People decide to ride e-bikes for all sorts of reasons. Between commuting, recreational riding, and cycling for fitness, many people are seeing the benefits of e-bikes. The three major categories of e-bike benefits are health, environmental, and financial benefits.
Cycling on e-bikes shares many of the same health benefits as riding a traditional bicycle. The balance and stability required to keep the bike upright help build core strength, while pedaling provides cardio exercise. Even when using pedal assistance, you are still getting consistent exercise. Cycling reduces heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression, and you can burn almost as many calories on an e-bike as a traditional bike.
In some ways, e-bikes offer even more health benefits than traditional bicycles. With the pedal assistance offered by electric bikes, there is less stress on the joints while cycling, especially the knees, hips, and ankles. This assistance while cycling can also help your cardiovascular health, keeping your heart rate at a safe level rather than spiking too high with exertion. Older cyclists experience cognitive and mental health benefits from e-biking. In general, e-bikes allow more people to take advantage of the health benefits of cycling.
One major factor contributing to the health benefits of e-bikes is the likelihood of their usage. Several studies have found that electric bikes are more likely to be used compared to a traditional bicycle when available. A Norwegian study found that e-bikes increase the amount of cycling done by participants, both in distance travelled and number of trips completed. A University of Colorado Boulder study found that the ease of e-biking results in more cycling overall. More cycling leads to more exercise and more health benefits for the cyclist. E-bikes allow cyclists to replace some car trips with cycling that wouldn’t have been possible with a traditional bike, due to distance, terrain, or other factors.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average car releases approximately 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. By contrast, electric bikes run on clean, renewable energy and don’t emit any greenhouse gases. If you choose to ride an e-bike sometimes rather than drive a car, you can reduce your carbon footprint through reduced oil consumption and fossil fuel dependence.
Since e-bikes run off electricity, they can be charged via sustainable energy sources such as solar or wind power. You can also plan when you will charge your e-bike to take advantage of off-peak electricity hours. These are times when electricity is less costly to produce.
Overall, e-bikes produce minimal waste. The battery will need to be replaced periodically, and tires may need replacing as well. Both of these items can be recycled when disposed of properly.
In addition to the environmental benefits of using an e-bike in the place of a car, there are numerous financial benefits when you consider an electric bike as an alternative to a car. When you own a car, you have associated expenses including gas, maintenance, repairs, car insurance, registration, and parking fees. This doesn’t even account for the initial purchase of the car, or a down payment with monthly lease payments. When you choose an e-bike instead, you have a lower initial purchase price combined with fewer ongoing expenses, mainly replacing the battery every few years. E-bikes run off electricity via a charged battery rather than gas, and the additional costs of charging on an electric bill tend to be negligible. Drivers in urban areas should also factor in the cost of traffic. According to a study by the transportation consulting firm INRIX, traffic in major U.S. cities costs each driver over $1,300 per year. E-bikes can avoid the traffic, making a commute potentially faster and less expensive.
While the initial purchase and ongoing maintenance make electric bikes more expensive than traditional bikes, for many people they are a more suitable substitute for a car. An e-bike can also be more affordable than public transportation, while allowing for a more flexible schedule. Considering that a 30-day unlimited subway pass in New York City costs $121, public transportation costs for a regular subway user could be over $1,400 annually. For the same amount, you could buy an e-bike that will serve you well for years to come.
In addition to the benefits of e-biking, e-bikes are fun! They’re fun to ride and allow more people to cycle. Electric bikes get people outside and help people spend time doing more of what they enjoy, rather than being stuck in traffic.
Whether you are looking to improve your health, reduce your environmental impact, or spend less on transportation, there is an e-bike for you! Give us a call at 608.276.5921 to learn more about our e-bikes.