Electric Bikes: Great for Your Health… and the Environment
To get into shape, you need to do a little hard work. There are a lot of ways to get rid of that excess flab – exercise, diet, surgery. The latter option can be expensive and potentially dangerous, but for those who want to avoid exercise, it’s an easy choice. By shedding pounds the natural way, you feel like you have accomplished something.
Obesity rates for adults in the United States are an astonishing 36.5%. In isolation, this stat suggests that many of us need to lose some weight and get healthy. There are many cool and innovative gadgets that can help, but few offer so many benefits as the humble bicycle.
As well as helping you to lose weight, riding a bike can make you less reliant on public transportation to get to work. A common mountain bike would be helpful in most circumstances, but if you are in a hurry, there is a more powerful and convenient alternative – the electric bike.
Taking the Strain
Electric bikes look very similar to mountain bikes and are, to some extent, pedal-powered. However, they have a little extra juice, thanks to a small electric motor. This helps to make the bike go faster, reaching speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.
The motor can be used either sparingly or at full throttle. Electric bikes from Brompton can be used without the motor on at all if you want to ride just for fitness purposes. If, however, you are feeling a little lazy, the 250W motor can be turned up to the max, allowing you to pedal as little as possible. This is really useful if you are rushing to get to work!
These bikes also have adjustable power settings, so you can rely on your legs a little or a lot. For exercise, if you don’t know how to ride a bike, reducing the power as you learn will be a great way to ease yourself in.
How it Works
The technology behind electric bikes is quite unique. Starting with their electric motors, they are DC powered, usually small in size and placed at the front of the bike. They can be removed and, crucially, are rechargeable. They can be recharged using nothing more than a plug socket at home or at work for a few hours, making them an environmentally-friendly mode of transit.
One of the most useful features of the motor is that it has a USB charging port. For the commute to work, the convenience that comes with being able to power up your cellphone or tablet is invaluable. They cannot, however, be charged by USB.
Of the more than 45 million people in the US who claim to cycle, some of them will worry about where to park their bikes. Many electric bikes are foldable, so they can be stored indoors without taking up too much space. For office workers in busy city centers like New York and Los Angeles, this is a major plus point.
If you are carrying such a bike with you on the subway or train, folding your bike when boarding will make enough room for another commuter to get on board. In the middle of the morning or evening rush hour, that makes a big difference. Ultimately, these bikes are in their element when being used in busy, urban environments.