Skip to main content

My experience with an electric bike

What are electric bikes?

Electric bikes come in all shapes and sizes. Photo by Tower Electric Bikes on Unsplash.

Electric bikes (e-bikes) are 100% electric, battery powered bicycles. With the push of a button/lever, they can drive the biker or can assist the biker while pedaling. Most e-bikes can go between 15-28 miles per hour. The distance or range that an e-bike can ride on one charge greatly depends on the battery, tire pressure, whether you are pedaling or just relying on the battery, and environmental conditions.

 

Why would anyone buy an electric bike?

My own electric bike. For most ebikes, the battery rests underneath the seat, like this one.

Electric bikes are a great resource for those who often travel short distances. For many of us, our errands are less than a few miles away from our home, which is well within the range of an electric bike. Take a moment to map out how far you travel to get to your grocery store, leisure activities, or place of work… would you be able to use an electric bicycle to travel that distance?

My experience with an electric bike

As a university student, I needed some form of transportation to help me get from one side of campus to another, and back to my off-campus apartment. Many students at UF use scooters. However, if you have ever visited campus mid-day during a semester, you may know that the scooter parking situation is unfavorable. So, I bought an electric bike, and I am so thankful that I did.

Pros:
  • Eco-friendly transportation

    E-Bike handlebars. I push the lever on the far right (circled in red) to drive the bike independently of pedaling.

  • Free, close parking
    • Thanks to the numerous amount of bike racks on campus, I can get wherever I need to go very quickly.
  • Don’t pay for gas, parking passes, or engine maintenance
  • Half the upfront price of a scooter
  • Don’t have to worry about showing up to class or work sweaty thanks to the pedal assist
  • It is fun to ride
Cons:
  • Cannot travel more than 10 miles (this greatly varies between bikes)
  • Cannot carry a full load of groceries on my bike
  • If the battery runs out of power while riding, the bike itself is heavy and slow to ride.
  • Pedestrians and cars do not expect you to be going as fast as you are, so you must take extra caution. Always wear a helmet.

    The bike connects to the battery through a cord in the back. There is also a key to lock the battery in place.

FAQs

How much do electric bikes cost?

$700 – $2,000 depending on the size, battery, and capabilities of the bike.

How long does the battery last?

This section on the handlebars is where I control the speed of the pedal assist. I can choose between low, medium, and high. This is also where I control the headlight.

I only travel 2-7 miles per day, and the battery is sufficient if I charge it overnight. Charging it overnight is a must. Also, the duration of your battery greatly depends on the bike.

Since you charge your battery overnight, do you notice a difference in your utility bills?

Nope!

Is maintenance expensive?

After purchase, I have only spent a few hundred dollars on it for maintenance and bike safety gear.

Do you recommend getting one?

Definitely! Buying an electric bike was the best investment I have made in college and I encourage everyone who wants an easy way to travel short distances and is financially able to check them out.

Please visit our websites for information about Sarasota County’s Bike and Pedestrian Planning, Electric Vehicles, and Sustainability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *