It’s Friday morning and you’re stuck in traffic again. This means you’ll be late into the office and late getting your weekend started. Surely there is a better way to commute than by sitting in stationary traffic? An electric bike might be the answer. Like a regular cycle but with an added motor for pedal assist to help you go further and faster, an ebike can help you avoid the traffic and enjoy your journey to work. So, have you got what it takes to be an e bike commuter and what do you need to know?
The benefits of commuting by e-bike
If you’ve always wanted to commute by bike but have been put off by the distance or any hills along your journey, an ebike can help you overcome these challenges. With a motor to provide assistance as you pedal, those longer commutes and steep gradients are no longer a problem! The advantages of e-bikes don’t stop there. If you are considering becoming an e bike commuter you’ll also benefit from:
- Exercise – just because there is a motor and also sometimes a thumb throttle assist, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to do some hard work. You’ll still need to pedal if you want to get anywhere so by cycling to and from work that’s your daily workout done.
- Cheaper running costs – without the worry of fuel or the wear and tear that you get from running a car, you’ll find having a commuter e bike is much cheaper.
- Better journeys – though you can choose a road legal ebike, you might find your commute is more enjoyable and less plagued with traffic if you choose cycle lanes or quieter roads.
- Less sweat – though you’ll still have to rely on good old fashioned pedal power, the assistance of a motor will mean you don’t have to struggle up hills or push too hard to get to work on time, which means you won’t arrive in a sweat.
- Doing your bit to save the planet – with no tailpipe emissions and a lower carbon footprint than the average driver, becoming an e bike commuter means you can do your bit for the environment.
Choosing the best commuter e bike
When it comes to selecting the best electric commuter bike, your choice will largely depend on the journey you need to take. There are some helpful points below:
If you need to travel by road
You’ll need to make sure you choose a road legal ebike. This means selecting an electric bike that has a maximum motor output of 250 watts and a top speed of 15.5mph or less. Anything in excess of these figures is classed as a motorcycle and needs to be taxed, registered and insured as per any other motor vehicle.
If your commute is off-road
If you live in the countryside or can get to work via off road routes then you might like to consider an electric mountain bike. With a front suspension and tyres to tackle tough terrain, you’ll make light work of your journey to work.
If your commute involves public transport
If it’s not quite feasible to cycle door to door and you need to factor in public transport such as buses and trains then you might like to consider a folding electric bike. This gives you all of the motor assistance you’d expect from an e-bike but with the added benefit of being lightweight and easy to fold so you can carry onto public transport and store easily at work.
Tips for e-bike commuters
When commuting by electric bike it’s a good idea to be prepared, so here are a few tips you might like to consider to make your journey easier, safer and more enjoyable:
- Always wear a helmet – whether you are on the road or off-road, your head needs the most protection, so make sure you always wear your helmet when using an ebike.
- Invest in good waterproofs – if you’re going to be cycling to and from work each day you’re going to encounter the best and worst of the British weather so make sure you invest in a good set of waterproofs to keep you dry.
- Buy some lights – if your e-bike doesn’t already have integrated lights you’ll need to ensure you get some fitted so that you can see and be seen on those early morning and winter evening commutes.
- Wear gloves – in cold weather in particular you will be grateful for a good pair of cycling gloves that not only keep your hands warm but give you better grip on your handlebars.
- Get a bike lock – if you have to keep your bike outside, either whilst you are at work or during your lunch hour when popping out for a sandwich, it’s vital to have a good bike lock to keep your bike secure as you don’t want to risk losing your ride home.
- Make time for maintenance – ebikes are more complex than regular bicycles due to their motors and batteries so it’s important you make time for maintenance. Keep your eye on the motor system and regularly lubricate the chain and check the brakes. Also ensure that you don’t leave your bike unattended when charging and that you unplug it afterwards to ensure the batteries don’t overheat.
If these tips and advice have got you thinking about becoming an e bike commuter then the next thing you’ll need to research is the bikes themselves. For help in choosing the right bike you can search online for ebike specialists such as Nippon E Bikes who can also provide advice, servicing and repairs.