E-bikes are also a part of the green energy movement.
According to the League of American Bicyclists, e-bikes can comfortably take riders on trips of 10 to 15 miles, saving the cost and use of gasoline during trips of that length.
While e-bikes are not new, advancements in technology and production methods have recently allowed innovative companies to produce high quality versions that can be sold at attractive prices, according to a recent story on NextAvenue.org.
Storm Sondors, founder of SONDORS electric bikes, thinks today’s more active and health conscious older adults are ideal users for these bicycles.
“They’re more likely to release the stigma of aging that leads to a quiet, sedentary life. They’re instead rediscovering the secret to staying young is to stay active, and e-bikes offer an easier exercise option for all ages. [Older adults] are riding more often and alleviating ailments, improving balance, losing weight, and benefiting overall health and wellness,” he said.
Expect to wait a while for new electric bikes in 2021, however, especially during the first half, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which wreaked havoc with e-bike supply chains in China and Taiwan that saw lockdowns in 2020. Those countries were hit with spikes in demand as soon as their factories reopened.
But Electrek has reported that the market is likely to see more affordably priced, mid-drive (where the motor is in the middle of the frame) electric bikes this year. Asian mid-drive suppliers are growing their market share and helping drive down prices. Right now, it can be hard to find a quality e-bike under $1,000; most cost $1,500 to $4,000, but those prices could decrease.
Jean Keane, 58, of San Diego rides her Aventon Level e-bike everyday unless it is pouring. “Riding has helped me tremendously during the pandemic. I feel like I am making a difference to the environment. It helps me feel like I have some control in my life,” she said.
When Keane first started thinking about purchasing an e-bike, the sole purpose was for commuting to work. However, she now uses it to travel everywhere locally: errands, yoga class, shopping, exercise, clearing her head and getting fresh air. She has only used her car three times since November.
An essential worker in the middle of the supply chain for businesses and government agencies, Dale Houghtlen, 56, of Dublin, Ohio, has been going to work as usual through the pandemic. His wife, Julie, 51, started working from home in March. “There was so much fear, anxiety, uncertainty and negativity in general in the world,” Houghtlen said, adding that the strain of working from home was also affecting his wife.
Their remedy for the stress? New e-bikes.
Thirty years after the couple threw their bicycles in the back of a Ford Aerostar for their first adventure road trip, they were heading home from Pittsburgh with new Aventon SINCH bikes in the back of Julie’s SUV.
“Our favorite ride is probably to Glacier Ridge Metropark. It’s like a two-wheeled, open-air North American prairie safari. Lots of wildlife and usually deer sightings,” said Houghtlen. “We packed the bikes and hauled them to Florida last October and that was a great week. Get up, have a coffee, pack the bikes and bike through Point Washington State Forest on the way to the pristine beaches and dunes of Topsail Hill Nature Preserve.”