Here’s what I learned while riding an e-bike to work

Adam stands under trees with XP 2.0 electric bike

Adam Birney/Android Authority

After having lots of fun riding electric scooters all summer, I wanted to try riding an electric bike. Not only are e-bikes more robust and flashy for in-between rides, they can also carry more cargo. While I still enjoy riding electric scooters, it’s a leisurely activity that doesn’t require much physical exertion. I figured an e-bike would bring a healthy balance to my riding, with the benefit of exercise and rest when needed. Was it all it was cracked for? Here’s what I learned while riding an e-bike.

Get to know e-bikes

I tested the Lectric XP 2.0, featured in our buyer’s guide as the entry-level electric bike. The e-bike arrived fully assembled out of the box; All I had to do was pump up the tires and wait for the battery to fully charge. At first glance it’s a chunky machine, larger than my usual bike, but it folds to save space when stowed. Still, the 64 pounds of steel is a bit heavy to lug up a flight of stairs.

E-bike display on the handlebars

Adam Birney/Android Authority

The logistics of the e-bike’s dashboard are easy to see through. There is a On button near the left handlebar with + and – Icons for cycling through power assist levels. A central LCD screen displays useful data such as battery life, current speed and distance travelled. On the right side is a shifter that is easy to operate with a thumb. And of course there are the well-known hand brakes that reliably bring the machine to a standstill.

See also: Lectric XP 2.0 Review: A robust, well-rounded entry-level electric bike

The biggest learning curve with the Lectric XP 2.0 was a button that is essential for turning on the battery. The tricky part is that the keyhole is under the central frame, which requires you to lie down on the floor to see where you put the key. After my first few rides, I would get tired from the ride, park the bike, lock it, and walk away, often forgetting to put the key in my pocket. What was intended as a security measure became an afterthought hidden behind the hallways. Luckily no one stole it but if they did I’d only have one left and if that wasn’t with me I wouldn’t have electricity to get me home.

A reliable ride that roars

Adam mounts an electric bike in the driveway

Adam Birney/Android Authority

Sitting on the bike feels safe and comfortable. The size and weight inspire confidence as the thick frame and tires give me the confidence to ride alongside traffic. I feel a lot less exposed than on an electric scooter, even though the bike can match the speed of a car. The wide handlebars also make the bike easier to maneuver, even at top speeds, and allows it to take sharper turns than a typical scooter could handle.

The size and weight boosts confidence and gives me the confidence to ride alongside traffic on the road.

The battery and the motor of an electric bike are designed in such a way that they do some of the pedaling work for you – at least that’s what I thought. Rather than just providing gentle assistance, even the lower levels of pedal assistance had me blasting off like a rocket. Of course, my inner child had to test maximum power output right away, and boy is that fun. It feels odd to cover twice the distance as you would normally do with the same amount of pedaling, but I quickly got used to the extra ‘oomp’.

riding electric bike next to traffic

Adam Birney/Android Authority

The Lectric XP 2.0 has a default top speed of 20mph, but you can unlock it to max it out at 28mph. It doesn’t take long to reach those speeds either; A quick twist of the throttle sent me skyrocketing as soon as the light turned green. The bike’s size made it a little harder to get around other riders on the bike path, but the motor is powerful enough to get you ahead if you find a gap.

The pedal assistance provides enough power to put you ahead of other riders.

Legality was less of a gray area than riding my scooter, at least here in Canada. I was able to ride the e-bike pretty much anywhere regular bikes go and more. Off-road riding was particularly comfortable thanks to the front suspension fork, with which I could easily ride over grass and gravel. For comparison, most e-scooters with suspension cost over two grand, but this bike is half that at $999.

After riding the city streets and parks, I wanted to see how the bike performed uphill.

Lonely slopes and newly discovered horizons

electric bike running uphill next to brick wall

Adam Birney/Android Authority

There it was – the Burrard Bridge, with its intimidating incline that would normally kill my legs to climb. Impossible to traverse without breaking a sweat. But this time I had a 500w motor with 850w peak draw to power me. I chose the highest level of assistance to provide a more appropriate power delivery per pedal revolution. As with gears, you will generally want higher numbers going up and lower numbers going down. I took a deep breath and pushed forward.

Well, it’s not that I still wasn’t sweating by the time I reached the top of the bridge, but my thighs didn’t burn and I was there twice as fast. At first I felt guilty at the ease with which I passed other struggling cyclists up the incline. As I drove past them, the sound of my engine caught a certain judgment from hasty eyes, especially from the colorful, spandex-clad crowd. In speaking with my peers and elders, I found many were quick to label e-bikes as a cheat or a way to escape exercise.

At first I felt guilty with the ease with which I could climb hills, but that only spurred me on to go further than before.

Perhaps conquering that hill wasn’t as rewarding as using my brute strength. And I’ll admit it’s tempting to rely on the assist to ride on flat surfaces when I could pedal just as easily. But ultimately, resting my legs when they were tired encouraged me to cover longer distances and steeper slopes. By conserving my energy, I was able to explore terrain that I would never be able to reach with a simple bicycle, such as B. the sandy beaches at low tide or visiting shops on high hills. In short, I used that guilt to push myself further.

The advantages of an e-bike

Lectric XP. 2.0 bike folded in front of the wall

Adam Birney/Android Authority

Aside from reaching distant destinations, the electric bike really got into the clutch when I was in a hurry or after a long day. Instead of driving my car, the e-bike proved to be the quickest way around town, avoiding traffic and parking frustration. I can use the assistance if I need to zoom up and down the streets in an emergency without causing pollution. Eventually, instead of shame, I felt excited to explore new horizons and proud to have done so in an eco-friendly way.

It was the quickest way to get around town while avoiding traffic and parking frustration.

Pedal assistance also makes electric bikes more accessible to those who cannot ride traditional two-wheelers. For example, I spoke to an elderly rider with arthritis in his knees who said he couldn’t ride a bike at all without his e-bike. He was grateful for the supervised practice in his retirement. Another friend of mine who struggles with mental health issues said she wouldn’t make it to school without one. She avoids the claustrophobic student bus rides packed like sardines while carrying all her books in a cargo basket. In these and other cases, electric bicycles meet many needs. Plus, they can still be used as a traditional bike if needed.

Electric bike in the driveway

Adam Birney/Android Authority

There is no doubt that many will find electric bikes useful. They make long, challenging journeys more accessible for many people. They also attract people who would not otherwise get on a bike. I already see more electric bike ridesharing becoming immensely popular as a way to get from A to B quickly. Renting an e-bike from companies like Lime or Spin can be a great way to try one out for yourself.

Electric bikes make longer and steeper rides more accessible to more people.

For owners like me, the extra cargo capacity makes it easier to navigate my daily commute to and from work while carrying everything I need with me. As the fall season begins I will be relying more on my Lectric XP 2.0 as it is much more stable and waterproof than an e-scooter for riding in the wet. If you’re looking for an affordable first e-bike that doesn’t compromise on quality, click the widget below.

Lectric XP 2.0

Lectric XP 2.0

Robust construction • Pedaling with pedal assistance • High quality for the price

The best electric bike with the best value for money

The Lectric XP 2.0 offers both variable pedal assistance and a throttle, meeting the requirements of a class 1, 2 or 3 e-bike. Tackle different terrain with adjustable suspension and fat tires. Up to 65 miles range.

https://www.androidauthority.com/what-i-learned-from-riding-an-electric-bike-3202694/ Here’s what I learned while riding an e-bike to work

Chris Barrese

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