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Should an E-Bike be Your Next Purchase?

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, can be a great solution for commuters, travelers, or those who would rather spend a bit more time outside. If you've been debating on whether or not an e-bike should be your next purchase, here are a few easy things to keep in mind, and you might end up buying one.

From commuting to work to local travel, there are plenty of reasons why an e-bike might be on your list of next purchases. In major cities, using an e-bike is a great solution to avoiding traffic and overflowed parking garages, as well as saving money on gas, insurance, and the money other costs that come along with owning a vehicle. If you don’t like in a big city, there are still plenty of uses for an e-bike, and if you live in more rural areas, you might be surprised by your options of off-road focused e-bikes, too. If you’ve been casually browsing the internet and can’t seem to get away from looking at the idea of an electric bike, chances are, you’re debating if it should be your next major purchase.

An electric bike e-bike on a bike rack
An electric bike | Mairo Cinquetti, NurPhoto, Getty Images

Evaluate the area you live in

electric bikes e-bikes
Electric bicycles | Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register, Getty Images

According to Consumer Reports, one of the biggest factors to take into account when it comes to your decision to buy an e-bike is the area you live in. While the weather is a major factor in whether or not you’ll actually enjoy riding your e-bike frequently enough to make it worth purchasing, there are other factors to keep in mind, too. For example, based on the state you live in can determine what paths you are allowed to ride your e-bike on. Some states consider certain e-bikes that can go certain speeds as vehicles that require a standard driver’s license and must be driven on the roads. Some states, on the other hand, allow e-bikes to be ridden in the bike lanes — in which case, it’s important to see if bike lanes are available in the areas you’re looking to travel to with your newly purchased e-bike.

How much does an e-bike cost?

The cost of purchasing an e-bike can vary greatly depending on the quality, brand, and type of electric bike you are looking at. They can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, and for some people that makes them a much more affordable method of transportation than buying a car, truck, or SUV. If you live in a state that treats e-bikes like regular bicycles, you can also save money on insurance, vehicle registration, and, in states that require them, inspections.

Safety and storage with electric bikes

E-bikes can be a safe travel alternative, but like every other form of transportation, it doesn’t come without its own set of risks. These risks are mitigated differently than they would be in a car or SUV because you are not enclosed within the safety of the vehicle. There are no airbags or seatbelts when it comes to e-bikes, but wearing a helmet and proper safety gear can work to help reduce your risk of an injury in case of an accident — and yes, you can get into an accident even in the bike lanes.

Besides that, storage with an e-bike is minimal, meaning you can expect to be carrying your helmet with you while traveling, which, really isn’t that big of a deal for most riders. Baskets and additional storage can be added to an e-bike just like they can a regular bicycle, offering a bit of additional storage, but it typically isn’t a secure option.

Buying an e-bike, whether to ride around town or change up your commute, can be an excellent idea, and in some cases, it can save you time, frustration, and money. With a varying array of prices, e-bikes can go from more affordable to more extravagant prices, offering quite a few luxuries and comforts you might not expect from an electric bike.


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