The pros and cons of electric bikes

Electric Bike Pros and Cons

Are you thinking of getting an ebike, but you want to know more about the pro and cons first? E-bikes can be fun to ride, but they also present a series of unique advantages for those using them.

Establishing what those advantages are and what could be the downsides of owning an e-bike can help you decide what the best option for you is. This article covers all the pros and cons of e-bikes to help you do just that.

The Pros: eBikes are a cost effective means of transportation for distances under 25 miles. Easy to store, provide exercise and low maintenance as compare to cars.

The Cons: As compared to regular bikes, eBikes are costly, heavy and are a target for theft. Additionally, they need electricity to charge and have a limited carrying capacity compared to a car.

What are the main advantages of owning an e-Bike?

Electric bikes have the apparent advantage of being easier to ride, but it is not the only positive point. It is common for people who would like to have a motorbike to opt instead for an e-bike to economize but still experience the same experience and similar benefits. But e-bikes are even more enjoyable.

Here are the main advantages of owning and using an e-bike:

1. Cost-effective

Electric bikes are cost-effective because they have lower operating costs than gasoline-powered vehicles. As a result, they require less maintenance, have no fuel costs, and often offer savings on parking and transportation expenses.

Additionally, you can recharge electric bikes at a lower cost than filling up a gas tank. Some areas offer financial incentives for using electric vehicles (including bicycles).

2. Convenient

These bikes are convenient because they offer a combination of pedal power and electric assist, making it easier to tackle hills and headwinds. They are also compact and lightweight, making them easy to store and transport.

They offer a quiet and emission-free mode of transportation, making them a good option for urban commuting and leisure riding. In addition, with a rechargeable battery, electric bikes offer a convenient and sustainable alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles.

I’ve got a group of articles explaining why eBikes are Awesome Check Them Out Below ๐Ÿ‘‡

3. They are more accessible

Electric bikes can be ridden by people of all ages and physical abilities, making them accessible to a broader range of people.

Because they offer electric assistance, they make it easier for riders to cover longer distances and tackle hills with less effort.

It can make cycling more accessible for people with disabilities, older individuals, or those who may not have the physical ability to ride a regular bike for long distances.

4. Increase the range of the ride

The electric motor assists the rider, allowing them to travel and tackle hills easily. In addition, electric bikes increase the riding range by offering electric assistance to the rider, allowing them to cover longer distances with less effort.

The range of an electric bike is determined by the size of its battery and the efficiency of its motor, with some models capable of traveling up to 100 miles (ca. 161 km) on a single charge.

Riders can cover longer distances without worrying about fatigue or the need for frequent stops. Additionally, you can charge most electric bikes quickly and easily, making it possible to extend the range of a ride with minimal downtime.

5. Move faster through traffic

An electric bike is great for moving along with traffic
An electric bike is great for moving along with traffic

Electric bikes take up less space on roads and can be ridden on bike lanes, reducing traffic congestion. Moreover, regardless of the traffic, one can arrive at the destination faster with an electric bike.

6. Low Maintenance

Electric bikes require less maintenance than traditional bikes. They have fewer mechanical parts, making them a low-maintenance option. They don’t need oil changes, spark plug replacements, or regular tune-ups.

These bikes have sealed, maintenance-free drivetrains, meaning they don’t require lubrication or adjustments like a traditional bike chain.

In addition, with no engine, muffler, or other conventional internal combustion components, there are fewer parts to wear out or break down, making electric bikes a low-maintenance mode of transportation.

It can result in long-term cost savings compared to traditional bikes or gas-powered vehicles and a more enjoyable and hassle-free riding experience.

7. Versatility

You can use electric bikes for various purposes, including commuting, leisure riding, and running errands.

They offer a combination of pedal power and electric assist, allowing riders to choose between different levels of assistance depending on the conditions and their preferences.

It can make electric bikes suitable for various uses, from urban commuting and leisure riding to off-road adventures and long-distance touring.

