E-Bikes have been around in Europe for years but are only just beginning to gain popularity in Australia as more manufacturers add pedal assist options to their line-up. But you’re a real cyclist, right?
Me too and like many people I’ve always been somewhat dismissive of e-bikes; that was until we were able to test out a couple of fantastic options from SCOTT Bikes. It didn’t take any more than a ride in the hills to put a huge smile on my face and convert me from skeptic to believer.
So why would you choose an e-bike?
- You want to be able to ride further and faster than you would be able to on a regular bike.
- You want a cheaper alternative to driving your car into the city and paying for parking every day (an e-bike would set you back about the same amount as 6 months of parking).
- You live in the hills and want an easier way to get home.
- You want to keep riding but don’t feel that a regular bike meets your needs anymore.
There are endless reasons to choose an e-bike and the best way to work out if an e-bike is for you is to check out some options and test ride if your bike shop offers test rides. If you take a test ride and don’t come back impressed then the bike’s probably not for you, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll be impressed and back with a grin from ear to ear.
What are the rules?
Australia has multiple limitations on e-bikes – FYI, those petrol driven ones you’ve seen hooning up and down our streets are NOT e-bikes and they’re not legal.
E-bikes (also called pedal assist) are pedalled by the rider with assistance from an electric motor which can provide different levels of help depending on your needs and riding conditions. With an e-bike if you don’t pedal you don’t move…
Different states have different regulations but in general an e-bike can only produce 250 watts which limits the speed to about 28 km/h. Want more info on South Australia’s E-bike Regulations? Read more
Which bike do I choose?
Now that’s a question… The bike that suits you is really going to depend on what you want the bike to do and that’s not a question I can answer here because I don’t know you. However, I can give you a few pointers:
- Think about where you want to use the bike – if you’re commuting on flat roads then an E-MTB is going to be overkill, you’d be better suited to a commuter specific E-bike.
- Think about how much assistance you think you’ll need so you know what sort of battery life you need – if you ride up big hills and want plenty of assistance getting up them then you’ll need a more robust battery than someone who just rides on the flat.
- Think about the accessories you might want on your bike – a pannier rack to carry your stuff, integrated lights, mudguards etc. Many E-bikes are very well equipped.
Once you’ve got the answers to these basic questions visit your local bike shop and ask their advice, they’ll have all the latest info. If you can test ride an E-bike even better.