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Watts Up with Electric Bikes?
The bicycle is a simple solution to many complex problems. It's the world's most efficient form of transportation, but is only used for about 1% of all trips in America. Although a car or truck is much less efficient and costs a lot more money, many people still prefer to drive two tons of steel two miles across town to cash a check, get a haircut, or pick-up food.


Never mind that these are the worse kind of trips for a car's engine. Never mind that in most cases a bike can get there in the same amount of time, thanks to strategic bike lanes. Never mind that better-than-front-row parking will always be available with a bike. Never mind all of that. People don't want to get sweaty. They don't want to get exhausted riding up hills or into the wind. And who wants to 'kit up' for every ride? People with E-bikes don't want to, and that's why they have E-bikes. Truth is, they are doing trips much longer than two miles in regular clothes on a daily basis, and loving it!


One thing all types of cyclists can agree on is how good it feels to get out and ride. Studies show that riding a bike activates our brain in ways that make us feel good. It doesn't matter what type of rider you are on your other bike(s), you can be certain that riding an E-bike will be no different. And if you're a rider who is experiencing obstacles to riding a non-electric assist bike, such as physical strength or stamina to ride faster or go farther, then an E-bike would make a great option as your main ride.


Electric assist bikes need to be pedaled for the boost to kick in. They aren't electric mopeds with cranks that spin like a bike. There's no throttle, but a handlebar mounted remote allows the rider to control the level of assist provided by the motor. When the system is off or the rider chooses not to use an assist mode, an E-bike rides like any other bike. They're heavier than their equivalent non-electric models, but the difference is barely noticeable while being ridden. All Trek and Electra E-bikes were designed intentionally to place the weight of the motor and battery as low and centralized as possible for best handling. Just because it has a motor, doesn't mean you have to use it all the time. It is still a bike that rides well 'au naturel'.


If you haven't ridden an E-bike, yet, then drop what you're doing and go test ride one. We have an E-bike that we rent by the day, but all you need is five minutes to develop the E-bike perspective. E-bike riding is equivalent to 'seeing through colored glasses'. Maybe there was something about it that wasn't visible before, but now makes total sense after one ride. The world looks forever different. Infrastructure has become your game board, and you've got the prized game piece.


With electric assist activated, turn the pedals over as you normally would. 10 miles per hour becomes 15 miles per hour. With a little extra nudge, you're comfortably at 18 mph. Feel it pull at your control. Slow it down, stop ahead. Toggle to a higher level of assist before taking off. Now it's really pulling up to speed. Okay this is fun! 58 miles remaining on the charge. Where will you go? Oh, there's a few hills out that way... what hills?

That's watts up with electric bikes.





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