THE SCIENCE SAYS IT ALL!
According to DailyScience online, a new study shows that electric bikes make people cycle longer and more often, and the effect is best on women!
The researchers divided a random selection of inhabitants into two groups. The experiment group, consisting of a total of 66 people, had unlimited access to an electric bike for two to four weeks, whereas the other group -- the control group -- which consisted of 160 people, had to use their own regular bike.
The research finding show that the people who used electric bikes, used their bikes much more than those belonging to the control group. Their daily trips increased from an average of 0.9 to 1.4 trips. The average length of the trips was doubled from 4.8 to 10.3 kilometres. In other words, the e-bikes made a huge difference to their desire to cycle, with an overall increase of 28%.
Why would anyone want an electric bike?
Well, electric bicycles offer the same great benefits as traditional bicycles including cost savings (no licensing or insurance required), confidence and improved health. If you haven't been on a bike in years or feel you're too unfit to start, e-bikes offer you the chance to build your abilities over time. E-bikes in my view offer efficiency in climbing hills or fighting the wind, taking the edge off and making the ride more enjoyable. If you experience knee pain, exercise induced asthma, or carrying weight, or just want to have fun and go further, electric bikes are for you.
How far can you typically go on a charge?
The range of any bike will depend on a number of factors. These include the number and steepness of hills, the degree of headwinds, how well your tyres are inflated, the air temperature, and of course, how much you use the motor as opposed to just your own power. On a flat route, using the motor sparingly, a lightweight rider might get 5 times the range of a heavier person relying on the motor more in hilly terrain. Many bikes claim an average of 20-30 miles, on flat terrain with gentle pedalling. Carrying a spare battery will extend that of course, but increase the weight. If you are likely to come close to this range, it's probably a good idea to email us for advice.
Are e-bikes much faster than regular bikes?
Not really, most low-speed electric bikes won't go over 20 miles per hour under motor power alone. You can always pedal faster than that or drop a steep hill but legal regulation limits this top speed in exchange for classification as a "bicycle". Some recent compromises have been made whereby pedal-assist electric bikes may reach ~28 miles per hour assisted but only if the rider is pedaling rigorously. A similar class of electric bikes called "speed pedelecs" exists in Europe and have become popular for commuters.