We’ve been down to Brighton Marina and had a chat with Graham Rowe who owns and runs ‘Electric Bikes Sussex' to 'myth bust' electric bikes and bring you the facts.
Myth #1 - Electric bikes are not good for your health
Actually the opposite is true. Research indicates that the average electric bike rider gets more health benefits from an electric bike than a legacy bike. The reasons are that as cycling becomes more fun, people cycle further and cycle more frequently.
This may be because factors that stop cyclists going out on their bikes like hills, wind and distance are overcome with electric bikes making the cycling experience more pleasurable. The more you cycle the fitter you become. ‘Go Further, Faster, Get Fitter, Arrive Fresher and Have fun’ – summarises it nicely.
Myth #2 - Electric bikes are cheating
Graham explains that this is a common mis-conception because using the power of an electric bike allows you to do more and push yourself more than on a legacy bike. The power is there to assist you in the style of riding that you want to do. If you’re able to ride more and tackle hills that you wouldn’t cycle without some assistance, then how can that be cheating.
Also when riding an electric bike the rider is in full control of the amount of power and can completely turn off the power assistance if they wish. Finally, the rider can “go for the burn” and put in all the same effort as a legacy bike, but use the power to help you go faster. As an example, instead of riding up a steep hill at 4mph, you might go up at 10mph instead AND burn the same number of calories.
Myth #3 - Electric bikes are not cool
Just looking around the range of bikes in Grahams Store it’s clear that there’s a range of styles to suite everyone. Downhill competition bikes, comfort bikes, racers and folding bikes are just a few of the shapes and sizes available. Here’s a few that caught our eye…
Myth #4 - My Battery is going to run out and leave me stranded
The key is to ensure you purchase a good quality bike which will have a good quality battery and power system explains Graham. If you buy a cheap electric bike then you can expect issues around the battery but with reputable established brands such as Koga; Raleigh; Haibike, you can anticipate 5-10 years of battery life, with ranges well over 100 miles on each charge. There’s no chance of a proper electric bike running out of power when you’re out riding and a good battery only takes 3-4 hours to be fully charged making it easy to top up.
Myth #5 - My battery could be stolen so I need to carry it around
Good quality bikes have excellent locking mechanisms so there’s no need to take the battery off when the bike is parked. Graham has not had one customer come in to replace a stolen battery. There’s also probably no need to carry a replacement battery, as you can rely on a good battery system staying in place and giving more range than you’re likely to cycle.
Myth #6 - You lose control of the bike
Some people believe that riding a power assisted bike will make it less responsive, however good electric bikes are very sophisticated and respond to your cycling and apply power when it detects you need it, giving you more control of what you want to do. Graham reassured us that the Rider is always in control and that Customers report that they are completely intuitive to ride.
Myth #7 - Electric bikes are expensive to buy
It’s true looking around Grahams bikes that a good electric bike is not cheap with the average cost of a good bike starting at £1,500 but most bikes come with an interest free credit purchase option with no fee or upfront cost. Prices start at around £10 per week and the best selling Raleigh Motus costs less than £3 per day – comparable to your favourite Cappuccino.
Having met Graham and seen the range of bikes available in store we can certainly see using an electric bike is it a great way to keep fit, have fun and beat the A259 traffic jams. To see the full range of Electric Bikes and interest free purchasing options you can visit the Electric Bikes Sussex website - www.electricbikessussex.co.uk