We finally did it, made the big leap and invested in a couple of eBikes. We’ve been looking into purchasing eBikes for a couple of years and had put off the purchase because frankly, they are not inexpensive. But now with one of us working from home and one of us only home 50% of the year we really have no need for a second car especially since insurance (and gas) in BC is so crazy expensive!
I’ll be sharing the adventures that we have on the blog and created an instagram account to as well (heathers_ebike_adventures) to show off all the cool places we take the bike and all the amazing things that we can do with them – like packing home groceries or going for a ride to hard to reach beach.
A few things that we considered when making the purchase and how this will affect our (mostly my) lifestyle.
- When looking to purchase price was a factor, you can easily spend close to $10,000 on one of these bikes. I was hoping to keep it under $2000 but ended up closer to $3000 (per bike)
- We did a lot of research into type of bikes, different methods of pedal assist, throttle etc. In the end the most important information came from our local bike shop. Kelowna eRide asked us a bunch of questions to help gauge what we needed the bikes for and helped identify some options that would be a good fit.
- Test drive the bikes! The one I thought I was going to end up with, was not what felt best. After researching and learning about the bikes I honestly thought I would end up with a Surface604 – a Vancouver based company with a great looking bike that had all the features I was looking for. In the end I went with a Magnum Metro, its a US company with almost all the same features as the Surface604 but it just felt better when I was riding it.
- Accessorize: If this is going to be a major mode of transportation, consider what else you might need to customize to make it comfortable and usable for errands. We added on mirrors (highly recommend!) as well as a handle bar water bottle holder (probably didn’t actually need this). There are lots of great options for seats, baskets, saddlebags/panniers, bells, and lights, make sure you chose what works for you!
- Get a good lock and register your bike in case it gets stolen. We used Project529 it’s free and I know from watching the local bike community it has reconnected bikes with owners.
A few of the downsides(?) to eBikes
- They are heavy. My bike weighs in at just under 60lbs. If the battery ever runs out while I am out it will be a tough slog up the hill to come home!
- They are big. Two of them plus our non powered bike fleet take up a fair chunk of real estate in our garage.
- They need a special type of bike rack – one that can handle the weight of the bikes.
- Other cyclists can be judgy – especially when you pass them, even if you aren’t using the assist feature.
- Can be tough to find bike rack space – because they are a bit bigger than the usual bikes we’ve run into a few occasions where it’s challenging to fit our bikes into racks that already have bikes on them.
We’re still pretty new to this so there are still some unanswered questions like:
- How many months of the year can we actually ride?
- How does winter riding work exactly – I know about layering clothing and we have the right clothing but what about stopping and traction on ice/snow?
- Can we do a full weeks worth of groceries just using the bikes to get everything home?
- Will I be able to replace my car with my bike for most of my daily life (driving the teen to and from swim practice will still have to be a thing due to distance and well…teenagers)
- Will we lose the enthusiasm for riding (because so far it’s pretty great!)