How electric bikes can unleash your inner super hero

September 11, 2013

Ok, before we start I'm not saying that an electric bike will have you traveling faster than a speeding bullet. But if you haven't tried one before, you might be surprised just how much of a difference an electric bike can make to your ability to ride up hills, defeat head winds and keep up with "serious" cyclists on the bike paths in and around Brisbane.

I've been riding bikes "seriously" for the last 20 years and I still smile every time I approach a steep hill on an electric bike. Our commute to the shop takes in Settlement Road at The Gap in Brisbane. Whilst this isn't Brisbane's steepest or longest hill, at 7% average grade and over 2Kms long its still a challenge. On my road bike (without an electric motor) my legs are definitely burning by the top and I'll probably have a grimace on my face. On our Ezee Expedir Cargo Electric Bike which weighs 3 times more than my road bike I can get up the hill a good 1 minute faster (wearing jeans, leather shoes and a T-shirt) and have a big smile on my face when I get to the top.

What really hit home was when I followed my wife Sam into the Brisbane CBD on her electric bike. On every single hill between The Gap and Milton I was left for dead.

To show just how much of a difference having an electric bike makes I've taken a screen shot of our heart rate and GPS data for one of the short sharp hills between The Gap and the CBD.

As you can see Sam's best time up hill on her electric bike is 24 seconds faster than mine on my super light road bike! (It my not sound like much but it's actually 20% faster!). What's even more telling is when you compare heart rate data. Sam's flying up the hill at a comfortable 122 BPM (what you might experience if you were on a brisk walk), whereas I'm pushing 172 BPM. So that's 40% more effort on my part to go up the same hill 20% slower.

As I said at the start. We can't promise our electric bikes will make you faster than a speeding bullet, but they will give almost superhuman abilities to ride up hill. And because electric bikes are so much fun to ride, you'll find yourself riding further, faster and more frequently than you thought possible.

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