How to know when it’s time to go electric

No matter what type of cyclist you are, you are going to go through stages of physicality and necessity during the life of your cycling habits. There was a time when this meant spending the week on road bikes and the weekend bumping down the side of a dirt track on a mountain bike, but with the advent of electric bikes there is a new twist in how we adapt our routines. 

There isn't a set time in which you have to suddenly decide that you are switching to an e-bike. It can be a complete switch from riding traditional, or a compliment to your normal cycling. There are many reasons why people adapt or integrate e-biking into their cycling routine. Thanks to a boom in the market, it's easier than ever to at least get an e-bike conversion kit, if not a complete e-bike itself. 

There are some clear signals that it's time to switch to an e-bike. These can either be signals from your body, financial or environmental. Here are three of the most common reasons to switch to an e-bike, or at the least, add an e-bike to your arsenal of cycling gear.

You want an easier commute

This isn't to say that cycling to work is hard. However, there is an element of physicality to it that just might be exhausting. Assume you have a normal nine-to-five job. Cycling to and from means carrying a change of clothes, finding a shower (unless you are a savage and prefer to marinate in your sweat all day) and fighting with traffic. 

While an e-bike doesn't necessarily negate that last point, it does usually make for a cleaner, quicker, less sweaty ride. It's one step down from a scooter and you can still lock it to the bike rack in the parking garage.

Another angle on this point is that e-bikes are much, much cheaper to drive and maintain than cars. With cities around the world reserving more space on the roads for bikes while fighting increases in commuting traffic thanks to ride sharing, switching to an e-bike from a car is a very viable and financially sound option if you have a short commute. 

You want to take longer rides

Sure, you don't have a distance limit with a traditional bike. You can ride ten kilometers or 50 kilometers on any given day. But take whatever your average is and compound that with interest. With an e-bike, especially a conversion kit with pedal assist, you can go further, longer with less energy spent. This works into the commute angle of switching to an e-bike, but also applies to leisure rides.

Whether you ride for business or pleasure, an e-bike has the capability to extend that ride. Most e-bikes have some sort of pedal assist system that allow you to use as much or as little assistance as possible. You never know what might happen on a long ride, so having battery power on your side will imbue that ride with a bit more confidence when it comes to distance. 

You are getting old

Time comes for us all. There is no denying this. A history of physical carelessness has left my knees a muddled mess of torn ligaments and scar tissue. A 50 kilometer ride is out of the question on a traditional road book. My knees just can't take it. No matter how old you feel in your head, sometimes your body does its best to remind you how old your joints and tendons are. 

This is why an e-bike is great for maintaining a healthy, active outdoor cycling habit. With e-bike conversion kits especially, having a battery assist on your rides can enable you to take more rides until the day your consciousness returns to the universe. It's not always easy to hear, that one is getting too old for one's favorite activities, but at least e-bikes make it a bit easier to accept. 

Whatever your reason for switching to an e-bike, there is a level of confidence that comes with knowing we have that option available to us. Cycling is constantly evolving as is our relationship with it. Adding an e-bike to your stable of bikes will only keep you on the road longer. 

Curtis Silver

Written by @alex on June 22, 2020