E-Bikes Pros and Cons

May 30: On the way home

Disclaimer:  I have a peddle assist ebike, a Trek Lift+ 2016 or 2017 model.  What I am writing is true for that bike.  Other bikes may vary. 

For a while I've been thinking of the Pros and Cons of my ebike.  I like my ebike and I'd buy it again.  That said I keep on seeing stories in my feed about if ebikes are worth it or not.  .

Fun - There is something fun about having a little extra kick when you are riding a bike.  You can get up and going quickly.  There is something fun about that kind of power on a bike.

Get to work without sweating - I can ride 10 miles to work without needing a shower when I get to work.  I can get to work without being tired or dragging for the rest of the day.  This was not the case when starting to ride to work.  I'd be dead on my standard bike when I'd start my commute.  

Easy to get on if I have not used in a while - If I have been off the bike for a week or two, it is easy to start riding again.  There is not a mental barrier because of easy it is to get started. I know I can pick it back up on any commute

Better than riding in a car - I am never stuck in traffic on my bike. I am always getting fresh air on the bike. My mind is much more engaged on the bike.  This says nothing about the gas I'm not using.  On the average day my bike commute is only 10 minutes longer.  
Fast - One of the best feelings is being fast in traffic. My e-bike at 17 miles an hour feels a lot safer than my standard bike at 10 miles an hour.  I just feel the faster I'm moving in traffic, the better cars will see me, especially in intersections.

Being fast also means I get to work and home quicker.  This makes it easier to choose to ride my e-bike to work.  Just saving ten minutes each way makes it a much easier choice. Even if I am running late it is still worth me riding my ebike. 

Not as much exercise as a standard bike - I know if I was riding a standard bike I'd be getting more exercise for the same ride.  This means I am not improving as fast as I could.  If I was riding a standard bike my legs would be getting stronger and I'd be getting more of a cardio workout.  

Heavy - My E-bike is very hard for me to pick up.  There is no way I can use the front wheel hooks on the light rail.  I cannot carry it up or down more than a few steps.  It is hard to get in and out of buildings.  I'm not sure I could use the rack on the front of a bus.  There are lots of things that are easier to do with a lighter bike. 

Expensive - I spent a good amount of money for a mid-tear ebike, Trek Lift+. There are high end ebikes that are really expensive.  I could buy four or five decent commuter bikes for the cost of my ebike. It would take thousands of miles on the bike to say I saved money compared to driving. 

Worried it will get stolen - This has to do with how expensive it is.  Not only do I worry about someone stealing the whole bike, I also worry someone will try to steal the battery.  The battery is so expensive, If it got stolen I might as well buy a new bike. 

Range concerns - I am always keeping one eye on the range.  Right now I end up charging the battery after every daily commute.  For my bike I need to calculate the range in my head.  The range widget on my bike computer sucks.  The faster or better I bike, the faster I reduce my range.  On a long trip I need to take my charging cable with me and it takes 4 hours for the battery to get a full charge. 

Next I'm going to write about if an ebike is right for your goals

Further Reading
How to buy first ebike
These Innovative E-Bikes Are Revolutionizing the Way Americans Travel
to save environment subsidize e-bikes
priority embark best e-bike daily commuters
how to decide what electric bike is right for me


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