There are a lot of myths about electric bikes out there. Some folks think riding an electric bike is “cheating” and I agree, but not in the way you think. Keep reading to see what I mean. In this post, we’ll debunk those myths and show you just how great electric bikes really are!
Some people think that you don’t get as much exercise as traditional bikes, that they’re expensive, that they’re hard to ride, or even that somehow you are cheating in some mystical race that they are in.
Allow me to lower the curtain and expose the great wizard that is –
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The 9 Myths About Electric Bikes
- – Riding an Electric Bike is “Cheating”
- – You Don’t Get Any Exercise On an Electric Bike
- – You Can’t Ride Very Far Before the Battery Dies
- – Electric Bikes are Too Expensive
- – The Batteries Cost Too Much to Replace
- – You Can’t Legally Ride an Electric Bike Anywhere
- – Electric Bikes Can’t Get Wet
- – Electric Bikes Don’t Last Very Long
- – Electric Bikes are Dangerous
Keep reading and I’ll explain why you need not worry about any of these things and why some of them are just outright ludicrous. 🙂
#1 – Riding an Electric Bike is “Cheating”
I always love hearing this and I hear it quite a lot. Some folks may call you a “cheater”. What people who say this forget to realize is then when we are on electric bikes, we are not in their race. We are in our own league!
So please don’t worry if someone says this to you. I never really hear it anyway because I ride with headphones on and my favorite music playing. (Not too loud though, so I can still hear what’s going on around me.)
The real reason I like hearing this is because I know I’m cheating gas companies out of thousands of my dollars by riding my ebike instead of driving.
I’m also cheating big pharmaceutical companies out of thousands of my dollars by staying in great physical and mental health and not using their products anymore.
I am cheating when I get to ride up to the stoplight and passed all the cars sitting in traffic, I’m cheating when I get to park right next to the grocery store and skip the parking lot, I’m cheating when I get to take the bike path to work instead of driving through town.
There are a lot of ways that riding an ebike is cheating, but it’s not because it’s an electric bike, and certainly not because I’m in their made-up bike race. It’s because I chose to get an electric bike and they didn’t 🙂
So yes, I am a cheater, but not in the way small-minded folks who say such things are thinking!
#2 – You Don’t Get Any Exercise On an Electric Bike
This is a huge myth that is only repeated by those that have no experience riding an ebike.
I don’t personally like to get my information from folks with no experience so let me tell you, after riding over 12,000 miles and losing over 70lbs on my ebike, you do get exercise.
In fact, most people will get far more exercise riding an ebike than they ever did riding a regular bike because they will actually ride the ebike.
On average I can burn around 400 to 500 calories an hour riding my ebike. Even if your electric bike has a throttle, you will soon find yourself pedaling along more and more as you get into better shape.
#3 – You Can’t Ride Very Far Before the Battery Dies
The range you can get on an ebike is getting better and better. Some electric bikes can go as far as 100 miles on a single charge these days and have made electric bike touring a viable option.
Just make sure that you test the range on your own ebike before setting off on a major ride.
Every rider is different and every rider will get different ranges. Depending upon which assist levels you use and how much pedaling you are producing will vastly increase or decrease the amount of range you get.
Big elevation gains will also affect your range, so be sure you are comfortable about the average range you are getting and you will have a blast out there!
Plus, electric bike batteries can be changed out pretty quickly so you can always carry a backup battery for double the range. (also, double the cost)
#4 – Electric Bikes are Too Expensive
You can get started riding an ebike for less than $1000. Just check out the Lectric XP 2.0! I have one of these and it’s a perfectly capable ebike for getting started.
If you’d like to have a more natural bike riding experience then I would recommend a mid-drive style ebike and these can be had starting at around $2500.
The price of regular bikes has gone way up over the last couple of years with the pandemic and it doesn’t really cost any more to ride an ebike than a decent regular bike.
Plus, if you begin to start offsetting some of your car trips with ebike rides, the money you save on our ever-increasing gas prices will help pay for your new ebike in no time!
