E-bikes are becoming more and more popular as a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation. E-Bike sales in the UK have tripled over the last five years from approx. 55k bikes in 2017 to 160k bikes in 2021. Whilst 2022 saw a downturn in sales due to supply chain issues, cost of living crisis and the knock-on fall in consumer demand, Mintel predict that this is a short-term hiatus and that sales will rise again next year.
E-bikes do offer a valid alternative to traditional bikes and fuel powered vehicles, but like everything, they have some drawbacks. As an e-bike retailer, honesty and transparency are important to us so here we’ll be delving into both the advantages and disadvantages of e-bikes, helping you make an informed decision about whether an e-bike is right for you.
Advantages of E-bikes
Off the bat, one of the most significant advantages of e-bikes is their eco-friendliness. They produce zero emissions, helping to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and by using e-bikes, you are contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment.
Improved Health and Fitness
Contrary to the belief that e-bikes are a lazy option when it comes to cycling, the truth is they can actually improve your health and fitness and make cycling accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise ride a traditional bike. For instance, if you live in a valley and the thought of using pedal power alone to get up the hills puts you off cycling, an e-bike opens up cycling as an option. Or maybe you have limited fitness making cycling difficult, with an e-bike you can rely on the electric motor when needed. This helps with gradually building up fitness levels.
E-bikes are equipped with a battery-powered motor that assists you while pedalling. This extra boost extends your range, making it easier to cover longer distances. Commuting, running errands or exploring new routes becomes more accessible. You can cover more distance in a shorter space of time.
E-bikes are an excellent option for commuting. You can arrive at your destination faster, avoid traffic congestion, and save on parking fees. E-cargo bikes also have built-in storage options for your belongings.
While the initial cost of purchasing an e-bike may be relatively high, the long-term cost savings can be substantial. They require minimal maintenance, and the cost of electricity to charge the battery is significantly lower than fuel or public transportation expenses.
E-bikes are suitable for a wide range of riders, including those with physical limitations or individuals who might struggle with traditional cycling. The electric motor does all the heavy lifting – assisting riders in conquering hills and tackling challenging terrain.
Disadvantages of E-Bikes
The upfront cost of e-bikes can be a barrier for some people. E-bikes can be relatively expensive, which might deter potential buyers, but they should be considered an investment rather than a purchase because of the the long-term savings and benefits they offer. A RideOn, you can purchase any of our e-bikes, including the e-cargo bikes, through the Cycle to Work Scheme if your employer is signed up to it, or we offer e-bikes sales on finance over, making ownership more affordable. Other things to consider before purchasing are:
Weight and Bulkiness
E-bikes are heavier and bulkier than traditional bikes due to the added battery and motor. This can make them less manoeuvrable and more challenging to transport or store.
While e-bikes generally require less maintenance than cars, they are more complex than traditional bikes. The electric components may require occasional servicing and finding a qualified technician might be challenging in some areas. At RideOn, we have a qualified mechanic who’s able to offer three levels of servicing, so if you already have an e-bike and are looking to keep it well maintained, give us a call to book in your service.
E-bikes can be faster than traditional bikes, which may pose safety concerns, especially for inexperienced riders. Riders need to be cautious and remember that the same highway code rules apply. Also, there’s the safety and maintenance of the battery, which can be potentially dangerous if not looked after properly. Check out our guide on how to take care of your e-bike battery safely, for more info.
Limited Regulatory Framework
The laws and regulations surrounding e-bikes can be inconsistent, varying by location. Riders may face legal challenges in some areas, as e-bikes may not fit neatly into existing bicycle or motor vehicle regulations. Check the laws in your country. For UK laws on riding e-bikes, check out our blog post.
Like everything, there are pros and cons to purchasing an e-bike. Before investing in one though you should carefully consider your individual needs, budget, and local regulations to determine if it’s the right choice for you. With proper research and consideration, e-bikes can be a fantastic addition to your lifestyle, offering both practicality and enjoyment.