How e-biking is transforming city cycling
E-bikes have swept the world by storm. The e-bike market is now a $15.4 billion industry, and growth continues to increase to meet consumer demand. But why have e-bikes become so popular? A main driver for e-bikes is accessibility, which has become particularly poignant with active travel and commuting habits changing following the global pandemic.
Why use an e-bike?
E-bikes aren’t too far removed from a traditional bike. The main difference is they have battery-powered assistance when required. An electric motor provides a boost to help you get up hills and zip across a city, without getting sweaty and tiring yourself out. The ‘assist’ comes either by pedaling or via a throttle. This gives you better acceleration, overall speed and control.
They offer a great option for anyone looking to get fitter, or want a less strenuous form of exercise, or simply want to travel a longer distance than they’d typically do. And you still get all the normal benefits associated with riding a traditional bike, such as cardiovascular improvements, strength building and reducing body fat. There’s also the cost factor to consider. The initial cost of an e-bike may be more expensive than some traditional bikes, but the running costs compared to driving are significantly lower.
As cities emerge from the pandemic, biking is proving to be an ideal mode of transportation. E-biking enables all abilities to enjoy a fast, comfortable, sweat-free and socially distant ride.
The changing face of bike-friendly infrastructure
Countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark have paved the way for cycle-friendly infrastructure and culture for years. However, the US has become significantly more bike-friendly in the last ten years, with many city planners focusing on utilising bike lanes to promote active travel as well improve air quality by reducing carbon emissions and heavy traffic.
Take San Francisco, for example, which has improved cycle-safety and expanded its cycling network following the 2009 Bicycle Plan. San Francisco is famed for its steep hills and stunning views, and e-bikes have made cycling accessible for all and far easier to get around.
One of the biggest benefits of e-biking is everyone can use them – both regular cyclists and non-cyclists. At its very core, the e-bike was designed to improve the cycling experience, allowing you to control how much assistance you get and enabling you to cycle for longer. Plus, the e-bike provides a genuine alternative to driving and trains. And, let’s face it, the appetite for being stuck in a car or on a busy commuter train has significantly reduced.
With cycling becoming more popular year on year, e-bikes have the potential to drive a new wave of cyclists, as well as cater to the existing cyclist. So the future of e-bikes looks bright and could play a vital part in helping people live more active, healthy lifestyles, as well as making cities safer, healthier places to live.