#5 – The Batteries Cost Too Much to Replace
Electric bike batteries are expensive, but the best ebike companies have batteries that will last for 1000 charge cycles! Even cheaper ones will usually go for 500 cycles.
If you are getting 20 to 50 miles per charge cycle, which is pretty average, that means you can ride for 10,000 to 50,000 miles before you need to consider a new battery.
This is one of the reasons you may want to spend a little more money upfront on a good quality ebike, to save some money down the road.
Plus, you’ll be riding a better ebike the whole time!
So in a way, the batteries do cost too much to replace, but you just don’t have to replace them very often.
#6 – You Can’t Legally Ride an Electric Bike Anywhere
I have a whole article about – “Where Can You Ride an Electric Bike?” That has links to ebike laws in every state and where you can legally ride one.
Most states have begun to allow ebikes anywhere you can ride a regular bike.
Just check out that article and find your state to see if there are any special laws that pertain to you.
As time goes on and ebikes become commonplace, they will be allowed more places and even encouraged at bike parks and trail systems.
As long as your ebike meets certain conditions and falls under one of the three designated classes, you will be just fine.
It’s always good to check with your local laws to see if there are any exceptions for your area.
#7 – Electric Bikes Can’t Get Wet
Yes, they can! Even the cheaper ebikes you find online are designed to be ridden in the rain. Just don’t try to ride one underwater 🙂
I would just do some occasional inspections to make sure you don’t have any exposed wiring or loose seals on your electrical system and all should be fine.
You can hose down your ebike and clean it off, just like you would a regular bike and I highly recommend that you do so.
In the summertime, when it gets really dusty here in Bend, I will often hose down my ebike before work every day and wipe it down.
A clean ebike is a happy ebike!
#8 – Electric Bikes Don’t Last Very Long
This may fall into the “You get what you pay for” category. Taking good care of your ebike will be the best thing you can do to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
While it’s true that if you had a more expensive ebike and took the same great care of that bike compared to a cheaper one, it’s likely the more expensive one will last longer.
Typically, more expensive electric bikes will use better components that simply last longer than cheaper ones.
But even a less expensive ebike can last a long time with some mindfulness from its owner.
Be sure to check your tire pressure often, clean and lube your chain, and bring your ebike in for routine maintenance at least once a year and it will last you a good long time.
Most bikes, in general, will usually succumb to some type of accident before their time is up. Crashing, having it fall off of a rack, backing over it with a car, getting it stolen, or just neglecting it are some of the reasons I have seen bikes go bye-bye.
Being mindful of your ebike and taking regular care of it will ensure its proper life span and that can be years, even decades!
#9 – Electric Bikes are Dangerous
Simon didn’t say “I’m going to crash my ebike and make headlines”. (Plus, he was on an electric motorcycle.) Ebikes are no more dangerous than regular bikes.
Where a helmet, make sure your ebike is in good working order, don’t overstretch your abilities, and just work your way up to longer rides and different routes.
For most people I know, riding an ebike is even safer than riding a regular bike. Having the motor to assist you through an intersection or help you out with hills allows you to focus more on what is going on around you and stay attentive.
Being attentive to what traffic is doing and what other riders and pedestrians are doing will be your biggest defense in the world of ebike riding.
You have complete control over how fast you go. You won’t just be out flying around carelessly. I’ve noticed great confidence boosts in folks, knowing that there is a motor there to help you out.
The more you ride, the easier it gets, and after just a few miles in the saddle, you will be cruising along with ease.
At the End of the Day
Like all myths, these things get spread by folks with little to no experience and are just flat-out wrong.
I have been riding my ebike for about 3 years now and I can tell you it’s the greatest thing to happen to the bike industry since, well, ever!
Electric bikes are now more affordable, last longer, and travel further than ever before!
Riding an ebike is a safe, fun, effective way of getting exercise, saving money, helping the planet, and elevating your mood.
You may have noticed by now, I like my ebike 🙂 I just want you to experience the same things that I have and hopefully make some great memories in the process!