Electric bikes also come in various styles, from road and mountain bikes to step-through and cargo bikes, allowing riders to pick the best model for their needs.

Additionally, the ability to recharge the battery makes electric bikes a sustainable and convenient mode of transportation for short and long trips.

8. Safety

Electric bikes assist, making it easier to maintain control and stability, especially in challenging conditions like steep hills or strong headwinds.

Additionally, many electric bikes have features designed for increased safety, such as a built-in headlight and taillight, a bell or horn, and a larger, more visible frame.

The electric assist provided by an electric bike can also make it easier to control the bike and maintain balance, especially when riding in traffic or on challenging terrain.

9. They are fun

The electric assistance provided by electric bikes can make riding more enjoyable, especially for people who previously found cycling challenging or tiring.

They can help people arrive at work feeling refreshed and ready to work, increasing work efficiency and reducing stress.

10. They help to stay fit

While electric bikes assist, they still require physical effort, making them an excellent way to increase physical activity and improve health.

It can make cycling a more accessible form of exercise for people of all fitness levels, allowing them to enjoy the health benefits of regular physical activity.

An electric bike can improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles, and burn calories. Additionally, cycling on an electric bike can be a low-impact exercise, making it easier on the joints and suitable for people with joint pain or other mobility issues.

By offering a fun and convenient way to stay active, electric bikes can help to promote overall health and wellness.

RIDE e MTB Pro Tip: With eBikes growing in popularity learning all the terms and definitions can be a bit overwhelming. Let me help with this comprehensive glossary. ๐Ÿ‘‰ eBike Glossary

11. Eco-friendly

Electric bikes rely on electricity, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and helping to reduce air pollution. By reducing the number of cars on the road, electric bikes can help to improve air quality in urban areas,

They are much quieter than traditional bikes and cars, reducing noise pollution. In addition, they have a longer lifespan than conventional bikes and vehicles, reducing the amount of waste generated from transportation.

When electric bikes reach the end of their lifespan, their components, including the battery, can be recycled, reducing waste and conserving resources.

They use less energy than traditional cars, reducing energy consumption and helping to conserve resources. In addition, electric bikes do not require oil changes or other routine maintenance that can generate water pollution, making them a more environmentally friendly form of transportation.

RIDE eMTB Tip: Transporting an eBike can be tough. Should you lay the bike down it down? Let’s find out ๐Ÿ‘‰ Should you Lay an eBike Down?

12. Haul heavy loads

Electric bikes can help haul heavy loads in several ways:

  • Cargo racks: many electric bikes come equipped with cargo racks or baskets, allowing riders to carry groceries, packages, or other items on the bike.
  • Trailer attachments: electric bikes can be equipped with trailer attachments, allowing riders to haul larger loads, such as furniture or gardening equipment.
  • Rear-mounted panniers: rear-mounted panniers can be attached to electric bikes, providing additional storage space for carrying items.
  • Electric cargo bikes: specialized electric cargo bikes are designed specifically for hauling heavy loads, with big cargo boxes and reinforced frames.
  • Custom modifications: some riders may adjust their electric bike to accommodate heavy loads, such as adding a custom trailer or reinforcing the frame.
eBike with Pannier Bags
eBike with Pannier Bags

What are the main disadvantages of owning an e-Bike?

For a complete picture of electric bikes, it is also essential to consider any possible disadvantages.

Here are the disadvantages of electric bikes:

1. They need recharging

Electric bikes have a limited range before recharging, making them less practical for long trips.

We determine the range of an electric bike by the size of its battery and the efficiency of its motor. Other factors, such as the rider’s weight, terrain, and the level of electric assist used, also affect range.

The typical range of an electric bike is 20โ€“100 miles per charge. However, this can vary greatly depending on the specific model and conditions.

