I meet a lot of people who have never seen or heard of electric bicycles. Actually… maybe a few have seen them but just didn’t realize it. In any case, I want to help spread awareness for these vehicles because I believe in what they offer and am excited to help other people benefit from using them in the same ways that I have.

Electric Bikes consist of a modified or custom bicycle frame with pedals but include an electric motor, usually in the form of a hub motor, mid-drive motor or belt drive connected to the rear wheel. They allow a rider to either pedal the bike or leverage the power of a battery and motor drive system.

To use an electric bike you have to charge the battery, turn the controller system on and then twist a throttle, pull a trigger or pedal the bike forward to initiate the motor drive system. Throttle only drive behaves much like a traditional gas powered scooter because the rider doesn’t have to pedal, the bike just goes! By contrast, pedal-assist mode uses the rider’s input as the throttle signal and is more popular in Europe where bicycle laws are a bit more restrictive regarding motor and battery power. European bikes are usually limited to 250 Watt motors whereas the US has many bikes with motors as strong as 500 or even 600w. These bikes go faster and can power up steeper hills more easily.

Video introduction to electric bikes and my daily commute to work:

 

I recommend a more stable, safer and comfortable bike or trike for people over 50 at www.cozytrikes.com

 

The benefits of electric bikes are many and often go unrealized by car and scooter owners. In my opinion they include the following:

  • No drivers license or insurance required to ride
  • Can be used on sidewalks and to cut through parks
  • Lighter, cleaner and more reliable than gas powered vehicles
  • Less expensive than gas powered vehicles, especially over the long term when using electricity vs. gasoline or other fuel source
  • Safer than street-legal scooters or motorcycles because the run slower and are not fully usable on highways or high-speed intersections
  • Easily avoid and skip through congested traffic areas
  • Environmentally friendly, no exhaust created on site for the user to enhale. Easily use locally produced solar or wind power to charge
  • Efficient and affordable parking options, fits on any normal bike rack or to a pole/railing
  • Easy to use with public transportation like busses, trains and light rail systems
  • Provides an opportunity to exercise and practice balance
  • Social opportunity to get in touch with your community and become more social
  • Relaxing and focusing because you cannot use your cell phone or eat at the same time