E-bikes - answering commuters' prayers everywhere
Want to cycle to work without getting tired & sweaty? We list all the ways e-bikes are making commuting to work easier, faster and more fun!
We all know that cycling to work is cheaper, healthier and less stressful than driving. Record numbers of people have now signed up to the Cycle to Work scheme and saving money on work travel is the latest financially savvy skillset. The city of Cambridge is setting a great example for commuting by bike: the City Council says one in three of its residents cycle to work.
Yet many people are still put off by the thought of cycling the long distance to the office only to arrive exhausted and sweaty.
Enter the electric bike, which might change all of that. A Dutch study from 2012 found that e-bikes have the potential to boost the growth of cycling to work from 4% to 9%, and even to 20% in some areas. E-bikes and Cambridge look like a match made in heaven!
In this article we look at all the ways that electric bikes are making cycling to work quicker, easier and more enjoyable.
There's no denying that riding an electric bike can be faster than a normal bike, at least in respect to building up speed. The electric motor boosts your pedalling to help you go faster and maintain a higher speed for longer, with less effort. This means that commuting on an e-bike will be faster than doing the same journey on a traditional bike.
Plus e-bikes can also save time against driving or using public transport, because you won't get held up by gridlock, especially on inner city commutes. This will become even more noticeable as more cities adopt 'Dutch' cycling infrastructure that gives cyclist priority over cars. Cambridge is leading the way with Dutch roundabouts that let cyclists go first.
Cycling to and from work every day is a great way to exercise, and this includes using an electric commuter bike. That's because e-bikes are pedal-assist, which means the motor helps you as you pedal. So you'll still get in a great workout.
In fact, studies have shown that people use the same energy and effort to ride an e-bike as a normal bike. The electric motor simply helps them arrive at their destination quicker.
So if you commute with an e-bike, you'll shorten your daily journey time versus using a standard bike, and still get plenty of exercise. For more information, read our post on why e-bikes aren't cheating.
Cut the traffic & get out more
Spend less time in traffic and more time improving your fitness, enjoying the scenery and reducing stress.
Cycle more often
Research has shown that cycling at a steady pace without exhausting yourself means you're more likely to cycle everywhere. This helps explain why e-bikes are great for commuting: because they make cycling a little easier, you won't feel as tired after your commute. And so you are more likely to cycle to work the following day, and the day after.
Don't sweat it
One of the main reasons more people don't cycle to work is that they don't want to arrive at the office feeling sweaty and flustered.
But that's where e-bikes are ideal for commuters. The electric assistance makes cycling feel easier and less sweaty. This means you can cycle to work in your suit and arrive without needing to change or have a shower.
Make light work of distance
More of us live further from work than before. ONS research found that in 2011 the average commuting distance from home to work was 9.32 miles (15km), an increase of more than a mile since 2001.
This is a long distance to cycle every day on a normal bike, but the pedal assistance of an e-bike makes it more viable for riders of all levels.
Cut commuting stress
Anyone who has ever commuted with a car knows how stressful it can be — roadworks, traffic jams and other drivers all add to the frustration. And public transport can be just as bad, with delays, overcrowding and lengthy replacement services.
Commuting to work on an electric commuter bike is a completely different experience in comparison. You'll be gently pedalling along, exercising, spending time outside and enjoying the fresh air. It all helps to cut your stress levels and allow you to arrive at work happy.
Protect the planet
Riding a bike is widely acknowledged as one of the greenest and cleanest ways to commute to work. And the addition of an electric motor for e-bikes has a negligible effect on emissions. Plus it makes you more likely to cycle than drive, which is definitely better for the planet.
Compared with public transport and driving a car, e-bikes can even save you money. We've crunched the numbers and calculated that you could save £1,500 a year.
The cost of electricity to charge the battery is trifling, so the only expense is the initial outlay and maintenance. But you can also save money on costs like gym membership if you're getting a good daily workout on the bike.
Plus, many companies and city councils are part of the Cycle to Work scheme which allow you to get tax-free bikes and accessories.
Overall, electric bikes have the potential to make cycling to work easier, faster and more realistic for many of us.