Interest in e-assist riding picks up speed

Rose Gardner was a few months shy of having a baby when she and her partner purchased an e-assist bike in the summer of 2018. The green form of transport opened up a whole new world of zooming around.

“It was helpful in being able to continue biking through late pregnancy,” says Gardner. “I love the ability to get up hills, such as some big ones around our home. It also allows for a more upright riding position without the loss of power normally associated with the upright position. Being upright is more comfortable and [it’s] easier to see around you.”

Gardner is one of thousands of people who are making the switch to e-bikes from conventional bikes or even cars.

What is an e-bike?

Generally speaking, e-bikes are bicycles with an electric motor and battery that help power your ride.

In the US, sales of e-bikes outpaced sales of electric cars in 2021, while the global electric bike market, which was valued at just over US$41 billion in 2020, is anticipated to reach nearly US$70 billion by the end of 2028.

Why consider an e-bike? Here are a few reasons.

1. Helps build fitness

Interest in cycling as an alternative form of transportation has long been rising. You can still get plenty of exercise on an e-bike, as you can always pedal it like a regular bike without any electric assistance.

2. Helps improve carbon footprint

Whether for business or pleasure, traveling by e-bike allows people of all ages to go farther and faster with less effort while reducing their carbon footprint. There are zero emissions, and you don’t have to sit idling, bumper-to-bumper, in traffic jams, further reducing air and noise pollution.

3. Helps your bottom line

There are financial benefits, too: no parking or insurance fees, gas costs, or road taxes, and lower maintenance expenses than those for a car.

4. Helps get farther without the sweat

When Tony Valente swapped his road bike for an e-assist bike for his lengthy commute to work a few years ago, he discovered certain benefits that came with a less physically exhausting ride: he didn’t need to shower and change once he got to the office. While he no longer has that long travel time for work, he loves riding his e-bike wherever and whenever possible.

5. Helps transport cargo, kids, and pets

Having ridden various types of e-bikes in the past, Valente recently invested in an e-assist cargo bike, a game-changer in his daily life. The sizable, insulated, lockable storage container means he can do things like grocery runs (even of the bulk variety) or pack all the necessities for a picnic with his wife, including blankets, rolling right onto the beach to unload. E-cargo bike riders can transport everything from dogs and kids to golf clubs and camping gear.

By Joanne Peters