Riding a bike has always brought great pleasure to me. I’ll never forget the day I was given my first bike, a surprise from my Father, assembled and waiting in my bedroom. The memory still so vivid of glowing paint work and spokes that shone so brightly. Such modern features with breaks and gears and the latest branding. A feat of technology for the 1970’s! Ecstatic with my new bike and adventures dreamt to a new found freedom. This liberation to ride continues to resonate with me.
Fast forward thirty odd years, I look back at the remarkable evolution of the Bike. The many phases from the BMX, the racing bike and the mountain bike, to the breakthrough of the electric bike in the 90’s. This all being possible with the commitment from companies such as Yamaha and Panasonic as they developed new technologies in electric motors and batteries. This was the beginning of the E-Bike revolution! An estimated sales figure from the 90’s shows around 100 000 electric bike sales. Today, the trending worldwide growth in sales is expected to leap from 3 Million bikes in 2019 to over 17 Million in 2030.
So why are E-bikes becoming so popular? What are the reasons for people turning to the electric bike in exchange for the traditional pedal powered style of cycling?
Firstly let’s turn our attention to commuters. So many towns and cities in the UK are geared towards promoting cycling as a form of commuting, not only to reduce the amount of cars and congestion on the roads, but also to improve their sustainability scoring by lowering carbon emissions. Cyclists now get priority on the roads and most cities and towns are implementing more and more cycling lanes as an incentive. For shorter commutes, the electric bike will probably get you to your destination a lot quicker than driving there, having the ability to navigate through stand still or slow traffic with more ease and less frustration. An assisted battery powered motor means less physical effort thus arriving at your chosen destination feeling invigorated as opposed to the traditional style of cycling where fatigue and sweat kicks in. Finding a safe place to store or park your bike is more practical than parking a car, especially with the folding versions. And let’s face it, parking costs are astronomical in most UK cities. Talking about costs, the E-Bike is much more affordable than a car both in purchase price and in running costs, eliminating fuel costs, road tax, maintenance and parking to make it a no-brainer for those joining the Revolution.
For those living in cities it is impossible not to notice the number of delivery drivers now turning to the E-Bike to do their work, mostly for all the same reasons mentioned above. The convenience, lower cost of ownership and contribution to sustainability makes sense, not to mention the regular exercise and health benefits.
Now there is also the sector of society who can’t or don’t need to commute to the office and yet seek the adventurous outdoor lifestyle on weekends or during time off. All you have to do is watch the parking lots of popular cycling trails littered all over the UK to notice the number of electric mountain bikes (EMB’s) and leisure bikes being offloaded from urban SUV’s and luxury cars or those who simply choose to venture directly from their homes. These fun seekers enjoy the outdoors and by choosing the E-Bike option they can travel further than their normal abilities will allow and feel a sense of accomplishment and freedom equal to that of a jogger going for a morning run or a member of the 5am club doing 100 lengths in pool.
Let’s talk a bit about the health benefits. Of course the able bodied may scoff at the idea of having a battery powered motor to improve fitness and mental health. But it is important to mention those who have minor disabilities, are ageing or with health issues that limit the amount of physical activity they can do. The E-bike has made cycling so much more accessible to more people and studies have shown that those riding electric bikes raise their heart rate to between 80 and 90 percent of traditional bike riders, therefore improving their cardiovascular health. Other benefits include improved muscle tone, increased metabolism for weight loss, improved well being with reduced stress and a stronger immune system.
It isn’t difficult to see why so many people are joining the E-Bike Revolution. Whether you’re new to cycling, a regular commuter or an adventure seeker, there are so many good reasons why you should turn to an electric bike.