun to ride for the rider and passengers. However, some bikers consider them to be too easy since the rider gets some assistance from the motor. And of course, the cost can be several thousand for a higher quality e-bike, so that can be prohibitive to some. If you’ve been considering purchasing an electric bike for yourself or your family, it’s worth considering all the pros and cons before making your decision.