What is an E-Bike?
We are proud to introduce Electric Bikes to greater New Jersey. Recent advances in power storage technology are fueling an entirely new industry of personal mobility vehicles. Electric Bicycles - or E-bikes if you are hip - are among the industry beneficiaries of this technology. E-Bikes are also leading the charge (pardon the pun) for innovation in the personal mobility market. For all of us weekend cyclists, bicycle owners, and would-be-if-only riders, please accept this invitation to join a bicycle revolution happening around the globe.
Before we get too carried away, let’s step back and appreciate the extraordinary ingenuity that has brought us here. You might be surprised to learn that electric bicycles have been around a long time. The earliest patents for motorizing a bicycle by electrical current date back to 1896. Early attempts to add some type of propulsion to bicycles spearheaded the development of motorcycles and mopeds in the early 20th century and we all know how that industry has flourished! Today’s Electric Bicycle is a considerable different vehicle than today’s finely tuned motorcycle. It’s why this short introduction is necessary. We need to clarify the differences and to inform what they do, how they operate, and how far they will take you.
E-bikes afford a potentially infinite demographic the opportunity to finally access the obvious health benefits of cycling by eliminating some of the major challenges that typically deter a would-be rider. Age, injury, stamina, physical limitation, ambition, and the general desire to get off one’s rump are challenges all of us can relate. On the other side of the tire are environmental challenges: terrain and weather. The bad news is that nothing has yet been developed to eliminate rainy days, snowstorms, or the occasional tornado. The great news is that terrain is far more manageable with an e-bike! Many of us are all-to-familiar with the physical effort needed to pedal one’s bike up a steep hill. It’s not exactly a pleasant experience – especially if you could walk up faster than you could ride. Getting off and pushing the bike up the hill is a downer. If you live in a hilly area, you are less likely to pull out the bike. Who can blame you? This is why people who own e-bikes are 6x more likely to take a ride than those who don’t. Imagine powering up a hill like a team member on the Tour-de-France never leaving your seat, or putting a foot down to breath! What then would you do and where would you go?
Of course this is an over simplification. There are many challenges in the cycling world that prevent otherwise would-be-road-demons from getting on a cycle. With a properly configured E-bike, a rider can travel far greater distances, in much less time, carrying heavier loads (such as groceries, books, and kids) and to do so without breaking a sweat (i.e. commuting to work or school in professional attire). Add to this the reduction of fossil fuel waste in our environment; reduction in traffic congestion, road rage, locating parking, and the economic benefit derived from fuel savings, vehicle maintenance savings, and unsurprisingly, an e-bike makes a pretty good case for itself.
You might be surprised to learn what electric systems afford even avid recreational riders and competitive sport racers. E-bikes now come in every shape and size with nearly an inexhaustible supply of power options. In the next few years, you are likely to see a much larger community of riders re-evaluating their commute and purchasing e-bikes that fit their needs.
So, consider this your invitation to browse our shop, kick a few tires (gently please!), and ask the usual questions like “How fast does it go?” and “How far will it take me?” If you are anything like the 100s of other Voltaire Cycles visitors who have taken our invitation seriously, you’ll treat yourself to a pleasant surprise and an enormous grin as you power-up that menacing looking hill. At The Voltaire Cycles, we can answer most all of your e-bike questions and let the E-bike test ride answer those we can’t answer.