Any celebrity will tell you, fame brings with it a certain amount of rumors and myths. And now that ebikes are reaching the popularity level of some of the biggest names in movies and music, myths and misinformation have come with the territory.
We’re here to clear up the worst of these rumors once and for all. Because ebikes don’t deserve a bad rap or a negative reputation.
Here are the seven biggest myths about ebikes, busted.
Like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, this is the granddaddy of ebike myths. And, like those other mythical monsters, it continues to pop up, time and again.
This myth has been dispelled a hundred times over. Because anyone who’s ridden an electric bike can undoubtedly attest that…
Ebikes are Not Cheating
All you need is a basic understanding of how an ebike works to know this claim is pure myth. In general, an ebike includes a pedal-assisted motor that only activates if you’re pedaling.
It’s not a motorcycle in disguise; you won’t just kick back, relax, and let the motor propel you around. You’ve got to be putting in some (wo)man-power of your own to get the motorized assist to kick in.
Like the Specialized Turbo Levo or the Santa Cruz Heckler, many electric bike models offer varying assist levels. This means riders can choose the amount of assist they use on their rides. And, of course, you can decide how much assistance to use.
Want to climb to the top of that hill completely unassisted? Great! It’s your ride. But if you want a little boost so you can reach the top faster and go even further than you ever have before, an ebike gives you that ability.
We’re tired of hearing this myth. It’s time to retire it for good.
Anyone who claims an ebike isn’t good exercise obviously hasn’t spent a day ripping up and down trails, heart pumping, sweat dripping, dirt flying, and face smiling.
Ebikes are Great Exercise
Sure, the pedal-assist motor kicks in whenever you want it. So you can go faster, further, or get a boost up that one hill that’s always been your nemesis.
But that doesn’t mean you’re coasting around town on a moped, letting a motor do all the work.
Ebikes provide all of the health benefits of cycling. And most people who buy an ebike do so for health and fitness reasons. Because ebikes are a great way to get some serious exercise.
Another big myth about ebikes is that they’re only for people who can’t or don’t ride a conventional bike.
This myth may be founded in a small bit of truth: ebikes are a fantastic way for a less experienced cyclist to enjoy the sport and keep up with more advanced riders.
But, in general, we’re marking this as FALSE.
Experienced Riders Love Ebikes
Our favorite quote about ebikes comes from Janelle, who coaches a local high school mountain bike team. “If you’re not having fun on an ebike, you probably don’t have the assist turned on!”
Janelle’s not the only “serious” cyclist who’s a big fan of electric bikes.
“The only thing that surprises me is that more people are NOT on eBikes,” says seven-time US championship retired professional cyclist Rahsaan Bahati.
Electric bikes add some additional components to a standard bike frame, including a motor, battery, and even apps that connect to your smartphone. And all of these extra components can add to the final cost of the bike.
But too expensive? We’re saying no.
Ebikes Come in a Wide Range of Price and Function
Saying an ebike is too expensive is like saying a bicycle costs too much. There are just too many possible combinations of form, function, and price points to make that kind of blanket statement.
Just like conventional bicycles, you can find an ebike for every type of rider. You can find ebikes built to help you commute to work, cruise around town, put some serious miles on the road or gravel, or climb every mountain. And you can find an electric bike in almost every price range, from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
In most cases, if you’ve got the cash for a conventional bike, you can probably find an ebike priced similarly.
Worried that an ebike battery won’t keep up with your ride? Don’t be! You can leave this myth at home while you confidently conquer the streets and peaks.
Ebike Batteries Are Long-lasting and Rechargeable
For starters, think of an ebike battery like gas in your car. There are a number of factors that go into how long your ebike battery will last, just like there are different factors that determine how long your tank of gas will last.
Rider size, terrain, and level of assist are just a few of the things that determine your battery life.
And when your battery does need to be recharged, simply plug it into the wall for 3 to 5 hours and you’ll be good to go.
Learn more ebike battery facts. Read: How Long do Ebike Batteries Last and Other Ebike Battery FAQs.
“I don’t want an ebike. I can’t take it on my favorite trail.” Sound familiar? We’ve heard this song a time or two. But we’re interrupting the recording because this myth usually isn’t true.
Ebikes Can Go Where Most Bikes Go
Functionally speaking, ebikes can go where any conventional bike can go.
In fact, an ebike may help you conquer terrain that’s previously been out of reach. Ebike fans love how they can get more distance out of their rides.
There’s been confusion in the past and a fair share of controversy—over whether ebikes were allowed on trails in national parks.
Be sure to check on your state and local regulations for ebike use on trails, and remember that an ebike doesn’t give you license to hog the trail or otherwise act like a dirt clod.
“In order to maintain a safe experience for everyone, cyclists—whether using an e-bike or a regular bike—must respect the experiences of pedestrians, other cyclists, and other trail users by using safe speeds and signaling when passing. In short, it is user behavior, not the technology of an e-bike, that determines the trail experience,” reminds railstotrails.org.
Transportation trends come and go. Remember when the Segway was supposed to reinvent personal transportation? But putting electric bikes in the same category as the Segway and other passing trends is untrue and unfair.
Ebikes are Here to Stay
Ebikes are here to stay. The global e-bike market size is projected to grow to USD 70.0 billion by 2027. COVID-19 boosted sales of bikes and ebikes as people looked for both outdoor recreational opportunities and creative ways to avoid crowded public transportation.
Studies have shown that ebike riders ride more frequently and cover more miles per day compared to conventional bike owners. That’s a very appealing, eco-friendly alternative to car-based transportation, and governments are taking note. Government incentives are expected to boost the sales of cargo and commuter ebikes in the future, as well.
Do you have more ebike myths that need to be dispelled? Or just general questions about electric bikes?
Visit our downtown Roseville ebike showroom in Northern California and our team of ebike experts can answer your questions and help you find the right ebike for your needs.