Add Some Spark to Your Spin
- Written by
- Dee Ellwood
Why Ebikes Are Fast Becoming the Everyman’s Bike
Whether you’re a keen mountain biker, city commuter or Sunday cycleway cruiser, there’s no playing favourites in the world of ebikes. In fact, when it comes to electric power, it’s not just about speed and convenience – the ebike experience extends well beyond the basics.And, the only way to really get a feel for one, is to ride one, says Joe Lindsay, co-director of Electric Bike Rotorua and Mohawk Ebike Tours.
Breaking down the barriers
“I think apprehension is the biggest thing holding people back – but our advice is to just get out and give one a go. Age is no barrier – nor experience – there is an ebike for everyone – not just your adventure riders, rail trailers and city commuters, there are electric trikes, folding bikes to zip through little trails, the range is huge,” explains Joe.
“What many people don’t realise is just because a bike is built one way, it doesn’t mean it has to be used just that way. The big thing we do here is customise bikes to fit the person, so you actually get the rider on the best possible bike that suits them and then customise it to suit their needs.”
For example, if ease of mount is a top priority, you could opt for a folding ebike with the addition of a mountain bike dropper post which allows you to hop on and off easier, or if you’re after a full suspension ebike to use as a commuter and off road machine, this might involve tuning the bike a certain way to make it more capable both on and off road.
United we ride
“The big thing is versatility – ride what’s comfortable – because when the bike fits, doors open. Many riders, even advanced riders, find they have so many options on an ebike. Whether that’s getting in a little more distance, or dad keeping up with his 20-year-old son out in the redwoods, or the whole family – kids of all ages – having the stamina to complete a ride together,” says Joe.
Frankie Kebbell, co-director of Electric Bike Rotorua, agrees. “No one’s left behind. We had three generations in a family –a seven-year-old, a 40-year-old and a 90-year-old, all riding with us the other week,” she enthuses.“So, what’s happening isn’t just that people are getting out there and riding more, they’re riding with people they’ve never ridden with before.”
The places you’ll go
And with newfound e-freedom comes the confidence to explore the new too.
“Rotorua in itself offers a myriad of incredible biking trails – along rivers, redwoods, mountains and lakes – the options are seemingly endless,” explains Joe.
“The great thing about taking an ebike up into redwoods with a tour group is that you can send the advanced riders down one trail and the beginners down another, and you can still end up in the same place – everyone is catered for.”
And for those of us who are keen on booking an ebike tour in the Rotorua region, locking in a Redwoods halfday tour is a sure-fire way of seeing some scenery and wearing the ebike smile, says Frankie.
“A redwoods half-day is our most popular ebike tour with visitors, because it’s ample time to explore the woods, get a feel for the bike and pedal your way through a few trails,” she explains.
And, all with the assurance of a bike well grounded, adds Joe.
“The key feature of an ebike is its ability to keep you secure – it does have that centralised weight – it keeps you glued to the ground. So, in the case of a mountain ebike (EMTB), you’re going to trust it more when you’re leaning over. And, generally they’re spec’d with more travel, so they’ve got a bigger suspension on them which takes those bumps out.”
Bang for your bike
And if fears of a large bump in the wallet are still holding back your ebike dream, that may not be the case.
“There’s a misconception that ebikes are going to cost you an arm and a leg. The majority of our clients will only need a simple bike for the type of riding they are going to do. Fitting a bike to a rider’s needs is the single most important part of our service, and most of the time we end up setting up a bike for less than anticipated,” explains Joe.
“The other thing to think about is the ongoing saving you may see. We sold a bike to a customer who uses her bike to drop her two kids off to school and take herself to work. She no longer needed her car because the bike replaced it. Aside from all the health benefits, it was a healthy financial decision as well. It never pays to assume!”