Is Using Electric Bike Cheating? 5 Reasons why it is a Myth
Electric bike, e-bike, or electric-assist bicycle has been popular in Canada and worldwide. After the Covid 19 hit, e-bikes became the most convenient way of transportation. Many people got into e-biking, as it is safer than public transportation and faster than regular road bikes. It is also an environmentally friendly way of getting around the town. Here in Vancouver - electric bikes are one of the most common ways of transportation for people of different age categories: starting from students and up to the elderly ones, who enjoy being able to travel around without limitations. At this point, some people might think that an electric bike - is cheating and that cycling an e-bike is not the same as riding a regular road bike.
In this article, EbikeBC will give you five reasons why using an electric bike is not cheating and how to choose an e-bike that provides a similar feeling to riding a non-electric bicycle.
Before jumping to conclusions about why an electric bike is not cheating: here are some facts you need to know about e-bikes.
Electric bikes - bicycles with a small electric motor which assists the rider's pedalling. There are different types of electric bike motors: mid-drive motors, rear and front hub motors with different systems and various brands, but the idea behind all of them is the same - the motor assists in propelling the bike forward, making it easier to overcome hills, headwinds, and longer distances. The cyclist can often adjust the level of help, allowing riders to determine how much motor assistance they receive.
The Perception of "Why electric bike is Cheating"
Some cyclists think that e-bikes provide an unfair advantage, making riding less physically demanding than traditional cycling. This Perception has led to claims that using an e-bike is cheating in cycling.
Let's be clear - using an e-bike without pedalling definitely is cheating, but when you use all electronic components properly, such as a pedal assist and a throttle on demand when necessary - you are doing a good job, and it will feel like a good-old regular cycling workout.
We'll use an example Envo Stax electric bike. From the design of it, it is hard to determine whether it's an e-bike or a regular road bicycle. The battery is integrated into the seatpost; it is stylish and lightweight, only 42lb. Stax originally came as 1St class of e-bike, without a throttle which you can later add as an accessory. When riding this electric bike, you will feel like you are using a regular road bicycle, but you won't be as tired, going for way longer distances than you used to.
Five reasons why using an electric bike is not cheating
Electric bikes have opened up cycling for more people, including those with physical limitations, who are less fit, or who are new to cycling. By reducing barriers to entry, e-bikes promote inclusivity and encourage more people to adopt active and sustainable transportation. If the rider has difficulty getting on and off the bike, they will definitely go for a step-through electrik bike, like Envo ST or even an electric trike.
Electric Assistance is not a peddling replacement:
Electric bikes are not a replacement for traditional bicycles. E-bikes provide just an alternative option for various needs. Riders can choose the level of motor assistance that suits their preferences and requirements, making e-bikes a versatile mode of transportation. They are more intended to replace the car and offer a more environmentally friendly and healthy way of transportation.
While electric bikes offer motor assistance but still require riders to pedal. This engagement provides health benefits through moderate physical activity, even if the effort is less intense than on a conventional bike. The increased accessibility of e-bikes might encourage individuals who would otherwise shy away from physical activity to get moving.
The Personal Choice Perspective:
Riders can choose whether they want to cheat on e-bikes or use them as intended - as a more convenient but still healthy way of transportation. At its core, the debate over e-bikes and cheating is primarily a matter of perspective. What one person views as an advantage, another may see as a way to make cycling accessible and enjoyable for more people around. Rather than focusing on whether electric bike use is "cheating," it's more productive to recognize that people have diverse needs and reasons for choosing different modes of transportation.
Embracing the Diversity of Mobility:
As the world seeks innovative solutions to transportation challenges, e-bikes have emerged as a powerful option that blurs the lines between conventional cycling and motorized transport. While the Perception of cheating might linger in some circles, it's essential to acknowledge the benefits that e-bikes bring to individuals and communities alike. By embracing this diversity of mobility options, we can encourage healthier, more sustainable, and more inclusive ways of getting around.
So, is riding an e-bike cheating? The answer is no; it's simply a different way to pedal toward a greener and more active future.