When it comes to cycling, we know that sometimes the journey is better than the destination. Unless that destination involves food. Or you have to look presentable at said destination. Or that destination is very, very far away and involves many hills. In these cases, sometimes you're left to question whether the destination is worth the journey in the first place!. That’s why, when you need to get somewhere in the fastest (and least sweaty) way possible, your best bet is going to be an e-bike! What's an e-bike? Well, surprise surprise, the "e" stands for electronic, but don't get it twisted - this bike isn't gonna do all the work for you. E-bikes are equipped with pedal assist meaning you’ve still gotta put in some leg work (ha!) to get going. The battery just helps you get to Point B a little faster and with less effort overall.
We’ve got some pretty sweet e-bikes that you can rent or buy that’ll take you places you never thought you could go on a bike. While we think everyone should rent an e-bike to try out, there are some trips that are definitely more fun with an e-bike. The question is - should you stick to renting, or should you go all in and invest in an e-bike? Let's break it down:
You should rent an e-bike if…
You’ve never ridden an e-bike before
They’re seriously so much fun.
You’re riding with a group
If you’re going to be riding with people who are at different riding levels, an e-bike is a great way to even the playing field. Now, Aunt Carol, who hasn’t ridden a bike in years, can just throw it into Turbo mode and easily keep up with your Cousin Jim who just finished his 3rd century ride this year. Plus, when you rent bikes, you don’t have to worry about parking or cramming everyone into a car (thus being forced to listen to the aforementioned Cousin Jim brag about that 3rd century ride).
You’re going farther than you want to pedal, but closer than you want to drive
Going somewhere that’s just a little too far to pedal round-trip but too close to want to deal with driving and parking? E-bikes are just the thing. They’ll help you go farther, faster so you can enjoy your local lakes, parks, or even your favorite restaurant in the next town. No more worrying about where to park a car or the struggle of pedaling back on a regular bike. The bike range is primarily dictated by battery size and type of motor. Other variables such as, the bike’s weight, your weight (and the weight of anything attached to your bike), speed assist level, cadence and battery charge levels when you first start, all factor into the total range. You can get a great estimate with BOSCH’s eBike range calculator.
Your trip involves hills
You ever look up at a hill as you’re riding and think, “NOPE.” These bikes will help get you right over those “NOPE” hills with ease. You’ll feel incredibly powerful (so much power).
You should buy an e-bike if…
You’ve got a long commute to work
The worst commute ever is a car commute. And unless your job and your home are very, very close to BART or Amtrak stations, you’re probably driving. Well, we say screw the rush hour! Hop on an electric bike and you’ll not only get to work faster, but less stressed cause you A) avoided horrendous traffic and B) got some exercise in (you still have to pedal these ya know!). Plus, if the only thing holding you back from a commute via ferry, BART or Caltrain is the looong walk on either end, an e-bike is extra perfect. It's the same size as a regular bike so you can bring it aboard with ease.
You’ve got a long commute and you have a dress-code
First you’ve got to commute to work with all your work stuff and now you have to take an extra change of clothes to change into?! While we don’t recommend hours and hours of riding in slacks, you can totally wear your work clothes while e-biking to work since the ride will be easier. No sweat stains, no stinky shoes, and no need to change!
Your commute involves hills
If those “NOPE” hills are on your commute to work, then you’ll definitely want an e-bike to get up & over ‘em. There is a time for climbing those hills, but right before your 9am meeting is not that time.
You’re thinking of getting an “around-town” car
Maybe you’re sharing a car with your spouse or family and you find yourself needing to get out and about town. Maybe you want a car that won’t guzzle gas or be easier to find parking for. Well instead of investing money (a lot of money) into 4 wheels, why not invest less money (a lot less money) into 2?! You can use an e-bike for a convenient way to run errands, zip over to see your not-so-nearby neighbors, get to your Pilates class, or even head to your favorite cafe or restaurant. And even with tune-ups, tire repairs, battery replacements (which cost about $600), and charging, the total cost is still cheaper than owning a car. Be green, save some green. Win, win!
E-MTBs: taking you where few bikes dare to go
Anyone who tells you that e-MTBs are “cheating” has never ridden an e-MTB. Far from making trail riding easier, they actually open up a whole new world of challenging trails that you might not have been able to explore on a regular mountain bike. You can ride longer since the pedal assist will help you get up super rough climbs, and even help you get up what normally would be rough or even dangerous climbs without completely draining your energy. We looove our classic MTBs but there’s something that’s just so ridiculously fun about really tearing through tough trails on an e-MTB.
Ready to commit? Browse our e-bike selection and stay tuned for some new releases this fall! Remember, that you can always trade-in your old bike to get credit towards a shiny new e-bike. Plus, with Affirm, you can finance your purchase so you can take home your e-bike now while paying for it later. Now the only tough part is going to be choosing one (which our awesome staffers will help you do too!).