2017 has seen a massive growth the number of electric bikes sold, both for commuting and for mountain biking. Most major bike brands have electric models to choose from, and these can be comparable in price to a high end mountain bike.
To the purist the electric mountain bike may seem like a cop out and a lazy persons solution to getting around, but to the keen electric bike rider the electric bike is nothing like that it will. People who are overweight or older or not fit can still get out and really enjoy the Great Outdoors, and not be intimidated by any extended hill climbing or long distances.
Overweight middle aged men are particularly attracted to the electric mountain bike, as they have the income to be able to afford the bikes and it means that they can get out and do all the great mountain biking tracks up in the hills, and not have heart failure while getting there. It can look rather comical to see an overweight middle aged man in tight lycra on their flash electric mountain bike, but then to see them at the end of the day covered in mud and as exhausted as everybody else and very happy and proud is to realise that the electric mountain bike is very good for them.
One class of electric mountain bike has 5 speed settings, and has enough power to take even a heavy male up an otherwise impossible hill track. This has to impress the purist when they realise that a track they’d be almost too scared to cycle down is actually easy to ride up with an electric mountain bike.
The electric bike is good for 70 or 80 km of fairly flat riding, and as such is a good commuter machine and also good for dodging around the traffic blockages to go to appointments for example. A number of firms in the large cities actually provide electric bikes as an alternative to office cars, as the electric bike will deliver the employee to a meeting much faster than driving during their heavy traffic parts of the day.
Electric bikes are actually a lot safer than pedal bikes on the roads, as they can travel at the traffic speeds and so not have to worry about being passed by car’s and trucks all the time. The rider of course needs to be careful that they don’t follow the traffic too closely because they don’t have the same level of braking ability as does a car or a truck. The electric bikes appear to be a lot safer then the pedal versions, as there are not nearly so many accidents proportionately. This is almost certainly due to the fact that the bikes can travel at the speed of the surrounding traffic.