What began as a niche movement, eBikes have quickly become a global phenomenon, there are now over 2.5 million eBikes in Germany alone – and now it’s New Zealand’s turn! For young or old, for urban or sporty use, eBikes or pedelecs (electric bicycles that must be pedalled, rather than powered by a throttle) have made cycling more accessible and more relaxing for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Revolutionising urban transport and turning everyday riders into explorers, the pedal-assist boost of eBikes shrinks mountains, shortens the distance that lie ahead and makes it even easier for you to reach your goals. We recently sat down with the Bosch eBike Systems team to review the benefits of pedelec eBikes (from pedal electric cycle) and to explore how this niche category is about to make a real splash in New Zealand.
1. Perfect for Commuting
Sick of getting held up in traffic or searching for that ‘lucky’ car park on your way to work? Then the eBike is for you. Perfect for zipping around a city and covering short distances to work, pedelecs helps you cover greater distances more quickly and easily – so you can arrive at work feeling fresh.
A lot of people rule out commuting by bike because of the mess – the extra clothes and the sweat factor. However, the cruising that eBikes provide saves you some effort, so you can still burn those calories and arrive at work without looking like you’ve just ran a marathon! (Remember though, if you’re feeling adventurous you can always use your eBIke as a normal bicycle, by simply turning the assistance off).
2. The Environment Benefits
Pedelec users go easy on the environment, especially if they use their eBikes on a daily basis. Half of all daily car journeys are 5 kilometres or less, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the CO2 emissions of a car are around 40 times higher than those of a bicycle with a battery-powered motor. So why not try leaving the car at home and jumping on an eBike for those short journeys? You’ll be doing a massive favour for the environment, your wallet and your health.
3. Flatten those Hills
Conquer that harrowing hill at the end of your street without breaking a sweat, thanks to the pedal-assist power of an eBike. Who wouldn’t want a helping hand every now and then, or even a permanent tailwind? eBikes provide an invisible “hand” to give you a gentle push and make cycling uphill almost effortless. Mountain tracks are no longer daunting and headwinds are a distant memory. Making the choice between a steep scenic trail and a regular flat path during a cycle is no longer an issue.
4. Keeps you Fit, Makes you Mobile
Think eBikes are just for those who want to take it easy? Not at all! Despite the power assistance, eBikers still have to hit the pedals to get moving. What’s great is it’s up to you to decide how much power assistance you want or need! Studies have found that eBikers get on their bikes two to three times more often, and cover much longer distances, than regular cyclists. So now is the time to get on a bike with power assistance to keep fit and get mobile! (Remember though, if you’re feeling adventurous you can always use your eBike as a normal bicycle, by simply turning the assistance off.
5. Ease Back into Exercise
Thanks to the even, adjustable power assistance, eBikes are ideal for training, recovery and rehab, and getting back into cycling after a few years out of the saddle. The drive system prevents too heavy a burden on knees or thigh muscles, and eases the pressure on joints, tendons and ligaments. Keen to jump back on the bike, but you’re not quite sure if you’re up to it – maybe an eBike is just the thing for you.
6. A Family Affair
The mood can quickly turn sour when people with unequal physical conditions and expectations set out on a ride together. That is when a little motor can work wonders. eBikes’ pedal-assist offsets differences in performance and brings people closer together – ideal for couples, families (especially when carrying kids) and for those with slightly ‘older’ legs to help you keep up with the sharp, shaved younger legs.
7. Easy on the Wallet
Are you regularly concerned about fuel costs, insurance premiums, car registration or parking charges? Worry no more! eBikes are much less expensive than cars to buy and maintain. The cost of fuel alone for a diesel-powered car is currently around $10.50 per 100 km. 100 km on a pedelec costs around 30 cents. Now that is a genuine saving!
8. Fun Factor
Getting out in the fresh air and seeing the city as you travel to work can be a fun way to get around. With power assistance of a pedelec, your eBike is a clever everyday companion. Whether you’re heading to the movies, out into nature, or around the corner for dinner at friends, eBikes will get you there faster and more relaxed.
9. Pure Mobility
Sick of the stop-start traffic in our grid-locked cities? Well the worry is over with an eBike – your fast and flexible two-wheeled friend that helps you cover greater distances more easily – where the only worry is working out where to stop. eBikes inspire and drive our mobility and are one of the most agile, comfortable and simply clever means of transportation of our time. They positively affect our health, the environment and society.
10. Something for Everybody
With their electrical assistance eBikes are suitable for almost everyone, including seniors and even those with an injury. There are models available for urban or cross-country use, for leisure tours or for the sporty cyclist.
Pedelecs open up a wide variety of possibilities: a tour of discovery during your free time, a casual pedal when you’re taking care of errands on the weekend, a ride to reach that coastal lookout while on vacation or getting over a mountain range on a camping trip.
The eBike embodies freedom and independence, shrinks mountains, shortens the distances that lie ahead and makes it even easier to reach your goals. With an eBike System for every level of cyclist, two-wheeled transport is now suitable for everyone!
Learn more about Bosch eBike Systems and the benefits of eBikes at bosch-ebikes.nz