Are they worth it? Analysis and purchase opinion
Electric bicycles are a trend in the market. The bikes are in fashion and there are more and more users who dare with this type of bicycle. A modality that allows to approach the cycling to different profiles of person that until very recently, for some reasons or others, it was complicated that they could enjoy this sport in its fullness.
The arrival and commercial impact of electric bicycles is not without debate. The e-bikes face two opposite poles. On the one hand the defenders of the electric bicycle and its benefits and on the other the detractors of this type of modality. A dispute that takes time in the air and that does not end up opting for either side. The industry clearly has a lot to say in all of this, but beyond the commercial interests of the brands, it is necessary to analyze the Advantages and disadvantages of electric bicycles in this way to be clear to what extent it is worth the purchase of an electric bicycle.
Electric bicycle yes or no?
Advantages and points in favor of the electric bicycle
- Accessible to a wider audience: For me the great advantage of the electric bicycle is the possibility it offers to bring cycling to a wider and more diverse public. The electric bicycle allows people of a certain age, overweight or with a very poor physical condition to enjoy the bicycle practically in the same way that the most trained cyclists do. Thanks to the arrival of the e-bikes, people who enjoyed watching this sport on television can climb for the first time some of the hardest and most emblematic mountain passes in the history of cycling.
-Possibility to match levels: You would not be the first couple who ends up angry because one member of the couple is faster than the other. Thanks to the electric bicycle it is easier to equalize the level between two or more people. The engine allows people in worse physical condition to be able to follow the wheel of more trained athletes. E-bikes also offer the possibility for members of different generations to share a good time on the bike. Now grandparents, parents, grandchildren and children can go out and shoot together.
-Sustainable transport: This point may seem silly since the conventional bicycle is even a more sustainable transport than the electric bicycle. For this reason it is worth mentioning that the advantage I see of the electric bicycle is in comparison to other means of transport that contaminate, such as cars or motorcycles.
In the big European cities, many people travel to work by bicycle. In Spain it is more complicated to see people arrive at their work place by bicycle. At the end of the day behind all this there are habits, customs and cultural barriers that the electric bicycle can help to break. The e-bikes are increasingly worked and hardly need physical effort to move at a speed more than interesting. Anyone can get on an electric bicycle and use it as a means of ecological transport. The unevenness, the laziness or the bad physical condition no longer serve as an excuse.
Save energy to the cyclist: It is evident that with the electric bicycle you will use less energy to reach the same place. The engine helps you move forward and allows you to overcome the strongest slopes with less force. The incorporation of an engine in the bicycle is undoubtedly an important energy saving for the athlete. The autonomy of the battery that until recently was the weak point of these models has improved enough so that longer trips can be made safely.
Disadvantages of the electric bicycle
-Price: The price for me is still the great pending issue of electric bicycles, the big drawback. More and more brands offer this type of bicycle in their catalog but continue to present quite high prices compared to a conventional bicycle with similar benefits. Obviously, this slows down many users who are not willing to spend such an important amount of money for a bicycle. The competition of the sector grows and every time is harder reason why the brands are forced to offer products to a more adjusted price. With luck in a couple or three years we will see more than decent electric bicycles around 1000-1500 euros.
-Autonomy: The improvement in this sense is also notorious foror by much improvement that appears we will always have the condition of the battery. 5 years ago it was a risk to go out by electric bicycle to make routes of more than 3 hours since at any moment you could be lying in the middle of the mountain. Currently the battery has more autonomy and also almost all brands offer different speed ranges to manage the autonomy of the engine. The "energy saving" mode is very hard and you can travel many kilometers in this position.
-Weight: It goes without saying that the engine has a weight and that therefore electric bicycles will always be heavier than conventional bicycles of similar range. This ballast is especially noticeable in the mid-low range e-bikes that are quite "tank" and are sometimes difficult to manage (especially the descents).
If your budget is larger than you can logically have a much lighter and more manageable electric. In fact the best models of e-bike have nothing to envy to some MTB aluminum and low-end bicycles.
The market has a lot of room for improvement and although the ballast will always be present we will soon see MTB electric bicycles with half the current weight.
-Excessive comfort: It is true that it is true that it can cause some cyclists to adapt to the motor system. With what to accommodate I mean that the level of physical activity is reduced causing a direct impact on health. The engine is quite tempting when you know you can reach the same point without having to make the same effort. This point is the one that has generated important confrontations between those who see the electric bicycle as an invention for "posh" and young gentlemen and those who interpret the incorporation of an engine as another facility.
Firmly affirming that electric bicycles are worthwhile is perhaps too aggressive but in general and in my opinion it is true that there is no reason with sufficient weight to question this claim.
Electric bicycles have provided more solutions than problems and is that thanks to them now Cycling is a more open and inclusive sport.
With the arrival of the e-bikes the physical condition of the user is less important and thanks to the autonomy of the engines older people and even with some health problems can continue to enjoy this sport.
It is true that some cyclists take advantage of the engine to perform KOMS on Strava or to "blow up" other grupeta companions. But beyond this small sector that does not practice the concept of fair play, the rest of users take out e-bikes a benefit solely for personal enjoyment.
The most important thing when deciding whether or not to buy an electric bicycle is to be clear about the profile of a cyclist. If you are a person who stays in good shape, wants to continue improving their physical condition or has no problems keeping up with your partner, I do not see any need to enter the electrical world.
If on the other hand you are a person of relatively advanced age, who has been sedentary for years, who has little time to train and this prevents him from being able to go out with his lifelong companions without any doubt, the electric bicycle is the solution.
As I usually say, it is about assessing your priorities and your needs. Each cyclist is a world and therefore the global and generalized assessment can lead to error.
If you want more shopping tips for your next bike I recommend that you go through our purchase guide to get the perfect bike.