So here’s a controversial subject: e bikes!
As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I'm interested in trying bikepacking this year. So I've been looking for a touring bike.
And if you've been anywhere near a bike store in the last twelve months, you may know that most bikes are in frustratingly short supply.
What's taking up a lot of floor space these days? eBikes. At least in my local bike stores, they are in double rows front and center, complete with their high (2-3x non-electric) prices.
What do you think of these contraptions?
Most men I ask consider e-bikes as "cheating", "not really cycling" and "fine if you're 80".
Women seem to have a more nuanced view. It might be pretty cool to take a long ride without dreading that steep hill in the middle, we think.
But does that take the achievement out of cycling? I've labored up a killer hill and been exhilarated to reach the top, only to be passed easily by someone on an e-bike. LOL.
My current bike already has electronic gear shift assist, after I nursed a wrist injury for months from struggling with the manual gears on my husband's hand-me-down bike. Is electronic pedal assist really that different?
Regardless, eBikes are here to stay. Even this month's cover of Adventure Cycling magazine, the last word in roughing it on a bike, pronounces that "The Future Is Electric."
Their point: it's incorrect to think of eBikes as substitutes for regular bicycles. In the freedom they give to explore and transport yourself, they are actually substitutes for cars.
And to encourage people to swap their cars for eBikes, two US Congressmen have introduced a bill that would give a 30% tax credit off the purchase price of a new eBike, starting in 2022. We'll be watching this one!
But I want to know what you think.
Are e bikes way too expensive?
Are they piquing your curiosity?
Or do you feel like they take the achievement out of cycling?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org