For many biking ‘purists,’ an electric bike is sacrilege. Why would anyone want to add an electric motor to a bike and take away the athletic, physical aspect? But if we’re seeing more and more of them on the roads of New Zealand these days, there has to be a reason. Here at BikeExchange we see them as a logical extension of the bike and the simplification of the motorcycle.
An electric bike gives you the best of both worlds: the calm pace and quiet, clean personality of a bike and the range and effortless transportation of a motorcycle. As much as we’d all love to ride our bikes everywhere we go, in some situations (like for work, or over longer distances), biking just isn’t practical. In some cases even hardcore cyclists might want to save their energy for their intense training sessions, and enjoy a leisurely, relaxing trip on an e-bike from time to time.
Even if the electric bike market is in its infancy in New Zealand, there are already several different types of bikes available to you. They’re worth testing and comparing, because different models serve different purposes. Some are very similar to traditional city bikes, complete with pedals, and simply come with an additional electric assist best suited to long, flat stretches. Other models are specifically designed to be electric from the start, and won’t be confused with a regular pedal bike. These are compact and agile, perfect for the city. These are a close cousin to the scooter, and are great for longer distances.
As with regular bicycles, there are several points to consider before choosing an e-bike. With more and more models entering the NZ market, it allows you to pick the electric bicycle best adapted to you. Start a list of the pros and cons of each, and we’re sure you’ll end up with the perfect e-bike!
These electric bikes are closely related to your standard bicycle. They can be pedalled like any bike, and are therefore still great for a workout. They’re not as heavy as other e-bikes, and with the battery removed, aren’t significantly heavier than an average city bike. That makes this type of e-bike a great choice if you don’t have the space to store two bikes, but you enjoy pedaling around under your own power sometimes.
The advantage of an electric-assist bike is that on long, flat stretches, or when going uphill, the electric motor kicks in and gives you a boost. These electric bikes take the least getting used to, since you’re still pedalling and they’re close in size and shape to the kind of bikes we’re all used to.
If you’re considering an electric-assist bike, remember that:
• They’re the lightest of the e-bikes
• They assist rather than propel you fully
• They’re the lowest cost of the bunch
This type of electric bike is a new breed of bike, and it doesn’t look much like your standard frame-and-pedals bicycle. Designed to be an e-bike and only an e-bike, they’re often low and seat two. You see this type scooting around busy cities in many Asian countries. Their small size makes them perfect for crowded cities, and their small tyres make them agile for weaving in and out of gridlocked traffic.
Dedicated e-bikes are heavier than e-assist bikes, but they also carry larger batteries, so they can run a good number of kilometres per charge. This type of electric usually has built-in storage, either in the form of a basket or rack, and make a handy mode of transportation for work and errands around town.
Considering a dedicated e-bike? Remember that:
• They’re heavier
• They’re more purpose-built
• There’s no pedalling involved
• They’re well suited for longer distances
You see, there are many advantages to e-bikes. The NZ market for electric bikes is growing, and we’re happy to support it. You’ll find all kinds of listings for electric bikes at BikeExchange, so why not go out for a spin and see if there’s room in your life for one more bike?