Even though the first patent for an electronic bicycle dates back to 1895, only in the years leading up to 2020 has it been a rising massive trend. Its popularity is attributed to a variety of factors including environmental, economic and health reasons. Here’s a deeper look at this growing trend and some basic information you should know about e-bikes.
Explaining the E-Bike Trend
People have a growing appreciation for good exercise, low-cost transportation and nature. Bicycles give you all of that, as do e-bikes, which can get you around even easier. It’s a feeling of freedom from dependence on a car that regularly demands pocketbook-eating fuel and maintenance. Modern e-bikes provide a smooth and more seamless experience, even while moving uphill effortlessly.
A growing number of Americans, especially young people, are using e-bikes for both utility and leisure. For many people, it’s a more efficient and even more pleasurable form of transportation than driving a car, especially in the warmer months. E-bikes are now used for commutes for individuals trying to cut fuel costs, contribute to a cleaner environment, and adopt a healthier lifestyle. E-bike riding also reduces stress and fights obesity.
In 2017 the number of e-bikes sold in the United States was 263,000. The following year it jumped to 400,000. States, where e-bike sales are strongest, include California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Oz E-bikes is helping to bring e-bikes to Northwest Arkansas!
How an E-BikeWorks
E-bikes usually have similar parts to traditional bikes, except they are equipped with a battery that powers a motor typically rated from 200W to 1,000W. While the legal U.S. limit for an e-bike is 750W, states are allowed to set their own limits. Due to rapidly evolving developments with lithium-ion batteries, the technology keeps getting more efficient, which attracts more users.
The type of battery determines bike features such as size, weight, style, and range. The two main types of e-bike batteries are sealed lead-acid (SLA) and lithium (ion/polymer/manganese). While the advantage to the SLA is its lower cost, lithium batteries are lightweight, yet high-capacity and are much more durable.
In the most common type of e-bike design, a hub motor integrates with the rear or front wheel without being connected to the gears. In some e-bike designs, though, the gears are connected to the motor. The rider starts pedaling, which triggers the electric power. When the user activates the motor it pulls or pushes the wheel. The Carrera Crossfire is an electric hybrid bike that allows for easy coasting around 20 mph even going uphill.
On the handlebar is a controller that allows you to ride the bike with electric assistance. Controllers are typically activated by either pedals or a throttle that twists or has a thumb button. Pedaling the bike has the same resistance and feel as a traditional bike. Most e-bikes have three to eight gears. The two main modes are pedal-assist and electric-only.
What It’s Like Riding an E-Bike
The e-bike rider feels light and has a natural sense of balance. It’s an upbeat confident feeling, especially if the bike has a turbo mode, which helps move uphill with ease. Each e-bike model has its own unique features, while certain features have become standard. LCD lights are useful for night riding to see various metrics such as speed and mileage.
Part of the thrill of riding an e-bike is knowing you are getting from point A to point B in an eco-friendly way that isn’t draining your budget. You can enjoy nature on a river bike trail and surround yourself with trees and birds. Not only do you feel you are part of nature, you feel you are helping improve nature.
College students are particularly fond of e-bikes for all the reasons above and because it’s convenient for them to get around a large campus. It saves them from the expenses of having a car, which can chip away at the entertainment budget. So to many college students, e-bikes equate to both personal and financial freedom.
The Future of E-Bikes
The popularity of e-bikes is expected to keep on growing for the next decade in the United States and Europe. It’s already enormously popular in China. While 3.7 million e-bikes were sold worldwide in 2019, the figure is expected to rise to 17 million by 2030. It’s a solution for community-minded people who want to make a difference for society while empowering themselves in the process.
An e-bike can either operate as a traditional bicycle or with electric power. Learning the basics mentioned here about e-bikes gives you a good background on them to help shape a knowledgeable opinion if you decide to purchase one. Contact Oz E-Bikes for more information on bike rentals, purchases, and tours. We will be happy to answer your questions about how e-bikes contribute to greater sustainability.