At first glance, e-bikes look a lot like regular bikes. They have the same looks, wheels, pedal and gear system, frame, and even potential top speeds. Yet, e-bikes are a lot more expensive than the average bike.
The prices are worthwhile though. While e-bikes do cost more, they offer a ton of amazing features that make them a good investment! We’ll discuss the advantages of e-bikes below, plus some of the drawbacks to consider!
Pro #1: They’re Environmentally Friendly
The environmental benefits of e-bikes are numerous. They don’t use gas for their motors, which are purely electric! In fact, you can keep the motor switched off if you don’t want to use it at all! You can manually pedal those bikes and employ the electric motor at different levels of support!
In fact, e-bikes can also be counted as one of the financial considerations of owning an electric bike! After all, an optional electric motor means no money spent at the fuel pump. It also means no money spent on public transport!
But speaking of finances…
Con #1: E-Bikes Can be Pretty Expensive
While you won’t pay money at the fuel pump, e-bikes themselves can cost a ton of money. In fact, that’s one of the worst disadvantages of electric bikes. To give you an idea, e-bikes range from $600 (for bargain models like the Gotrax R1) to $20,000 (for extremely high-performance products like the HPC Revolution XX)! With that, most “powerful” e-bikes cost between $1000 and $4000. So there’s a ton of reliable options around!
Pro #2: Healthy & Perfect for Fitness
If you’re a cyclist, there shouldn’t be much of a difference between a regular bike and e-bike. The only difference is, e-bikes add much more convenience!
You can still enjoy the same work you get every day. You can do so consistently too, since there are sporty e-bike options on the market. E-bikes and health advantages do not end! And as a bonus, if you get to exhausted, you can always rely on the motor to take off some of the load!
Electric motors make e-bikes a perfect fitness option for the physically weak. You can count them as an excellent option for seniors who want to be fit. In fact, studies show that cycling is the favourite fitness activity for senior men (source)! So, if you have health issues where you need a little assistance to work out, or if age is a factor, that added motor will go a long way for you! However, relying too much on the motor can be a problem, and here’s why…
Con #2: Travels Short Distances at Full Charge
Keep in mind that electric bike motors are small, push a ton of weight, and use battery power only. So expect them not to last a long distance.
On average, an e-bike battery (at full charge) will take you 20 to 50 miles, and that’s on pedal assist mode. This applies to even high-performing models like the RadRunner 3 Plus, which does 72KM (almost 45 miles) on a full charge. So don’t expect an e-bike to be like a motorcycle, taking you through large distances at high speeds and in a timely manner.
If you plan on using the motor a lot, keep in mind that it’s more of a convenience feature, and it’s designed for short-distance rides only!
Pro #3: Reasonable Speeds for Electric Motors
One of the perks of riding an electric bike is high speeds with little effort. In fact, expect to reasonably reach 20 MPH on pedal assist mode, and you need a ton of pedalling effort to hit that point!
This is actually one of the advantages of electric bikes for commuting. The little effort for high cycling speed means you never need to exhaust yourself go to and back from work. With that, there’s a little drawback you should consider…
Con #3: Motor Limitations by Law
Did you know that certain countries don’t allow high-speed electric motors on bikes?
One of those is the UK, which is ironically a cycling-heavy country. You aren’t allowed to get an electric bike whose motor exceeds 250W, and that motor should not accelerate a bike beyond 15.5 MPH (keep in mind that 250W is the low end of e-bike motors).
That’s like having a statute that limits all car owners to 4 cylinder engines. While economical, it doesn’t give you as a buyer the options you’d like in terms of performance. But we think that’s better than nothing, right?
Pro #4: There Are Off-Road Electric Bikes
One of the benefits of electric bikes is that they work off-road. You can actually get electric mountain bikes, and they have numerous pros too!
First, an electric mountain bike can push through terrain much better than a standard bike. With the electric motor’s help, you can better pedal through rugged grounds and harsh surfaces. Plus, electric mountain bikes retain the features they have on regular bikes (like the thicker tires, stronger frames, and sturdier handing).
Con #4: More Maintenance for Off-Road Variants
Keep in mind that off-road electric bikes suffer more of a beating than road bikes. They have to endure a lot more, and thus require more repair and maintenance than standard bikes.
This usually isn’t a problem, if it weren’t for the electric components you’d need to deal with. After all, many bikes owners don’t know how pick apart and put back an electric motor properly. And the end result is, they may have to resort to a technician’s help.
In a nutshell, maintaining an electric mountain bike is never a DIY job (unless you’re an expert at that).
Electric Bikes: Pros Outweigh the Cons
While we did list the same amount of pros and cons, notice that the cons aren’t critical to an e-bikes structure or job.
That is, you’ll never buy an e-bike and think it’s not doing what it’s meant to do. All the cons on our list are matters of convenience and personal circumstances.
So should you get an electric bike? Absolutely! They add more to your experience than a regular bike, and the experience is worth your money!