From no pedals to pedal assist, bicycles have a long and illustrious history. It all started way back in the 19th century when Baron Karl von Drais, a German inventor and forest official came up with something called “the running machine”. As the name suggests, this invention was propelled by running and it was supposed to solve the problem with starved to death horses. That’s why many of the first bikes were marketed as ever-saddled horses that eat nothing.
Fast forward to today, we have a myriad of “hobby horses” to choose from. BMXs, MTBs, commuter bikes, touring bikes, folding bikes, women’s bikes and the list goes on. However, it seems like one bike type, in particular, is stealing the show in the cycling world. Hate it or love it, e bikes are the hottest ride on two wheels right now. If you’re thinking of hopping on the e-cycle trend, you’ll be pleased to know that there are some pretty great models of e-bikes Australia wide. Beware though, not all of them are created equal.
If you want to hunt down the perfect electric bicycle for your needs and budget, you need to know a thing or two about batteries, throttles and speeds. Fret not, it’s not rocket science, but it’ll guarantee that you buy the right two-wheeler for the job. Without further ado, let’s get straight to it.
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What Is An E-Bike?
Electric bicycles are quite similar to regular push bikes. They have the same pedals, wheels, geometry and handlebars. In fact, the sole difference is that they’re equipped with an electric motor, battery, display or controller. The electric motor is powered by the battery and it’s the most important element that helps you pedal forward. The display or controller allows you to monitor or fine-tune your electric drive system performance.
See, it’s easy as ABC. So what’s the catch? Can you just go buy electric cycle just because it’s pretty? Of course, you can, but that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase. To pedal or not to pedal – that is the most important question you need to ask yourself before buying your bike which leads us to the next point.
To Pedal or Not to Pedal?
One of the most common misconceptions about e-bikes is that riding them is “cheating”. Some people think that you just hop on your electric two-wheeler and let it do all the hard work while you sit back in relax. However, that’s not the case with all e-bikes. When shopping for e-bikes Australia wide, you’ll be faced with three options.
- Pedal Assist
- Throttle Only
- Maximum Assist
If you just feel like you need a helping hand when battling headwinds or cycling uphill but you still want to pedal, a pedal-assist bike might be the right choice. Pedal-assist models have a motor that boosts your propelling power, but in order to ride forward, you still have to pedal. This option also comes in handy on those days when you’re feeling iffy about cycling. The pedal assist will give you the push you need at the beginning of your cycle and soon after your legs will follow.
For those who hate pedalling but love cycling, a throttle-only bike is an obvious choice. These bad boys are controlled by a throttle and have a moped-style functionality meaning you won’t have to pedal. But why not buy a moped instead? Because with a throttle bike you don’t need a license. You can just giddy up your e-horsey at the store and ride into the sunset, no questions asked.
Want to put the pedal to the metal? A maximum assist bike is what you need. While these e-bikes may or may not have a throttle, they reach a whopping speed of 28mph. And again, you don’t need a license. However, keep in mind that if opt for a bike without a throttle, the speed you reach will greatly depend on how fast you pedal.
Is Buying an E-Bike Worth It?
You can ride it like a regular bike, you need the same cycling gear, you can take it to the same bike shop for repairs, yet it still costs significantly more than a mechanical bike. It’s only natural to ask yourself if buying an e-bike is actually worth it. Let me tell you, it is, and there are a plethora of reasons to support my claim, starting with commuting.
Cycling to work is all fun and games until you arrive at your job all drenched in sweat and gasping for air. With a pedal-assist bike, you can pedal smarter not harder and reach your destination faster while looking fresh and dainty.
Then, if cycling is your preferred form of exercise, an e-bike will provide an effective cardio workout. Not only that it burns almost just as many calories as a regular bike, but it also has a cutting-edge – it puts minimum strain on your knees and joints. If you’re recovering from an injury or suffering from arthritis, consider getting an e-bike for a great yet pain-free workout.
Let’s not forget that with e-bikes we can cycle our way to a healthier environment. To put it in numbers, someone who travels 40 miles a day by car is responsible for 7000kg of CO2 per year whereas someone travelling the same distance with an e-bicycle is responsible for less than 300kg of CO2. Now, that’s a big difference and a great way to reduce your impact.
Time to Look for Electric Bikes for Sale
All things considered, it’s clear why e-bikes are so popular. If you like what you hear, maybe it’s time to get a first-hand experience with an electric cycle. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying your bike online or in-store, make sure you get it from a reputable shop that offers easy returns and a generous warranty because after all, it isn’t a small investment.
Nevertheless, if you stick to globally renowned brands such as YT, Kinesis, Razor and Shogun, there’s a slim chance you won’t be satisfied with your purchase. With that being said, you can now check out some of the awesome electric bikes Australia has to offer.