Happy Monday folks, and welcome to E-bike Live week.
Before we begin, our eagle-eyed readers may have noticed (from our E-bike Live preview) that this welcome letter was supposed to come from our esteemed tech editor, Aaron Borrill. However unfortunately, a concussion scare on his part means you’re stuck with me for this one I’m afraid.
Nonetheless, the purpose of the letter remains steadfast; welcoming you our readers to E-bike Live week, explaining what it’s going to entail and providing some context as to why we’ve chosen to dedicate a week to e-bikes at all.
So first of all, what is E-bike Live?
In its simplest form, E-bike Live is a week-long celebration of electric bikes. Throughout the week, we will be bringing you a host of advice to help you understand what they are and how they work, but moreover, we want to help you make the right choice when it comes to buying one.
To that end, we’ll be publishing how-to guides pertaining to insurance (and whether you even need it), maintaining your e-bike, upgrades you can make, whether it’s legal to ‘chip’ your e-bike and more.
We have a very interesting feature from Zach Nehr, who explains why he’s considering using e-bikes to supplement his training, which proves once and for all that e-bikes aren’t just for city-street commuters or people who don’t have the fitness they once had.
We also have a special edition pro bike gallery, where we’ll take a look at the Cannondale electric bike that former National Hill Climb champion, Dan Evans, uses to train.
And for anyone joining the journey who is interested in investing in an e-bike of their own, we’ll be publishing a collection of impartial buying guides, with roundups of our favourite folding electric bikes, electric road bikes, bikes for commuters and more.
Why E-bikes and why now?
Over the past few years, e-bike technology has improved at such a rate that they are now just as popular as non-assisted bikes. The simple twist-and-go moped-style e-bikes have been widely replaced with pedelec systems that offer assistance by amplifying your pedalling input and as a result, the ride ‘feel’ is almost exactly the same as a non-powered bike, only the effort required is lower for the same given speed.
In addition, battery technology has improved to the point that many e-bikes can ride upwards of 100km on a single charge. It also means they are lighter in weight, so they have become easier to live with.
What’s more, the integrated design of e-bikes has come so far along that many e-bikes are almost indistinguishable from their non-powered counterparts.
All told, what’s most important to note is that electric bikes are now just as widespread and common as standard bikes. The stigma of owning one is evaporating; they are easy to live with, a joy to ride, and they are a genuinely useful addition to the cycling landscape.
Here at Cyclingnews, we are avid supporters of anything that is proven to increase the number of people on two wheels, and e-bikes are helping to get people into cycling in droves. From the ageing roadie who just wants to keep up with his old riding friends, the husband who struggles to keep up with his wife, the grandparent who wants to enjoy a ride with the kids, those who are less mobile due to underlying physical conditions, anyone wanting to enjoy the mountainous views of a cycling holiday without rueing their lack of training beforehand, or even the full-time pro who wants to practise skills on a rest day.
The available use-case for an e-bike is endless, and people are noticing. Millions of people are starting (or restarting) cycling, thanks to e-bikes. We’re here to celebrate that fact, and if in our content we can help even more people swing a leg over an e-bike for the first time, we’ll be happy.
Josh Croxton, Senior Tech Writer (road)