Electric bikes keep you fit, but can take the sting out of our South London hills
Electric bikes are coming of age – they are hardly a new idea, but the technology has developed over the last few years. They now offer a real option for getting around.
Electric bikes, sometimes called ‘e-bikes’, carry a rechargeable battery and a motor that drives the bike along. All of the bikes we sell work when you pedal – they are technically ‘electric assist’ or ‘pedelect’. This way the bike keeps you fit as you cycle, they don’t take away the health benefits of cycling. Using an electric bike can open up the fitness benefits to those who would otherwise be unable to cycle or find the hills too difficult to deal with.
Some bikes offer a ‘pedal free’ option – twist the throttle and go. However, beware, this option will get you along on the level (or downhill), but will NOT get you up the hills. This is because the motor is limited by law to 250 watts – beyond this you are into motorbike/moped territory with the need for driving licenses, insurance and MOT tests.
The advantages of e-bikes include:
Taking the sting out of hills – and helping to get you to the top. A key issue in Crystal Palace
Helping get you further faster – the electric assist cuts out (by law) at 15 mph – but by keeping you up to speed it raises you average speed and means you get to your destination quicker or lets you get further in the time you have available. (Did you know the average traffic speed in London is only around 10 mph?)
Keeping you fit – in pedal assist mode you have to pedal or you go nowhere. You can keep fit as you travel to work – saving on your train/bus fares, your gym fees and the time you spend at the gym (and often the travel time is the same as a public transport journey in London).
Compared with a car or motorbike, electric assist bike have lower overall costs. Our new electric bikes start at £1,499 and running costs are low: electricity and muscle power are cheap compared with petrol, parking is free and there is now annual tac fee. You do not legally need insurance or an MOT but we strongly recommend taking out insurance and getting the bike maintained properly.
E-bikes also help the environment. Apart from the CO2 you breathe out, they don’t pollute where you use them and depending on your electricity supply, there will be a zero or marginal CO2 impact from the electric power you use. If you, like Blue Door Bicycles, use Good Energy for example, you have zero carbon from electricity generation.
We currently have a Koga and Raleigh bikes in stock.