Charging eBike Batteries
Charging eBike Batteries

While the limited range of an electric bike may be a drawback for some riders, advances in battery technology rapidly increase the capacity and performance of electric bikes.

Many riders find that the electric assist provided by the motor is sufficient for their daily needs. Additionally, the ability to recharge the battery makes electric bikes a convenient and sustainable mode of transportation for short and long trips.

2. Initial costs are high

While they can be cost-effective in the long run, electric bikes can have a high initial cost, making them less accessible to some people.

3. Higher weight

Electric bikes can be heavy due to the added weight of the battery and motor, making them harder to transport and maneuver.

4. Limited battery life

The life of an electric bike battery can decline over time, making it necessary to replace the battery or the entire bike.

5. Charging time

Electric bikes take several hours to charge fully, making it necessary to plan and schedule the required time during the ride.

6. Higher danger of theft

Electric bikes are a popular target for theft due to their value, making it necessary to invest in a secure locking system.

7. Limited customization

Electric bikes often come in standard designs and sizes, with limited options for customization.

They have specialized components, such as the electric motor and battery, integrated into the frame. It can make it difficult or impossible to customize certain aspects of the bike, such as the handlebars, brakes, or drivetrain.

Additionally, the specialized components of an electric bike can require specialized tools and expertise to repair or modify, making customization more challenging.

However, electric bikes offer a wide range of options in terms of frame styles, colors, and accessories. Due to the diversity, many riders can find a model that fits their needs and preferences.

8. Electricity dependence

Electric bikes rely on access to electricity to recharge, making them less practical in areas without reliable access to power.

9. Speed limits in certain areas

While electric bikes have improved top speeds, regulations still limit them. They may not be suitable for riders who want to travel at high speeds.

Bafang Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion
Bafang Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion

Did you Know You Can Convert a Regular MTB to Electric?

Bafang a leader in DIY electric bike conversions has a mid-drive kit that will fit on most regular bikes. I’d recommend the BBSHD kit, it’s a complete setup with a huge capacity battery and a 1000 watt motor. Why this setup?

  • Heavy duty 1000 watt motor (built for cargo bikes)
  • +50 volt 17.5 Ah battery for speed and distance
  • Easy installation with provided tools.

If you’re considering a conversion, do what I’m doing get the BANFANG BBSHD 1000w eBike Conversion with Battery

Do electric bikes have problems?

Electric bikes have some problems and limitations one should know before getting one, including:

  • Battery life: electric bike batteries have a limited lifespan and can degrade over time, reducing their range and efficiency.
  • Complexity: electric bikes can be more complex than traditional bikes, with more components that can fail or require maintenance.
  • Charging time: electric bikes can take several hours to charge, making it necessary to plan and allow for adequate charging time.
  • Battery replacement: when the battery needs replacing, it can be expensive, reducing the overall cost-effectiveness of the electric bike.
  • Regulatory issues: electric bikes may be subject to different regulations and restrictions in various jurisdictions, making it essential to familiarize oneself with local laws and regulations.
  • Infrastructure: in some areas, there may be limited charging infrastructure available for electric bikes. When infrastructure does not exist, it is necessary to plan and ensure that adequate charging is available.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do electric bikes last?

The lifespan of an electric bike depends on many factors, including the quality of components, usage patterns, and proper maintenance. On average, electric bikes can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years, with some higher-end models lasting up to 7 years or more.

Are electric bikes high maintenance?

Electric bikes can require more maintenance than traditional bikes, but they are generally not considered high maintenance. The critical components of an electric bike that require maintenance include the battery, motor, and electronics. Regular cleaning and essential maintenance, such as checking and tightening bolts, can help to keep the electric bike in good working order.

How much does it cost to replace an ebike battery?

The cost of replacing an electric bike battery varies depending on several factors, including the type of battery, the bike’s brand, and the repair’s location. On average, a replacement electric bike battery can range from $500 to $1000 or more.

David Humphries Author at Ride e MTB

Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project –