The Future Of Electric Bikes

Posted: Jun 11 2019, 1:27pm CDT | by , in Technology News

 

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The Future of Electric Bikes
Image: Juiced Bikes

It's open season for alternative transportation. Scooters, hoverboards and even pogo sticks are out there just waiting to be used. Not one of these new-age contraptions, however, has the pedigree of the bicycle. Bikes have always been, and remain, one of the most efficient ways to move a human between two points.

Sensibly, then, electric bikes are available now that provide the same riding experience you've come to know with little or no effort. Do they stand a chance in this saturated market? They certainly do — and here's why.

Classes of E-Bikes

Just like their unelectrified cousins, e-bikes are available in several styles to address the needs of road and mountain cyclists. Depending on how powerful they are and the method of engaging electric power, e-bikes are categorized as class 1, 2 or 3.

Lower-classed bikes have less electrical assist, but are more affordable and lighter. For those seeking full-on electric propulsion, class 2 bikes can go up to 20 mph. Class 3 bikes include a speedometer and are almost like a scooter, with top speeds close to 30 mph, but you have to pedal to unlock them.

Streets to Peaks

There are electric variants of bikes for commuter applications, road training and mountain biking. If you're someone who makes a 10-mile commute every morning but doesn't prefer to use a car, an e-bike could be the perfect way to get some air and avoid being subject to the rigidity of public transport schedules. Pedal more or less depending on how you feel. You'll never have to commit to making a tour-style sprint just to get to the office, but it's better exercise than piloting a car.

Off-road has been the realm of e-bikes for some time now, specifically because of the way battery assist can help riders make the challenging climb to the top of the most epic trails. That allows everyone from novice riders to old-hat shredders to save their energy for the descent, or attack more elevation in a shorter amount of time. That means you can enjoy getting out to ride more, and everyone in the cycling community should be happy about that.

The following for e-bikes in the MTB community is so strong that even iconic brand Red Bull is fielding a team of riders to test the technology out now. As brands like Specialized and Giant get on board and begin releasing lighter and more capable designs, the future is leading us to a place where super-capable e-bikes that are somewhere between a motorcycle and a trials bike are the weapon-of-choice for all-mountain riders who want to stay out long.

A Promising Future

There's a climb ahead, but e-bikes are poised to take on real market share in the near future. Don't be surprised if you start seeing more of them on your local trail. Their versatility makes them attractive to a wide range of consumers, and as the technology becomes lighter and more integrated, the circle of influence will expand to include even the diehard riders who won't consider them now. The future of biking is electric.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

 

 

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