E-bikes really get a bad rep among cycling enthusiasts. And it's really no surprise. People are getting free speed when everybody else has to earn their own. Furthermore, E-bikes of the last ten years have forsaken the idea that a bicycle is a simple machine. They were mostly made by fly-by-night companies out of garages using custom made proprietary parts that were obsolete or unattainable within a year or two. Weight was often a low priority for these designs, making the bikes unwieldy and not particularly fun to ride.
The idea that E-bikes are cheating could possibly be the mindset that is holding cycling back from growing altogether. E-bikes represent the best opportunity to get people that would not have otherwise rode a bike onto two wheels. The reason? These bikes break down the most sturdy barriers into cycling.
- They allow somebody with a physical barrier of distance or hills a viable way of experiencing the same joy that draws enthusiast cyclists - without that little extra push they're stuck in their cul-de-sac. They can even let somebody keep up with a faster pedaling friend (think: get your non-cycling spouse to keep up with you or even drop you).
- They allow people to get to work without being sweaty if they do not have the opportunity to shower there.
- They allow people to haul heavy loads that they couldn't otherwise- making it viable replacement for a car.
- They allow people to not have to dress down in special clothing to go on a fun bike ride.
Trek Bicycles, the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world, has partnered with Shimano, the largest bicycle component manufacturer in the world, to make a range of premium E-bikes. They have been producing E-bikes for European markets for many years with great success. They are backed by warranty and support from the best companies in the industry. The system that they have come up with, is completely independent of the rest of the components save for the crank assembly. This completely retains the simple nature of the bike.
They have also finally come down in weight: 43 pounds for the Trek Dual Sport+. Now while that is heavy compared to some of our high end bikes, that's substantially lighter than they were just a few years ago. In fact, it's now light enough to put on many car racks. And if that wasn't enough, the weight is low and centered between the wheels. That makes it handle like a bike that we are all familiar with.
Please forgive us if we get excited about E-bikes. We're not saying you're slow. We just see it as a great opportunity to share our passion for cycling to a much broader range of people. Were going to encourage you to ride one, not for yourself, but so that you can tell everybody else. Maybe one of these days you won't be the odd one in the office that rides to work anymore.