The E-Bike Debate: Is It For You?
This recent article in Sierra Magazine (Look, It's a Cheatercycle!) got us thinking about the pros and cons of electric bicycles, gaining in popularity - especially in urban areas - as fuel prices continue to climb. The power-assisted bikes, which store energy as you peddle and then return power to the rider as needed (cyclists can usually choose "low" or "high" assist settings) are a godsend when commuting to and from work on sticky, humid days, but to many cycling purists are known as lazy man's gear.
We vote in favor of e-bikes, especially when they're used as an alternative to automotive transporation. Take, for instance, an urban professional who typically drives or rides the train into work. Switching to an e-bike, even two days a week, significantly cuts carbon emissions - and also gets you a decent work out at the same time (minus the sweat incurred on a traditional bike). In our eyes, it's a win-win!
If you haven't considered an e-bike yet, now's the time to take a look at the latest technologies available. Companies like Pedego Electric Bikes offer a selection of electric options, or you can go straight to a manufacturer like Optibike (hand-crafted here in the USA) for a more limited, but custom selection. Prices range widely on current bikes, but expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 upward for a reliable and well-made bike. (Keep in mind the savings you'll reap if you're able to ditch your vehicle!)
Is an e-bike in your future? Or, have you already converted? Share your story or suggestions in the comments.