Archives for October 2020

Are You One of These 3 Types of Ebike Riders?

Experienced e-bike rider on a snowy mountain trail.

Are You One of These 3 Types of Ebike Riders?

Ebikes are showing up on the roads, trails, and bike shop showrooms everywhere. You can get an ebike for road cycling, mountain biking, and even casual trips around town. But who’s riding these electric bikes, anyway?

Here are three types of riders you’re bound to see on an ebike:

Experienced Riders (No, it’s not Cheating)

Sure, there are those diehard cyclists who consider ebikes “cheating.” But any experienced rider who has vocalized ebike criticism probably just hasn’t tried one yet. The idea that using an electric-assist bicycle is somehow cheating is an outdated notion. Ebikes can take you faster and further on your rides and, no, the motor isn’t doing all of the work. Ebikes like the Specialized Turbo line give a rider control over how much assistance they use. And, since the assist only kicks in when you’re peddling, there’s still a fair amount of effort and physical exercise that comes along with the ride. Today’s savvy experienced riders are enjoying the benefits of an ebike. If you’ve only got a limited amount of time to ride, who wouldn’t want to travel 4x further in that short span of time? And why wouldn’t you want to speed to the top of the climb so you can get back to the fun part — the descent — even faster? So, unless you’re sneaking an ebike into a competitive non-motor bike race, taking out an ebike isn’t even close to “cheating.” The added speed and distance that an ebike can provide allows even the most experienced riders the opportunity to shake up their normal routines and go further (and faster) than ever.

Casual Riders

In a surprising plot twist, you don’t have to be an experienced rider to enjoy an ebike, either. Casual riders may be getting even more benefit from electric-assist bicycles than experienced riders. Longer Ridesstudy in the peer-reviewed journal Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives found that physical activity levels were similar between e-bike riders and conventional cyclists, in part because e-bike riders had “significantly longer trip distances.” More Time Riding = More Exercise A 2016 study in the  European Journal of Applied Physiology published results from a small University of Colorado Boulder study on ebike commuting revealed that participants voluntarily rode twice as much as required: four hours a week on average and almost 200 miles per participant over the four-week study. These participants saw significant health improvements over the course of the study, including improvements in blood pressure and glucose tolerance. Keeping Up with the Pack Ebikes are allowing casual or novice riders the opportunity to keep up with friends or family members who are more experienced.

“…the ebike bridged the gap between my current skill set and athletic ability and what I needed to keep up with the experienced riders I was with.” 

– Melissa Z., I Tested a Specialized Ebike. Here’s What I Thought

Casual riders who may only take a conventional bicycle out occasionally are finding that ebikes are making bike trips more accessible, easier, faster, and more fun.

LOHAS

LOHAS is an acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. It’s a consumer segment whose attitudes and behaviors place health and sustainability in the foreground. LOHAS typically have a greater awareness of social and environmental responsibility than the average consumer and tend to “vote with their dollars” by purchasing products that will make a difference in their health and the health of the planet. Unlike a casual or experienced rider who chooses an ebike for sport or hobby, a LOHAS is more likely to purchase an ebike in order to cut down on car trips in order to fight climate change. A 2017 paper published in Transportation Research found that ebike use led to 25% fewer car trips on average. According to a 2015 study by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a dramatic increase (about 20 percent) in cycling worldwide could “cut carbon dioxide emissions from urban passenger transport by nearly 11 percent in 2050.” For LOHAS consumers who place a priority on sustainability and alternative transportation, ebikes are the answer to reducing car trips and cutting harmful emissions.

Should You Ride an Ebike?

Did you relate to one of these three ebike riders? Whether you’re an experienced rider who would love to cover more ground in less time, a casual rider who wants to get more exercise and keep up with more experienced riders, or a passionate environmental activist who wants to take more cars off the road, an ebike is the answer. Shop our collection of ebikes online or visit our Roseville showroom to learn more!

SHOP EBIKES

Stop Guessing. Start Riding. Let our team of ebike specialists help you find the perfect bike.

I Tested a Specialized Turbo Ebike. Here’s What I Thought.​

I Tested a Specialized Turbo Ebike

I Tested a Specialized Turbo Ebike. Here's What I Thought.

My six-year-old loves to bike. He spends a considerable number of the daylight hours riding his bike around the neighborhood, on and off the beaten path. He spends all of his time “practicing his jumps” on a wooden ramp his grandfather made just for him. On the weekends, he expands his territory, heading out to trails and pump tracks. And he wants me to join him, which I love.

The problem is, I’m not much of a cyclist. I can keep up with him to a point, but my cycling level is novice, at best.

Especially when his escapades involve leaving the pavement for uneven terrain.

Eek.

So when I got the chance to demo an ebike through Roseville Cyclery, I was half-excited and half-terrified. Ok, mostly terrified. Because I realized that we would be heading off the pavement on a route easily 4x longer than what I would typically ride with my son.

What, exactly, was I getting myself into?

Ebike Demo Day

Ebike demo day started early, with a little fuel (and a couple of butterflies) in my stomach. I met with my fellow demo-riders in Folsom, a short distance from the lake.  The Specialized van sat tall in the parking lot, a gleaming row of Specialized Turbo Levo ebikes lined up beside it.

As I was fit for my bike, I had my first lesson for the day:

I’ve been riding my bike with my seat way too low this entire time.

Getting into a proper seat position felt completely different on my knees. In fact, it felt great! I had a brief moment of embarrassment that I’ve been riding incorrectly up until this point.

Next came a demonstration of how the ebike motor actually worked.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I realized just how much control I actually had over the motor. There was no way I would go careening out-of-control on the bike. For starters, the motor only kicks in if I’m peddling. No peddling = no assist. Secondly, I could control how much pedal-assist I wanted. Which, as a novice cyclist, was a lot.

The Specialized Turbo Levo was heftier than my hybrid bike. Considerably. But once I was on it and peddling around the parking lot, I couldn’t really tell the difference in weight.

Feeling moderately comfortable on the bike, our group headed out towards Folsom Lake. First on a paved bike lane, and then off the pavement and on to the trail.

“Game Changer”

There are two words I would use to describe my experience riding an ebike:

Game changer.

Physically and mentally, the trail we took was just beyond my current skill set. If I had been on my non-electric bike, I wouldn’t have made it very far at all. But the ebike bridged the gap between my current skill set and athletic ability and what I needed to keep up with the experienced riders I was with.

I wasn’t intimidated by uphill climbs, because I was able to use the pedal-assist to help power me up the hills.

And the distance, which was easily 4x longer than what I’m used to, also felt manageable because of the assistance of the ebike motor.

What I was most surprised about, however, was how much fun I had.

Would I Get an Ebike?

Right now, I’m still riding my standard bike. I’ve been empowered a bit by my ebike experience: now that I know I am capable of getting off the paved paths, I’m feeling more confident and bold about taking to the trails and pump tracks.

But every time I hop on my standard bike now, I remember what it felt like to have that pedal-assist to give me the extra push to make it up the hill. How much further and longer I was able to ride with the help of the motor. And how easy it was to keep up with more experienced riders, allowing me to meet new people that I otherwise would never have met.

My six-year-old easily outrides me, but the ebike makes me feel like I could keep up with him on his adventures. As a mom, its important to me to be make fun family memories together and encourage activities (like cycling) that promote an appreciation for exercise, movement, and an appreciation for the outdoors.

Would I get an ebike after taking one for a test ride?

The answer is a definitive “yes.”

SHOP EBIKES

Stop Guessing. Start Riding. Let our team of ebike specialists help you find the perfect bike.