Pros & Cons Traveling With An Electric Bicycle

E Bike on top of the hill

However, we do not necessarily want to highlight it. Quite simply because we remain convinced that with the technology that has developed on traditional bikes. (which we would like to call sandwich bikes whenever we don't ask if our bikes are electric.,)  The effort required by the practice of bicycle travel  is greatly overestimated in the minds of people. We tend to believe that it takes training to 

 

The electric bike trip opens up new perspectives

Who are the people other than enthusiasts who take to cycling?

What's great about the arrival of the VAE is that it makes cycle tourism possible for people who never thought of it before, who didn't think it was possible. This is a great opportunity, for example, for retirees without training to hit the road without asking too many questions. It was also for our friends from Brisbane who, thanks to the assistance, were able to make an incredible trip. The electric-assisted bicycle allows you not to suffer on the climb and to feel less of the weight on your bike, which removes significant brakes.

It is not uncommon for us to be overtaken on the way up by rather elderly people who in the process cannot help but vanquish us. Especially when you're struggling and really, 4km / h is difficult to maintain. We understand that they are happy with their choice at these precise moments! These are exactly the moments when we bitterly regret being there, before forgetting, fortunately, our thoughts once we get to the top of the climb.

On the other hand, the Ebike has been shown to keep people in good shape and to be good for the breath and the heart. Seeing these people having fun on their electric bike can only be a joy! And then it's always one less person in a car and one more person on a bike, it's always, absolutely always, positive.

Prospects for more difficult routes

Our experiences in Kangaroo Point and Mt Coot-tha Loop were rather revealing. They led to a real sore butt but certainly less pain on the way up. The climbs of  Mt Coot-tha Loop would not have scared me with my bike, I must admit that the climbs we faced in Mt Coot-tha would have seemed insurmountable to me with my own bike. With a lead determination and a lot of pushing, I probably would have gotten the hang of it, but certainly not at the same time. 

Until now, I had not imagined embarking on a route that would have exceeded my own physical limits so much. I found it great to access places that I couldn't easily see, or enjoy as I should, due to the difficulty of the exercise. The E-MTB added a real plus to the trip and I understand the attraction there is for the latter.

Transporting heavier loads

There is also a case that comes up often. The VAE opens up possibilities for families or single parents with young children. It is true that carts for children are often heavy. Count at least 15kg to which we add the significant weight of the child. In addition, there are saddlebags we can understand that are blocking more than one. 

Ebike travel makes it easier to carry all that load. And there is no shortage of inventions in this area in recent years. Trekking bikes are developing, getting better. Just go see the next Ausstech EBikes which adapts to many situations and is now available with support if desired.

There are dozens of reasons that push us to go with an eBike. And we are not here to judge them, quite the contrary. However, before rushing into the purchase, it is important to note its disadvantages because, in our opinion, they are not the least.

 

Couple of Mountain e-bikers rides up the hill

The disadvantages of an electric bike trip

  • Dependence on electricity

  • A journey to the rhythm of battery life

  • Lack of energy on flat routes

  • Limited access to transport

  • The ecological impact of an Ebike

 

With some exceptions, traveling by electric-assisted bicycle has more disadvantages compared to the gain in comfort. But you should know that most opinions are that of someone who travels generally long distances. For a few weeks of vacation, the philosophy is certainly different and we can organize ourselves differently.

Dependence on electricity

The biggest drawback to traveling on an electric bike is the need to recharge the battery. Generally, we appreciate cycle tourism because it offers a certain freedom of movement, complete autonomy and the possibility of going far without depending on anyone. 

If the autonomy of Electric Bike increases over the years, it still corresponds to about a good day of cycling. With that, the bivouac, dear to our hearts, takes on a whole new form and becomes complicated. Then the days in the wilderness are over. You will have to look for an electrical outlet at some point to recharge the batteries. The dependence on electricity hooks us to the modern world of men like a barnacle on its rock. 

Battery life above all

With the battery, no more long days when, for pleasure or simply wanting to challenge ourselves, we let our body continue in its tracks. 80 km, 120 km, 150 km. Oh no, the battery has only 70 km of autonomy! It suffices that there is a small collar in the stride and the turn is played. The Electric Mountain bike riding on Mt Coot-tha gave way before we reached the end of a pass. 38 km on the clock and I had saved it for everything. The electrically assisted bicycle, even at a minimum, uses its battery, because it must be switched on to ride and react like a “traditional” bicycle. When the battery runs out, you have (most of the time, not always apparently) the impression of pushing an old pedal moped on which we have added 40kg of luggage.

Woman riding on her e-bike mountain bike

Transportation

Electric bikes are often prohibited on planes and buses. It will undoubtedly change in the next few years, but for the moment, it is the rule. Already that is complicated with a normal bike, there… it becomes very complicated. Because the bus is a good (if not almost the only) alternative to the train. Because the plane is sometimes necessary to go where one wants it or to return in an emergency.

Also, the weight of the bike is so high that taking the train, with all the problems that we identified in our file , must be an even more unpleasant task. Already suspending my 16kg seems complicated to me, I can't imagine what it looks like with a 26 kg eBike.

The ecological impact of the VAE

Obviously, there is also a question underlying this increasingly massive presence of electric bikes on our greenways and cycle routes. Ecology. Because if the manufacturing processes of traditional touring bikes are not perfect, they have the advantage of allowing them to go for a lifetime, or almost. And above all, to have a limited impact on the environment once the bicycle is acquired. 

  

The electric bike trip.. but wait

We could still add a few small flaws to the use of an eBike to travel, but we would have the impression of making a dependent article. We understand its use in certain cases but do not intend to specifically highlight it on this blog.

The traditional bicycle is often overrated.. The admiration that we arouse is unjustified, but it is nourished by an ambient discourse of the “mind”, of “surpassing oneself and one's limits”. We understand in these conditions that we have difficulty in projecting and in saying that cycling is accessible to almost everyone.

 The truth is, cycling suffers from a misconception that is synonymous with sports, sweat and endorphins. Certainly, there are times that are difficult, the body must get used to the movement, the position, the physical activity. Some climbs sting. But if you follow an E-bicycle route  like Kedron Brook Bikeway.

 , with a good transmission on your touring bike, there is no reason that it should be difficult.

So a traditional bicycle trip or an electric bicycle trip? The question arises sincerely and deserves a real reflection because for sure, your way of approaching the trip will really not be the same! It's up to you !

 

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